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Old 04-10-2010, 09:05 PM
 
162 posts, read 187,546 times
Reputation: 27

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Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:23-25)

The most important test one can undertake is to examine themselves in light of Scripture. Consider the Bible a mirror and search to see if your life is a reflection of the Word of God. After seeing Jesus, His love, His teachings, His commandments, His sufferings and further the exhortations by John, Peter, Paul, and James, does your life reflect that love, obedience, servanthood, stewardship, fruit of the Spirit, sufferings for His sake, and proper response in holiness and righteousness to these exhortations? Or does your life reflect disobedience, pride, anger, hatred, lusts of the flesh, and unrighteousness?

Jesus said in John 14, 15"If you love Me, you will obey what I command...If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

And 1 John 3:16 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."

Have you laid down your life for Jesus? Have you submitted in total surrender to Him? Do you still hold on to your own will, or does He have all the control?

The following is a passage for honest consideration to examine whether you are in the faith. If you find the virtuous things lacking in your life, yet the things of the earth evident instead, get on your knees and take it to the foot of the cross. If you find you have never known Him, He may not know you, so settle that today by committing your life to Christ. If you are unsure, surrender everything to Him so you may receive assurance and turn to diligence in seeking after Him in His sovereign and perfect Word.You cannot know Him if you do not seek Him. You cannot seek Him if do not know where to find Him. You cannot find Him if you don't open your Bible and pray.

Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

If you want God with all of your heart, mind, and soul, if you are ready to die to yourself and be raised with Christ, if you are tired of the same old life that gives you no genuine hope, peace, joy, or love, and you are ready to receive the Peace that passes all understanding, the Hope that gives life, the Joy that brings true happiness, and the Love that mends all things, then commit your life to Christ today by a prayer similar to below. Jesus Christ loves you, enough to die for you. He paid a debt He did not owe, because you have a debt you cannot pay. If you believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die for your sins, that God raised Him from the dead, and that He is Lord, confess these things to Him, and He will give you eternal life as He promised:

"Dear God, I know that I am a sinner in desperate need of You. I have doubts about my salvation, and I'm ready to obtain assurance today. I know that my sin has separated me from You, and the only way to mend this gap is by believing in Your Son, and confessing Him Lord of my life. Right now, Father, I surrender my life to you. These sins that have a hold on me, I hand them over to you. I ask that you take these sins (list ALL the sins you are struggling with) and help me overcome. I know the temptation will remain, but through You I am more than a conqueror. I die to myself, Lord Jesus, and turn away from the life I am living. I am picking up my cross and I am following You. I have been in control of my life for far too long, and now I give You control completely. It is no longer my will for my life, but Your will for my life, and Your will alone. I pray that by Your Spirit, you sanctify me, making me holy, Lord. I commit myself to You, and I know that it is by Your grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone that I am saved. Thank you Jesus for Your sacrifice, thank you for shedding Your blood on the cross to pay for my sins, and thank you for making me a new creation. I receive this gift of eternal life, and I thank you, Jesus! In Your most precious name that is above all names I ask these things, amen."
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:47 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
25,333 posts, read 18,770,213 times
Reputation: 10944
Quote:
Originally Posted by airō View Post
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:23-25)

The most important test one can undertake is to examine themselves in light of Scripture. Consider the Bible a mirror and search to see if your life is a reflection of the Word of God. After seeing Jesus, His love, His teachings, His commandments, His sufferings and further the exhortations by John, Peter, Paul, and James, does your life reflect that love, obedience, servanthood, stewardship, fruit of the Spirit, sufferings for His sake, and proper response in holiness and righteousness to these exhortations? Or does your life reflect disobedience, pride, anger, hatred, lusts of the flesh, and unrighteousness?

Jesus said in John 14, 15"If you love Me, you will obey what I command...If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

And 1 John 3:16 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."

Have you laid down your life for Jesus? Have you submitted in total surrender to Him? Do you still hold on to your own will, or does He have all the control?

The following is a passage for honest consideration to examine whether you are in the faith. If you find the virtuous things lacking in your life, yet the things of the earth evident instead, get on your knees and take it to the foot of the cross. If you find you have never known Him, He may not know you, so settle that today by committing your life to Christ. If you are unsure, surrender everything to Him so you may receive assurance and turn to diligence in seeking after Him in His sovereign and perfect Word.You cannot know Him if you do not seek Him. You cannot seek Him if do not know where to find Him. You cannot find Him if you don't open your Bible and pray.

Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

If you want God with all of your heart, mind, and soul, if you are ready to die to yourself and be raised with Christ, if you are tired of the same old life that gives you no genuine hope, peace, joy, or love, and you are ready to receive the Peace that passes all understanding, the Hope that gives life, the Joy that brings true happiness, and the Love that mends all things, then commit your life to Christ today by a prayer similar to below. Jesus Christ loves you, enough to die for you. He paid a debt He did not owe, because you have a debt you cannot pay. If you believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die for your sins, that God raised Him from the dead, and that He is Lord, confess these things to Him, and He will give you eternal life as He promised:

"Dear God, I know that I am a sinner in desperate need of You. I have doubts about my salvation, and I'm ready to obtain assurance today. I know that my sin has separated me from You, and the only way to mend this gap is by believing in Your Son, and confessing Him Lord of my life. Right now, Father, I surrender my life to you. These sins that have a hold on me, I hand them over to you. I ask that you take these sins (list ALL the sins you are struggling with) and help me overcome. I know the temptation will remain, but through You I am more than a conqueror. I die to myself, Lord Jesus, and turn away from the life I am living. I am picking up my cross and I am following You. I have been in control of my life for far too long, and now I give You control completely. It is no longer my will for my life, but Your will for my life, and Your will alone. I pray that by Your Spirit, you sanctify me, making me holy, Lord. I commit myself to You, and I know that it is by Your grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone that I am saved. Thank you Jesus for Your sacrifice, thank you for shedding Your blood on the cross to pay for my sins, and thank you for making me a new creation. I receive this gift of eternal life, and I thank you, Jesus! In Your most precious name that is above all names I ask these things, amen."
What people must understand is that there is a difference between salvation and what is required for salvation, and the spiritual life AFTER salvation and what is required for progress in that spiritual life.

The issue in salvation must be clearly understood by the one who is hearing the Gospel message.

Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. There is no merit in faith. The merit is in the object of faith which is Jesus Christ. Lordship salvation is a heresy and is works. The only requirement for eternal salvation is to believe in Christ. The new believer knows hardly anything about Jesus Christ beyond what is revealed in the Gospel message. He doesn't know enough to be able to pick up his cross and follow Jesus. And he doesn't make Christ Lord. Jesus Christ IS Lord whether the new believer realizes it or not. 'Picking up your cross' is a function of someone who has already believed in Christ for salvation. It is NOT a requirement FOR salvation.

Once the unbeliever has heard and understood the Gospel message which is that Jesus Christ who is God, took upon Himself the likeness of man and came into the world so that He could go to the Cross and bear our sins as our substitute, He then died and three days later rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father--- understanding this then, Salvation is simply a matter of 'Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.' Acts 16:31. [Note that Jesus is Lord.] Simply, in your own words, your own vocabulary, express your desire to God the Father that you want to have an eternal relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and are receiving the offer of salvation through faith in Christ. In that moment of time you eternally saved and eternally secure.

This is not a matter of being nit-picky. It is the difference between grace and legalism. Anything added to faith for the purpose of eternal salvation is works and results in not being saved. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. You either place your trust in Christ for salvation or you place your trust in your works for salvation. Do the latter and you have an appointment with the lake of fire as per Revelation 20:11-15.

Now, after salvation, God expects you as a believer to grow up spiritually. Picking up your cross and following Christ comes AFTER salvation and is the result of continued decisions to place the word of God first in your scale of priorities. Picking up your cross as a believer is the difference between being a disciple of Christ or simply a believer in Christ. Both are eternally saved, but only the disciple will earn the rewards, decorations, priviledges, and the highest blessings of eternity which serve the purpose of glorifying God.

Becoming a disciple of Christ demands this...

'Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' 2 Timothy 2:15

so that you may...

''...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...'' 2 Peter 3:18
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:27 PM
 
162 posts, read 187,546 times
Reputation: 27
Brother,

This note is targeted to the one unsure of their salvation. The Bible is clear what the results of genuine conversion are. There is no such thing as a fruitless Christian and you won't find one in Scripture. Indeed, salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone by the grace of God alone, but such faith will ALWAYS lead to fruit, whether 30, 60, or 100 fold.

A simple prayer does not mean salvation if there was no regeneration. Even the demons believe. It is more than an intellectual knowledge of Jesus that one is saved. The faith that saves results in the change of heart in the individual that will go on to sanctification.

Again, there is no such thing as a fruitless Christian. This note is a call to examination just as the Apostle Paul calls us to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith.
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