Being Completed-Part 1

It is easy to lose sight of the fact that salvation (from our perspective) is not the act of a brief moment of time. That brief moment is the starting point and issues in a life long experience. It also has a climax and a new beginning! When we receive Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, He, by the Holy Spirit using the Word of God, works on, in, and through us for the rest of our time on earth. At the new birth, we are set apart to God. That is, we have dedicated ourselves to Him forever! He takes possession; He owns us! He trains, directs, guides, teaches and disciplines us. The objective? It is to make us like Jesus in our thinking, in our speaking and in our doing. It is developing His character in us. We are to be reflecting Him. As a jeweler uses a chisel to shape a diamond, so God uses many means to make His jewel just right. If He can use a small chisel, He ends up with a bigger diamond. Conversely, if He has to use a bigger chisel, he ends up with a smaller diamond. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (it) until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). What is our response to be? Norman Clayton’s Gospel Song, “Every Moment of Every Day, ” gives the answer: “Only to be what He wants me to be, ev’ry moment of ev’ry day; yielded completely to Jesus alone, ev’ry step of this Pilgrim way. Just to be clay in the Potter’s hand; only to do what His will commands. Only to be what He wants me to be, ev’ry moment of ev’ry day.” Selah! All this leads to a transcendent moment and a glorious forever. More tomorrow, God willing.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Being Changed

A mistake that is often made is that agreeing with Gospel Truth makes one born again. It usually goes like this: Recognize and confess that you are a sinner, trust Christ as your Savior and that His sacrifice paid the penalty due your sin(s). Presto, you are “saved,” (born again)! The problem is that this is true, except for our being saved. Any heart that is truly reaching out for salvation, God will bring to repentance. Here’s the catch: This repentance leads to life change. It is a gradual transformation from sinner to one who grows in Godliness. Gospel Truth is the means to bring us to repentance, not a substitute for it. No serious change in the life; no change in our status as a sinner. We don’t change to be saved; we change when we are truly saved. How does this work? In simple terms, when the miracle of rebirth is experienced, much follows. First, we are given a “standing” of “perfect” because His perfection is credited to us. That moment initiates a lifetime of being perfected. The Holy Spirit, using the Word of God, works tirelessly to bring our actual “state” (condition) into harmony with our “standing.” He uses many ways to bring Scripture to bear on our lives. Our lives are becoming more and more Godly. We are being disciplined (discipled) by the Bible. This is what Paul was calling for in Romans 12:1-2. One who is truly Christ’s wants this: “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. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Jack P. Scholfield’s hymn, “Saved, Saved,” tells of the changes that salvation brings: “I’ve found a friend Who is all to me; His love is ever true. I love to tell how He lifted me, and what His grace can do for you. He saves me from ev’ry sin and harm; secures my soul each day. I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm; I know He’ll guide me all the way. When poor and needy and all alone, in love He said to me, “Come unto Me and I’ll lead you home, to live with Me eternally.” Saved by His power divine, Saved to new life sublime! Life now is sweet and my joy is complete. for I’m saved, saved, saved!” Selah! Being set apart to God, while being set apart from sin is powerful evidence of a genuine experience of salvation.    Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

 

Being Converted

Connecting the word “being” with “converted,” stresses a very important Truth. We cannot convert ourselves. No other human being can convert us. In fact, it’s not really a conversion as the word is commonly understood. Whatever really is done, God does it! We are “born from Above.” This is the miracle that Jesus spoke of in John 3:3. He told Nicodemus (and us): “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Let’s back up a little. As mentioned in previous articles, God foresaw who would receive Jesus as Savior and Lord; these He chose and called. Those chosen and called have come, are coming, or will come. (Many are called, but only the chosen come). Because we are spiritually dead, we can’t even come without God’s enablement. God’s Gospel Truth is shined into our spiritually dead state. All who will respond are “quickened” being given the means to receive His salvation. At the moment of receiving, God, the Holy Spirit, performs an astonishing miracle! We are “born from Above! We are made alive “Spiritually.” We become children of God! God’s nature is imparted to and implanted in us. The old way of death no longer has us in its grip. The old thoughts, desires, interests and behavior that are contrary to God are giving way to God’s new way. (See II Corinthians 5:17). We are gradually moving away from sinning and are becoming holy. The hymn, “At Calvary,” By William R. Newell gives us a musical overview of this “coming” and being “born from Above.” Reflect: “Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified, knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary. By God’s Word at last my sin I learned; then I trembled at the law I’d spurned, ’till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary. Now I’ve given to Jesus everything, now I gladly own Him as my King, now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary! Mercy there was great, and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me; there my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.” Selah! The years of “vanity and pride” were in his spiritually dead condition. God’s Word brought light to his dead soul; he was shaken and “imploring turned to Calvary.” At that moment, he was “born from Above,” and was made alive and filled with wonder .       Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com


Coming

Guilt (conviction), emptiness, hopelessness, some other “felt” need motivates you to seek help. You hear the gospel preached, or someone shares it with you. You might pick up a tract; someone who cares might give you a book or booklet explaining salvation, maybe a Bible. Or, perhaps you accept an invitation to an evangelistic event. Understanding dawns on you. You begin to comprehend that you are lost, headed for Hell. Learning more, you begin to figure out that Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross is God’s only way of effecting your rescue from your spiritually dead and lost condition. One way, or another, you surrender to Jesus, receiving Him as your Lord and Savior. If this has taken place in your life you have been chosen and called. If you have yielded your life to Him and trusted Him for your salvation, you have “come.” In John 6:37, Jesus tells us: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” God gives to Jesus all whom He has foreseen will receive His salvation. They are chosen and called. They have come or will come! Has God foreseen in you “reception” or “rejection?” In his hymn, “Lord, I’m Coming Home,” William J. Kirkpatrick describes the realization by those who have come or will come: “I’ve wandered far away from God, now I’m coming home; the paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord, I’m coming home. I’ve wasted many precious years, now I’m coming home; I now repent with bitter tears, Lord, I’m coming home. I’ve tired of sin and straying, Lord, now I’m coming home; I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy Word, Lord, I’m coming home. My soul is sick, my heart is sore, now I’m coming home; my strength renew, my hope restore, Lord, I’m coming home. Coming home, coming home, nevermore to roam, open wide Thine arms of love, Lord, I’m coming home.” Selah! There are only two places where human beings will live forever. One is Heaven; the other is Hell! If you are coming home, you have a glorious “forever” awaiting you; if you are moving in the other direction you are getting closer and closer to Hell-FOREVER! Turn around while you can and come home!    Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com


Being Called

Acts 2:39 presents a vital Truth: “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, (even) as many as the Lord our God shall call. Peter was inspired to reveal that the promise of salvation to those who repent was given to those whom God calls. No one can come to Christ unless called. However, God calls all who are chosen. (Yesterday’s article dealt with God’s choosing). No one comes, unless called. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” (From John 6:44). If, however, He knows that, given the opportunity, a person will surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord and trust Him for salvation, God will call that person! When we come to Christ, we have been chosen. We are chosen based on God’s foreknowledge of our using our free will to receive Jesus. He calls and we come and do what God foresaw that we would do. If we are chosen and called, the next thing is our actual coming. This coming is the greatest thing that can ever be experienced by a human being. We want to take a close look at it tomorrow, God willing. Have you come to Jesus already? If you have, your name is recorded in Heaven. You can identify with C. Austin Mile’s hymn, “A New Name in Glory.” You can sing: “I was once a sinner, but I came pardon to receive from my Lord. This was freely given, and I found that He always kept His Word. In the Book ’tis written, “Saved by grace.” Oh the joy that came to my soul! Now I am forgiven, and I know by the blood I am made whole.” Selah! Matthew 22:14 tells us: “For many are called, but few (are) chosen.” Whosoever will may come! If you have, you were chosen and called. If you haven’t come, He is calling. What will be your answer?     Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

 

 

Being Chosen

If we really stop and think about it, it is nice to be chosen. Being chosen for an honor, prize or position, seems to imply that we are special in someone’s eyes. As satisfying as being chosen for something is, there is a choosing done by God that infinitely transcends anything else for which we might be chosen. We, who know Jesus as our Savior and Lord, have been chosen by God! On what basis? There is nothing that commends us to God. Not one thing! So, His choosing is entirely of grace. Nevertheless, His grace provides a way that leads to His choosing us. We know that “way” as free will. Ephesians 1:4 speaks of this: “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Before He created the world, He chose who would be “in Him!” Did He look at the total mass of humanity, pick some, and “skip” the rest? No, that would make him a respecter of persons, which the Bible says He is not. How, then, does He choose? In His foreknowledge, He knows everything that will happen. Now, with these thoughts for background, consider this: within His Sovereign control, He allows mankind a measure of freedom, a will. We can decide quite a few things; we cannot exceed God’s limitations! He knows (before we are born) if we will decide to receive or reject salvation. If we have decided, or are deciding, or will decide to trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God has chosen us. Trusting Christ isn’t something that earns us favor. We couldn’t trust, if God didn’t make it possible for us to do it. James M. Gray’s testimony, as found in his hymn, “Only a Sinner,” is the testimony of all who decide to use their gift of limited free will to come to Jesus for salvation. What a testimony! “Naught have I gotten but what I received;  Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed; boasting excluded, pride I abase; I’m only a sinner, saved by grace!”  Selah! There is a limited “window of opportunity” to use our wills to receive Jesus’ salvation. If you have received Him, thank God! If you haven’t, this moment could be your final opportunity to decide. Not deciding “for,” while we can, is deciding to refuse.    Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com.

 

Are We A Threat?

In I Peter 5:8, he reminds us to: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” This raises some interesting questions. Are we (you and I) a threat to him? Or, are we easy prey? Paul, in II Timothy 2:26 spoke of those caught in, “….the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Can a true Christian be a threat to Satan? Yes, he or she can be and are supposed to be a threat to all his schemes. Ephesians 6:10  tells us how: “….my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” Verse 11 gives us our orders: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Verses 12:18 explains our gear and weapons. However, having said all this, is it rather that he is amused by our weakness, indifference, and feeble attempts to resist him? If we neglect putting on our armor; excuse our failure to follow orders, and our swordsmanship is woefully lacking in skill, what reason would he have to believe that we are a threat? Only as we “get down to business,” endure hardness, train and exercise, and draw on God’s power can we ever be considered a serious threat! We might give serious heed to these timely words in George Duffield’s hymn, “Stand Up; Stand Up for Jesus.” He charges us to: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;  the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there.” Selah! Will we? if so, report for duty and training!   Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com