What A New Testament Church Should Look Like

“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:26‬ ‭

Paul spent much of the book of first Corinthians explaining how the Corinthians (who had gotten quite a bit out of order) should conduct a church service. Besides basic instruction in not standing against local cultural laws unnecessarily, and striving to live peaceably if at all possible, he spent several chapters giving instructs on the proper operations of the Holy Spirit and their importance to the conversion of the lost and the edifying of the body as a whole. 

Starting in chapter 12 Paul explains the importance of the body of Christ all working together. Each moving in different spiritual gifts, one confirming the moving of the Holy Spirit through the operation of the other as God uses them in different ways; yet functioning as a whole in a way that only God can, and so proving what is from God and what is not. You see, the church was never meant to be one preacher serving a spiritual meal to everyone else who just come and blindly eat it up. That’s a good way to get poisoned! The church was meant to be a body of people all seeking God separately and then coming together to share what they got corporately to see how God fits the dishes together into one perfectly balanced meal. Not unlike a family potluck as opposed to a restaurant mentality.  

Paul goes into great detail on what a true New Testament church service should look like. After explaining what not to do he sums up what should be happening in this, our opening passage when he says, “well bretheren, how should it be? Everyone should come with a song or poem that God has given them or placed on their heart or prepared to partake in the ones brought by others. The body should come with some scriptures that God has recently pointed them to. The body should come ready to share some revelation that God has given them lately by either the written (logos) word or by the gift of prophecy (Rhema spoken word of God) as was covered extensively in previous versus. The body should come together taking turns in prayer in both the spirit and in the understanding as some pray in tongues and others interpret or move in other operations of the Holy Spirit mentioned earlier in the previous 2 chapters. These things all work together through the body that in the mouths of two or three all things might be established. 

“…In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭

When God speaks, He will speak it through multiple people and sources in different ways all coming together to make one very clear message. In this can you discern what is being ministered by the Spirit of God and what is simply coming from a man, or worse yet, a deceiving spirit. Where only one man ministers there will almost inevitably be error, for there is nothing to check the message against to keep it accountable. After all even the devil preached scriptures to Jesus (out of context and out of time with the season that God had Him in) when seeking to tempt Christ into error. 

To everything there is a time, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to wait and a time to move, a time to plant and a time to reap what has been planted. All of these take faith but faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Rhema (right now spoken) word of God. When you have heard the Holy Spirit of God speak the same thing to you consistently and persistently through multiple sources it stirs faith in you to believe it. The logos written word of God gives you instructions for both seasons but only the Rhema spoken word of God can tell you what season you are in. Therefore are we not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together nor the operations of the gifts of the spirit through each member of the body, that in the moving and speaking of the Holy Spirit of God through individual members can what He has been speaking directly to us be confirmed and reaffirmed and then sought out in scripture for examples and instructions on how to walk it out. This is the perfect moving, function, and operation for the true biblical New Testament Church and the body of Believers that make it up. 

“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:26‬ ‭

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath 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 been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:7-14‬ ‭

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭

“(Of those) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

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Christ’s Warning About The Doctrine Of Balaam

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:15‬

Many times in the New Testament we are warned of God’s destain for the Spirit of Balaam. Of how God sees those who allow themselves to be led by it as filthy spots on the bride of Christ that must be removed. So what is this Spirit of Balaam that Jesus Himself often warned of, and how does one fall to it? 

Balaam was a biblical prophet who once walked in the truth having a true revelation of Jesus Christ (one of the clearest in all of scripture). Yet thinking that once he had obtained this revelation that he could not loose it, he sought the easy path. 

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭

Balaam chose to compromise with the enemy and led others to do the same by teaching them that they could ignore the things that God had spoken to them, reject the revelations that God had given them, and partake in things that God had called them away from and nothing would happen. He taught them that God would not reject a people that had rejected God’s words as long as they still called themselves by His Name. He convinced them that nothing would happen because they were chosen and would not loose their right standing with God, but something did happen. God’s wrath waxed hot against this people and Balaam who taught this error most of all. Balaam (and all those who follow the leading of this demonic spirit of error) forfeited his eternal gain and encouraged others to do the same for the sake of earthly gain, comfort, and social status; and God takes this very seriously. 

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” – Revelation‬ ‭2:14-16‬ ‭

Jesus literally says in the book of Revelations that He hates this doctrine, and those who choose to willingly hold it make themselves His enemy. Yet Jesus, in His great mercy, always offers an opportunity for repentance but once offered (if refused) then begins to move against those that hold it Himself. The saddest part about this spirit is that it comes on those who once held the truth. They once had a real revelation of Jesus Christ, they were once saved. Yet for selfish reasons of pleasure, ease, gain, or social standing they strayed from the path, teachings, and revelations that God had given to them and in doing so turned their face to follow after the enemy and their back to God. 

Worse still, they did it all on the very steps of the temple still professing to be God’s people when in reality they had become His enemy, causing Him to war against them not understanding that what you serve to obey you are the servant of and agree to make it your master, for what you come into agreement with you come into covenant with. Therefor anything or anyone that you are willing to sell your soul for and obedience to, you are deeming of greater value to you then the price Christ has already paid for it and like Gomer, you sell yourself back into bondage.  

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith this person was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews‬ ‭10:29-31‬ ‭

In the end, Balaam’s punishment was death as is the punishment for all those who steal from God (be it anything from money to souls). God takes this very seriously and so should we. Stand fast on the things that God tells you. Do not compromise with the world or those of it. Pick up your cross, die to selfish needs, wants, emotions, and desires, and follow after Christ’s example less you fall after the example of Balaam and be counted among the spots and not among the faithful who have endured to the end on the day of judgment. Remember that over two million people left Egypt and crossed through the sea, but only two of those people stayed the course and actually entered into the Promise Land, for straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to life eternal and few are they that find it. After all, as Paul so clearly states, the reward is not to those who start the race, but to those who finish it. Therefor, choose to take Christ’s warnings seriously and heed them diligently because the doctrine of Balaam is alive and well in the church today spotting the brides garment with this great deception of convenience that will promise you much, but in the end will actually cost you everything. Seek the Lord, walk in wisdom, trust what He tells you, do not compromise it, and stay the course no matter the cost. 

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:12-22‬ ‭

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:2-6‬ ‭


Full Audio Teaching on: “The Spirit of Balaam”

http://heartofworshipchurch.com/podcastgen/media/spirit_of_balaam.mp3

Only Those Clothed In Wedding Garments Will Enter In

bride-of-christ_n“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew‬ ‭22:11-14‬ ‭

Scripturally the Wedding garment always represents RIGHTEOUSNESS (Revelations 19:8). We cannot expect to approach GOD OUR KING without being properly clothed!

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”‭ – Revelation 3:18-22‬

Today, after reading this, I was amazed at how similar the “Marriage dinner” parable was to this, then I thought how the Pharisees would’ve known that also.

“The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord. I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”‭ – Zephaniah 1:1-18‬

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”‭ – Hebrews 3:1-19‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

God Is Love

“Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭

Oh how beautiful our God is. Great and mighty, tender and sweet. He is love itself. He is gracious and kind, yet He is also terrible in power, authority, and judgment. He is a God over angel armies. He is a just judge enacting sentences for sin. Yet over all that He does and/or allows to be done, His banner is love. 

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭

God does nothing that isn’t rooted in love. His grace and mercies are rooted in love for all. His judgments and wrath are rooted in love for the faithful. His corrections and even His stepping back and allowing the enemy to shake us is rooted in love for the straying unto repentance. 

God is a good father and thus exhibits all the characteristics of a good Father. Love, kindness, grace, mercy, correction, wrath, direction, lessons; and once raised up and instructed in truth He lets you choose to trust His wisdom and obey what He has taught you or trust in your own wisdom, or that of those around you. If you choose the latter, He will step back and let you walk out the consequences of that decision in the loving hope that you might (through the consequences) see the folly of it. 

In the end everything He does, doesn’t do, or allows to be done is rooted on love. This is why you can know those that are rooted in Him by their fruit. If someone is truly connected to the root of love they will produce the fruit of love, for God is love and so are His true children. Therefore, if one does not show forth the continual fruit of love, then they are not connected to the root of love. No matter what they say, or imagine, the fruits do not lie. God is love, and so are His children. 

“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” – Romans‬ ‭11:16‬ ‭

“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans‬ ‭11:21-22‬ ‭

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:3-11‬ ‭

He Wants a Relationship

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭

Whether it be trials, persecutions, desperations, the complexity of the scriptures, the impossibility of His promises, or the desire to see loved ones saved, everything in a believers life is designed to drive them to prayer because above, all God wants to sup (visit) with you. 

Martha labored and God was not displeased but Marry visited with Him and of this Jesus said that Marry did “what was needful”. This is such a powerful revelation that Jesus would say that He needs us to visit with Him. 

When the woman at the well asked Jesus if people should worship in the temple or in the mountain, He replied that the time had come for people to worship God in Spirit and in truth wherever they are because God seeks such to worship Him. Wow, God seeks for these people. That must mean that they are not a common occurrence and God earnestly desires the company of those who are willing to pour out worship from their Spirit and their lives wherever they are. Those who will have true loving un-abandoned communion with Him.

Even in the very act of communion we are reminded to remember to commune with Him. To set aside time to spend with Him, not hearing about Him but hearing from Him. He wants us to remember that He is real, He is alive, and He is present to anyone who will open up the door and let Him come in and visit with them. He will listen to you, but more importantly He will speak to you for this is the key to overcoming power. After all, if you come to truly and personally know His voice (not just His words but His voice) then an other you will not follow, and how else will you get to know the sound of His voice but to visit with Him.

The disciples never asked Jesus to teach them how to preach, teach, prophesy, do miracles, read the scriptures, or evangelize, they asked Him only to “teach them how to pray.” Because they knew that out of prayer and worship (which is the highest form of prayer) everything else would flow. If your preach isn’t birthed in the personal communion of prayer, then it’s not from God. If your teach, prophecy, works, miracles, ministry, or understanding of scripture isn’t birthed in the personal communion with God through prayer then, I’m sorry, it’s not from God.

“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” – James‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭

Jesus came, suffered, and died that the veil would be torn and we would all be able to come boldly before His thrown by faith to receive the grace (power) to overcome. Yet Jesus Hime said that this life changing fruit baring grace will only flow in the abiding. So choose today to open the door, invite His Holy Spirit in, sit and sup with Him, commune, abide, wait on the Lord to speak, learn to hear His voice, and He will renew your strength daily, teach you things to come, show you the way around every snare and trap of the enemy, and bring you into overcoming power. He has made it all available to you, but it will only come by way of relationship not religion. Religion nailed Jesus to the cross and went home, relationship cried at His tomb until He showed up to wipe the tears away. Which one would you rather be counted among on judgement day?

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭

“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” – John‬ ‭20:13-17‬

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation‬ ‭21:4‬ ‭

FAITH As A Grain Of Mustard Seed

Plant in hands“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: 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. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.‭‭” – Matthew‬ ‭17:20-23‬‬

Faith AS a grain of mustard seed…” Really pondering on this. What is this kind of faith?

REVELATION: This is the fully surrendered life. That which places no value on itself, but lays down to be planted (buried if you will); and not only the crucified life, but the buried (dead and gone). Place that flesh out of sight! Let it be destroyed!

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭6:4-7‬‬

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”‭‭ – Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬‬

“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭12:23-26‬‬

Choosing to die like this is not at all an easy thing to do, nor was it for Christ; but what we can be assured of is that it will all be worth it, when we enter into eternal life with JESUS CHRIST!

“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭12:27-33‬‬

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”‭‭ – Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-21‬‬

There were many Biblical examples of people who had this kind of faith in GOD.
Here are some:

Esther:
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”‭‭ – Esther‬ ‭4:16‬‬

Saul who became the Apostle Paul:
“And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”‭‭ – Acts‬ ‭9:8-18‬‬

“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭8:10-18‬‬

As followers of Christ Jesus we not only celebrate the victory of His death, burial, and resurrection, but are made partakers of it through suffering in this life. This is why Paul could say, “I die daily”, and spoke of the hope of the resurrection to come.

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”‭‭ – Colossians‬ ‭3:3‬‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Spots On The Bride

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:9-10‬

This passage is a warning of those whom the Lord will judge the most harshly on the day of Judgment. Being such a serious offense in the sight of God, let us look more closely to gain a clear understanding of what is being said here.

Scripture tells us that there is no temptation that we face that God has not also made a way of escape so that if we walk according to His will we will avoid the snares of sin. This passage repeats that point in saying that by walking in righteousness (right-standing or obedience to God), we will be delivered from temptations. Yet those who choose to assume that they know better then God, fail to seek and submit to God’s will and walk in self will (obeying their own will and logic) are promised to receive not only punishment but a greater punishment being counted as “Cheif” among those being punished on the day of judgment. 

Why is this? To understand we need to look at the passage in the Greek to see that these people are church folk with no fear of God. They are prideful and presumptuous assuming they know what they do not and are unwilling to seek the Lord for His will imagining that they already know what it is when they do not. They speak evil of Godly things with they do not understand, something not even the Angels will do, and thus blaspheme God in their prideful ignorance. They mock and slander, they gossip and gripe, and they do it all while sitting among you and feasting on the word of God with you polluting the sanctuary of the strength that comes from purity, righteousness, obedience, and faith just as Balaam did among the Israelites of old. 

You see the word translated to “government” in this passage in the original Greek was “kyriotes” which means “dominion“. It is not referring to earthly governments but to God’s authority in the same manner that the messianic prophecy said that the government would be upon Jesus’s shoulders. It was referring to dominion, or God’s authority; for all power, authority, dominion, and might was given unto Jesus. The world translated to “dignities” in the original Greek was “doxa” and meant “a good thing belonging to God.” Therefore do we see that they do not bow to God’s authority but trust in their own will, presuming to know what is right without humbling themselves to seek God they just speak evil of the things that are of God that they do not understand and in doing so cause others to be polluted by their error and pride. They are spots of iniquity filthying the white dress of the Bride of Christ. For this does God count them the chiefest of those who will receive judgment on that great and terrible day of the Lord when the secrets of all mens hearts will be revealed. 

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:9-13‬ ‭

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” – Jude‬ ‭1:10-12‬

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians‬ ‭5:25-27‬ ‭

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” – Revelation‬ ‭19:7-8‬ ‭

He Gave Gifts Unto Men

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” – Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭

God is a good Father who does indeed desire to give good gifts to His children. The most important of these gifts that He freely gives by way of what Jesus did for us at Calvary are clearly laid out in scripture and are salvation (Ephesians 2:8), the gift of grace (Ephesians 4:7), the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) , the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), and the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1). 

All of these gifts are immeasurably precious since Jesus paid so high a price to purchase them for us. They are all gifts paid for by the precious blood of Jesus for His bride, the church. How hurtful a thing it must be for Him to see anyone of them rejected by the bride. Yet some do and do not even realize they are grieving the heart of God in doing so.

You see, while a blessing can be bestowed, a gift must be received. Therefore, are many simply choosing not to receive these precious gifts of God. Most all want the gift of eternal life, yet some reject the gift of salvation. Some on the other hand want the gift is salvation but reject the Holy Spirit. Yet still some want the gift of the Holy Spirit but reject the gifts of the Spirit. My friends Jesus purchased all of these gifts for all men for all time until His return and we ought not to grieve His heart nor take His sacrifice in vain by rejecting or making light of the gifts that He bought with His own blood. My friend, I tell you, He did this for you because He loves you. Trust His love, and take the gifts.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ 

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” – Acts‬ ‭2:38-39‬ ‭

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:4-11‬ ‭

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” – Acts‬ ‭2:17-18‬ ‭

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” – ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:6-8

Greater Things

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” – John‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭

As a child growing up I had two main passages that really impressed upon me and lived within me continually. The first was this passage. What a bold statement, such an awesome promise to those that believe. Coupled with the promise that signs, wonders, and miracles will follow those that believe! From an early age I established this biblical truth in my heart that maybe among the hardest for us logical and dignified adults to grasp, the truth that nothing is impossible to those who truly believe.   

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark‬ ‭16:15-18‬ ‭

These great declarative promises were not given to a select few but to “all those that believe”. In actuality they are the byproducts of belief, like the fruit on a tree, they are the evidence of belief in one who truly believes! These are not the ideas or concepts of men, these are the Words of Jesus Christ Himself, do you believe them? 

As a child I would often ponder the marvelous things that Christ did and then chew on the words that those who believe would be able to do those same things and even more once He ascended to the father to be our high priest and advocate, leaving His ministry to this world in our hands as His body and bride. In this biblical truth was my faith in the impossible power of God founded that has caused me to see many countless miracles thus far and to have a knowing that there are even greater ones to come.

The second passage that really stuck with me growing up was the verse that states, that those who are ashamed to speak of Jesus or His words before men, then when we stand before His great white throne He will be ashamed of us before God. You see the bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Therefore if love for God and faith in His words are abundant in your heart, then will your mouth speak it! Therefor again do we see that our willingness (and more so our desire) to confess our love for God, our faith in what He says, and our appreciative witness of what He has done and is doing in us, through us, and to us, is yet agin the fruit (evidence or natural byproduct) of the faith in our hearts. What is abundant in your heart, your mouth will speak. This is why confession is a required part of salvation. Because if you truly believe it, you will also speak it, being that the words of your lips are the fruit of the faith planted in your heart and only those who produce the good fruit are saved from the fire.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” – Romans‬ ‭10:9-11‬ ‭

“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – Luke‬ ‭9:26‬ ‭

In these two passages do we see the fruits of the evidence of salvation, they are the physical manifestations of God’s grace being released into this world through the believer because of their faith. Therefore, if we want to see the grace of God poured out, we must first choose to have faith and believe. You see faith is a choice or else Jesus would not have continually pleaded with us to have faith nor would God have continually rebuked those who didn’t, calling them faithless and rebellious for the very nature of rebellion is a choice. Understanding this we see that Grace is God’s part, but faith is our part. We must choose to believe what He says and act upon it in faith, then He will respond to that faith in whomsoever chooses to truly believe, and pour out His grace upon them, and the world through them in the greater things that will then follow after them as they speak forth their faith in the words of Jesus Christ to the stirring of faith in some and wrath in others. Nevertheless, God will always confirm His Words even if He has to send miracles to validate the message! So choose to believe. The promise is given you just have to choose to believe it, receive it, and speak it, and greater things will follow.

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” – Acts‬ ‭17:30-31‬ ‭

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans‬ ‭10:13-14

Turn Away From Sin Before It’s Too Late

image“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” – ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:20-32‬

From the Old Testament, unto the New Testament, the way that GOD judges sin remains the same. Remember he said:

“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” – ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭3:6-7‬

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” – ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:9-18‬

It is the mercy of the LORD GOD that causes Him to wait, with long suffering not wanting anyone to perish, but desiring all to repent.  However, the day is yet coming when He shall return just as He promised He would!

And Jesus himself said after telling us the parable of the unjust judge…

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – Luke‬ ‭18:7-8‬

Many see GOD as their Creator, and well said for so HE is. Some see Him as Father, yet how many remember that HE is also our JUST JUDGE? How many will DO according to ALL HE COMMANDS because HE is right?! When HE returns will HE find faith? Will HE find any who will take heed to His Word because they truly trust: what He says He will do?

If speaking of these things at all makes you uncomfortable and nervous then come to the mercy seat of the cross of Jesus Christ while you still have breath,  REPENT TODAY, AND TRUST HIM FOR SALVATION. Lay down your pride, lay down your sins, lay down and die with Christ, crucifying the old selfish sin nature, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that now while you live you can live unto GOD in the power of His resurrection and righteousness of Jesus Christ… and then when HE returns you will find peace in knowing that by trusting in JESUS who is the way of Salvation, and following in His steps of obedience to the Father, you will live with HIM forever!

Salvation is a free gift of GOD, but receiving it comes by way of TOTAL COMMITMENT! Choosing Christ = turning away from sin abandoning it! Whole choosing sin = turning away from GOD and abandoning HIM. So choose you this day! Today! Who will you serve?

Grace is the work and power of GOD provided in JESUS CHRIST! Faith on the other hand is our part, we must choose to trust HIM, and if truly we do, we will love and obey HIM because we do.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans‬ ‭6:1-16‬

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans‬ ‭6:17-23‬

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:1-10‬

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” – Titus‬ ‭3:3-8‬

Submitted by Heather Wright