To Live for Christ

IMGBut we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Acts 15:11 (KJV)

I personally hate the term “saved” when applied to salvation because to many it implies it is a done deal. We believe that we are saved, but must also act accordingly. Instead of asking people if they are saved, we should be asking them “Do you live for Christ?” and “Do you know Jesus?” because those are the true tests of who is really a Christian. With this article I'd like to get into some of the deep things of the Spirit.

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:19 (KJV)

The parable of the sower. I refer often to it because it is the 'meat and potatoes' of our salvation. Something that seems to escape most Christians is the fact that the 'cares of this world' encompass everything and anything that interferes with our commitment to Christ. There is no mention of sin in this verse, and for good reason. We must understand that from God's perspective something as innocuous as scrapbooking can be just as deadly to our salvation as any sinful behavior if we allow it to distract us from Him.

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Malachi 3:8 (KJV)

To allow any of the cares of this world to cause us to neglect our salvation is to in fact rob God. What are we taking from Him that is His? Us! Scripture implores us to be workmen 'worthy of our meat' (or hire). It also refers to us as servants. How can we be servants without a job to do? But in this late hour the Laodicean church teaches that it is Christ who is our servant!

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 (KJV)

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Philippians 3:15 (KJV)

Am I perfect? Not even close! This verse about being perfect threw me for a loop for a long time. Is it possible to be perfect? Of course not. So why would God ask us to do the impossible? Because He cannot tell us to be pretty good, can He? Our job is to sincerely pursue this impossible goal of perfection, and when we inevitably fall short we must repent. So in a sense although we cannot be perfect in word, thought or deed we can be perfect in intent of the heart.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Revelation 3:2 (KJV)

Notice also in the previous verse that Paul says God will show us the areas of our lives where we are not perfected? He is describing the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is why He told us that we are no longer under the Law (Romans 6:14 KJV), but under grace. You see, the Law has been written in our hearts by the presence of the Holy Spirit in them (2 Corinthians 3:3 KJV). Now you can plainly understand why so many fall under the influence of the Hebrew Roots cult. They do not have the Holy Spirit operating in their hearts so they must depend on the written words of the Law to convict them of sin. Reality check folks, the Law only serves to convict the unbeliever.

Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
1 Kings 8:61 (KJV)

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV)

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.
Romans 12:2 (KJV)

You know I am reminded of an interesting allegory. In the basement of a hi-rise Manhattan building I once lived in there was an underground stream. A pump would come on several times a day to get rid of this ground water. If it wasn't dealt with right away it would accumulate and begin to erode the foundation. To me this perfectly represents what our attitude towards this world should be.

Satan has opened the floodgates of sin in these last days like no other. Sometimes trying to live for Christ in this world can feel like bailing water in a leaky boat that is sinking. Now let me be clear, nobody will lose their salvation because of any one sin or neglecting their salvation in some area. It is only when we have allowed the cares of this world to completely engulf us and sweep us away that salvation can be lost. To avoid this we must cling to the Rock, and that Rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4 KJV). However our job is to take every area of our lives and every thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV).

Continuing the ‘leaky boat’ allegory, we must take the slightest hint of moisture intruding the integrity of our vessels very seriously, because even the tiniest of drips can quickly turn into a huge problem when we’re not paying attention.

Let me give you an example. Recently I have battled an addiction to prescription pain killers. Last year I spent months in agony with back issues, so much so that I developed blood clots on my lungs and nearly died from lack of movement. Should I have never taken them in the first place? I don’t know, they made my life just a little more bareable. Cortizone injections have alleviated most of the pain and I no longer need the pain meds, but that didn’t make quitting them any easier. It has been a tough road, please remember me in your prayers.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

My point is that I could have made excuses and continued using these pills now even though I don’t need them anymore. But I try to submit every area of my life (to the best of my ability) to God. I know that He understands our pain, but taking drugs that we don’t need is recreational drug use which I believe is not pleasing to Him. But please do not set me as any example, I am just trying to illustrate the amount of constant self examination that God requires of us.

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1 Corinthians 11:31 (KJV)

There is a saying in the world these days, many have even tattooed it on their bodies: “Only God can judge me”. But the Christian attitude towards sin is encapsulated in the above verse. We must indeed judge ourselves constantly. It is hard, it sucks, but we must gaze into our own wicked hearts constantly. And when we inevitably see how wicked they are we must remember Jesus’ words to Paul “My grace is sufficient for thee”. How do we connect with His grace?

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)

Any ‘Christian’ who feels pretty good about themselves has clearly never had the work of the Holy Spirit applied to their hearts in a genuine repentance experience. After all, it is His job to convict us of sin. Not to make us feel bad, but as a call to repentance. This is why Paul referred to himself as a ‘wretched man’ (Romans 7:24 KJV) and the ‘chief of sinners’ (1 Timothy 1:15 KJV) not in past tense, but present. You see, contrary to what the Laodicean churches have taught us, repentance is not a one time event in our walk with Christ, but an inherent part of taking up our cross daily.

Many will say this is not true because it is not possible for us to remember every sin. But again I remind you, since it is the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin it is His job to remind us when we have transgressed and our job to repent in response. But so few Christians today can actually hear His still, small voice in their hearts. We must not allow ourselves to become conformed to this world, that is what it means to take up our cross every day and live for Christ.

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