Friday, August 27, 2010

Twice in one month, whoop-de-doo...

What is knowledge without action? What is knowing without doing? Is it possible to know something in your mind and not do anything about what you know? Or a better way of asking these questions is if there is any purpose to knowing about something but then never doing anything about that knowledge? The point of knowledge is to do something. And knowing about something also brings about proper and improper responses/actions. If you know you need to cook raw pork to a certain temperature to ensure you have killed off all the bacteria, but then you do not cook it enough and still expect no bacteria, you would be foolish. It is simply incorrect.

The purpose of the preceding is to say that with knowledge of Jesus Christ and what God's Word says, then there must be some sort of action with this knowledge. Remember how knowing without doing is worthless; it's pointless. Therefore knowing about Jesus means you choose to follow or not follow. By definition you must act, so which one? Action must follow, so if you have faith, then there must be works in your life. Furthermore, for those who believe they have chosen to follow Jesus Christ can ask themselves what is believing the Holy Spirit is in your heart, without exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit? What is believing in Jesus Christ and not doing all that the Bible says? (I'm not talking about what you think the Bible says based on growing up and hearing sermons in churchesand then nowadays going to the Internet to rationalize a topic biblically by pulling out verses you think apply. Read the Bible cover to cover and let it speak for itself. “The Word of God is living and active; sharper than any two-edged sword.” You know what swords do? They stab you, and cut you, and in the Hebrews 4:12 verse just mentioned, the sword is to pierce to convict. False intentions cannot be hidden from God. When you read the Bible honestly, you will have to change. You can't remain pursuing this world.)

That was a quick rant, so let me get back on topic: Those who have faith in Jesus Christ will then respond with either correct or incorrect actions. Correct actions are biblical works such as being more loving and more peaceful etc. Biblical works also include turning from what the Bible clearly states as sin.

In conclusion if you say you have a relationship with God, then your life should exhibit true Biblical actions. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has been on my mind on an off for the past four years. I've been mainly trying to figure out ‘what is the Spirit?’ and ‘what does He do?’. In my quest for understanding the Spirit, I recently listened on audio book to Forgotten God by Francis Chan, which addresses the topic of the Holy Spirit, and as the title alludes, how He is the forgotten God. These are some of my thoughts based on the Bible and other credible godly sources, and also some of my own insights mixed throughout.

The churches I have attended in the past (along with the churches of most churchgoing Americans) do not properly understand or talk about the Holy Spirit. So much of the credit due the Holy Spirit is improperly credited to the believer based on this improper understanding. When there is triumph over sin or trials we often say, "thank God you were able to overcome," but this is wrong to say. The correct response is, "thank God through the power of the Spirit you were able to overcome.” This may seem like a slight distinction but it is not. To be filled with the Spirit is the pulse of what it means for someone to be “Christian*" or "saved." And to be Spirit filled determines the activity level of one who is filled with the Spirit. When we have the ability to do anything good (good in the biblical sense of the word), it is only through the power of the Spirit. So the reason to say, "thank God through the power of the Spirit you were able to overcome,” is necessary because it's true.

When a nonbeliever is a hopeless unregenerate sinner, by what work does he enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ? Was it by the work of himself or by a work of God known as grace? With this truth in mind why then do believers (including myself) act like sanctification is up to us? I was saved by grace through faith, yet from there I act like my relationship with God depends on me. I can do nothing on my own, but in Christ I can do all things. And when Jesus left the earth He sent a helper to represent Him until his return, so it is in the Spirit I can do things, and all forms of spiritual good are possible. If I need to work on anger, contentment, pride, jealousy, or love; this is only accomplished by the work of the Spirit who is within each true believer.

Perhaps a post for a later day, but the Bible is very clear on the marks of a true believer i.e. one who is filled with the Spirit. Not all who believe in Jesus are regenerate, and not even all who are perceivably doing work in Christ's name are truly regenerate (Matthew 7:21 & 22). Knowing this is not for speculation on others' salvation, but for personal reflection. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). You want to know the greatest disappointment imaginable? Someone who gets to the gates of heaven and hears “depart from Me; I never knew you.”

*The term Christian should be put to death because unfortunately it hardly means anything anymore in America, because of all the baggage attached to it, but that is a conversation for another time