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!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Basics of Christianity 3

God sends Jesus.

Jesus was sent to Earth for a mission. He was in the glory with His Father, but He chose to come down to us to save us for eternity.
In Revelation 22:13 Jesus says:
" I am the Alfa and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, The First and the Last”

In Colossians 1:15-17 it says;

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist ".

To understand the significance of what Jesus did on the cross it's important to also understand his altogether divine origin. The Crucifixion was no accident but a, from eternity, thoroughly thought out plan, to once and for all crush the power of darkness and buy mankind back to it's Creator.
When Jesus died on the cross he took the sin of all mankind upon himself. He took the punishment for our sins. He went down to the kingdom of death and made an amendment for our sins. On the third day he was risen from the dead.
It says that,

" He died so that we would live"and so : “that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone". Hebrews 2:9b


When a person receives Jesus as his own personal Savior he is born again. (John 3:3).
The spirit in him gets new life, the spirit of God,the life of God starts to reside inside of him.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new".

Jesus’ act of redemption is complete. What Jesus did on the cross, does not just cover our sins, it totally wipes them out. They become obliterated.

Every man, every woman is personally responsible before God and must answer to Him for their life and their relationship to Jesus Christ. There's nothing or nobody to blame for us not coming to Jesus. All of Creation bears witness that there is a God.

In Romans 1:20 we read:

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

Here we see how strict God can be. He doesn't see through his fingers when it comes to sin and rebellion against the truth. We can never fool or hide from God.

But most of all He is a loving God. The Bible tells us that He IS love. This love can be summarized with the words in John 3:16-21.
God gave the most precious that he had, his own beloved son, so that you and I wouldn't be lost forever but have eternal life. That is the greatest and the best gift you can receive here on earth, salvation through Jesus Christ. He is true light and eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God”.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Basics of Christianity 2

The temptation

As you may very well know, the snake came to visit in the garden, (Satan that is), and questioned what God had said. He stated that they wouldn't die if they ate of the fruit. On the contrary he said, God was just trying to withhold from them the possibility of being as wise as God himself and be able to discern between good and evil.
The snake so fooled them both, and they ate from the fruit.

How could this happen?

God created us human beings with a free will. He didn't create meaningless robots that can't do anything but obey. It's quite the opposite. When we come to him, He wants us to come because we ourselves have chosen it and because we love Him. Adam and Eve choose to listen to the snake rather than obey what God had said.

In the moment they ate, they died spiritually. God's glory over their lives disappeared and they were aware they were naked. They even ran and hid. They could no longer come boldly before God and they felt both shame and guilt. Feelings that earlier were completely foreign to them.
God came by in the evening and called out for Adam:

"Where are you"? (1 Genesis 3:9).

This is where sin starts to reign in humanity. God had to drive them out of the garden because now they are mortal and marred with sin. He puts cherubs and a flaming sword to guard the road to the tree of life. In their present condition they cannot have eternal life. God pronounces a curse over the snake and gives a promise that somebody is going to come and crush his head.

" I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (1 Genesis 3:15).

God already had a plan of action prepared and this is His spoken promise of a coming Messiah.

All evil got access in the world through Adam and Eve's disobedience. Death, sickness, murder, envy, evil desires, lust.
Adam and Eve got two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain murdered his brother because of envy. The consequences of sin were fully at work.


God's first step in his plan to save humanity back to himself, is to make a covenant with one man, Abram. He received the promise that he would become; "a Father of many nations". He was the first Jew.
God wanted to bring up a people who would know God and his ways. This was essential for God to be able to send Jesus to Earth. The Bible says that He needed " a well prepared people". God gives the law to Moses; the ten commandments written in stone. The law was to be "an up bringer to Christ".

In the book of Romans 7:7-8 we read;

"I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, you shall not covet”.

Without the law there's no sin. If we didn't have the command, "You shall not steal", nothing would stop people from grab a hold of other people's property.

Now God sent his word and revealed mans true condition.* She received something to measure herself with. By that she was to understand that she needed a savior since it was impossible for her to keep the law by her own strength. God had planned a new and living way where His law no longer is an outward constraint but as is written in Jeremiah 31:33;

" I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.".

How can this be true? Through the new birth in Jesus Christ.

* And this is how the word is still working today in people's lives. When you read the word of the Bible you will understand that you are truly in need of a Saviour, and there's no way you can save yourself, or meet God's standards in your own strength.