Tag: Salvation

We Must Be Born Again

The Necessity of the New Birth

Book of John Chapter 3

There are several ways used in the Scriptures that speak of the New Birth.

1) Regeneration actually means “new birth”.

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, “by the washing of regeneration”, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

2) Restitution of all things.

Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive “until the times of restitution of all things”, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

3) Passing from death to life.

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

4) Becoming a New Creature.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, “he is a new creature”: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

5) Jesus simply says, “We must be Born Again”.

We can call all these things the Doctrine of Salvation!

*****Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

We could say that Nicodemus is remembered as the secret disciple but in fact Nicodemus was also a Pharisee.

In fact Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin Court, the Supreme Court of Israel.

Nicodemus was a ruler, a high ranking official in the government of Israel.

It is obvious that he had seen Jesus perform miracles that as Nicodemus said, He could not have done “except that God be with Him”.

Nicodemus first came to Jesus to prove Him wrong, but the truth has a way proving to yourself that it is you who are wrong.

We could also say that the Holy Spirit was convicting Nicodemus of the truth!

Nicodemus came to Jesus as formal religionist who had forgotten the work of a Shepherd.

Nicodemus had to ask the Lord, “just who are you” because he did not know Him, but the Lord would ask Him why did he not know, if he was who he said he was.

Jesus was and is much more than a Teacher called of God!

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

In truth, miracles and signs are not that important because the Word of God is most important.

The importance comes when we know the Lord well enough that our lives are changed forever!

Religion will get in our way of knowing Christ.
Religion will only allow us to reverence Christ.
Religion will not allow for the Spiritual change that comes from knowing the Lord in a personal relationship.
Religion will leave you in the darkness, while accepting Christ for who He is, will allow the Light of the Lord to erase that darkness forever!

The truth is once Christ begins a work in our soul, He will carry that work to an ultimate completion!

What was Jesus’ answer to the question of Nicodemus?

*****Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Jesus says bluntly, that unless there is a “Spiritual Change”, then no one can see the kingdom of God!

We know what that word “Born” means so, what does that word “again” mean?

1) Again means we must have a clear understanding of these things!

Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

2) Again means it must be repeated, it must be a personal relationship, a complete change!

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

3) Again means it must be from above! We cannot be “Born Again” by using the things of this earth.

Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Being “Born Again” means a complete change of mind and a complete change of direction, away from the bondage of Satan.

We entered this world by a physical birth, so we cannot enter the Spiritual world without a Spiritual birth!

We are dead to the Spiritual world until the sin of this world has been removed!

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

So how can these things be possible?

*****Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

How were we first created?

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God first gave us life made in His image.

When Adam chose to not obey God, He chose death instead. So all his children even down to our own generation are now born in the image of Adam and face eternal death.

Now mankind loves this world, that will end in death, more than they love Heaven in which is eternal life.

So we must be “Born Again” in the image of God.

We are “Born Again” by accepting the life that is in Jesus Christ and therefore now we are to be in the image of Christ or Christlike or we say Christian.

This is not a maybe thing, this is a certainty, or we will never enter into God’s Heaven really God’s New Heaven!

*****Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

We should understand that what the Lord was saying to Nicodemus was not impossible for him to understand, just as we understand.

We all must have an inward cleansing and an inward experience of Holy Ghost influence.

What Jesus was saying to Nicodemus was, “in your present moral state you are unable to accept the idea of the New Birth!

This is what is wrong with the world today!

The Kingdom of God begins with a complete submission to the Will of God! To enter this Kingdom there must be our New Birth!

We must understand that we need a “new life” based upon a “New Foundation” that is not of this world!

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

**The “born of water”. For the Jews, the High Priests had to go through a ritual cleansing before He could offer a sacrifice to the Lord.

To the Christian that ritual cleansing has been replaced by the water of regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Why is this necessary?

*****Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Job 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Our flesh, that is void of the Holy Spirit, cannot be at peace with God! The flesh that is washed and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, will be at peace with God and possess the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

We should not wonder why these things are true!

*****Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

We cannot see the wind, but we know that the wind exists because we can feel it and we can hear it as it moves from place to place.

Even today modern scientist cannot truly know where or when the wind is going to blow or where the wind came from.

They certainly cannot understand those gentle breezes that move around us each day.

To understand what Jesus is saying, no one can understand the workings of the Holy Spirit except God.

We can learn many a lesson from the Book of Job and we can learn this lesson to.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

This is something we all need to understand!

The Holy Ghost must be allowed to do His work by convicting us of sin!

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Even with the greatest Teacher of all speaking, Nicodemus was so full of religion and worldliness, he just could not grasp what the Lord was teaching Him.

*****Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

We should understand that this was not some new doctrine for the Jews, even the songs they sang in worship gave this doctrine.

Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psa 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psa 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

This is the same doctrine of the Millennial Kingdom when the Lord next returns to this earth.

Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Eze 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

The was very little excuse for a Pharisee or a member of the Sanhedrin to not know these things!

They were too busy looking upon all others to take a look at themselves!

Jesus will have these same words for us when we refuse to study the Word of God, as we are commanded.

What is sure is just what the Lord says. If we cannot receive the truth of our existence upon this earth, we will never understand the Heavenly things that are also real!

*****Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

The words of the Lord are certain and their fulfillment sure!

When we do not believe the words of the Lord, then we have rejected the Giver of all life!

On this day Nicodemus could not believe what he was hearing from the Lord, but we know that maybe he went back and studied what the Lord had said and compared it to the Scriptures for in the end Nicodemus became a believer!

As for those who doubt the Lord today, they need only look at the nation of Israel and the Jewish people as a guarantee of the truth of God!

God expects us to believe and accept every Word He has given to us and we cause our own problems when we do not!

God divides our world into only two groups, those that believe and repent and those who do not believe nor repent!

1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

It is a fact that no man in the flesh has ascended up to Heaven because they would perish from the Glorious Majesty that is God.

The Lord Jesus Christ had to take on the form of a man after He came to this earth to keep from destroying mankind. He came to save and not to destroy.

We should also know that the Lord Jesus returned to Heaven in His glorified body and whatever that body looks like is the way our body look when we see Jesus.

1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Before these things can take place, the Lord Jesus had to die!

*****Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The serpent in the wilderness is a great Biblical truth.

The escapees from Egypt had journeyed in the wilderness safe in the harms of God and had become discouraged forgetting that had been redeemed and God had met all their needs.

When God had heard enough of their complaining God sent fiery serpents among the people and those who were bitten would die without God’s help.

God gave some instructions to Moses on how this people could be saved.

Num 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
Num 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

These people could only live if they put forth the effort to gaze upon that serpent that was raised, so more of them could see.

Jesus said: “if you are familiar with this story in the Bible you could better understand what He had come to this earth to do”!

It may not have been until Jesus was raised upon the cross at Mount Calvary that Nicodemus totally understood what the Lord was teaching him that day.

God came down from Heaven and took upon Himself the body of a man just, so this body would die to pay the sin debt of all this world.

It took the pure Lamb of God to be such a sacrifice!

We may ask why God would do such a thing and we will get the same answer every time!

*****Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We see that to God, salvation is a love thing!

1) The fact is: God “So” loved.
2) The evidence was: God gave.
3) The purpose was: to save.
4) The proof was: God sent His Son to die.
5) The means of salvation: it is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of God can take place!

To the Jews this was a wakening. They had thought that Jehovah God was only the God of the Jews.

This world we live in, is not the perfect place that so many depend upon.
This world we live in, is not to be the world of the angels that did not leave with Lucifer.
This world we live in, is not a world of creations such as Adam that was said to be very good.
This world we live in, lies in wickedness!

God made us to be as common as the sunshine but those that close their eyes, the sun is no good to them.

Salvation extends to all the ignorant and the educated, all the very worst and all the very best. Salvation is for all!

When we that know the Lord think about it, there is no greater gift that God could have given to us!

Most all the world of false religion do not believe that God can love, and they are so very wrong!

God loves with so much affection, it cannot be matched even by the love of our Mothers!

1Ti 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
1Ti 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

God does not allow unworthiness to cloud His eyes!
God does not allow religion to cloud His eyes!
God does not allow cruelty to cloud His eyes!
God does not allow anything to stop His love for us all!!!!!!!!!!

God has a loving nature!

1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God wants everyone in this world to know His love!

1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

God also wants this world to know that His love is complete when we accept His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
Joh 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
Joh 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

There is not enough of paper in all the world to write down all the words that describe the love of God!!!

It is God’s love that draws us to Christ and it is Christ who brings us to everlasting life!

But there are always those who chose to go their own way trusting this world to show them life.

*****Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We know that love of God does not mean that all the world is saved.

We know that God is not disappointed in His design because we know God had this plan of salvation in place before the first day of creation.

We must believe that God has provided the only means of salvation and we must volunteer to reach out and take this precious gift of God!

God’s love is based upon the “redeeming” work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s love is based upon the energy of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore salvation can come only by the combine work of the Triune God, the Holy Trinity.

We know the proof of God’s love, shown His greatness when He raised the Lord Jesus Christ up from that garden tomb!

Jesus Christ is now the Mediator of God’s love!

If we should ever wonder, it is not the believer who can ever be condemned, it is only the unbeliever!

Every sinner holds righteousness in his own hands!

The unbeliever is condemned already because they remain under the present curse upon this world brought on by the sin of Adam!

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The sinner is condemned because they have not believed the truth of God!

1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Living In An Evil World

Living In An Ungodly World

Book of 2 Corinthians Chapter 6

It is for certain that the Bible teaches separation as we learn very well in this same chapter:

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 

If we understand this as isolation then we have not understood what God has said.

We are not to loiterers in this world, because we are to be laborers in this world.

The Bible says we are to be as husbandmen, builders, soldiers, fishermen, ambassadors!

The ministry of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ is not always easy work!

God started with One, His Son Christ Jesus but now we as believers are all in this thing together with Him!

We are never to live separate to the people of this world, but are certainly to live separate from the sin of this world!

*****2Co 6:1  We then, “as workers together with him”, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

The message of the “Gospel” can be unbelievable to those who are blinded by Satan’s lies but this message sent from Heaven is a glorious message and the only message that can save a lost sinner or an unbeliever!

Our Pastor, along with every “Born Again” child of God are not only to be “Ambassadors” for Christ but we are to be “workers together with him”!

What are we to understand by the “Grace of God”?

1) The “Gospel” is free in every sense of the word free, but it was not free to God for, God paid a high price to offer this freedom to us all.

Remember Grace is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”!

2) The “Gospel Truth”, is an offer of freedom, “free, full, and everlasting salvation”, to whosoever believes in the saving work of Christ Jesus.

The “Gospel” is received in vain if you accept it only as “doctrine”.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you accept it only as a “system of duty”.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you accept it in ” theory only”.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you make it “inconsistent” with “God’s intent for a personal relationship.

When the “Gospel” has been accepted in vain then the Lord Jesus Christ died in vain and salvation is meaningless and non-existing!

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 
Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 

When the “Gospel” is not honored, then Christ Jesus is made to have died in vain!

Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. 

If righteousness could come from anything in this world then Jesus Christ died in vain and the “Gospel” is of no importance and “God’s Grace” does not exist!

Remember “Grace” is the “undeserved favor of God”!

The truth is, the reality of this world is, than the life of anyone of us could be snatched away at any moment, so the “Gospel” is more important today and at this very moment, for the past is gone!

*****2Co 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 

At the day of our death and we have not accepted the “Gospel” message, then the Lord Jesus Christ died in vain for that person!

The truth is, everyone one of us have until this day of our natural death, in our future or in the very next moment, for we cannot know when death will come.

We must enter into the New Covenant with the Lord before our time expires!

Eze 16:8  Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, “and thou becamest mine”.

If we cannot or if we refuse to do so, then we certainly cannot blame the “Gospel” of God, for everlasting “death” that is the reality of not responding to the “Gospel”!

ALL, ministers of the “Gospel” must remain consistent with the “Gospel” and the intent of the “Grace” of God!

*****2Co 6:3  Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 
2Co 6:4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 
2Co 6:5  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 

It can never be our duty to compromise on the “Gospel” message so that it does not offend some because the “Gospel” will always be offensive to an unbeliever!

By it’s nature, the “Gospel” message will certainly offend some of those who hear it and the truth is, it is rare for God’s message to be accepted the very first time it is heard.

It is a fact that in today’s world there is a great attempt to silence the true Pastor because of this message from God!

BUT, no Pastor is to allow his lifestyle or inconsistency in his message to be the source of that offense!

The Pastor must avoid any and all appearance of evil!

I personally do not know how a Pastor selects the substance of his sermons but I hope they all always follow the lead of the Holy Spirit who wrote all the Scriptures and I believe that most do.

It would pay every Pastor to choose wisely the words he uses and show good judgment in his presentation!

The same goes for any teacher and also for every child of God!

In fact, the subjects of the message of each Pastor should be suited to the “spiritual welfare” of the flock he has at that time!

For instance, a Pastor needs to be on fire and preach the Hell is hot, but we must all consider that those that are lost already know how to get to Hell, “they need to know how to get to Heaven”!

Each Pastor must never offer reasons or place stumbling blocks in front of those who are seeking this truth!

The Apostle Paul said he was a failure “if he caused a poor reflection on his ministry”.

A Pastor is never to show respect of persons, as this is also a reflection on the ministry of God!

We already know that a Pastor must insist that any Church discipline adhere “exactly” to the Word of God, “no ifs, no ands and no buts”!

A Pastor must always realize that he is a minister of God’s message and God’s ministry is of His Son Christ Jesus!

God does not send Pastors or preachers out with their own message, God sends them out with His message!
If a Pastor cannot get under the spout where the “Glory of God” runs out then he is not one of God’s called men!

The message of God is serious but it must not ever be boring.
The message of God must be holy and remain morally sound.
The message of God must be instructive!

The work of the Lord can be very laborious but it is never to be considered a job but it will sometimes require a great amount of endurance.

If a Pastor cannot endure with much patience, he will never be able to be consistent!

The world we live in will always be consistent in corruption and sin, even increasing to distract those in it from the message of God.

The Pastor will have to over come all these things and remain faithful to the Word of God!

Paul mentions afflictions, we can be sure they were physical and mental. No doubt the work of a Pastor can be overwhelming at times.

That word “necessities” really means the “necessities of life” which includes so many things beyond food and shelter and clothes, to personal needs and much more.
That word “distresses” is plural and means extreme pain, anguish in body and mind, but can even include loss of near and dear friends.

Paul endured scourging at least 8 times but he also endured, beatings, lashings, whippings and many other things, just because he preached Christ Jesus.

Paul was imprisoned more than once because he preached Christ Jesus.

Paul labored in prison but Paul also labored with his own hands in attempting to meet his personal needs but most of all Paul labored in pain while he continued to suffer for Jesus’ name sake.

Many others have suffered in the ministry of Christ but no one any more than the Apostle Paul!

“Watchings” would include many sleepless nights.

“Fastings” would be deliberate but sometimes Paul would miss a meal just to preach if the opportunity presented itself.

What does the Bible teach us?

Ecc 9:10  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. 

Not only did Paul remain consistent through all these things but during that same period of time Paul was consistent in ever learning the Word of God!

*****2Co 6:6  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 
2Co 6:7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 

Paul was consistent in his own spiritual growth!

Paul lived his life in purity, free from the filth and pollution of this evil world.
Paul continued in his study and understanding of the Word of God.
Paul was most patient with those he preached to, in bringing them to the truth even when they so easily rebelled.
Paul was kind and good and gentle, even when he was abused and unappreciated.

Paul clearly understood that his strength came by the Holy Ghost and not of any man.

The proof of every Pastor, is the knowledge that God works in him but also through him!

Paul walked in the power of the Spirit of God or Paul would have simply fallen by the wayside!

Paul understood the love of God who sent His own Son to pay the sin debt of all mankind and Paul showed that same love as best he could to all that crossed his path.
The proof of a Pastor is his love for “all” God’s people!

Paul clearly understood that the “Word of God” was also the “Words of Truth” that this world was in such great need of because this world contains very little truth because of the desires of ruthless men.

The proof of every Pastor is that he will preach the truth of God and not the thinking, the philosophies, nor the ideas of man!

So many today preach an every changing message to adapt to this world and God said never to allow this to happen.

Every Pastor must endure and be consistent in the truth of God’s Word.

Paul clearly understand that only God has the power to save.
Only God has the power to make “new creatures”.
Only God has the power to give eternal life.
Only God has the power to heal.

The proof of every Pastor is that he knows that God is the power in his life and this was necessary for his ministry to bear genuine fruit.

Paul clearly understood that his “armor of righteousness” was the Lord Jesus Christ!

The proof of every Pastor is that they know that Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church!

The Church belongs to Jesus, bought and paid for with His own blood.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 
Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

The Apostle Paul remained consistent no matter how this world reacted to the message of the Gospel!

*****2Co 6:8  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 

Some people approved and honored the preaching of the Apostle Paul but others did not, mainly those with authority, much like today.

Some people would say wicked and evil things about Paul but some did have good reports, the believers.

Many places Paul was treated as a deceiver, yet Paul was as true to the Word of God as he could physically live.

Paul was not some impostor.
Paul was not some false teacher.
Paul was not some quack trying to start a new religion.

In all these things the message of the “Gospel” remained consistent with Paul.

*****2Co 6:9  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 

Most of the world of that day just ignored Paul and dismissed his message but God had promised that His Word would not come back void, so many others loved the Gospel message and loved Paul for what he did and for what he had done for them.

No matter Paul’s treatment Paul consistently preached the Gospel!
Paul was treated as a dying man with a dead message by many. Paul was looked upon as reckless and unwise man, who could only cause trouble.
They saw Paul as a doomed man, walking the way of death and enticing many to follow him into that death.

Paul was chastened, Paul’s life was threatened, but no one could take his life, until God was ready for him to come home.

Paul was constantly suffering for the Gospel but Paul remained consistent in preaching the Word of God!

*****2Co 6:10  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

The world looked upon Paul as sorrowful and depressed but Paul was always rejoicing.

Why is it that the world thinks to be a Christian is to give up having fun?

We certainly are not to join in with the worldly crowd and their sinful pleasures but these things never produce true joy to begin with.

There is more joy in knowing where we came from and where we are going than most people realize.

There is tremendous joy in doing the things that are pleasing to God.

Paul was looked upon as a poor man, yet in truth he had made many rich and he still is today as we share his message.

The truth is, Paul was looked upon as having no possessions.

Paul was a traveling missionary and he appeared homeless but in reality we as Christians possess true wealth, the wealth of God’s presence for eternity along with all the wealth of Heaven itself!

This is the everlasting wealth that can be shared with others!

Mat 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 
Mat 6:20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 
Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

It is a fact that all those that have the sure promises of God are far richer than those that reject the Word of God!

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
1Pe 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 

People just do not realize what separation is all about!

Separation can only begin when we open our hearts to God!

*****2Co 6:11  O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 
2Co 6:12  Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 
2Co 6:13  Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

Paul teaches us that there is no hidden message in the Word of God and God does not have some secret agenda, just the pure and honest truth, so then the first call is for an open heart to receive God’s message.

Paul was saying that he was just the messenger, all his the words came from God!

The “Gospel” in of itself has a simple message!

2Co_11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

When we are struggling with God’s message, it is not the message to blame, it is Satan we can blame, for he will corrupt our mind and our hearts and this is why we need to separate ourselves socially from those in the world.

Our love will certainly grow for one another, when we get to know one another better in Christ.

Paul had a deep love for the church and it shows in passages such as this and remember these words were from the Holy Spirit.

Remember Paul had been mistreated by this church so this shows us that there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us any less.

God has a pure love that does not ever change by our actions!

Remember Jesus died for our sins before any of us knew Him in a personal way!

We need to hold fast to God’s love!

When this world wounds our heart, let’s not become bitter, “let’s just become better”!

Love increases for God and with each other, when we separate from this unclean world and devote our lives to God!

Remember an expansion of the heart is not the same as an expansion of the mind. Mankind has been growing in intelligence since the beginning but the truth is this growth in the mind has only led to a decline in morality.

There has never been one government consistent in morals and the promotion of the well being of it’s people and that includes our own!

It is only Christianity that inspires these views and these feelings!

We need to always examine the present state of our hearts to be sure we remain consistent in our love for God through Jesus Christ.

What did Jesus say was the biggest problem in the church during the last days?

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, “because thou hast left thy first love”. 

That first love is a love for Jesus Christ, we are to enlarge our hearts and certainly not shrink away from the love of God!

That word “straightened” has the meaning of made narrow or “restricting” or “narrowing” and the love of this church toward the Word of God and the Apostle Paul had become narrow or restrictive in it’s love for God.

They needed to open their hearts to the truth!

The truth is, the Pastor of every church must be open and honest and have a loving heart for God and God’s Church.

BUT, just as important The Church must be open and honest and have a loving heart toward God and the man God has called to be that Pastor.

These things must work together!

Joh 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 

This separation must not only be with the Church body but it must extend to every individual, including our personal relationships and our business relationships.

*****2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 
2Co 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Since believers are so different from unbelievers, this is to great an obstacle to over come in a relationship..

That word “unequally” means to be disproportion or unsuitable. If God says it is unsuitable then the chances of this relationship working out well is not good!

As believers, we all stand on equal ground at the cross but when we do not stand on equal ground before God our relationship will suffer greatly!

One of the laws of the Old Testament demonstrates this principle of God.

Deu 22:10  Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. 

The principle is simple, God prohibits mixing things together that He has separated in creation.

The believer that has been “Born Again” is a “new creation” of God and is not to be mixed with those of the world!

God simply says, “What fellowship has the righteous with the unrighteous?”

How can one that follows God’s law agree with one who does not follow any law?

How can those that reject God agree with those who accept the truth of God?

Jesus Christ is the light of this world, when you turn a light on, darkness disappears and hides in the shadows. “What communion has light with darkness?

Communion means how can there be a partnership between two who cannot communicate with each other?

One has rejected Christ Jesus the other has not.
One is seeking the things of this world the other seeking the things of Heaven.
One does not do things according to the Word of God, the other hungers and thirst after righteousness.

That word “Belial” is just a synonym for “Satan”. As Jesus Christ has nothing in common with Satan what makes a believer think they can? It absolutely cannot be!

An “infidel” is someone who has denied the “faith”, denying Christianity, an unbeliever, how can a believer associate with such a person in a close personal relationship? It cannot happen!

An idol is anything which we give our allegiance to other than God!

When we give our time, our money, and our energy primarily to things other than God, we become idol worshipers!

A true believer cannot be an idol worshiper because he or she is a living temple of God!

Paul only had the Old Testament so he quotes from it:

Eze 37:27  My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Paul wrote these words in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit.

1Co_3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

God says:

1Jn_2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

The lost world walks in ignorance of Jesus Christ.
The lost world walks in ignorance of God as revealed by Jesus Christ.
The lost world walks in ignorance of the true destiny of life as shown by Jesus Christ.

Joh 12:35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 

Those that walk in darkness will always hate the light of the “Gospel”!
Those that walk in darkness are condemned unless they repent of their evil ways!

Joh 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 
Joh 3:20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 
Joh 3:21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 

The Christian must separate themselves socially from those of the world!

*****2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

How many of us weed our gardens because we know the plants we desire will not flourish when weeds are allowed to grow with them.

That plant cannot do this itself because a plant has no conscience to know right from wrong.

The human on the other hand can make a choice to improve himself or herself.

The “Gospel” allows us to think in a moral way, the unbeliever is like the plant and his conscience does not know the difference in right or wrong.

1Ti_4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Believe me if your conscience is seared with a hot iron then it no longer exist!

When God led Israel out of captivity, He told them to leave everything behind. Nothing in that defiled land had any meaning because they were to begin a totally new life and all they needed was the Word of God to direct them!

God’s wants a peculiar people:

Tit_2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

“Peculiar” in this Scripture means a people that were not like the usual people!

Now God does not ask us to leave our cities, our communities, or our work places, even though sometimes our work places also need to change.

These are the first places that we will be called to witness.

We are never to isolate ourselves from unbelievers. We are to share our thoughts and experiences and in fact always be friendly.

Pro_18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

So what does God mean?

First separation means that we have a new Master.

We must be obedient to the ways of our Lord!

We are to have a personal relationship with the Lord so then we cannot be intimately involved with those of the world!

We are never to participate in ungodly functions and events with unbelievers.

We are not to be closely bound in any sort of partnership with an unbeliever “including marriage”.

We must never make a covenant with an unbeliever because their Master is Satan and Satan is a liar.

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 

We are especially to avoid relations with those who have rejected the truth of Jesus Christ!

And above all we are never to worship with the unbeliever in his place of worship, period!

Exo_34:14  For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

We are never to attend a worship service in a place that does not honor Jesus Christ!

God says we are never to touch the unclean thing!

The Jews were never to touch a dead animal nor a dead person and if they did they had to follow a strict cleansing.

We know that “the wages of sin is death” and every “unbeliever is condemned to this death” so we are certainly no longer to live as sinners nor participate in the sins of unbelievers!

Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 
Gal 5:20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 
Gal 5:21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Each believer is to walk in the Holy Spirit:

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 
Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 
Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

There is just to much difference in the unbeliever and the believer!

And the truth is God will not receive us until we have done this thing!

Why would we not want to be approved of God?

We are to walk in this world but we are not to be a part of this world!

Being reconciled to God is the greatest reward we can obtain above all others!

In fact if we will separate ourselves from the world we will have a new Father.

God will then adopt us into His own family!

When we weigh these simple things against the sacrifices we have to make to obtain them, then they will not seem like sacrifices at all!

We will understand that God does not treat anyone lost or saved with unkindness or injustice, for Jesus Christ died for all.

But God will not ever treat the lost as His children and that is a great big difference!

Note the story of the prodigal son.

If God is willing to be as our Father from Heaven then why would we not want to act like His children?

The truth is, it is only in Christianity where it is said that God will be our Father and we can be His children.

A Father’s love is far greater than any other love!

1Jn_3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

It is this love that is the reason God allows His Spirit to live within us!

Gal_4:6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

It is then and only then that the riches of Heaven become available to each believer!

Rom_8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

How can such a thing be rejected by this world?

These are the only means of living for God in an ungodly world.

Ungodly means anything that is not of God!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!