Only What Is Done **FOR** Christ Will Last???

I have heard and seen this saying many times.

Only What Is Done For Christ Will Last

It struck me today how Wrong and therefore Deadly this saying is. It sounds good, and is close to truth, but it is a trap. These people were doing things FOR Christ:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”
Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

This is a true saying.

Only What Is Done WITH Christ Will Last

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 ESV

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
Mark 16:19-20 ESV

Are you working FOR Christ or WITH Christ?

John 15_5 IMG_4781 Abide Bear Much Fruit Apart Nothing

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

“It Is Finished.”

When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit.
John 19:30 BSB

I remember that as a child growing up in church, “It is finished” did not seem to make much sense. According to the Apostles’ Creed we said every Sunday, Jesus went to hell, then rose again. It seemed to me that instead of “It is finished” that things were just getting started for Jesus.

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.

Amen.

But from God’s point of view it was Finished! Jesus’ sacrifice as the Lamb of God was complete. The separation between God and man was now gone forever!

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
Matthew 27:50-51 ESV

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Mark 15:37-38 ESV

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
Luke 23:44-46 ESV

Thank you Jesus, for dying in my place, so that by believing in You I have eternal life!

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

The Truth

Father God wanted to have children He could love and have fellowship with, so He created the heavens and the earth and put man on the earth. But man sinned and death entered the world, and man was separated from God. God Himself solved the sin and separation problem by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. Everyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life. Everyone who does not believe does not have eternal life.

Jesus is coming again very, very soon.

Eternal life or eternal death is your choice. Choose life!

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

The Battle in the Mind

The importance of thoughts, the mind, is impressing itself on me in my recent Bible study.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:5-8 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 ESV

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:11-13 ESV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

Is a Clean Conscience Earned, or a Gift?

The Bible has a lot to say about living a sin-free life after one gets saved. Here are two passages.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14 ESV

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
2 Timothy 2:19 ESV

I am not as sin-free as I want to be, and think I should be, and my conscience has been bothering me. On one hand, it is good to be aware of my sin because it proves I am not deceiving myself.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8 ESV

On the other hand, I feel I could do better with these passages.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Galatians 5:16-17 ESV

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 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. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:12-15 ESV

Therefore for about three weeks I have set aside my usual Bible reading plan of Proverbs / Psalms / Old Testament / New Testament and have been studying the New Testament, mostly the book of Acts and Paul’s letters. I haven’t “arrived” yet, but I have learned much. Paul said he served God with a clear conscience.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
2 Timothy 1:3 ESV

Yet in Romans 7 and Romans 8 he had this to say about sin.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 7:15-25, 8:1-4 ESV

The mind is the battlefield.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:5-8 ESV

Therefore I made a prayer to protect my mind. See this post for the scripture references: My Helmet of Salvation

Father in heaven,

I believe Jesus is your Son, that He died for my sins, that He was buried, and that he was raised on the third day. Therefore I am redeemed by His blood, and I have peace with God. I am delivered from this present evil age. I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and have been transferred into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus blood, You have made me holy, blameless, and above reproach. Jesus is my peace! I give you thanks, glory and praise!

Because of what Jesus did for me, I pray I will be accounted worthy to escape the things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

If my heart condemns me, He is greater.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
1 John 3:19-20 ESV

Apart from Him I can do nothing. Zero. Zilch. Naught.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 ESV

If I confess my sins, He does the rest.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 ESV

A clean conscience is yet another undeserved Gift!

For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Hebrews 9:13-14 ESV

I will close with some poetry from Revelation. 🙂

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 4:8,11 ESV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

Last Days Self-Test

I slowly and thoughtfully read through this passage recently. I discovered several ways in which I need to improve.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

I made this table of the passage for my benefit. Feel free to use it for yours. 🙂

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be: 
lovers of self
lovers of money
proud
arrogant
abusive
disobedient to their parents
ungrateful
unholy
heartless
unappeasable
slanderous
without self-control
brutal
not loving good
treacherous
reckless
swollen with conceit
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power
Avoid such people

Thank you Father, that you are at work in me.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

Ephesians 3_20-21 IMG_2247 Him Who Is Able Far More Abundantly

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.