The Holy Spirit – Accepting Jesus

The first step to becoming a Christian and getting filled with the Holy Spirit is accepting Jesus.  Every human being has sinned, it is impossible for a man to have lived without sin.  This sin separates us from God.  The sin in our lives also leads us to spiritual death.  The punishment for sin is death.  God is a fair judge, He does not act partially against specific people or specific sins.  He totally hates sin and all sin is wrong if God’s justice prevails.

The only thing greater than God’s justice is His mercy.  Jesus is God’s way of removing our sin, He gave us his only begotten son so that we may be forgiven and saved.  Jesus took upon himself the sins of the whole world and died as the penalty so that we may be set free and experience the love of God and have fellowship with him.

Acknowledging and repenting of sin is very simple. You need to own up to your actions and accept you were wrong.  You need to be sorry and deep down in your heart decide that you do not want to commit the sin again.  Next, tell God you are sorry, he can hear you anywhere.  You don’t have to be in church or before a priest when you confess.

God knows you’re likely sin again, it may be the same sin you just confessed some time ago.  The key here is to understand that god is willing to empower you and help you overcome your weaknesses provided you are truly sorry and you sincerely want to be set free.  God sees you heart and knows if you are playing games with Him.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 (ESV)

God has proved how much He loves you by giving up his only beloved son to the death sentence so that you may enjoy life, the whole Bible is a love letter written by God telling you how much He loves you.  The question is will you accept God’s Love?  Will you accept Jesus Christ?

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

God’s solution is really simple, to accept Jesus you need to confess using your mouth that he is Lord and believe in your heart that he rose from the dead.  The minute you do this you are eligible to receive the Holy Spirit.

Life Application

  • Accept Jesus, if you have not already done so.  He is waiting with arms wide open for you.
  • It is the Holy Spirit that actually converts you soul and draws you to Jesus.
Jesus Loves You!
PRAYER OF SALVATION

If you prayed the prayer, above: welcome to the family of God!

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Resource: The Holy Spirit by Blue Flames

In 2 Peter 1:4, What does Peter mean by “partakers of the divine nature”?

It means being made partakers of his godliness, his character, his likeness, his virtues.

2 Peter 1:3-4, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

To understand the full context of the scripture we need to go to other scriptures.

Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

We are made partakers of his divine nature by being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God. That is the character of God was in Christ and the same character is in every true believer.

1 John 2:5-6, “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.”

That is to say that the sign or evidence that the redemptive work has taken effect in us is his life, virtues and works projected through us. In other words Christianity is a projection of the life of Jesus Christ in his redeemed. This scripture is telling us being partakers of his likeness is projected in our walking like him. We will refer to some other scriptures:

1 John 4:17, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”

The above scripture of 1 John 4:17 is telling us being partakers of his divine nature is also being partaker of his likeness. When one is made a partaker of God’s divine nature, Christ lives and walks in you.

Galatians 2:20, “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.
 

A person that is a partaker of God’s divine nature is God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 2:10,22, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. […] In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Being made partakers of his divine nature means also being partakers of the works of the Spirit:

John 3:6,8, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. […] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

John 14:10,12, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. […] 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.”

A Christian without the gifts of the Holy Spirit is like a man that has a job to do but doesn’t have the tools. The spiritual tools of God are the gifts of the Spirit which He wants exercised in full by all of His children. He repeatedly demonstrated His will through the prophets, through Jesus Christ, and through early believers.  He has repeatedly promised such power to every believer.

In Luke 24:49, Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he told his disciples:

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

In the scriptures below, Paul the Apostle, is asking believers, if they have received the Holy Spirit, since they believed:

Acts 19:1-6, “…Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?  And they said unto him,  We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?  And they said, Unto John ‘s baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.”

and their reply was “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” and then Paul laid hands on them, so they would receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and the spiritual tools (the gifts of the Holy Spirit), to do God’s work.

There are 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

The partakers of his divine nature are a part of the good tree that bears good fruit:

Matthew 7:15-18,20,21, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. […] Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

The moment anything is born it has certain powers of its parents.  The offspring of a fish can swim and live in water; the bird can fly; and the dog can bark.  It would be a miracle for the dog to live in water or the fish to live and fly in the sky.  This would be contrary to nature.  It is likewise contrary to nature that men can be born of God spiritually and partake of His nature and live and act contrary to the nature of God.  The children of God should manifest a supernatural nature in life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and through faith in the name of Jesus Christ and His atonement. God has provided the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit for such manifestation of divine life in His children.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Sources: Bible Hermeneutics

God is Smiling at You!

You can read a lot from people’s faces, can’t you? Without ever hearing a word, you can sense irritation, pleasure, doubt, worry, and fear. You can sense condemnation, too. You can tell if someone is angry with you before a word is said. How good are you at forgiving people who have done you wrong? Not so hot? Do you hold grudges sometimes?

Sometimes we assume that that’s how God looks at us—never really forgiving completely, still angry, still remembering our moral failures. If we try to imagine his face, we fear that He is frowning. Instead of being fearful and imagining a frown when you talk to God, imagine that God is smiling at you.

God eagerly desires a loving relationship with you. That’s why He arranged for our wrongs to be placed on the head of an innocent substitute, His own Son, Jesus. That’s why He instructed Moses to speak words of kindness to the believers and bless them like this:

“The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:” Numbers 6:25 (KJV)

May God give you communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with a constant sense of His approval; and grant you prosperity in your soul, and in all your secular affairs! He loves you!

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Faith Without Works is Dead

Why is Faith Without Works Dead?

Answer: James says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Faith without works is a dead faith because the lack of works reveals an unchanged life or a spiritually dead heart. There are many verses that say that true saving faith will result in a transformed life, that faith is demonstrated by the works we do. How we live reveals what we believe and whether the faith we profess to have is a living faith.

James 2:14–26 is sometimes taken out of context in an attempt to create a works-based system of righteousness, but that is contrary to many other passages of Scripture. James is not saying that our works make us righteous before God but that real saving faith is demonstrated by good works. Works are not the cause of salvation; works are the evidence of salvation. Faith in Christ always results in good works. The person who claims to be a Christian but lives in willful disobedience to Christ has a false or dead faith and is not saved. Paul basically says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. James contrasts two different types of faith—true faith that saves and false faith that is dead.

Many profess to be Christians, but their lives and priorities indicate otherwise. Jesus put it this way: “By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers’” (Matthew 7:16–23).

Notice that the message of Jesus is the same as the message of James. Obedience to God is the mark of true saving faith. James uses the examples of Abraham and Rahab to illustrate the obedience that accompanies salvation. Simply saying we believe in Jesus does not save us, nor does religious service. What saves us is the Holy Spirit’s regeneration of our hearts, and that regeneration will invariably be seen in a life of faith featuring ongoing obedience to God.

Misunderstanding the relationship of faith and works comes from not understanding what the Bible teaches about salvation. There are really two errors in regards to works and faith. The first error is “easy believism,” the teaching that, as long as a person prayed a prayer or said, “I believe in Jesus,” at some point in his life, then he is saved, no matter what. So a person who, as a child, raised his hand in a church service is considered saved, even though he has never shown any desire to walk with God since and is, in fact, living in blatant sin. This teaching, sometimes called “decisional regeneration,” is dangerous and deceptive. The idea that a profession of faith saves a person, even if he lives like the devil afterwards, assumes a new category of believer called the “carnal Christian.” This allows various ungodly lifestyles to be excused: a man may be an unrepentant adulterer, liar, or bank robber, but he’s saved; he’s just “carnal.” Yet, as we can see in James 2, an empty profession of faith—one that does not result in a life of obedience to Christ—is in reality a dead faith that cannot save.

The other error in regards to works and faith is to attempt to make works part of what justifies us before God. The mixture of works and faith to earn salvation is totally contrary to what Scripture teaches. Romans 4:5 says, “To him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” James 2:26 says, “Faith without works is dead.” There is no conflict between these two passages. We are justified by grace through faith, and the natural result of faith in the heart is works that all can see. The works that follow salvation do not make us righteous before God; they simply flow from the regenerated heart as naturally as water flows from a spring.

Salvation is a sovereign act of God whereby an unregenerate sinner has the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” poured out on him (Titus 3:5), thereby causing him to be born again (John 3:3). When this happens, God gives the forgiven sinner a new heart and puts a new spirit within him (Ezekiel 36:26). God removes his sin-hardened heart of stone and fills him with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit then causes the saved person to walk in obedience to God’s Word (Ezekiel 36:26–27).

Faith without works is dead because it reveals a heart that has not been transformed by God. When we have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, our lives will demonstrate that new life. Our works will be characterized by obedience to God. Unseen faith will become seen by the production of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22). Christians belong to Christ, the Good Shepherd. As His sheep we hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:26–30).

Faith without works is dead because faith results in a new creation, not a repetition of the same old patterns of sinful behavior. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

In Christian † Love, Susan Osten

by “Got Questions”

How God Protected Me

“My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior – from violent people you save me. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:3-4 (NIV)

The phone call came at about 10 p.m. My husband, son and I were sleeping. My husband was a Locksmith, and it was a call to go and unlock someone’s car. My son, Jeremy and I got out of bed to wait for his return.

While waiting, I left the room to go to into bathroom, when all of a sudden, I ran down that hall, and no sooner than I got to the living room, there came a knock at my door. I went to the door, and said “Who is it?” and there was no answer. I looked through the peep hole in the door, and there was someone standing there wearing a black hoodie with his head down. All of a sudden, the door knob began to turn. I stayed by the door, and told my son to get our gun. After Jeremy gave me the gun, I told him to call the Police. When he had them on the phone, I took the phone, and explained the situation to them. The Police told me to shoot, if that man come through the door, and they were on their way. They arrived about 20 minutes later but, he was gone. Shortly, thereafter, my husband returned.

God protects His children! But when He speaks to you, it is very important to listen and to obey Him.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV) “But the Lord is faithful, and he will stengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

May the PEACE of GOD be with you;
May His LOVE overshadow you;
May His HOPE fill your heart;
And may His JOY be full in your soul.

I Samuel 2:9 (NIV) “He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darknes. It is not by strengh that one prevails;”

In God’s Love and † Grace, Susan