Friday, December 23, 2011

Set the Captives Free

Has the enemy built up siegeworks in your life? Do you have a lack in any area of your life? How are you spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, relationally, etc.? Is the Holy Spirit moving in your life? Is He moving in your fellowship? Do you as God’s child have a real sense of His love, His joy, His peace?

I believe Jeremiah chapter 34 can give us some insight into what’s going on:

As a result of God’s judgement against the Jews, the Babylonian armies had built up siegeworks against Jerusalem to cut it off from life giving supplies and to attack the city.

Then King Zedekiah and the Jews decided to let those they had held in slavery go free. They set them free, and then later decided to take their slaves back and put them in bondage again.

Then something amazing happens. The Lord tells the Jews that because they decided to put the freed slaves back into captivity, the RETREATING Babylonian army was going to come back and do to the Jews what God had said they would do. (verses 21 and 22)

The amazing thing is that when the Jews had decided to release those they had held captive, God relented from judgement and had caused Israels enemies to retreat.

Who are you, or me, holding captive today to unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness?

We need to set those captives free, and leave them free. It is very possible that those armies that have been brought against us to build up siegeworks will retreat.

We need to set those who have offended us free, just as God has set us free in Christ from our offenses.

Note: Is it possible the trouble we see on the horizon for this country could at least in part be the result of God's children profaning His Name? After He has forgiven us of all our offenses, we're choosing to hold others accountable to us? If this is so, what would happen if we all set our captives free today?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Prov. 25:11

I'm hoping the following will encourage those out there who still have difficulty understanding our eternal security in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 3:16, 17  Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Recently a man I know used this verse to inform me that it is possible for a born again Christian to lose their salvation, as the sin spoken above can only be committed by a Christian, who is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
However, after a closer look and reading several commentaries, I was able to discover the context in which Paul was writing here.  When Paul says, " yourselves are God's temple...," "you" is plural and "temple" is singular.  Paul here is referring to the whole body of Christ as one temple.  He is not talking here about you or I in the singular.  The context in which he is writing has to do with false teachers, ravenous wolves, who deliberately come into the church to oppose the truth and divide the flock. That person is the one God will destroy.  Anyone who uses this verse to say that a Christian can lose their salvation is taking this verse out of context and isn't understanding what the writer is talking about.

Now I know someone may say that in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 18-20 we are spoken of individually as being a temple of the Holy Spirit.  This is true.

"Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  Therefore honor God with your body."  This verse is speaking of each of us as being a temple of the Holy Spirit, but in this passage it doesn't speak of the destruction of a child of God.

It is important for us to read our Bibles and to become familiar with the context in which something is written.

While I'm at it, I would like to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ with some verses that are true of you because you are in Christ.  All of these verses are in 2 Corinthians.  (There are plenty more encouraging verses and passages throughout Scripture.)

1:1  You are a saint.

1:2  God comforts you in all your troubles.

1:7  Your hope in Him is firm.

1:10  God will continue to deliver you.

1:14  You will be boasted of in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1:18, 19  God's faithfullness is not yes and no in Christ.  But yes.

1:21  God makes you stand firm in Christ.

1:22  God set His seal of ownership on you.

1:22  God put His Spirit in your heart to guarantee what is to come.

2:14  God always leads you in triumphal procession in Christ.

2:15  You are the aroma of Christ.

3:2  You are God's letter; known and read by everyone.

3:3  You are a letter written by the Spirit of the living God.

3:5  You are a minister of a new covenant.

3:18  You reflect the Lord's glory.

3:18  You are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.

4:1  You are a minister of God.

4:6  You carry the Gospel of Christ.

4:14  You will be raised in the presence of Jesus.

4:16  Inwardly you are being renewed day by day.

5:1  God built an eternal house for you in heaven.

5:3  You will not be found naked.

5:5  The Holy Spirit is a deposit to guarantee you what is to come.

5:10  You will go to the Judgement Seat of Christ, not the Judgement.

5:17  You are in Christ.  You are a new creation.  You're old nature is gone.

5:18  God did this.  Not you or I.

5:20  You are an ambassador of Christ.

5:20  God makes His appeal to the world through you.

8:9  Jesus, through His poverty, made you rich.