Friday, November 30, 2018

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a distinct member of the “Godhead” (Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4), and He is distinct from the Father and the Son (John 14:26; Acts 10:38). He was active in creation (Genesis 1:2, 26-27; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30). He was given to the apostles to reveal “all truth” so that they could preach the gospel or “shew you things to come” (John 16:13). When people believed this preaching, they obeyed and were then saved: “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles included the ability to work miraculous gifts, such as speaking in tongues in Acts 2:5-12 (cp. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 for a list of spiritual gifts). These gifts could only be transferred through the laying on of the apostles’ hands (Acts 8:18). Paul stated that these gifts would cease in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. No one today possesses gifts such as healing or speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit was given to confirm the word of God (Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:1-4). After the word was “once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3), the gifts were no longer needed.

The Holy Spirit also indwells in us. He does not do it by physically entering our body, helping us to make decisions or “steering” us in the right direction. The Holy Spirit is in us like God is in us (1 John 4:15) and Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27). As long as you and I live by the Holy Spirit’s law (the Bible), He will dwell within us, and we will be guided by His wonderful precepts. At that point, we will “walk in the Spirit” and produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:16, 22-23). Conversely, if we do not obey, we will “grieve” the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Let the word dwell in you and faithfully adhere to it.

Written by: Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Obedient Faith

Many denominations believe that we are saved by faith BEFORE we do the action in accordance with God’s command. No doubt you have seen those on television attending a huge denominational service that are invited to come forward at the conclusion of the service and to simply say that they believe in Jesus Christ. By admitting to this, they have “let Jesus come into their heart” and are saved at that point in their life. What we see then is that many denominations that are made by man will try to get us to believe that we are justified by faith BEFORE we obey God! But I ask “where in the Bible does it tell of any person that was saved by belief or faith only?” We know that salvation must depend on something more than belief in Christ only because in James 2:19 it says: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-- and tremble!” We see from this passage of scripture that long ago James wrote to those of his day and to all generations to follow that belief alone will not cut it. Everyone can believe in Jesus but only a few will allow their belief in Him to live through obedient works. The very next verse says: “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”

Bible Examples of Obedient Faith
Men are justified in God’s sight ONLY when they are obedient to His Word. This has been proven throughout the Old Testament which we have for our learning (Romans 15:4), but is recorded in the New Testament showing that it is just as valid today. In each one of these Bible examples ask yourself this question: “At what point were these individuals justified in the sight of God, before or after their works?”

Abel: Hebrews 11:4 "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”

Noah: Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

Abraham: Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”

Walls of Jericho: Hebrews 11:30 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.”

Obedience to the Faith
We know that each and every one of these individuals had a deep faith in God, a total belief in God, but they were justified in God’s sight ONLY after they DID the action in which they were asked to do by God. Paul wrote in Romans 16:26: “but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith.” In closing let’s let James tie it all together for us: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:21,24,26). I encourage you to be determined to be justified by God’s law and not man’s (Acts 5:29)?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Seek the Lord

In Isaiah 55:6-7 it says to “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” These are great words of advice from the prophet Isaiah because if we do not seek the Lord (Matthew 6:33) then we will have no hope of eternal salvation. If we seek the Lord, we will find Him, for the scripture says: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” (Matthew 7:7). It is comforting to know that when we seek the Lord that we WILL find Him. God is no respecter of persons so everyone has the same opportunity to seek, find, and be accepted of God (Acts 10:34-35). 

But some who say they seek God are looking for Him in the wrong way (Proverbs 14:12), and in the wrong places (Exodus 20:34). We need to seek the Lord being determined to let Him guide our way (Jeremiah 10:23). We must be active, not passive in finding the Lord because God will only save us when we obey God. God’s pardon of sin consists in everlasting forgiveness if we obey Him (Matthew 7:21-23), and not the doctrines of men (2 John 9-11). Seek the Lord and obey Him, in order to receive eternal life!