Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The "Legalist"

When I choose to have ministry a main priority, when I take a stand for not participating in certain things, when I rather not watch certain TV shows, or take part in crude conversations the response I get is "You sound a lot like a legalist, saying what I can and can't do."

I suppose I am glad when someone responds because then it tells me where they are at in their understanding and growth in doctrine and gives me a place to start with them. You see it is not that I am an advocate for making a list of how people's lives should be, but rather I do push the issue of the book of Titus. Chapter 2 verse 11 states that grace TEACHES us (does not command us) to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It TEACHES us to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

The grace that brings salvation to all men and has appeared to all men teaches us how to live a life pleasing to God, to live a life that honors Him. When someone responds with the legalist remark, it just shows me that they haven't learnt from grace, yet. Perhaps they need to learn that the grace by which they are saved has crucified their own life and the life that they NOW live only exists because Christ gave HIMSELF for them (Gal 2:20). Perhaps they need to learn that the grace that saves them was meant to make soldiers not entangled with the affairs of this life (2 Tim 2:3-4). Perhaps they need to learn that the one who gave himself for us, redeemed us from all iniquity, and purified unto himself a peculiar people [who ought to be] zealous of good works, Titus 2:14 to do the work of the ministry, 2 Timothy 4:5.

So to answer those who think that I'm too extreme, too strict, or too spiritual minded for any earthly good, I choose to live the way I do because grace has taught me to, not because I think I have to, but rather because I want to. Grace has freed me from any do's and don't's and has given me liberty to live a life that will hopefully be a sweet smelling savour to the One who saved me.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Growing in Maturity

I've recently been eating more healthy: meats, veggies (love those yams), non empty carbs. Before this I was considered to already been eating healthy, yet not getting what my body needed. What I found out was pretty cool. Since I've been giving my body the nutrients that it is made to have to survive, the sight, smell, and definitely the pleasure that came from eating what I use to eat was gone (at least minimized a lot).

 I'd see some pizza, a cookie, some sugar and I'd think 'This is going to be deliciouso!' But it wasn't really and in fact, my body physically felt 'ugh' afterwards (you know the feeling, the 'why did I waste the space in my body for that thing!' feeling).

Pretty soon, because I knew the affects of things that were not good for my body, I just had no desire for them. I desired real food that helped my body to function. 

I was thinking that gaining maturity in doctrine is much the same way. Sometimes we feed our flesh what it wants, nothing wrong with it and it's fun, we laugh and have a good time but its just empty carbs. Its actually doing your inner man more harm than good. Give your inner man what it needs to function: truth! It will have a tremendous change!

What if I were to eat nutritious foods and non-nutritious food in my diet, balanced out between the two? It would be counteractive and you'r results would be slim.

What if we fed our inner man and still lived in our flesh? The same applies. Your results in maturity are gong to be a long time coming. You will know when to play the inner man and you will know when to play the flesh. Double minded, lovers of pleasure more than God is where that leads.

When you feed your inner man and starve your flesh (metaphorically speaking), you start to see a change. You find that you cannot enjoy the 'harmless' things that you once did. Like a simple movie that misrepresents truth or a song that has a good beat but those lyrics or what you spend your money, time, and efforts on. You tend to get the same feeling as that pizza 'Why did I waste that space in my mind for that thing!'

The title of this blog is 'Growing in Maturity.' If you find that you don't have that desire and zeal for the things of God, at least you realize it and can do something about it. Don't be the person who thinks they do enough 'God-time' and still feeds their flesh. This is a lack of maturity. 

Starve the flesh, feed the inner man and grow in maturity.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Unappreciated and Under Valued

I consider myself to be a healthy person. I don't know how others perceive me, a health nut maybe? I mean I drink fermented tea, make my chocolate pudding out of avocados, and I get excited about hard workouts. But even after all this I cannot tell someone with confidence the best way to be healthy and stay fit.

I know what I do and have researched here and there but have not found an answer. I have found studies saying to do cardio for 30-40 minutes three to four times a week and then I have found studies saying that heart disease is high in those doing that much cardio. I thought that guy running 10 miles every morning, bike riding to work, and then swimming in the evenings was super healthy. I suppose I was wrong.

OK so weight training it is. There are good reports on this type of workout but then I find others that say weight training hurts your joints and minimal weights is best. But you can't workout for too long because then you do more harm than good. Someone please tell me how am I suppose to find the truth!? Which one is right?

Let me tell you my conclusion: we cannot know! We can make our best guess but we simply cannot know the truth to this question. The reason is simple. There is no authority good enough to tell us the absolute truth about the best way to stay healthy and fit. Sure there are studies and there are results to those studies but is there going to be another study in the future that disproves what we all thought was the best way for living? We will not know, unless we live to find out. It was frustrating thinking I had found the right way to workout and eat right only to have someone else show me evidence against my initial research.

So this got me thinking about how much I appreciate God's word. One thing that I do not have to guess on is the bible. It is absolute truth and there is no doubt if it is right, I do not have to worry if it is wrong, or someone in the future correcting what it says. God, who cannot lie, promised to preserve his word for all generations, and we have the privilege of having it in a book to read, study, and learn from. Doesn't that create a peace and joy inside you! We CAN KNOW TRUTH! Our faith is not shaken because it is in a book written by the creator of life and existence. No other authority can stand next to the God of the bible.

Out of all the things that we cannot know, we can be certain about God and his words. There is truth in them, there is power in them, comfort, and peace.

I feel for the Christian who yearns to hear from God and to have God speak to them when they are holding the very words that God spoke in their hands! Don't under value what you have. Believe the God of the bible, believe his words he had men write so he could preserve them.

He wrote it for us to know him. How are we to know him unless we read and learn from it. He isn't communicating any other way. I was told about a cartoon drawing of a man kneeling on the ground praying "God, I'm listening, please speak to me" and then you see a bible being thrown down from the sky thumping the man on the head.

God has already spoken and has already provided a means to communicate further with us since that time and that is with the bible. Appreciate the truth in the bible that you can trust and have steadfast faith in. It is the only important thing that we can know for sure in this life and in the next!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Dead Man's Prayer

The moment we believe the gospel we die. Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20 states that our old man is crucified with Christ, that we were baptized by the Spirit into his death. Galatians 5 says the we that are Christ's have crucified the flesh and its affections and lusts. We are conformable unto Christ's death. Several times throughout Paul's writings is this doctrine of our old man dying, our flesh being crucified.

Let me ask then, if we are crucified in Christ and we are to reckon ourselves dead, if our life is not our own, then why do we pray for things that we want for our life here and now? Why do we pray for physical needs if our flesh is dead. We know that we are in a corruptible body and it is going to do just that...corrupt. Why do we then pray for earthly blessings for our dead man's life? What good are physical blessings to a dead man? What use does a dead man have for carnal objects that only supply needs for the living? What cares of this world does a dead man have? The obvious answer is none.

The other side of death is life. Our flesh is dead in Christ but our Spirit is made alive. We live in the corruptible physical body but we have life in Christ by the Spirit. We can start living the resurrected life now! Isn't that a joy! I have to work on patience, so when I heard it put this way I got super excited! I don't have to wait to start living the resurrected life!! :)

A lot of us are rightfully looking forward to heaven but think only when we get to heaven is when we start our eternal life and can enjoy all the blessings and good stuff then. Don't you realize that we are crucified with Christ, nevertheless we live, yet not ourselves but Christ in us and the life that we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us. So though we have hope and wait for our resurrected bodies, our resurrected life started the moment we were saved and put into the Body of Christ.

We can joy in God's word which states that we have all spiritual blessings now: righteousness, justification, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation. We are made ambassadors for Christ! What an honor to be given such a position, and only in Christ can this be accomplished. We can joy in the tasks that we have been given that has a far more eternal weight and glory than any goal and accomplishment that our flesh can achieve.

Our life is hid in Christ, we are part of the Body of Christ. Our mind is set on things above thus our prayers ought to be as well. When our flesh died on the cross with Christ we were also given a new life by his Spirit which now lives in us. This inner man that Ephesians talks about is the one living. He prays for things that pertain to Christ's will. He prays for things that have to do with his life which is not carnal! Our inner man longs to see souls saved and saints edified thus thinks of how to accomplish this. A live man's prayer longs to share life with others and not his life but Christ's life and oh what that means to a world full of the walking dead.

We pray what we know; if you have found that you don't know what to pray for then learning God's word is the first step in correcting your mind away from your dead man's life and strengthening your inner man. In order to pray for God's will in your life you must first know what the bible teaches about what God is doing.

Here are some helpful lessons on prayer:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What if...

Have you prayed in Jesus' name like Matthew 14:13-14 says to do and this verse did not hold true "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it?" What if Jesus wasn't talking to you when he said that? 

Haven't you wondered why God isn't healing every manner of sickness and disease like he said he would in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35What if the gospel of the kingdom preached in Matthew chapter 4 and 9 and Mark 1 was never meant for you? 

Have you waited on the Lord to give you that break in life because you have given to others, given tithes, given for the sake of God's kingdom? Luke 18:29-30 says that those who give for the kingdom of God's sake will receive more in this present time and in the life to come. Based on Luke 6:38 if you "give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."  What if Jesus wasn't talking to you when he made that promise, but rather, his audience was with a different people, Israel, at a different time of God's plan to bless the earth?

What if you are not God's covenanted people, whom he never gave the law to, whom he never promised physical blessing to, whom he never promised a kingdom to; but rather you are part of Christ's body, the Church, who is freed from the law, who has all spiritual blessings intended to go to heavenly places? (Col 1; Rom 6; Gal 5; Eph 1-2)

What if Jesus revealed himself to Saul on the road to Damascus, believed that Jesus was the Christ, and was told to preach the gospel of grace (not the gospel of the circumcision given to Israel) (Gal 2). What if Jesus revealed the mystery of faith alone without works, without the law, without covenanted promises and signs and wonders. (Eph 3) 

Wouldn't your bible make sense now? You wanted to let all your bible be true but it was rather difficult dealing with verses that said you had to keep the commandments and sell all you have to have eternal life (Matt 19), when in Ephesians it states that it is not by our works that we are saved (Eph 2:8-9).

You wanted to let all your bible be true but it was rather difficult dealing with verses that said you would speak in tongues, and people would be healed after they believed (Luke16) . Yet in 1 Corinthians it says that God's grace is sufficient for our infirmities (2 Cor 12:9). 

If you allow God's word to be true as it stands, let the verses mean what they say; then you will always come to the same conclusion, God must have had different instructions for a different people at that time. Now you just need to find where your instructions for today are. I'll give you a hint, they are only found in the epistles written by Paul. (Romans-Philemon) Paul was given the dispensation of the grace of God which was kept secret (Rom 16:25; Eph 3). This is different when compared to the Kingdom and Law given by God to his prophets and Israel and was made known from creation (Acts 3:20).

For more resources on how to properly study your bible and to finally learn how to let God's entire word be true visit GraceAmbassadors.com

Here are bible studies about the special apostleship given by Jesus Christ to Paul.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bible Questions to Consider

Where are you in your understanding of God's word?
Make sure to get your bible out to look up these verses.
  1. Should we work and save like the ant in Proverbs 6:6 and 2 Thess 3:10 or do we trust God to provide as do the ravens and take no thought for our provision as in Luke 12:22-33? And should we sell all that we have trusting that the Lord knows our needs or do we need to work to provide for our own as 1 Timothy 5:8 teaches?
  2. Is our forgiveness based upon forgiving others as in Matthew 6:14-15 or do we obtain forgiveness by our faith in Christ blood as Colossians 1:14 and Ephesians 1:7 states?
  3. Are we under the law as Matthew 5:19 points out as well as Matt 19:17, Matt 23, or are we free from the law as Romans 6:14 reads? And if we are free from the law should we be following Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as our pattern of operation since Jesus came to fulfill the law in Matthew 5:17?
  4. Should we meditate and study the scriptures to convince the gainsayers as Titus 1:9 and 2 Timothy 2:15 say or should we give no thought on what to say and trust the Holy Spirit to give us utterance as is instructed in Luke 21:14-15?
  5. Will we reign in heaven like Ephesians 2:6 states or on earth like Luke 22:30 teaches?
  6. Do our works play a role in obtaining eternal life as Luke 10:25-29 and James 2:24 teach or do we obtain eternal life without our works like Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 4:5 teach?
  7. If in Luke 9 Jesus had not died yet, what gospel were the disciples preaching in verse 6? Especially since they did not understand Jesus' death and resurrection in Luke 18:33-34, what gospel were they preaching for 9 chapters if they did not understand the gospel of Jesus' death and resurrection for sins?

To give you a hint with these questions: only rightly dividing the scriptures will give you the correct answer to the confusion that is cause by the apostate church of today's Christianity (which should more appropriately be called Christendom.) 


Here is a link of just a few testimonials of once confused, frustrated, and sadly lost 'Christians' who came to understand God's word by understanding how to study and read it. God intended his word to be used by his people at all times. This by necessity means that we, as ambassadors of Christ are able to understand it properly in order to see others come to the knowledge of truth. I hope that you will consider the above questions with the motive of letting God be true (instead of your own agenda of what you feel and like best.)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

History and Authority

I have been on this history kick lately. A subject in which I thoroughly did not enjoy when I was in high school; probably because it was a list of 50 names that we had to match up with 50 dates and never saw the connection and affects of that list on today's world. However, since going through our verse by verse study in Genesis at church, history has become a favorite subject of mine now.

I am not interested in history for history's sake alone, but rather my interest in the bible has sparked my current interest in history. Correct doctrine affects every area of your life, and obviously even that before your life.

My current observation of the Church today is one of disgust because of the ignorance surrounding the very thing that they say they put their faith in: the bible- the very words of God. Even that statement is only half true because some Christians say that we do not have God's words today. Besides the lack of logical reasoning behind having faith in God yet saying we do not have his words, the Church has a problem of authority. That is obvious when studying history.

We are on a decline of bible literacy. Our so called bible students today who pride themselves in going to seminary would look like a bunch of foolish babes in their knowledge of God's word compared to just the commonly understood basics among bible students one to two hundred years ago. Of course when studying church history this would be evident and what is more evident is the problem: the problem of authority.

Our society lacks integrity and it is sickening to see it called "loving" because there are no confrontations. This was not how church has behaved in the past nor is it how today's Body of Christ is to get any work accomplished. To think that the disagreements in today's Christianity is only a recent thing is proof of one's lack of their understanding of history. There have been corruptors of God's word back in the first and second century, back in the days of the prophets, and back in the Garden. If people only knew what those before us stood for! They stood for truth. Defending God and his word is the only thing worth fighting for. A person defending God's word values and loves truth. Yet, the world looks at them as arrogant and unloving.

Authority issues go back to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden but let's just summarize it from a book that was suggested to me as I venture forth in my current interest in making known the importance of God's word throughout history. The book titled 'The Apostasy of the Christian Church' by R. Dawson Barlow.

"This then, is the root of the unbelief and rebellion of the Jewish nation and of the professed Body of Christ in this age. But just to make sure we are not deceived by the niceties of some people and human "sweetness," it is at this point we must be very clear about the nature of apostasy. Apostasy does not usually deny the existence of God. it does not behave itself unseemly and cry out that it hates God. In fact, apostates are pretty nice people whose life philosophy is to get along with everybody, offend no one and attempt to make the world a better place. Apostasy pursues to serve a "god of his/her own imagination" and serve "he, she, or even it" through a form of religion whose foundation of authority is the subjective feelings they have on a certain matter.

It matters not what the revelation of God says, the final, ultimate authority is "how I feel about any issue in my heart!" It rejects the objective authority of the Word of God as the final court of appeal, and, in the process of this rejection, embraces the deceitful, subjective message of human heart and misinterprets it as God's authoritative message. The buzz word of this growing number of people is, "Well, you have to do whatever is right for you." The conclusion is that nothing is really right or wrong, but what is right and wrong for me! This is nothing but a denial of any absolute truths."

Though studying history will provide you with much helpful information, the personal study of your bible, believing it as God's authoritative word, will provide a far greater benefit.