Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No. 08 We Must Remember This!!!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
All around us American Christianity (as a whole) is trying to blend in with the world. Seemingly trying to be unobtrusive, and conciliatory to worldliness and sin, rather than being the “salt” and “light” that our Lord saved us to be. In fact He said we who are truly HIS, “are” salt and light—but we can weaken our saltiness and hide our light from view when we, in effect, dilute our holiness with worldliness. (See Matthew 5:13-16) So I’m asking us all to ‘remember” who we are in Jesus, and whose we are in Him—to remember that if we are truly “born again by the Spirit of God” we are called to reveal God’s salvation, power and glory to the world; living in such a way that the world will see Jesus in our lives and actions through a life controlled by the Holy Spirit not our flesh.
How do we do that? We must keep our priorities set on Jesus. It’s a battle of the mind and we must pursue God’s excellence by God’s power. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
What are we glorying in? Our progressiveness? Our open-mindedness? Our ability to blend in with the world? Or are we pursuing God, His Word and His ways? Are we “abiding in the vine”?
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things
which are before,
14 I press toward the mark
for the prize
of the high calling
in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect,
be thus minded:
and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you.” Philippians 3:13-15
Paul reminds us that our goal is to press toward the mark of excellence that can only be found in doing things God’s way! By having a mind of non-conformity just like Paul mentioned in Romans 12. The world is trying to conform us to itself, even the church is often guilty of falling into this error—yet we are called to live “transformed” lives (the Greek word from which we get our English word ‘metamorphosis’)—a transformation that only the blood of Jesus can accomplish; the change of “such a worm as I”, into a butterfly of glory by our creator’s salvation in Christ Jesus! Jesus will make us a new creation, enabling us to live like His children! A change that can only take place by God’s power and Spirit working within us through the blood of the Lamb (See John 1:12-13).
“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
We must humble ourselves before the Lord Jesus Christ, allowing His life to be evident within us, and that can only take place at the cross; it will never be found in luxury, arrogance and worldliness, but only in humility and submission to the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Knowing that only the new birth by the Spirit of God, and receiving that new birth, can and will work the righteousness of Jesus Christ through His Spirit within us.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
And when we are “born….of God” we are new!!! Yes, a work and progress of maturity will take place, but we are new. If you can claim to know Jesus and never experience any change in your life, you might want to check and see what you think saved you.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry
19 To wit,
that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world
not imputing their trespasses unto them;
and hath committed unto us
the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then
we are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God did beseech you
we pray you in Christ’s stead,
be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin;
that we might be made
the righteousness of God
in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Did you get that? God sent Jesus to be “made” sin for us, because He had no sin of His own, but when He laid down His life for us on that cross He took my sin and yours, so that when we come to Him in repentance and faith we are “made” the “righteousness of God in him”!!! All accomplished by the blood of the Lamb of Glory!!!! Just as Jesus declared in John 14:6, that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”, when we do come to the Father through Him, our living should reflect HIS presence within us! He doesn’t call us to be self-absorbed and worldly but He enables us to die to ourselves and the world, and to live victoriously by His Spirit continually working within us.
“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
Jesus died for us so that we could live to Him and for Him; yet the frequent message today is that Jesus came to give you a “get out of jail free” card with no commitment, no change, no devotion to the one who died to save us “from our sin” not “IN” our sin!!! This results in worship that isn’t focused on gratitude to a God who gave Himself for us, or a reflection of His call to the world, but rather, it is often instead a mish-mash of entertaining, worldly accommodation to fleshly, worldly desires of those who want to feel good when they come, feel good while they are there and feel good when they leave, with no idea or desire for the conviction and move of the Holy Spirit to reveal sin and draw people into HIS presence! We are much more inclined to worship what we have created as “worship” instead of worshipping the Holy God Almighty who demands to be GOD, and anything less than total devotion to Him is idolatry. We have abandoned true “seeker” worship that seeks God, and have settled for “seeker” worship that pleases seekers regardless of whether or not we are telling them the truth, or what they may be “seeking”. As my mother was often wont to say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!” And we today have lots of good intentions, but unless they are aligned with the truth of the Biblical Gospel, we are in danger of sending thousands of people down the wrong road with our watered down “gospel” of convenience and popularity. Jesus was so ‘popular’ that they put Him to death, but He never changed His message—HE is the only way to God, through repentance and faith.
So, how do we remind ourselves of truth? We can follow Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians. And with a little liberty to add some commentary I’d like us to look at his advice, which reminds us that we are at war; we are wrestling against the forces of evil, not at a picnic. We are wrestling for the hearts and souls of men, women, boys and girls; yet we have laid down our armor and are trying to sooth them into the kingdom rather that preaching truth and allowing the convicting work of the Holy Spirit to bring them to a place of repentance of their own personal sin, and faith in the one who died for that sin. Just as it tells us in the Revelation:
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15
And there is only ONE WAY to have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life—Jesus, and faith in His atoning sacrifice for you at Calvary.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
And when we truly know Him, His work will be seen in our life and our obedience to Him—doing His will and not our own. And to do His will, we must know what He has said in His Word, because ‘saying so, don’t make it so’, and if all we are doing is claiming that “get out of jail free card”—it doesn’t exist!
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one 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. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:20-23
What will Jesus say to you? Are you ready for the battle? This is what we need to remember—it’s not a picnic but a battle—are you ready for the fray?
“Finally, my brethren,
be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities,
against the rulers
of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you
the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand
in the evil day,
and having done all,
14 Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of
15 And your feet shod with the preparation
of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all,
taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able
to quench all the fiery darts
of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:
18 Praying always
with all prayer and supplication
in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto
with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:10-18
Don’t miss the order of these instructions: the first thing we must do is “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might”!!! These instructions are for believers and only believers can truly walk in God’s power and God’s might, and we can when we belong to HIM! To sum up in an easily remembered form, I pray that this will help us all to suit up every day! Remember, be ready, and rely on GOD!!!
Put it on—every day without fail, God told us to–
Wear it with the power of God not self, He is able—
“I can do all things through Christ….” Phil. 4:13
Belt of Truth—Jesus IS truth, holding it all together—
“I am….the truth….” John 14:6
Breastplate of Righteousness, protecting your heart—
I’m righteous only “…in Him” 2 Cor. 5:21
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace—sharing TRUTH–
Only Jesus can give peace with God….Ro. 5:1
Shield of Faith—resisting in HIS power not mine–
“we walk by faith, not by sight…” 2 Cor. 5:7
“without faith it is impossible….” Heb. 11:6
Helmet of Salvation—Keeping our mind on HIM—
“transformed…renewing your mind..” Ro 12:2
“bringing every thought captive…” 2 Cor. 10:5
“let this mind be in you….” Phil 2:5
Sword of the Spirit—THE WORD OF GOD—
“study …..approved unto God…” 2 Tim. 2:15
“it’s profitable..unto good works..” 2 Tim. 3:16-17
Praying ALWAYS—it’s our connection to God—
“with all perseverance….” Eph. 6:18
“effectual fervent prayer….” James 5:16
“continuing instant in prayer…” Ro. 12:12
So, please remember we’re not playing games, this is serious—the hearts and lives of those that we love are at stake. The hearts and lives of a lost and dying world are at stake and we will give an account. Are you ready? May we realize the urgency of the hour and seek the Lord’s face and follow where HE leads?
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
And remember, men may be easily fooled but God never is, He knows those who are His own.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19