Crucify the Earthly Nature

Crucify the Earthly Nature

Today’s topic is the earthly nature of man with its passions and desires.  The Bible urges us to put to death the deeds of the body.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  (Col 3:5 NIV)

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  (Rom 8:13)

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (Gal 5:24)

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and temporary residents in the world, to abstain from the desires of the sinful flesh, which war against your soul.  (1 Pet 2:11 EHV)

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  (1 Cor 6:18)

Why do you think the Scriptures urge us in so many passages of the Bible to:

  • Put to death the earthly nature;
  • Put to the death the deeds of the body;
  • Crucify the flesh;
  • Abstain from desires of the sinful flesh; and to
  • Flee sexual immortality?

1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Peter 2 state very clearly the reasons why we should obey the Bible:

  • Because the desires of the flesh war against our own souls; and
  • The one who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

When we allow the lusts of the flesh to govern our actions, then we sin against our very own bodies.  How?  Because our bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (1 Cor 6:19-20)  This type of sin is an offense to our temple and the Holy Guest living within it.   

We belong to God, and our individual bodies belong to God.  We have chosen to follow Jesus of our own, free will; it hasn’t been forced upon us. 

The Lord has sealed each believer and given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  (2 Cor 1:22)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  (Eph 4:30)

We are urged by the Word of God to live a righteous and holy life by the empowering grace of God.  (See Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 1:15-16)  Since the Lord has given us His gift of grace, we are enabled to live obedient, holy lives.  He has given us victory through Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57)  Let us celebrate God’s goodness and mercy!

We are called, as followers of Jesus Christ and children of God to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits.  God bless you!

How Can We Overcome?

How Can We Overcome?

How can a human being overcome in the manner discussed in the Bible?

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  (Rev 3:21)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (1 Joh 5:4-5)

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.  (Rev 12:11 NIV)

Overcome means to conquer, defeat, triumph over, or annihilate.  They triumphed over the enemy of our souls, satan. 

I believe the key verses that tell us how to overcome are shown above:  1 John 5:4-5 and Revelation 12:11.

  • Our faith in God, which is a gift from God, is one of our weapons designed to carry us to victory.  Our faith in Christ as our Savior, who is the Son of God according to the Word, is a stabilizing factor throughout life.  Hold onto this truth and never let it go.
  • Acknowledging that the blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus) cleanses us from all sin is another tool of victory bestowed upon us by the gift of salvation.  Remain mindful of this truth, and thank and praise God for it.  It has purchased our righteousness.
  • The ‘word of our testimony’ is also mentioned as part of our armament against the enemy that will sustain us and transport us to victory.  A testimony is a declaration—even evidence—of our life experiences.  As we daily state and affirm (1) who we are in Christ Jesus; (b) what we have through Christ; and (c) all of the blessings that we have received through salvation, we deepen and strengthen our roots of faith.  As we maintain this continuous testimony, we firmly plant ourselves (our roots) in the realm of victory.

According to Romans 8:37, the Lord has made us MORE than conquerors (winners, victors, overcomers).  All overcomers will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord Jesus.  Glory to God!

God Stands By Us

God Stands By Us

Our amazing God stands by His people at all times, and in all circumstances. He actually fights for us.  The Bible confirms this truth.

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.  (Deu 3:22)

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.  (Deu 20:4)

Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us. (Ps 44:5)

One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.  (Josh 23:10)

God loves us and He defends us in order to give us the victory.  Jesus is our Overcomer.  (Joh 16:33b)  God has made each and every one of us overcomers because we are people of faith who serve a God who asks us to put our faith in Jesus Christ.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (1 Joh 5:4-5, emphasis added)

God has promised that all who put their faith in Jesus Christ (which qualifies us as born-of-God) are overcomers.  Hallelujah!

God never stops fighting for us because He is almighty and eternal.  He is not limited by time; He is not limited by human constraints; and He never lacks for anything.  He calls us His chosen and special ones.  (Deu 7:6; 14:2)

His Word is His promise to us, and He is eternally faithful to His Word; He keeps His Word.  When our faith is weak, He is by our side, imparting His strength and grace to us.  All we need to do is to open our hearts to Him and allow His strength and empowerment to flow into us.

The Lord said that He will never leave us, never forsake us. (Neh 9:31; Heb 13:5b, italics added) 

If you’re in a battle of any kind whether faith, finances, relationships or health, put your trust and hope in Jesus Christ.  He is with you always—waiting for you to turn toward Him.  God bless you.

A Shield Called Faith

A Shield Called Faith

. . . above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  (Eph 6:16, emphasis added)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  (1 Joh 5:4, emphasis added)

We see that the Bible mentions a “shield of faith” in Ephesians chapter six.  This is quite an important concept, when you think and meditate upon it.  Shields were used to in ancient times to block attacks from hand-held weapons like swords as well as from projectile weapons such as arrows. 

The shield can also symbolize steadfast principles, commitment, loyalty and protection, which are afforded to us by taking up the spiritual “Shield of Faith” in Christ Jesus, our Savior.  This spiritual shield protects our hearts and minds from the attacks of the enemy which are designed to rob us of peace and joy.  Our spiritual shield also enables us to persevere in times of trials and crisis.

Cling to your confession of faith, brothers and sisters!  Heed Romans 10:8-9:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Being Kept in “Perfect Peace”

Being Kept in “Perfect Peace”

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  (Isa 26:3)  Our inner peace is supported by and dependent upon our complete trust in and focus upon God Himself.

But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  (Lk 10:5)  We can share the glorious peace that resides in each one of us with others!  How wonderful!

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  (Joh 14:27)  Jesus is speaking in this passage, and it says that He gives each one of us His own peace.  What a precious gift!

Jesus was so filled with peace that he was able to SLEEP in a small boat in the midst of the sea during a fierce storm!  (Mk 4:35-39)  Jesus commanded the sea to be still, and it obeyed Him.  Jesus literally spoke the peace that was within Him into the sea.

What does it mean to be kept in “perfect peace” as mentioned in Isaiah 26, above?

This is referring to a peace that is not dependent upon our circumstances at all.  Rather, it is entirely and completely reliant upon knowing—with complete assurance—that God loves us wholeheartedly; and that He is with each one of us ALWAYS.

Bear Grylls writes in his autobiography, ‘Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak.’  Bear is a former member of the UK Special Forces, and his TV adventure series Man vs. Wild has reached an estimated 1.2 billion viewers in over 180 countries.

God’s presence in our lives should be a constant reassurance to us.  The knowledge of His unfailing love and His plan to bless each of us at all times is designed (by our Creator) to fill us with peace.  This peace is a deep, abiding sense of tranquility and calm within us.

As we rest in the loving arms of Jesus, having the certainty of His goodness and His good plans for us, we are made strong and powerful.  Knowing that the Lord has already purchased our victory, we are inspired to live our lives of faith courageously.  Be bold in the Lord for you are blessed!

The Lord Opens A Pathway for Us

The Lord Opens A Pathway for Us

I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”  16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters . . .  (Isa 43:15-16)

Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  (Isa 43:19)

The Lord makes pathways for us even in the most treacherous of circumstances . . . when it seems impossible to find a way through a jungle, a wasteland, or a forest—He will always clear a path for us.  Glory to God!

The Lord Jesus knows the end from the beginning.  Nothing intimidates Him nor surprises Him.  He can move mountains, create fountains of pure water, and conquer any giant to catapult us to the victory for which Christ has paid.  When we come to the end of ourselves—the end of our resources, ideas, or abilities, turn to Jesus and put your faith, hope, and trust in Him.

All of the paths of the Lord are paths of righteousness (Ps 23:3); and paths of mercy and truth (Ps 25:10).  The Lord will direct our paths.  (Pro 3:6) 

As we follow the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in His footsteps, we walk in wisdom.  Wisdom’s ways are pleasant and her pathways are full of peace.  (Pro 3:17)  Blessings upon you!

Be an Encourager

Be an Encourager

That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing. (1 Thes 5:11 CEV)

So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.  (Ac 15:30-32)

The Bible reminds us to encourage one another in our faith.  That also means that we should encourage each other in every area of life, since faith touches literally everything in our lives.  The Scriptures are full of encouraging words to guide our lives and to spur us on to faith and action.  Here a just a few of those passages:

  • For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. (Deu 20:4)
  • Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Ps 34:10b)
  • But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (Mt 11:28)
  • No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
  • I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
  • And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

Take as many opportunities as you can to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to cling to the Lord and to their faith in Him.  You will be blessed and encouraged as well.

Are You an Overcomer?

Are You an Overcomer?

What does the word overcomer mean?  It is synonymous with conqueror; victor; champion; or winner. 

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.   Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (1 Joh 5:4-5)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  (Rom 8:37)

The verses above imply a battle, a war, or a competition of some kind.  But where is the battleground and over what do we fight?  The Bible teaches us that the world is the battleground.  The battle is for the souls of men, women, and children.  

On a day to day basis, overcomers are followers of Christ who hold fast to faith in Christ under all circumstances.  Whether their challenge is financial, physical, mental, or emotional, the believer trusts in God and in His Word.  He/she will find Scripture verses that address the trial that they’re facing and such verses will cause their faith to grow stronger and firmer.

God doesn’t leave us defenseless in this world.  He has given us the armor of God to equip us in battle.  (See Eph 6:11-17)  This armor is available to all believers. 

We come through trials by the power of the Holy Spirit, and by perseverance in faith. 

For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end . . .  (Heb 3:14) Steadfast means constant, stalwart, and unwavering. 

Hold on firmly and resolutely to your faith in Jesus Christ.  He will not fail you.  You ARE an overcomer! 

“I Shall Not Die”

“I Shall Not Die”

Can it ever be the “wrong” thing to say (along with Psalm 118:17), “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

First of all, how could agreeing with the Bible be wrong to do?  Some people will say, “Yes, but I knew a brother who confessed that verse but then he passed away, so it was wrong for him to confess that.”  I strongly disagree with this thinking.

Doesn’t the Bible TELL us to hide God’s word in our hearts (memorize it)?  See Deuteronomy 6:6; 11:18; 30:14; Job 22:22; Psalm 19:14. 

Furthermore, doesn’t Romans 10:8 give us specific instructions?

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . .  (Rom 10:8) When the word is in our mouths, it means that we are speaking it out loud.

This passage from the Bible specifically says that God’s word should be in our mouths and in our hearts.  “Yes,” someone might say, “but maybe NOT certain passages of the Word.” 

Again, I cannot agree.  Doesn’t the very foundation of our faith state that when we accept Christ as our personal Savior and Lord that we have received ETERNAL LIFE

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3)

. . . that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)

So for any believer, at ANY time in their lives, to declare that “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” is completely in keeping with their faith and their lifelong testimony. 

It is good to understand and to know that when we graduate into eternity, we shall most certainly be ALIVE, and we shall be “declaring the works of the Lord” forever! 

Thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, believers move from victory to victory.  So, be BOLD and CERTAIN in your faith, brothers and sisters!

From Enemy to Ally

From Enemy to Ally

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  (2 Cor 2:14 NIV)

The author of this passage (the apostle, Paul) speaks of “triumphal procession” because the Romans would routinely hold such events to demonstrate their victory over an enemy and to lead their captive enemies to their deaths.  The enemies who were not executed were sold into slavery.

In the passage above, Paul says that we are led as “captives” in Christ’s triumphal procession but that the Lord uses US to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere!  This is an image of a pleasant fragrance or perfume being released! 

How is that possible?  Because when Christ captures or subdues a person, He reigns in our lives as a benevolent and loving King.  Yes, we are in submission to our divine Captor, but it is a submission and yieldedness born out of love and willingness on our part. 

In the kingdom of King Jesus, His conquered enemies are transformed into His beloved and cherished allies—even so far as to becoming His beloved children.  He shares His blessings, kindnesses, and gifts with all of those whom He lovingly pursues and conquers!  He also shares with each one of us His eternal victory.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57 NKJV, emphasis added)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  (1 Joh 5:4)

Glory to God most High!