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How Old Are You, Spiritually?

What if our physical aging and maturing is symbolic of our spiritual aging and maturing?  Even as our bodies grow an developed they are still completely dependent on water and nutrition.  As we keep it hydrated and fed, it grows.  As toddlers and children grow into the teens and young adulthood; our parents or parental figures in our lives discipline us and help mold us into adults acceptable to the cultural and societal standards.  Our parents and older siblings help mold us all throughout our lives.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ; we are Born Again.  As we learn and seek the Lord we grow in a child like faith.  As time goes on and the Lord disciplines our spirit, we are then expected to be more mature in faith.  As we reach spiritual adulthood we look more and more like Christ.  All the while we are fed by God's Word and grown by The Holy Spirit.  God The Father and our older spiritual siblings mold us though discipleship all throughout our lives.

The similarities of our physical maturity and spiritual maturity are uncanny. But as our body is in the world, our spirit is in Christ.

The Joy of TRUTH

Definition of Truth:

What God has declared and done is truth.  Its that simple.  If God says we are sinners, that is truth; we are sinners.  If God says that to covet someone else's material things is sin; than when we covet, we sin.  If God says to simply look at another person with lust is sin, then if we look at someone with lust we have sinned.  If God says any sexual desires outside of marriage is immoral, than it is immoral. If God declares marriage between an man and woman, than any other marriage is not true.  Its that simple.  No matter the culture or time period; immorality is immorality and God's truth is God's truth.  Sin is sin.  God is truth. 

Why does truth seem so complicated sometimes?

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Every year Christians gather for a 'special' Sunday service called Easter Sunday.  The roots of the chosen time of the year comes from a annual pagan celebration of fertility that the church wanted to "Christianize" and have their own in contrast.  It was very controversial in the church to celebrate the passion of Christ during that pagan holiday but the church remained unified and agreed on the season.  So now as culture and church blended we have Easter bunnies and colorful eggs in our Easter Sunday church services.  As society becomes more secular and the church blends more into the world the true meaning of the celebration of the passion of Christ is hidden behind the popularized pagan symbols. 

The church needs to refocus its attention away from fun loving cultural symbols and on the person and work of Jesus Christ during this season.  It needs to celebrate the meaning of the cross for all the world to see.  It is not Easter Sunday but Resurrection Sunday.  It is not about eggs symbolizing fertility but The Cross; Christ's death and resurrection.

This is what we celebrate in the week (Holy Week) leading up to and on Resurrection Sunday:
  • Sunday before Resurrection day is the remembrance of Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem known as Palm Sunday.
  • Thursday is remembrance of the Last Supper and the commission of Communion.
  • Friday is the remembrance of Christ's crucifixion and death on the Cross known as Good Friday.
  • Saturday is self reflection and rest and remembrance of Christ resting after finishing atonement.
  • Sunday is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the dead!

The 10 Elements of a Healthy Local Church

The true and genuine church is invisible and is made up of unnamed unspecified individuals but all share common elements.  It is these elements that help us see and know the Body of Christ- the church.  10 Elements are identified in scripture and we can use them to help determine if a local gathering of people is a healthy church or not.

Take the 26 question test to help determine if the church you are attending or considering is consistent with what The Bible reveals about a health church.  The test is based off the criteria below.  Scores below 70% should cause some concern for the healthiness of that church.

This is the orderly hierarchy of The Body of Christ- the Church (Eph 4:15-16, Titus 1:5)

1.  Christ is Head (authority and guide) of that (and all) local body of believers (Eph 4:15, Col 1:18)
2.  Christ ordains individuals to manage and take care of the local body (1 Tim 3:5)
3.  The local body of believers follow the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ guarded and continued by the apostles and elders (John 10:27)
4.  The local body and its overseers and care takers seek to build each other up in the spirit and in life (Eph 4:12)
6.  Each local member has talents and gifts unique to help that local body (1 Cor 12:27)


When Our Faith is Just Lip Service

With so much going on in our modern world we are forced to prioritize things in our lives.  Work, school, kids, wife, friends, family, gym, fun... oh ya and God.  But while we are busy running around doing this and that, we have no shame saying that Jesus is Lord.  At work we may talk about our religion to co-workers.  At school we may mention him.  To our friends and family we may also talk about Jesus.  We will share bible verse and talk about God on our social networks.  At the gym he might cross our mind.  But at what point is all that just talk; when he is not actually Lord over our life and we are not actually serving him.

Our actions are manifestations of our heart. 

So if we are not involved in ministries, rarely attend church except on religious holidays or just with friends, rarely privately study the bible but post verses on our facebook, but be unreliable when it comes to fellowship; how then is Jesus Lord? He' not.

Personal Bible Study: Method

Having a consistent and reliable method to research, study, and unlock the truths contained in scripture is key to really knowing and understanding divine truths.  God designed man to be methodical, logical, and rational beings and to glorify him with our minds.  There is no better use of our minds than to use our mind and thoughtful abilities to seek Him.

This method of bible study is known as Expository study or Exegesis study.  This is where the bible interprets its self and we just draw out the meaning in its original context by what it says.  The meaning comes from scripture and not from us into scripture. 

After your plan is made; choose a book of the bible to study.  For new believers, always start with The Gospel of John then move to Romans.  Understand that good thorough studies will take months and maybe years to go through one book.  You never want to be in a rush and you want to take your time in every sitting to absorb every thing God has to offer.  After your plan is made and the book is chosen, repeat the methodology below.


Personal Bible Study: Getting Started

Your personal bible studies are one of the best times for you and God to spend time together.  You sit back and let him talk to you through His Word.  You learn more about Him and get to grow in knowing who He is.  But you want Him to do the talking and teaching and not to jump to any for your own conclusions when read his Word.

Before you get started there are a few things you should and need to do.

Open Letter to The Body of Christ Around The World

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus around the world,

I write this to everyone so that we all may be encouraged and hold strong to the faith that we are been called in.  In this modern world we can receive news from all around the world seemingly over night.  Information travels fast and we are able to react to it sooner.  I see all the countries that have access to this site and see the page visits from each country.  Knowing of the reach this blog has been given, I feel compelled to write this.

The Confusion with The Prophecy Gift

Within the church we hear the phrases "they prophesied over me" or "they spoke prophetic utterances" But what does that really mean and is it of God? 

First we need to understand the word being used "prophecy" and the biblical usage of that word as well.

A)   In The Old Testament, specially selected individuals would be given divine truths from God Himself and they would relay those truths to the people.  These truths were not from or by any other means.  They would simply foreth-tell divine revelations from God.  Primarily, Old Testament prophets would proclaim the will of God.

B)   In The New Testament, something new happens.  There are no prophets but Apostles.  The Apostles made known the things of God through Jesus Christ and it was Jesus Christ that revealed the things of God. 

How "Love is Love" is Unloving.

We keep hearing the phrase "Love is Love" lately and it implies that anyone can love anyone genuinely.  That is only half true.  We can genuinely think and believe we can and do love anyone (or anything) but what exactly is "love".

Love is not a human invention.  It transcends humankind.  Love is not defined by a single culture or dictionary.  It is not a point of view or opinion.  Love is defined and exists a part from man and outside of the physical world.  No personal view or government law truly defines what Love is.  To know what love truly and genuinely is we must look beyond ourselves and this world and see what God himself says it is as he is the author of all things in our reality. 

1 John 4 is THE perfect place to start.

The Holy Spirit or Emotionalism?

So many times we hear Christians say "I felt the Holy Spirit today" or "I was over come by the Holy Spirit and it felt..." But how do they know and how do we know it was in fact the person of the Trinity- The Holy Spirit- and not our own human feeling and emotions (or a different spirit for that matter)?

First we must ask:  Can we feel things apart from the Holy Spirit that is caused by ourselves or another spiritual force?  The obvious answer yes.  

So knowing we can the next logical question is: How do we know what is causing our feelings?

Can we idolize and worship our own feelings and not God?

When a Church is no longer part of The Body of Christ

A church, any church, any gathering of people who claim to be 'a church and part of the body of Christ' is defined by what Christ and The Holy Spirit taught through the writings of the prophets and apostles.  In their own way, they are united by what Jesus Christ stood for and stood against.  When one church no longer stands with Christ on critical issues; they are no longer part of the body of Christ by definition.

Granted some issues in scripture are a 'agree to disagree' issue; like those in Romans 14:1-5, 15:7.  Free for the church to decided for itself. 

But when an issue is explicitly addressed, it is not a matter of opinion of each church body but a defining factor of the body of Christ as a whole.  The issue is made clear by God himself for his people to be obedient to him and set apart from those who are not his.

Sinlessness and its Dilemmas

  • "Go and sin no more" John 8:3-11
  • "stop sinning or something worse may happen to you" John 5:1-15
  • "be holy as I am holy" 1 Peter 1:16
  • "if you love me; keep my commandments" John 14:15
  • "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become perfect" Eph 4:13
Just from these verses we can jump to the conclusion that we can stop sinning, keep God's commands, and be holy with the assumption in this life.  On the surface, this is true.  God does expect us to become holy and sinless and keep his commands in this life.  Coming from the creator and holy God, that is a legit explanation.

But when we look at ALL scripture, we come to some road blocks with the assumption of sinlessness in this life.

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