WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
TRUST IN JESUS FOR SALVATION!
Repent and be Saved!!
Acts 16:30-31 - The Philippian Jailer Saved
Acts 16:30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Deuteronomy 6:5-8 - The Greatest Commandment
Dt 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Matthew 22:37-39 - The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?
Mt 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
John 14:15-18 - Jesus Promises Another Helper
Jn 1415 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Isaiah 55:6-7 - An Invitation to Abundant Life
Is 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Matthew 7:7-12 - Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
Mt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Psalm 9:9-10 - Prayer and Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Righteous Judgments
Ps 9:9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.
10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 37 - The Heritage of the Righteous and the Calamity of the Wicked
37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct.
15 Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken.
16 A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the Lord, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.
21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.
28 For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked watches the righteous, And seeks to slay him.
33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged.
34 Wait on the Lord, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16,19-20 - The Choice of Life or Death
Dt 30:15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you ...19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days
Romans 6:23 - Dead to Sin, Alive to God
Ro 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. ... 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 14:1-6 - The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Jn 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Hebrews 11:1 - By Faith We Understand
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ... 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Proverbs 3:1-12 - Guidance for the Young
Pro 3:1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
What does it mean to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19)?
In Deuteronomy 30:19–20, we find one of Scripture’s most direct communications regarding the choices we make and God’s will for His people: “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life” (Deuteronomy 30:19–20, NLT).
As Moses nears the end of his ministry, he counsels God’s people to choose life. He outlines the way to do this: “Love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life” (Deuteronomy 30:20). Moses reviews the terms of the covenant, explaining to the people of Israel that walking in a covenant relationship with God means making a radical decision to commit themselves wholly to the Lord and His ways (see Exodus 19:3–9; Joshua 24:15–24). To choose the Lord is to choose life.
Choose life indicates that people have a choice, a decision to make. We choose life by choosing God. When we respond to the Lord in faith, love, and obedience, we receive life eternal. Under the Old Covenant, Israel received life abounding with all God’s goodness and physical blessings (Deuteronomy 11:26; 30:2–10; 15; Psalm 21:4–6). Under the New Covenant, believers in Christ receive abundant life (John 10:10; Ephesians 1:3–14).
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). We choose life when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and dedicate ourselves to following Him. He becomes our life (Colossians 3:4). The Lord gives His followers “a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT). Our obedience to God brings life now in all its fullness, as well as life eternal (John 17:3; Psalm 16:11). But disobedience results in the greatest curse of all—death and destruction now and forever (Matthew 7:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9; Hebrews 2:2–3).
The life God offers—the life Israel was to choose—was lived out in worship of God, in purity, justice, fairness toward the weak and poor, and through obedience to all the instructions Moses had laid out. Choosing life was choosing the Lord’s way above their own. Any other choice would lead to tragedy and death.
The call of Moses to choose life was not only about obeying rules. It was a call to the heart: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12; see also Deuteronomy 6:5; 11:13–14). Jesus issued this same call as the first and greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37–38).
Loving the Lord is the first step in choosing life. When we love the Lord, we desire to know Him intimately. We hear His voice and follow (John 10:3, 27). One feature of the relationship between a shepherd and his flock is that sheep always recognize their shepherd’s voice. As we get to know the Lord intimately, we become aware that He is our Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20). Whenever we might be tempted to turn away to the right or the left, our Shepherd is there, telling us the right way to go (Isaiah 30:21). We will obey and follow the voice of the Lord because we know and trust Him deeply.
We choose life when we choose God, who is the giver and sustainer of life (Acts 17:25). The Bible says God breathed the breath of life into humans (Genesis 2:7). Since our lives are a gift from God (Psalm 139:13; Acts 17:28), our highest aim ought to be living for Him. Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39, NLT). We choose life by letting go of selfish desires and living for His sake. Then we can say like the apostle Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Repent and be saved
You need to acknowledge that, without the finished work of Christ on your behalf, you have no place in the family of a Holy God (heaven)! No matter how good you are, none of us can stand before a perfect and just and holy God. Only through the willing sacrifice of Jesus - to be tortured and crucified on the cross and suffer our punishment in hell - only because of His love for you - are you now able to come before God Almighty as righteous.
You need understand that you are sinner, separated from God, and that without Jesus, you will forever be separated from God (hell). Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.
God made it easy to be saved. That doesn't mean that it's not a supernatural transaction or that we can pick and choose the good parts. But if we see the truth and act on it, God won't withhold salvation from us. First, we must see ourselves as God sees us. The Bible says that we all have sinned. There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). It also says we can't save ourselves. Lots of people thought they could earn their way to God or to Heaven by doing good things, but that's probably the biggest misconception ever. Ask anyone on the street what they think the Bible or the Church says about getting to heaven and 9 out of 10 would say it has something to do with doing good and living right. We’re to do that, of course, but not so we can earn our salvation. We’re to do that in response to our salvation. The Bible says that it's not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by his mercy God saved us. It also says that we are saved by grace through Christ - not of ourselves - so we can’t brag about our goodness. Jesus took our sins and paid the penalty for them so we wouldn't have to. The payment is death, and he died in our place because he loved us. When we tell Christ that we acknowledge ourselves as sinners and lost – and receive His gift of salvation – he saves us. A transaction takes place – we go from darkness to light, from lost to found – we’re saved. The Bible says that to those who receive Him, He gives the power to become sons of God. That's what Jesus is – the son of God. When we become sons of God, we have what Jesus has – a relationship with God, eternal life. And because Jesus paid our penalty, we also have forgiveness for our sins. (from Left Behind, Tim LaHaye)
Salvation is ABC simple
A Admit that you are a sinner
ADMIT THAT YOU’RE A SINNER. This is where that godly sorrow leads to genuine repentance for sinning against the righteous God and there is a change of heart, we change our mind and God changes our hearts and regenerates us from the inside out.
Romans 3:10 There is no one righteous, not even one
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
B Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord
BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOUR SINS, WAS BURIED, AND THAT GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Jesus from the dead. This is trusting with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is who he said he was.
Romans 10:9 if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
C Confess your sins and call on the name of the Lord
CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD. This is trusting with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is who he said he was. Every single person who ever lived since Adam will bend their knee and confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.
Romans 10:9 if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord ," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION
If I die today will I go to Heaven? Why would anyone put off the most important decision they could ever make in their lives, concerning eternal life? / For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that none can boast.
THE APOSTLE PAUL TELLS US WHAT THE GOSPEL IS:
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-4)
Pray this sinner’s prayer (with sincerity): Dear God, I admit that I'm a sinner. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and save me. I ask this in the name of Jesus, who died for me. I trust in him right now. I believe that the sinless blood of Jesus is sufficient to pay the price for my salvation. Thank you for hearing me and receiving me. Thank you for saving my soul.
Once you have received His salvation, you need to live a life that portrays that. You need to tell others that there is still hope! You need to make a stand for Christ - and I can almost guarantee that it will be extremely difficult to do - quite probably to the point of death by beheading. Do not give into the one world religion that will be pushed - there is only one way and that is through belief in the finished work of Jesus.
How can I be saved?
This simple, yet profound, question is the most important question that can be asked. "How can I be saved?" deals with where we will spend eternity after our lives in this world are over. There is no more important issue than our eternal destiny. Thankfully, the Bible is abundantly clear on how a person can be saved. The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Paul and Silas responded, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
How can I be saved? Why do I need to be saved?
We are all infected with sin (Romans 3:23). We are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), and we all personally choose to sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). Sin is what makes us unsaved. Sin is what separates us from God. Sin is what has us on the path to eternal destruction.
How can I be saved? Saved from what?
Because of our sin, we all deserve death (Romans 6:23). While the physical consequence of sin is physical death, that is not the only kind of death that results from sin. All sin is ultimately committed against an eternal and infinite God (Psalm 51:4). Because of that, the just penalty for our sin is also eternal and infinite. What we need to be saved from is eternal destruction (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15).
How can I be saved? How did God provide salvation?
Because the just penalty for sin is infinite and eternal, only God could pay the penalty, because only He is infinite and eternal. But God, in His divine nature, could not die. So God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. God took on human flesh, lived among us, and taught us. When the people rejected Him and His message, and sought to kill Him, He willingly sacrificed Himself for us, allowing Himself to be crucified (John 10:15). Because Jesus Christ was human, He could die; and because Jesus Christ was God, His death had an eternal and infinite value. Jesus’ death on the cross was the perfect and complete payment for our sin (1 John 2:2). He took the consequences we deserved. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead demonstrated that His death was indeed the perfectly sufficient sacrifice for sin.
How can I be saved? What do I need to do?
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).
What Must I do to Be Saved? Is just believing really enough? By Dr. David R. Reagan
“‘God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.’ Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?'” (Acts 2:36-37)
It is the most important question anyone can ask. It would seem that Christendom could respond with a unified answer. But you are likely to get as many different answers as the number of Christians you ask.
Salvation by Selection
There are two extreme positions. One extreme, which is the Calvinistic interpretation of predestination, takes the position that God has already predetermined who will be saved and who will be lost. This viewpoint sees Man as so depraved that he is incapable of choosing to follow God. He must be selected by God.
The advocates of this viewpoint quote scripture passages like Ephesians 1:4-5: “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world… He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself.”
But whom did God choose? Was it specific individuals? The scriptures do not say that. The so-called proof texts for predestination simply establish the fact that God foreordained that those who put their faith in Him would be saved.
The God revealed in the Bible is not a capricious and arbitrary deity who selects a few for salvation and consigns the majority to hell. He is the God who loved the whole world so much that He sent His only Son to die for the sins of all Mankind (John 3:16).
Salvation by Works
The other extreme viewpoint is known as “works salvation.” It argues that people must earn their salvation by performing certain acts to appease the wrath of God. All cultic groups teach works salvation. That’s how the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons are able to motivate their people to do door to door solicitation.
But many mainline Christian denominations also put an emphasis on works salvation, especially the more conservative, fundamentalist groups. I grew up in such a group, and although we denied a belief in works salvation, we ended up enslaving our people to it by emphasizing a mechanical “plan of salvation.”
The essence of salvation, we argued, was a five step plan which many of our preachers referred to as “the five finger exercise.” Counting on their fingers, they would name the five steps: “hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized.” We definitely came away from such teaching with the conviction that God was obligated to save any person who performed those five steps in the plan. Some often added a sixth step, namely, a life of faithful obedience to the Lord’s commands.
Salvation by Grace
The Biblical concept of salvation is not to be found in either of these extremes. Salvation is not conferred arbitrarily by God nor can it be earned by performing certain religious acts.
The Bible approaches the question of salvation by emphasizing that all persons are sinners who are separated from their holy Creator by their sins (Rom. 3:9-18). God’s Word then makes it clear that no person can justify himself before God through good works. Isaiah says our righteous deeds are like “filthy rags” before the Lord (Isa. 64:6). Paul affirms that salvation can never be as a “result of works” (Eph. 2:9).
What hope then do we have? Very much. God has made it possible for us to be reconciled to Him by providing a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. God sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life so that He could die, not for His own sins, but for ours. As He hung upon the Cross, the sins of Mankind were placed upon Him, and He received the wrath that we deserved (II Cor. 5:21). The blood of Jesus is our hope (Rom. 5:8-9).
This brings us to the central question: How do we appropriate that blood to our lives so that we can receive forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life? The Bible’s answer is that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace which we receive through Jesus by responding to Him in faith (Rom. 5:1-2). Here’s how Paul puts it in Ephesians 2:8 — “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
God’s plan of salvation has always been the same — grace through faith. Before the Cross, the focal point of that faith was God the Father and His promise of a Messiah. Since the Cross, the focal point of saving faith has been God the Son, Jesus the Messiah, who died for our sins.
The Faith that Saves
Notice that in the previous sentence I used the term, “saving faith.” That term was carefully selected because the faith that saves is something far more substantial than simple belief that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. After all, the scriptures say that “even the demons believe and tremble” (James 2:19).
Saving faith produces trust in Jesus as one’s Savior (John 3:16-17). The faith that saves also produces obedience to God’s Word (I John 5:3). And the saving faith is always manifested in good works (Eph. 2:10).
The latter point is a paradox. We are not saved by good works. Rather, we are saved to do good works (Titus 2:14). We don’t work to be saved. We work because we are saved. True faith will always be manifested in works, “for faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26).
The Role of Baptism
Where does baptism fit into the picture? The same place as confession and repentance. Saving faith is always demonstrated in repentance, confession and baptism. These are not acts we perform to be saved. Instead, they are obedient responses to God in faith. As a person responds to God in saving faith, he will be compelled by the Holy Spirit to repent of his sins, to confess Jesus as Lord, and to manifest his faith through the symbolic act of baptism.
Baptism is a beautiful symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. In like manner, it also symbolizes a death, burial and resurrection that has taken place in the life of the Believer — his death to the power and consequence of sin, the burial of his old fleshly self, and his resurrection as a new spiritual being in Christ (Rom. 6:3-8).
Some people have dismissed baptism as unimportant and therefore optional. This is a very un-Biblical attitude. Jesus commanded baptism (Matt. 28:19). The Apostles baptized all their converts and did so immediately after their confession of faith (Acts 2:38-41, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 10:43-48, and Acts 16:30-33). Peter characterized baptism as “an appeal to God for a good conscience” (I Peter 3:21).
Baptism is always portrayed as a vital step in the initial conversion process. It is the witness that the conversion process has been completed and the discipleship process is ready to begin.
Some people have seized upon baptism as the essence of salvation, and in doing so, they have converted this beautiful, symbolic act into a work to be performed in order to placate God. They argue that “you meet the blood in the water.” This is known as “water regeneration.”
To substantiate their position, they point primarily to two scripture texts: Acts 2:38 and I Peter 3:21. The verse in Acts is Peter’s response to the people at Pentecost who reacted to his message in faith and then asked, “What shall we do?” Peter said, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…”
The key here, of course, is the meaning of the word “for.” Does it mean “in order to obtain”? Or does it mean “because of”? In I Corinthians 15:3 we find these words: “Christ died for our sins.” Does that mean He died “in order to obtain” our sins, or does it mean that He died “because of” our sins? I think it is obvious that the latter meaning is intended, and I believe the same is true in Acts 2:38.
In other words, I do not believe that Acts 2:38 presents water baptism as an act to be performed in order to obtain salvation. How could it mean that in light of what the rest of the scriptures say about salvation by grace through faith? When developing a doctrine on any topic, all scripture related to that topic must be considered and reconciled.
The other verse that is often touted in behalf of water regeneration is I Peter 3:21, which is usually misquoted to say: “Baptism now saves you.” The verse does not say that. It begins with a long qualifier: “And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you…” Corresponding to what? The preceding verse says the flood of Noah.
Did the flood save Noah? Not according to Hebrews 11:6-7. Noah was saved by his faith in God. The flood washed away the evil that surrounded him, and “corresponding to that,” baptism symbolizes that we have been cleansed of our sins by turning to God in faith.
The baptism that truly saves is not water baptism but the baptism of the Holy Spirit that occurs when one puts his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Paul refers to this baptism in I Corinthians 12:13 where he says, “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.”
The Mode of Baptism
The English word, baptism, is a transliteration (not a translation) of the Greek word, baptizo. The Greek word means “to immerse.” Thus, “John the Baptist” was really John, the immerser.
Immersion as a symbolic rite of purification was well established among the Jews in the time of Jesus. There were many different occasions for such purifications. A woman would immerse herself after her menstrual cycle. Any person who touched a dead body or anything else considered unclean would immerse themselves. This is the reason that nearly all homes of the wealthy contained one or more mikvas — water pools for ceremonial immersions.
Modern excavations have revealed that there were several very large mikvas located at the southern entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. These were used for ceremonial cleansing before entering the sacred Temple area. And these very pools were probably the ones that Peter and the disciples used on the Day of Pentecost to baptize the 3,000 people who accepted the Gospel (Acts 2:41).
Even scholars from churches that accept other modes of baptism concede that immersion was the only form of baptism practiced by the early church. The alternate techniques of pouring and sprinkling were inventions of men and were never authorized or practiced by the Apostles or Christ.
Baptism is a symbol, and symbols are very important. Jesus is called in scripture “the rose of Sharon.” He is not referred to as “the tumbleweed of Texas.” A symbol is symbolic of a truth, and when we change the symbol, we change the truth it stands for. How can the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord be symbolized in pouring or sprinkling?
The Proper Candidate
Who is a proper candidate for Christian baptism? The first requirement is for the person to hear the Gospel (Rom. 10:14). The Gospel is defined in I Corinthians 15:1-4 as the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The person must then respond to the Gospel with the kind of saving faith (Acts 16:31) that is manifested in repentance (Acts 17:30) and confession (Matt. 10:32).
These qualifications clearly exclude infants as candidates for baptism. The Bible does not contain one example of infant baptism. The only baptism that can be found in the New Testament is the immersion of believing people.
Does that mean that children who die in infancy are lost? Of course not. They are not responsible for their sins since they have not yet reached an age of accountability. On one occasion when children were brought to Jesus, He said, “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all” (Mark 10:14-15).
Salvation as a Process
There is an interesting point about salvation that is often overlooked. The salvation we immediately experience at the point of faith in Christ is the salvation of our spirit. The Holy Spirit regenerates our spirit which is dead in sin. The Bible refers to this as justification (Gals. 2:16).
But that is not the end of salvation, and that is the reason that the Bible speaks of salvation as an ongoing process (I Cor. 1:18). The salvation of the soul (the mind, emotions and personality) begins at the point of faith, but it continues throughout one’s lifetime. This process is called sanctification (Rom. 6:18-19).
The change agent, once again, is the Holy Spirit. When a person is born again through the regeneration of his spirit, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside the person and begins to shape his soul into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29-30, II Cor. 3:18, and Gal. 4:19).
Our salvation will not be completed until the resurrection of the righteous. At that time, our bodies will be saved as God miraculously reconstitutes them and then glorifies them, making them immortal and perfect (Rom. 8:18-23 and I Cor. 15:50-57).
Thus, our salvation is past, present and future — justification (the spirit), sanctification (the soul), and glorification (the body).
The Assurance of Salvation
One final issue regarding salvation that is hotly debated among Christians is whether or not it is possible to lose one’s salvation. Again, there are two extreme viewpoints.
I grew up with one of them. It is the view that you lose your salvation each time you sin, and thus if you die with one unconfessed sin, you will go to hell. This view produces spiritual paranoia. The person never really knows whether he is saved or not, and usually suspects the worst.
The other extreme view is the one that says, “Once saved, always saved.” This view can produce cavalier Christians who take sin lightly and put grace to the test (Rom. 6:1).
The Biblical truth is that we can know that we are saved, and we can be confident of our salvation (Rom. 8:1 and I John 1:7. 4:17, 5:13 & 5:19). But the Bible also teaches that we can lose that salvation if we stop trusting in Jesus (Gal. 5:4, I Tim. 4:1, and Heb. 6:4-6).
Through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit we have the strength to overcome the world and walk faithfully with the Lord (I John 4:4). But we can stifle, quench and grieve the Spirit by refusing to allow Him to guide us and shape us into the image of Jesus (I Thess. 5:19 & Eph. 4:30).
When we suppress the Spirit in our lives, we open ourselves to willful sin. Although willful sin cannot, in and of itself, cause us to lose our salvation (I John 1:7), it can lead to a progressive hardening of the heart, if it goes unconfessed (Heb. 3:13).
Rebellious, unrepentant conduct can ultimately lead a person to the point where he, in word or in deed (or both), rejects Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. Since his acceptance of Jesus is what led to his adoption into the family of God, this subsequent rejection of Jesus will result in his being disinherited from the family. The book of Hebrews teaches this very strongly in the following passages: 2:1-4, 3:12-14, 6:1-8, 10:16-31, and 12:12-17. Another powerful passage that teaches the same principle is II Peter 2:20-22 where a person who has come to know the way of righteousness and then decides to return to the world is compared to a dog who returns to its own vomit.
This is not a matter of losing one’s salvation one day and regaining it the next. The book of Hebrews says that once a person has “fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame” (Heb. 6:6).
The True Meaning of Salvation
This brings us to the essence of salvation. It is a Man and not a plan. We become saved by putting our trust in a person, and we remain saved by continuing to trust in that person.
That person, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth who was God in the flesh (John 1:1-14). That is why Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). It is also the reason that Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
The essence of Christianity is a relationship with a person. You enter that relationship by an act of faith whereby you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
“I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (The Apostle Paul — Philippians 3:8)
I don’t always feel saved. How can I be sure that I am?
Since a person is never completely free of sin, it is sometimes difficult to accept the fact that forgiveness is whole and permanent. Once a person has accepted Christ, the devil can do nothing except to make him doubt or feel unworthy. Satan knows that if he can cause doubt to spring up in the life of a believer, he can rob that believer of the joys of being a Christ-follower.
The best and most sure way to know that you are saved is the simple phrase: Because the Bible says so! If you have come to the Lord in repentance of your sin and asked Him to be Lord of your life, then you are saved. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God loves you so much that He gave the life of His only Son to pay for your sins. Do you think that God would do that, and then not keep His promise? If you are still in doubt, please contact a trusted pastor who can help you through this. God bless you as you diligently seek Him!
How are we to live our lives in light of Christ’s return?
We believe that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent, that is, His return could occur at any moment. We, with the apostle Paul, look for “the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Knowing that the Lord could come back today, some are tempted to stop what they are doing and just “wait” for Him.
However, there is a big difference between knowing that Jesus could return today and knowing that He will return today. Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour” (Matthew 24:36). The time of His coming is something God has not revealed to anyone, and so, until He calls us to Himself, we should continue serving Him. In Jesus’ parable of the ten talents, the departing king instructs his servants to “occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13 KJV).
The return of Christ is always presented in Scripture as a great motivation to action, not as a reason to cease from action. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul wraps up his teaching on the rapture by saying, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Paul concludes a lesson on Christ’s coming with these words: “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.” To retreat and “hold the fort” was never Jesus’ intention for us. Instead, we work while we can. “Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).
The apostles lived and served with the idea that Jesus could return within their lifetime; what if they had ceased from their labors and just “waited”? They would have been in disobedience to Christ’s command to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15), and the gospel would not have been spread. The apostles understood that Jesus’ imminent return meant they must busy themselves with God’s work. They lived life to the fullest, as if every day were their last. We, too, should view every day as a gift and use it to glorify God.
Jesus Was Clear: Occupy Until He Comes
In the past week or so, the world has gone just a little bit crazy. Schools were closed, sports venues and amusement parks have shut their doors, and states and even nations have declared this time to be an emergency. Already people are faced with uncertainty. How do we navigate our world with variables that seem to be changing by the minute? As for Christians, the Bible makes our directive clear. No matter what situation we are facing, we are to occupy until He comes. But what does that look like? I believe 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 hold the answer to that.
“Occupy Until I Come”
First of all, the phrase comes from a parable in Luke 19:12-27 called “The Parable of the Pounds” (or Talents or Minas, depending on your Bible version). Jesus told this story because the people thought He was on earth to set up His kingdom right then. Jesus wanted them to understand that He would leave and come back a second time. In this story, a nobleman was going away to a far country to receive his kingdom but would one day come again. Then the nobleman says the line:
“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, ‘Occupy till I come.’” LUKE 19:13
As the rest of the parable goes, the citizens of the land hated the nobleman and did not want him to be their king. He did, in fact, however, return to reign over them. His servants were then called to account. Two traded successfully and were rewarded. One hid his pound in a napkin and was called “wicked.” His pound was then given to the one who did the best with his original pound. As for those citizens who didn’t want him to be their king, he commanded them to be brought before him and slain.
An Interesting Historical Side Note
Interestingly enough, Charles Spurgeon has a sermon called The Servants and the Pounds. In it, he tells the story and makes the comment that Josephus the Jewish historian gives the account that this very situation had actually occurred some thirty years before Jesus had told the story. Apparently, on King Herod’s death, the citizens wrote to the Roman officials begging that his son Archelaus not be made king over them. They were tired of the Herods and petitioned to be made a Roman province instead.
Caesar didn’t give either side what it wanted. He divided the kingdom and made Archelaus an ethnarch (a ruler with less power than a king), and when Archelaus returned, he rewarded his faithful servants and cruelly punished those who opposed him. Archelaus had built himself a castle near Jericho, so those who heard the parable would definitely understand the reference.
The Meaning of the Parable
There are only two kinds of people in the kingdom: those who serve God and those who oppose Him. God has given each one of His servants talents and provisions in our lives. Christians can’t just keep them to ourselves or hide them in fear. No matter what is happening in the world, we must get out there and “trade” with others for the good of people and for God’s glory. We must be about our Father’s business. Jesus IS coming again. His servants WILL be held to account. Those who use what He has given them will be rewarded. Those who cower in fear will lose their reward. As for those who reject and oppose Jesus, they will not keep their lives in the new Kingdom.
So What Does “Occupy” Look Like?
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57-58
Definitions come from the DAKE Annotated Reference Bible.
Steadfast (Greek: hedraios):
“Be seated, settled, and firm in the truth of the resurrection and of victory in Christ.”
We are NOT to panic. We are children of the light. That means we see. We understand what is happening and know what will happen because the Bible has already told us the end from the beginning. We are to be wise but not troubled by the coronavirus. In Matthew 24, Jesus told us pestilences would come. Toilet paper fights at the store should not surprise us. Jesus told us iniquity (lawlessness) would abound, and the love of many would grow cold.
The mocking, scoffing, and ridicule for those warning of God’s judgement and our need to prepare and pray was already foretold in 2 Timothy 3. There, we see a picture our society today and are told there will be “perilous times.” We should not be surprised at the idea that our monetary system can and will collapse. The whole book of Revelation deals with the world-wide beast system that will come after the old one is destroyed.
We have been told what will happen so that we will have peace in knowing that God is in control and victory is certain. John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Unmoveable (Greek: ametakinetos):
“Unmoveable. Let nothing shake your faith or move you away from the hope of the gospel.
We must never forget that this life is not all there is. So far most of us have led fairly easy lives. If that changes, we can’t despair. The Apostles, on the other hand, suffered greatly for the cause of Christ. Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 15:19. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” Whatever happens, the world is not our home, and our hope is in our Savior and eternity with Him.
In fact, Jesus is the ONLY hope for everyone. We must never forget that one of our main instructions as God’s servants is to make disciples of all nations. Taking the gospel message of hope to others has to be first and foremost on our minds, especially now. People who might not have been willing to hear about Jesus last week might be scared and ready to listen now. Our peace and calm in the face of the storm will be noticed by panicking people. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
Always Abounding (very plentiful, abundant)
“Always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that what you do will be rewarded.”
The bottom line is that we are here to work. While there is still breath in our lungs, there is no retirement for the child of God. Even if we can’t physically do the things we used to do, we can always pray. We can offer to listen, we can comfort, we can console, we can share resources. We can be a blessing and serve others. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says that the Father “comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Our lives are not our own. We have to be thinking about how we can take our earthly resources (time, talents, and supplies) and make them multiply for the things that count in eternity: God’s glory and people’s souls.
It is more important than ever that the child of God hear God’s voice for him/herself. We have to listen and be ready to move when God requires it. The very safest place on earth is the center of God’s will. He will protect us to accomplish His purposes. And when our purpose is complete, we will go home to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:8-10 boils it down: “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
We Must Occupy Until He Comes
We don’t know exactly what will happen in the coming weeks and months. What we do know is that God is with us. He has a plan for our lives to bring good things to others and glory to Himself. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Right now, today, start asking God to show you what you can do with your “pounds.” Ask Him to show you how to best occupy until He comes. Because He IS coming, and His reward is with Him.
The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide :: By Nathele Graham
People like to feel unique. Just go to any shopping mall and you’ll see just how unique people like to be. Pink hair, tattoos, clothes that can leave you shaking your head in wonder. You don’t need a multi-colored Mohawk to show your uniqueness. All you need to do is live your life to please God instead of pleasing the world. Those of us who try to please God are unique, and even “peculiar.” “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
Jesus redeemed us from our sin and sees us as “a peculiar people.” Christians belong to God, which makes us different from those of the world who belong to Satan. If you belong to Jesus, you should be eager to do good works to honor Him. Let’s take a look at our Guide in spiritual matters, and indeed in every facet of life. Our Guide is the Holy Spirit.
The best place to start is in the beginning. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. Like God the Father and God the Son, He has always existed. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Satan wants us to believe that we evolved from pond scum, but that’s just one of his many lies. We first see the Holy Spirit at work at the creation of all that is. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
Throughout the Old Testament, we see the Holy Spirit at work. We read of Him coming upon various people, but never indwelling. Nobody loved God more than King David, and his desire was to please Him. When David chose to sin with Bathsheba, he could have lost his place with God. David was heartbroken over his sin and turned to God instead of allowing his pride to lead him to Hell. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:10-11).
Read the entire Psalm and you’ll feel David’s anguish over his sin and the fear that he had lost his anointing. As you read through Scripture, remember that the Old Testament is a history book and there are many lessons to be learned by reading and pondering the truths found there. Those men and women looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, and God worked with them in a very different way than He works today. The Cross changed everything.
We live in a very unique time. Christians have a blessing that nobody had before the Cross nor will have after the Rapture. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. When we make a true and honest profession of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is sealed within us and our salvation is secure. God knows if you really meant the words, or if you were just pleasing your parents, or maybe you were in a bad situation and promised God that if He got you out of it you would follow Him. If you didn’t mean the words, you aren’t sealed with the Holy Spirit. God knows your heart.
On the other hand, if your profession was sincere, then you’re indwelt and sealed with the Holy Spirit. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
When the Holy Spirit is sealed within you, it’s an unbreakable seal. Does that mean your troubles all go away or you never sin? No. Trouble and temptations will come your way, and you’ll have to make the choice of choosing to follow God’s will or follow Satan’s ways of worldly actions. The Holy Spirit will guide your choices, but you need to listen to Him. Study Scripture and pray. This is God’s way of telling us how we’re to make choices, and the Holy Spirit will illuminate Scripture. We still have the right to refuse to listen, and our poor choices hurt God. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
If you’ve truly committed your life to God, why would you want to grieve Him? If you can easily make sinful choices, then you may not have truly accepted the salvation that only comes through Jesus. We’ll never stop sinning while we live on this side of Heaven, but our sin should grieve us just as it grieves the Holy Spirit.
Is there any evidence of your commitment to Christ? If you truly love Him, your life will show it. The Holy Spirit will lead you to honor God in your words and actions. Your life will bear fruit that honors God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:22-24).
Examine yourself. Do you see these characteristics being manifest in your own life? Have you crucified your lusts of the flesh? Jesus Christ is our example in all things, and His life was the epitome of each of these traits. You might think He had an advantage because He was God. The truth is, when Jesus entered His creation, He emptied Himself of His divine nature and relied upon the Holy Spirit. The miracles He did were done through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Jesus wasn’t ashamed to become a servant in the form of a human in order to save us from our sin. Using His example, we need to humble ourselves before God and be more like Jesus.
In addition to the fruits, which are traits every Christian should demonstrate, we also are given gifts from the Holy Spirit. Those gifts vary from one Christian to another. Some Christians can speak in tongues, some can heal, and some can teach. There are many gifts, and God may give you one or more. Whatever He blesses you with, be sure you use your gift for His glory. How do you discover what your gifts are? First of all, don’t waste time trying to figure it out. Get busy serving the Lord, and you’ll soon discover what your strengths are. You may find that He will give you a gift in an area that you never thought of. Look for ways to serve Jesus, and you’ll discover how God wants to use you. Offer yourself to God and be willing to serve Him.
“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” (Romans 12:1).
You may never be fully aware of a specific gift you have, but if you’re serving Jesus with no thought of your own glory, you’ll find that you’ve been using your gift without knowing it.
The Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you, but you must understand that He will never tell you to do anything sinful. Too many people who profess to be Christians still follow the world in thoughts and actions. “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” (Romans 12:2).
If you keep your thoughts on worldly matters, you won’t hear the pure word of God. You run the risk of twisting Scripture to fit your world view rather than fitting your life to God’s ways. Prayerfully study Scripture to find out how God desires you to behave. Scripture is very clear about sin, and I know too many people who take Scripture out of context or twist the meaning so they can justify their favorite sin.
It takes humility for a person to admit they’re wrong. Humbly go before the Lord and ask forgiveness; turn away from sin even if it means losing friends. It can be done through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.
Remember, the Holy Spirit lives inside you; and when you choose to ignore Him and sin, you take God with you into the sin. No matter how hard you try to justify your actions, sin is sin and God doesn’t excuse your sin because you’ve got a “good reason” for your actions. He may not excuse you but He will forgive you.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10).
The Holy Spirit will lead you along a path of righteousness. Listen to Him.
It was God the Father who sent the Comforter…the Holy Spirit…in Jesus’ name. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
Christians are blessed to have this precious gift sealed within us. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
Those who follow Christ have this assurance of security. It won’t always be that way. There’s coming a day when Christians will be Raptured, and the Holy Spirit won’t indwell people any more. He will still be very active, and people will come to know Christ during the Tribulation period, but the sealing of the Holy Spirit won’t happen anymore.
Don’t wait to truly repent and ask Jesus for His gift of salvation. Don’t think that you have time and can live sinfully now and repent later. You cannot know when a fatal accident will happen or the Rapture will take Christians home. If you’re not sealed with the Holy Spirit, you won’t like your eternal destination. If you’re not sure if you’ve truly given your life to Christ, do it now. The choice is yours. Don’t rely on “infant baptism” or any baptism. Only your sincere acceptance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will give you eternal life. Once you’ve accepted His gift, start allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you away from sin.
The blood of Jesus Christ saves you, and the Holy Spirit seals you. Trust Jesus now and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout your life. You’ll be eternally glad you did.
God bless you all,
TRUST in Jesus by faith!
Jeremiah 29:11-13 – Jeremiah’s Letter to the Captives
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
John 14:12-14 – The Answered Prayer
Jn 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
1 Chronicles 5:19-20 - The Family of Gad
1Ch 5:19 They made war with the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them, for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 – Be United, Joyful, and in Prayer
Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Matthew 7:7-12 – Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
Mt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
James 4:1-4 – Pride Promotes Strife
Jam 4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Romans 8:26-28 – From Suffering to Glory
Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Psalm 84:11 – Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God
Ps 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
Ephesians 3:14-21 – Appreciation of the Mystery
Ep 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
John 16:31-33 – Jesus Christ Has Overcome the World
Jn 16:31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
1 John 5:1-5 – Obedience by Faith
1Jn 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Hebrews 11:5-6 – Faith at the Dawn of History
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Matthew 21:20-22 – The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
Mt 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” 21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Romans 1:16-17 – The Just Live by Faith
Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Psalm 23 – The Lord the Shepherd of His People
Ps 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 – Pray for Us
2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 – Timothy’s Faith and Heritage
2Ti 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Comfort in Suffering
2Co 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
1 John 4:17-19 – The Consummation of Love
1Jn 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Proverbs 10:3 – Wise Sayings of Solomon
Pro 10:3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked.
Romans 8:31-32 – God’s Everlasting Love
Ro 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Psalm 34 – The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God
Ps 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
Psalm 20:6-9 – The Assurance of God’s Saving Work
Ps 20:6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heavenWith the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
8 They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.
9 Save, Lord! May the King answer us when we call.
Proverbs 3:1-6 – Guidance for the Young
Pro 3:1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Psalm 28:6-8 – Rejoicing in Answered Prayer
Ps 28:6 Blessed be the Lord, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
8 The Lord is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Philippians 4:10-19 – Philippian Generosity
Phil 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 31:1-3 – The Folly of Not Trusting God
Is 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the Lord!
2 Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster, And will not call back His words,
But will arise against the house of evildoers, And against the help of those who work iniquity.
3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out His hand, Both he who helps will fall,
And he who is helped will fall down; They all will perish together.
2 Chronicles 16:7-9 – Hanani’s Message to Asa
2Ch 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. 8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
2 Chronicles 16:11-13 – Illness and Death of Asa
2Ch 16:11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. 13 So Asa rested with his fathers;
Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:16-26 - Walking in the Spirit
Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of a Christian. The Bible makes it clear that everyone receives the Holy Spirit the moment he or she believes in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14). One of the primary purposes of the Holy Spirit coming into a Christian’s life is to change that life. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to conform us to the image of Christ, making us more like Him.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is in direct contrast with the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: 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. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This passage describes all people, to varying degrees, when they do not know Christ and therefore are not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Our sinful flesh produces certain types of fruit that reflect our nature, and the Holy Spirit produces types of fruit that reflect His nature.
The Christian life is a battle of the sinful flesh against the new nature given by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As fallen human beings, we are still trapped in a body that desires sinful things (Romans 7:14-25). As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit producing His fruit in us and we have the Holy Spirit’s power available to conquer the acts of the sinful nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13). A Christian will never be completely victorious in always demonstrating the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the main purposes of the Christian life, though, to progressively allow the Holy Spirit to produce more and more of His fruit in our lives—and to allow the Holy Spirit to conquer the opposing sinful desires. The fruit of the Spirit is what God desires our lives to exhibit and, with the Holy Spirit’s help, it is possible!
What is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, where is the list of Spiritual Fruit in the Bible, and how can we bear the Fruit of the Holy Spirit? The fruits of the Spirit are not hard to find or identify, however bearing the Fruit of the Holy Spirit is not something we can simply will in our own strength. The Fruit of the Spirit is a gift from God. In this video Pastor Nelson answers the question, “What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?”
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is love?
Galatians 5:22-23 is one of the most beloved passages in the Bible. The "fruit of the Spirit" has also been misinterpreted as characteristics that believers should somehow manufacture in their lives. But the key to understanding these qualities is in the name. "Fruit" is the natural result of growth. And "of the Spirit" explains exactly Who causes that growth—it’s not our striving or straining, but the power of the Holy Spirit. No amount of human toil or gritty determination can produce spiritual fruit, but the Spirit’s influence in a yielded heart can work miracles. The fruit of "love" may be the best example. We cannot produce the type of love God desires without the leading and strength of the Holy Spirit.
The English word love has very broad meaning, but the Greek language was very precise. The love which the Holy Spirit manifests in believers is agape. This love is not a feeling, but a choice. It is the choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another’s needs greater than one’s own (Philippians 2:3). Agape is used in all of the “hard” love verses in the New Testament:
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
"For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another" (1 John 3:11).
“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” (Luke 6:35).
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3).
It is because of love that God carried out His plan to save the world: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). It is only by love that we can keep the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).
Love is the greatest gift God can give. First Corinthians 13 says that agape is patient. Agape is kind. Agape never fails. God desires to show His perfect, selfless love to a world that is routinely confused about what true love is. God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is joy?
Literally, the "fruit of the Spirit" is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. The "fruit" is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in a heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.
The Greek word for joy is chara. Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled. Joy expresses God’s kingdom—His influence on earth (Romans 14:17). The Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways:
The joy of deliverance: When God sets someone free, rejoicing is in order.
1 Samuel 2:1: Hannah was filled with joy at her deliverance from her enemies.
Acts 12:14: The servant girl was so overjoyed that God had rescued Peter from prison that she forgot to let Peter in the house.
The joy of salvation: Our greatest reason to be joyful is that God wants to save us and spend eternity with us. Nothing is better than this.
Luke 15:7: All heaven is joyful when a person accepts God’s provision of salvation.
Acts 8:8: The people of Samaria were joyful as they heard the gospel and saw God’s power in healing the sick.
Acts 13:52; 15:3: Jewish believers rejoiced when they heard of the work of the Holy Spirit in saving Gentiles.
The joy of spiritual maturity: As the Holy Spirit works in us to bear more fruit, we become confident in God’s promises and rejoice in our walk with Him and with other believers.
John 15:11: The fullness of joy comes to those who continue in the love of Christ and obey Him.
2 Corinthians 1:24; 2:3; 7:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 3:9: Paul knew joy as the churches gave evidence of the Holy Spirit working among them.
Philippians 2:2: Groups of believers who unite in demonstrating the mind, love, and purpose of Christ bring joy to others.
Hebrews 10:34; 12:2; James 1:2-4: Believers, following the example of Jesus, endure persecution because of the promise of future joy.
The joy of God’s presence: The Holy Spirit draws us to God, in whose presence we can know true joy. Without the Holy Spirit, no one would seek God.
Psalm 16:11: “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Matthew 2:10; Luke 1:14: Mary and the shepherds were joyful because Immanuel had been born.
Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:41: The women who went to Jesus’ tomb and the disciples were overjoyed that He rose from the dead.
The Greek chara is closely related to charis, which means “grace” or “a gift.” Chara is the normal response to charis—we have joy because of God’s grace. The next step in the progression is to allow our joy to become an action as we express it, although sometimes joy can be so great it is inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8).
Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is peace?
In Romans 12:18, Paul exhorts, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." What a perfect example of our role in the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. We are to submit our wills to God’s leading and our actions to God’s Word, but the actual results are up to Him. Only God can create peace through the work of the Holy Spirit. Especially the peace mentioned in Galatians 5—the peace of a harmonious relationship with God.
We are born at war. At birth, our sinful nature has already declared war on God and His truth. Our heart’s desire is to be separated from Him, and if we persist in this desire until death, He will give us what we want.
But God’s methods of warfare are not what we expected. Instead of a battle, He sent us the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus’ goal in coming to earth was more than simply to cease hostilities; He came to bring about a full and abiding relationship of restoration and love. The cost of this peace was His life (Isaiah 53:5).
But, just as we cannot force another to be at peace with us, even Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did not ensure that we would accept His terms of peace. Romans 3:10b-11 explains, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God." None of us can accept Jesus’ offer of peace through our own will and power. Our natural selves do not want it. Only God can lead us to want peace with Him; the Holy Spirit leads us to want Jesus and His message. Once the Spirit draws us, we believe in Jesus, and the peace comes. “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
However, the fruit of the Spirit includes a peace that goes beyond that of salvation. It is a sweet relationship. We are called to His presence (Ephesians 2:11-18) and called to be confident in that presence (Hebrews 4:16) because we are His friends (John 15:15). As Isaiah 26:3 says, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You."
God’s peace transcends earthly matters, as Philippians 4:4-7 illustrates. Believers are to be "anxious for nothing," for God promises to "guard your hearts and minds." It is a peace “which transcends all understanding”; that is, to the worldly mind, such peace is incomprehensible. Its source is the Holy Spirit of God, whom the world neither sees nor knows (John 14:17).
The Spirit-filled Christian has a peace that is abundant, available in every situation, and unlike anything that the world has to offer (John 14:27). The alternative to being filled with the Spirit and His peace is to be filled with alarm, filled with doubt, filled with foreboding, or filled with dread. How much better to let the Spirit have control and perform His work of growing fruit to the glory of God!
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is patience?
There are two Greek words translated as "patience" in the New Testament. Hupomonē means "a remaining under," as when one bears up under a burden. It refers to steadfastness in difficult circumstances. Makrothumia, which is used in Galatians 5:22, is a compound formed by makros (“long”) and thumos (“passion” or “temper”). “Patience” in Galatians 5:22 literally means “long temper,” in the sense of “the ability to hold one’s temper for a long time.” The KJV translates it “longsuffering.” A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without complaining. A patient person is slow to anger as he waits for God to provide comfort and punish wrongdoing. Since it is a fruit of the Spirit, we can only possess makrothumia through the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Patience comes from a position of power. A person may have the ability to take revenge or cause trouble, but patience brings self-restraint and careful thinking. Losing patience is a sign of weakness. We are patient through trying situations out of hope for a coming deliverance; we are patient with a trying person out of compassion. We choose to love that person and want what’s best for him.
As the Spirit produces patience in us, He is making us more Christlike. Second Thessalonians 3:5 speaks of the “patience of Christ” (ASV). Christ is even now patiently awaiting the completion of the Father’s plan: after Jesus “had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool” (Hebrews 10:12-13). We should be patient, even as He is patient.
God is patient with sinners. Romans 2:4 says that God’s patience leads to our repentance. Romans 9:22 points out that only God’s patience prevents Him from destroying “the objects of his wrath.” Paul glorifies the Lord for His “unlimited patience” that saved him, “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:16). Peter highlights the patience of God in 1 Peter 3:20, pointing out that God had immense patience with the evil people of Noah’s day, delaying judgment as long as possible (Genesis 6). Today, “our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved” (2 Peter 3:15, NLT).
James urges believers to be patient and not to complain as we wait for Jesus to return. James holds up the prophets as models of patience (James 5:7-11). The Old Testament prophets ceaselessly spoke God’s Word to unheeding and abusive audiences. Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern (Jeremiah 38:1-16), Elijah was so worn out from his fight with Jezebel that he wanted to die (1 Kings 19:1-8), and Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den—by a king who was his friend (Daniel 6:16-28). While God delayed judgment, Noah prophesied of the coming destruction, and in 120 years did not have a single convert (2 Peter 2:5).
The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).
God is patient, and His Spirit produces the fruit of patience in us. When we are patient, we leave room for God to work in our hearts and in our relationships. We lay down our schedule and trust in God’s. We thank the Lord for what and whom He’s brought into our lives. We let God be God.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is kindness?
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit—the resulting character of someone who is allowing the Holy Spirit to develop maturity in his or her life. The fifth characteristic, kindness, is called “gentleness” in the KJV.
The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs. It means “benignity, tender concern, uprightness.” It is kindness of heart and kindness of act.
Kindness is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for us (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). Kindness leads God to give us green pastures, quiet waters, and the restoration of our souls when we’re weary (Psalm 23:2-3). It is God’s tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4; Matthew 23:37). God expressed kindness when He provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath during a drought—and He showed more kindness later when He raised the widow’s only son from the dead (1 Kings 17:8-24). When Sarah exiled Hagar and Ishmael, God gave the outcasts kindness in the form of water and hope (Genesis 21:9-21). On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need (Mark 6:34; Mark 7:29; Mark 10:46-52). And kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue us when we stray (Luke 15:3-7). In kindness He “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).
When we exhibit the kindness of God, we are tender, benevolent, and useful to others. Every action, every word will have the flavor of grace in it. To maintain this attitude toward those we love is hard enough. To express kindness toward those who are against us requires the work of God (2 Corinthians 6:4-6). That is why kindness is a fruit of the Spirit.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is goodness?
In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the "fruit of the Spirit". “Fruit,” here, means "beneficial results," the good things that come from the Spirit’s indwelling. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes. Where we had harbored selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, we now possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Everything in the list reflects the character of God, and goodness is one that relates directly to morality.
Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as "uprightness of heart and life." Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.
Someone with agathosune will selflessly act on behalf of others. Confronting someone about a sin demonstrates goodness. So do giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative.
Goodness is not a quality we can manufacture on our own. James 1:17 says, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." This certainly includes a life characterized by goodness. In letting the Holy Spirit control us, we are blessed with the fruit of goodness. As others see our good works, they will praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is faithfulness?
Faithfulness is steadfastness, constancy, or allegiance; it is carefulness in keeping what we are entrusted with; it is the conviction that the Scriptures accurately reflect reality. Biblical faithfulness requires belief in what the Bible says about God—His existence, His works, and His character. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit; it is the result of the Spirit working in us. But the Spirit is also our seal of faithfulness. He is our witness to God’s promise that if we accept the truth about God, He will save us.
Hebrews 11 gives a long list of faithful men and women in the Old Testament who trusted God. Abel’s understanding of God made his sacrifice real and authentic. Noah trusted God’s word about the coming judgment as well as God’s promise to save his family (Genesis 6-9). Abraham and Sarah believed against all evidence that they would have a child (Genesis 21:1-34). Rahab trusted God to protect her family when the Israelites destroyed Jericho (Joshua 6). Gideon’s mustard-seed faith routed an entire army (Judges 6-7).
In that list in Hebrews 11 is the example of Enoch, who "obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (vs. 5b-6). Faith, or a faithful commitment to who God says He is, is basic to walking with God. As Jesus traveled, He responded to people’s faith and curtailed His involvement where there was no faith (Mark 6:1-6).
Enoch understood that God rewards those who seek Him and trust Him with all their hearts. We trust what God does because we trust Him, not the other way around. In other words, we trust God even when He is silent and we see no miracles. That is part of faithfulness. We know God is reliable, steadfast, and true.
The Old Testament saints also had faith in the invisible work of God (Hebrews 11:3). Abraham never saw his descendants become “as numerous as the stars in the sky.” Moses never entered the Promised Land. And none of the Old Testament saints lived to see their Messiah. But they were faithful. They believed God would do as He promised. They lived by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Faithfulness is believing that God is Who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite the vagaries of life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven. The only way we can have such faith is by the Holy Spirit’s influence. He testifies to the truth and impels us to seek God. The Spirit makes us faithful.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is gentleness?
Galatians 5:22-23 says that the Holy Spirit works in us to be more like Christ (Ephesians 4:14-16), and part of the fruit, or results, of that work is gentleness. Gentleness, also translated “meekness,” does not mean weakness. Rather, it involves humility and thankfulness toward God, and polite, restrained behavior toward others. The opposites of gentleness are anger, a desire for revenge, and self-aggrandizement.
It takes a strong person to be truly gentle. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow gives us a wonderful illustration of gentleness in “The Village Blacksmith.” In the poem, the main character is described thus:
“The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.”
However, in church, as he hears his daughter singing a hymn, the smith is overcome with emotion, “And with his hard, rough hand he wipes / A tear out of his eyes.” This is gentleness. Might restrained. Humility and grace.
God wants us to give Him control of our lives. Relying on our own logic, we have no impetus to submit to God’s leadership. With the wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit, however, we begin to see why we should completely submit to God as Lord of our lives. Human power under human control is a half-broken weapon in the hands of a child. But gentleness places our strength under God’s guidance; it is a powerful tool for God’s kingdom.
Every person is powerful. We can speak words that influence others; we can act in ways that help or hurt; and we can choose what influences will inform our words and actions. Gentleness constrains and channels that power. To be gentle is to recognize that God’s ways and thoughts are high above our own (Isaiah 55:9). It is to humbly realize that our worldviews are shaped by exposure to sin and the misinterpretation of experience. It is to accept God’s worldview, reflecting truth about the spiritual and the material worlds.
It is to our advantage to have a gentle attitude toward God because He is omniscient and we are not. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" God challenges Job. "Tell Me, if you have understanding" (Job 38:4). God knows everything of the past, present, and future (1 John 3:20); we can’t even get the weather forecast right. Like a petulant teenager to his parents, we may cry out, "You just don’t understand!" but God does understand, more than we could possibly know (Psalm 44:21).
When we are filled with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness, we will correct others with easiness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, knowing that their salvation is far more important than our pride (2 Timothy 2:24-25). We will forgive readily, because any offense toward us is nothing compared to our offenses against God—offenses He’s already forgiven (Matthew 18:23-35). Competition and sectarianism will disappear, as the goal becomes less about ourselves and more about preaching the gospel (Philippians 1:15-18). John the Baptist was a fiery preacher, yet he evinced true gentleness when he said, “[Jesus] must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
Gentleness also means giving up the right to judge what is best for ourselves and others. God is not as concerned with our comfort as He is concerned with our spiritual growth, and He knows how to grow us far better than we do. Gentleness means that we accept that the rain falls on the evil and the just and that God may use methods we don’t like to reach our hearts and the hearts of others.
Finally, to live in a spirit of gentleness toward God is to accept His judgment on people and issues. We tend to think it is gentle to go easy on people and try to justify actions that God has called sin. Or to let someone continue in sin without speaking the truth. But Paul says, "If anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" (Galatians 6:1). This doesn’t mean to be so soft that the sinner doesn’t realize he’s sinned. It means to confront the brother in a manner that is in line with Scripture—to be mild, loving, encouraging, and clear about the holiness that God calls us to.
Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness: “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), and now He offers us His gentleness as a gift. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is self-control?
The last characteristic listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as a fruit of the Spirit is self-control. The fruit of the Spirit is the change in our character that comes about because of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. We do not become a Christian on our own, and we cannot grow on our own. Philippians 2:13 says that "it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Every good thing we do is the fruit of the Spirit’s work in our lives.
Self-control (“temperance” in the KJV) is, of course, the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts.
One of the proofs of God’s working in our lives is the ability to control our own thoughts, words, and actions. It’s not that we are naturally weak-willed. But our fallen nature is under the influence of sin. The Bible calls it being a "slave to sin" (Romans 6:6). One definition of sin is "filling a legitimate need through illegitimate means." Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we are incapable of knowing and choosing how best to meet our needs. Even if we knew what would be best, such as not smoking, another need, like comfort, would take precedence and enslave us again.
When we are saved by Christ’s sacrifice, we are free (Galatians 5:1). That liberty includes, among other things, freedom from sin. “Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). Now, as the Spirit gives us self-control, we can refuse sin.
Believers need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans 7:21-25). Like a vulnerable city, we must have defenses. A wall around an ancient city was designed to keep out the enemy. Judges at the gates determined who should be allowed in and who should remain outside. Soldiers and gates enforced those decisions. In our lives, these defenses might include avoiding close relationships with sinners, meeting with other believers, and meditating on the life-giving Word of God. We don’t exhibit self-control if we continually dally with that which would enslave us.
Self-control naturally leads to perseverance (2 Peter 1:6) as we value the long-term good instead of the instant gratification of the world. Self-control is a gift that frees us. It frees us to enjoy the benefits of a healthy body. It frees us to rest in the security of good stewardship. It frees us from a guilty conscience. Self-control restricts the indulgence of our foolish desires, and we find the liberty to love and live as we were meant to.
'This Is Spiritual Warfare': Denzel Washington Warns against Self-Obsession in the Last Days
In a recent interview with the New York Times, two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington addressed his faith in God and warned people not to get swept up in social media and self-obsession.
"This is spiritual warfare. So, I'm not looking at it from an earthly perspective," Washington told the New York Times. "If you don't have a spiritual anchor, you'll be easily blown by the wind, and you'll be led to depression."
Washington, who is starring in the upcoming film The Tragedy of Macbeth, described himself as a "God-fearing man" who seeks to live out his faith daily.
"I try not to worry," Washington said. "Fear is contaminated faith," he added.
The famous actor also addressed the issue of self-centeredness, which is often highlighted on social media.
"The enemy is the inner me," Washington noted. "The Bible says in the last days — I don't know if it's the last days, it's not my place to know — but it says we'll be lovers of ourselves. The number one photograph today is a selfie, 'Oh, me at the protest.' 'Me with the fire.' 'Follow me.' 'Listen to me,'" he continued.
"We're living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed," he said. "What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It's going fast, and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to slaughter."
Regarding his view of Heaven, Washington said he believes "there are going to be two lines, the long line and the short line, and I'm interested in being in the short line."
Actor Corey Hawkins, who plays the film's antagonist, Macduff, against Washington's Macbeth, told the New York Times that the Oscar-winning actor prays with him.
"Sometimes we get talking, and you see the preacher in him," Hawkins said, according to Faithwire. "He's just a natural-born charismatic leader who is not afraid to talk about his own faults or misgivings or shortcomings."
During Washington's interview, he encouraged the interviewer, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, to read the Bible. His suggestion to her was to begin "with the New Testament, because the Old Testament is harder."
"You get caught up in the 'who-begot-who-begot-who thing,'" he said.
Washington also shared that he "fills up" spiritually every morning as his day begins.
"You have to fill up that bucket every morning," he said. "It's rough out there. You leave the house in the morning. Here they come, chipping away. By the end of the day, you've got to refill that bucket. We know right from wrong."
HOW DO YOU STAND AGAINST THE DECEPTION / SPIRITUAL WARFARE - GOD'S ARMOR
Olive Tree with Ron Rhodes - Strategy to Deceive, Divide, Destroy
Book 1 - Spiritual Warfare in the End Times (1st half of video)
Ephesians 6:10-18 - The Whole Armor of God
Ep 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We are in a Satanic War
The moment that you were saved, you entered into a spiritual war against a demonic host – whose sole purpose every day is to destroy you and extinguish you effectiveness for Jesus Christ.
This is why Ep 6:10-20 carries the same war verbiage
Be strong in the Lord (v10)
Put on the Armor of the Lord (v11)
Take your stand against the enemy (v12)
Stand your ground (v13)
Stand firm (v13)
Put on the Belt of Truth (v14)
Wear the Breastplate of Righteousness (v14)
Get feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace (v15)
Grab the Shield of Truth (v16)
Put on the Helmet of Salvation (v17)
Use the Sword of the Spirit (v17)
Pray to the Commander (v18)
Be alert (v18)
Obey without fear (v19-20)
God's Armor - How to Stand Against the Deception
Belt of Truth – Word of God
Breastplate of Righteousness – Live a holy, righteous life
Shoes of Peace – We have peace with God
Shield of Faith – Belief in God and His promises to us
Helmet of Salvation – Hope in our eternal salvation
Sword of the Spirit – Word of God
The Power of Prayer – The missing piece of armor
Problem – Ep 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Solution – Give before & after, surrounding the problem – Stand strong in the armor of God
1 Peter 5:8 8 Be sober, be vigilant; [e]because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.