That You Might Have Life

That You Might Have Life

Jesus Christ is not a created being. He is the creator:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ:

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Man is morally depraved and incapable of pleasing God through works:

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Man is spiritually dead and separated from God by sin: 

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

All men are born in sin and born spiritually blind and enemies of God:

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Man is destined to stand before God and to receive judgement for sins:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Hell was NOT created for man, but for the angels who sinned:

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

When you die in your sin there is only one judgement:

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Satan desires to lead all men into the same punishment that he is destined for:

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Only the blood of Christ can restore the broken relationship between man and God:

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Salvation cannot be earned, but you must accept it to receive it:

Ephesians 2:8 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.

When you have Jesus you have an advocate to plead your case before the Lord:

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

Once you accept Christ the process of repentance begins and it is the Holy Spirit who begins it within you and it is He who shall finish it:

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

God has predestined us, but this does not mean that we have no free will.

What predestination means is that God has had a plan for us all since before time began. It is His will that we should walk in that perfect plan for our lives, but because of our own will we do stray from God's will.

God's predestined path for us is not something that we are forced to follow and so it does not mean that everything we do (good and bad) was God's predestined will for us. His will for us is for us to be completely obedient to Him and for us to walk in His perfect will, but we do not.

Because of the blood of Christ God does not judge us according to our deeds when we stray from His will. He judges us according to the justification of Jesus Christ if we be found in Christ.

If we are in Christ, then there is no more condemnation:

Romans 8:29 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.
Romans 8:30 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.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
There is no more condemnation - this is true.

It is true IF you walk according to the spirit and to do that there must be repentance, which is to say a walking away from one's former life.

There are two kinds of hearts. 

Those who repent:

Acts 2: 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

And those that are too proud to repent:

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

It is important now to answer the question of "repent from what?"

In these two cases above Peter and then Steven are addressing fellow Jews. They are imploring Jews to repent of their unbelief in Christ. Notice Peter's answer to those who asked "what must we do to be saved?" Peter answers "repent and be baptized." He did not tell them believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - why? Because that is implicit in what he is telling them to repent - their unbelief.

Do you have an Acts 2 heart or do you have an Acts 5 heart?

The mystery of salvation and the need for it is deeper than the deepest mysteries of the universe.

Those who mock are truly foolish. Rather than trying to make sense of salvation, just accept Christ by faith. Humble yourself before Him and admit your weakness and utter wretchedness before the Holy God. Ask Him to forgive you and begin your new life following Jesus. 

It is God's desire to reconcile all of us unto Himself. I cannot explain why God has designed salvation the way He has any more than I can explain how He constructed time and space. Consider that.

Modern man has been made proud by the deceitfulness of sin.

Modern man thinks himself a god, when he is in fact fragile and his life fleeting.

You shall stand before the almighty God one day and give an account for yourself.

You will have no defense once you have rejected Jesus Christ. 

Those of us who have accepted Christ begin to fall back into sin when we get away from God, go off on our own path and stop studying God's word. We also begin to doubt the truth of God and we doubt our salvation. We stop talking with God. As we fall further away from God we fall further into sin. We are told to help each other stay on the path that Jesus has set for us:
Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Before you go too far, think back to the time when you first received Christ. Once again, right then, at that very moment you need to stop and get down on your knees and ask God to forgive you. Whatever it is that you have been doing that has led you astray. Humble yourself immediately. I know it may be difficult. I know that pride creeps in and unbelief rises up. But it is important to maintain a spirit of humility and sorrow for our sin.

It is not possible to walk in sin and walk with Christ. If you are in Christ and you continue in sin you will find this leads to a terrible guilt and shame. This is the spirit once dead that is now alive warring with your flesh. It leads you to repent of the sin, but if you continue to allow yourself to fall back into sin you will become callous to it and it will lose its "sinfulness" to you. Eventually, if not brought under subjection, this sin will cause your faith to be lost.

Sin separates you from God. It is you leaving God not him leaving you. The more you walk in sin the farther you are from God. The farther you are from God the less you can hear his voice and direction for your life. You also fall outside of his protection and become increasingly vulnerable to satanic attack. The voice of God will be replaced by the voice of Satan if you fail to bring your sin under subjection and live a holy life.

If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. So we will always have struggles with sin as long as we are in these bodies of flesh. But we must strive to not be led astray by sin, as followed to its natural end sin in the life of a Christian can lead to apostasy.

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