Monday, May 11, 2009

The Basics of Christianity 4

The bible teaches that what separates us from God is sin. The reason we don’t know Him personally is sin. God cannot have relationship with sin and there for we need to be cleansed from our sin.
If you have not received Jesus in your heart yet, I’m sure there have been times when you have wondered, is there a God. And you want to believe there is a God, but you don’t KNOW.

This is the difference between people that have received Jesus and people who have not. Once you say yes to Jesus as your personal Savior, you will KNOW without a doubt that He is real.

Sometimes we as Christians are trying to convince the world by historical evidence etc. I think no matter how much proof we present, if a person doesn’t receive Jesus in faith it’s all futile. It’s a matter of faith and that’s the way God has made it. You can only come to Him by faith and faith alone.
In Romans it talks about how the righteous shall live by faith. Romans 9:9-10 says:

..” if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

And in verse 13:

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Jesus says in John 3:3:

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

And in verse 5-8:

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

All believers that are born again are one in Jesus. The bible says that we are one body and that Jesus is the head.

There is also the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I wish that all believers would embrace that. The disciples received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They needed that to be bold followers of Jesus Christ and they were instantly transformed. I don’t understand why not all Christians realize that we also need the power of the Holy Spirit today and maybe even more today than ever.
The sad thing is that a lot of believers think they already have it when they don’t, and I think that is a great deception in the body of Christ. We need everything that the bible talks about.
We need the spiritual gifts, which is NOT hospitality like some try to make it.

This is what 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 tells us the spiritual gifts are:

“it’s the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing, the gift of faith, the gift of miraculous powers, the gift of distinguishing between spirits, the gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues, and the gift of the interpretation of tongues.”

These gifts are all supernatural. You can be hospitable with the help of the Holy Spirit, He is there to help us with anything God has called us to do, but the gifts of the spirit are truly something we could never produce in our own power. I would say that most churches do not operate in these gifts. Still they consider themselves a Christian Church. I’m sure that people in most places are born again, but we are not doing what God has called us to do and we are not helping this world to be delivered from the power of Satan. We give the world a picture of a social club when we should be a power station and refuge for a world in dire need.

I hear Christians say when it comes to the issue of speaking in tongues that the bible says that it should be done in order etc. Well, that was said to people who were speaking in tongues already and (obviously so much they needed to be admonished), not to people who don’t want to have anything to do with the spiritual gifts altogether. The bible never says not to speak in tongues.

Paul says in Corinthians 14:5: “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues” and in
verse 39:
“Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.”

A large part of Christianity think that they can just skip these chapters in the book of Corinthians about the spiritual gifts and just create their own version of Christian faith.

I also believe that we just as the disciples in their day need all the five ministry gifts. Ephesians 4:11-13 talks about this:

“It was he, (Christ), who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

If the Bible says we need this to fulfill our calling as believers, why do so many churches think we can manage without this? And why do they think we no longer need apostles?

An Apostle lays a spiritual foundation for the house of God. It can be a new church being started out in the mission field or anywhere. Wherever God is starting up something new, there needs to be a foundation in the spirit. The teaching of an apostle has a whole different depth and is much more profound than the teaching of a teacher. The teacher gift goes into detail but the teaching of the apostle creates something in the spirit that keeps on working for a long, long time.

We desperately need the fullness of Christ, we need the full gospel. We can’t just pick and choose what we think is acceptable. We have to be willing to be fools for Christ. The gospel is foolishness in the world’s eyes.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

“Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.”
1 Corinthians 3:18

If you have not yet received Jesus Christ as your personal savior pray right now:

- “Jesus I come to you now. I receive you in my heart. I believe that you died on the Cross for me. I believe that you rose on the third day. Forgive me for all of my sin, cleanse me with your blood. Thank you Jesus that I now belong to you, that I am now a child of God, and thank you that I am now born again. I want to follow you for the rest of my life. Amen.”

If you have not yet received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I will show what the bible teaches about that and how to receive it in my next post. God bless you!

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