Sunday, July 22, 2012

Who Are You?

Not a trick question.

Are you a good person? I always thought of myself as a good person. If you ask, most will look at the question in a earthly, world sense. They would reason it out. "Lets see, I haven't been arrested. I love my spouse and kids. I give to charity, go to church on Sunday, I try to never speak ill of anyone. yes. I would say I was a good person."

In a sense, if looking at it strictly in a world sense, you would be right. However, remember what Jesus said when Peter called him "Good Master?"
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19
Jesus, the King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Lord himself, corrected it when he was called good. If Jesus did not consider himself as worthy to be called good. Then are you better than he? You see, Jesus was in the flesh, the same as we all are. Therefore the temptations of the flesh were the same for him. The fruits of the flesh would have had the same result for him, if he had given in, as they would and do for all of us.

The Word declares the very distinct difference in walking in the flesh and in the Spirit. According to Galatians 5
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 
So what are the fruits of the flesh? 
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
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.
All these things mankind, men and women do, on a daily bases. Walking in the flesh and the things of the flesh are natural. They are human nature. The end result of them all is the same. Death. Oh society may, and has, become numb to some of them. It may even have become acceptable. Or at least seen as "no big deal." But none of that changes the fact of what these things are. Most of these are self explanatory. The others?

Lascivious? Characterized as or by expressing lust. Tending to incite lust. Look at TV? Look at movies. Go to the malls and see how our young women are dressing? The Internet? You get the point.

Sedition? Stirring up rebellion.
Revellings? To rebel or take much merry in oneself.
Effeminate? Characterized by weakness, or self indulgence.
Covetous? Excessively desirous or something. Greedy.
Emulations? To try to surpass or become equal to something greater than you.

These are all the fruits of the fresh. The works we do in the flesh. These are the normal desires of one walking in the flesh. 1st Corinthians 6: says it this way..
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
So before you accept the gift. Before you become a child of God, you will do these things. Many of the 12 did these things. These are the works of the flesh. But wait? We are all God's Children. Right? Wrong. We are all God's creation. Not all God's children. In John 8, it tells the story of how the religious folks, those that thought they were holier than thou, asked Jesus why he said they were not of God. His answer may surprise some of you. Here it is. John 8
37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
You see, even back then, many believed that we were all God's children. Especially those "born" into religion. Those said to be the chosen ones of God, just took it for granted, that they were children of God. Again, this is Jesus himself talking. he said this.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
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.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
They became offended by this. How could this man tell them they are not of God? He told them the truth. He even told them this...
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
This is one of many things that Jesus told those who claimed to be God's children and the chosen ones, that caused them to want to put him to death even the more. But Jesus is not concerned with what you are. He doesn't care where it is you come from. He doesn't care how much money you have. He doesn't care what man-made tradition, called religion, you belong to. What he cares about is YOU. Who you are as a person. What he cares about is a personal relationship with YOU.

Look at the people God chose? Noah got drunk, David had an affair, Moses was disobedient,Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a worrier, Jonah rand from God, Peter was a hot head, Thomas was a doubter, Matthew was a tax collector, but I think the best example is Paul. More on Paul in a few.

The point is this. God is no respecter of persons. It doesn't matter what religion you belong to. It does not matter what social class you belong to. It does not matter your Race. What matters is simple. What is your answer? What is your decision? Will you or won't you. Ephesians 2 declares:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
What God cares about is what you are willing to do NOW. Not your past. Not your Sin. But are you willing to accept His gift? Are you willing to change your ways? Look at John 8
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
They sought to stone her. They wanted Jesus to condemn her. What did Jesus do?
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Now here is a women, caught in the very act of adultery. Yet, Jesus did not condemn her. He forgave her and allowed her to go forth and "sin no more." he wasn't concerned by what she did. But what she would do.

Lets look at Saul? Do you know Saul from Tarsus? Acts 8
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Acts 9:
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
You see, Saul, was equal to the most vile of humans. He was equal to Hitler in every way. His sole purpose of existence was to kill and enslave God's chosen people. He was really good at it. But that day, on the road to Damascus, everything changed. He became Paul. You know, the one that wrote a lot of the New Testament.

So again, God does not care what you have done in the past. He does not care what you are doing as we speak. What he does care about is that one on one relationship with you. His desire is for you to get to know him. To seek out Him and His will for your life. He does not consider what we feel is good, bad or, indifferent. He cares about YOU. He cares if you are willing to hear Him.

Look at Matthew. He he was, sitting at the "Table of Customs" In the middle of his sin. When Jesus came up to him and said two words. Matthew 9
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
"Follow me." Did Matthew say, "Well, who are you?" Did he ask why? Did he reason the pros and cons? Nope. He said "yes." He rose and followed him, leaving everything behind. So you see, even though we are not good. Even though we are all sinners. God loves us. He wants to save us from ourselves. He wants a relationship with us.

Look at Ephesians 2 again.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There is nothing you can do to be saved. It is a gift from God. John 3 declares:
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.
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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.
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.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Romans 8 declares this.
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Now again, the works of the flesh are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and the end result of which is death.

So what are the fruits of the Spirit? In Galatians 5:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Read that again. There is no law. There is no conviction. When you walk in the Spirit, you can not do the deeds of the flesh, which are under the law. They will convict you. They will find you guilty unto death. But NOT the fruit of the Spirit. Back to Romans 8:
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Those that are in the flesh, can not please God. There is nothing you can do to win favor in God's eyes if you are walking in the flesh. There is nothing you can do to be saved. No amount of what we call good, can overcome the Sin we live in, just by being born. So how do you become a Child of God? Through His gift. Accepting The Christ Jesus. In John 11
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
That's it. That's all there is to it. In John 14 Jesus gives us this good news.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 
So once you receive Jesus, he receives you. He sends you the Spirit of Adoption. THEN and only then, do you become a child of God. Then and only then, can you walk, not according to the flesh, but the Spirit that is now in you. Say this prayer, in your own words.

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

Part Two. Who Are You NOW?

Now back to Romans 8
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Now remember, you once walked in the flesh. Doing the deeds of the flesh, because that is human nature. Now that you are of the Spirit, you are no longer bound by the flesh. You are now a completely new creature.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Before you accepted the Spirit you were NOT a Child of God. But the good news is, if you have accepted Jesus, you are now. Here is the good news you should rejoice in.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
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.
Think about that for a second. Seriously. Imagine a worldly Royal family. You have the King, Queen, and the kids. Who are the kids? Prince and Princesses. They are Heirs to the Throne. All that their family rule, they are next in line to inherent.

Now think about God. he is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. The creator and ruler of all things. You have just become his Heirs. You are now part of the Family that is God. Your Daddy, is the King of Kings. Think about that.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
This you really need to get. Highlight in in your Bible. Write it down. Memorize it. Know that this is the absolute truth. This is who you are now. No matter what the world may say. No matter what anyone else may say. No matter what you may see happening at this present time. THIS is the absolute truth. Take comfort in knowing this.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Think about that. The only reason you heard about God, Jesus, perhaps even stumbled upon this Blog, is because God CALLED you. I'll say that again. The only way you can find God, is if he CALLS you. Now he who he called, he sets up a plan and a purpose for their lives. Need more good news?
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NOTHING! There is NOTHING that can steal away your salvation. NOTHING can separate you from God from this point on. So why worry about your neighbor? Why worry about your Boss and what they might think about what has just happened to you today? Why worry about much of anything?

You were once "dead man walking." Now you are a Child of God. You once were under the Law. Now, there is no Law. The Lord of Lords, and the King of Kings, is your Daddy. Rejoice and be glad in that. If you do not have a Bible, go get one. If you do not have a church, pray that God, your Daddy, leads you to one He wants you to be part of. Get to know Him. Get to know all the good news and promises that now apply to YOU.

Now next week, we will be talking about how the Word declares, that now, as a Child of God, your needs will be met. You see, sometime we forget who we are. I did. We forget that we ARE the Children of God and when we forget this, we fear. But fear not. Be of good Cheer, for God says, your needs will be met.

Until next time. God bless. And Jesus IS Lord!

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