One thing I am learning is about consistency in the Christian walk, and also what I say on my posts. Forgive me if I seem to be going from one extreme because I am going on this journey along with you guys, and we are one Body so if I say something that doesn’t seem to be right or consistent with any of my messages, you can point it out, but just be patient with me.
When cooking a cake or even a brownie, you need to have consistency, and that means being smooth, or being the same everywhere you look. In the Christian walk, it is ideal to not to believe one thing one day, and then the next day believe something totally different. Because of media overload in this generation it is hard to remain consistent because we get so many differing viewpoints and it is difficult to distinguish or discern without a proper Biblical foundation, what to do when contradictions appear or people argue with you or even when your own curiousity gets you into trouble. Through the Holy Spirit, you get guidance in your Christian walk, and sometimes it takes some time shutting everything off and freeing yourself from distractions to just sit there and study and meditate on God’s WORD. Remember that satan is always there to try to confuse you and get you discouraged, and when you don’t understand what’s happening, what you need to know is “Trust God and lean not on your own understanding.”
While I was studying about consistency today I fell upon many passages in Psalms and Proverbs that mentioned about the consistently righteous. But the passage(s) that really touched my heart were found in 1 John 3.
1 John 3:6-10
6No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains [e]in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and [f]habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].
7[g]Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous.
8[But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
9No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and [h]habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine seed, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.
10By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow [i]believer in Christ).
In vs. 7, Apostle John is talking to boys, but this is applicable to all of us…that we lead a consistently conscientious life in order to be righteous. Conscientious means painstaking, diligent, or persistent life. Then in vs. 8, it has a warning about sin. The reasoning is that when you are born again, and have the seed of the divine God in you, you cannot sin. He says that this is made clear that we are either children of God or children of the devil, and we cannot be both.
Once you receive the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and accepted Him as your Savior, nothing in short of blaspheming the Holy Spirit can take that away from you unless you choose to reject Him, after you once accepted Him. When that happens that means that your foundation was not strong, but you can still recommit, and give your life to Christ again, if you have done that. The only thing impermissible by God is the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit, which is looking at someone who is performing miracles in Jesus Name, and say that it is demonic. That’s what happened when Jesus was performing miracles and the Pharisees said that He was “demonic”.
Now I am going to go into the issue of sin.
After the original sin, there was the sin of Cain, who brought an offering tilled from the ground, but the Lord did not respect it.
So the Lord said, “Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?” Genesis 4:6
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
What was Cain’s sin? It was, incidentally, to not love his brother, that led him into sin. Because he was jealous that he God respected Abel’s offering more than Cain’s, he became sad, depressed, and dejected. There is a lot of significance in the Bible to why Abel’s offering was more significant than Cain’s, and you can go very deep into that issue, but the emphasis is on, what we are to do with sin.
We are to master sin, but Jesus has already mastered sin, through His blood on the Cross.
1 Corinthians 8:3 says:
But if one loves God truly [ with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [ recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him].
Affectionate reverence and awe comes with recognizing the spectacular amazement of who God is, and grateful recognition of His blessing can really take away a condemning mindset quickly. But we often we get caught in a trap.
The enemy often comes to steal, kill, and destroy our love for God, one another and ourselves. Delayed obedience is still disobedience. We don’t want to disobey God, as children of God, and we want to please God with our faith, but then there are those temptations – those lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and that pride of life. Some of you may be thinking that you have no lust of the eyes, or no pride of life, but how disciplined are we particularly in America, with watching what we eat and the lust of the flesh? In this particular verse, the context was talking about eating food sacrificed to idols so that we can approach ourselves and others to be careful to offend anyone.
Before this verse was 1 Corinthians 8:2-
2If anyone imagines that he has come to know and understand much [of divine things, without love], he does not yet perceive and recognize and understand as strongly and clearly, nor has he become as intimately acquainted with anything as he ought or as is necessary.
Basically saying that if you think you know so much and are puffed up, and thinking, “I am better than you because I don’t eat these things,” then that’s the wrong attitude to have. The “I am better than you” attitude is the absolutely wrong attitude have. The Bible says that we are supposed to consider others better than ourselves, and not to consider ourselves more highly than we ought.
How God responds to our disobedience is examined in Romans:
For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).
I want to bring up a few more verse:
Just as you [Gentiles] were once disobedient and rebellious toward God but now have obtained [His] mercy, through their [Israel’s/Jews] disobedience. (emphasis mine)
31So they also now are being disobedient [when you are receiving mercy], that they in turn may one day, through the mercy you are enjoying, also receive mercy [that they may share the mercy which has been shown to you–through you as messengers of the Gospel to them].
For God has consigned (penned up) all men to disobedience, only that He may have mercy on them all [alike].
26And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob.
27And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins.
See because of what Christ did, He brought Gentiles into the covenant, He actually did this to provoke the Jews to jealousy, and not the other way around. The jealousy in the sense (not like Cain with his brother Abel), but in the sense that they see what favor and grace that the Gentiles have and they want to have that.
We are made righteous through Jesus on the Cross, because we were sinners, He died for us.
We are supposed to be ministering the Gospel to Israel, God’s chosen people, according to these passages and what has been forgotten is that while we have been trying to minister the Gospel to the world, which is good, but God’s chosen people are neglected.
The Jews and Gentiles are actually brothers in covenant with a founding father in Abraham. One by blood, and the other by adoption, but they are actually brothers under the same covenant of salvation.
I think I have strayed a little away from the point, but one thing we have to realize is that we must love God, love another as we loves ourselves. It seems like an impossibly high standard for people to do on their own because they were born out of a natural tendency not to have a God kind of love. Jesus said “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself, on this one commandment hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Sometimes this is hard to see in places in the Old Testament, and even in books like Revelation, but when you put Jesus into picture, when you shift your focus on to Him, then you will be seeing at divine vision. You won’t need the glasses that you were so used to. The whole book is the Bible and the Bible is all about Jesus and what He did so if someone else tells you otherwise than don’t listen to them. The Bible is the WORD of God, and it is actually Jesus Himself as it is written in the Book of John. His WORD, is exalted above His name, and definitely above any internet sites you go to. When you study make sure not to go into too many different sources. These are all lessons I am still learning. Of course we need help and guidance in our walk, and the support of other believers, so reading and sharing and feedback on other blog posts is ok because this is how build up and encourage one another in this walk of faith.
We need to shift our focus off of sin, and more onto Jesus to the point where we become saturated with His love. I mentioned about pruning and chastening of the Lord, but as I mentioned in the post about the Sound of Music, if you have love you are more effective. I heard a pastor say today, “If the tree is full of sap then the leaves just fall right off” That sap represents the love of God. It is like Jesus said in Revelation 2:
1TO THE angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]:
2I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.
3I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
4But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
5Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.
The Church at Ephesus worked very hard and stayed away from all kinds of wickedness, but they forgot their first love. They forgot the first love that they had for God. They had forgotten their zeal and passion and in many ways it seems some people are in this place right now.
It is never too late to turn around and repent, or change your mind and in turn change your heart towards God.