Blameless in Jesus

Blameless in Jesus

Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved.  (Proverbs 28:18a NKJV)

For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it . . .  (Proverbs 2:21 NKJV)

It’s impossible for a human being to live blamelessly without the grace of God operating in their life.  When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we established a relationship with God wherein we were given access to His grace for every need that we may have.  (Ephesians 1:7; 2:5; 2:7; 4:7)

In Jesus, our Savior and Lord, we DO walk blamelessly because HE lived a perfect, sinless life on our behalf!  He became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ.  (Romans 8:10; 2 Cor. 5:21) Glory Hallelujah! 

Jesus fulfilled the law and gave Himself as the propitiation for our sins, so that WE could receive ALL of the blessings that were due to Him.  Jesus shares all of the blessings of His righteous, sinless life with each and every believer.  Once we understand these truths, it is easy to rejoice in the gifts that Jesus has so freely given to us!

Healing in His Wings

Healing in His Wings

How can we receive the healing that God has already provided for us through Jesus?

But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.  (Malachi 4:2 NKJV)

. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV)

We died to sins when we accepted salvation through Jesus Christ, and we were given the righteousness of Christ.  We were given a new life.  It was an exchange—Jesus bore our punishment so that we could receive ALL of the blessings for which He qualified!  God wants us to live and walk in the righteousness that He has provided for us through His Son. 

God has forgiven our sins, and Jesus has paid the penalty for ALL of our sins:  past, present, and future.  Jesus bore all of our shame and punishment.  We now stand under God’s continuous waterfall of love, blessings, and forgiveness.  It’s a continual, moment-by-moment cleansing process.  This waterfall cleanses us from sin and reminds us that we are loved and accepted through Jesus.  (Ephesians 1:6)  We are empowered to prosper in every sphere of life.

Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness who has arisen, and under His wings there is healing for all!

Once we are ASSURED of these truths, our faith in the Word of God blossoms and it empowers us to receive all of the free gifts that God has for us, including physical healing, emotional healing, and stability in every area of life.  Reach out by faith today, and receive God’s healing in every area of your life. 

The Armor of Light, Part 3

The Armor of Light, Part 3

Our last blog article which ended with a discussion of the sword of the Spirit raises two questions: 

  1. Is the sword of the Spirit only for use as an offensive weapon?
  2. Who or what is the foe against which the sword is to be used?

    While the gladius was the primary offensive weapon available to a legionnaire, it was also invaluable for defense, being used to evade and deflect attacks by an opponent. In the same way, the Word of God (sword of the Spirit) is valuable in defending against spiritual attack.
    Jesus Christ, Himself, demonstrated how valuable it is to be grounded in the words of the Bible when He was attacked by Satan during a time of extreme physical weakness due to His fasting. (Mat 4:1-6) This is a masterful example of how to use the Word of God.

The enemy of every Christian is Satan, the devil, as he tries to separate each one of us from our God.  (1 Pet 5:8-9)  The apostle Paul used a military analogy when he talked about the Christian fight. He described thoughts and attitudes that we must defeat, just as a soldier would use his weapons to defeat the enemy.  (2 Cor 10:3-5)  We are to use the Word of God to discern those thoughts and attitudes that are contrary to God’s way and to use that sword to bring those attitudes and thoughts into captivity. That is the Christian battle, and that is how we use the offensive weapon in our armor.

As Christians, we also must train and be skillful in the use of the sword—God’s Word. The author of Hebrews tells us that we must become gradually more knowledgeable and skilled with the Word of God, until we are able to use it to discern good from evil. (Heb 5:12-14)

Notice the attitude shown by the psalmist when it came to God’s Word:  I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Ps 119:101-104).

This is the attitude and approach to God’s Word that will produce a skilled, spiritual warrior.  Remember!  Your training and skill levels are your choice!

The Armor of Light, Part 2

The Armor of Light, Part 2

This is a continuation of our last blog article about our Armor.  (See Isa 59:17 & Eph 6:14-18)

How do we employ our armor? 

  1. The belt (sash) in a Roman soldier’s uniform was intended to enable him to tightly wind his garment about him prior to battle so that it wouldn’t be a hindrance to him. The Belt of Truth enables us to carry our weapons; gird up our loins [1 Pet 1:13-14] or “pull in all of the loose ends of our lives;” and to demonstrate that we are seriously committed to the battle.  We have a heart for the battle; we’ve counted the cost.  We love the Truth and we go to war on behalf of it.  We also go to battle (truly) for our own spiritual protection!
  2. A soldier needs a breastplate to protect the vital organs, and would not go into battle without one. Our breastplate of righteousness is constructed of the truth that we are living in obedience to God; we are walking in holiness before Him.  We have put on the Lord Jesus Christ because He is our Lord and Savior.  (see Rom 13:14; Gal 3:27)  Jesus lived a sinless life, and as our Savior, He shares His righteousness (holiness) with us—not only His righteousness but His very IDENTITY as well!  We are covered in Christ!  Hallelujah! 
  3. Roman helmets, like helmets today, protected the head from the attacks of the enemy. Salvation basically means to be saved or delivered from something.  In the New Testament, it is generally used to refer to deliverance from the eternal death penalty of sin and deliverance into God’s Kingdom.
    Every one of us has thought and acted in ways that are displeasing to God. Our sins break God’s laws which He designed for our good. Sin requires the death penalty; God’s justice requires that penalty. But God’s loving mercy provided the only acceptable substitute. Jesus Christ, our Creator, was willing to die in our place! 
    This truth gives us beautiful hope and comforts us by focusing on Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.  We need to also consider the Kingdom of God and the life that is the goal of our salvation.  This hope works like a helmet to protect our minds from the discouragement, depression, and despair in this world—it is the Helmet of Salvation.
  4. Shoes (of the preparation of the gospel of peace) permit us to step freely and without fear while we turn our full attention to the battle at hand.
    The gospel of the Kingdom of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of the grace of God, the gospel of peace—these are some of descriptions attached to the word gospel throughout the New Testament. Do all of these different qualifiers mean that there are multiple gospels set forth in the Bible? 
    The Greek word translated gospel—euaggelion—simply means “good news.” This raises a question: The good news of what? The first description used in the Gospels also summarizes all the others: The gospel of the Kingdom. The good news of the Kingdom of God includes the good news about Jesus Christ the King; His grace (unmerited pardon); and His plan of salvation for all mankind. This plan gives us peace now, and will bring peace to the whole world! This is the message that we, as God’s people, should be eager to share with others. Our loving Father is preparing each and every one of us for a future beyond imagination and description.
    God’s Church is sent to announce the good news of God’s Kingdom, which will spread His way of peace around the whole world. (Rom 10:14-15)  Having our shoes on, we are ready to move, to spread these glad tidings to others.
    In the Apostle Paul’s day, he walked countless miles in delivering the good news. Today, transportation and communication have changed, but we must also be constantly ready to do our part to spread the good news.  Just as shoes
    allow us to walk on otherwise painful terrain without fear, so the preparation of the gospel of peace allows us to navigate the otherwise painful trials and tribulations of life without fear, knowing that what awaits us is far greater than anything we could possibly suffer in this world (Rom 8:18).
  5. The Roman shield was a central part of the soldier’s defense. It was rectangular in shape and rounded on the ends. It was typically made from two sheets of wood that were glued together, then covered with canvas and leather. The canvas and leather could be doused with water to protect against flaming arrows.
    The shield weighed about 22 pounds and was roughly 37 to 42 inches high and 27 to 33 inches across. A metal piece ran across the center of the shield, so it could also be used as a weapon to punch or push forward.
    Paul, in his analogy of the Christian armament, says that “above all” the shield of faith should be raised!
    To see why faith is so important, we must first understand what faith is. The author of Hebrews describes it as the realization of something we can’t see: 
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. (Heb 11:1-2).  The word faith in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word pistis, defined by Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary as “firm belief.” Faith is an unshakable belief in the promises of God. 
    So the Shield of Faith is vital in our battle against the enemy of our souls.  We are justified by faith; faith empowers us to prevail over the adversary; our faith pleases God; and finally, our faith permits us to shield others.
    The Shield of Faith is only effective when it is raised.  We must be watchfully prepared and ready for battle. 

The sword used by Roman soldiers was known as a gladius; and in the hands of a skilled man, it was a fearsome weapon. In fact, it became known as “the sword that conquered the world.” It was sharpened on both sides, making it lethal against an unarmored foe. The point was also sharpened, enabling it to penetrate armor.

An infantryman in the Roman legions would also go into battle with a dagger, a few spears and possibly a few darts. But the gladius (sword) was the only offensive weapon listed by Paul, and it was the main weapon in the soldier’s arsenal.

Paul defines the sword of the Spirit as the “word of God” (Eph 6:17). This isn’t the only place where God’s Word (the Bible) is described as a sword. The author of Hebrews also makes reference to it:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account . . .  (Heb 4:12-13).

The Word of God is even sharper than the gladius! It is capable of slicing to the deepest levels of one’s heart, attitudes, and motives.  It is a tool of discernment in the hands of a skilled user, as well.

The Armor of Light, Part 1

The Armor of Light, Part 1

The armor of light (Rom 13:12) and the whole armor of God (Eph 6:11) are synonymous terms.  The armor enables us to cast off the works of darkness and to stand securely (endure) by faith in the Gospel of Peace.

Why do we need armor?  Because we’re engaged in a daily battle with evil.  We need to stand firm and to resist the attacks of the devil. 

This is a battle that requires our dedication and steadfastness.  It requires us to sacrifice our own desires and goals.  We are soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ, and we were drafted into this army upon our salvation.

All of the armor is defensive except the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.  The sword is the one offensive weapon to use against the enemy.  With it we can be victorious over his attacks.

All of the other armor is intended to aid us in our Christian life and walk.  According to the Scripture verses shown in these notes, the armor of light includes:

  1. Belt of Truth
  2. Breastplate of righteousness; breastplate of faith and love (Isa 59:17; Eph 6:14; 1 Thes 5:8)
  3. Helmet of salvation (the hope of salvation)
  4. Shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace
  5. Shield of Faith
  6. Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God

Two possible additions might be suitable—although not often named as part of the whole armor of God:

  • A cloak of zeal (Isa 59:17)
    This cloak represents our enthusiasm and passion for the battle.  It’s fitting for us to feel a keenness and fervor to bring glory and honor to our God.
  • Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Eph 6:18)
    As we know, the Bible reminds us that man ought always to pray and not to faint.  (Lk 18:1)  Prayer is a significant tool in our arsenal that we must wield with skill and wisdom.

For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
  (Isa 59:17)

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—  (Eph 6:14-18)

Watch for the next article which discusses how to employ the Armor of Light.

How Should I Pray for a Miracle?

How Should I Pray for a Miracle?

When faced with great need, either for ourselves or for others, we should begin by humbly seeking to know God’s will in the matter.  Jesus listened to the voice of His Father, and He watched Him. 

We serve the God of signs, wonders, and miracles.  (Heb 2:4)  Jesus demonstrated many miracles, signs, and wonders while He was on earth.  He is our example.    

This is an area where imitating Him will not only bring Him pleasure, but it will bless all those who receive answers to prayer, signs, wonders, and miracles!  And Jesus will receive all of the glory and honor for the miracles in which we are instrumental.  Praise God!

Ask the Lord to reveal His will to you, and then base your prayer upon the answer.  Praying for a miracle is welcoming a gift of the Holy Spirit to manifest.  When His will is to work a miracle, He’ll witness that to your heart.  Then you can ask Him to perform the miracle that you know He wants to bring about.

It’s often crucial to exercise a key to the miraculousthe spoken word.  God has given us authority over disease, demons, sickness, storms, and finances.  (Matt 10:1; Lk 10:19) 

He calls us to use His authority by using divinely empowered speech.  We may declare that authority in Jesus’ name:  we may command needed funds to come to us; command a storm to be stilled; command a demon to come out; command an affliction to leave; and command a sickness to depart. 

Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we must believe in our hearts that it has already happened!  With the anointing of faith that God gives you, speak it out.  But remember that miracles come by faith in God’s present power, not by a ritual or a formula of human works or willpower.  God is the miracle worker.  Never lose sight of that!

Our faith in God is based upon the Word of God.  (Josh 21:45; Jer 1:12; Rom 10:17)  The Bible states that:

  • God’s Word stands forever (Isa 40:8);
  • That His Words do not pass away (Mat 24:35); and
  • That His Word is alive and powerful—and able to discern thoughts and motives of the heart.  (Heb 4:12)
  • That faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  (Rom 10:17)

Test the Bible for yourself. Ask God to speak to you through his Word. Encounter the Bible on your own. You can’t inherit somebody else’s experience. You’ve got to have an authentic experience for yourself. 

Romans 1:16 reminds us that the GOSPEL (or the preaching of it) is the power of God unto salvation!  And Acts 14:3 announces that God worked with the apostles by bearing witness to the gospel by performing signs and wonders.  The Good News (gospel) and signs, wonders, and miracles have always been a dynamic combination in furthering the goals of the Kingdom. 

Study God’s Word and familiarize yourself with it as deeply as you can.  The more that you know the Word, the more that your faith will grow—especially, faith for miracles and wonders.  Launch out into the deep and believe God for miracles today!