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Lesson 4: The Truth for man's salvation:
Many people have secret doubts about their salvation because they were never formally water baptized or sprinkled. We know Jesus received water baptism and encouraged others to do so. This was in symbolic recognition of their sins being washed away.
The spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit is what removes our sins and births our heart for true salvation. In St. Luke 23:39-43 we read that Jesus saved the thief hanging on a cross next to him without ceremony the same day.
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward for our deeds; but his man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Today thou shalt be with me in paradise." Amen
Lesson 1: Many people are soul searching for truth concerning their salvation. This is the first of a series of lessons that Jesus taught to reveal the truth for man's salvation. In St. Luke 10:30-37 (KJV) Jesus answers the question, 'Who is my neighbor?' with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
It is a story about a traveler who is robbed, beaten and left for dead by the roadside. A priest passed by and ignored him. Then a Levite (a member of a priestly Hebrew tribe of Levi), came and looked at him and left without helping. Then a Samaritan (the Samaritans and Jews hated each other), came and cleaned up his wounds, took him to an inn and paid for his care.
Being religious in name only is not true salvation.
Actions speak louder than words. Amen
Lesson 5: The Truth for man's salvation:
Most of us want peace of mind and a tranquil soul.
We usually blame others or circumstances when we
can't find them. All too often, we blame ourselves; but cannot find the answers we need.
Then we seek all kinds of escape solutions with alcohol, drugs and desperate measures trying to solve these inner problems. We have to face the truth in ourselves.
When we accept the salvation of Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Truth becomes part of our being. This Spirit guides and directs us from within. It tells us what is right and wrong in the eyes of God; and warns us when we go in the wrong direction.
When we obey this gentle voice, the Spirit of Peace & Tranquility floods our mind and soul. When we ignore the warnings and harden our hearts; our mind takes control and does what it wants anyway. Then comes the disruption & conflict within ourselves.
We are God's children and we pay a price for disobedience. Every child of God is different and each of us has our own personalized set of rules. Some of us have the inner liberty to do things that others don't have. Then others have the inner freedom to do things
that we ourselves are not allowed to do.
Peace of mind and tranquil soul comes by obeying the
inner, special rules of Truth the Lord designed for you.
We continue to learn what sin is and how it works against us in our lessons on "Winning the battle over sin and guilt" in Romans 7:7-13:
"What then do we conclude? Is the Law identical with sin? Certainly not! Nevertheless, if it had not been for the Law, I should not have recognized sin or have known its meaning. [For instance] I would not have known about covetousness--would have no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt--if the Law had not [repeatedly] said,
You shall not covet and have evil desire [for one thing and another]."
"But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment
[to express itself] got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead--the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing."
"Once I was alive but quite apart from and unconscious from the Law. But when the commandment came, sin lived again, and I died--was sentenced by the Law to death."
"And the very legal ordinance which was designed and intended to bring life, actually proved [to mean to me]
"For sin, seizing the opportunity and getting a hold on me [by taking its incentive] from the commandment, beguiled and entrapped and cheated me, and using it
[as a weapon] killed me."
"The Law therefore is holy, and (each) commandment is holy and just and good."
"Did that which is good then prove fatal (bringing death) to me? Certainly not! It was sin, working death in me by using this good thing [as a weapon], in order that through the commandment sin might clearly be shown up clearly to be sin, that the extreme malignity and
immeasurable sinfulness of sin might plainly appear."
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Are you focused on self? Is the question always, What do I want for me?
This attitude makes it very difficult to know and manifest the pure love of God toward self and others.
We conclude our lessons on "Clouds without rain, Wells without water" in the Letter of Jude 1:21-25:
"Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, [which will bring you] unto life eternal."
"And refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt."
"[Strive to] save others, snatching them out of the fire, on others take pity [but] with fear (carefully), loathing
even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality."
"Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping, or falling and to present you unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory--with unspeakable, ecstatic delight--in triumphant joy and exultation,"
"To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever--unto all the ages of eternity. Amen
Lesson 6: The Truth for man's salvation:
Who or what is pulling the strings in your life today?
We own things and have loved ones & friends that we are tied to in some fashion. These cords of pride in ownership and cherished relationships we attach to them work both ways.
We stay connected in our efforts to control them, without realizing that they can influence and control us as well. Material things are subject to wear & tear and all too often become burdens instead of blessings.
The same is true in our relationships with others.
Sometimes our love and desire to please others, becomes stronger than our desire to love and please God. Then we lose self-control of our personal lives and the ability to guide & influence others.
When we fail to let God control us; then the things of this world will take control of us in His place. Amen
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Lesson 3: The Truth for man's salvation:
We are forbidden to worship the messengers of God,
the churches and their doctrines instead of God.
In Acts 14:14-15 (KJV) Paul and Barnabas stopped the people who wanted to worship them as gods:
"Then the priests of Jupiter ...brought oxen and garlands...and would have done sacrifice with the people; Which, when Barnabas and Paul heard of, they rent their clothes and ran in among the people,
crying out, Saying, sirs, why do ye do these things?
We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God. which made heaven and earth, and the sea and all things that are therein."
In Revelation 19:10 we see John about to worship a messenger angel and was forbidden to do so:
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see thou do it not; I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:
Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy."
Leviticus 26:1 (KJV) is very clear to all: "Ye shall make ye no idols, nor graven images, neither rear you up
a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land to bow down unto it. For I am the Lord your God. " Amen
Do you struggle to do what's right and good, but lose the battle to sin and guilt?
We begin this series of lessons on "Winning the battle over sin and guilt" in Romans 7:1-6:
"Do you not know, brethren, for I am speaking to men who are acquainted with the Law, that legal claims have power over a person only for so long as he is alive?"
"For [instance] a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is loosed and discharged from the law concerning her husband."
"Accordingly, she will be held an adultress if she unites herself to another man while her husband lives. But if her husband dies, the marriage law is no longer binding on her--she is free from that law--and if she unites herself to another man she is not an adultress."
"Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God."
"When we were living in the flesh (mere physical lives),
the sinful passions that were awakened and roused up
by [what] the Law [makes sin] were constantly operating in our natural powers--in our bodily organs, in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh--so that we bore fruit for death."
"But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve
not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings]
of the Holy Spirit in newness of life."
Christian Counseling for Faith
Senior Life training
Lesson 7: The Truth for man's salvation:
All of us are born with a spiritual hole in our heart
where God wants to dwell. This void in our lives can only be filled and made whole by the Holy Spirit using the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Adam & Eve were made perfect and filled with the Spirit of God. Their rebellion and disobedience caused their spiritual death and all following them.
Jesus came as the second Adam to restore man with God in spiritual rebirth and all accepting him.
Nothing in and of this world can fill that void in our heart and make us whole; no matter what man tries.
The only true and pure source of spiritual life to make us complete is Jesus our Christ abiding in our heart. Without Him you are spiritually dead already. With Jesus we are reborn again for eternal life. Amen The end of this series of lessons.
Lesson 2: The truth for man's salvation.
There is no justification for schisms (separations or divisions into factions) in the body of Christ.
1st Corinthians 12:12-13 and 25 (KJV):
"For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink in one Spirit."
"That there shall be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
The only name tag for admission into heaven is
Jesus Christ. Amen
Are you a sports fan or a team player?
Whatever the sport, there are teams that compete for the championships. Every member of the team performs their best efforts to win.
Now fans support their favorite team by wearing shirts, hats and whatever they want, while yelling in attendance watching games; but they are not actually in the game.
Christian religion is a lot like that. There are all these denominations competing against each other for fans attendance and support. They often become so focused on their franchise, they forget the original owner of all of them is Jesus Christ.
Many of the members act more like fans to their denomination and forget all the other denominations are part of the same family of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Wearing a cross and showing public display makes you a fan of Christianity; but only the true love of Jesus Christ in your heart makes you a member of the family of God.
Come on Lord, the victory is ours !
Do you know there are people who practice religious rituals but do not really have Jesus Christ as their Savior?
We continue our lessons on "Clouds without rain, Wells without water" in the Letter of Jude 1:14-20:
"It was of these people moreover that Enoch in the seventh [generation] from Adam prophesied when he said, Behold the Lord comes with His myriad of holy ones--ten thousands of His saints;"
"To execute judgement upon all, and to convict all the impious (unholy ones) of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed [in such an] ungodly way,
and of all the severe--abusive, soul-jarring--things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
"These are inveterate murmurers (grumblers), that complain [of their lot in life], going after their own desires--controlled by their passions; their talk is boastful and arrogant, [and they claim to] admire men's persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage."
"But you must remember, beloved, the predictions which were made by the apostles (the special messengers) of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah,
the Anointed One."
"They told you beforehand, In the last days
(in the end time) there will be scoffers--who seek to gratify their own unholy desires--following after their own ungodly passions."
"It is these who are (agitators) setting up distinctions and causing divisions; merely sensual [creatures]--
carnal, worldly-minded people--devoid of the
Holy Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life."
"But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith--make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher--praying in the Holy Spirit."
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING * MENTAL HEALTH
Don't let self-loathing and self-contempt cause you to hate yourself and your life.
We continue our lessons on "Winning the battle over sin and guilt" in Romans 7:14-20 Amplified Greek Bible:
"We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh (carnal,unspiritual), having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin."
"For I do not understand my own actions--I am baffled, bewildered. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns]."
"Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire,
[that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it."
"However, it is no longer I that do the deed, but the
SIN PRINCIPLE which is at home in me and has possession of me."
"For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. --I have the intention and the urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out."
"For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am
"Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it--it is not myself that acts--but the
SIN PRINCIPLE which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]."