God’s grace appears many times in the Holy Bible the following are those numerous times to prove to everyone who reads this of God’s grace with mankind.
EPHESIANS 2:8….For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…………..
EPHESIANS 2:8 Click Here
For Post Written by Jocelyn Crawley Click Here
CHRIST WITH BENEFITS THE XMAS GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Hebrews 2: 3-4, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
This is the season of giving as always at Christmas time. I thought I start with God’s “Gifts of the Holy Spirits”. I mentioned in another article or post, the Salvation Theme of the month of September, about Christ with Benefits which is your benefits given to every Christian once they commit their lives to Christ. I believe God created everyone for a purpose and your gift or gifts that God created in you is what you were created for. I also stated in the article or post that it was your spiritual benefit package which was depended on your abilities God gave you. In this article or post we will explore the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
What are the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit”? Paul says in Corinthians 12: 1, & 4 – 11,……Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant,……..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. Paul also says in Corinthians 12: 27 – 31,…..27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best[d] gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. You are part of the body of Christ when you join or commit your life to Christ. Now you are a part of the ministries in the body of Christ.
Knowing this now we have to discern what is our Gift of the Holy Spirit? To do this we must explore the meanings of the spiritual gifts. Your spiritual gifts were meant to be a gift by God to minister to the needs of the body of Christ. This is done to build up the church of Jesus Christ. These spiritual gifts are extremely important to the church of believers because everyone can’t discern when people who are speaking for God if they are real or not. Many Christian congregations have been led astray due to false prophets. One important spiritual gift is the gift of prophecy and tongues. These believers tell the future of the church of believers of Christ as well as interpret people specking in different tongues (not meaning languages of the world but spiritual languages spoken in the church). The greatest spiritual gift is love in the church of Christ because without love we can’t do God’s work or ministries. The bible speaks of this love in Corinthians 13: 8 – 13, when Paul states ….”Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail: whether there are tongues, they will cease: whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child. I understood as a child. I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love…… Paul in this bible passage is speaking to the church of Corinth on how they should be using and expressing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul had to do speak to the believers of Corinth this way because they had become boastful and prideful regarding their spiritual gifts. I express this because sometimes in the church of Christ today believers want to compare themselves with others thinking because they have this spiritual gift or that spiritual gift they may be better to serve God than others. It matters little what our spiritual gifts are it matters that we do everything in church of Christ in love.
You join a church of Christ you must search your heart to find your spiritual gift. I speak of Christ with benefits I am truly talking by the benefits you have to the church of Christ. What will be your ministry or contribution(s) to this world of sin in which we all live? The Christian as well as the non-believer was made to serve God I believe with some spiritual gifts. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are an invitation to do God’s work or ministries which God has given you according to your own abilities. During this Xmas season instead of thinking about what you will get as a Xmas gift as a Christian try to explore how you will be a spiritual gift to the world?
What do you think?
OUR SINFUL NATURE
Sin: 1. transgression of divine law. 2. Any act regarded as such a transgression especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle. 3. Any reprehensible action, behavior etc. serious fault or offense. 4. To commit a sinful act. 5. To offend against a principle, standard. 6. To commit or perform sinfully. 7. To bring, drive etc. by sinning.
Sin is the biggest vice for the Christian. 1 Corinthians 3:3, (NKJV) states…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?… Sin is an action word and therefore when committed by anyone has its consequences. We live in a sinful world and we are born in sin. Knowing that we are born in a sinful world the Christian as well as the non-believer have to fight the temptations or vices of this world. Many people whether Christian or not struggle with sin or sins every day. I gave the definition to begin this topic because I want to point out there is no such thing as accidental sin or the phrase most people might use “the devil made me do it”. Sin is a conscience deliberate act against god and when we sin we choose to do so.
There are many forms of sins, but the one we will explore will be the cardinal sin of lust. The topic of lust was briefly talked about in the last post article, “You Are Not Alone”, however I thought we should explore this issue further. Lust may be a tempting vice even for most Christians. First let us see with some examples of lust in the bible,…. In Proverbs 11: 6, (NKJV) The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust…. Also in Ezeliel 23:12, (NKJV)…“She lusted for the neighboring Assyrians, Captains and rulers, Clothed most gorgeously, Horsemen riding on horses, All of them desirable young men…. In Proverbs 6 : 23-25, (NKJV)…For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress. 25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, Nor let her allure you with her eyelids…… Many of us may have lusted after a woman or a man but Jesus says in Matthew 5: 27 – 26, (NKJV)… 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart…. We all have at some times may have looked at an attractive man or woman and said to ourselves “I would like to be with her or him, is this in itself a sin of lust. The answer lies with your heart intent, that is do you desire to want to have sex with that person or you just want to meet them. Lust is something in which you have a motion to have sex with a person without any real feeling or commitment of the relationship with that person.
Let us explore some of the ways lust plays in our relationships. One way lust affects is when we engaged in casual sex or what some people refer to as a “booty call”. This is when you may be attracted to a person but you don’t want to have a real relationship with that person. This is harmful in that you may not have any feeling of love for that person which may have been misleading especially if the other person is seeking love. It also can be very dangerous if you are engaging in having unprotected sex that may result in sexual deceases or AIDS. It also can lead to unwanted pregnancy. Generally, when people engage in casual sex acts they have only one motive and that is to satisfy their own sexual desire. This is not what God wants us to do with our relationships with others. God hates this because it is deceiving, selfish, as well as a sin. It is a sin before God because God is love! Real love for a person is not deceitful or selfish. God needs us to love and respect one another. All this is done when we allow our sinful nature to control our emotions of self-gratification.
The other issue regarding our sinful nature is the player. This is usually played by men but women can be players too but not as much. This person is in a relationship for a period of time with another person but is cheating on that person. These players may come to us in many different forms such as a cheating husband or wife, a cheating boyfriend, or the man on the down-low. What does the bible say about adulteress relationships… in Exodus 20: 14 God says, …“You shall not commit adultery…., in Leviticus 20:10, (NKJV) …The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death…, (in the old testament days adultery was a very serious offense and was usually performed public execution by stoning) … in Proverbs 6:32, (NKJV) ….Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul….., Jeremiah 7: 8-10, (NKJV)…. Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’….. These examples in the bible are just some of the dangers that can happen to us if we allow our sinful nature of sex to influence us into adulteress relationships.
Let us explore the different forms of adultery. First you have the cheating husband or wife. This husband or wife is very deceptive in communications and transactions with others. Most men may be married for years to a woman and yet have a lady or ladies across town in an apartment or home. They may live their lives as if they are happily married but to satisfy their own sexual drive have other sexual relationships. They may feel that this life style is OK as long as the spouse is not aware. However, they are only deceiving themselves because the question in their life is why do they need other sexual relationships in their marriage? They are insecure because they don’t even consider their spouses feeling or their children if they have any. This person would need pastoral counseling to really get at root of their sexual insecurity. The reason I would recommend pastoral counseling is because need to know this is affecting their relationship with God as well as their spouse.
The next form of adultery is the cheating boyfriend. I know that adultery is defined as having sexual relationships outside the married but this boyfriend has had a relationship with his girlfriend for many years. In most cases the man and woman have children in this relationship. They may actually consider themselves married because they do all the things a married couple would do. This person is also insecure, because their insecurity centers around real commitment. The question that needs an answer here is, “why not just marry this person you have a long time relationship with? This relationship is what legal society calls common law marriage. But God wants us to be sincere in our committed relationship with others. This is why God says in … Genesis 2:24, (NKJV)…Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. This is why marriage is so important, because when you marry another person you and your spouse make a three way commitment or covenant before God. You make a commitment to your spouse to love honor and obey her in marriage, your spouse makes a commitment to you to love and honor you in marriage, and the both of you make a commitment with God to love and honor your marriage. Instead you are breaking your commitment with God and your spouse when you allow your sexual drive to intercede in your relationship. By society standard the legally married status is only a certification, and sometimes this use as an excuse not to make your relationship legal. This also is misleading that person because in our society any couple that has lived together more than 90 days is in a common law marriage. A Christian married is a holy matrimony with God and that doesn’t require a certificate. Pastoral counseling is also recommended to get at the root of your lack of commitment is their relationship.
The last form of adultery is the man on the down-low. This form is the most deceiving because this person is hiding the fact they are have a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex. This person is what is called bisexual. The biggest insecurity they have is in their own sexuality (that is their sexual attraction to a person of sex). This person is the worst of all the deceivers because they are lying and deceiving anyone that means anything to them. Some of these men are afraid to come out of the closet to admit their sexuality. This has the potential of causing great spiritual as well as physiological damage to them as well as others in their relationships. These men may think they are getting away with their sexual nature but God always knows your heart. These men may stay in a relationship for years committing biggest deception in their lives with their wives. This relationship may become deadly or physically harmful especially if the person is not practicing protected sex. This person would need to get psychiatric counseling to deal with their sexuality as well as pastoral counseling to deal with their relationship with God and their spouse and family. This relationship would be most difficult to restore because of the mistrust involved. The bible doesn’t actually say anything directly about homosexuality but it does talk about carnal knowledge with men in Genesis 19:5, (NKJV)… And they called to Lot and said to him; And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”…, (in this incident the men wanted to actually rape the men Lot had in his house this act as well as other immoral acts lead to the destruction of Sodom and Goliath)… in Judges 19:21-25, (NKJV)…21 So he brought him into his house, and gave fodder to the donkeys. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank. 22 As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, [a] surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally!”
23 But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do not commit this outrage. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter and the man’s[b] concubine; let me bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them as you please; but to this man do not do such a vile thing!” 25 But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until morning; and when the day began to break, they let her go. (This was also another example of carnal sex and rape of a man and women in Gibeah.)
The homosexuals in our society are outcast when comes to the church. The bible has stated that God hates men having sex with men in God’s law to Moses in Leviticus 18:22, (NKJV)…you shall not lie with a male as a woman. It is an abomination…. We all have a sinful nature as well as a sex drive, but we have to control these urges when they come upon us. God has the word of God to help us with our sinful nature. The church has always been against gay marriages because there is nothing the bible that supports gay marriages. However, I believe that the homosexuals have their rights in our society as well as their choices to live a faithful life style. I also believe that the church doesn’t have the right to judge them only God does because whatever we do we will have to answer to God on judgment day. The church should receive them with open arms as they would any other sinner and pray for them that they receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
What do you think or believe?
Written by Kofi Baruti
Seek the Kingdom of God and all things will be added to you.