Welcome to godsavinggrace.com. This web-site was created to bring hope and inspiration to everyone who visits this site. It was also created to educate people about God’s saving grace. Meaning when terrible things happen to us that eventually turns into a triumphant or victorious events or situations. This we will done through testimonies of God’s people that experience victorious outcomes from bad accidents or incidents that happened in their lives. Most people would call these accidents or incidents God’s miracles. Because the accidents and incidents we are referring to are situations where the person would have died or would’ve been permanently damage but that didn’t happen. These incidents can’t be explained logically. Some people would say that these so-called miracles are just lucky circumstances. But God’s believers know better. I will be submitting inspirational articles to encourage people to submit their stories or articles on this blog. So I am calling all God’s people to post their articles 0r stories in the comments below. Here is mine story. Hi, my name is Kofi Baruti I am a former retired school teacher my story happen several years ago. I was 45 years old I was working for a temp agency called Georgia Temp which was own by Georgia Pacific. I work as a Dock Loader in a warehouse in Norcross, Georgia. My job was to load heavy doors onto large pallets and load these pallets of doors unto a truck for shipment. One night as I was finishing loading my pallets of doors unto the truck for shipment an incident happen. I parked my fort lift at the front of the loading dock which was on an incline position. I went to close the curtain to the truck with the load and the brakes on the fort lift brakes failed and the fort lift rolled down and crush me against the truck. This accident left me with severely crushed ribs so crushed that it pierced my left lung. I lost a lot of blood when they took me to the emergency room at Gwinnett Medical Center I only had four pints of blood. Since I had a lacerated lung they tried to put a trachea down my throat to get me to breathe but I went into cardiac arrest and lost oxygen to my brain. The medical team at Gwinnett Medical also had to take out my spleen because it was so badly ruptured. After all of this the doctors were ready to give up on me take me down to the hospital morgue. However, I believe by the grace of God I was still alive. I was still alive but I was in a coma for several days. The doctors told my wife that even if I did come out of my coma I would have severe brain damage which also didn’t happen. Actually I don’t remember anything about the accident itself I did remember going to work that Monday afternoon and the next thing I knew I woke up next Monday morning with five tubes coming out of my body. One tube was a ventilator in my mouth, two tubes on both side of my back and two tubes on both side of my chest. Today, I have retired from an energy company as a customer service representative, taking high volume calls at a call center in Atlanta, GA. I thank God for his saving grace. Also this blog will be dedicated in fighting AIDS in Africa and Breast Cancer. There is a donate button on this page please any amount to support these charities.
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People when they refer to going to church one the biggest reasons they don’t or won’t come apart of the church is because of the people who attend that particular church. So are the people of God? In Genesis 12: 1-2, God’s tells Abram …. Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. This is the first time God is talking about what became the nation of Israel which was God’s people. In Isaiah 51:16 … And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people. God confirms the people of Israel as His people. If you take into account just these biblical passages you would think that only the Jewish people are the people of God, but this is not so. In Romans 1:16 Paul the apostle states… For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. People might ask why the message went to the Jews first. They had been God’s special people for more than 2,000 years, ever since God chose Abraham and promised great blessings to his descendants. God did not choose the Jews because they deserved to be chosen, but because God wanted to show his love and mercy to them, teach them, and prepare them to welcome His Messiah into the world, Jesus Christ. During that time Jews and Christians alike stood against the idolatrous Roman religions, and Roman officials often confused the two groups. This was especially easy to do since the Christian church in Rome could have been originally composed of Jewish converts who had attended the Feast of Pentecost. By the time Paul wrote to the Romans, however, many Gentiles (non-Jews) had joined the church of Christ. In fact that was Paul’s purpose in his ministry God sent Paul the apostle to convert the Gentiles of the world. So who are God’s people anyone who proclaim Jesus Christ as their Savior?
Non-believers always are complaining about these church people and what they are doing outside the church. But I always wondered what that has to do with your own personal salvation to God. The word of God states that we all were born in sin. In Psalm 51:5 … Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me … there is no such thing as a perfect human being unless you are talking about Jesus Christ. But since we are talking about sin let’s go the word of God guide the “Ten Commandment”. Most of us know them but if you don’t look in Exodus 20:1-17. Let’s run through them quickly, “Thou shall not no other God before me, not make idol gods, take the Lord name in vain, remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, honor your mother and father, shall not murder, shall not commit adultery, shall not steal, shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, and shall not covet.
All of these commandments we have all broken at some time or period in our life. But again what does other people’s disobedience to God have to do with your salvation or you serving our true savior, Jesus Christ? I truly understand people have a right to choose where they worship or how they worship. This article has nothing to do with them. I am talking about the ones who don’t go to church period or serve God in any capacity. I always find it interesting that these people always give why they don’t or won’t go to church. Most of the time they are making excuses for themselves as to why they are not in church. I believe the only justification they have is that they don’t or won’t go to church because of what the congregation or members of the church are doing when we are out of the church. Do you know what Jesus says about that in Matthew 7:1-5… “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Jesus statement “Judge not,” is against the kind of hypocritical judgement attitude that tears other down in order to build oneself up. It is not a blanket statement against all critical thinking, but a call to be discerning rather than negative. Jesus said to expose false teachers and Paul the Apostle taught that we should exercise church discipline and trust God to be the final as stated in 1 Corinthians 4: 3-5… But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.[a] In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God … the point of this passage is that it is tempting to judge fellow Christians, evaluating whether or not they are good followers of Christ. But only God knows a person’s heart, and He is the only one with the right judge. Paul’s warning to the Corinthians should also warn us. We are to comfort those who are sinning, but we must not judge who is a better servant for Christ. When you judge someone, you invariably consider yourself better – and that is arrogant.
Consider this we all have to give an account of our actions we take or do in our lives. There is a good parable in the bible that speaks about what we accumulate in our lives. It is found in Luke 12:16-21… 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” In this parable by Jesus the rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his barns. Planning for retirement – preparing for life before death – is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. If you accumulate wealth only to enrich yourself, with no concern for helping others, you will enter eternity empty-handed.
People say that the people of the church are fowl and wicked at times and I don’t doubt that we are at times. But it is a very lame excuse to use for not seeking love and mercy of God in eternity.
WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
(From the series “The Salvation of Mankind”)
Many people are confused as to what the Holy Spirit is? Clearly stated the Holy Spirit by definition is the spirit of God and the presence of God as part of a person’s religious experience or the Holy Ghost meaning the third person of the Christian Trinity. From this definition we know that the Holy Spirit is a noun meaning it is a person or a thing. Well I am here to inform us that the Holy Spirit is a person or thing of being. In this article we will explore who is this Holt Spirit and why the Holy Spirit is so important in the Christian’s life?
What does the bible say about the Holy Spirit? In Matthew 1:18-20 … 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit … There were three steps in a Jewish marriage. First, the two families agreed to the union. Second, a public announcement was made. At this point, the couple was ‘betrothed’. This was similar to engagement today, except that their relationship could be broken only through death or divorce (even though sexual relations were not permitted). Third, the couple was married and began living together. Because Mary and Joseph were engaged, Mary’s apparent unfaithful ness carried a severe social stigma. Joseph by law had a right to divorce Mary and the Jewish authorities could have Mary stoned to death. Joseph was faced with a difficult choice after discovering that Mary was pregnant. Although, Joseph knew that taking Mary as his wife could be humiliating, Joseph obeyed the angel’s command to marry Mary.
Another example of what the bible states about the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:31-32… 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come … The Pharisees had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by attributing the power by which Jesus Christ did miracles to Satan instead of the Holy Spirit. The unforgiveable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. Sometimes believers worry that they have committed this unforgiveable sin. But only those who have turned their backs on God and rejected all faith have needed to worry. Jesus said they can’t be forgiven-not because there is worse than any other, but because they will never ask for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holt Spirit removes him or herself from the only force that can lead him or her to repentance and restoration to God.
Still another example of what the bible states about the Holy Spirit is found in Matthew 28:16-20… 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[c] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen… When someone is dying and leaving us his or her last words are very important. Jesus left the disciples with these last words of instruction: they were under Jesus authority, they were to make more disciples, they were to baptize and teach these new disciples to obey Christ. Jesus words affirm the reality of the Trinity. Some people accuse the theologians of making up the concept of the Trinity and reading it into the scripture, as we see here, the concept comes directly from Jesus. He did not say baptize them into the names, but into the name, of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The word Trinity does not occur in the scripture, but it well describes he three-in-one nature of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit can manifest itself in many ways one the Holy Spirit manifest itself is found in Luke 3:21-22… 21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” … The Holy Spirit’s appearance in the form of a dove showed that God’s plan for salvation was centered in Jesus. Jesus was the perfect human who didn’t need baptism for repentance, but he was baptized anyway on our behalf. The scripture of the passage is one of several places where all the members of the Holy Trinity are mentioned – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the traditional words of the church, the one God exist in three persons, but one substance coeternal and coequal. No amount of explanation can adequately portray the power and intricacy of this unique relationship. There are np perfect analogies in nature because there is no other relationship like the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit can also manifest itself to help spread the word of God in Luke 12:11-12 Jesus tells his disciples … 11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”…The disciples knew they could never dominate a religious dispute with the well-educated Jewish leaders. Nevertheless, they would not be left unprepared. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would supply the needed words. The disciples testimony might not make them look impressive, but it would still point out God’s works in the world through Jesus life. We need to pray for opportunities to speak for God, and then trust Him to help us with our words. This promise of the Spirit’s help, however, does not compensate for lack of preparation. Remember that Jesus Christ’s disciples had three years of teaching and application. We too must study God’s word. Then God will bring his truths to mind when we most need them, helping us present them in the most effective way.
My last example of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is that of a teacher in John 14:22-26 Jesus tells how Jesus will manifest Himself to man … 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you… Jesus disciples were still expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom and overthrow Rome. They found it hard to understand why he did not tell the world at large that He was the Messiah. Not everyone, however, could understand Jesus message. Ever since Pentecost, the gospel of the kingdom has been proclaimed to the whole world, and yet not everyone is not receptive to it. Jesus saves his deepest revelations of himself for those who love and obey Him. Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would teach and help them remember what He had been teaching them. This promise ensures the validity of the New Testament. The disciples were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and teachings, and the Holy Spirit helped them remember without taking away their individual perspectives. We can be confident that the gospels are accurate records of what Jesus taught and did. The Holy Spirit can help us in the same way. As we study the word of God, we can trust Him to plant truth in our mind, convince us of God’s will and remind us when stray from it.
Back to the question ‘What is the Holy Spirit?’ The Holy Spirit is the personhood of God within us once you commit your life to Jesus Christ. The examples above I have given you states that the Holy Spirit can manifest itself in many ways to guide us through life’s difficulties and trails. Through the gift our salvation in believing that Christ died for the remission of your sins you have the added bonus of the Holy Spirit to comfort, evangelized, teach and protect and or restore from our sinful nature as well as a sinful world.
What do you think?
Written by Kofi Baruti
ARE WE ALL THE SAME AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS?
The Series on “The Salvation of Mankind”
Whether you are a Christian or not we are all have to ask this question are we all the same at the foot of cross? This whole article centers around how to born again in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we are talking about the cross we are talking about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Christians believe Christ died to redeem mankind of their sins. The cross is the starting point of life with Christ for all mankind. The cross actually represents the trials and tribulations of the world of sin. Jesus sacrifices his life on the cross for all the trials and tribulations of the sins of this world. This article will be the beginning of a series of articles on the ‘Salvation of Mankind’. In this we will explore what the cross or the crucifixion of Jesus Christ means to all of us.
Before we explore the meaning of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ I want to give the non-believers a little background about who was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was a Jew was said to be born to save the world from sin. Mary his mother had no normal impregnation of Jesus Christ because Mary was impregnated through the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus grew up and led 12 disciples in the ministry of God through the Son of Man, called Jesus Christ. He spent three years with his 12 disciples performing miracles such healing the sick, turning water into wine, raising the dead just to name a few. Jesus told his disciples that he must die of the cross to save the world the death of sin.
Let’s see what the bible says about the cross in Matthew 16:24-28… 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”… In this scripture Jesus foretelling his death to his disciples. The disciples knew what taking of the cross meant because in those days the Romans would make the criminals carry there cross to their crucifixion but perhaps the cross has a greater meaning. The cross was symbol by which the followers of Christ made a commitment to lose their lives to save their lives. What do I mean by this statement? Jesus as well as His followers was in danger of losing their lives because of what they believed in. They were being persecuted by the Jewish authorities as well as the Roman Empire. The commitment was their faith and the willingness to commit their lives to Christ or God for their eternal salvation. This is what Jesus meant when He states that … If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me…. However, to take your cross you must be willing give up for Jesus further states … For what profit is to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?… You can have all the possessions you desire in your life but it would be enough for your soul to enter the kingdom of God. When you become a Christian you must be willing give up your possessions if you have to and serve Christ. Your life will experience a worldly death for your salvation. You will express a new mind and heart. Your desires will be focus on Christ not your material possessions.
The cross has another basic meaning. It is an introduction to your eternal life with Christ. Your salvation was a gift from God, but when you take up your cross you will be beginning your journey of love and commitment to Christ. Whether you are a Christian or not we will all experience trials, problems, and obstacles in our lives. The cross is the trials and tribulations you must bear to enter the Kingdom of God. The cross symbolizes your faith and commitment to God for our debt of sins by Christ. What are willing to do when obstacles come your way that will test your faith in Christ or God?
The cross still has another meaning and that is a life of service. It states in Mark 10:17-22… 17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[c]20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions… We all know that adultery, murder, stealing or to bear false witness to someone is wrong. Also know we should honor our parents as well. However, are you willing to give up your worldly possessions to serve or follow Christ? Taking up your cross means that you are will to put God or Christ at the center of your life. In this scripture above Jesus needed to test the young rich man commitment to having eternal life. Unfortunately, the young rich man failed the test because he placed a higher value of his possessions than his eternal life with God. The service that a Christian has is not an easy one. Once you commit your life to Christ there will be obstacles in your way because you are actually going against society’s status quo. You might want to witness to someone who doesn’t know Christ and they reject you or they may even get angry with you. You may want to do something nice for someone and they spit in your face literally. You may be asked do something very difficult like start a prayer group in a prison. Whatever, it is you must put Christ first in order to accomplish your task of service.
So are we all the same at the foot of the cross? The answer is yes!!! Everyone is the same at the foot of cross because we all have the same opportunity of the salvation Christ or God offers us.
What do you think?
Written by Kofi Baruti
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TALENT AND A SPIRITUAL GIFT?
Many people believe that your talents and spiritual gifts are the same but that is not true. There is a descent difference between a talent and a spiritual gift. Basically a talent is some you may have in your genes like something you might have inherited from your parents or you actually developed over time, a spiritual gift is something you receive from God. In this article we will explore in a biblical sense our talents and spiritual gifts we have and how we can use them to improve our relationship with Jesus Christ and our ministry.
There are different aspects of the spiritual gifts God bestows on us. One aspect is serving God with your spiritual gifts as stated in Romans 12:3-8… 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness…. when you become a Christian you have been saved by grace from your sins, you also become a member of the body of Christ. You receive these spiritual gifts from God to serve the church of Christ as a member of the body of Christ. According to God’s grace people who use their gift of prophecy in proportion of your faith, meaning to minister people by telling what will happen to people before it happens. Perhaps some may possess a spiritual gift to interpret dreams or have revelations of the future. A person who has the spiritual gift of exhortation serves to encourage people in the church. These are just a few examples and they all serve Christ as their living Savior.
There is another aspect and that is the unity of diversity of the spiritual gifts. This is explained by Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11… Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that[a] you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[b] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills…everyone who comes to Christ has a spiritual gift or two through His grace according to your faith serving in the body of Christ. This how churches are able to work in unity through the Holy Spirit to minister and proclaim Christ one and only savior in their lives. This is how the gospel or the good news about Christ is spread thorough the world. Everyone has to do their part to be on one accord. When join the church of Christ there are so many ministries you can get in involved in. You have to pray to God and ask what my spiritual gift is.
The last aspect of our spiritual gift the unity of the body of Christ as stated in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14…12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[c] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many… as well as Corinthians 12:20-26…20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it… the church can’t exist without with the unity of the body of Christ. God sets us apart to do the His will in the church. The reason the body of Christ is so important is because before we came to believe in Christ we were lost in sin. Christ died of the cross for remission of our sins. He paid our debt of sins with his life. Christ took on all the world’s sins for mankind. And Christ was the only one who could do it because He was without sin. Now we are one with Christ and in the body of Christ.
Now let’s talk about our talents. What does the bible say about talents? In the word of God the talent or talents has one meaning. That meaning of talent is referred to as a currency equal to gold or silver. The best example of talents in the bible is the parable of the talents by Jesus in Matthew 25 14-28… 14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. Some would say that your talents are given to you by God and this may be true. It is hard to say why God makes us to the people we become sometimes. However, what does having talent in baseball, basketball, or football have to do with praising God or the body of Christ. Yes the bible says that we are wonderfully made but do the talents we may possess have anything to do with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You can use your talents as a platform to praise God and be a part of the body of Christ. An example of this would be like Tim Tebow collegiate star football player does when he talks about Christ as a motivational speaker. Another example would the late great Reggie White or Merlin Olsen NFL players who also were motivational speakers for Christ. You can also say the same for singers as well, people like Jonathan Butler, Al Green who jazz and R&B singer before in their lives but now are Gospel singers as well. The point is that God may have given all these people their talents but it was not a spiritual gift by itself.
We all have spiritual gifts especially if you proclaim Christ as your Lord and Savior. Some people have a spiritual gift to teach other the word of God, some have the spiritual gift exhortation in encouraging people by using the word of God, other may have the gift of healing in the name of Jesus Christ. No one id left out when it comes to edifying the Kingdom of God. So as Christians we have a responsibility of exploring and nurturing of spiritual gifts from God whatever they are.
Written by Kofi Baruti
ARE WE JUSTIFIED IN CHRIST?
Matthew 12: 1-8….At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even[b] of the Sabbath.” This word of God speaks to working on the Sabbath. The religious leaders of the day challenged Jesus regarding his disciples working in the grain fields on the Sabbath. Jesus response was to remind the Pharisees that it was in the law of the Jews that David ate the showbread which was unlawful for him to eat as well as the priest who profaned the Sabbath and were blameless. Jesus here did establish his authority saying that the Son of Man is Lord even over the Sabbath.
Before we actually get into the question of whether we are justified in Christ, let’s first get a real understanding of what it means to be justified. Justified by definition means to be prove to be just or right. The biblical definition is almost the same accept Jesus has given us acquittal for our sins as well as any works or deeds we done in His name. In the above scripture the disciples didn’t respond to the Pharisees. Christ had already responded for them. Jesus told the Pharisees that His disciples had a need and were hungry and it was up to Jesus to fulfill that need. Jesus told the religious leaders of the day that He was all powerful. Jesus made it clear the Pharisees that He trumped the Sabbath, the disciple’s works, the law, as well as all the days. Jesus expressed to the religious leaders of the day that they need to recognize who they were talking to. Jesus justified mankind when he died on the cross for our sins. So we don’t have to make excuses for anything we do that was wrong or anything we may do in His name. We are made righteous through our belief in Christ. We all have been justified through our belief that Christ shed his blood for all our sins regardless of what they were.
Let’s get into how we are justified through Christ. In the above scripture the disciples started this debate between Jesus and the Pharisees when they started to pluck the heads of grains to eat on the Sabbath. It states in Exodus 16: 23-30…. 23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’” 24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” 27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. This is why the Pharisees criticized the disciples for plucking the heads of grains on the Sabbath because it went against the custom of keeping the Sabbath holy. Jesus responded by point out to them that they couldn’t criticized His disciples when the Pharisees themselves performed duties on the Sabbath. The response he made in defense of his disciples justified His disciples because two wrongs don’t make a right. The point Jesus was making was how the Pharisees can accuse the disciples of working on the Sabbath when they also worked on the Sabbath. The custom was meant for all the people of Israel.
There are other examples where Jesus has justified sinners. In John 8:1-12…. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f] 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.” 12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jesus acquitted this woman of her sin of adultery by the Jewish law this women should have been stoned but Jesus asserted his authority over the law because in reality the Pharisees as well as the town folks were not without sin. Isn’t it wonderful Jesus has the power to justify us regardless of any of our sins?
Another example where Jesus can justify us even after his death in concerning Paul in Acts 26: 9-18… 9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. 12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now[a] send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Paul was a murderer of the Jewish people yet still Jesus justified Paul through his crucified blood that was shed for us on the cross.
Now back to the question ‘Are we justified through Christ?’ The answer is of course we are justified through Christ. Jesus has authority over all this day, our life, our problems as well as our sins. We are justified through Jesus blood, grace, and mercy. You don’t have to worry about any sin you have committed if you believe that Jesus died for mankind’s sin. To the non-believer all you have to do is believe that Jesus Christ died of the cross for your sins and Jesus can justify you in any situation you may encounter. To put in a more practical manner whether you are a Christian or not no one has the right condemn or judge you of anything. The reason is you know that there is not a person on earth who is perfect (meaning not having doing any wrong in their life) so knowing this they have no rights in condemning you for any sin because they are sinners themselves. It’s like having a moral double standard I am going to judge you for your sins when I have probably done the same thing myself.
Why is this important to the Christian or us? We will all face problems and will commit sins in our lives. Whether it is a crime in our society or not anyone I believe deserves to be forgiven for their mistakes in their lives. Everyone deserves to be given a second chance to correct their wrongs and set things right for the things or people they have wrong. I don’t believe in capital punishment (meaning putting a person to death for a crime of murder) because don’t think man has the right to take a human life. I don’t have to be a Christian to believe that but as a Christian I as well as all Christian should hate sin not the sinner (meaning the one who committed the sin). I do believe in justice in our society if you commit a crime you should be punished for that crime. Even the word of God says that man will reap what he sows. So I don’t my belief against capital punishment taken the wrong way. I am only questioning the method we in society punish people who commit murder. Regardless, of what sin we have committed most people believe everyone deserves a second chance. You are justified through Christ of that second chance to make things right in your life.
What do you think?
Written by Kofi Baruti
WHAT DO WE NEED TO OBTAIN FAITH?
What is faith? Many people have asked that very question. The definition of faith is as follows; by Webster definition is a strong belief, or trust in someone or something: belief in the existence of God: strong religious feeling or beliefs: or a system of religious beliefs. This definition previously stated says that you should have strong belief at least. To the Christian believer faith does not exist with a deed or deeds. If we were to look a definition of faith in the bible or God’s word in Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Let’s break this definition down to get a better understanding of its’ meaning. First, faith is the substance of things hope for… by substance of things meaning matter that occupies space it could be anything whether liquid or solid. Things hoped for meaning these things don’t exist in the present but might in the future by the Christian’s belief. Second, we must have a good testimony meaning an attestation or declare the validation of a truth of God or in God. Lastly the Christian understands that faith was made by God that the world may witness God’s glory to manifest things or events which were not done or made by what man see by God. To the Christian believer three things has to happen in order for faith to exist. The first the Christian must belief that whatever they ask or pray for will happen. Second, the Christian believer must declare this belief before God meaning they must speak it as if it has already happen (this is done through deeds). Thirdly through your patience in this belief the things will manifest itself to you and others (your pray is answered by God). In this article we will focus most of our attention on the deeds we must do in order to obtain faith.
In order for any to obtain faith they must first believe that God will answer their prayer or request. But you must not only believe you must act on your belief, in James 2: 14-17…14What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. What these verses imply is that you must work on your faith; this is where your deeds come in to play. Your deeds could be praying without ceasing, performing an act such witnessing to people, or rejoicing in the Lord because you know your prayer has been answered. You have to perform or act that will show God that you believe in Him, that you have no doubts about what God can do for you. God knows man’s heart but in order to receive faith you must stand firm on your convictions about God. Your must be patience for there is an old saying ‘God may not be there when you want him, but He is always on time.’ You must praise God not only when He answers your prayer but before He answers your prayer. God loves you and He wants you to show Him your love for Him through your faith in Him.
There are many examples in the bible regarding acts, deeds or work that believers have performed to obtain faith. The bible proclaims Abraham confirmed with faith in Genesis 22: 1- 14… Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad[a] and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide;[b] as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”….. Sometimes God wants to know if we really love him and believe in him so God may test us or place trails even obstacles in our way. Abraham confirmed his faith in God because he was willing to give up his son, Isaac. Sometimes as a Christian the hardest thing to do is just to be obedient to God. Abraham was obedient when he did as the Lord instructed him to do even when he didn’t know why. You must also fear God. Abraham feared God because he told his son, Isaac that the Lord will provide a burnt offering when he knew Isaac was to be offered. This fear of God in which I speak of is not the fear you would associate with worldly things such as things, animals, or people. This fear of God proclaims to a reverence to God meaning respecting God power. God created us and this world and He has all power; so we must fear the power of God so we want think we are Gods ourselves. We know God loves us but we should still fear God we know He is greater than us. If we don’t fear God we will be victims of all the trials and tribulations in the world, and we know we can’t combat them without God’s help.
There is another example in the bible about blind faith with the faith of the centurion in Matthew 8: 5-10…5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I gave this example because the centurion (which was a commander in a Roman army) in Capernaum knew about Jesus but wasn’t necessarily a Christian believer but he did believe in Jesus healing. The Romans during this period saw the Christians as threat to the Roman Empire. I spoke before about the fear of God, well in this example the centurion fear of Jesus turned into the very faith which healed his servant. The example of this centurion was that he respected Jesus power he understood that Jesus could heal people because he may have heard this from other people concerning people Jesus had healed. I believe also that fear of God is the beginning of understanding God presence in our live. When you fear God you began to understand how powerful Jesus can be in your own life, therefore there is nothing you can’t accomplish through Jesus your Lord and savior.
The question that was asked from the title, what do we need to obtain faith to obtain faith? In order anyone to obtain faith two things must take place. First you must believe in Jesus or God knowing and fear that He is all powerful and can accomplish anything. Second, you have to work at your faith meaning you have to demonstrate your belief to God. What do I mean by demonstrating your faith to Jesus? People petition or demonstrate their belief in many different ways. Let’s give some real world examples on how people may demonstrate their faith to Christ. A father may have a daughter who is very ill in the hospital. The doctors are not optimistic about her chances of survival. She is in a coma and has been for several weeks. The father prays for his daughter’s complete recovery. The father prays, “Lord thank you for healing my daughter.” The father has demonstrated his faith and belief that the Lord will heal his daughter. The father is not a minister or a deacon of his church he just believes that the Lord will heal his daughter. He knows at the moment that he prayed his pray that he daughter was not doing very well. He also didn’t really know for sure when or if his daughter would have a complete recovery. But he still believed that the Lord will heal his daughter. Now this situation is turned over to God and the Lord healed his daughter completely. Another example is a mother of two children and a loving husband has last stage breast cancer. She prays, “Lord thank you for removing my cancer from breast and body.” Again this mother has no real proof at from her doctors that she will be completely healed from her cancer. But she has faith and belief that God is the true doctor that will be able remove her cancer from her beast and body. She prays this pray every day until that when the doctor told her that she was in total remission form her breast cancer.
In both of these examples they had to do something in order to obtain their faith, and in both examples a miracle some would say happened as a result of their faith. You can have these same things happen in your life if you have faith. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as the examples I gave but you still can obtain faith. You just have to work at obtaining your faith. It is not enough for to just believe in your heart that God will do want you want him to do, but you have to proclaim it, speak it and it will be so. God will do what he promised he will do for us we just have to have faith that He will. Christ proclaims in Matthew 20:17…So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you… have faith that Christ will move mountains in your life and he will.
What do you think?
Written by Kofi Baruti
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