Preaching by Mike
OOPS! I won't be doing that again!
I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old, it was a Saturday, and my older brother and I were bored. We had a basketball, but the goal was wasted. We had a baseball bat, but the ball had disappeared into the neighbor's yard long ago. So, my brother came up with a brilliant idea!
Within the confines of the driveway, he was going to pitch the basketball and I was going to hit it with the bat. He pitched the basketball, but it was high and tight. Obviously out of the strike zone. It was just the two of us, so I would have been the one chasing it down the driveway. I elected to hit it. I had visions of watching that basketball sailing over the garage.
With a mighty swing from over my head, I had a good, square hit in the middle of the ball. Did it go over the garage? No. It dropped to the ground unconsequentially in front of me. The bat had a different, unexpected result. It bounced immediately back from where it came...right in the middle of my forehead. My fall in the middle if the driveway was of much more consequence. I think it knocked me out for a few moments. This was about 1960, there were no ER visits for such matters in those days.
I recovered from that incident, yet it was years before I received the profound truth that was to be learned in that incident. What did we do wrong? WE MIXED THE RULES!
Millions of Christians need to learn that valuable lesson I was taught in the middle of our driveway. Many Christians will bragadociously tell me that they obey the WHOLE Bible. First of all, they are lying to me. Jesus Christ is the only One Who ever obeyed the whole Old Testament. Secondly, it was written to Israel, and its primary application is to Israel and those living under their rule. Can we learn about God in the Old Testament? Indeed we can! Is the Christian obligated to obey the Mosaic Law? No we are not!
The Old Testament and the New Testament are two separate rules of life. One for the Jews, one for the Christian. If you mix the rules, picking out what you like in the Old Testament, you will figuratively get laid out in your own spiritual driveway.
The Law was written to be obeyed in the flesh. The New Testament is instructional, to be followed in the Spirit. That is why God has endowed us with the Holy Spirit, that we may serve Him by HIS power and not by the power of the flesh. The Apostle Paul is clear in Romans 8:8 that you CANNOT please God in the flesh.
So, why would you choose to mix the rules? He has lifted the burden from us, and it is HE Who is carrying it. We just surrender to His will and good pleasure.
To God be all Glory, Honor, and Praise...never our own.
Have a Blessed day!
What do brightly colored eggs and bunny rabbits have to do with Easter?
What do they have to do with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Consider what you are celebrating this year. Is it the fertility god, or is it our Risen King?
In fact, I celebrate His birth and resurrection on the same day!
Have a Blessed day in the Lord!
~ Brother Mike
"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."
This verse is clear that our eternal salvation is based upon the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary's Cross. However, there appears to be a contradiction within this very verse as it states, "we shall be saved by His LIFE."
The answer: There is no contradiction. The problem we encounter is our interpretation of the word "saved." Many always see "saved" as it regards our "ticket to Heaven" when in reality that is not always the case. Saved means "deliverance." We should experience God's deliverance in our daily lives, not just at the end of our earthly lives.
When we examine the life that Jesus lived, there are enormous lessons for us to follow! He has shown us the HOW TO of our Spiritual lives. Although Jesus Christ is most assuredly Emmanuel, God With Us, He NEVER relied upon His own deity to do any of the marvelous things He did.
At His baptism into His ministry by John the Baptist(er), the Holy Spirit descended and entered into the Person of Jesus Christ, thereby empowering Him to do the Perfect Will of the Father. Jesus was ALWAYS yielded to the Father.
FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE! We are Blessed with the anointing of the Holy Spirit at the point of our eternal salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. From there we are to be YIELDED to the Father that He might do HIS good will and pleasure THROUGH the indwelling Holy Spirit who resides in ALL believers.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is there within you. The question then is, will you be YIELDED to the Father or not? It is entirely up to you...just as it was entirely up to Jesus.
Do you want to be saved by the life of Jesus? Then yield to the Father and the indwelling Holy Spirit. For it is there that the believer truly demonstrates Honor and Glory to God, as He is actually the One Who performs it.
To God be ALL Honor, Glory, and Praise!
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Wow Jesus, that's a pretty tall order. Are you perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect? I sure hope so! Huh? You say you can't do that? Of course you can't...as YOU understand the word "perfect". You are not understanding the word.
Let me explain. The word that is translated "perfect" is the word τέλειοι (teleioi). It has the same meaning as the way I use the word perfect in the printing business. I run a press that is capable of printing BOTH sides of an envelope on a single pass through the press. So when a blank envelope passes through the press, when it comes out the other side it is COMPLETE. τέλειοι would more accurately be translated "complete" in modern vernacular.
Our Heavenly Father is absolutely righteous and this righteousness was imputed to you when you trusted in Jesus as your only Savior. Our Heavenly Father is God-powered. You were given the empowerment of the Holy Spirit at that same point of Salvation. You are now EQUIPPED to live the Christian way of life.
When we are yielded to Him, He works THROUGH the indwelling Holy Spirit to do HIS good will and pleasure...thus enabling us to bring Honor and Glory to God. Through this same Holy Spirit, He leads us, communes with us, and teaches us.
GOD is the One Who does this for us! Through Jesus Christ, He has enabled us to live a glorifying life for Him.
Ready to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect? Here's where you start:
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
THE ROMAN ROAD...
I had the honor and privilege to preach at my home Church yesterday. There wasn't a great amount of advance notice, so I preached out of the Book of Romans, one of the Apostle Paul's epistles with which I am very familiar.
The Lord gave me an illustration which I believe helps the Saints come to a better understanding of Romans. First of all as a rule, we refer to it as the Roman Road to Salvation. Personally, I believe we use the wrong preposition. It should be the Roman Road OF Salvation.
Here is the illustration: Have you ever been a party to or witnessed the Christmas morning tradition of opening the gifts? I believe most of us have. However, on occasion someone will say, "Open this one first!" Why would they do that? One good reason is the fact that every other gift is RELATED to the first one.
The reason the Apostle covers the Gospel of Jesus in so many ways is for the fact that all the other gifts are related to that marvelous first gift. If we attempt to open the others before the first one, they will not be completely understood and therefore we would be unable to fully comprehend their value.
It's Christmastime. Be sure you have opened the First Gift first.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!!