Walking The Christian Life

Walking The Christian Life

I’ve been a believer in Jesus Christ since I was 16 years old, over 44 years ago. The Bible clearly teaches everyone to BELIEVE in Jesus and BE SAVED and HAVE Eternal Life. That is truly GOOD NEWS. Jesus saved me from my sin when I believed in Him, that is, when I put my trust in Him. He has taken care of the enmity, the problem between God and me. Praise the Lord!

BUT soon after I believed in Jesus and was saved I again found myself sinning! NOW What? Am I lost again? Am I now going to hell again? Is God totally put out with me and casting me out?

These are the questions that go through the heart and mind of so many people who have put their trust in Christ for salvation, but then fail and fall into the same old sins. The devil loves this! One of his favorite schemes is to tempt the new believer into falling back into his old life style and then condemning the new believer to the point of despair. He will do everything he can to make you think you are lost and that there is no hope in coming back and getting right with God. “If you have failed once, you’ll fail again, so just give up!”

OH he is a “tricksie” foe. (Lou Ann and I watched the “Lord of the Rings” the other night. Again.)

Good News! The Bible Truth, the “full gospel,” the truth that will set you free is that you can not “lose” eternal life in Jesus Christ. This is what God says in His Word and what we will look at in the following few words.

Have you blown it since you have been saved? Here is some truth to help you.

IF you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been saved. What does this mean? The Bible says, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be (are) saved” Acts 16:31. John 1:12 says, “all those who “received” Him (the Word), He gave them the right to be children of God, to all those who believe in His Name.” Believe and Receive. That is the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh who died for your sins appeasing God’s anger against you? My friend, you are saved and have received eternal life in Christ.

Eternal means never ending. It is life that can not stop. It can not be killed. It is not “Life until you blow it.” In is LIFE ETERNAL.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the “whole” world, that He gave (as a sacrifice for the whole world’s sin) His One and Only Son (Jesus), so that WHOEVER believes in Him (the Son Jesus)  will NOT perish (in eternal death), but HAVE (right now) eternal life.” Also see vs. 18.

Why is this Life in Jesus Eternal? It is eternal because Jesus is LIFE. He is God and in Him is LIFE (John 1:4). He is the Word who was in the beginning with God and is God (John 1:1). This is the Word that became flesh, Jesus Christ (John 1:14). God became one of us to give us HIS life.

Hebrews 7:24-25 tells us that Jesus is our eternal High Priest who lives forever, unlike the Levitical priest who died and had to be continually replaced. Jesus rose from the dead and is our High Priest forever because HE has an indestructible life and HE is able to save us who come to God through Him, because HE, Jesus, lives forever to intercede for us.” Jesus, who has been “perfected forever” makes us “perfect” forever (7:28/10:14).

If you believe in Jesus Christ you are not Lost because you are IN CHRIST.

In Christ you are chosen, adopted and accepted (Ephesians 1:3-6).
In Christ you can not be separated from the Love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
In Christ you have eternal life and you will never perish. NOTHING and NO ONE can snatch you from the hands of Jesus, who is God (John 10:28-29).
In Christ you have received the indwelling Holy Spirit who has been given to you as a down payment, a guarantee that Jesus will save you completely, spirit, soul and body (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 1:22).
In Christ you have been justified. You have been declared righteous by God because of the blood of Jesus shed for you! And you now have peace with God (Romans 3:22 – 26; 5:1).
In Christ there is no more curse (Galatians 3:13).

In Christ you are under a NEW Covenant (Hebrews 9). The Old Covenant has been done away with. Under the Old Covenant you were condemned to death because of your sin against God. Under the New Covenant by the blood of Jesus you are held accountable for the way you live but you are also guaranteed that you will always be a child of God. God will not reject you under the terms of the New Covenant because it has been made and sealed with a better priesthood (eternal), by better blood (Jesus’ blood vs. blood of animals), with better promises (God has sworn it with an Oath) and with a better ONE TIME Sacrifice (the body of the God-Man Jesus). see Hebrews 8, 9, 10

And it is because of this person, Jesus Christ that YOU Believer, child of God, can go on when you fail. Jesus was made like you, human, so that he could help you. He became your substitute and satisfied God’s righteous demand, death for sin.

Remember, you will sin because you are still in this old sinful body (that will be saved at the resurrection) and you are still in this world whose ruler is the devil. You are not suppose to sin, but if you do, remember that you have an ADVOCATE/Lawyer with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One (1 John 2:1-2). Confess your sin to Him and know that HE is faithful and righteous to forgive you of your sin and to cleanse you from the defilement of it to help you not sin again (1 John 1:9).

The Holy Spirit inspired John to write his Gospel to record some of the key signs Jesus performed to prove that He was the Coming King, The Son of God and if anyone would  believe in Him they could have eternal life (John 20:31). John also wrote his first letter to assure all of us who have believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that we HAVE eternal life right now and forever (1 John 5:12, 13).

Friends, I have written this short article because so many people who have trusted in Christ Jesus have given up living the life of a Christian because they have failed. We all fail and some of us pretty badly. BUT Believer in Jesus, HE does not fail. He can not fail. He will carry you through to eternal life. It is up to you whether you will experience His victory in this life’s journey or not. You have eternal life and you can have it more abundantly as  you continually yield to Him. You are more than a conqueror in Christ (Romans 8:37).

The need for this truth is why it is so important that each of us as believers in Jesus Christ, and those who desire to “follow” Him and be true disciples, true Christians, be careful to fellowship in a church that emphasizes the teaching and preaching of the Bible. Pastors must be men of the Word. Too often it becomes popular and easy to speak “the world” instead of the Word. Pastors, elders and teachers must be students of God’s Word. It takes hard work to feed and shepherd the flock of God that the Holy Spirit has made them overseers of. Encourage your pastor and teachers to preach and teach the Word. If you don’t ask God the Holy Spirit to help you find one that teaches you how to live according to the WORD in the power of the Holy Spirit and walk in newness of life, so that others may see Christ in you. You don’t need to hear how to be born again Sunday after Sunday. You need to learn how to walk now that you are born again.

Your fellow traveler,
Jeff Hawkins

The Faith Cycle – How to endure in faith

Hope & Faith

Hope & Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Enduring Faith is a prolonged attitude of faith under pressure.”

This is the faith that “pleases God.” It is the kind of faith that He will REWARD both now and in the age to come. (Hebrews 11:6) Most of the epistles address this kind of faith. The faith that Christians are to have. A faith that takes effort, even determination, on our part. This is a faith that “works” and will “save” us at the Judgment Seat of Christ (James 2:12 – 26).

James 1:3-4 …knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing the WORD of Christ.

Enduring faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Hearing implies obeying. When we do what God says in His Word we are walking in and by faith.

There are two English words used to translate the Greek word pisteuo in the New Testament, to believe and to trust.

Enduring faith begins with BELIEVING God’s promises. That is, I understand the promise of God in its context and I accept God’s revelation as true. An example of this kind of faith is Abraham as illustrated by Paul in Romans 4:16-25. Faith is based on the sure Word of God. God’s Word is the foundation of faith.

I then TRUST God’s Promises (pisteuo – to put confidence in). In the Old Testament the word is the Hebrew word Betha – confidence in, with a sense of well-being and security. Hasa – to take refuge in, is also translated with the word Trust.

To trust God means I commit my situation honestly to God. I tell Him how I feel in an attitude of respect. I tell Him what I want and why I want it. And then, I promise to praise His Name in the Assembly.

Psalm 4:4-5 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your TRUST in the LORD.

Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. 18 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, 19 In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of You, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.

Philippians 4:6 – Being anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
In this process of faith I must reject feelings of unbelief due to circumstances, because I cannot control my feelings or circumstance, but I can control my attitude with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 62:8 – TRUST in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalm 56:11 – In God I have put my TRUST; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 9:10 – And those who know Your name will put their TRUST in You; For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Proverbs 3:5,6,7 -TRUST in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Don’t do it your way!)

Psalm 145:18-20 – The Lord [is] near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him.

Having put my confidence in the Lord I then HOPE in God’s Promises. To HOPE is to anticipate a Divine response. (An eager expectation, favorable, confident expectation). Bible HOPE is not “wishful thinking.” It is a confident expectation that God will do what He has promised in His Word to do.

Hebrews 11:10 Abraham’s HOPE was in the Lord because “he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” He was not looking to his own earthly contentment but to the much greater contentment of an eternal reward promised by God.

Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that HOPE in the LORD.

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? You HOPE in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

My eager expectation is tempered with patience. Therefore I must WAIT upon the LORD patiently.

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes WAIT upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Psalms 130:5-8 I wait for the LORD, my soul does WAIT, and in his Word do I hope. My soul WAITS for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel HOPE in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

What am I waiting for? I am WAITING for God to fulfill His promise, His way. In waiting I allow God time to do His will. He may need to alter the situation I am in. He may rescue me out of the situation. Or He may guide me through the situation giving me the wisdom to endure it.

Jesus is our supreme example. He waited upon the Lord when He went to the Cross and endured the suffering and shame of it. Remember God did not deliver Him from the Cross and that cruel, unjust death, but He delivered through the Cross. He was perfected in His role as our Eternal High Priest and glorified because of it.

Hebrews 5:7 – 10 Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. And He was declared by God a high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Micah 7:7 Therefore, I will look unto the LORD; I will WAIT for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and WAIT patiently for him: don’t worry about or fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.

Psalm 40:1 I WAITED patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

Faith is an enduring process. I must ENDURE in God’s promises by maintaining the cycle of faith while under the pressure of the situation.

James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we glory in our afflictions also: knowing that afflictions produce endurance; and endurance produces proven character; and good character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us; because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Abraham, the father of faith, is again our example.

Heb 11:9,10 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Heb 11:13-16 These all died in faith, without receiving the promises, but they saw them from a distance, and were sure of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were foreigners and only temporary residents on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a homeland. And truly, if they had been thinking of the country from which they came, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

How about you? Will you endure in faith no matter what circumstance you find yourself in? Will you TRUST in the Lord, believing His Word confidently assured that HE will deliver you? Is your HOPE in the Lord? IF so, WAIT patiently for HIM to “work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Endure to the end. There is a great reward!” Hebrews 10:35-36

“Don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done the will of God you may receive what was promised.”

Pastor Dan Carfrey taught me this “faith cycle” many years ago. It has been a blessing to me and I pray it will be to you until we see Jesus.
Jeffrey Hawkins