John 3:16, Part II

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.“ 

This is the second part in a two part series. We will only address the meaning of the word believe since it incorporates many ideas that need a concentrated focus.

To Believe

There are two very important questions to ask here. What is the criteria to believe (in Jesus) and what happens if we fail to meet the criteria to believe?

Believe in the Greek – πιστεύω pisteuó (pist-yoo’-o) it is a verb and means to entrust: to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to credit, to place confidence in. Another way of saying it is: everyone who believes, every believing person, or everyone believing;

In this context, it is generally accepted that it is a present active participle and implies the necessity of a continuous action. A continuous, active belief is the condition necessary for us to have eternal life. But what does this mean?

The Short Answer: Believing is putting your faith in the atoning work of Jesus, living for, and growing in God as best as you can in all the light you have: a complete and active commitment, continuing in the righteousness and  Love of God. 

The Long Answer

We know that if we continue in something we get better at it; in short we grow and begin to perfect whatever we are doing. Likewise, God expects your faith and knowledge to grow. So should you.

About the word faith: Many times in scripture “faith” is used interchangeably with the word believe.

So if I say faith or belief/believe/believing, I am referring to the general concept of the continuous act of putting our trust Jesus as noted in John 3:16.

Belief, its Meaning

When we believe in Jesus it is not merely acknowledging His gospel is true. Its putting our faith into action and placing our life into Jesus’ hands. 

In Genesis, God told Abraham to do this exact same thing. Remember, Abraham is the father of the children of promise (those who have been saved). This call of his faith is highly symbolic and applies spiritually to those who receive the promise.

Take your son, your only son,

whom you love, Isaac,

and go to the region of Moriah.

Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering

on a mountain I will show you.

~  Genesis 22:2

The children of the promise are to sacrifice to God those things most sacred to them. We are to even sacrifice our life for Him. Abraham was to sacrifice the most precious fruit of his life by dedicating it (his son) to God.

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

~ Romans 12:1

Giving our life to God is considered our reasonable service. This begs the question, what may be considered unreasonable service? The next verse points us in the right direction.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

~ Romans 12:1

Those who choose to believe in Jesus must provide a service that is not conformed to the world, given over to the pleasures it offers. Because when we do, we fail to remain obedient to our calling and fall into sins of disobedience. The Apostle John explains this more concisely: 

My dear children,

I am writing this to you

so that you will not sin.

But those who obey God’s word

truly show how completely they love him.

That is how we know we are living in him.

Those who say they live in God

should live their lives as Jesus did.

Do not love this world

nor the things it offers you,

for when you love the world,

you do not have the love of the Father in you.

For the world offers only a craving

for physical pleasure,

a craving for everything we see,

and pride in our achievements and possessions.

These are not from the Father,

but are from this world.

So you must remain faithful

to what you have been taught from the beginning.  

~ 1 John 2:1, 5-6, 15-16, 24

Jesus’ Clear Examples

Jesus showed us four examples of the gospel’s effect on people’s lives. We will look closely at each one in order to understand what can happen to those who hear the gospel and fail to believe, those who believe for while yet do not remain faithful as John (and other apostles) warned, and those who continuously believe, building their faith through active trust and obedience.

The following are four classes of people and the results of their choices to act upon their belief (or faith). There are 3 possible outcomes for those who hear the word of God.

Let us review Jesus’ words found in Luke Chapter 8 below.

1. The Seed along the Path

A farmer went out to sow his seed.

As he was scattering the seed,

some fell along the path;

it was trampled on,

and the birds ate it up. (verse 5). 

*(A farmer is someone who preaches truth. The seed is the word of God).

Those along the path are the ones who hear,

and then the devil comes

and takes away the word from their hearts,

so that they may not believe and be saved.

(verse 12)

This first group are people who hear God’s word, they may feel moved in their heart, feel the Holy Spirit prompting them, but do not take the step and act to believe in their heart and trust in God’s word.

Many hear the word of God and just like seed on the path, His word is near, waiting to be planted in their hard, world trodden heart, but Satan comes along and steals the word out of their heart. This can happen many ways. Usually current worldly distractions lead them away and through the fruits of their continued sin God’s word and the prompting of the Holy Ghost is washed away. This person will perish in hell never receiving the work of God in their hearts.

2. The Rocky Ground

 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up,

the plants withered because they had no moisture.

(verse 6)

Those on the rocky ground

are the ones who receive the word with joy

when they hear it, but they have no root.

They believe for a while,

but in the time of testing they fall away. 

(verse 13)

This second group are people who hear the word of God. They are convicted of sin, repent, and receive God into their hearts.

Their faith was soon tested (as it always is), and rather than being nurtured up developing strength, holiness, and perfection, their faith (or belief) remained in a heart that was fragile, carnal, and undeveloped in the ways of righteousness. Continuing in this heart-state kept them weak and led them away to perdition.

We must take a firm hold of the word of God, growing in grace daily, putting away all things contrary to His nature.

Unfortunately, those who don’t develop the seed God plants in their hearts will believe in vain if they continue in a state that facilitates falling away. 

Now, brothers and sisters,

I want to remind you of the gospel

I preached to you, which you received

and on which you have taken your stand.

By this gospel you are saved,

if you hold firmly to the word

I preached to you.

Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

~ I Corinthians 15:1-2

Paul reinforces this principle about rocky ground, and encourages us to hold firm, to pull out the rocks of the world out of our hearts, in order to nurture our faith until it is strong, tested, and proven.

Those who God considers elect are those who hold firm in what they believe. We must stand firm on all the principles of God’s until the end. When Paul uses the words “you have believed,” it has the same connotation as John 3:16: He wants them to remain in an active and continuous saving belief.

Just prior to this, Paul told the Corinthians that they are saved. Properly, this means that they have been delivered out of danger and into safety. This is principally God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).

~ HELPS Word-studies

As we actively and faithfully believe, we are being delivered from our previous acts of sin and its wages. Full deliverance is contingent upon our continued obedience until death (or the coming of Jesus).

Remember, if you believe, Jesus is delivering you from the penalty of sin, from having to commit any more sin against Him because it’s sin’s power over us has been vanquished. This is why we must persist, continuing to live out our faith in Him.

No longer are we to sin but to obey the same command that Jesus gave to the forgiven adulteress; Go and sin no more.

We know that our old sinful selves

were crucified with Christ

so that sin might lose its power in our lives.

We are no longer slaves to sin.

For when we died with Christ

we were set free from the power of sin.

And since we died with Christ,

we know we will also live with him.

We are sure of this

because Christ was raised from the dead,

and he will never die again.

Death no longer has any power over him.

When he died,

he died once to break the power of sin.

But now that he lives,

he lives for the glory of God.

So you also should consider yourselves

to be dead to the power of sin

and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

~ Romans 6:6-11 NLT

Once we believe, we begin to grow. We must remain in Him and allow Him to change our rocky soil. No grapes grow where there is no vine or husbandman. No vine grows where there is no nutritious soil. The seed has been planted in many hearts, yet only to whither on the vine.

Sin stops us from growing, destroys our connection to God, and leads to death.

I am the vine; you are the branches.

Whoever abides in me and I in him,

he it is that bears much fruit,

for apart from me you can do nothing.

If anyone does not abide in me

he is thrown away like a branch and withers;

and the branches are gathered,

thrown into the fire, and burned.

~ John 15:5-6


No one who is born of God

will continue to sin,

because God’s seed remains in them;

they cannot go on sinning,

because they have been born of God.

~ 1 John 3:9 NIV


But now you are free from the power of sin

and have become slaves of God.

Now you do those things

that lead to holiness

and result in eternal life.

~ Romans 6:22 NLT

3. The Thorny Ground

 Other seed fell among thorns,

which grew up with it and choked the plants. 

(verse 7)

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear,

but as they go on their way

they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures,

and they do not mature

(verse 14)

This passage is interesting because the words “grew up with it” indicate that the people believed, put their faith in God, and were growing in Christ but they do not mature. At the same time they were believing in Him, they were also engaging in worrying, gaining wealth, and enjoying many forms of worldly pleasures or getting lost in recreational activities. 

This is the most troubling verse of all to me because most of Christianity envelops more time and thought in life’s worldly distractions than consecrating their life as living sacrifices, developing a noble and pure heart, which is the only reasonable service a Christian should do.

Jesus is saying that we need to be single-minded: not divided by a heart partaking in the things of this world and of Christ. A Christian should be markedly different focusing on God in daily living, acting, thinking, and all their intentions.

There is no keeping up with the Jones in the Christian life. We are to be completely free from those things that so easily entangle a carnal heart.

He gave himself for us to set us free

from every kind of lawlessness

and to purify for himself a people

who are truly his, eager to do good.

~ Titus 2:14 NET


Come close to God,

and God will come close to you.

Wash your hands, you sinners;

purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided

between God and the world.

~ James 4:8 NLT


4. The Good Soil

 Still other seed fell on good soil.

It came up and yielded a crop,

a hundred times more than was sown. 

(verse 8)

But the seed on good soil

stands for those with a noble and good heart,

who hear the word, retain it,

and by persevering produce a crop. 

(verse 15)

Who has a noble or worthy and good heart? It is clear from scripture that all have sinned and none are righteous. So, this passage cannot mean the word fell on hearts that are good. Verse 8 is talking about soil: the place and things that nurture the heart.

agathós – means inherently (intrinsically) good; as to the believer, describes what originates from God and is empowered by Him in their life, through faith.

~ HELPS Word-studies

Strongs Concordance describes good as having developed a good constitution or nature: γῆ, Luke 8:8; δένδρον,Matthew 7:18, in sense equivalent to ‘fertile soil,’ ‘a fruitful tree,’ (Xenophon, oec. 16, 7 γῆ ἀγαθή, … γῆ κακῇ, an. 2, 4, 22χώρας πολλῆς καί ἀγαθῆς οὔσης) and that it corresponds to the figurative expression good ground, denoting a soul inclined to goodness, accordingly, eager to learn saving truth, ready to bear the fruits (καρπούς ἀγαθούς, James 3:17) of a Christian life.

Hearts are make noble and good by allowing the living word of Christ to flow freely within and without the whole course of our life.

When we first receive the word, it is clear from the preceding three types of soil and the whole tenure of scripture that all are unrighteous and deserving of death. There is nothing we can do to make our hearts noble or good. 

And to the one who does not work

but believes in him who justifies the ungodly,

his faith is counted as righteousness,

~ Romans 4:5 ESV

After ungodly sinners receive the word, their hearts begin to change. This is an instantaneous gift and yet can be a time consuming process that begins to reveal itself as demonstrated by the love of God emanating from an increasingly growing, consecrated, and submissive heart.

Pauls describes above God’s pardon and crediting our faith as righteousness. Christ justifies us while we are yet ungodly and guilty of sin.

As a result, God cleanses us from guilt of our all our past sin, frees us from the power of sin, and enables us to live a life that is truly righteous. This is a what true pardon means. Not only forgiving us but enabling us to be obedient to Him.

Therefore, my beloved,

as you have always obeyed, so now,

not only as in my presence

but much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation

with fear and trembling,

~ Philippians 2:12 ESV


Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation

in His blood through faith.

This was to demonstrate His righteousness,

because in the forbearance of God

He passed over the sins previously committed.  

~ Romans 3:35 NASB

Faith is Reckoned as Righteous

 When we get saved, God passes over all our previous sins. Our heart has not been made pure yet because the predisposition to sin, to do evil (carnality) still remain. We are pardoned the moment we are saved. 

Our heart still needs to be purified. It still needs to be made noble as grows in that good soil that Jesus is developing.

This is where the act of salvation gets interesting. We have been pardoned. Not by any righteousness in us but by our belief in Jesus. He justifies the ungodly, not doing any work but having a faith (believing) that is counted as righteousness.

Keep in mind scripture does not say we are given Christ’s righteousness. We must always remember that God is just and He judges according to truth. Our salvation is based on faith and faith alone. We are still what we were in mind, body and soul. The work has just begun. He has only begun to make us holy. This is what He wants to finish.

Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to us as our righteousness. This is a common mistake based upon assumption. Scripture states that God reckons our faith as righteousness, which is conditional or us to be united with Christ who was raised for our justification.

Genuine saving faith is transformative and righteous at the outset. Jesus begins by imputing righteousness justifying our faith. Through obedience, our hearts being to filled with His love as He cleanses (purifies) our heart from of all its impurities stemming from sin.

Our imperfections remain since we are still human with limited in knowledge, perspectives, and understanding. It is our sinful character or nature that is being cleansed. Our memories, thinking, and habits remain as they become subject to His image and we become partakers in His nature.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us

everything pertaining to life and godliness,

through the true knowledge of Him

who called us by His own glory and excellence.

For by these He has granted to us

His precious and magnificent promises,

so that by them you

may become partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption that is in the world

by lust (by our evil desires or sinful nature).

~ Peter 1:3b-4

Partaking in His holiness is the natural outcome of continuous, active, saving faith. This can only happen in a consecrated life, undivided in devotion and commitment to Christ. 

He wants to strengthen your faith, conform you to his image, so when He comes (or you die), you can be confident, lacking in nothing with a clear conscious, unblemished, and unblamable in His sight.

May he strengthen your hearts

so that you will be blameless and holy

in the presence of our God and Father

when our Lord Jesus comes

with all his holy ones.

~ 1 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV


Blessed are the pure in heart:

for they shall see God.

~ Matthew 5:8 KJV


The purpose of my instruction is

that all believers would be filled with love

that comes from a pure heart,

a clear conscience, and genuine faith.

~ 1 Timothy 1:5 NLT


For judgment will again be righteous,

And all the upright in heart will follow it.

~ Psalm 94:15 NASB

God wants to purify our hearts: to make it morally upright, noble enough to eschew (to consistently, firmly, and assertively turn away) from all evil and abhor sin (to regard sin as vile and utterly detest it all its forms) from the deepest recesses of your soul.

A christian pastor once tried to correct me and told me that the gospel is not about morality. This could not be further from the truth. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned, their moral compass was skewed and and in need to correction. God wants to restore our moral compass so that we can be with him.

We are given a warning in Hebrews 5:7-14 about falling away and the importance of living a righteous life. Without the moral compass God wants to restore in our heart, we will be unable to distinguish good from evil and will remain in sin.


Therefore, whosover believeth in Him will have transformed nature because they have a continuous and active faith in the only holy, upright, and righteous savior, Jesus Christ.

Love Him with all of your heart. If you cannot truly and completely do this, it is because even a tiny part of your heart is at enmity with God. Ask Him to continue His work of purifying your heart.

He can do anything. Don’t give up.

Through it all: He will perform and do His good pleasure in you . . . if you believe.



Sin, Origins, and Propogations

The Fall, Our Legacy

Understanding how sin entered the world is a very important question to ask as a Christian. This post attempts to skim the surface of our fall in the Garden of Eden taken from a literal view of scripture. 

We will not look too closely at Satan except to show how he, as the father and embodiment of sin, introduced sin’s corruption to humanity and the world.

There is no redemption for Him or his angels. They saw and lived in heavenly glory with God. When they fell, God let them fall all the way to Hell.

Humanity is another story. God came down to us, lived with us, and redeemed us from our fall. We are commanded to pursue this beautiful redemption.

Lets explore this a bit. Like most of my posts, there are twists and turns along the way. But the points sought are found and they are valuable.

Just bear with me and be patient.

Turn from evil and do good;

then you will dwell in the land forever.

~ Psalm 37:27


Depart from evil, and do good;

seek peace, and pursue it.

~ Psalm 34:14

We can change from a sinful life to righteous life. Thanks be to the Lord!

God can truly redeem us from our sin so we no longer have to continue in it.

Sin is serious. It is evil and we must avoid it at all costs. God promises us a way out.

Adam and Eve did not avoid it. With their choice was brought us many sufferings. 

We are given the opportunity to break the link in the chain of sin in our lives.

What shall we say, then?

Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

God forbid!

~ Romans 6:1


Everyone who practices sin

also practices lawlessness;

and sin is lawlessness.

You know that He appeared

in order to take away sins;

and in Him there is no sin.

No one who abides in Him sins;

no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

Little children,

make sure no one deceives you;

the one who practices righteousness

is righteous,

just as He is righteous;

the one who practices sin

is of the devil;

~ 1 John 3:4-8a

The Keys to Life

And the LORD God took the man,

and put him into the garden of Eden

to dress it and to keep it.

And the LORD God commanded the man,


Of every tree of the garden

thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,

thou shalt not eat of it:

for in the day that thou eatest

thereof thou shalt surely die.

~ Genesis 2:15-17

Here God gave Adam four commandments. The first three are what he was responsible to keep (or do). The third was what he was forbidden to do.

Even though God gave these commandments to Adam, they applied to Eve and all of their posterity together. As long as Adam and Eve and their children obeyed these first four commandments, they would live in perfect harmony with God in the Garden.

But alas! They did not have the opportunity of bear children before the stain of sin entered their hearts!

With their fall, a framework of sin was shapened around us: They neglected their responsibility and the whole world is suffering for it.

We should consider the spiritual side of the first three commandments God gave to Adam. As these build upon each other in a beautiful and harmonious way:

If we dress (build and develop) the garden of our life (our soul, spirit, and body) as God calls us to do, we will keep that which God has so graciously given us, a life eternal in Him. 

This is what God offers to everyone; a restored life through the second Adam (Jesus) that produces the fruits of obedience, leading to holiness, and eternal life.

So also it is written,

The first man, Adam, became living soul.

The last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit.

~ 1 Corinthians 15:5

The promise of giving life to our spirit continues in us when we remain in His love and keep His commandments to do good and refrain from sin.

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.

My Father will love them,

and we will come to them

and make our home with them.

~ John 14:23


And hereby we do know that we know him,

if we keep his commandments.

~ 1 John 2:3


Let us therefore fear,

lest, a promise being left us

of entering into his rest,

any of you should seem to come short of it.

~ Hebrews 4:1

We must highly and reverently consider the holy calling of God on our lives. It is not a calling of compromise, of sin, or of backsliding.

One of the first things we are called to do is fear the Lord for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We fear him because we realize our sin and His righteous judgment deserving of that sin.

His wisdom calls us to repentance unto good works leading to holiness and purity, where God is truly abiding in our life.

Paul said:

but I declared to those in Damascus first,

and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea,

and to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

performing deeds consistent with repentance.

~ Acts 26:20

What about the Law?

Sin is disobedience to Jesus’ commandments, not the law in all its details as found in the O.T.

The O.T. law and all its ordinances have complex meanings, examples, and lessons for us to benefit from. They are not the subject of this post.

We will briefly describe what the law does for us: It points to and reveals our death in sin, leads us to grace, and through faith, brings us to life Christ.

But before faith came,

we were kept under the law,

shut up unto the faith

which should afterwards be revealed.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster

to bring us unto Christ,

that we might be justified by faith.

But after that faith is come,

we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

~ Galatians 3:23-25

Christ did not come to abolish the law. He came to fulfill it.

Do not think that I have come

to abolish the Law or the Prophets;

I have not come to abolish them

but to fulfill them.

~ Matthew 5:17

So the law points to Christ and the commandments Christ gives us directs us to our Father in heaven. This leads us to perfect freedom from the law of sin through the work of the Holy Ghost.

Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law,

or by hearing with faith?

~ Galatians 3:2


For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus

has set you free from the law of sin and death.

~ Romans 8:2

O.T. law is a comprehensive subject and here we are trying to generally understand the origins of sin before the law and how it applies to us now. 

The Beginnings of Sin

We need to look at the very beginning to see how we were led into this deception of sin that defines all the corruption in the world.

It has helped me understand how we work, what are some of our frailties, and important elements to consider if we are to endure victorious in Christ.

The Serpent

Now the serpent was more subtil

than any beast of the field

which the LORD God had made.

And he said unto the woman . . .

Subtil (עָ֭רוּם) is found 7 times in the bible and implies craftiness, prudence, or sensibility.

It implies an inherent ability or advantage over those who do not possess knowledge of good and evil; like Eve or ones who are still innocent of Satan’s subtle and worldly ways: infant, child, those suffering from mental retardation.

In reality, the subtlety of Satan applies to all of us. We just become wiser of his ways and if we heed Jesus’ instructions to follow Him:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep

in the midst of wolves:

be ye therefore wise as serpents,

and harmless as doves.

~ Matthew 10:16

The Garden is where Satan sought to destroy innocence in all its delicate purity and beauty.

What is important here is to understand that Satan was the direct cause of the temptation that led to Eve’s transgression.

The Devil alone is the instrument from which all evil emanates. 

The subtlety that the serpent presented to Eve powerfully and immediately inculcated doubt, confusion, deception, desire, and rebellion.

The strategy of Satan addressing Eve instead of Adam is also interesting because Adam was present during the conversation.

It is not clear whether Adam intentionally abdicated his responsibility to rebuke Satan and protect Eve because it is unclear whether or not he understood who Satan was.

One of the biggest deceptions today is the idea that Satan is not real. Not many people in our country believe in a literal, fallen, an utterly evil angel going to and fro on this Earth.

This may very well be part of the deception played out in the Garden. Since Adam and Eve did not possess knowledge of evil before the fall, it is reasonable to think they did not realize the danger before them.

Nevertheless, Satan used a multifaceted approach, undermining God’s authority given to man, placing Eve in the decision making role, and disrupting the natural order of the husband/wife relationship;

All the while, manipulating their perception of God and the world around them.

And the LORD God said,

It is not good that the man should be alone;

I will make him an help meet for him.

~ Genesis 2:18


For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

And Adam was not deceived,

but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

~ 1 Timothy 2:13-14

Adam cleaved unto his wife as God commanded for they had become one flesh.

Because of this design, perhaps Satan surmised that Adam would likely continue cleaving to Eve, follow her lead, and eat of the forbidden fruit.

It is important to understand the structure God has designed for man and woman to follow. Within this design, we can how to better serve our Lord in holiness and love. 

To better understand this, study Ephesians 5 where the roles of husband and wife are explained. They reflect the relationship of Christ and the church, loving and sacrificial.

The Serpent

The word serpent, נחש (nachash), means to view or observe attentively, to use enchantments, through the acquisition of knowledge by experience.

It is quite possible that the serpent stood upright, because when he was cursed, he was cast to his belly. And from that point forward, his had to eat the dust of the ground all his days. 

The serpent was superior to all the other animals of creation. No animal today stands erect like man. The closest is the ape and many consider it most like man but that was not the case long ago in the garden.

The serpent was much closer to man than any other animal we know. He talked, reasoned, and disputed with Eve. She was not astonished or afraid by his physical properties.

As a side note, many snakes still have four appendages were feet/legs once were. They have even discovered fossilized snakes with legs.

The Serpent’s Venom

Yea, hath God said,

Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Here is the first temptation, doubt.

The conversation the serpent was having with Eve was apparently a continuation from a previous conversation about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

We do not know how long this conversation took place (or how many occurred) before he introduced temptation to doubt the veracity of God’s word.

We do know that he used subtlety, sensibility, and knowledge; and was most likely preparing to attack Adam and Eve as he keenly and patiently observed and watched them.

In their Adamic and sinless perfection, they both possessed disadvantages and infirmities that Satan sought to use.

These same infirmities and imperfections exist in us and have been compromised from the moment we were conceived and are commensurate to the sin we entertain.

We must consider our weaknesses and place all our trust in God: Look not upon the wisdom of the world for answers.

The world heaps doubt and deceit upon the simplicity of our minds, seeking to bring it under more and more deception and darkness.

Eve’s First Response

And the woman said unto the serpent,

We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree

which is in the midst of the garden,

God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,

neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Her first act to address this temptation was to discuss and entertain the temptation, rather than seeking her husband on this matter, she engaged Satan directly.

We may not know where our temptations are coming from but we must be acutely aware and defer to God’s counsel and guidance for help.

Eve has not yet succumbed to the temptation but its demise was developing quickly by one of the most powerful and beautiful angels of God had formed (until sin was found in him-this is a great mystery).

The scriptures do not indicate why, but Eve was incorrect in her statement about God’s command not to touch the fruit. God only told Adam not to eat of the tree.

This factor may be explained by the possibility of Adam instructing to her to not even touch the tree lest they fall into temptation to eat . . . but we really don’t know.


Temptation is not sin. It is a precursor that can lead to sin. 

We must put our whole life under God’s authority, if we are to overcome (sin that is in) the world.

God provides us a way out of every temptation so we do not have to sin. We should walk worthy of Him.

We are a chosen generation,

a royal priesthood,

an holy nation,

a peculiar people;

that ye should shew forth the praises

of him who hath called you

out of darkness into his marvellous light:

~ 1 Peter 2:9


He himself bore our sins

in his body on the tree,

that we may cease from sinning

and live for righteousness.

By his wounds you were healed.

~ 1 Peter 2:24

As a Christian, we should not underestimate the power of Satan. Instead, we should cling to God’s love and promises to keep and protect us from those things that seek to separate us from Him.

Michael the Archangel gave us a good example.

But Michael the archangel,

when he disputed with the devil

and argued about the body of Moses,

did not dare pronounce against him

a railing judgment, but said,

“The Lord rebuke you!”

~ Jude 1:9

We must rely on the Lord and His plan for our life and accept nothing less. We are to clothe an protect ourselves in righteousness and in the armor of the Lord, see Ephesians 6:10-20.

The Deception Deepens

And the serpent said unto the woman,

Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,

then your eyes shall be opened,

and ye shall be as gods,

knowing good and evil.

Here Satan lives up to his reputation, the Father of Lies, by calling God Himself a liar!

By stating that Eve would not die, Satan implies that their is still an option of eternal life (Adam and Eve failed to grasp this).

Satan, the keen observer and predictor of human behavior was telling her indirectly and oh so subtly, that she could eat of the tree of life and live forever after gaining the knowledge of good and evil.

. . . ye shall be as gods, (kelohim)

Kelohim in this context probably meant that Satan was telling them that they would become divine beings like God.

Our first parents had no concept of idolatry or other Gods. That would come later after sin corrupted the meaning of the Lord. 

This is the first incident or hint of idolatry in the Bible and it pointed to man. We need to be very careful to have a proper view of ourself, the world around us, and God in order to prevent falling into this type of sin.

So put to death

whatever in your nature belongs to the earth:

sexual immorality, impurity,

shameful passion, evil desire,

and greed which is idolatry.

~ Colossians 3:5

Satan was trying to persuade Eve with the original sin that brought him down, pride that led to coveting and idolatry (wanting to be like the Most High).

How art thou fallen from heaven,

O Lucifer, son of the morning!

how art thou cut down to the ground,

which didst weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart,

I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:

I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation,

in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will be like the most High.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,

to the sides of the pit.

~ Isaiah 14:12-15

The weight of sin enveloped them so completely, the infusing guilt cascaded innumerable degrees of darkness. They failed to remember the remedy, the Tree of Life, growing right in the midst of them. 

Sin was shown to be such a snare that escape was impossible. Truth was obscured. This is also our case except for the fact that the grace of God has been given to us. 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation

hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that,

denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,

we should live soberly, righteously,

and godly, in this present world;

~ Titus 2:11-12

Eve’s Second Response

This to me is where it gets interesting. There are concepts here that I have not considered before and have learned an invaluable lesson on the frailties and infirmities that are our part of our humanity.

Our human physiology is separate and distinct from sin although not altogether unhinged from its connections because our mind and body have needs that this corrupt and sinful world can satisfy. 

From the moment we sense the comfort and nourishment in our mother’s womb, we like little kings implicitly desire to have all our self-centered needs met as we quickly learn to appreciate our conscious freedom.

And when the woman saw

that the tree was good for food,

and that it was pleasant to the eyes,

and a tree to be desired to make one wise,

she took of the fruit thereof,

and did eat,

This impression from Eve reveals three universal truths:

  1. our physical body has appetites that need to be met,
  2. there are many things that bring pleasure and satisfy
  3. it is desirous to grow from a state of naivety to knowledge and wisdom.

Eve had it, Adam had it, you have it, I have it. These desires and needs of the body are not sinful in themselves.

It is through the methodology or course of action we take to address these needs that deems certain acts sinful or not. 

Unfortunately, Satan presented to Eve the classic triad of temptation: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life;

Drawing Eve away from the love of the Father and directing her love toward the things of the world around her in order for her to seek satisfaction from them instead of allowing God to meet all her needs.

This phenomena is common to all of us, but we are commanded to redress these abuses of the flesh, lest we perish with the world and its lusts therein.

We are called to overcome even this in our life. With an unwavering, living faith in Jesus this can be a reality in this life!

For everyone who has been born of God

overcomes the world.

And this is the victory

that has overcome the world,

our faith.

~ I John 5:4


Love not the world,

neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world,

the lust of the flesh,

and the lust of the eyes,

and the pride of life,

is not of the Father,

but is of the world.

And the world passeth away,

and the lust thereof:

but he that doeth the will of God

abideth for ever.

~ 1 John 2: 15-17

They Sinned Together

and gave also unto her husband with her;

and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened,

and they knew that they were naked;

and they sewed fig leaves together,

and made themselves aprons.

~ Genesis 3:1-7

Here, we are shown the garden was not without sin. For the Father of Lies was able to enter the Garden, introduce deception, confusion, and mar the otherwise innocent masterpiece that crowned God’s heavenly creation.

Eve entertained her own physical desires in ways that were contrary to God’s will and through Adam, brought upon us all, the guilt and death that comes from sin.

Let no man say when he is tempted,

I am tempted of God:

for God cannot be tempted with evil,

neither tempteth he any man:

But every man is tempted,

when he is drawn away of his own lust,

and enticed.

Then when lust hath conceived,

it bringeth forth sin:

and sin, when it is finished,

bringeth forth death.

Do not err, my beloved brethren.

~ James 1:13-15


So then, just as sin

entered the world through one man

and death through sin,

and so death spread to all people because all sinned

 ~ Romans 5:12

God’s punishment was a swift, life-time sentence bringing temporal and eternal consequences.

The Solution

Lost sinners and backslidden Christians can be forgiven all their sins if they return to Christ. 

I will arise and go to my father,

and will say unto him,

Father, I have sinned against heaven,

and before thee,

and am no more worthy to be called thy son:

make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and came to his father.

But when he was yet a great way off,

his father saw him, and had compassion,

and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 And the son said unto him,

Father, I have sinned against heaven,

and in thy sight,

and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

 But the father said to his servants,

Bring forth the best robe,

and put it on him;

and put a ring on his hand,

and shoes on his feet:

and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it;

and let us eat, and be merry:

for this my son was dead, and is alive again;

he was lost, and is found.

~ Luke 15:18-24a


Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,

him will I confess

also before my Father which is in heaven.

 But whosoever shall deny me before men,

him will I also deny

before my Father which is in heaven.

~ Matthew 10:32-33

If we return to sin after salvation and do not to turn back unto repentance in Christ, our punishment will be greater than if we were never saved.

How much severer punishment

do you think he will deserve

who has trampled under foot the Son of God,

and has regarded as unclean

the blood of the covenant

by which he was sanctified,

and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

~ Hebrews 10:29

Godly sorrow brings repentance resulting in salvation

For the sorrow

that is according to the will of God

produces a repentance without regret,

leading to salvation,

but the sorrow of the world produces death.

~ 2 Corintians 7:10

The act of repentance brings with it fruit.

For we know that our old self

was crucified with him

so that the body of sin might be done away with,

that we should no longer be slaves to sin

because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

~ Romans 6:6-7


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.

~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

There is only one thing that brings destruction in God’s eyes, and that is sin just like it destroyed Adam and Eve’s life with God in the Garden.

Be very careful what you build upon the foundation of your salvation. It should come from and point only to Jesus Christ our Lord and savior of our soul. 

Man’s method of sin is Satan’s method of destroying his soul.

Adam Clarke


Reading about the origins of sin in man, we find there are many qualities naturally occurring in us that are subject to being enticed, drawing us away from the truth and love of God.

There are also factors external to our needs that we struggle with: Just looking around our world, we see sinful indulgences akin to the desires stemming from Eve’s thoughts in Genesis 3:6;

We see the sufferings of people, broken families, broken lives lost in sin, wantonness, and darkness;

Or those oppressed by others from the killing of innocent babies in the womb to wars and murder by those who hate God.

Satan and his angels continue to observe and wait, strategizing ways to attack our faith, affect our thoughts, and lead us away from the love of God.

But fear not:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body

but cannot kill the soul.

Rather, be afraid of the One

who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

~ Matthew 10:28

God wants us to be restored to Him, walking with Him in the cool of the morning, in the heat of the day, and in the darkness of night.

Love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength. Love our neighbor as He wants you to love yourself. You are called to many precious and glorious promises.

Nothing can separate us from Him, if we abide in His love.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

shall tribulation, or distress,

or persecution, or famine,

or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written,

For thy sake we are killed all the day long;

we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things

we are more than conquerors

through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded,

that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities,

nor powers, nor things present,

nor things to come,

 Nor height, nor depth,

nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Romans 8:35-39

Stay in His love.

Abide in Him.

He calls you to every moment . . . 

Israel’s Faithfulness Recalled

Our God’s Desires Revealed

Shortly before Israel was destroyed and taken captive by King Nebakanezer of Babylon, God wanted to show His people what He really wanted;

their love.

He raised up Jeremiah to go to the people and remind them of His love for them and how His heart was broken.

God wanted Jeremiah to tell the people of Israel that all was not lost in spite of their long history of sin and rebellion.

The first words Jeremiah was given to speak were:

Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem,


Thus sayeth the Lord;

I remember thee,

the kindness of thy youth,

the love of thine espousals,

when thou wentest after me

in the wilderness,

in a land that was not sewn.

Israel was holiness unto the LORD,

and the firstfruits of his increase:

~ Jeremiah 2:2-3 a

This is one of the most beautiful and sad expressions of God’s love toward us (the children of the promise) ever written.

God also included those who would not inherit the promise because His love extends to all but especially to those who believe.

That is why we labor and strive,

because we have put our hope in the living God,

who is the Savior of all people,

and especially of those who believe.

~ 1 Timothy 4:10

The Lord gave us a rare glimpse into His heart and how we, as His children, hurt Him so, when we chose to walk in sin and rebellion rather than submerge our lives into His waters of refreshing and enduring love.

When we as Christians sin, we grieve the heart of God and trample upon the blood of the Captain of our salvation.

He came to set us free, yet so many of us remain in the bondage of iniquity.

Israel’s glorious deliverance did not last long because they soon fell, in the Wilderness of Sin. It was their unbelief and doubt in the sufficiency of God that caused them to backslide.

Do you believe God can meet all of your needs and keep you from that which separates us from Him? He promises to keep us from falling into temptation that leads to sin if we faithfully believe.

In 1 Corinthians 10, the context of Jeremiah’s message is captured beautifully.
It shows that after repentance, not only are we not to fall back into sin:

but there is also no excuse if we do and we will be subject to the consequences of God not being pleased with us if we continue to do wickedness.

God loves us too much to give His children back over to sin after He died and set them free from it. 

For I do not want you to be unaware,


that our fathers were all under the cloud

and all passed through the sea;

and all were baptized into Moses

in the cloud and in the sea;

and all ate the same spiritual food;

and all drank the same spiritual drink,

for they were drinking from a spiritual rock

which followed them;

and the rock was Christ.


with most of them God was not well-pleased;

for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened

as examples for us,

so that we would not crave

evil things as they also craved.

Do not be idolaters,

as some of them were;

as it is written,



Nor let us act immorally,

as some of them did,

and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

Nor let us try the Lord,

as some of them did,

and were destroyed by the serpents.

Nor grumble,

as some of them did,

and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Now these things happened to them

as an example,

and they were written for our instruction,

upon whom the ends of the ages have come.


let him who thinks he stands

take heed lest he fall.

No temptation has overtaken you

but such as is common to man;

and God is faithful,

who will not allow you to be tempted

beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation

will provide the way of escape,

so that you will be able to endure it.

 Therefore, my beloved,

flee from idolatry.

I speak as to wise men;

you judge what I say.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:1-15

If we are baptized into Jesus’ death and born anew by His life giving Holy Spirit, we are given a way to endure any and all temptation that leads to sin.

We don’t need sin, we need God.

And God is able to bless you abundantly,

so that in all things at all times,

having all that you need,

you will abound in every good work.

~ 2 Corinthians 9:8

We must remain fully consecrated to what God wants to work mightily in us.

It is free and it is real if only we seek and believe with all our heart and DO NOT DOUBT.

if any of you lacks wisdom,

let him ask of God,

who gives to all generously

and without reproach,

and it will be given to him.

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 1:5-8

The following is one of the most beautiful of all prayers Paul made for us that describes the power that God wants to imbue in us.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of glory,

may give unto you the spirit of wisdom

and revelation

in the knowledge of him:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;

that ye may know

what is the hope of his calling,

and what the riches of the glory

of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness

of his power to us-ward who believe,

according to the working of his mighty power,

Which he wrought in Christ,

when he raised him from the dead,

and set him at his own right hand

in the heavenly places,

Far above all principality, and power,

and might, and dominion,

and every name that is named,

not only in this world,

but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet,

and gave him to be the head

over all things to the church,

Which is his body,

the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

~ Ephesians 1:17-23

Here we are told unequivocally that God can and does give to us all the power we need to serve Him in holiness and righteousness and not in sin.

When considering the our bridegroom, in Jeremiah 2:2-3, and the passages above, we can know and do exactly what He wants.

He wants us to remember the kindness, fidelity, innocence, and beauty that we experienced when we first experienced His wonderful work of salvation.

He wants us to continue to chase after him and grab hold of Him with the love of an innocent child. 

My Prayer for You


Let us completely rely on His grace, believing with all our hearts, that drinking in His purifying love will keep us spotless and unblemished, blameless and pure, innocent and whole; through all that parched and dark wilderness this world of sin and death can bring.

Ask God to Help You

He wants us all to be beautiful, enduring, and fruitful branches happily growing out of the riches of His living waters that spring from his Vine of eternal love.

Something smelly in the wilderness

In Hebrews chapter 3, Paul gives us a warning,

Take heed, brethren,

lest there be in any of you

an evil heart of unbelief,

in departing from the living God.

 then a pleading exhortation.

But exhort one another daily,

while it is called To day;

lest any of you be hardened

through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we are made partakers of Christ,

if we hold the beginning of our confidence

stedfast unto the end;

We are called to hold fast our faithful repentance in Christ just as we did in the beginning.

If we fail to to this, we allow sin through disobedience to re-enter our lives and risk our hearts being darkened and hardened, bringing unbelief and eventually separation from the God.

This is not a break in fellowship as some believe but departure from the Living God.

Souls in Peril

While it is said,

Today if ye will hear his voice,

harden not your hearts,

as in the provocation.

For some, when they had heard,

did provoke:

howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

But with whom was he grieved forty years?

All but two of the adult Israelites delivered from Egypt perished in the wilderness (figuratively speaking, in sin). The two delivered, Joshua and Caleb, followed the exhortation and did not harden their hearts.

They also had the benefit of an enriched faith, moral uprightness, and godly character.

Either way you cut it, the example God gave us in Hebrews reveals very poor odds for those initially delivered from sin through faith in Christ.

The Israelites knew, saw, and lived with the truth and promises of God. They were fed living water, manna, and were provided for. All these were shadows of what Jesus does for us now.

Why was God grieved with them and why did so many perish?

was it not with them that had sinned,

whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

And to whom sware he

that they should not enter into his rest,

but to them that believed not?

So we see

that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

~ Hebrews 3:12-19

They Perished because they did not heed his voice and obey his word. Rather, they chose return to sin, fell into unbelief, and hardened their hearts.

Instead of entering into His rest, they entered into judgment.

This is our example today. Do not continue in sin, guard your heart, and believe God can change both your heart and your (sinful) nature.

Or, like the Israelites, you run the risk of having your body left rotting in the wilderness only to be fed on by the birds of destruction.

Jesus died so we could live. Here is His exhortation.

Take my yoke upon you

and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

~ Matthew 11:29

We get on our knees before the cross, repent of our sins, believe in Christ. We walk away from our sins and follow His lead preparing ourselves to be obedient to Him and to live, truly live.

Here is Jesus’ warning to His servants who fail to do this.

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,

and prepared not himself,

neither did according to his will,

shall be beaten with many stripes.

~ Luke 12:47

Let His stripes purify your heart. 

For many will be beaten with many stripes because of hardened and darkened hearts and disobedient unbelief in the knowledge and faith in Christ.

The choice is yours.

The only question is,

What kind of servant are you?

Take His yoke

and learn from Him,

you will find rest for your soul.

Let us therefore fear, lest,

a promise being left us

of entering into his rest,

any of you should seem to come short of it. 

~ Hebrews 4:1

If you love me (part 1)

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15

I have found this subject to be so deep, so comprehensive, and so serious that I have been questioning myself whether or not I should write about it.

So much more has come to mind since clicking and saving the first draft. When a scripture moves me as much as this one does, there is no other choice than to explore it.

It is quite possible that this brief but concise statement given by Jesus encapsulates the entire Bible message of God to His children.

Please forgive me if I fall short in my attempt to describe this powerful and important message. Here is the introduction and my understanding why this brief and often overlooked phrase needs much deeper consideration.

Below is one of the many passages that shows why John 14:15 is one of the most critical verses in the Bible. Jesus is telling the Jewish authorities and those willing to listen indirectly why.

Biblical Times

The authorities of Jesus’ day were priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. Like our churches today, they did not agree on application of biblical content.

There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament divided into civil, ceremonial, and moral law. Some overlap but we are speaking generally here. The commandments were also divided into greater and lesser laws.

The authorities were generally in agreement with the divisions of the greater and lesser laws but were divided about what was most important. 

One Pharisee, conversant in the law maliciously attempted to ensnare Jesus in order to discredit Him. He asked:


which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

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

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it,

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments

hang all the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 22:36-40

Jesus did not answer the question by telling the crowd which one of the 613 laws was the most important. He answered by giving them two new commandments that encapsulate whole law and all the writings of the prophets.

This addition of two commandments as a clarification of the old laws are given to all who hear. This should speak volumes to us. Jesus was beginning to tell us how to live today. He was beginning to give us His new law the Law of Christ.

He basically told them, ‘the whole Bible is about what I am telling you right now’.  The Jews only had the Old Testament. Today, we have the whole the Bible. This truth of His law should be more clear than ever.

I am afraid that even with the benefits of technology and our ability to decipher scripture and how it all relates: Old Testament to New, in precise detail, we still are falling short.

We are without excuse if we choose to or remain ignorant of what Jesus meant by keeping His commandments. The apostles explained how the church is to function corporately, individually, what the law of Christ is.

Before anyone thinks that, “We are not under the law.” I realize this. I am trying to understand how Jesus, the prophets, and Apostles relate this. Please bare with me as I seek to understand His law and its whole application to our life.

The O.T. supports and provides invaluable details and historical structure to N.T. doctrine. This is why understanding John 14:15 is so important.

It not only speaks of the entire schema* of love as revealed in scripture but specifies what of Jesus’ commandments must be followed in order to demonstrate that love.

The Church Today

We have the same thing happening today that occurred back then. Bishops, pastors, and teachers feed us what they believe is relevant based upon theological frameworks and discredit those who disagree. 

Because of this, some Biblical truths or commands may be glossed over or completely disregarded by many sincere followers of Jesus (examples: Ephesians 4:8).

The Bible says that, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

So we cannot neglect one word. Our biblical goal is unity in love of Jesus and His truth, the entire truth.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

for brethren to dwell together in unity!

~ Psalm 133:1

We are not instructed to live in unity with the world but we are instructed to live in unity with the church. This is not an ecumenical bring all denominations together type of unity but a biblical loving our neighbor in Christ type of unity. (more on this later)

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy

of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

with all lowliness and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another in love;

endeavouring to keep

the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit,

even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

~ Ephesians 4:1-4

The church is called to walk worthy of its calling through the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. There is only only church or body of Christ. It consists of those who love Jesus and keep His commandments.

Unfortunately, I hear it or see daily the disregard of scriptural purity and truth from professing Christians. This was the same thing Jesus dealt with from the heart of a people not perfected in love.

I was guilty of for the longest time (28 years) and am just coming out of it. I passed over this and other passages not deemed valuable or important while looking after the things I was taught or argued with others about.

Jesus taught us that everything in the law and prophets was filtered through His words. Later this included all the Holy Spirit’s teaching through the Apostles.

Nothing is to by left unturned.

Nothing is to be ignored.

Nothing is to be disobeyed.

There are serious warnings when we do this and even greater dangers when we teach others to do the same (more on this later).

For I testify unto every man

that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,

If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues

that are written in this book:

and if any man shall take away

from the words of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part out of the book of life,

and out of the holy city,

and from the things which are written in this book.

~ Revelation 18-19

This is why it is so important to understand exactly what Jesus meant in John 14:15. Every time a pastor enters the pulpit, stage, etc. whether he knows it or not, this is the subject he is preaching about. 

This little phrase should be in the forefront of his mind when he speaks. It should be on his thoughts as he sleeps. He should arise, seeking its fulfillment.

A pastor should also ensure that every member or participant in his church clearly knows what the message means and that they are exhorted to follow his lead.

And he gave some, apostles;

and some, prophets; and some, evangelists;

and some, pastors and teachers;

for the perfecting of the saints,

for the work of the ministry,

for the edifying of the body of Christ:

till we all come in the unity of the faith,

and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

unto a perfect man, unto the measure

of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

~ Ephesians 4:11-13

We are to be built up unto a perfect man in the measure and stature of Christ. Once again unity in the church is stressed, not unity of a denomination, only unity of faith and knowledge of Christ

The goal of leadership in church is to bring the flock to faithful perfection in the knowledge of Christ. Our shepherds and sheep need to submit completely to the Spirit’s divine power in order to obey the calling of glory and virtue.

When we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, God makes sure that everything else is taken care. We must be single-minded obedience lest the lusts of the world steal us away.

according as his divine power

hath given unto us all things

that pertain unto life and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

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. 

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.

2 Peter 1:3-7

Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world.

 1 John 4:17

We already learned that everything in the Bible substantiates Jesus’ words. One of those events happened in the wilderness over 3,600 years ago; soon after God delivered his people from the sinful oppression of Egypt (the significance of Egypt will be elaborated later).

Before they entered the promised land of Canaan, God gave them a most beautiful commandment that applies to us in the same measure today.

And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon

the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This was the second writing of God’s commands to the Israelites and was written after 40 years of wandering aimlessly in the Sinai wilderness.

When the Israelites lost faith and rebelled after following the false reports of the 12 spies who entered Canaan, they were punished and perished in the wilderness.

Only the children under 20 plus faithful Joshua and Caleb (at the time of Kadesh rebellion) were allowed to enter the promised land. They were just east of the River Jordan when God gave them Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Read the story in Numbers 13:30-14:39 if you like.

The Whole Story is for you and me

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him;

and without him was not any thing made

that was made. In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

~ John 1:1-4

God is still giving us this message today. If we are to enter into the promised land, we too must have the Word of God, written in our hearts.

We should teach Him to our children and as we walk in the way. This is the message that must be preached and taught. The message that should be bored deep into our hearts.

Keeping the commandments of the Lord is a preservative against false teachings as we will see in the next post. His word should be a light to our feet and guide each step along His strait and narrow path.

Through thy precepts I get understanding:

therefore I hate every false way.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

and a light unto my path.

I have sworn, and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

~ Psalm 119:104-106

During most of my years professing Christianity, I did not learn what it meant to love Jesus and keep His commandments. This was my fault. Mostly because I did not see the need to attend faithfully and chose churches that tolerated my sins.

I heard about Jesus’ love for us but the message was incomplete. I was not taught that we were to be holy as He was holy and that all our behaviors and thoughts were to be so. Now that Jesus has poured His love in my heart, this truth is becoming a reality.

There is so much material in the Bible covering this subject that a post of this nature can miss important details. I have caught myself missing the point in some of my posts.

Nevertheless, we are commanded by God not to teach others to break the least of Jesus’ commandments. So we must stay on track and correct any errors we may find.

Whosoever therefore shall break

one of these least commandments,

and shall teach men so,

he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:

but whosoever shall do and teach them,

the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

~ Matthew 5:19

I don’t think a post considering the gradations from least to greatest commandments is necessary since we are called unto complete submission to the word of God. This can also lead to the false belief of being under the old law.

But because of the nature of this subject, it will be broken into parts. The first part here being the introduction.

I don’t claim to have a corner on the truth; only to seek Him with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Unfortunately, I have heard very little of what John 14:15 means.

Now its time to begin the learning process. So far, it has shown to be very complex and detailed. Breaking this subject into digestible pieces and putting has already shown to help focus my thoughts.

Hebrew and Greek, and Bible (college) study is not feasible right now. Since this subject is so strongly on my heart, this will be a personal study.

May its realization in my heart be true to God’s scriptural counsel. Please feel to correct or clarify any of deficits you may find.

In Christ

~ D

Lay up in your hearts God’s love and preserve it by careful keeping and watching after His holy commandments.

Thereby hoping in eternal, glorious fellowship with the Holy One of Israel.

Next, underlying Greek/Hebrew structure . . .

*Schema: The underlying organizational pattern and conceptual framework which God expresses through the Bible and in our experiences and interactions with Him and the world.

The Woes of Sin

The Curse of God

The fount of sin in Lucifer’s heart

billows out plumes of darkness

 to angels fallen and hearts of man


In all God’s creation, harmony disturbed

like ripples in a pond

from a stone just thrown,

Sin troubles waters, obscuring our views


Waves of iniquity move like a storm

weakened souls and worn hearts in man.


All those subject to its reign,

are at enmity with God

in armies arrayed.


Angels darkened by it were stripped,

of their heavenly and glory ‘quipped.

Man in toils in dust and swallows its seed

his life removed from God’s sweet Eden


The flames of Hell flicker higher

stoked by sin in its fire,

Woe to those falling to its depths.

 plagued by wages that bring death,

The Earth is drenched, alone in its blood

a Sodom of wealth and enticements a flood.


It pollutes our eyes and defiles our ears,

our mouths blaspheme and curse the years.


Who can plead aright for it’s cause?

Who can stand and its defend its laws?


But there is hope in one just name

A God, a Son, a holy one

He’s come to destroy His enemy

to give us truth and make us free

Rejoice, rejoice all that see

and take your hope to eternity.

The Judgement and Command

Thanks be to God, Jesus came to redeem us from sin and all its ways . . . 

Neither do I condemn thee:

go, and sin no more . . .

 . . . I am the light of the world:

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life . . .


Again Jesus said in His righteous judgment

Ye are from beneath;

I am from above:

ye are of this world;

I am not of this world. 

I said therefore unto you,

that ye shall die in your sins:

for if ye believe not that I am he,

ye shall die in your sins . . . 


If ye continue in my word,

then are ye my disciples indeed; 

and ye shall know the truth,

and the truth shall make you free.

Jesus offers complete freedom; to eternally break the curse and bondage of sin. He said that we can be truly free from if we know (live) the truth. Partial freedom is not what He has to give. He wants all of you and you to have all of Him.

We must hunger and thirst after righteousness (Jesus) as a deer pants in order to drink of His life giving water.

He is our life’s blood. In Him is purity known. Nothing impure abides in Him, Abide in Him, and He will abide in you.

Whosoever believes on Him should not abide in darkness. If the word of God abides in you, then ye have overcome the wicked one.

I write unto you, fathers,

because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

I write unto you, young men,

because ye have overcome the wicked one.

I write unto you, little children,

because ye have known the Father. 

I have written unto you, fathers,

because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

I have written unto you, young men,

because ye are strong,

and the word of God abideth in you,

and ye have overcome the wicked one. 

Love not the world,

neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

~ 1 John 2:13-15

The life-long journey in this wilderness will one day come to an end.

Whosoever has sinned, and has any wickedness, must purify himself in the light of God; even so, this must be done today, and every day until this journey in the wilderness ends. Numbers 31:19-20


A Blessing of Peace and Hope

And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus . . .

 . . . For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace,

and joy in the Holy Ghost . . .

 . . . 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 . . .

. . . For God is not the author of confusion,

but of peace,

as in all churches of the saints . . .

. . . Be perfect, be of good comfort,

be of one mind, live in peace;

and the God of love and peace shall be with you . . .

. . . And as many as walk according to this rule,

peace be on them, and mercy,

and upon the Israel of God . . .

 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


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. “

Moments: Seasons Pass Quickly

Temptations last only a season. They come to us, after a while, they leave.

How we were influenced by them can have consequences in our daily walk and eternal destiny.

We are to clothe ourselves in the armor of God and stand firm in the power of His might.

Like ‘the fowls of the air that devoured’ the seed, Satan wants to pluck heaven out of your soul, Mark 4:3-8.

He wants temptation to lead to sin so he can ‘wither away your faith’ and cause your heart to fail. 

Pleasures of this world spring up all around us in an attempt to choke out the work, word, and spirit of God.

He wants you dead, first spiritually, the physically.

The battle we are in is not child’s play. There is a war is raging for the souls of men, yours and mine.

God has given His children all we need to withstand and win this lifelong battle. See Ephesians 6:10-20. For a longer read on the subject, get the book, The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall.

God has provided us a way to overcome every temptation we encounter, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

So we are without excuse when we sin as Christians. When we sin we become the servant of sin. Satan is the father of sin and by sinning we become an enemy of righteousness, Romans 6:12-14.

If we persist in sin we will not abide with God in eternity.

Read Jesus’ own words highlighted and emboldened below. The matter could not be clearer. You must be free of sin to be Jesus disciple.

Then said Jesus to those Jews

which believed on him,

If ye continue in my word,

then are ye my disciples indeed; 

and ye shall know the truth,

and the truth shall make you free. 

They answered him,

We be Abraham’s seed,

and were never in bondage to any man:

how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 

Jesus answered them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Whosoever committeth sin

is the servant of sin. 

And the servant abideth not

in the house for ever:

but the Son abideth ever. 

If the Son therefore shall make you free,

ye shall be free indeed.

There is hope in repentance when we sin.

But that repentance must be genuine and a long standing. When we truly turn from sin and repent, we will no longer to be dragged down in the putrid bowels of its influence again.

This is where the grace and longsuffering from God comes in. He is here to help us overcome sin, all of it. If we let Him . . .

Like a piano with a dead key, we become amiss when we fail to resist temptation.

First and foremost as Christians, we are to stand firm in our faith and free ourselves from the chains of sin. ‘Enduring hardness, as a good soldier,’ we are not to ‘entangleth ourselves with the affairs of this life; that we may please him who hath chosen us’ (2 Timothy 2:2-4).

We cannot serve God the way He wants us to when we are serving another master.

It may be a frank and willful sin like lusting after something (or someone) in your heart or something as subtle as a casual lie.

Regardless, sin squelches that still small voice of God in our heart.

Like a piano out of tune, we turn into a bad melody, when we ignore God’s harmonious word and submit to sin.

We don’t hear Him when we should . . .

We don’t pray when we should . . .
or get up . . .
or listen . . .
or talk . . .
or walk . . .

This short season of life goes by so fast.

One day our retiring will come.

Will those minutes, hours, days, or years choosing sin stain your eternal soul?

Or will serving Our Lord with a broken and contrite spirit shine on that day?

He wants to grow and be servants of righteousness, not servants of sin:

Know ye not,

that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey,

his servants ye are to whom ye obey;

whether of sin unto death,

or of obedience unto righteousness?

~ Romans 6:16

I remember too many days and opportunities lost.

Just yesterday, I learned that I needed to talk.

Just talk.

To anyone, especially strangers.

Talking breaks the ice and provides opportunities for God’s love to be shine through.

Are you in a place that you can hear Him?

More importantly, are you in a place where He can hear you?

Get up.

Fight the good fight.

Every day.

Make sure your armor is on.

Because tomorrow is coming and the enemy is waiting . . . .

Romans Ch. 1:1-3:20, A Division I Review

A review of Romans 1:1-3:20

We have come to a close in the first major division in the study of Romans which focused primarily on the reality of sin and its consequences.

Paul produced compelling arguments from scripture and creation demonstrating our complete guilt in sin.

He has shown that God is angry with all of us because we know the truth but repress it by our godless ways.

He has shown that we all are without excuse; the Jews because they were given the oracles of God;  the rest of humanity because the invisible things of God were made known to them.

Paul appeals to our conscience, our internal moral clock; however broken, it remains and proclaims our eternal guilt in light of God’s manifest truth.

Jesus will provide this final judgment to all of creation.

Not even with the great advantage afforded to Israel were they kept from the guilt of sin. On the contrary, it was the giving of the law that revealed and defined the sin found in us.

This section of Romans showed us how the knowledge of God’s law will hold us accountable. Our punishment will be based upon our works in context with our repression of the truth in unrighteousness.

 And I saw a great white throne,

and him that sat on it,

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;

and there was found no place for them. 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged out of those things

which were written in the books,

according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it;

and death and hell delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged every man according to their works. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death. 

And whosoever was not found

written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire

~ Revelation 20:11-14

One last point regarding sin. Jesus gives us specific instructions as well as giving an example of how few who profess the name of the Lord really are going to heaven.

He explains that our works need to be reflective of the faith and instructions as given in the gospel. If we don’t, He will come like a thief, take away what remains, and cast us into hell.

We must be worthy of His calling and overcome the world by our obedience of faith in Him. Not only will we be judged by our works, we will also be rewarded by them.

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;

These things saith he

that hath the seven Spirits of God,

and the seven stars;

I know thy works,

that thou hast a name that thou livest,

and art dead. 

Be watchful,

and strengthen the things which remain,

that are ready to die:

for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,

and hold fast, and repent.

If therefore thou shalt not watch,

I will come on thee as a thief,

and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis

which have not defiled their garments;

and they shall walk with me in white:

for they are worthy. 

He that overcometh,

the same shall be clothed in white raiment;

and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,

but I will confess his name before my Father,

and before his angels. 

He that hath an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

~ Revelation 3: 1-6

Do you have an ear to hear?

Will you hold fast to all that has been given and taught in the New Testament?

Will you repent of every sin, completely turn from them, and stop committing them?

Will you live your life demonstrating that you are watching for His coming?

Will you overcome the way side, the fowls, the rocks and thorns?

Will you obtain a good report by faith?

Most importantly, will you love God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself?

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

For it is a power of God, for salvation,

to everyone that believes,

both to Jew first and to Greek.

For righteousness of God is revealed in it,

by faith, for faith, according as it is written,

“But the righteous man by faith will live.”

~ Romans 1:16-17

To be righteous means to be just; a standard that is equal and fair in judgement and conduct to all.

Treating others with the same conduct becoming a child of God. That is; loving them as God first loved us.

Our conduct is based on Jesus’ life, is reflected in the acts of the Apostles (not necessarily the book), and commanded throughout the New Testament.

There is a standard by which we may be saved. For the unrighteous sinner will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Leviticus 19:36, Matthew 20:4; Colossians 4:1, 2 Timothy 4:8, Romans 2:1-6; Acts 4:19; John 7:24.

If we are righteous before God, Luke 1:6; Deuteronomy 6:25, we will enjoy His approval and reward.

By definition, a sinner is considered to be unrighteous. If so, then the inverse must be seriously considered.

This righteousness is revealed by faith in saving power; Romans 3:1-5. This righteousness is not our own. It is God’s and is given to us as a condition of our obedience in faith. In this righteousness, fruits or works unto eternal life are produced.

The next Division; Romans 3:21 through Chapter 5, will address our justification through faith in Christ.

Some of the subjects include:

  1. That we are without boasting,
  2. How through the faith and promise of Abraham, the law was firmly established in the church,
  3. That our hope is grounded in the faithfulness in Christ cancelling the curse of Adam,
  4. And the Law was given to the Israelites to prepare us for Jesus’ coming and to be genuinely obedient in our faith.