Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Salvation is of the Lord

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

Apostle Paul had the vision. He valued his salvation highly and diligently fought the good fight. As the end of his life drew near, he was able to say with complete confidence that he would receive the crown.

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  (2 Timothy 4:8)

When Apostle Paul awakes in the first resurrection, he will trade in his soldier's helmet for a far more glorious, imperishable and eternal crown of righteousness—the crown of a victorious soldier of Christ. We, too, can be assured of victory so long as we—like Apostle Paul—faithfully follow our God and His commandments from our heart, mind and body.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:8–9) 

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.  (Isaiah 59:16-17)

The sacrifice; that final sacrifice, made by Jesus Christ purchased our salvation.  Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

"O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle."   Psalms 140:7

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  Colossians 1:18

Our lifestyle is conformed to the character and actions of Christ.

"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.  1 Corinthians 2:16

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Just as Christ's life was not easy on this earth, nor will ours be.

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.  1 Peter 4:1
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

Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  Revelation 21:1-4

This is the salvation we are fighting for—to enter this glorious Kingdom! Never lose sight of this. This coming Kingdom, with its worldwide peace and prosperity, makes every price in this life worth paying. No matter what comes, no matter how vicious the attacks our enemy lands on us, we know that as long as we remain with God, we are moving slowly but unstoppable toward an eternal victory. What wouldn't we give for that?

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
  2 Timothy 4:6-8

(Biblical Studies)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Benefits of Spiritual Power

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

As you fulfill the purpose of power to extend the Gospel, you will encounter the opposition of Satan.   The source of power within us (the Holy Spirit) is greater than whatever awaits us.  Jesus has delegated power to you for spiritual warfare. He has given you power over all the power of the enemy:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.             (Luke 10:19)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  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. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

People fall into spiritual error for two reasons:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

Spiritual error results if you do not know the Word of God because you are open to deceptive doctrines and false teaching. Knowing the word of God is imperative as it is the sword in the armor of God; the only defensive weapon we have.  Consider Jesus during His ordeal with Satan in the wilderness.  He didn’t produce a tangible weapon.  He went toe-to-toe armed with the word of God as His weapon.

Spiritual error also results when you do not know the power of God. You are open to the deceptive power of the enemy. You fall victim to his powers operating against you when you have no spiritual power with which to resist his forces.

Some have a form of godliness and even know the Scriptures, but they deny God's power. The Bible warns regarding this:

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5)

The word of God lets us know of two benefits of spiritual power:

  Spiritual power conquers sin:

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

  Spiritual power is used to edify:

To "edify" means to build up and promote spiritual growth.  The power from God was given to Apostle Paul to edify others, not to destroy them.  Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians:

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction.            (2 Corinthians 10:8)

Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. (2 Corinthians 13:10)

Each person has a will of their own. That will is the power of choice. The demonstration of power creates willingness or openness to God:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)

God acts in proportion to the measure you permit His power to work in you:

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

All you ask God for -- all that you think concerning spiritual truths -- is affected by the power of God at work in you.

The power of God is not only a force working through you, but the strength maintaining you. Apostle Paul said we are. . .

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Colossians 1:11)

God's power strengthens you in difficult times when you need patience in suffering. You can face difficult situations with joy because of His glorious power at work in you.  It is an important purpose of His power at work in you.

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

You are kept, or preserved through God's power, until the end of time:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)

You live in a mortal body which will die unless Jesus first returns to earth. It is spiritual power that will raise your mortal body in resurrection:

It (the body) is sown in dishonor: it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. (2 Corinthians 15:43)

And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power. (1 Corinthians 6:14)

God's power enables endless life:

Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (Hebrews 7:16)

All things that pertain unto life and godliness are given to you through the power of God:

According to His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. (2 Peter 1:3)

Think of the many things involved in life. Think of the many virtues involved in godliness.  The purpose of His divine power is to give you these things--ALL THINGS according to the power working within us.

Biblical Studies