Friday, February 17, 2017

Christ Living In Me

Who is really in control of our life? By this I mean, "When we make a decision about something, are we more concerned about how it affects our physical, or our spiritual well-being?"

Paul said in Colossians 3:4, "When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." He said in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." 

Christ indeed should be our life, our whole life. For most people, however, Christ is but a small part of their life. In this busy world of ours we have a tendency to assign certain things their little stations of priority. For example, one might say, "I need to spend ten hours on the job today, two hours with the family, an hour watching TV, and, of course, five minutes in prayer." Religion, then, is just a small, very small, piece of a very large pie. 

First century Christians had a much different perspective on life than modern man. They were servants of Christ, finding time for routine things. Today, people seem to be servants of routine things, trying to find a little time for Christ. 

Some might defend themselves by saying, "I go to church, I put a big check in the collection plate, and if they need me to help out all they have to do is ask." Nonetheless, "Is Christ truly in control of our life?" In other words, "Just who is in control?" "Is it me, or is it the Lord?" 

Let us all do our very best day in and day out to let Christ truly live in us.

Friday, February 3, 2017

How Do You Know You Have Been Saved?

This question often disturbs many people. The Lord has not left us to wonder about this crucial and important subject. Just as He has revealed to us in the Bible the importance of the soul and of salvation, He has also revealed the answer to this question. In 1 John 5:13, we find these words, "These  things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God".

We should point out here that the Christian possesses eternal life IN PROMISE. Paul spoke of being "In hope of eternal life ..." in Titus 1:2. John said that God had "promised us - eternal life" in 1 John 2:25. Jesus himself spoke of eternal life in the world to come in Mark 10:30.

How can one know today that he has the assurance of that hope and promise? Let us take an example from the New Testament. The Apostle Peter had been personally associated with Jesus. He, Peter, had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:1-4. He had the power to heal the sick and raise the dead (Acts 3:6-10, and Acts 9:32-41). What was the proof of salvation for this great spiritual leader? Listen as he expressed it in Acts 15:11. "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they". His proof of salvation stood in his faith in the Lord's promise.

A great passage where God provides encouragement or consolation to the Christian is in Hebrews 6:13-20: "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a STRONG CONSOLATION, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Wither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest after the order of Melchisedec". This passage in Hebrews 6, provides consolation and encouragement to the Christian because it shows that: God made a promise to Abraham and kept that promise, verses 13-15. God promised the saints eternal life, verse 16, and further God's promise and his oath backing that promise are immutable, verse 18. In order to have the assurance of this passage applied to our own lives, we must have faith that obeys God's will, Hebrews 6:12, and be patient and faithful, verse 15.

We CAN KNOW if we are in Christ where salvation is, 1 John 5:11. We CAN KNOW if we have repented and have been baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27). We CAN KNOW whether or not we are "standing on the promises" of God.