I thought about changing my avatar to illustrate God's way of salvation. First God who is our Creator with His infinite love gave us grace through Jesus Christ His Son and convict us through the Holy Spirit to repent of our sins and have faith in His Son. These then results in our salvation followed by good works and fruits produced in us by God and His Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Forty years ago I was reading the Bible, when I noticed in one of the pages is the heading Heaven is a free gift. It shocked me at first, what followed was six years of another searching on the Bible to see if it is true.In 1982 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I concluded that the standard is too high that heaven can only be received and not earned.
Is heaven a free gift or a reward ? I lived long enough that I even tried to earn heaven by working for it. The result is i could not make it on my own, salvation could only be received through Jesus Christ. Through faith in Him and His sacrifice on the cross.
If it is free , do I have to do anything ? The answer is after I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I became a property of Jesus, me an imperfect being came under renovation or transforming project of Jesus.This project also called sanctification takes a lifetime and I was told by a brother in Christ that we could not achieve perfection in this world.
In II Corinthians 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.
In heaven those who accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be totally new but the renewing process starts when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior ?
Daily life with Jesus is a life of faith because we do not see Him but we sense His presence in a different way. After reading the New Testament in about two weeks I decided not to read the Bible for a few days. The result was I felt something missing because I was focusing on my ways instead of depending on Him.
Walking by faith or walking in the Spirit is not natural for me , perhaps for us.Even in sharing the gospel , the tendency is to do it my way and not rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps I wrote this blog to show that God likes deeper continuous relationship more than on and off relationship. I will have to observe in days or weeks to come.
Arminians focus on man's role in salvation and Calvinists focus on God's sovereignty. Argument against Calvinists claim that they make man robots or puppets.
A thought came to me that appears to reconcile Arminians and Calvinists views. It appears that my experience as a power plant operator came handy too. Here is my thought.
Imagine salvation is like a big reservoir of water. From the reservoir is a main valve which is connected to other valves. The main valve is kept open while the other valves are free to open, close or throttle. Main valve could represent God's sovereignty while the other valves represent man's free will.God's sovereignty does not violate man's free will because man has the choice to operate man's valve. Man's choice does not violate God's sovereignty because the main valve is only operated by God.But man's valve has to be connected to God's, because without the connection man can do whatever he wants and nothing will happen. I believe this analogyallows for God's sovereignty and man's free choice.
I will encourage the readers to think about this and let me know what you think.
As time goes by and we approach the coming of the Lord, what should we be doing and thinking ? Paul in his letter to the Ephesians in chapter 6, he encouraged the believers to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and to put on the whole armor of God.
For quick recollection. Put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of truth, the sandal or shoes of peace, the belt of truth, the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit on all occassions and with all kinds of prayers and requests according to apostle Paul.
Paul concluded his letter to the Ephesians with peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Watching and listening to news nowadays tells us there is some shaking going on. The weather, politics,religion, financial matters, business etc. Some may say it is business as usual.But whatever it is we perceive or not perceive, let us think of how to proceed.
Let us be proactive or stay positive. As a Christian, I need to stay close and closer to Jesus. May I suggest to my fellow Christians to consider doing the same. For non Christians, my suggestion is for them to examine the teachings of Jesus and then decide.
With the shaking going on or starting to happen, we need to have a solid ground and Jesus Christ is the Rock, our foundation, our Refuge.
Sometimes we Christians are attracted by the world. While professing our faith in Jesus Christ we also have our eyes on what the world has to offer. We could call this best of both worlds.Is there anything wrong with that ? I am not talking about cars because in some parts of the world they are necessity and not luxury.
The Bible says we are in the world but not of the world. Also friendship with the world is enmity with God.
The more we live for God and the less we pursue worldly pleasure is a favorable approach .
Let's contemplate on this. God bless us through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I thought about this after our pastor's sermon on love. Then I asked myself did Jesus command to love like Him ? I thought no He did not, then John 13:34 came to mind which say A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
Wow, can we love like Jesus ? First let us ask how does He love ? He said in John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
After His crucifixion and resurrection, we knew that Jesus showed the greatest love. He died for us, for our sins, because of His love and obedience to God the Father given too that no one else could qualify to be the perfect sacrifice. I believe we could not attain to do that kind of love, but we could copy it the best we could to a certain extent.
Perhaps at this time it is best to meditate on Jesus and on how he loves.
Being saved is the work of God. Salvation is a free gift from God. What is being saved or salvation ? First the Bible says we all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Then the wages of sin is death ( separation from God) according to Romans 6:23. It is this death or penalty for our sin or separation from God that we need to be saved from.In Romans 5:8 But God commended (demonstrated, showed) his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God revealed his truth through His people, and His laws and through His Son and His Holy Spirit as written in the Scriptures or Holy Bible.
What must we do to be saved ? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, and your house (family). (Acts 16:30,31)
Romans 10:9,10 says That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
To the reader, I do not know if you already committed your life to Jesus Christ or if you have heard this before, but I pray that you will verify what I have shared with you and act on it.
I would like to share too that life with Jesus Christ is a lifetime commitment leading towards eternal life.
If you want to know more, please pray to God to reveal more truth to you and to lead you to His people who will help you grow as a child of God.