Holy Spirit, Persecution, The Seed

Godly Living

All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

2 Timothy 3:12

Is it possible to live a godly life? Some may question the possibility of living a godly life. I can remember people saying that it is impossible to live a godly life in the world we live in today. This was back in the 70’s when the question was raised about godly living. Yet, when the power of God moved upon people it brought change and some knew the importance of godly living and discipleship. Weekly groups were the outcome for discipleship teaching in learning to live a godly life. I remember the Navigators for Christ, which is an interdenominational Christian ministry. Navigators for Christ went into colleges across the U.S. to help young Christians in discipleship. I attended a weekly group that met at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. A godly life is pursuing a life of holiness and obedience to the Lord. Is it hard to live a godly life? Some would say yes. The truth is, it is hard if you are trying to live a godly life in the flesh instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to come and do the change within your heart. And what about suffering persecution for Christ. Have we witnessed persecution in the world we live in today? The answer is yes.

Dicipleship must allow time for meditation on the word as well as prayer time for the Holy Spirit to enlighten those who are seeking that closer walk with God. We must seek God through the Spirit since God is a Spirit [John 4:24]. Revelation is through the Spirit of God, and this is knowing and understanding what the will of God is.

God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. “

1 Corinthians 2:10

The apostle Paul goes on to explain in 1st Corinthians chapter two that we receive the Spirit of God through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches us the truth of God through spiritual revelation to where we are able to compare spiritual things with spiritual [1 Corinthians 2:13]. The more you take time to read the word and pray for wisdom in understanding it, the more you will gain knowledge and know what the will of God is. The Spirit of God will reveal where your own heart stands. Will you be ready to submit your will to God and allow His Spirit to change your heart? Godly living is surrendering your will to the will of God. Have you read Andrew Murray’s book titled “Absolute Surrender” written in 1897? I have the audio book and I listen to it often to remind me that this is a requirement to daily living in His Love. Click the link to the site to download and read. Daily surrendering is the key to living a godly life.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

Titus 2:11-12

The godly life is one who denies worldly lust and one who lives soberly in this present world. That is moderation or self-restraint living allowing the Spirit of God to light our path as we walk in the Spirit of Christ.

Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in its lusts, 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.”

Romans 6:12-13.

We must not yield to unrighteousness and sin. Paul tells us in Romans chapter six that we do not serve sin and that we are no longer slaves to sin. If we are dead with Christ, we are free from the power of sin. As Christ lived unto God, so do we. The Spirit delivers us from the old nature of sin. Thus, we have Paul statement in Romans, “for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” [Romans 8:2]. We must be grounded and rooted in the word of God in order to be free from the law of sin and death. Our life is in Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith. It is those who are led by the Spirit of God that has become heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. We are now the people of God who has obtained mercy. Our behavior should reveal Christ character in doing good works to the glory of God.

One of the signs of evil is when evil men and seducers become worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived [see 2 Timothy 3:13]. These are men who abuse their authority to gain their own reality of rulership. They take no thought about the welfare of others, and they themselves are being deceived. They are not subject to the law of God since they are carnal minded. They are offended and accurse those who do not follow their pacific will. This is the reason that those who follow Christ will have persecution from those who do not follow Christ. Persecution can also come from those who are professing Christians but are not grounded or rooted in the word of God.

And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

Mark 4:16-17

Are you grounded and rooted in the doctrine of Christ where faith is based upon Christ sacrifice for your sins? Do not allow other things to choke out the word of God. Do not become offended by the word of God which is able to perfect us into the love of God. The word of God is the incorruptible seed that bears fruit as long as we do not choke it out. Remember that Jesus said that it is Satan that comes to take the word away after it was sown in the heart [Mark 4:15]. Yet, Jesus tells us to have ears to hear and to take heed how we hear.

Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you; and unto you; and unto to you that hear shall more be given.”

Mark 4:24

Hearing the word is how you personally will measure it. It is what you will choose to believe in how it will be measured to you. How much of the light of God’s word will you allow into your life? Will you stay the course? For some it is a great sacrifice because being a follower for Christ means losing ties from their own natural families. That loss is real, and many do not understand the pain that an individual suffers from separation of family, but Christ can identify with your pain. You may be detached from your own mother, father, brother, or sister but you have been grafted into the family of God. Sometimes you may find yourself isolated from those who do not follow Christ. This is a form of persecution. Any hostile feelings, attitudes, words and actions against an individual because they believe in Christ is a form of persecution. I personally went through this myself and it was Christ love for me that won me over to becoming a Christian. I was ignorant about who Jesus was, but I found the reality of that love and made the choice to follow Jesus. I have no regrets where Christ is concerned. I pray that you too, will choose to live a godly life in Christ Jesus despite the persecution you may receive. We can say along with Paul, ” I endured: but out of all the persecutions, the Lord delivered me,” [2 Timothy 3:11]. He will deliver you too. . .so, stay the course to live a godly life.

Faith, Justification, The New Man

Do not give place to the devil

Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:27

Are you giving place to the devil? Maybe we do not understand how this can happen, but the apostle Paul talks about how a believer as a new man in Christ is not to walk in the vanity of their own minds. Paul conveys that a believer is to walk in the grace of God with righteousness and true holiness. The question arises if we as believers are walking as God’s dear children. We were all bought with a great price to become God’s children. The fact that the apostle Paul addresses the Ephesians in the 1st verse of chapter five as dear children is an endearment of love. Chapter four and five should be read carefully because we are witnessing how the days are evil. There is such bitterness, wrath, anger, uproar, and evil speaking which has brought about civil unrest. Violent crimes are happening across the US and in certain locations around the world. Since Covid-19 Burglary and Theft has hit number one worldwide.

It seems now that the phrase “new man in Christ” may have lost its meaning, or it has become vague in its meaning. Throughout the New Testament there is a clear change in the character of a person who has become a believer. Paul goes out of his way in explaining and distinguishing the difference between the old man and the new man. Have we as Christians missed this change. The body of Christ should be edifying itself in love and not in hate. Unless the method of salvation has changed, and I pray that is not the case we should be walking in the love of Christ. Did not Christ make us alive when we were dead in our sins? Paul mentioned that in times past those who are unbelievers “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience,” [Ephesians 2:2]. Those unbelievers were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, [see Ephesians 2:3]. Salvation through faith begins on an individual basis and then it becomes the body in the church where Christ is the head.

The church is to be perfecting the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, [see Ephesians4:12]. The church is to speak the truth in love until the unity of faith with the knowledge of the Son of God reaches the point of a perfect man in the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ, [see Ephesians 4:13]. Were we not blinded and ignorant before hearing about Christ as our savior? We were all past feeling of consciousness having given ourselves over to uncleanness and greediness.

Put off concerning the former manner of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”

Ephesians 4:22

Are you still carrying the old man that is corrupt with you? We need to take stock of our actions. We are not to follow or get carried away by every wind of doctrine by the craftiness of those who would deceive us from the truth of Christ. It is through faith in Christ that has reconciled us to God. We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, [see Ephesians 2:20]. When Christ ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, [see Ephesians 4:8]. As a believer we died to the old nature of man and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is done through prayer and faith in the work of Christ who became the power of God in reconciling us unto God. We have been made near to God through the blood of Christ. Christ work on the cross has taken the penalty for our sins and Christ has given us access to the Father by giving us the Holy Spirit. If we are walking in the flesh, then we are not walking in the indwelt Spirit of Christ in which we were sealed by an inheritance.

That inheritance is why Paul exclaimed to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption,” [Ephesians 4:30]. We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind to that of Christ. Christ position is our position. Christ identity becomes our identity. Paul told the Corinthians that though “our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” [see 2 Corinthians 4:16]. We put to death all things that is unclean or the unfruitful works of darkness and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse us from all works of darkness. Our identity is in Christ and not in this present world. We do not belong to the devil; we belong to Christ.

Submit yourselves, therefore, to God Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.”

James 4:7-8

We resist the devil and his evil works to the one who has given us the power to overcome him and that is Christ. We try every spirit to see if Jesus has come in the flesh, and we know what the spirit of truth is, and the spirit of error. Whatever is not of faith in Christ Jesus is sin. We do not grieve the Holy Spirit who is our comforter. We put away all lying, stealing, evil speaking, anger, malice, and covetousness and ask God to cleanse our heart and mind to that of Christ. We pray that the Holy Spirit would come and convict those who are not walking in the Spirit of Christ. We ask for the fruit of the Spirit to fill us with the love of Christ and change us from glory to glory into the person of Jesus Christ. We pray for the understanding what the will of the Lord is. We must speak truth and not lie. There are many forms of truth, but only one truth has given us the victory and that is through Jesus Christ.

Our doctrine is of Christ and not of any other. Beware of what doctrine you follow. I remember Smith Wigglesworth said to beware of any word that has “ist,” or “ism” at the end of a word. I though it funny at the time of hearing it, but there is some truth to what he said. There are those who follow a different teaching that is not of God. It may sound good, but their objective is not of the doctrine in Christ. The latest new word “Christian Nationalism,” is creating a divide all across America. This movement began in the late 50’s and has come to the forefront in recent years. Christian nationalists are defined as those seeking to preserve the status of a Christian state. Its focus is on national identity. As an American citizen the Bill of Rights gives people the right to the establishment of religion and free exercise thereof. It does not state that Congress should make a law of one Religion over another. History has proven that making a law upon religion has brought about expulsions such as what happen in Spain’s history. Any type of law for a religion has brought civil unrest upon a country or nation. Freedom of religion gives each individual a choice.

God has given each individual a choice to believe or not believe. If you take away that choice and make it legal, it becomes a manmade law based upon legalism which promotes ritualism. Let us remember that ritualism did not save the Jewish nation. If man can not conform to God’s laws, how can they conform to their own laws? The law concluded that all are under sin.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”

Galatians 3:24-25

Paul warns about legalism and how the two systems cannot co-exist, that of law and grace. We cannot work the good works through the law to receive salvation. If we are justified by the law, then Christ has become ineffective [see Galatians 5:4]. Paul goes on to say that those who are justified by the law have fallen from grace. “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,” [Galatians 5:5]. Therefore, we should walk carefully and not as fools but as the wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Make sure you are standing in the faith through Christ and no other doctrine. Do not allow or give place to the devil in not walking in the Spirit of Christ. Remember that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son to reconcile the world from sin.

Confession, Faith, Reconciled

The Son of man cometh, Shall He find faith on the earth?

When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Luke 18:8

What will the Son of man find when he comes upon the earth? Will he find obedience in the faith of Jesus Christ? Will he find anyone standing fast in the faith and doing all things in love? Will he find you settled and grounded in faith to where you are not removed away from the hope of the gospel? The truth of the gospel is found in the power of God’s Son Jesus Christ who brought us with a price. The redemptive work in Christ is our saving grace towards forgiveness and eternal life. We must not devalue what Christ has done on the cross for each of us. He is our peace and has reconciled all things unto himself [see Colossians 1:20]. We are complete in him.

And ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principalities and power.

Colossians 2:10

I pray that your faith is not a shallow faith. I pray that you become strengthened in the might of His Spirit, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith and that you be grounded and rooted in love [see Ephesians 3:16-17]. To know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God [see Ephesians 3:19]. We all must be able to comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of our precious Lord. The apostle Paul warns us of a perilous time that is coming, and it seems fitting to say that we may be entering a perilous time and our faith will be tested. The apostle Paul warns us that professing Christians will reject the truth that is in the Deity of Jesus Christ. The snare of Satan is to deny our Lord’s provision in the power of his resurrection. Our faith in Christ alone guarantee’s our inheritance of eternal life. Do not let anyone take that away from you. Paul tells us that in the last days of perilous times men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, and disobedient [ 2 Timothy 3:2].

Those who boast the loudest have lost something in life. We should question why they are boasting. What are they trying to gain except their own recognition. Our recognition is in Christ Jesus, and we can only boast what he has given us which is mercy, love, forgiveness, and a new life. There will be men who are high-minded, heady, false accusers, despisers of those that are good, and traitors because they deny the power of our LORD in vain believing in their own form of godliness. We are to turn away from those who are like this for they are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth [see 2 Timothy 3:7]. We are to continue in the love of our Lord and stand firm in the faith that is through our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the death and resurrection of our Lord, for He alone is able to save us from death and hell. Keep the word of God nigh thee even in thy mouth speak the word.

Preach the word; be diligent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”

2 Timothy 4:2

Yes, we are to preach the word, and fight the good fight of faith. We all should have a good profession [see 1 Timothy 6:12]. Is your profession a good profession before many witnesses? Check thy mouth for it will speak what is in your heart. You may have to pray and ask the Lord to deliver you from evil speaking and from every evil work. I pray that He will preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom, and not your own kingdom. Those who have departed from the faith within their heart but still confess they are Christian will be awaiting judgement. The scripture tells us that their folly shall be manifested unto all men [2Timothy 3:9]. There is reconciliation through Jesus Christ for our sins if we confess them before our Lord. We should all continue to grow as the scripture helps us towards correction and it is the instruction into righteousness. It reveals the truth of the folly of humanity. Paul tells us to examine ourselves whether or not we are standing in faith [see 2 Corinthians 13:5]. Our faith is our confession, for whatever is not of faith is dead. Faith in Christ Jesus is alive and carries the power to save and heal us.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised.”

Hebrews 10:23

That is why it is so important that we hold fast our profession of our faith without wavering. We declare the Lord Jesus who is the final sacrifice for our sins. He died and arose from the cross to give us eternal life. Profession is our declaration, a public announcement of what we believe in. If we lack faith, we can ask in prayer for help of our unbelief like the father of the child who had a dumb and deaf spirit [see Mark 9:24]. He is faithful to help us in our weaknesses. It is interesting to note that the disciples could not cast out the spirit of dumbness and deaf out of the child and they asked Jesus why? Jesus answered, “this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” [Mark 9:29]. Prayer and fasting are needed at times to gain understanding of the revelation about a situation that God can only reveal through prayer and fasting. The believer is complete in Christ.

Buried with him in baptism, in which also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Colossians 2:12

Through the faith of the operation of God, yes, the operation of God and not of man. Christ was raised from the dead, and so shall we if we continue in the faith. We have a part in the ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors for Christ bearing the word of God and declaring the truth of the gospel of Christ. Christ is our redemption and reconciliation to God. The operation of God is through faith in Christ.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

Luke 18:27

Whatever is impossible with men are possible with God. How exciting is this. Our God of mercy makes it possible if only we would believe in his provision through his son Jesus Christ. Our faith in Christ can move mountains. Remember what Jesus said to the disciples, “whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith,” [Mark 11:23]. Jesus also told the disciples to have faith in God. Have faith in God.

When He the Son of men comes, may you be found in him standing in faith.

In Christ the solid rock I stand

Holy Spirit, Inheritance, The law of the Spirit of Life

The law of the Spirit of Life

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:2

The Spirit of Life is through Jesus Christ, for Jesus is the chief corner stone in which the building is structured to a holy temple in the Lord. The church is structured through the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, and it is fashioned through the character of Christ. Paul told the Ephesians that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” [Ephesians 2:10]. We can boast what Christ has done in our personal life, but we cannot take glory for the work of the Lord, for it was a gift of God and we were all bought with a price. There is a law put in place and that law of the Spirit of life is Christ Jesus himself. This is the everlasting life that flows through us by the Holy Spirit and builds us up into the character of Christ.

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:21-22

We become a holy temple and a habitation of God through the Spirit. Wow! This takes some consideration in our minds to get around the full meaning of what this means. To imagine that each of us is fitly framed together to grow into a holy temple can be hard to understand. This is the body that is being built in the church. I have not even thought about this in my early walk as a Christian. I became a Christian in 1974 in Seattle Washington. Several of us from the youth group at the Presbyterian Church and some from the Catholic church went to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, Washington. We had heard about the charismatic movement and the speaking of tongues. I cannot remember how or who suggested us to go and check it out. But we went one Sunday morning to St. Luke’s in Ballard, for we wanted to learn more about the baptism in the Spirit. We went forward during the invitation to come to the alter and pray. Rev. Dennis Bennett came in back of each of us praying and laying hands on us to receive the Holy Spirit. When his hands touch my head, I felt the power of God go through me and I began to speak in tongues. We were all full of the Holy Spirit and God’s light shown upon our faces.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the beginning of building the holy temple in the Lord. The Holy Spirit comes in clean vessels that are yielded vessels for the work of God to move in the heart towards the character of Christ. We let go the youthful lust in the flesh which was common among youth and desired to have peace, love, and faith in the Lord Jesus. Our sins were forgiven and now we wanted the fullness of the Spirit to walk in the love of Christ. The apostle Paul stated to depart from all iniquity. If a man would purge himself from all that is unclean, he would become a vessel of honor, sanctified, and fit for the master’s use and this would prepare us for every good work, [see 2 Timothy 2:21]. This is the law of the Spirit of Life through Christ Jesus. Being made free from the law of sin and death. Created in Christ Jesus to the glory of God. We were so full of the Spirit of God that we would gather at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle late at night to sing praises and dance unto the Lord. This may sound astounding, but like King David dancing before the Lord, so did we play cymbals and tambourines and danced. In those days the church door was left open for anyone to come and pray when needed. This was a house of prayer.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle

“Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.”

Psalms 149:3

I can remember this as if it was yesterday, but this was 48 years ago. So much joy was in our hearts that we had to spend time in the Spirit to exalt the name of the Lord. This was the beginning of walking in the Spirit. We did not want to be carnally minded for to be carnally minded brought death and not peace.

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Romans 8:6

The word carnally is the Hebrew word “shakab” which means copulation, seed, or sexual act. We wanted life and peace that is from being spiritually minded through Christ Jesus. The righteousness that is in Christ Jesus has the redemptive power to save and to create a new man. This is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus. Romans chapter 8 mentions the Holy Spirit nineteen times. This is an important note for us to consider and chew upon. Sin and death no longer have control over us, for we belong to Christ, and we now have the righteousness of Christ who is the victor over sin and death. If we put to death the deeds of the body, we shall live [see Romans 8:13]. Our body and mind belong to the Lord, and we must worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. It is the Spirit that works in the yielded Christian to bring the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus into effect. This is so marvelous that the power of the resurrection of Christ will give life to our mortal bodies by His Spirit [see Romans 8:11]. As the believer becomes a habitation for God, our adoption is assured as children and heirs of God.

The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

Romans 8:16

Do you have that witness within your own spirit? Is your position in Christ a reality? The indwelling of the Spirit gives the realization of the present experience which is the earnest down payment of our inheritance that we have through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Sonship is the adoption we receive the moment we believe. Regeneration takes on the meaning of the divine life of Christ nature to flow in the believer by the Holy Spirit. This means we do not work at achieving it ourselves, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit to renew our mind and heart to that of having the mind and heart of Christ. The apostle Paul states it as the following:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5

The washing or bathing in the regeneration or new birth is in Christ Jesus who gives us the Spirit to help us become more Christ like in our nature and character. It is from glory to glory that He is changing us. When the Holy Spirit convicts us about something, we surrender it, and he works the change within us. We are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God states Paul in 1st Corinthians 6:11. This is the saving grace of God the Father, and it is done through the Son who gives us the Holy Spirit as our helper. The mystery of the work of the Spirit who points to Christ who points to the Father is something many theologians have debated. The Trinity is the three in one {Father, Son, and Holy Spirit}. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to give life to our mortal bodies so that we can live in peace, love, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is something we can rejoice in and give thanks to the Lord.