Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Please read.. it's time to get stirred up for Christ

My latest message:

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." Galatians 3:26, 27

Paul is talking about baptism in the Holy Spirit of course. Water doesn't save us. SPIRIT of God IN US saves us!

"Faith" is a powerful spiritual gift. It is not a natural belief. But a belief that makes us a new creation in Christ. And those who believe/have faith are then baptized into the family of God. We are baptized into a whole new life and we engulf ourselves into the study and execution of God's word with all our heart, through the power and understanding granted to us by God the Father through His Christos Son!

And this can also be verified in the continued study of the book of Galatians. In chapter 4, which continues Paul's sermon from chapter 3, Paul says, "When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to •redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “•Abba, Father! ” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." Galatians 4:4-7

Yes, Paul is talking about the law and how it applies to us in regard to Christ. But Paul also tells us an important aspect of receiving the Holy Spirit. That is when we are made children of God through faith in Christ.

Except I often wonder, who will come to Christ. It takes someone truly sorry for their sins. And that is a supernatural event in itself. As the one who is forgiven of much, loves much (Luke 7:36-50). Paul in another place distinguishes between "godly sorrow" and worldy sorrow" and says, "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."  2 Corinthians 7:10

So where is this "godly sorrow" from falling short of the grace of God? where is this sorrow from not adequately being able to represent God in this world? Where is the godly sorrow we feel when we see a lost soul and yet, cannot lead them to Christ? This sorrow, I say, not only leads us to Christ, but helps provoke us to growth in Christ and into full maturity. As repentance continues into conversion and is an important part of sanctification. As Joel tells us, "And now, says the Lord, Return to me with your entire heart, in fasting and weeping and beating of the breast!  And tear your hearts and not your garments! And return to the lord your God!" Joel 2:12-13a

And James says, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you." James 4:8-10

Do we have sorrow for the lack of efficiency we have as supposed ambassadors for Christ? Then we need to be afflicted and turn to the Lord in heart rending repentance. In prayer and solemn study of God's word. Many have never even been converted yet. They have a form of godliness but can't help but deny His power.. 2 Timothy 3:5.  Others, They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed. Titus 1:16. And still others, "For as I have often told you before, and now declare even with tears: Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on earthly things." Philippians 3:18, 19

These words are powerful words from the Holy Spirit. And they are meant to make us investigate ourselves and question ourselves and provoke us to love and good works. Paul straight out tells us, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Can’t you see for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you — unless you actually fail the test?" 2 Corinthians 13:5

And even says of himself, " I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:27

So do as Paul says, examine yourselves. I do and I am in constant prayer and study and repentance before God, praying that He help me to become who He wants me to be in Christ.

Please join me. Let the written word of God pierce your hearts and let it provoke you into good works and godly sorrow which leads to repentance and salvation as Paul said.

In Christ.

Tommy Richards
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