Tag Archives: Entrance to Kingdom of God

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Germinating seeds

In the Holy Scriptures we can find many examples where is spoken about seeds and the soil in which seeds have to grow.

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

Brown Flax Seeds. (Linum usitatissimum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this time and age we best think about the parable of the the sower, where the sower sows the seeds into different kinds of ground – three bad and one good. Man himself can find out from Scriptures what is meant by those stories Jesus told. Concerning the seed of the sower Jesus tells us (v18-23) – the seed is the Word of God and the different kinds of ground are different responses to the message of the Kingdom.

In our world we hear less spoken about the Word of God and many churches are running empty. For followers of Christ, the religions getting against each other is just one of the many signs we can see that the preaching of the coming Kingdom is of utmost importance, because when it shall be preached all over the world, then the end shall come.

In this world there are lots of people who think they are doing good and others who are convinced they do not have to take care because they are saved under Christ. they may be very mistaken, hoping to enter the Kingdom of God, by not living according to God‘s Laws, missing the entrance to the small gate. All those parables Jesus told should be a warning that it perhaps might not be so easy to enter the Kingdom after all. Many may be called but few reaching the the end goal of the race.

The second parable we have to take at heart is the one about the weeds, where the enemy sows bad weed seeds amongst the good wheat seeds. Again, we are not left guessing as to the meaning – Jesus tells us (v37-43) – the good seed represents the sons of the Kingdom and the bad seed the sons of the devil, i.e. those opposed to the message of the Kingdom who will be ‘weeded’ out of the Kingdom by God’s angels when the Son of Man (Jesus) comes.

Those two are not the only ones in which Jesus talks about seeds.

Birds in the fields and trees

When we look at the fields where seeds are waiting to grow, we can see many birds picking their bits of grains. Now Jesus comes to look where those birds have their habitat. They coming to live in a tree. In the ancient times the men of God also wrote about the birds living in trees, referring to kingdoms.

“The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:12 ASV)

“it is thou, O king, [Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon]that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22 ASV)

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.” (Ezekiel 31:3 ASV)

“All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.” (Ezekiel 31:6 ASV)

Immature Elm seeds.

Immature Elm seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These first two Old Testament references use that specific language that Jesus picks up on – using the description of trees and perching birds to represent empires and subjects dwelling in them. But the obvious thing to notice is that whereas Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, these verses most certainly are not! They are talking about the kingdoms of men! The first is talking about the kingdom of Babylon, which only filled the world with godless rule – and even today its pagan beliefs and teaching still permeate like yeast (many nonChristian and Christian religions can trace their belief system back to ancient Babylon). Assyria was known for its violence and cruelty (see Nahum 3:19) and our days, like the days of Noah, also see a world filled with violence (modern day Assyria / Syria being notable examples).

Kingdoms

It may seem strange to make reference to the kingdoms of men when the parable of the mustard seed is about the Kingdom of Heaven, but then other parables do the same. The parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the unbelief of people’s hearts and their rejection of the gospel, the parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the corruption of the gospel finding a temporary place in the harvest field, and the parable of the net begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then describes the existence of the bad fish swimming around in the lake. But then all these parables end with salvation and deliverance, and so also does the last of those three specific Old Testament references.

Ezekiel 17:22-24 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.’ I the LORD have spoken and I will do it.”

The encouragement that the parable gives us

Imagine if the parable of the sower just told us that a man went to sow seed, and the seed grew and the crop was good. Imagine if the parable of the weeds just told us that a man planted some seed, and the seed was good, and then harvest came, and harvest was good. Imagine if the parable of the ten virgins wasn’t the parable of the ten virgins – it was the parable of the five virgins and it told us that there were five virgins who went to a wedding and the wedding was good – and that’s it!

Our message of salvation is not just that Jesus will return and all is well. The reality of the world we live in is very dark and very far from what God wants it to be. Even more discouraging is the fact that the very gospel that Jesus gave to enlighten is not believed by so many, and falsehood and the kingdoms of men fill the earth, and we – with the precious truth we possess – are so small and ignored.

Jesus encourages us by reminding us, through the parable of the mustard seed and the Old Testament links, that God is fully aware of how man’s ways rule the world – like Assyria and Babylon in the past. Jesus does not try to divert us by pretending that everything is good right now, but reminds us that God’s plan will become a reality – more real than anything fake we see around us now.

God has told us that He himself will plant His Tree / Kingdom, on the mountain heights of Israel and that all the other trees (nations) will know this and so God will be glorified and vindicated in the end amongst all His opponents, as will all those who keep that precious faith and stick with Him. This is our hope. We are tired of the kingdoms of men around us, imitating the shade and shelter that only God can provide through His Son who has the words of eternal life – and when he comes we will truly find rest under the shade of his branches.

From small to big

Mustard seeds are counted by the smallest seeds but they give us some strong big trees which produce a lot of seeds. Listening to the parable we can imagine us people with some faith like a mustard seed would have not much faith or little faith. But even that little faith can do much. Therefore the one who can sow little faith shall be able to give the  pastures many trees which shall in their turn also create little seeds and multiply enormously.

Even when we do feel we have not so much faith, we should believe in ourselves and proclaim the message of salvation which is given to us. We may have doubts but should know that even with our little faith we shall be able to do much.

“And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20 ASV)

Moving a mountain, it looks ridiculous … but with our little faith if we believe in Christ Jesus as our saviour we shall be able to do much, showing others the Way to God, we shall be able to move mountains, doing lots of work for God. But to do that moving work we need to have the right seed. Unpolluted faith. We also need to use the right fertiliser, the pure Word of God, which we can find in the best store of the the world, the most precious library, the Bible. when we water ourselves every day with it, our seed shall be able to grow. Perhaps we ourself can be such a mustard tree.

The world needs many mustard seeds. There are so many nations, so many places where there is need for birds to find a place to sit in and trees for people to find shadow. It is up to the believers to become the sowers and the gardeners.
It is up to the believers to make it that the seed may be planted in good soil. We have to prepare the earth, we have to fertilise the ground and give the plants enough water so that they can survive in the dry surroundings.

Are you willing to be a sower?

Help us to proclaim the Word of God and to bring the message of salvation, the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.

It may start very small but finish big, so take the opportunity.

 

Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

An uncovering book to explore

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  4. The Gift Of God
  5. Genuine message of salvation
  6. Mustard Seed Faith
  7. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  8. Small start, Big Finish
  9. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  10. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  11. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  12. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  13. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  14. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  15. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  16. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  17. Moving Mountains
  18. Fear Feels Bigger
  19. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  20. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  21. Prayer Changes Me
  22. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  23. Luke 6:17-19
  24. Luke 13
  25. Measuring Faith
  26. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  27. Wise Virgins
  28. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  29. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  30. Hang On To Your Faith
  31. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Increase Our Faith
  33. Busted Mustard Seed
  34. Faith Unwavering
  35. How’s your mustard seed?
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs

Facing our existence every day

Every day we are confronted with ourselves again. Every day again we are again confronted not only with ourselves but also with those around us. Everyday we do meet again new challenges, have to affirm again our values.

Attitude / Golden Gun

Attitude / Golden Gun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This world which challenges us brings us day in day out some new adventures. We can try to tackle them or try to escape those things which we do not want to see. But covering our eyes is not helping us nor getting such things we do not want to see away. Living in this world we should be aware of what is going on in it. We can not stand at the side, not wanting to be involved or just letting everything happen. Those things which we consider wrong demand an action. And we should take action. Though there are several Christians who think we do not need to do any works, because we are saved, we should not let everything pass along like nothing wrong happens. That what is not according to the Law of God, that what cannot be justified demands reaction. We should open our eyes to what happens in the world and should react appropriate.

Having us to react will demand strength and courage. It shall also demand an attitude to be taken. And that attitude should always be in accordance to the attitude our master teacher Jeshua wants his followers to have.

Attitude (EP)

Attitude (EP) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every day we do have to face our inner self and find the core of our own business, our own being, our own strive, our own goal. Every day again we do have to face how we are wanting to build up our own life and our own future. It is naturally so that in case we do nothing we cannot do something wrong (we think). Not doing anything, letting it all pass, is witnessing of taking an attitude, which is not the right attitude. Rabbi Jeshua and his disciples taught about the essence of taking action and doing things. The master teacher gave several examples how people lost their opportunity to take part of the celebrations, the wedding or the entrance to the Kingdom.

The grace of salvation has been given to the whole mankind, but each individual has to do something with it. When we are willing to receive that marvellous free Gift, we do have to be thankful for it and do something with it. When we just leave in the cupboard, untouched it shall be of no service for us.

It is an Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity but lots of people do not see or appreciate the value of it, or take it for granted that now they have received it they do not have to do anything any more. Oh, how are they mistaken.

Each day we are confronted again with many ideas … our mind wandering about. Even a baptised person can have thoughts which are not in accordance with God His Will. Though they may be convinced that they have done away with the old life, that old life simmers slowly and little tinkly lights may be very attractive. More than once in our life bitterness, wrath, and even anger, does want to come along our path. We also can have moments where clamour and evil speaking may be lurking around our own corner. All those things we are asked to put away from us, with all malice. And that requires an action, which is a work to be done.

There are also days that we wake up and feel as if we have a broken heart. Though we may know that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul. Each time we left our mind wandering in the wrong way we do know we can repent, i.e. take an action, making the effort to see that we were wrong and that we do have to ask for pardon. It demands an action to see what we did wrong (i.e. doing a work) and when we know what we have done wrong we have to repent about it (again doing a work).

Painting "Kampen for tilværelsen" (S...

Painting “Kampen for tilværelsen” (Struggle for existence”) by Christian Krohg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often because we ourself do have to endure so much pain we want others also to have pain. Often we also want to have many good things others may have and desires others to have some of our bad things. Such desires are often around us to cause pain. We can have feelings which hurt others or can bring them into distress. Yes, we must be aware that we can get up in the morning with allowing to grow in our mind the

“intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse.”

This makes our own self the sick self. The self what needs healing. the healer is always around, but we have to come to him (which demands an action or work).  Without coming to the Saviour Jesus Christ we shall be nothing and will have it so much more difficult in our life. he is the Way to God and he is the one who can guide us through difficult times, putting our hands in the hands of his heavenly Father.

Every day we wake up we should know that God is willing to be close to us and that He is really concerned with what is going on in our heart and mind. Be aware, He knows much more than we allow others to see, hear or feel, what we think or want to do. Even when we do not carry out malicious acts against someone, but carry such thoughts in our mind, God knows it.

You ought not to secretly wish that something bad would happen to any person. Rejoicing in some misfortune that befalls someone else is also evidence of malice. And that is something God detests.

Harry Ironside.jpg

The dispensationalist Plymouth Brother Harry A. Ironside

The Canadian-American Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author Harry A. Ironside said every Christian has an obligation to put away all malice.

“If you do not live up to that, you are not living a real Christian life. This is Christianity lived in the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Gospel Light Society writes

You might feel like the malice in your heart is justified because of what someone did or said to you. But, you must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and bring your feelings under the authority of Christ. You must choose to put on the new man who will not walk in maliciousness, but in a spirit of love and forgiveness toward all. {How Not to Walk, Part 26 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #272)}

Every day we have to face the new life lying in front of us. Having done away with the old life, we should try to do our utmost best to live in accordance to God His Wishes, not following man’s doctrines but following Biblical doctrines.

George Cuff wrote:

There are sins from the former life that simply must be denied,
Things the godless revel in, that a believer must sweep aside.
Immorality of every kind, impurity, lust and greed;
You will be bound to idolatry if scripture you fail to heed.

You must also rid yourselves of anger, malice and rage.
Watch your speech carefully. Do not in profanity engage.
You threw off the sinful man who reveled in foul deeds;
The new man is renewed in mind, empowered by Christ indeed. {How Not to Walk, Part 26 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #272)}

Empowered by Christ Jesus we should find every day the fresh living water, empowering to continue in the right way, trying to finish the race, lying in front of us.

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Preceding articles

Our existence..

You Matter

Running challenge and the City build by the Most High Maker

For mams and dads it is also back to ‘normal’

Benefits of Positive Thinking

What IF you’re only driven by stress?

Failures, mistakes and Initiatives for Excellence and success, Working towards turning a Dream of yours into reality

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

The Goal

Our life depending on faith

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Additional reading

  1. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  2. Suffering produces perseverance
  3. Your purpose explains what you are doing with your life
  4. If we view the whole world through a lens that is bright
  5. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  6. Thought for September 8 Weak but standing strong in the ground swell
  7. 30 things to start doing for yourself – #6 is vital.
  8. Choices
  9. Live …
  10. Luck
  11. Who are the honest ones?
  12. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  13. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  14. Not liking your Christians
  15. If there is bitterness in the heart
  16. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  17. Don’t Envy the World
  18. Blindness in the Christian world
  19. Blinkered minds
  20. Never making mistakes because never doing anything
  21. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  22. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  23. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  24. Only I can change my life
  25. The inspiring divine spark
  26. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  27. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  28. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  29. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  30. Grow strong in weakness
  31. Being aligned with above
  32. Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion
  33. It is a free will choice
  34. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  35. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  36. Believe and speak and act in ways which show we have life in Christ’s name
  37. Behold, My mother and My brothers!
  38. Saved through grace not through keeping rituals
  39. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  40. God’s will is that all sorts of men should be saved
  41. A goal is a dream with a plan
  42. Looking for a primary cause and a goal that can not offer philosophers existing beliefs
  43. Inculturation today calling for a different attitude
  44. Coming to the end of the year
  45. Dynamic goals must always rise out of authentic needs
  46. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  47. Faith antithesis of rationality
  48. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  49. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  50. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  51. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  52. Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal
  53. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  54. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  55. Discipleship to look at
  56. Don’t be the weakest link
  57. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  58. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  59. Williamsburg Conference 2015 December 27-31 Joy and Gladness
  60. We should use the Bible every day
  61. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water

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Further related

  1. Grace
  2. Salvation – He [Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through it
  3. Instantly Healed, Saved and Baptized
  4. “Looking For Jesus” – “Dead Works”
  5. (Part 2) Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?
  6. A New Life of Righteousness
  7. saved to serve
  8. Breathe in, out!
  9. How Vulnerability Can Bring Us Beyond Ourselves
  10. The Power of a Grateful Heart – Weakness Gratitude
  11. Afraid Of The Unknown
  12. No Retreat, No Surrender!
  13. Excerpt from a novel
  14. FFfAW: Promises
  15. 100 Days of Happiness and 90 Days of Kicking Fear in the Face ….
  16. No Complain November
  17. The Sandbox Writing Challenge #50 — No fair peeking!
  18. Week 6: Opinions-Opinions-…oh No!
  19. He Tries
  20. If At First You Don’t Succeed
  21. What Fills Your Personal Lamp? Personal Gratitude Challenge-day 2
  22. “Start the daily practice of not letting the little things bother you! If the little things ruin you, what’s going to happen when the big things come along? Start practicing now for your big challenges in life.”
  23. Skirting the hard stuff
  24. Message from the Universe: Becoming the person you’ve dreamed about!
  25. A Night To Dismember
  26. Remembering to Pause
  27. First Things First…
  28. Easy
  29. Quote Notes
  30. Are you okay?
  31. True Power
  32. Bad Reaction
  33. Good Grief!
  34. Are You Ready?: Part 3
  35. When God gives up
  36. Daily Verse
  37. Sin Makes You Sick
  38. A Change In Perspective
  39. We Are Dust
  40. Daily Bread – Draw Nigh
  41. Daily bible passage – 11/3/16
  42. A Warning of God Concerning the Ungodly
  43. Ezekiel 28-30; John 10
  44. My hope is in the Lord
  45. Christ’s Blood Shed for All Men
  46. I cry for you 
  47. For God So Loved The world…
  48. Come to Me
  49. How Not to Walk, Part 26 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #272)

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witness well Net knows that we are not human beings who like to come in the open easily. It says

we have a tendency to remain hidden and not share the gospel. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Some of us want to be so much like God and cast judgement on a person’s receptivity toward the message of salvation that they forget the love message.

Placing a gag over our mouth that keeps us from proclaiming His name rather than allow His Words to overflow from our hearts can be a result of pre-judging the condition of a person’s soil. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Talking about a saving relationship with ChristDave Malnes from the website Witness well tells us that we should trust his promises that our righteousness is secure because of his faithfulness – not our own; his obedience and not our own; his trustworthiness and not our own. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

He writes that

Evangelism

Evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy is not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

Jesus-army-bus

Jesus-army-bus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though we do find still  too many Christians counting too much on worldly arrangements and governments. Also a lot of Christians do not know their Bible. Some of them know perhaps several phrases from the New Testament, but do not see the whole picture.

The same about one of the tasks Jesus has given and as such has to be one of the many works of faith we do have to do. We do have to become one in Christ, like Christ is one with his heavenly Father. In case we would think like trinitarians, that would mean they have to become like God and some of them consider themselves to be like Christ, to be God.

The Elohim, who has sent His only begotten son to this world, commissions believers in Christ to sow the seeds of the gospel and to become humble like Jesus humbled himself. By embracing this role, Christians find joy and peace in encouraging and equipping others with the faith in Christ and in Only One true God (the heavenly Father of Jesus).

When we call ourselves Christian we should show others that we are willing to become like Christ and like him have faithfully responded God’s call to sow the seeds of the gospel and trusting God His promise that the harvest may be plentiful.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

4 days of Evangelism Training in Southern California provided by LivingWaters Ministry. Obeying the great commission of Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full enjoyment and trust we should bear the Good News in our mind and be of full courage to share the message of encouragement and uplifted spirit of rejoicing being presented to us by the acts of the apostles. Their work must have been an amazing experience, but is not finished yet. We do have to continue the work of the apostles and those first Christians.

Followers of Christ should be giving themselves totally to Jesus, willing to become in Christ Jesus, a part of a bigger picture as partakers of the Body of Christ, being those who have been set apart as God’s children through God’s grace.

It is by grace, God’s undeserved love that makes us Christians. No wonder we can rejoice through any circumstance that comes our way when we can be assured of our status before God, not by what we have done or what we are doing, but what God has already done for us. {An appropriate benediction}

We should be so tankful for Jesus proving to us that man is able to put his own will aside for doing God’s Will, and giving himself for atonement, paying the ransom prize for the sins we did.

For this liberation we can have joy which comes from trusting God’s promises that we will receive liberation from the curse of the Fall and that Jesus restored the relationship between God and man and has received authority to be the mediator between God and man and the judge at the end times, where it is him who shall decide who shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. Sharing the message of the gospel is not about us, but proclaiming the power of the message. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

The Bible teaches that God “gave” to certain people the gift of evangelism to build up the church (Eph. 4:11). We marvel and rejoice at these gifts as one who has the gift of music. Most believers like myself do not have the gift of evangelism, but we are not excused from the work of evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5). God commissions all believers to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20). {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

Dave Malnes believes these are twelve things that successful evangelists do:

Love Successful evangelists speak the truth that is prompted by love and concern for the soul.

Joy Evangelists reflect the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.

Peace   Evangelists find their identity in Christ that washes away guilt.

Patience Evangelists understands the fruit of patience ripens into persistence by keeping God’s timetable and not our own.

Kindness Evangelists sacrifice acts of kindness and generosity with no strings attached.

Self-control Evangelists resist the need to win the argument and focus on winning the soul.

Goodness Evangelists consistently extend grace to those who are least deserving.

Gentleness Evangelists express humility and give all credit and glory to God.

Pray continually Evangelists give thanks in all circumstances and reflects this pattern in an ongoing prayer life.

Perseverance Evangelists never, never, never give up.

Faithfulness Evangelists rely on God’s faithfulness to renew their own faithfulness by regularly reading, studying, and praying over God’s Word. {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

We have to set our mind on Christ Jesus and nurture our and others their need for a goal, a focus, instructions, and a hero. When we are afraid to tell others about our faith we do need to conquer our fear with our faith. We also should remember that “Everything God has made is an assignment”. In the knowledge that our future is the seed for the one we chose to honour we should be pleased, showing our joy in the Messiah. Our gratitude should be a seed for more. and we should not be afraid to sow seed wrapped with expectation and faith in the harvest.

When having become a Christian we have come into a covenant with Jesus that gives purpose and then we should follow his rules and given tasks, sowing our seed for a desired harvest.

Oxbow sunset #2

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Preceding

Witnessing because we love

Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

An uncovering book to explore

Preaching by example

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Additional reading

  1. A question to be posed
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  4. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  7. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Appointed to be read
  10. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God
  11. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  12. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  13. Atonement and the race been bought
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  15. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  16. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  17. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  18. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  19. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  22. The manager and Word of God
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  26. Be an Encourager
  27. Foundation for a good relationship with God
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  30. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  31. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  32. Bearing fruit
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  35. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  36. Picking Stones
  37. The Big Conversation
  38. John 4 according to the Scriptures

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Further reading

  1. Simple John
  2. Seeds that you plant
  3. With the Patience of a Saint
  4. 7 Laws to Create Uncommon Success
  5. The Good Gardener
  6. Others before myself
  7. Leviticus 2:8-16: The First-Fruits Offering
  8. A Spiritual Harvest
  9. Sharpen Your Blade!
  10. The Secret to Successful Gardening
  11. Your Mind is the Garden
  12. No Soup For You!
  13. Who is Going to Tell Them?
  14. Dying Field
  15. IF: I listen, can I hear You?

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100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 56

Jesus called man to follow him as The Way to God. He warned us for not to be mistaken and thinking that by grace we would be saved and have nothing to do any more. Jesus himself gave already some tasks we should do and gave enough examples of people who missed the opportunity to enter the Lord’s house.

Like Jesus, who did not want to do his own will (which he would have done in case he would be God), we too should try to do the Will of our heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the God of Christ and his disciples. The God of Jews Who should also be the God of Christians and God of Muslims but also should become the God of love of our world. this can only happen when people continue the work Jesus asked his followers to do, to go out in the world and to proclaim the Works of God and to tell them the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

In case we want to be proper children of God, we have to honour Him and appreciate Him for what He has done for us and for what He still can mean for us. Him we do have to praise in Christ. By following the teachings of rabbi Jeshua we have to show the world we do not want to be from it but that we want to be of God, whitewashed by the innocent blood of Christ.

Let us live accordingly, saying thanks to God and asking for guiding us throughout our life and helping us to call others in the name of Christ.

*

To remember

  • seen a strong-willed child + wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis
  • strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning => Parents + grandparents quickly recognize dominant personality traits
  • certain things each of us been good at ever since we were little kids
  • with some training = potential to use it for good
  • in adult business world = gift of reading people well => selling your product
  • God has a great purpose for the strategic thinker!
  • In Scripture example of Aaron > leading people according to God’s divine direction
  • people grew impatient + asked Aaron to make a god for them => he did = fashioned a calf idol from their donated gold, + they had a pagan- style celebration of their new god.
  • Aaron had great potential for leading people in worship > however, he was mistaken in solving their need, +, in the process, misled the entire community!

That is also what we see today. Many have made their own idols into a god. Lots of Christians also made Jesus into their own god. For them it seems a nice solution though lots of them do not understand quite really the matter of the trinity and the biblical saying we should only have One True God, the Eternal Spirit and Adonai, Elohim Hashem Maker Jehovah.

  • Israel’s actions angered God => see mercy of God => gave them another chance
  • God selected Aaron to be the first of the Levitical line of Israel’s priesthood
  • men who would be separated unto God to live holy lives + to bring God’s people into holy communion with Him through worship according to His Word

+

  • Aaron gifted in leading others in worship.

What about you? Child of God <= created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do (See Ephesians 2:10)

  • Through the Spirit’s empowerment => strength = powerful tool for revealing glory of God in the earth
  • gifts of the Spirit work in and through you => reveal God’s goodness > excelling natural abilities => supernatural gifts

Jesus said

“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Walk It Out     Hear God’s Word + put it into practice (Luke 8:21)

Align life with God’s purpose = giving Him your “yes.” => Walk in the way He leads you with complete trust => His Presence + empowerment through Holy Spirit accomplish good works in + through you.

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Preceding

  1. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do
  2. The works we have to do according to James the brother of Christ
  3. Leading people astray!
  4. Restitution
  5. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  6. Luther’s misunderstanding
  7. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  8. Our life depending on faith
  9. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  10. Is Justification a process?
  11. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  12. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  13. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  14. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  15. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  16. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  17. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  18. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  19. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  20. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

++

Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait
  35. A call easy to understand

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sharing love and truth

Day 56

You Are Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Works (Ephesians 2:10)

Have you ever seen a strong-willed child and wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis? Maybe you were that strong-willed child, or perhaps you’re raising one! It amazes me how the strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning. Parents and grandparents quickly recognize the dominant personality traits. My response to such observations- “God has a great purpose for that!”

There are certain things that each of us has been good at ever since we were little kids. Maybe we didn’t use the gift for good, but we were certainly good at it, and with some training, we had potential to use it for good. Take, for instance, the child who can strategize and work a situation to turn in his favor… Sure, it’s manipulation at its finest, but in…

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Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?

Rob Heijermans, who says is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and believes that God has spoken

— in fact, the universe itself is a product of the voice of the Lord. The phrase, “And God said…,” appears nine times in the first chapter of Genesis alone. {Is Anyone Listening?}

He also knows he has ever deceived himself and looks at James, Jesus’ younger half-brother, who knows all about self-deception.

Though the writer wrongly thinks James deceived himself for many years,

“denying that Jesus was God in the flesh.” {11 Self-Deceit 101}

Having grown up with Jesus in an Essene family he probably got to know Jesus as well as God very well. He also knew what Jesus had told others and to whom Jesus prayed, like they at their family, at home, prayed to the only One true God, the God of Israel. Jesus did not pray to himself, but to the God of Abraham, about Whom he taught people to pray to as well.

The apostle James warns us in Verse 22  of the first chapter that if we are hearers of the word–the Bible–and not doers, we deceive or ensnare ourselves.

James 1:22 EWB-CB  But become ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Much too often Christians do forget Jesus’ parables and the warning of James. We may not delusively content our selves with being of the audience, but have to put what we hear in practice.

The writer of the blog UpStream writes

James says it’s like looking into the mirror on the morning of an important interview, seeing some serious bed-head, lots of stubble and a smudge of last night’s hot fudge sundae, and just walking away without taking action. {11 Self-Deceit 101}

Too many Christians make it themselves very easy, thinking because they are saved they do not have to do anything any more.

Rob Heijermans is aware that

sitting under the teaching of the Scriptures and not doing what they say is an act of self-deceit. Studying the Scriptures for ourselves, gaining an understanding of their meaning, but not obeying God’s Word, produces knowledge that makes us arrogant but yields no fruit in our lives. It is self-deceit. Even more serious is purporting to be a teacher and either teaching what is false or not doing what is true. James will deal with this more later in his letter. {11 Self-Deceit 101}

We should come to get to know what is written in the Bible and may not twist around the words of it. As such when is written “the son of God” we may not say “god the son“. We should clearly take the Words of God into account and take them serious.

In this world many have made their own gods. A lot also made Jesus in to their god, like Rob Heijermans has done. He also preaches about hell as a sort of place of eternal torture, whilst forgetting that the Divine Creator is a God of Love, who is an eternal Spirit Who can not be seen by man, but is with man, telling them no lies and saying they shall have paid for their sins with their death.

But this God of gods tells also about His sent one, the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Jesus on this earth tried to make his heavenly Father known and showed the way to the Kingdom of God. His brother knew also very well the importance of Jesus’ teaching about that Kingdom. He had to loose his brother at the wooden stake and see his mother cry, being full of grieve. But he had also come into the hope Jesus preached and wanted to share it with others, like his brother had asked it.

That preaching James had taken up is also an act we should do. It is one of the works Jesus asked his followers to do.

Twice, the writer of Hebrews mentions “dead works.” (Heb 6.1, 9.14) Now, James writes of “dead faith.” In the subsequent verses of Chapter 2, he mentions that even the demons believe in God–and tremble before Him!–so simply believing facts about God is not saving faith. James then cites two Old Testament characters whose faith was demonstrated by their works: Abraham, the Iraqi father of the Jewish nation was not content simply to tell God he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. He unsheathed his dagger and was about to plunge it into Isaac’s belly when God stopped him and provided a substitutionary ram. Rahab the whore did not stop at believing that God was conquering His enemies through the Israelites–she protected their spies, knowing the awesome power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

Lots of Christians have forgotten Who that God of the Israelites is and why we should take Him as our Only One True God, like Jesus also took Him as His Only One Most High Almighty God. But not only did they take the ransom offer of Jesus as the final act for them, misleading themselves that they would not have to do anything more because they are saved by the Blood of Christ.

Strangely enough the blog writer seems to know that

On some occasion, James probably heard his Brother say that God is glorified when we prove we are His disciples by producing fruit. (John 15.8) {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

In many parables Jesus had told how we have to get a good relationship with the heavenly Father. How He is willing to take us up as His children, but also how we can loose the entrance to the Kingdom of God. James came to understand those teachings of his brother and knew how important it was when people came into the faith how they had to change themselves and had to work on themselves continuously.

We may not assume that it are only our works that can get us some where.

the second half of James 2 demonstrates: just as it is vain to think that my works–religious duty, outward devotion, social activism, neighbourly consideration–could possibly get me to heaven, so also is it vain to suppose I am truly a child of God while my life manifests nothing of my faith. As Jesus said, a fruit tree with no fruit is cut down and burned. {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

When having come into the faith we have to water our own tree. (By reading and studying the Bible.) Then we do have to let the food of the earth and food of heaven feed ourselves, so that we can bear good fruits. For getting good fruits we need good pruning. We need to do a lot of work. Without the work there shall be no good fruits and when we are not willing to prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God we shall be too late like some young girls who did not prepare themselves or thought they had enough time. Please do not postpone. Take care that you are ready for when the day comes.

When procrastinating you will be surprised when the day comes you shall have nothing done what had to be done and will miss the boat.

Some things may be hard or difficult, like changing sides, or putting away human doctrinal teachings, like the trinity a.o.. but God wants from His son an his followers truthful worshippers of God who are faithful to Him, the Adonai Jehovah, and to His commandments. When we do not follow God’s commandments it will be like ignoring God’s Wishes and not wanting a good relationship with Him. Keeping to those commandments shall demand works we shall have to do with pleasure because we do believe in Christ, the son of God, and in his heavenly Father we also want to love.

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Preceding articles:

Leading people astray!

Restitution

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

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Please find also to read

  1. God of gods
  2. God is one
  3. Sayings around God
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Jesus Messiah
  6. Jesus and His God
  7. the Trinity – the Truth
  8. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  9. Bearing fruit
  10. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  11. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  12. Christ’s ethical teaching
  13. Being Justified by faith
  14. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  15. Faith and works
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  17. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  18. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  19. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  20. Be holy
  21. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  22. Love for each other attracting others

 

+++

Further related articles

  1. Count on your desire to procrastinate
  2. Sermon Redux – Part 4 of Doing Our Best for God’s Church – “Rejoicing in the Brutal Truth” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
  3. Boast in God’s Grace for You- Joseph Prince
  4. The Parable of the Two Sons
  5. Rewarded for Doing Good?
  6. Rewarded for their Labor? (1 Corinthians 3:8)
  7. Judged for What We Have Done
  8. Rewarded for What We’ve Done?
  9. 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  10. Chapter 2:23 – And he was called a friend of God.
  11. Four Panel Philosophy
  12. James 2:20-22 — Dynamic Faith
  13. Show Me Your Works

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Leading people astray!

The whole world must be aware of the dangers of false teachings that people just would be saved by the blood of Christ and therefore have nothing to do, no works to be required from them. Jesus’ parables warn us for such careless thoughts or ignorance of our necessary duties to be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

*

In Micah 3: 1-12  story  about leaders of the church > leading people astray from God’s word > making people comfortable in their sinful life style by speaking a message of false hope + security => encouraging people to sin <= refused to lead people back to God + lifestyle God called Micah to be God’s messenger.

Pastors + prophets today = same task > not bend to pressure even from within church to conform to sinful beliefs, behaviors or lifestyles common in the world => must be God’s voice for truth, righteousness + holiness.

+

Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Restitution

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof

++

Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  6. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  7. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  8. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  9. Christ’s ethical teaching
  10. Being Justified by faith
  11. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  12. Faith and works
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  15. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  16. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  17. Running away from the past
  18. Malefactors becoming your master
  19. Be holy
  20. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  21. Love for each other attracting others

+++

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Filed under Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Today there is still lots of commotion about works and faith. Still too many Christians do think they do not need any works.
The Catholic church, we must say, has from the beginning seen that certain works were necessary. One can not become a Christian without putting the previous life of sin away by having regret, asking for forgiveness of sins and taking steps to show regret (an act to be taken), opening oneself for remission by going for a baptism (a work).

Not only Rome sees baptism as a channel of sanctifying grace, as the primary instrumental cause of justification, and the sacrament of penance, whereby congruous merit is achieved through works of satisfaction, as the supplementary restorative cause whenever the grace of God’s initial acceptance is lost through mortal sin.

Not only for the Roman Catholics believers save themselves with the help of the grace that flows from Christ through the church’s sacramental system. Several other denominations request that people change their life once baptised (which sometimes demands lots of works). Other protestants groups do forget that it is impossible that a Christian would keep living the same sinful life as before his or her baptism. It is an illusion to believe that we are saved by the blood of Christ and would not have to do any works any more because we would go to heaven or always will be allowed to enter God’s Kingdom.

First of all the Kingdom will be here on earth for most of us. And Jesus showed us with his parables the danger of loosing the entrance through the small gate of life in eternity.

Justification may be given free, like people can win a lottery, but if they do not do anything with the price, they will be nothing with it.

For example if I would give you a limousine you are nothing with it if you do not use the key and turn the motor on (a work). Before you can go into the traffic you have to learn the road code and have to learn to drive. Then you will have to drive (doing a job) and shall have to be careful in traffic (taking attention), going to some place (trafficking).

Also with faith we do need to come into the faith (a work), trafficking, having to keep our faith (demands work), read the Word of God regularly and study it (demands work) we have to be careful to keep the code of God, His regulations and ordinances (keeping to the commandments requires work). Jesus also gave the order to go out in the world to proclaim the Gospel of the coming Kingdom (which demands a work) and to come together regularly, i.e. meeting with each other, which demands also some work.

For those who think they do not have to have self-control (which demands work) we must disappoint them. If they keep lying, bullying, stealing, fornicating, murdering, they shall miss the entrance of the coming Kingdom.
If they think it will be so easy in this system of things, we also must disappoint them, because also when baptised there shall be temptations, suffering and so on, which demand stamina to continue (work) in the faith.

*

To remember

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

=> =  we do have to be righteous to be able to live by faith

The author tells us:

  • doctrine of justification, storm center of Reformation = major concern of apostle Paul = heart of gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) + his devotion + spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14).
  • > other New Testament writers affirm same doctrine in substance => terms in which Protestants have affirmed + defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.
  • Justification = judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24) > accepting them as just => putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself.  > => justifying sentence = God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17) = his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor. 5:21).
  • God’s justifying decision = judgment of the Last Day, declaring where we shall spend eternity
  • necessary means, or instrumental cause, of justification is personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord (Rom. 4:23-25; 10:8-13).
  • As we give ourselves in faith to Jesus, Jesus gives us his gift of righteousness, so that in the very act of “closing with Christ,” as older Reformed teachers put it, we receive divine pardon and acceptance which we could not otherwise have (Gal. 2:15-16; 3:24).

+

Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Restitution

++

Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  6. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  7. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  8. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  9. Christ’s ethical teaching
  10. Being Justified by faith
  11. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  12. Faith and works
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  15. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  16. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  17. Running away from the past
  18. Malefactors becoming your master
  19. Be holy
  20. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  21. Love for each other attracting others

+++

Further related articles

  1. No Regrets
  2. Day 19: Things to regret
  3. Access: Denied
  4. Giving our regret to God
  5. Reminisce
  6. Life is like a river
  7. Questions & Answers About Lent
  8. Godly Sorrow Leads Us on to a Glorious Celebration of the Gospel
  9. A Threefold Malice
  10. Reconciliation
  11. Penance – Chapter One
  12. Wednesday of Septuagesima week: O, Merciful God! Have Mercy On Me The Fallen One!
  13. CFP: Discipline and Excess (Cambridge Friday, April 15, 2016)
  14. That kind of Franciscan
  15. The Savior of the World
  16. (01/07/2016) Salvation Only Through Christ?
  17. My Take on the Gay Marriage Bill.
  18. Missing the Mark
  19. Leading people astray!
  20. Tips for Gracious Living: Bad Driving
  21. Unfaithful fornicating adulterating Christians will perish
  22. We don’t meet God 1/2 way.
  23. The Salesman
  24. Actions are the Megaphone of Words
  25. The Justification of Abraham
  26. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  27. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  28. Fashion advice?
  29. (12/31/2015) By Faith, Not By Interpretation?
  30. Faithfulness
  31. Seeing Christ
  32. Faith in Action

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Verlore seun

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” GALATIANS 3:11

The doctrine of justification, the storm center of the Reformation, was a major concern of the apostle Paul. For him it was the heart of the gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) and his devotion and spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14). Though other New Testament writers affirm the same doctrine in substance, the terms in which Protestants have affirmed and defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.

Justification is a judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24), accepting them as just, and so putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself. This justifying sentence is God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17), his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2…

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The Mountain: Radical Obedience

About Faith and works we should always remember that after the works of conversion we do have to keep to the works of command of the self.

Scripture never says that we are justified dia ten pistin, on account of faith. This means that faith is never represented as the ground of our justification. {Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof}

We have to keep grip or control of the things we want to do. Not only do we have to control our temper, we are told in the gospel and letters of the apostles why and how we should demonstrate more self-control.

Too many Christians do forget the parables of Jesus which clearly show how we can miss the entrance to God’s Kingdom if we do not do certain works.

The mountain sermon summarizes the works we have to do. Lets not forget them.

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To remember

When Jesus started home to Capernaum and Jesus’ mother & brothers arrived, they sent a message through the crowd, asking for him. When someone in the crowd told Jesus,

“Your mother & brothers are outside, and they want to see you.”

Jesus answered with a question,

“Who are my real family members?”

He looked at the people sitting around him and said,

“My real family members are right here. Those of you who follow the Holy Spirit & do what God wants are the real members of my family & God’s family.” {Family Matters}

obedience

Then Jesus again taught his students who were gathered there, emphasizing basic themes he had previously taught them on the mountain (64) and continued teaching his students, still emphasizing basic themes he had taught them on the mountain (65).

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  • don’t judge other people => God won’t have to judge you for judging them
  • don’t condemn other people => God won’t have to condemn you for condemning them
  • forgive other people => God will forgive you => receive a full measure of His blessings
  • measure of blessing you give to other people = measure of blessing which God will give to you
  • Don’t criticize a splinter in your friend’s eye > you have a log in your own eye = hypocritical!
  • take log out of your eye; judge yourself according to God’s standards => be able to help your friend deal with splinter in his eye.
  • beam-in-eye
  • any person, who says good things & still does bad things = not really living for God.
  • hear these words of Jesus + obeys them = like a man who dug deep & laid foundation of his house on rock

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Preceding articles

Illusion of control

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

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Also of interest

  1. Signs of the the last days when difficult times will come
  2. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  4. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  5. Your struggles develop your strengths
  6. Every athlete exercises self control
  7. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  8. Angry but not sinning
  9. Kindness
  10. Inculcate God’s words and speak of them
  11. Praying is surrendering in all circumstances

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More interesting articles

  1. God Is Working For You
  2. Power of Words….
  3. When you know better…
  4. You Are Rooted As A Tree
  5. Start Out The Right Way
  6. Self-Control
  7. Simple Steps to Self-Control – Start!!!
  8. Simple Steps to Self-Control – Continue…
  9. Self-control; Is Jesus Pleased with Your Faith Life?
  10. Self-controlled faith life in Jesus
  11. Allen on Self Control
  12. I’m Out of (Self) Control
  13. Simple Steps to Self-Control
  14. Controlling the Tongue Part 3: The Unstable Tongue (James 3:9-12)
  15. Get Your Rest
  16. You Can Be Wrong – It Doesn’t Hurt
  17. those whose time is up
  18. self control
  19. Like A Bull In A China Shop
  20. Acting Your Wages
  21. Happy Thoughts-Prosperity 101
  22. You won’t like Me when I’m angry!
  23. “Be Angry, and Do Not Sin” (Convictions of honor)
  24. The Power of Silence, the unspoken words
  25. Proverbs 16:32
  26. We can make discipline a bunch of rules to follow and turn into a judgmental ninny or we can use discipline to make ourselves better
  27. A New Life
  28. Motivational quote for January 25th 2016
  29. What Does a believers character Article 9 1-23-16
  30. Bible study: It’s loving to warn someone who is about to make a mistake
  31. life preserver
  32. Secrets Of Developing Self-Control
  33. A New Outlook
  34. Accepting Forgiveness
  35. The Chambers of my Heart
  36. Roy Baumeister: Ego Depletion
  37. The Flesh Is Weak, But You Don’t Have To Be
  38. Not to be too spiritual. . .
  39. Don’t Worry; Worship
  40. True Love Must Give
  41. Responding with Love
  42. Patience-Use it before you Lose it
  43. What Is God’s Love Like?
  44. You Will Have Help By Tomorrow

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January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

In the past there have been many discussion about the possibility man being good. When we look at the world today it seems not much has changed. Along all sides we can see people who do not want to share the luck they have with others. This has come to a high point with the refugee crisis. It is understandable that people want to protect their own goods and culture, but often they are too much afraid that their way of living would be in danger by others from far away coming to live in their regions.

Several people are convinced that people who are fleeing from war-zones can not be good and trustworthy people. According to several Christians it is even impossible for a human being to be good from himself and as such no one can be reliable.

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says “Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence Durst thou excuse man’s foul concupiscence, Or cry down Sin Originall, or that The love of God did man predestinate.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversial British monk Pelagius in the fifth century had taught that man’s nature was essentially good. This was not to the liking of the Catholic Church leaders who found that because of Adam’s sin all men were born with a strong tendency to sin. It is even for that reason that lots of Christians do say it is impossible for Jesus to be a man. Because he was without sin he should be God, according to them. This naturally is not at all true and makes of God a horrible Creator, having created human beings who can not decide for themselves to do good or bad. Worse it would also mean that God gave man commandments He knew they would never be able to follow.

Pelagius rightly said that an individual had the power to do right by choosing to do right and by beating the body into submission through ascetic practices. Traditional Christianity said that men could defeat their tendencies to sin only by the working of God’s grace in their heart. According to the churchleaders Pelagius‘s ideas meant that Christ‘s death on the cross served more as a moral example than as an atonement able to transform the soul from within by divine force, which meant against going their doctrine of sola fide.

Those who think that Old and New Testaments alike teach us that we cannot change ourselves have not very well read the Holy Book of books. In the many books which form the bible we do have many examples of people who have gone from bad to good but also from good to bad and sometimes returning to good.

Augustinus 1.jpg

Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

The Christian philosopher and theologian St. Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430), best known for “The Confessions” and “The City of God” was responsible for the excommunication of Pelagius.

While in Rome, Pelagius first heard of Augustine through his reading of a prayer from Augustine’s Confessions: “Give what Thou commandest and command that Thou wilt.” To Pelagius, the philosophy expressed in this prayer sounded like the total abandonment of human responsibility and a denial of the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. If all moral action, thought Pelagius, depends solely on God — both the commanding as well as the ability to obey — God is either an arbitrary tyrant or else man is a creature deprived of free will. Pelagius conducted his teaching along these lines while he was in Rome, and it was to this teaching that an able lawyer, Caelestius, responded, leaving his profession of advocacy and becoming Pelagius’s disciple, companion, and the popularizer of his views.

Caelestius’s Pelagian views continued to spread, and soon Augustine was preaching and writing with intense fervour against this what he called a new heresy, arguing that the whole lump of humanity is infected with sin and that only the grace administered in baptism can wash away the guilty stain.

In spite of these admonitions from the Doctor of Grace, the controversy continued, and it was not long before the articulate bishop of Eclanum, Julian, stepped in to argue the Pelagian cause, forcing Augustine, by the clarity of his logic, into positions regarding the doctrines of grace and predestination that have been burdensome to Western Christendom ever since. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

Today we still find many who do not want to see that man has a lot in his own hands. Today there are still lots of Christians who think it is impossible for man to live according to God’s Wishes and that he does not have to do any good works to enter the Kingdom of God because it is just impossible for him to do such good works.

According to Augustine it is not possible to lead a sinless life, with (for whatever reason, probably she had to carry the god son according to the Catholic Church) the exception of the Virgin Mary. For Augustine divine grace must precede every virtuous act and today many Christians are also still convinced we are all saved whatever what we have done and whatever we do in our life.

For such Christians who try to put sand in the eyes of searching people, the saying that we need works to enter the Kingdom of God is heresy. For them it is not only possible for man not to sin, they are not able to bring any change in the salvation of themselves.

The caricature of Pelagianism found in many orthodox textbooks and devotional manuals is hardly one that Pelagius would recognize. He never, for instance, denied the need for grace or for infant baptism; he never accepted the position that man can, by his own moral efforts, achieve his salvation. On basic doctrinal issues, Pelagius was certainly orthodox; and on matters of Christian morality his chief concern was to foster among Christian people a right regard for the ethical responsibilities he saw as inherent in the Gospel message. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

The Christian attitude is a very important issue which was been tackled by rabbi Jeshua (master teacher Jesus Christ) with a lot of delicacy. The Nazarene Jew, who was not afraid to bring others to see they had no right to judge others, told his listeners many parables in which he tried to get them to understand that we must be very careful not to loose the right to enter the Kingdom of God.

Lots of Christians are mistaken to think they do not have to do any good works to enter Gods Kingdom. It is true that they are saved and have nothing to do to get under the Grace of salvation. But what they forget is that, though they received salvation for nothing, they can loose it when they do not work at themselves. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after the last books of the Bible were written wanted their flock to believe that Jesus paid the full prize or penalty for our sins, so that nothing had to be done or paid any more. They added their human doctrine, which is nowhere written in the Bible, saying that

Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, he having fully atoned for our sins and by saying “it is finished” he did what no human could do, make up for their sins and made an end to everything what had to be done.

But it was not finished by having to come to God (a work) or to follow God’s commandments (again demanding works).

It is totally wrong to think once new born and/or being baptised, we are cleared and have a free way to enter into God’s Kingdom, or what some are thinking to go to heaven. In case a person has fund Christ and has come to God several works are needed. First of all before finding Christ work has to be done to come to know him and his God. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God, that person has to convert to Christianity which again is a work to be done. But once baptised it is not finished. Than the person has to work at his or her character and try to stay on the right track, following God’s commandments, which shall require again some, not to say ‘lots’ of works.

Every Christian must work to control themselves. Once having become a Christian that person should try not to lie, to steal, to betray, to fornicate, to murder and many other things he or she should avoid doing (which demands work). If none of these works are needed for salvation the person could have sex with as many persons or animals as he or she wanted no matter the gender. If no works have to be done a person could also continue to do fraudulent actions, without having to worry.

It is for the reason having so many Christian preachers trying to convince others they do not need to do any works, and because of the reaction by Grow Pastor, Minister to Men, Ken Miller to us, at his article That’s the Spirit!, that we think it opportune to warn people of the lack of understanding of the given grace.

Christ Jesus died for all people, sinners or not. By the works of faith he has done, we received the Grace of Salvation, but when we ignore his calling or his heavenly Father’s calling than we shall not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of god when we did bad things and did not repent about them. It is not by works of justice that we had done, but, in accord with the mercy of God, Him willing to accept the ransom offering of His son. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we are been justified by his grace and are we allowed to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)

When Saul had become a follower of the Messiah he looked at the work of the master teacher and at the sacraments which were given to those who followed Jesus. The apostle wrote

Romans 3:27-31 The Scriptures 1998+  (27)  Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief.  (28)  For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah.  (29)  Or is He the Elohim of the Yehuḏim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also,  (30)  since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief.  (31)  Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.1 Footnote: 1See 7:12.

and gave the Romans to know that they thought or hold that a man is brought into right standing with God by faith and that observance of the law has no connection with it.

Saying that he did not confirm that

“by faith apart from deeds of the law” as meaning, “by faith alone”

but him affirming that we then not through faith make null and void the law; instead, we confirm it. It is by our faith that we shall do certain works according to the faith. Pelagius considered that sacraments are elements believers should keep taking throughout their life. For him it was like it is for us, that faith should be expressed and perfected in works. Submitting to Jehovah His works in the proper disposition, which is that of faith, is an action or a work to be done.

Too many Christians forget the importance of the feeling we should have about what we have done. If we do not feel bad by the wrong things we have done and do not repent for them, for sure the Bible shows us, we shall not receive an entrance in God’s Kingdom. Repentance and teshuvah demands a work. Staying a good person also demands work. All those that say we do not have to do any work of faith, are either forgetting what the Bible tells about it and are insinuating we can do whatever we want and shall still be saved.

On the other hand it is very strange that it are just such preachers who talk so ferociously about salvation and no works needed for salvation, who also preach about damnation in a hell, a place of eternal fire.

Luckily the Bible speaks about the end of our life by death, and that we once we die shall not be able to feel anything any more. No frustrations, no pain, no sorrow any more when we die. Then it shall all be finished, but then it shall also be too late if we did not choose for God and did not work at our own self.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Salvation and Righteousness
  2. Elul Observances
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. Good and bad things in this world
  10. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  11. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  14. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  15. Humbleness
  16. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  17. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit
  20. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  21. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  22. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  23. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  24. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  25. 2014 Religion
  26. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  27. From pain to purpose
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  29. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  30. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  31. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  32. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. No one is saved by the law. Salvation is by faith through Grace.
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. St. Paul Didn’t Say Faith Alone
  4. The Law of Diminishing Returns
  5. A Call to Dare God
  6. The Tangible Presence of God
  7. Devotion for Monday After the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)
  8. Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians & The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  9. Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace
  10. Can someone who genuinely loves the God of Israel, prays to Him and trusts him go to hell? The New Testament says…
  11. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  12. The pain of radical grace
  13. The power of grace
  14. Seeing Christ
  15. (12/04/2015) By More Than Believing
  16. Faith Child – Forget the poor!
  17. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  18. Repent so that you can understand
  19. Faithfulness
  20. Faith Without Works (Pastor Joe Taylor)
  21. Faith without Works ??? (1 Way to live)
  22. Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life: Faith Alone Does Not Save
  23. The Works
  24. Faith in Action
  25. Put Your Faith Into Action
  26. Fashion advice?
  27. Intentional God
  28. The Sower of Seeds: A Parable of Jesus
  29. Matthew 23:23 [Coming Soon]
  30. Studies in Mark (Pt. 8)
  31. Galatians 5:4 [Unfinished]
  32. Galatians 6:7-9 [Unfinished]
  33. Ephesians 2:8-9
  34. Titus 3:5-7
  35. NT Reading – October 5
  36. James 1:14-20 — Faith that Works!
  37. James, Part 2
  38. The Book that Almost Wasn’t: Faith, Lists, and Works ~ James 2
  39. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  40. Faith Without Works Is Dead
  41. Putting Legs to Their Faith
  42. Are You a doer???
  43. Are You Willing to do more???
  44. Mincing no Words
  45. Epistle for September 6, 2015
  46. Tell it Tuesday w/ B.Parker|How To Pray When Life Isn’t Going Your Way
  47. Tell it Tuesday w/ B. Parker| It’s 2am and No One is Answering…Who To Call?
  48. Childish Thinking
  49. Are You A Weed?
  50. Sneaky Subjectivism
  51. What Future?
  52. Intentional Avoidance, Disconnected Ignorance, or Disinterested Forgetfulness?
  53. We Are All Damaged Goods…
  54. Just Sitting There
  55. The Subnormal Christian Life
  56. 14 How to Work Your Way to Hell
  57. Faith Life Congruence
  58. We pray and plead with you…”Do You Job!”
  59. Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 42 – “Pure Religion”

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