Archive for the ‘For Brand New Christians’ Category

Important Things to Know-Worksheet

July 8, 2013

So far, we have looked at what Christ has done for us, what Christ is doing in us, and what we can do in Christ.  Here are some vital realities about your walk with Christ that, if learned now, will save you a lifetime of misery and missed blessings.

  1. We can do _______ for Christ that He cannot do for _______!
  • He is ____-_________ and has _______ to all ________: “All authority [power] in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
  • He has at His disposal all the _________ of _________: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). 
  • God has _______ for us.  In fact, He had them planned _______ ago.  Yes, He can do them Himself, but He wants us to ______ Him in ______ ______.
  • God in Christ through His Holy Spirit __________ with us!  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)  Plans: Jeremiah ____________
  • Now that you have the Holy Spirit in ___________ in your lives, He will ______ you into all ______: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13a).
  • One of those truths is that we are to ____ to ourselves _________—every ______, if necessary—and ______ for Him: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).
  •  We cannot _________ any ______ of our lives and claim it for our _____.  It is absolutely _________ that you learn now that ______ people don’t ___ anything, they don’t ____ anything, they don’t have _________, and they don’t keep back any ________ of their lives for ____________ i.e. __________, special TV _________, “selected” areas on the _________, pet “______ of __________ (curse words),” esp. _____________!
  • No area of your life is ____-_______ to the Lord; otherwise, He isn’t ______.
  • Axiom: “If He (Jesus Christ) isn’t ______ of ____ (of your life), then He isn’t ______ at ____.”
  • Learn the material to teach, and then be taught as you teach.
  • In _________ others, we ________ the Great Commandment in Matthew 28 that tells us to go and make disciples: “Study to show yourself approved,” and “feed My sheep.”  Be a ________.
  1. We cannot _____ _______ from the ______ of Christ on our ______.
  1. The principle of the “________ __________ __________.”
  1. Be a __________ _______.
  • _____________: Gen. 14:20   Abraham gave a tenth to Melchezidek
  • Under the _____: Lev. 27:30    A tithe (tenth) of everything belongs to the Lord
  • Under ______: 2 Cor. 8:12, 9:7 According to the Holy Spirit’s prompting
  • According to _________: 1 Cor. 16:2  Everyone has something to give
  • According to _______: Rom. 12:8 Excel in the area in which God has gifted you

What You Can Do in Christ-Worksheet

July 8, 2013

So far, we have looked at what Christ has done for us and what Christ is doing in you.  Now, let’s look at what you can do in Christ.

  1. Notice I didn’t say, “____ ________.”  There is nothing we can do for Christ ______ from the ________ of ________.
  • Let Him tell you what He wants you to do: ______________
  • Ask Him to replace your _______ with His _________
  • Ask Him to _________ you to do His will: _________
  • This __________ is how you do things in Christ.
  1. __________ all you can about _____.
  • “Call to me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).”
  • Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7).” 
  • ______ with Him; _______ Him; ______ on Him.
  • “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
  • Start right now ___________ Him for _____________.  You can do it!
  1. ______ to Him ______.
  • Trust comes through __________ and __________.
  • The more _______ you spend in His presence ________ with Him and ______ Him, the more you will _______ Him with your _____.
  • Trust is a ____-_____ street.
  • “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends [surpasses] all understanding, will guard [garrison, as in an army surrounding] your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7.”
  1. Make a ______ _________ of giving your life over to Him.
  • “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20).”
  • “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23).”
  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purity us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (1 John 1:9-10).”
  • Confess: we ______ with ____ about something that He already knows.
  • “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years say what I did.  That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways (Hebrews 3:7-10).”
  • Trust Him.  The more you do, the more you will find Him _____________.
  1. Choices: The “Put off/Put on” method is one that you will love and hate.

1)      1 Cor. 13:11 _____________________________________

2)      Rom. 13:12 _____________________________________

3)      Gal. 3:27 _____________________________________

4)      Eph. 4:22-24 _____________________________________

5)      2 Cor. 5:17 _____________________________________

6)      Rom. 12:1-2 _____________________________________

7)      Eph. 6:11 _____________________________________

8)      Col. 3:5 _____________________________________

9)      Gal. 2:20 _____________________________________

10)  Col. 3:7-10 _____________________________________

Note: Gal. 3:28 and Col. 3:11 both deal with equality in the context of choice

  1. Get _____________.
  • “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day [of Christ’s return] approaching (Hebrews 10:25
  • The __________, the ___________, the _____________, and the _________ are all ultra-important to a new Christian—to any Christian!

What Christ is Doing-Worksheet

July 8, 2013

Our first session covered what Christ did for you upon your acceptance of Him.  Let’s talk about what Christ is currently doing in our lives right now.

  1. This world is our __________  ____________.  God takes circumstances and works them so that we have a ___________.  The choice is always to ________ and then _________ Him or to _________ our ________  and do things _____ ______ ______. Read Hebrews 3:7-9 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.  That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”                                                                    We must learn to trust in the _______________ of God.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)
  2. God doesn’t put us in a ____________ and then ____ ______ and _________.  He loves us and wants us to win, so He _________ us with what we need to ____________ our ______________.  First, He gives us the ________ to do His will and then He gives us the __________ to do His will.  “For it is God who works in you to will [desire] and to act [power] according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13). The mature Christian realizes that he is completely ____________ upon the Lord; rather than learning ______________, he learns utter ____________.  Look to the Lord in all ___________.  “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13).
  3. We are made up of three parts: ________, _______ , and ________, which refer to the ________, ________, and _________.  The _______ houses our _______ and our ________ houses the _______.  Upon the __________ of the Holy Spirit in your lives (salvation), your spirit was ________ and God began the lifelong task of ____________ our hearts to be like His Son, Jesus.  “For those God foreknew [He looked into the hearts of every person to see if there was any spark of love for His Son, Jesus] he also predestined [decided beforehand, planned] to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” (Romans 8:29)
  4. Jesus wants to have ___________  _____________ with us.  “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)  He asks that we _______ the door of our ________ and ________ to Him and let Him in. We must each day open our hearts to Him and allow Him access to our __________ and ______.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ________ the Lord with your ______.  Don’t be afraid to tell ___________ about what Christ is doing in your life.  Don’t be afraid!  God gives us a ________ of _____________.  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline [sound mind].” (2 Tim. 1:7) Don’t let fear ___________ with God’s work!  The same goes for anger, hurt, or any other ____________.  Instead, go to Him, the God of all _____________ “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows”(2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
  6. There is a _________.  To clean your _________ (your soul) and right yourself with God is great!  But you can’t stop here.  You must _______ your soul with Him.  _________ gave this illustration: “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:23-26).  This passage is not just about salvation.  It’s about ________.  You have given your ________ to Jesus.  You have ___________ on a ____________ with Him.  Jesus has _________ your heart and is waiting to fill it with _________.  How?
  • Talk to Him ______—__________—_________—_________________!
  • _____  _____ to fill your heart with Himself.
  • ______ ____ all you can about Jesus: His _______ and __________by _________ the _________!
  • Put yourself under ________ ____________ and in a _________ of other believers that are following Christ.
  • Allow Christ to grow within you ______, ____, ________, ___________, ___________, ____________, _____________, _________________, and __________________ (Gal. 5:22-23)
  1. The Holy Spirit is ­­­­­___________ _________ in you.  It takes _____________, _______ _______, and _______ for some of this fruit to become __________ in your lives.  Some of it shows up ________ _______.  The point is to allow Him to grow each kind of fruit in order to make you _________ in your ________ in Jesus Christ.  Learn to _____________ on Him.  He’s the only One who knows the ________ ________ in all __________.  Remember, the mature Christian is ____________ ______________ on Christ.  Come on, you can trust Him.  He tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

What Christ Did-Worksheet

July 8, 2013

Upon the moment that you accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, a wonderful transformation began to happen within you.  Let’s look at some verses of Scripture to find out just exactly what is going on.

1.   __________________________________________________________________________

This is your ______________ in Christ.  He picks you up and moves you from your _______ _________ and seats you in ____________ __________.

“I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the [Holy] Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:3, 6)

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6)

2.   __________________________________________________________________________  

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

“As for you, you were dead in your sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient [the devil].  All of us also lived among them at one time [all have sinned], gratifying the cravings of our sinful natures and following its desires and thoughts [doing what we felt like doing].  Like the rest [of the world], we were by nature objects of wrath [enemies of God].  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in [our sin]¼For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:1-5, 8-9)

3.   __________________________________________________________________________ “’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.  ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’” (Isaiah 1:18) 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)

4.   __________________________________________________________________________ “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” (Romans 3:21-2

5.   __________________________________________________________________________ “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Note:    The seal on a document with a king’s signet ring could only be broken by someone with the same or higher authority.

 

“I give them [believers] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-29) 

The double-fisted grip:________________________________________________________

6.   __________________________________________________________________________ “¼you received the Spirit of Sonship.  And by him we cry ‘Abba, Father.’  The [Holy] Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  (Romans 8:15b-17)

7.   __________________________________________________________________________ There is nothing the _______, an ________, a ________, even __________ can do to extract yourself from Christ’s and the Father’s ________ once you believed in Jesus and called upon His name to forgive you of sin and to save you.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?¼No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35, 37-39)

Important Things to Know

July 8, 2013

So far, we have looked at what Christ has done for us, what Christ is doing in us, and what we can do in Christ.  Here are some vital realities about your walk with Christ that, if learned now, will save you a lifetime of misery and missed blessings.

  1. We can do NOTHING for Christ that He cannot do for Himself!
  • He is allsufficient and has access to all power: “All authority [power] in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
  • He has at His disposal all the resources of heaven: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).
  • At the same time, God has plans for us.  In fact, He had them planned long ago.  Yes, He can do them Himself, but He wants us to join Him in doing them.      Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  • Illustration: (can be changed to fit teacher) Not long ago, my wife, Robin, and our daughter, Hayley, made biscuits.  Robin knows how to make biscuits and does so regularly.  This time she invited Hayley to join her.  Hayley could have said no.  Would the biscuits still have been made?  Yes.  Could Robin have asked our other daughter to join her in making biscuits?  Yes, and Hillary would have received the blessing of making biscuits with Mom.  Hayley and Mom made biscuits.  Mom let Hayley roll the dough and cut out the biscuits and then put them in the pans.  It took awhile, but they got them done.  They turned out fine!  Robin could have made the biscuits more quickly and efficiently, but the point of the project was not necessarily to make biscuits but to spend time with Hayley.
  • This illustration shows how God in Christ through His Holy Spirit interacts with us!  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) 
  1. We cannot get away from the call of Christ on our lives.
  • Now that you have the Holy Spirit in residence in your lives, He will guide you into all truth: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13a).
  • One of those truths is that we are to die to ourselves everydayevery hour, if necessary—and live for Him “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). 
  • We cannot reserve any part of our lives and claim it for our own.  It is absolutely essential that you learn now that dead people don’t own anything, they don’t feel anything, they don’t have opinions, and they don’t keep back any portion of their lives for themselves i.e. weekends, special TV programs, “selected” areas on the internet, pet “words of expression (curse words),” esp. pornography!
  • No area of your life is offlimits to the Lord; otherwise, He isn’t Lord.  Here’s an axiom of truth to live by: “If He (Jesus Christ) isn’t Lord of all (of your life), then He isn’t Lord at all.”  If you catch yourself saying, “I’ll do this for Christ so that I can get on with what I want to do,” look out!  That’s a red flag.  Remember, dead people don’t hold parts of their lives back from the Lord.  Trust Him.
  1. There is a principle I call the “Baptist Second Blessing.”
  • It is the principle that when a teacher studies a subject in order to teach a lesson, he learns it once.  When he teaches the lesson, he learns it again.  This principle is most evident in Bible teaching and the passing on of biblical principles in that The Holy Spirit shows us things as we study and then he shows us more things as we teach—many times to the contradiction to human error.  In other words, errors become plain when we begin to explain them.  We see the illogic or deception behind our thinking.  Also, when we teach, it’s like pointing a finger at someone with the lesson: the teacher realizes that there are three fingers pointing back at him!  All of a sudden, what we learned from our teacher becomes painfully clear when we disciple others.  If you really want to nail down a particular subject or lesson in your own life, try to teach it to someone else!
  • Also, in discipling others, we fulfill the Great Commandment in Matthew 28 that tells us to go and make disciples.  “Study to show yourself approved,” and “feed My sheep.”  Be a discipler.
  1. Be a Cheerful Giver.
  • Historically: Gen. 14:20   Abraham gave a tenth to Melchezidek
  • Under the Law: Lev. 27:30  A tithe (tenth) of everything belongs to the Lord
  • Under Grace: 2 Cor. 8:12, 9:7 According to the Holy Spirit’s prompting
  • According to Ability: 1 Cor. 16:2  Everyone has something to give
  • According to Gifts: Rom. 12:8 Excel in the area in which God has gifted you

What You Can Do In Christ

July 8, 2013

So far, we have looked at what Christ has done for us and what Christ is doing in you.  Now, let’s look at what you can do in Christ.

  1. Notice I didn’t say, “for Christ.”  There is nothing we can do for Christ apart from the Spirit of Christ.  Therefore, don’t try to do for Him, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to tell you what it is that Jesus wants you to do (knowledge).  If you do not want to do whatever it is that He asks you to do, pray for His desires to replace your desires in your heart (desire; see #2 of “What Christ Is Doing”).  Then ask Him to empower you to do His will (power).  This process is how you do things in Christ.
  2. Learn all you can about Him.  Now that you are His child, He wants to show you “great and mighty things which you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).”  He will guide you as you seek Him.  Look at this passage, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7).”  We are His children and He makes life an adventure.  He gives us only what we are ready to receive and teaches us only what we are able to absorb.  Yes, the destination is important, but so is the journey.  Walk with Him; trust Him; lean on Him.  The rest of this passage gives us a picture of the heart of God, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  He is a Father, though, and He will give you only what is good for you—most of the time.  Occasionally, He will give me something that I think I want and I pester Him until He does.  Boy, am I ever sorry!  Once I get it, I figure out really quick that I didn’t want it after all.  Then I’m back in His presence begging Him to take it away!  I’ve learned to simply trust God to give me what I need when I need it.  You can, too.  Start right now trusting Him for everything.  You can do it!
  3. Talk to Him often.  Trust comes through experience and intimacy.  The more time you spend in His presence talking with Him and loving Him, the more you will trust Him with your life.  But trust is a twoway street.  As you show Jesus how much you trust Him, He will entrust to you with more and more of His ministry on earth.  Also, the more you trust, the easier it becomes.  One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Philippians 4:4-7.  It says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends [surpasses] all understanding, will guard [garrison, as in an army surrounding] your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  4. Make a daily practice of giving your life over to Him.  Dead people don’t have lives.  Christ lives through us (Gal. 2:20).  Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23).”  Ordinarily what happens is we get tangled up in some sort of sin that makes us avoid spending time with the Lord.  He knows it and we know it, but we’re either too stubborn to admit we’ve done wrong, or we feel too guilty to face Him.  The apostle John (one who physically walked with Christ) wrote about what Christians should do when they sin,“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purity us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (1 John 1:9-10).”  The word “confess” means that we agree with God about something that He already knows.  If we insist that we have not sinned when the Holy Spirit is telling us we did, we make Him out to be a liar.  This is not good!  Instead, submit to Christ.  He will forgive and will help you to turn from your sin.  Here is a stern warning regarding a stubborn heart, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years say what I did.  That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways (Hebrews 3:7-10).”  The Israelites refused to do things God’s way.  They were stubborn.  They didn’t believe God had their best interests in mind.  He does!  Trust Him.  The more you do, the more you will find Him trustworthy.
  5. Choices: The “Put off/Put on” method is one that you will love and hate.

1)      1 Cor. 13:11 _____________________________________

2)      Rom. 13:12 _____________________________________

3)      Gal. 3:27 _____________________________________

4)      Eph. 4:22-24 _____________________________________

5)      2 Cor. 5:17 _____________________________________

6)      Rom. 12:1-2 _____________________________________

7)      Eph. 6:11 _____________________________________

8)      Col. 3:5 _____________________________________

9)      Gal. 2:20 _____________________________________

10)  Col. 3:7-10 _____________________________________

Note: Gal. 3:28 and Col. 3:11 both deal with equality in the context of choice

6. Get connected“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,    but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day [of Christ’s return] approaching (Hebrews 10:25).”  I cannot begin to tell you how important it is that you become actively involved in a local church.  The fellowship, the teaching, the accountability, and the worship are all ultra-important to a new Christian—to any Christian!

What Christ is Doing

July 8, 2013

Our first session covered what Christ did for you upon your acceptance of Him.  Let’s talk about what Christ is currently doing in our lives right now.

  1. This world is our proving ground.  God takes circumstances and works them so that we have a choice.  The choice is always to trust and then follow Him or to harden our hearts (Hebrews 3:7-9) and do things our own way (the way we see them).  We must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit within us and be obedient.  God isn’t afraid of us dying; in fact, He would rather take us home with Him right now!  If He isn’t afraid of us dying, then He isn’t afraid of anything else that might happen to us.  And, if He is in control of circumstances, then we must learn to trust in the sovereignty of God.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)
  2. God doesn’t put us in a situation and then sit back and laugh.  He loves us and wants us to win, so He equips us with what we need to overcome our circumstances.  First, He gives us the desire to do His will and then He gives us the power to do His will.  “For it is God who works in you to will [desire] and to act [power] according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13). We can do nothing on our own (in the flesh).  Because of the presence of sin in our world, things go wrong.  God gives everyone the choice of right or wrong and most people choose wrong which makes for a world full of bad choices.  We must live with the consequences of those choices whether we are directly responsible or not.  But God, in His divine love and wisdom, takes what is intended for evil and uses it to teach us to look to Him for everything.  In fact, the mature Christian realizes that he is completely dependent upon the Lord; rather than learning independence, he learns utter dependence.  Look to the Lord in all situations“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13).
  3. We are made up of three parts: Body (flesh), soul (heart), and spirit.  The body houses our soul and our spirit houses the Holy Spirit.  Before you were saved, your spirit resembled the number 0 or a deflated balloon (they were empty of value) and your flesh (the desires of the body because of its sin nature) ruled your hearts (soul).  Upon the entrance of the Holy Spirit in your lives (salvation), your spirit was quickened and God began the lifelong task of changing our hearts to be like His Son, Jesus.  “For those God foreknew [He looked into the hearts of every person to see if there was any spark of love for His Son, Jesus] he also predestined [decided beforehand, planned] to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” (Romans 8:29)
  4. Jesus wants to have intimate fellowship with us.  “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)  He asks that we open the door of our heart and mind to Him and let Him in.  The custom during Jesus’ day was to invite a stranger in to spend the night rather than leave him to face the weather and bandits.  Over dinner, you would talk about yourself and he would tell you his life story and you two would become friends.  This picture is what Christ has in mind with you everyday.  We must each day open our hearts to Him and allow Him access to our thoughts and lives.
  5. Don’t be afraid to trust the Lord with your life.  Don’t be afraid to tell someone about what Christ is doing in your life.  Don’t be afraid!  God gives us a spirit of boldnessFor God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline [sound mind].” (2 Tim. 1:7)  Actually, it’s impossible to stop yourself from feeling emotion.  Fear is an emotion.  What the Holy Spirit will teach you is to set aside the emotion and replace it with that which comes only from being in the presence of God: love, joy, and peace.  Then you will be able to do what He is telling you to do with confidence and boldness.  In other words, don’t let fear interfere with God’s work!  The same goes for anger, hurt, or any other emotion.  Instead, go to Him, the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).
  6. There is a danger.  To clean your house (your soul) and right yourself with God is great!  But you can’t stop here.  You must fill your soul with Him.  Jesus gave this illustration: “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:23-26).  This passage is not just about salvation.  It’s about bondage.  You have given your heart to Jesus.  You have embarked on a journey with Him.  Jesus has cleansed your heart and is waiting to fill it with Himself.  How?
  • Talk to Him dailyhourlyminutelycontinuously!
  • Ask Him to fill your heart with Himself.
  • Find out all you can about Jesus: His likes and dislikes. Read the Bible!
  • Put yourself under sound teaching and in a fellowship of other believers that are following Christ.
  • Allow Christ to grow within you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23)

What Christ Did

July 8, 2013

Upon the moment that you accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, a wonderful transformation began to happen within you.  Let’s look at some verses of Scripture to find out just exactly what is going on.

1. You were born again spiritually.

This is your position in Christ.  He picks you up and moves you from your sinful state and seats you in heavenly realms. “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the [Holy] Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:3, 6)

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in

Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6)

2. You became a new creation.  

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)  “As for you, you were dead in your sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient [the devil].  All of us also lived among them at one time [all have sinned], gratifying the cravings of our sinful natures and following its desires and thoughts [doing what we felt like doing].  Like the rest [of the world], we were by nature objects of wrath [enemies of God].  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in [our sin]…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph.2:1-9)

3. All your sins, past, present and future, were washed away by the blood of Jesus.  “’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.  ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’” (Isaiah 1:18)  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)

4. You are made righteous (acceptable to God) through faith in Jesus.

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” (Rom. 3:21-25)

5. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit forever! 

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)  Note:  In ancient Rome, kings and caesars would take a scroll, roll it up, drip hot wax on the edge, and then imprint their signet ring into the wax.  In doing so, they would seal the document rendering it legally unbreakable unless a person had the same authority or higher than the king.  In this case, God sealed us with His Holy Spirit and only someone with the same or higher authority can open us up and change our salvation.  Now listen to what Jesus said about us

“I give them [believers] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-29)  We are held in a double-fisted grip!  Jesus holds us tightly and the Father holds His hand tightly around the hand of Jesus.  I think we’re pretty safe!

 6. You have been adopted into the Family of God as sons of God.

Although you may bea daughter, you have been given the place of a son. The wording may be considered chauvinistic, but you must remember that the Bible was written at a time in history when women were considered property and didn’t have rights.  What Christ did for you was elevate you to the position of sonship in His kingdom!  How did He do this?  “…you received the Spirit of Sonship.  And by him  we cry ‘Abba, Father.’  The [Holy] Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  (Romans 8:15b-17)

7. You can never be separated from the love of Christ.

There is nothing the devil, a friend, an enemy, even yourself can do to extract yourself from Christ’s and the Father’s hands once you believed in Jesus and called upon His name to forgive you of sin and to save you.  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35, 37-39)