Romans 6:12

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,

that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

~ Romans 6:12


I love what is described in this verse and will try to relay its meaning.


Therefore: refers to the death of our sinful nature (entire sanctification) and a life that has been renewed through the work and power of Christ as shown here:

. . . many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ

were baptized into his death? 

Therefore we are buried with him

by baptism into death:

that like as Christ was raised up from the dead

by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,

we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 

knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

Now if we be dead with Christ,

we believe that we shall also live with him: 

. . . Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,

but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ Romans 6:2-11


God forbids us (as Christians) to sin as noted in the strongest of words:

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 

God forbid.

~ Romans 6:1


The whole chapter reinforces the command of Jesus to His followers: that we are to go and sin no more. This is a foundational principle and requirement for every Christian.

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple,

and said unto him,

Behold, thou art made whole:

sin no more,

lest a worse thing come unto thee.

~ John 5:14


The same is true for us, Even more so since we have the whole council of scripture and the Holy Spirit.

We are told that our old man (our sinful nature) and body of sin (the entirety of our sinful acts, thoughts, predispositions, guilt and shame) are all to be destroyed, crucified, dead.

That means we should no longer sin a a Christian. I repeat myself because most of Christianity today ignores this Bibilical truth and tolerates sin and the behaviors of those who commit it. That is because the sinful nature does not want to die and our earthly, animal desires want to remain and be fed by seemingly harmless sinful pleasures.

This is especially true if we are told by others that our sinful nature will remain with us until we die and we can’t stop from sinning (even occasionally) until salvation from our sins comes by death, which is clearly against scripture.

This has turned the many churches to follow a sinning religion. Allowing sin to continue in a believer’s life is a deception from the Devil. A very unfortunate turn of events makes the church his tool.

The parishioners then allow sin and become defiled just like before they were saved, steeped in sin.

We are not suppose to return to the mire. We are suppose to abhor, flee, and avoid even the appearance of sin (or evil).


We are delivered from sin and guilt when we are justified just like the Hebrews were delivered from Egypt (which is symbolic of sin) in the O.T. We can be overthrown in the wilderness of this world if we continue in sin just like the Israelites were.

The Holy Spirit through Paul gave us one of the sternest warnings against this problem of sin. He speaks about what happens to those dwelling in sin, and that God gives us a way out of every temptation so we don’t have to fall into sin.

If we are walking with the light, this is a reality. If we are not walking with the light, we are serving sin, and we have another father, the Devil.

If we do fall into a sin, we can repent and be forgiven but it is not a revolving door to be abused in this probationary life.

There is hope for the backslider and every sinner to regain salvation once lost.


Moreover, brethren (Christian),

I would not that ye should be ignorant,

how that all our fathers were under the cloud,

and all passed through the sea; 

and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 

and did all eat the same spiritual meat; 

and did all drink the same spiritual drink:

for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:

and that Rock was Christ. 

But with many of them God was not well pleased:

for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples,

to the intent we should not lust after evil things,

as they also lusted. 

Neither be ye idolaters,

as were some of them; as it is written,

The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 

Neither let us commit fornication,

as some of them committed,

and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 

Neither let us tempt Christ,

as some of them also tempted,

and were destroyed of serpents. 

Neither murmur ye,

as some of them also murmured,

and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:

and they are written for our admonition,

upon whom the ends of the world are come. 

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed

lest he fall.

There hath no temptation taken you

but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,

who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;

but will with the temptation

also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:1-13


My brothers and sisters, we are without excuse if we continue to allow sin in our lives. We are creating a desolate wilderness instead of a garden flowing with milk and honey.

God will deal with our fruit of sin as promised when we do not abide in Him (His purity and love):

Abide in me, and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 

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. 

If a man abide not in me,

he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered;

and men gather them, and cast them into the fire,

and they are burned.

~ John 15:4-6


God loves abundantly and wants holy and obedient loving children. He is also just and righteous and no sin or impure thing will enter the new heaven and new earth. That is why it is so important that we imitate our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ.


Here is what Adam Clarke’s commentary says about Romans 6:12

[This is a prosopopoeia, or personification. Sin is represented as a king, ruler, or tyrant, who has the desires of the mind and the members of the body under his control so that by influencing the passions he governs the body.

Do not let sin reign, do not let him work; that is, let him have no place, no being in your souls; because, wherever he is he governs, less or more: and indeed sin is not sin without this.

How is sin known?

By evil influences in the mind, and evil acts in the life.

But do not these influences and these acts prove his dominion?

Certainly, the very existence of an evil thought to which passion or appetite attaches itself, is a proof that there sin has dominion; for without dominion such passions could not be excited.

Wherever sin is felt, there sin has dominion; for sin is sin only as it works in action or passion against God. Sin cannot be a quiescent* thing: if it do not work it does not exist.

*(Resting being in a state of repose; still: not moving; as a quiescent body or fluid.)
That ye should obey it in the lusts thereof – This clause is wanting in the most ancient and reputable MSS. and in the principal versions. Griesbach has left it out of his text;

and Professor White says, Certissime delenda : ” These words should certainly he expunged” they are not necessary to the apostle’ s argument; it was enough to say, Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it.

If it be there it will reign there; and its reign supposes, necessarily, the subjection of that in which it reigns. A king reigns when his laws are enforced, and the people obey them. When there is no executive government there is no reign. There may be a royal shadow there, but there is no king.]


There should be no sin in the believers life. This is our goal and should be sought in this life. 

We just need say “yes” to God’s will as we tarry in Jerusalem. The promise of power of the Most High will be given tous.

We must thirst after righteousness as the dear pants for water when he has fled the dangers of the hunter.

God does not give His blessings to those who continue in sin. We have power over sin the moment be believe.

God is faithful and wants . . .

. . . to open our eyes,

and to turn us from darkness to light,

and from the power of Satan unto God,

that we may receive forgiveness of sins,

and inheritance among them

which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

~ Act 26:18


There is so much God has planned for us. Let us have victory in Jesus.

Receive all the blessings He has to offer.


The Obedience of Faith

Paul uses this phrase only twice in scripture; once in Romans 1:5 and once in Romans 16:26.

Reason leads one to believe that he explains the meaning of this phrase on the context of the chapter between these two verses.

This is exactly what he does.


The Two Phrases


By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith among all nations,

for his name:

~ Romans 1:5

————-

Now to him that is of power to stablish you

according to my gospel,

and the preaching of Jesus Christ,

according to the revelation of the mystery,

which was kept secret since the world began, 

but now is made manifest,

and by the scriptures of the prophets,

according to the commandment of the everlasting God,

made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

~ Romans 16:25-26


In the Greek (eis hupakoen pisteos) “for obedience of (or ‘to the’) faith” literally means, ‘to the obedience of faith.’

Instead of explaining the context of this holy command (for that would take a small book). I am going to give my heartfelt understanding underlying the motive and the necessity to lay hold of this command and to take it faithfully to the end.


First, let’s discuss a little about Paul’s literary style.

In the first example, Paul writes, ‘By whom we have received grace and apostleship.’

Paul often times uses the word ‘we’ when he is fervently sharing in his blessings, persecutions, or curse.

When Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus, he was given the gift of grace while simultaneously receiving the gift and calling of apostleship. For him they are inseparable.

He was writing to the church in Rome who certainly were not called to be apostles but were given the gift of grace.


Just like God who so loved the world that he not only gave His only begotten son, He also shares with us all the blessings bestowed upon His creation, i.e., rainbows, the Bible, Holy Spirit, etc. God’s grace is so abundant that it overflows everywhere;  pouring out a river of opportunity to any soul who will heed redemption’s call.

Paul’s apostleship and grace are examples of this. He shared with the church throughout the ages the love of God that was unfolded in him to the furtherance and completion of the gospel world-wide the end as written by John in Revelation.

Just like Romans 7 when Paul cried out, ‘O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?’

Here ‘body’ (soma) refers to the sinful nature of self that is sold to, under the sway, and power of sin.

When Paul wrote Romans, he was no longer under sin’s power since he was wholly saved and freed from sin by the power of God. But this was not the case before the precious blood of Jesus cleansed him from sin and guilt.

knowing this,

that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

~ Romans 6:6-7

In Romans 7, he was sharing his experience of living under the law as a Pharisee, unregenerate, and bound to the law of sin and death. When he wrote this, he was freed from the law of sin and death and was resting in the Grace of God. He was writing to those who know the law and it implications as well as those who have not crucified the flesh through entire sanctification and still struggle when ‘the old man’ rears its head in their heart.

He shared the whole process of realizing God’s holy work when he was suffering under the bondage and power of sin to the road to Damascus and how he would eventually reveal the fact that the ‘old man’ can be completely put to death and crucified in Christ. We must strive to walk in complete obedience of faith lighted by Jesus and pioneered by the apostles.

Then and only then can we be overcomers; truly dead to sin and alive in Christ.

This is how God works: Everywhere the gospel is preached . . . it is preached to those in the bondage of sin. Rarely, are those who preach preaching from a pure heart  free indeed from the reins of sin and bound and yoke of sin.

Throughout the ages this has been Christianity’s dilemma but Paul and a few others have shown us a more excellent way.

He shared in our sin,

so we can share in His suffering.

and rest in the hope,

that one day we’ll be counted worthy,

and join in holy union,

with Him for all eternity.

~ D


This my friend is the big picture of the overflowing, bountiful Love of God through the obedience of faith.

Okay. So, we see what God is sacrificing and sharing with us; He calls us to share with Him and give every bit of our self in obedience to His service.

A God that loves us so much to create a universe, provide a perfect salvation plan in case we mess up His perfect creation: And then, we not only mess up ourselves, we mess up every other creature and plant on the planet, and the very universe in which it exists. All because of our sinful disobedience.

Is it any wonder He commands us to stop (sinning): to cease from all willful transgressions of His law? To live a righteous life, for all unrighteousness is sin: And, to have a simple childlike faith, for anything not done in faith is sin.


There you have in a nutshell. The meaning and importance of ‘our obedience of faith’ is to submit uncompromisingly to the Lordship of Christ. If this is the case in your life; Glory to God! Keep fighting the good fight. Weary not in well doing for great is your reward in heaven.

If this is not the case in your life, then please read my post on ‘Stand in the Ancient Path.’ In it is a story of a Christian, who believing, being baptized, and following after the apostles, who was told by Peter that he would perish in Hell if he did not repent of his sin and get his mind, life, heart and nature right with God.


I apologize if the words in this post seem strong, course, or harsh. They were pulled from my heart in this fashion for a reason I know not of.

They are far from the beauty and sweetness of many who write of the things of God.

On that note, this is what has been singing in my soul all the day long today. May the words ring true in your heart.


’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word;

Just to rest upon His promise,

And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

—-

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

—-

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to trust His cleansing blood;

And in simple faith to plunge me

’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

—-

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just from sin and self to cease;

Just from Jesus simply taking

Life and rest, and joy and peace.

—-

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,

Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;

And I know that Thou art with me,

Wilt be with me to the end.


Through preaching and study of the word; the mystery of the ages has been made known to you and me.

God has commanded us to obey the faith He has given us. He is more than able to establish and keep us in this faith. May you learn of Him more dearly; remembering and cherishing His love, wholly unto the end. For it is His love only that we are called to have and obey. 

Compare your life with the life of the believer found in the beatitudes and see how you match up to the obedience that God expects from all who claim His precious name. God would not tell us how to live without providing a way for us to do it. I pray that God provides the grace to enable you to do just as He commands.


I am reminded of a title from one of Chick’s tracts, ‘This was Your Life.’

Jesus said, you are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect. “

Stand in the Ancient Path

Last Thursday our pastor was preaching on love, 1 Corinthians 13.

He explained how Jesus perfectly demonstrated all the qualities therein; even to the last drop of blood that stained the soil at the foot of the cross.

Jesus walked the ancient path.

Paul gives us a hint here as to how Jesus followed the ancient path when He descended from heaven prophetically and


. . . emptied Himself,

taking the form of a bond-servant,

and being made in the likeness of men.

~ Philippians 2:7


How do we follow his footsteps that lead to the old path? What does this term the old/or ancient path mean? Jesus gives us a big clue here:


Come unto me, all ye that labour

and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest. 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;

for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

~ Matthew 11:27-30


Jesus was quoting an exhortation to the people of Jerusalem as a last ditch effort of God to reverse His impending judgment. Because of their willful sin and their turning away from God’s ancient path, they were going to be rejected.


Thus saith the Lord,

Stand ye in the ways, and see, 

and ask for the old (ancient) paths,

where the good way is,

and walk therein,

and ye shall find rest for your souls.

~ Jeremiah 6:16


God still shows His redemptive, righteous love to us until the final day of justice.


For every believer in the gospel, this passage holds  a solemn warning. There is even an example for us to look to: A believer, who was baptized, and followed the Apostles. He was given a similar warning to repent from his sins, make right his heart, and take the ancient path. Here is the story in its entirety:

“But when they (the citizens of Samaria) believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 

But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of GodRepent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.


Simon believed in Jesus, was baptized, and followed the Apostles; but he was on the road to perdition as Peter stated because his heart was not right with God. He had the root of bitterness (that defiles the soul), was a servant to sin, in a word, he was double-minded.

This warning applies to all who believe Jesus. This is why taking the right path is so utterly important to us.

Believer, stand in the way of God, look very carefully and circumspectly. Ask Him guide your feet to the old path if you are not already on it. He is faithful to lead us and keep us in righteousness and holiness for his name sake.


and make straight paths for our feet,

lest we that are lame be turned out of the way;

but let us rather be healed. 

Follow peace with all men, and holiness (sanctification),

without which no man shall see the Lord: 

looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;

lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,

and thereby many be defiled;

~ Hebrews 12:13-15


I has become clear to me: Even if we believe and try to follow Jesus: If our heart is not right with God, if we harbor bitterness, if we cannot stop sinning, or if we doubt and are double-minded, we will perish. Listen to Jesus’ own words:


The Son of man shall send forth his angels,

and they shall gather out of his kingdom

all things that offend,

and them which do iniquity (continue sinning);

and shall cast them into a furnace of fire:

there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

~ Matthew 13:41-42


We are called to walk in all the light we have been given. The Bible is a very big light. Our justification through faith is the switch to turn on this very big light.


Stand ye in the way and see . . .


As a Christian we have the ability to stand at the good path and see. This is not possible for the non-believer because they cannot perceive the things that are spiritually discerned.


But a natural man does not accept

the things of the Spirit of God,

for they are foolishness to him;

and he cannot understand them,

because they are spiritually discerned.

But he who is spiritual judges all things,

yet he himself is judged by no one.

which things we also speak,

not in words taught by human wisdom,

but in those taught by the Spirit,

combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

~ 1 Corinthians 2:14, 15, 13


The Holy Spirit teaches us how we should walk; for He is our teacher. The pathway of righteousness comes into view when we take His yoke upon us, submit to his rein, and walk in the direction He leads.

When we walk the way we ought, we learn of Him. We do this in obeying all of God’s commandments. This includes studying the Bible, hearing preaching, Praying fervently without ceasing, and not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.


Here is the patience of the saints:

here are they that keep the commandments of God,

and the faith of Jesus.

~ Revelation 14:12


We must keep the commandments of God and maintain our faith in Jesus if we are to be called saints of God. Simon had faith but was not keeping God’s commandments.


Take my yoke upon you


A yoke is naturally very heavy. My family recently visited the American Pioneer Museum in Minden, Nebraska. We saw some old yokes first hand. I am not even sure if most of us could lift one up much less place one on the shoulders of two oxen and firmly strap it around its neck.

The analogy of the yoke speaks loudly of three things:

First, once it is place upon us, God is supposed to have control so He can lead and direct our paths. We no longer choose when, where, or what we want to do, He does.

Secondly, whoever wears the yoke belongs to one who harnesses it. It is more than mere submission and consecration to His service. It goes much deeper . . . to the very core of our soul, nature, and disposition.

Thirdly, a yoke attaches to two oxen. We are not alone as Christians and must walk in unity and love with each other lest we fail the high calling of Christ.


What? know ye not

that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost

which is in you,

which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Now that we have a brief and basic introduction to the ancient path and why it is so important, we ask:

What is the ancient path?

What is the good way?

How can we walk therein?

How do we find rest for our soul?


What is the Ancient Path?


In all the passages of scripture, there is only one place that God describes everything as good including the way man walked. It is recorded first two chapters of the Bible.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. ~ Genesis 1:26-31.

Here God describes man and woman as very good. Not an inkling of imperfection existed although man’s knowledge was limited for it was finite and did not yet include the fruits of experience or disobedience.

Again . . .

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. ~ Genesis 2:15

There was no toil or harshness in God’s instructions to keep the garden, only goodness. It is kind of like the description of Jesus’ yoke except without the need to put it on. They were born with the natural obedience to God.

Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden during the cool of the day. He would talk to them, fellowship with them as friends, and it was all very good . . . until the ancient path that man walked with God became soiled with the sin of disobedience. ~ Genesis 3:8-9.

There were other times when man walked with God but they are few:

Job: There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. ~ Job 1:1

Noah: But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. ~ Genesis 6:8-10

Enoch: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. ~ Genesis 5:23-25

There are a few others and some we know little about except that they walked that ancient path with God. They abhorred evil, had righteous fear of God, found grace in God’s eyes, and were considered Perfect before the sight of God.

This leads to the second question,


What is the Good Way?


We can no longer can walk the ancient path of innocence and purity of Adam and Eve.

We can heed fully the call of redemption, through faith, and the work of entire sanctification.

This is the good way that restores us to a place pleasing in the sight of God that He considers perfect as noted here.

I am reminded by a verse in one of my favorite hymns,


He hath shewed thee,

O man,

what is good; and what the Lord requires of thee,

but to do justly,

and to love mercy,

and to walk humbly with thy God

~ Micah 6:8


We can have the mind of Christ:

Only conduct yourselves

in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,

so that whether I come and see you or remain absent,

I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit,

with one soul,

striving together for the faith of the gospel;

~ Philippians 1:27

————-

Therefore, prepare your minds for action,

keep sober in spirit,

fix your hope completely on the grace

to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

~ 1 Peter 1:13

————-

For who hath known the mind of the Lord,

that he may instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

————-

How do we walk Therein? Please refer to my last post about Paul’s prayer to the Romans.

If we through consecration and perseverance; by the working of faith without doubt ask God who is faithful to reveal it to us, He will show us the old path and enable us to walk in it.

We can not do this on our own or by our own works, nevertheless, we must strive (work) to enter into this rest.


For he that is entered into his rest,

he also hath ceased from his own works,

as God did from his. 

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, l

est any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful,

and sharper than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

~ Hebrews 4:10-12


He can’t pierce our soul and change our thoughts and intents our our hearts if we are unwilling or living a life of compromise. Only those who labor and strive in Him will enter into His rest.

Paul was speaking to believers in this passage. He was telling them to strive or work to this end.


Be wary of double-mindedness. Here are some scripture that highlight what it is so dangerous.

I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes

Forever, even to the end.

I hate those who are double-minded,

But I love Your law.

~ Psalms 119: 112-113

————-

But he must ask in faith without any doubting,

for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea,

driven and tossed by the wind.

For that man ought not to expect

that he will receive anything from the Lord,

being a double-minded man,

unstable in all his ways.

~ James 1:6-7

————-

Submit therefore to God.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Cleanse your hands, you sinners;

and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Be miserable and mourn and weep;

let your laughter be turned into mourning

and your joy to gloom.

~ James 4:7-9


I hope and pray it has become clear what is good and what the Lord desires of thee.

Jesus the rock, the firm foundation on which we stand enables us to not waver, doubt, or sin in a spirit of disobedience.

The old path is a path imprinted with God’s footprints of purity and holiness. It is also a path gently trod by those who humbly and contritely step through that narrow wicket gait and join those bound on the beautiful highway of holiness.

When hearts are filled with faith, obedience, purity, and the love of God, all manners of wickedness, sin, and deception have no part in our heart.

There is only the sweet, cleansing blood of Jesus purifying our walk on this holy path.


Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

but we know that, when he shall appear,

we shall be like him;

for we shall see him as he is.

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself,

even as he (Jesus) is pure.

~1 John 3:2-3


We may not know what it will be like at the meeting of our Lord. But we do know that, if we are saints of God, one glorious day we will be like Him: standing at the foot of the throne with our first-born brother, The Son of God.

If we are obedient to the Work of the Holy Spirit, actively living out the teachings of scripture, we are purifying ourselves even as Jesus is pure according to 1 John.

It begs the question: How are we obedient unto purification? As you know the scriptures are filled with pictures, shadows of things to come, and abounding promises of God’s wonderful works.


Jesus said . . . that all things must be fulfilled,

which were written in the law of Moses,

and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Then opened he their understanding,

that they might understand the scriptures, . . .

And that repentance and remission of sins

should be preached in his name

among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And, behold,

I send the promise of my Father upon you:

but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,

until ye be endued with power from on high.

~ Luke 24:44, 45, 47, 49


We are to tarry in Jerusalem; the holy city, ordained by God, because Jesus has promised us power from on high.

Jerusalem and the time was real back then. But Jerusalem is also a picture of the city in our lives so to speak.

The things we do daily; what places and what activities we choose to participate in; how we interact with others; our spiritual neighborhood. And especially, what we choose to bring home from the market places.

In the midst of Jerusalem there is a temple. That temple is you. The Holy Spirit will not come and dwell among us if our temple is defiled by sin and disobedience.


Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

If any man defile the temple of God,

him shall God destroy;

for the temple of God is holy,

which temple ye are.

~ 1 Corinthians 3:17


We may allow wickedness into our temple without realizing it. This can happen in a myriad of ways. I say be careful, very careful what you put before your eyes . . .

We may allow the enemy inside our home by streaming it through our computers, our smart phones, TV, etc., etc. or we may imbibe in a little compromise on our vacations, spending habits, or with the company we keep.

It is the disposition of our heart and eternal vigilance that can bring the Holy Spirit guiding us into the old path.

Its about the way we walk every day; where we set our feet, mind, heart, and soul every moment of the day and night.


How do we find rest for our soul?


This question I am not qualified to answer. So, I will let Jesus explain what the fruits of this rest bring. They are unattainable by man in his current state;

Also, is an excerpt from Love Enthroned by Daniel Steele, one of the great leaders of the Methodist church. He describes what he understands to be a brief explanation of entering into this rest for our soul . . .


And Jesus answered him,

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel;

The Lord our God is one Lord:

and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,

and with all thy strength:

this is the first commandment. 

And the second is like, namely this,

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

There is none other commandment greater than these.

~ Mark 12:29-31


We need to have the capacity to obey this command in its entirety. I am convinced that it is all but impossible, except by a work of grace of God moving on our hearts removing any resistive nature or internal barrier that prevents us from being able to completely and wholly fulfill this holy command of love in heart and life.

That barrier is our sinful nature, our old man.

Daniel Steele:

There is in many minds a doubt respecting the attainment of perfect purity before death. It is thought, so long as the soul and body are united, the flesh must in some degree taint the spirit. The inherent evil of matter is an old error of the Gnostics, borrowed from pagan philosophy, and early introduced into Christianity as a corrupting element. The Oriental philosophers taught that matter is uncreated and eternal, containing in it ineradicable evil; that the Creator, or Fashioner, did the best that he could with it when he shaped it into the human form; that he was not able, by any process of sublimation or refinement, to expel evil entirely from its nature, and that this inherent evil must continue to defile the soul immersed in it till death shall dissolve the loathed union. Then will the soul be in a condition to be purified, if it is curable, by drifting on rivers of fire till the stains are purged away. This is Platonism.

This is the origin of the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Protestantism has shaken off the fire-purgation, but has too extensively retained the death-purgatory. After seventeen hundred years Christianity has not wholly emancipated herself from this mischievous tenet of a heathen philosophy.

It is our purpose to show that there is no evil in matter or in spirit which the blood of Christ cannot cleanse, and that neither death nor penal fire, but the omnipotent Jesus, is the complete purifier of sin-stained souls, and that the only instrument he employs is the truth, and the only agent is the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier.

Our proofs will be wholly scriptural and experimental. The point to be demonstrated is this: Can Jesus save from all sin, actual and indwelling, long before death? The declaration of the angel to Joseph, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins,” does not explicitly declare when this salvation will be accomplished. But the implication is that he is to be a present Saviour, just as a physician advertising himself as a healer of cancers is understood to heal patients now, not in future years, nor a few hours before death. It is fortunate, yea, providential, that we have an inspired comment on this name by Zacharias when “filled with the Holy Ghost.” With prophetic vision he saw the immediate advent of Jesus, of whom his son John, then eight days old, was to be the forerunner.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David…. That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our (spiritual) enemies, might serve him without fear, (and hence with perfect love,) in holiness and righteousness before him, (not fulfilling any mere human standard,) ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE.”

The deliverance was to be spiritual, and not an emancipation from the Roman power; and the result, a glad and holy service, was to ensue in this life. No language could be used to express such an idea more clearly than this.

A still more explicit statement of the same great privilege of believers is found in St. Paul’s brief prayer in 1 Thess. 5:23. He had just been enjoining duties which none but those who are fully saved could possibly perform:

“Rejoice ever more. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.” John Wesley says, “I know no higher Christian perfection than this.” To enable them to obey these injunctions, and another just as difficult – “abstain from all appearance (every kind) of evil” — he offers this prayer: “But may the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit, soul and body, be preserved entire without blame, in the coming of the Lord Jesus.”

So intent is the great Apostle on giving an adequate and explicit expression of his meaning, entire sanctification, that he uses a strong word found nowhere else in the New Testament — ὁλοτελής (holotelēs), wholly, rendered in the Vulgate per omnia — “in your collective powers and parts,” marking more emphatically than any ordinary New Testament word the thoroughness and pervasive nature of the holiness prayed for. Luther has very happily translated it “durch und durch,” through and through.

Then St. Paul has used another peculiar term, which is found in only one other place in the New Testament, in James 1:4, and gives it the position of an emphatic predicate: “May your spirit be preserved entire, your soul entire, and your body entire.” He ordinarily employs the word τέλειος, “perfect,” when he marks what has reached its proper end and maturity.

But wishing to express a quantitative, and not qualitative, meaning, he employs a term signifying “entire in all its parts,” “complete,” lacking nothing. Having in these strong and remarkable words indicated the thoroughness of the sanctification, Paul leaves us in no doubt as to the time, when he adds, “and preserve you without blame in the coming of the Lord Jesus.”

Through what period of time is the preservation to extend? Till the second advent of Christ. This period covers the lifetime of these Thessalonians, and the space between their death and resurrection. To say that the prayer refers to the latter period is to involve St. Paul in the papal heresy of praying for the dead.

Therefore the preservation which is to follow the entire sanctification can refer only to the present life up to the hour of death. So plainly is this true, that no polemical writer has ventured to twist this passage into any other meaning.

The entire sanctification here supplicated is not only in this life, but the peculiar phraseology of the prayer implies that it is an instantaneous work. To the objection that the verb ἁγιάσαι, sanctify, can here only be understood of the gradual spread of the principle of holiness implanted in regeneration; even Olshausen insists that the emphasis laid on the “very God,” or “the God of peace himself,” “shows that something new is to follow,” some vigorous interposition of the omnipotent arm of the Sanctifier. Besides this, the verb is in the aorist tense, denoting a single momentary act.

Before taking our leave of this wonderful Scripture we call attention to the fact, that it effectually refutes the Gnostic error respecting the inherent evil of matter. In the enumeration of the constituent elements of man which are to be sanctified wholly, and preserved each entire, we find “body,” σῶμα (soma), which is wholly material.

St. Paul knew of nothing in man which was incapable of receiving the efficacy of the cleansing blood of Christ. And lest there should be any room for cavil, he specifies the ψυχή (phuxa), the lower or animal “soul,” in which inhere those passions and desires possessed by man in common with the brutes.

This border land between pure spirit on one side and gross matter on the other, lies open to the great Purifier as well as the higher element of spirit, πνεῦμα (pneuma), the designed receptacle or temple for the abode of God in man.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews the Apostle’s closet door gets ajar again, and we hear these words breathed into the ear of God — so much like those just quoted as to indicate the same pleader:

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, that great Shepherd of the sheep, make you perfect in every good work to do his will.”

This must be before death, for good works must be in time. To be perfect in them is to exclude every evil work, that is, all sin.

Every Scripture in which we are exhorted to bring forth those virtues and graces called the fruit of the Spirit, must refer to this life. If these are required in perfection, as they certainly are, they must exclude their opposites. Perfect love supposes the extirpation of every antagonistic affection; perfect meekness, all unholy anger; and thus with all the other graces.

We argue again, that entire holiness is attainable in this life, because all the commands to be holy must refer to the present. Grammarians tell us that all imperatives are in the present tense. If they cover the future they include the indivisible now. “Be ye holy,” plainly requires present holiness. “Be ye perfect,” enjoins perfection today. “Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart,” is a command enforcing perfect love today, if it means anything.

The promises of sanctifying grace are available to believers now, or they are worthless. For true faith can be exercised for spiritual grace for ourselves only as it rests on the promise which includes the present moment. “Knowing this, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

This promise of the destruction of sin begins now, and is followed by a glorious henceforth of emancipation this side of death. Let the reader study the following promises, and observe how manifestly they imply present fulfillment: Isa. 1:18, 25; Titus 2:14; 1 John 1:9; 4:16-18. Let him also remember that every command to be holy covers the present, and contains an implied promise of the aid of the Sanctifier.

It remains to examine one Scripture in which it is asserted that our evangelical perfection is in express terms deferred to some future time, namely, 1 Peter 5:10: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

Some tell us that the adverbial clause, “after ye have suffered a while,” modifies the following verb, “perfect.” Let us read it this way, and we will find that the poor souls for whom Peter prays cannot claim to be “stablished” now, nor strengthened now, nor settled now; but they must be tossed about in weakness and instability till after they have “suffered awhile.”

This is certainly contrary to the uniform promise of God to help in time of need. We need the most help when we suffer. Then again, the soul deserted of God for a while is anxious to know the length of this indefinite “a while.” How long a time must elapse before I can claim by faith the strengthening grace here supplicated?

It is evident that the four verbs “perfect,” “stablish,” “strengthen,” and “settle,” are all in the same grammatical construction. If we must wait a while to be perfected, we must also wait in suffering to be strengthened. But now suppose that, with the best biblical scholar of the century, Dean Alford, we attach the adverbial clause to the verb “hath called,” what will be the rendering then? “But the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory (heaven, not now, but) when ye have suffered a little while, himself perfect you (now, ) stablish,” etc.

This rendering is simple and clear. It obviates all the difficulties of the other rendering, and makes God a present help in our extremity. The sufferings must be passed before the glory can be entered. They are the condition of the reward. This is all that St. Peter intended by the clause in dispute. As God is ready to pardon now every sinner on the earth who comes in penitence and faith in Jesus, so is this Almighty Saviour able and willing, at the present moment, to cleanse and endow with the fullness of the Holy Spirit every believer who honors Christ by a trust in his promise of the abiding Comforter. So intense is his abhorrence of sin that he longs to wipe out the last spot that defiles humanity.


Paul’s Prayer to the Romans

There are at least 43 prayers of Paul reflected in scripture. We already discussed his first recorded prayer in the book of Acts. The rest are found in his epistles.

They reflect the whole of his life in Christ. Not once is there found a prayer of him struggling with sin, his sinful nature, or spiritual defeat.

Instead, his prayers abound in the beauty of holiness, standing firm, righteous in battle, all the while abounding in the peace of God.

These prayers are a picture of an abundant and victorious life in Christ that was often beset by persecution from the enemies of God.

Here we will look at one of six prayers found in Romans.


Now the God of hope fill you with all joy

and peace in believing,

that ye may abound in hope,

through the power of the Holy Ghost

~ Romans 15:13


This prayer is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy including Isaiah 11:1, 10, 24:14-16, 42:1-4, 10-12, Psalms 18:49, 67:3-4, 68:32, 97:1, 98:3-4, 138:4-5.

And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy;

as it is written,

For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles,

and sing unto thy name.

And again he saith,

Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles;

and laud him, all ye people.

And again, Esaias saith,

There shall be a root of Jesse,

and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles;

in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Romans ~ 15:9-12


The fulfillment of this promise began on Resurrection Sunday when Jesus ascended to His father in heaven, John 20:17  . . . and became the chief cornerstone:

The stone which the builders refused

is become the head stone of the corner.

This is the LORD’S doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day which the LORD hath made;

(that bright Sunday and every day forward)

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

~ Psalm 188: 22-24

————-

Paul also noted:

And (we) are built upon the foundation

of the apostles and prophets,

Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

~ Ephesians 2:20

————-

Likewise said Peter:

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture,

Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone,

elect, precious:

and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

~ 1 Peter 2:6

————-

Zion, Sion, or New Jerusalem is the city of peace: Heavenly, constructed by the bridegroom for his pure bride, the church. For the description see Revelation 21: 9-26.

At the end of the description is the character and behavior found in those who have inherited the promise noted in Paul’s prayer.

And I, John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,

coming down from God out of heaven,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

~ Revelation 21:2

————-

Christ means “Anointed One”, which is what happened to Him at the river Jordan.

The same anointing of the Holy Spirit happened at Pentecost rushing down upon the 120 disciples, and can happen to every believer, who in faithful obedience lays down his life before the feet of Jesus.

Then we will have the mind of Christ:

He that hath my commandments,

and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:

and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,

and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

~ John 14:21

————-

If any man come to me, and hate not his father,

and mother, and wife, and children,

and brethren, and sisters, yea,

and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

~ Luke 14:26 


It wasn’t until eight years after Pentecost that the promise in Isaiah began to be poured out upon the Gentiles. Paul is referring to the promise in its entire fulfillment.

All who receive the promise will have met the two criteria initiated by John the Baptist, taught by Jesus, and elaborated in epistles by the Apostles.

John the Baptist cried . . .

Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

~ Matthew 3:2

————-

And Jesus . . .

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,

Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

~ Matthew 4:17

————-

Again, saying . . .

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:

repent ye, and believe the gospel.

~ Mark 1:15

————-

Paul elaborated . . .

But shewed first unto them of Damascus,

and at Jerusalem,

and throughout all the coasts of Judaea,

and then to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance.

~ Acts 26:20


A discussion of the first criteria, Repentance


John the Baptist preached a solemn message in the barren, parched, and dry wilderness. The wilderness is a picture of our soul.

Without the living waters of Christ, our soul is barren, parched, and void of sustaining, meaningful life. We can not thrive, nor were we designed by God to live in such a desolate and dry place.

The wilderness of our life is built upon a landscape of sin. Every tree, weed, and sprout is tainted by the Devil’s work. Only when we gaze upon the holiness of God do we recognize the depth of this sin.

This happens through grace at prompting of the Holy Spirit. We peer into the darkness of our soul and cry out, “God, be merciful to me, a wretched sinner.”

When we see ourselves for who we are, we realize the need for God’s powerful redemption from our sin.


It is also important to understand how far we have fallen. Our first Earthly parents, Adam and Eve, used to walked side-by-side with God enjoying His presence in human innocence and perfection (free from all sin).

God wants to forgive us, deliver us from sin, and restore us to communion with Him.

He can change our natural predispositions so we can grown in a state of purity, cleanse, sin, holy and Christian perfection with the sinful nature crucified (dead) in Christ.

The knowledge and consequence of sin will remain until our corrupt body puts on its immortal incorruptible heavenly body.


A discussion of the second criteria, Salvific, Believing Faith


Once we have appreciated God through our repentance and the forgiveness of sins, that same faith guided by the Holy Spirit teaches us about God’s nature and how He wants to change ours;

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,

what manner of persons ought ye to be

in all holy conversation and godliness, 

looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,

wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,

and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 

Nevertheless we, according to his promise,

look for new heavens and a new earth,

wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,

be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace,

without spot, and blameless.

~ 2 Peter 3:14

————-

One of my favorite pictures of sin, our complete inability and deep need of God’s holy redemptive work is the story about the 10 lepers:

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem,

that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

And as he entered into a certain village,

there met him ten men that were lepers,

which stood afar off:

And they lifted up their voices, and said,

Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

And when he saw them, he said unto them,

Go shew yourselves unto the priests.

And it came to pass,

that, as they went, they were cleansed.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed,

turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

And fell down on his face at his feet,

giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

And Jesus answering said,

Were there not ten cleansed?

but where are the nine?

There are not found that returned to give glory to God,

save this stranger.

And he said unto him,

Arise, go thy way:

thy faith hath made thee whole.

~ Luke 17-11-19

Literally in the Greek – Jesus said, “thy faith has saved thee. ” Remember thee is singular.  Jesus was not referring all 10 lepers who were cleansed of leprosy (which is symbolic of sin in scripture).

He was only referring to the leper that fell at Jesus’ feet and gave Him due honor.

It is very important to see this because many who have been cleansed of their sin do not recognize the need to make their calling and election sure by giving God everything.

Instead, they choose to compromise. One way the Jesus describes this compromise is:

No man can serve two masters:

for either he will hate the one, and love the other;

or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

~ Matthew 6:23-25

When we compromise our walk by allowing sin to remain in our life, this disobedience causes our conscience is darkened and our faith is shipwrecked ~ 1 Timothy 1:19.

We are told in no uncertain terms:

He that committeth sin is of the devil;

for the devil sinneth from the beginning.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,

that he might destroy the works of the devil.

~ 1 John 3:8

What else is the work of the Devil than to sow sin in the hearts of man!

. . . our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin.

~ Romans 6:6

The works of sin is supposed to be destroyed. Why go back to the mire to lick the vomit?

If we are doing well in serving God sin doth not lieth at the door. This is also a promise and the very words of God to us!

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,

that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (practice) sin;

for his seed remaineth in him:

and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

~ 1 John 3:8-9

This is a hard saying but the purpose of God is clear: We are not to practice sin if God has been manifested in us.

I am confident that this must be a reality in our life if we are, “to be filled with all joy and peace in believing, abounding in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost,” as Paul prayed.


How does God fulfill this? I believe the key to being made whole in Christ happens by:

. . . our diligent obedience:  

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed,

not as in my presence only,

but now much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you

both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

That ye may be blameless and harmless,

the sons of God, without rebuke,

in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.

~ Philippians 2:12-15

————-

Whereby are given unto us

exceeding great and precious promises:

that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue;

and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience;

and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness charity (God’s Love).

For if these things be in you, and abound,

they make you that ye shall neither be barren

nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind,

and cannot see afar off,

and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

~ 1 Peter 1:4-9


When we come to live our life humbly in a holy and solemn walk Christ, we can experience, “The Kingdom of Heaven” in out hearts, mind, soul, and strength and shine upon the souls of others.

The Grace of God replaces our sin stained heart with purity basking the love and peace of God’s holiness.

No longer does sin have to reign. Nor should it be given any place in our soul, the temple of God.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace,

and joy in the Holy Ghost.

~ Romans 14:17

————-

May God find the fruit of His holiness in your soul

~ Don


The First Recorded Prayer of Paul

I have had the pleasure of knowing some wonderful men who were/are spiritual fathers to me in Christ: Bill Grace from my years at Stater Bros., Rev. Daniel Clyde, a long-standing source of peace, wisdom, and guiding truth.

And most recently, I was reacquainted with a man who inspired my love and knowledge of God to an even deeper level, Rev. Paul Kaufman. I am sure you can name some great founts of inspiration yourself.

We as Christians do share a common spiritual father in our walk with the gracious Savior; the Apostle, preacher, and teacher of the Gentiles, Paul of Tarsus (1 Timothy 2:6-8).


Nearly two-thirds of the epistles were written by Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They reveal Paul’s early life’s innocence (Romans 7:9), his utter awareness of personal and original sin; the condemnation the law brings as an observant Jew prior to salvation (Romans 7:10-25), his justification in Christ (1 Tim. 1:13), the witness of the Spirit to his son-ship in the Father (Romans 8:15), and the sacrificial offering of his earthen vessel to the service of the gospel of peace (Gal. 1:16, 2:20, 1 Thess. 2:10).

His whole life is laid before us to examine: his disposition, character, struggles, temptations, and the  workings of the Spirit on his heart.

This and a few other posts will be examining Paul’s prayers. Jesus taught us how to pray and Paul showed us further revelation how the Comforter intends to shape the church into a pure and blameless bride prepared for her bridegroom.

These prayers reveal the church’s deepest needs and concerns.

Looking into Paul’s prayer life is an invaluable source of wisdom and guidance. We can see the development of bride of Christ through Paul’s long-suffering and trials.

I am sure they were written with tears and blood as Paul continued to oversee, teach, rebuke, and exhort the new born church. All the while, being relentlessly persecuted and attacked by those bound by sin unto destruction.

He was a bond-servant and disciple of Christ. And we are called to follow after him (and the other apostles) even as he followed after Jesus Christ.


The following scriptures are exhortations that Paul and Peter gave to the church. These instructions apply dearly to all who through faith obey, not in his presence only, but now much more in his absence, by working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

Philippians 3:17

Brethren, be followers together of me,

and mark them which walk so

as ye have us for an ensample.

———–

 1 Thessalonians 1:6

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord,

having received the word in much affliction,

with joy of the Holy Ghost:

————

 1 Thessalonians 2:14

For ye, brethren, became followers

of the churches of God . . .

————

Hebrews 6:12

That ye be not slothful,

but followers of them who

through faith and patience inherit the promises . . .

————

1 Peter 3:13

And who is he that will harm you,

if ye be followers of that which is good?


This exhortation grows from from following the Paul’s life and instructions; to following all the Apostles, disciples, and the Lord; then on to following the newly developed churches of God.

Paul then tells us to following those who have or are inheriting the promises of God. The final exhortation comes from Peter telling us in harmony with his brothers in Christ to follow “that which is good.”  This can be none other than the perfected doctrine as revealed in the lives of the Apostles, sanctified believers, and epistles.

This Pentecostal dispensation of the Holy Spirit continues today. As sincere believers, it becomes patently clear that we are to follow all that Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the other Apostles taught. Lest we utterly fail “the principles of the doctrine of Christ” and  “go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1).

Therefore, let us leave the imperfections of following after those who have strayed from the foundational principles of the early church; return and follow all we are instructed to.


Paul’s First Recorded Prayer


On the road to Damascus when struck by the blinding presences of Jesus, Paul asks Him face-to-face, “What shall I do Lord?”

It reveals the directness by which which the prayers of the truly pentinent and righteous are heard.

Jesus was in the very presence of Paul during this request and His answer was swift, sure, and true.

“And the Lord said unto me,

Arise, and go into Damascus;

and there it shall be told thee of all things

which are appointed for thee to do. 

And when I could not see for the glory of that light,

being led by the hand of them that were with me,

I came into Damascus.

~ Acts 22:10


Paul’s first prayer was a prayer of action. It served as a funnel in which all the desires and purpose our Lord began to filter deeply into his heart.

Oh, may our prayers open up our heart to the wonderful workings of our Lord!

If we are to be imitators of Paul, we also need to ask the Lord what should we do for Him.

This is not an easy proposition. It requires sacrifice of our own interests, desires, goals, even our lives. God replaces our self-willed purpose with His voice, guidance, and power of the His Holy purpose.

This can only be accomplished through complete submission to the work of the Holy Spirit.

There is much to be done.

Are you in a place where He can hear you?


Source: Half Hours with Saint Paul by Daniel Steele, D.D.

Distractions 

Mostly all of us get distracted by  something in our lives; worldly interests, sports, a hobbie, career aspirations, or even blogging.

Our lifestyle choices can inhibit or facilitate God’s ability to influence and guide our lives.

When our choices inhibit God, He is not pleased. God is a jealous God wanting our affections to be holy and pure, like Him.

I had sincerely consecrated my life to our Lord recently and my life choices were in His way. He found me out and searched my inward parts. If you love him with all your capacity and allow Him completely in, He will have a way, a perfect and holy way of finding you out too.

He wants to reveal the intrusions of our will over His and always uses the light of His chastisement to lead you home . . . If you let Him.

Hebrews 12: 5b – 13 . . . despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:    For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

God wants holy, reverent, and deeply obedient children. If your desire is to serve Him: then disobedience, distractions, the deep sin within needs to be rooted out and put away. This is only one fruit of His chastisement: the beginning of our righteousness in Him:

1 John 1:2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Children are young and undeveloped. God forbid we develop our Christianity living in and practicing sin. This is what I have done over the course of my 28 years professing Christianity and I have finally by the grace of God, let Him root out these old fleshly desires . . . But not without great chastisement.

Romans 6:6, 7, 12, 22: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God . . . sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace . . . For he that is dead is freed from sin . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Paul explained to us in Romans 7 what it was like for him as a Jew under the law before the chastisement of God worked in his heart on the road to Damascus.

If there is sin still welling around in your choices, thoughts, and predispositions, God wants to fix it now. Yield to his chastiment and ask, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” He will lift you up and send you into the city, and show you what must do.

God has given us glorious victory, immeasurable grace, and unfailing love in our knowing Him through faith. The most precious gift is to know Him who sent Jesus through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Heed His voice, do not waver. All Christians are of a royal priesthood, ‘Give no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:’  do not sully the Lord’s name with unfaithful disobedience to sin.

We are called to live and die for others in the rich, Glorious love of Christ:  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left; . . . For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?. . . for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 1 Cor. 6:6-7, 14b, 16-17, 7:1.

Do not let anything get in the way of God’s loving and divine will for your soul, your nature, or the lives of those around you.

God allowed me and my family to go through a time of suffering, trial, and discipline for nearly every moment of the last 8 months.  Now is a time of reflection of how I placed my will and desires over against His holy decrees for my family.

He also showed me how sin, like a pestilence, inhabits an unsanctified landscape, encroaching every orifice, every crack: firmly establishing itself with every foot hold Given place to the Devil.

Now our family is being transformed, sanctified, and washed in His word.

Sin, disobedience, distractions all squander this precious gift of life from God. He has holy ordinances for our life. Let Him reveal them to you.

Ephesians 5:1-14 shows us that we are called to reflect the mind of Christ: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Are you clean? Have you been washed in the blood? Are you a sweet smelling savor sacrificed to God?

Live in obedience to the whole council of God. Live only for Christ and Christ shall give thee light.

Love Him with all your might, obey Him in everything, and He will give you what you need to serve Him. . . “That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Oh, the riches of His glory and the peace of His love. May it bring divine correction and healing to your soul.

Let Him remove from your life  all distractions, entanglements, and weights  that so easily beset you. The freedom it brings is heavenly.

I humble obedience,

Donald