Overblog
Follow this blog Administration + Create my blog
November 29 2010 2 29 /11 /November /2010 19:17

BibleStudy

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.

 

Crime - even violent crime - is no longer limited to certain countries or big cities. In the resultant climate of fear, many people seek protection by purchasing weapons or learning martial arts. Some governments have enacted laws that give citizens the right to use deadly force to defend themselves. But what does the Bible say? Is a person ever justified in using force to defend himself or his family?

 

God Hates Violence

 

The Bible condemns violence and those who resort to it. The psalmist David said regarding Jehovah God: “the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Psalm 11:5). God pronounced judgment against several ancient nations, including his own people, because of their violence and bloodshed. (Joel 3:19; Micah 6:12; Nahum 3:1) Even unintentional manslaughter resulting from carelessness was a serious crime under the Law given to Israel (Deuteronomy 22:8).

 

The Bible exhorts individuals to avoid potential conflicts by pursuing peace every day. Violent struggles often begin with a heated exchange of words. The Bible observes: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases” (Proverbs 26:20). Calmness often defuses anger and deflects violent confrontation. The apostle Paul wrote: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

 

When You Are Threatened

 

Pursuing peace does not guarantee that you will never face violent attack. True worshippers of God throughout history have been victims of violent crime (Genesis 4:8; Job 1:14-15, 17). If a person is confronted by an armed robber, what should he do? Jesus instructed: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39). He also said: “And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6:29). Jesus did not condone use of physical weapons to defend material possessions. If confronted by an armed robber, a wise person will not resist giving up his valuables. Surely, life is far more precious than belongings!

 

On the other hand, what if a person’s life is threatened by an assailant? A law that God gave to ancient Israel sheds light on this. If a thief was caught in the daytime and was killed, the assailant would be charged with murder. This was evidently because thievery did not carry the death penalty and the thief could have been identified and brought to justice. However, if an intruder was fatally struck at night, the householder could be exonerated because it would be difficult for him to see what the intruder was doing and to ascertain the intentions of the intruder. The householder could reasonably conclude that his family was under threat of harm and take defensive action (Exodus 22:2-3).

 

The Bible thus indicates that a person may defend himself or his family if physically assaulted. He may ward off blows, restrain the attacker, or even strike a blow to stun or incapacitate him. The intention would be to neutralize the aggression or stop the attack. This being the case, if the aggressor was seriously harmed or killed in such a situation, his death would be accidental and not deliberate.

 

The Best Protection

 

Clearly, there are circumstances under which reasonable self-defense is justified. People have a right to protect themselves and their loved ones from aggression and deadly harm. When escape is not possible, there is no Biblical injunction against reasonably defending ourselves. Still, the course of wisdom would be to do our best to avoid situations with a potential for violence (Proverbs 16:32).

 

The Bible encourages us to “seek peace and pursue it” in all avenues of our life (1 Peter 3:11). This is a practical formula that really contributes to peaceful living.

Share this post
Repost0
November 11 2010 5 11 /11 /November /2010 11:07

BibleStudy

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.

 

Key Verse: 

He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:10).

 

Are you thinking about entering Military Service?  Or do you know someone who is?  For a decision in your life as important as this, we should seek God's counsel.

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).

 

God had commanded us not to kill our fellow man.

 

You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13).

 

In today's world, war seems inevitable, as more and more countries seek to flex their military muscle, which in most cases would be the expense of starvation of their people.  But if we all stop and think a bit, we would see that the result of warfare is taking the lives of other human beings.  The teaching's of Jesus shed light on this subject.

 

But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

 

He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:10).

 

In some countries, the citizens are bound by law to sign up for military service.  However, they have choices to serve in non-combat areas of the military, or even give voluntary service representing their country in another country.

While there is so much talk about right to life, there is the development of new and sophisticated weapons with the sole intent to kill or murder.  Children of God are forbidden to take another person's life Exodus 20:13.  Instead, we are to focus on the spiritual battle God asks us to fight.

 

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

 

Avenging oneself isn't what God wants of his children.

 

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21).

 

It is our understanding and belief therefore that we should not participate in the act of war where we might have to kill another individual.  We are to focus on the battle of saving lives for Jesus.  The Armour we are expected to put on for this battle is found in Ephesians 6:11-18.

 

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:11-18).

 

This Armour helps to save lives rather than take lives.  If the soldiers of his world would be preachers of Truth everywhere, there would not be such a thing as warfare. Think on these things and may God guide the making of the right choice. 

 

The Church of God - Publishing House - Salem, West Virginia

Share this post
Repost0
September 7 2010 3 07 /09 /September /2010 19:20

BibleStudy

 

Sauf précision, tous les passages tirés des Saintes Écritures sont extraits de la Version Ostervald révisée édition de 1996.

 

1. « Tu n’auras point d'autres dieux devant ma face » (Exode 20 : 3).

 

« car il est écrit: Tu adoreras le Seigneur ton Dieu, et tu le serviras lui seul » (Luc 4 : 8).

 

2. « Tu ne te feras point d'image taillée, ni aucune ressemblance des choses qui sont là-haut dans les cieux, ni ici-bas sur la terre, ni dans les eaux sous la terre » (Exode 20 : 4).

 

« Dieu est esprit, et il faut que ceux qui l’adorent, l’adorent en esprit et en vérité » (John 4 : 24).

 

3. « Tu ne prendras point le nom de l’Éternel ton Dieu en vain » (Exode 20 : 7).

 

« Mais moi je vous dis: Ne jurez point du tout, ni par le ciel, car c’est le trône de Dieu; Ni par la terre, car c’est le marchepied de ses pieds […] Mais que votre parole soit: Oui, oui, Non, non; ce qu’on dit de plus, vient du Malin » (Matthieu 5 : 34-35, 37).

 

4. « Souviens-toi du jour du repos pour le sanctifier » (Exode 20 : 8).

 

« Puis il leur dit: Le sabbat a été fait pour l’homme, non pas l’homme pour le sabbat. Ainsi le Fils de l’homme est maître même du sabbat » (Marc 2 : 27-28).

 

5. « Honore ton père et ta mère » (Exode 20 : 12).

 

« Car Dieu a donné ce commandement: Honore ton père et ta mère; et: Que celui qui maudira son père ou sa mère soit puni de mort » (Matthieu 15 : 4).

 

6. « Tu ne tueras point » (Exode 20 : 13).

 

« Mais moi je vous dis: Aimez vos ennemis, bénissez ceux qui vous maudissent; faites du bien à ceux qui vous haïssent, et priez pour ceux qui vous outragent et qui vous persécutent; Afin que vous soyez des enfants de votre Père qui est dans les cieux » (Matthieu 5 : 44-45).

 

7. « Tu ne commettras point adultère » (Exode 20 : 14).

 

« Mais moi je vous dis que quiconque regarde une femme pour la convoiter, a déjà commis un adultère avec elle dans son cœur » (Matthieu 5 : 28).

 

8. « Tu ne déroberas point » (Exode 20 :15).

 

« Car du dedans, c'est-à-dire, du cœur des hommes, sortent les mauvaises pensées […] les larcins […] Tous ces vices sortent du dedans et souillent l’homme » (Mark 7 : 21-23).

 

9. « Tu ne diras point de faux témoignage contre ton prochain » (Exode 20 : 16).
 

« L’homme de bien tire de bonnes choses du bon trésor de son cœur » (Luke 6 : 45).

 

« Car tu seras justifié par tes paroles, et par tes paroles tu seras condamné » (Matthieu 12 : 37).

 

10. « Tu ne convoiteras point » (Exode 20 : 17).

 

« Gardez-vous avec soin de l’avarice; car quoique les biens abondent à quelqu’un, il n’a pas la vie par ses biens » (Luc 12 : 15).

Share this post
Repost0
September 7 2010 3 07 /09 /September /2010 01:16

BibleStudy

 

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.

 

1. “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). 

 

“It is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Luke 4:8).

 

2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4).

 

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

 

3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

 

“But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool […]let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:34-35, 37).

 

4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

 

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).

 

5. “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).

 

“For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death’” (Matthew 15:4).

 

6. You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

 

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45).

 

7. “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

 

“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

 

8. “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

 

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts […] thefts […] All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21-23).

 

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

 

“For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

 

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

 

10. “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17).

 

“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).

Share this post
Repost0
August 14 2010 7 14 /08 /August /2010 20:18

BibleStudy

 

“I alone am left; and they seek to take my life”

 – 1 Kings 19:14.

 

     How often are God’s people under pressure to follow the crowd? How often do God’s people feel alone in the world who tries its utmost at getting everyone to change and sway at every different dogma, belief or scientific theory? (Proverbs 4:27) Many times, everyone at some time will feel the urge to do the age old saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Many will do exactly as the Romans do when they know that they would never be able to do the same things in their home countries or in their own family. Democracy is an idea where the “majority rules” seems to hear to the “best” interests of all citizens. Nonetheless, how can one ensure the protection of minority citizens who do not have the “crowds” of people to ensure that their rights are also heard? In the West, the rights of minority groups are thankfully heard to prevent vigilante justice. Christians interested in promoting the truth of the real gospel have much for which to be thankful. Although Christians in Western countries can peacefully worship, many turn to what secular society has to offer: unlimited pleasure, an answer to all covetness and the idea that humanity as a whole can do all things without God because humans are evolving in a more “noble” people. This utopian idea still creeps into the human consciousness even today. Aldous Huxley after writing the novel Brave New World in 1932 believed like most utopians of his day that mankind would evolve into more “noble creatures.” However, one does not need to say that Nazi Germany came shortly afterwards to prove to the world how brutal humans were and still are. Can man be trusted to not again utterly brutalize another people? The Bible says that man cannot be trusted and one should never put their full faith in man:

 

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?”

 – Isaiah 2:22(NIV).

 

“Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help”

 – Psalms 146:3.

 

Essentially, every professing Christian who truly believes in the word of God as a faithful guide to ones footstep in life will be faced with the daunting task: “I alone am left” and must stand against the thousand.

 

     To begin, the Bible’s words do not mean that one can never trust in man, but one’s trust must first and foremost be with God. Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” – Proverbs 3:5-6. If one places their first trust in God, one may not be as hurt or deceived by others who willing or unwilling do harm to oneself or others. One must be fully grounded in their faith in the one true God of the Bible in order to not be changed or tempted to change from one’s solid beliefs. If one’s faith and conviction does not come from the Bible, everyone will be submitted to a form of temptation (willing known or unwillingly known) that will cause any person to not follow entirely their once cherished beliefs. The deception allows one to slowly lie to themselves deceiving themselves and others. Nonetheless, the desire to satisfy the crowd is strong. One only needs to look at Mark 15:15 where Pilate released Barabbas a criminal to “satisfy the crowd.”  Isaiah describes how humans (particularly religious leaders) are more concerned with looking after themselves: “They (Israel’s Watchmen) are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain” – Isaiah 56:11. It seems as if all that is needed is one who would turn many away from “the faith that was once delivered to the saints” – Jude 3. Everyone must always be on guard for even in Paul’s day the “mystery of lawlessness” was already at work – 2 Thessalonians 2:7. One must not forget that rebellion must come first and that the “son of destruction is one who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” – 2 Thessalonians 2:6. Lucifer wants to be worshipped and he prefers anything that directs one’s attention away from Yahweh because only the true word of God can truly protect oneself from the trials of life.

 

     Nonetheless, how can one ignore how the lack of knowledge destroys? (Hosea 4:6) It can only lead to destruction and yet the bible wisely talks of how humans love to turn to their own ways (Isaiah 56:11). The bible describes well what has happened and will happen when humans ignore the words of the Bible. It is true that when humans have no guidance and choose rather to listen to leaders instead of what the words of  the Bible say,“everyone (does) did what was right in his own eyes”- Judges 17:6.  Is it good that everyone does as they “feel” to be right? Where are the limits? The truth is that there are no limits when man does what he feels to be right. The times of Judges was a terrible time and the Bible truly tells the truth as to how horrible people had become. Even today, as Paul had foretold: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” – 2 Timothy 4:3. How many churches and doctrines exist? Far too many, yet many prefer to hear a good word and not the truth and that is truly how many people prefer to remain: in ignorance. Man can never fully trust in himself to choose the right decision without God’s guidance in all things. It says: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” – Proverbs 16:25. Paul also says: “…we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” – 2 Corinthians 1:9.

 

    How tempting it is to follow along with the crowd! A careful reading of the bible will say that God does not want His believers to follow the crowd. It says: “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice” – Exodus 23:2. Many assume in the Christian community that if there are more people following one way, it must right. But, remember God is not saying that believers should follow the crowd. The wisdom of the crowd mentality is exactly as Exodus says: that following the crowd will in fact pervert justice. God is a just God and He does not like the injustices in the world. It is easy to see why so many prefer to follow the crowd rather than follow the few who stand for justice. One reason why so many follow the “pack” is the fact that there is a sentiment of “safety” in numbers. The pack mentality offers security that is not always so easy to obtain when one is alone. They can offer food, clothing and a place to live. And yet, it is easy to see the pack mentality within Nazi Germany and its treatment of the Jewish people; justice had obviously been perverted. Nonetheless, following the crowd is easy and everyone is guilty of following the majority to some degree. Believers must look to Jesus’ words for answers as to whether one should follow the crowd:

 

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”

 – Matthew 7:13.

 

 Jesus obviously says that the path that leads to life is a path that is very difficult. Jesus also says that many will take the broad path because it appears to be easy to follow. There are many examples of broad paths that lead to destruction. There may be people who belong to gangs who offer some form of easy escape from poverty and misery. The fact remains nonetheless that the average life expectancy of a male gang member is 19 to 20 years of age.[1] It is obvious that this path can lead one to destruction. And yet, can churches and leaders of the flock also lead its members down the path of destruction? There are many churches that profess to have the truth, but many churches prefer not mention the fact that they keep many unchristian symbols, holidays and doctrines that are not biblical founded. The fool that says in his heart: “There is no God” – Psalms 53:1 shows how “foolish” those who believe in the God of the Bible to be when believers continue to keep unbiblical rites. It makes a mockery of God. There are even some churches that say that the Bible is only a big book of stories and no one needs to worry about anything.[2] God in the book of Ezekiel denounces false prophets (or teachers and leaders) who choose to say “Peace, peace” when there is in fact no peace:

 

Thus says Yahweh GOD: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts… They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh!’ But Yahweh has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘Yahweh says,’ but I have not spoken.” Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,” says the Lord GOD. “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies…they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD. “Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace…

 - Ezekiel 13:3-10 (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11)

 

One may say that gang membership and pagan idolatry in a church is nothing comparable. It is true that if someone chooses to worship a “statue” as “God” they are hurting no one other than themselves. Nonetheless, the worship of statues will hurt the children of idolaters because the children will be faced with the fact that their parents worship idols but that the words of God say to not worship idols. In fact, destruction is not always immediate and one could say that of Adam and Eve who when eating of the Tree of Knowledge did not in fact “die” right away, but many years later. Anyhow, Jesus said the path to life is a narrow path and few find it. Jesus also said:

 

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 - Matthew 7:21-23.

 

The fact then remains that not everyone will enter the Kingdom of Heaven just because they happen to use the name of Jesus to do many things but have only added to the amount of lawlessness practiced in the world. The world is not something that believers should follow: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” – 1 John 2:15-17. Essentially, the world is the majority who will try to seduce many believers into denying God through entire or partial denial of God’s commandments and truths. It is a mighty act to stand against the thousand, but “the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” – Daniel 11:32. (ESV)

 

     There are many examples for believers to find encouragement in the Bible of those who chose to love their God will all of their hearts by clinging to His word. The prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 18 makes an extraordinary stand where he was in fact the only true prophet of Yahweh. Many were not following the one true God of Israel: imagine the pressure Elijah must have been feeling when he realized that he was alone standing against many who despised Yahweh’s truth. Elijah faced 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (not including the people of Israel) (1 Kings 18:19). Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to call upon their gods to burn up a bull sacrifice. Vainly, the prophets of Baal called upon their gods for an entire day pleading upon Baal to create a fire to burn up the bull. When Baal still did not answer, the false prophets started cutting themselves with knives in order for the blood to gush out from themselves and still, nothing happened. Elijah prepared the bull properly and asked for four pots of water to be poured on the bull and the firewood not just once but three times. Elijah prayed to Yahweh and immediately a fire ignited and consumed the burnt bull sacrifice. When the people saw this, they were obviously afraid and fell to the ground proclaiming: “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!” – 1 Kings 18:39. Although Elijah made a courageous stand against the prophets of Baal, he proceeded later on in 1 Kings 19 to run and hide because he was afraid that someone would try to kill him. One would think that after such an evident example of God’s power portrayed that Elijah would be thoroughly convinced. Nonetheless, God comforted Elijah when Elijah heard God’s still small voice at the cave:

 

“And behold, Yahweh passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before Yahweh, but Yahweh was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but Yahweh was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but Yahweh was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice”

 – 1 Kings 19:11-12.

 

All believers can be encouraged knowing that even great men like Elijah feared for their lives but still took a courageous stand to not follow after other gods like everyone else.

 

     Another example of a man who stood up against the peer pressure to be like everyone else is Daniel. Daniel and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were called into the service of Nebuchadnezzar. These men refused to eat of the king’s delicacies:

 

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself”

   – Daniel 1:8 (KJV).

 

These men chose not to eat the king’s food for various reasons that are not told. One can assume more than likely that the food was forbidden food based on Leviticus 11. It was also probably an “orgy-like” party which could possibly lead one to defiling oneself immorally and possibly saying something against Yahweh. The chief of the eunuchs did not want to do what Daniel and his friends were suggesting, nonetheless, the chief accepted. Daniel and his friends ate only vegetables and water for ten days to show that they were in fact appeared better and fatter than any of the other young men who ate of the king’s delicacies (Daniel 1:15). The fact of the matter is, that there were many young men called into the king’s service and many of these young men must have been also from Judah. Only four men chose not to eat of the king’s food. What an incredible stand! The peer pressure must have been strong and yet, Daniel and his friends chose to follow Yahweh and to not back down on Yahweh’s commandments.

 

     There are many other examples of God’s people standing up against many. There is Esther, a quiet woman, who stood up for her people when they were about to be exterminated (Esther 4:14). There is Nehemiah who stood up for the keeping of the Sabbath when everyone else defiled the Sabbath Day (Nehemiah 13:17). There is also, most importantly, Jesus who stood up against the religious authorities condemning them for their hypocrisy and transgressing the commandments because of their tradition (Matthew 15:3). One can never say that Jesus did not face temptation or say that Jesus did not have anxieties. Jesus did in fact face temptation (Hebrews 4:15) and Jesus prayed so hard that his sweat became like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Jesus was a man who did indeed have anxieties and he gave us such a wonderful example of someone who went to God to be strengthened and comforted. It is very difficult in this world to be tempted to do as others do. Good examples are getting involved in pagan holidays and passing them off as Christian like Christmas and Easter. Each time anyone gets involved in these holidays, one denies God and the value of His wisdom. Anyone who wishes to keep all ten of God’s Commandments and not only nine will face resistance at some level from friends and family who may not have yet realized the whole truth of God’s Word. Those closest to us will try to pull even the most stubborn person away from God’s Word unless one is strong and truly understands what God has done for them. It is very easy to fall into the traditions of our fathers that lead away from God rather than towards God.

     As the salt and light of the world, we will face difficult times especially when it requires us to stand against the thousands who do not care to keep God’s commandments. How many times have we felt like we were alone? We have probably felt alone more than we would care for, but we have hope knowing that God is always there for us even in the valley of the shadow of death:

 

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go”

 – Joshua 1:9.

 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,

Nor shall the flame scorch you”

 – Isaiah 43:2.

 

There are many leaders wishing to teach us the truth, but our ultimate example is Christ. Paul said: “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me” – 1 Corinthians 4:15-16. Even during Paul’s day, Paul was constantly fighting those who would wish to led astray many. It was not easy for Paul either. We have to remember that we will be persecuted in some way, as Jesus said:

 

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”

 – John 15:18-21

 

Therefore, it should not come as a surprise when we face peer pressure to change our morals to suit the crowd. If we believe that Jesus is our King and Messiah, we will be persecuted either mentally, physically or psychologically to follow the crowd. The pull of the crowd is strong but Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. The path Jesus laid for us toward the Father is the only way that will truly give us peace. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” – John 14: 27-28. The fact is that we will never have true peace from the world and all that the world has to offer. The world will fail us somewhere and to whom can we turn other than God. Through Jesus, Yahweh has made his light shine to the world to be as a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 49). If we place our trust in the world, we will have problems. If we place our trust in Yahweh and his Son Jesus, we will truly have peace: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”- John 16:33. Even though our enemies may be all around us, God is near to us and will give us the strength to proclaim Yahweh to the ends of the earth (Psalms 91:7).

 

“I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
           Who have set themselves against me all around” – Psalms 3:6.

 

All quotes are taken from the NKJV bible unless otherwise stated.

 

 

Bibliography: Sources of inspiration

 

Aust, Jerold. “Rise Above Peer Pressure.”

          http://www.vcmagazine.org/article.aspx?volume=6&issue=7&article=peerpressure.

     2004.

 

Kjos, Berit. “How to Resist the Pull of the Crowd.”

     http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/crowds-2.htm.  March 2005.

 

Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. New York: Anchor

     Books, 1981.

 

Gang Violence in America. “Classroom Guide.”

     http://www.aetv.com/class/admin/study_guide/archives/aetv_guide.0075.html. 2007.

 

The Fight Against Gangs in America. “Educational Guide.”

     http://www.hopefs.org/Behavior/thefightagainstgangs.html. 2010.

 

United Church of Canada. “Overall Beliefs.”

     http://www.united-church.ca/beliefs/overview. March 2006.

 

Yahweh. The Holy Bible. Creation: “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like

     yesterday when it is past.” Psalms 90:4.  

Share this post
Repost0
July 11 2010 1 11 /07 /July /2010 15:23

 

BibleStudy

 

‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,’ I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. – Hosea 4:6

 

‘Be still, and know that I am God;
         I will be exalted among the nations,
         I will be exalted in the earth!’
– Psalm 46:10

 

‘The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,
      And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.’ –
Proverbs 9:10-11

 

     Today, it is easy to acquire knowledge at our fingertips in an instant. One can resolve many factual discrepancies in a matter of minutes through a quick Google search and of course through libraries, which have not yet become mundane. Even though anyone can easily get quick facts, many are destroyed through the very lack of knowledge of the one true God. Especially God’s people who lack the knowledge of who God is and what God wishes from us. Sadly, many of God’s people prefer to continue believing lies from their past ancestors that have been passed down through the generations. The bible tells the people of God to be very wary of trusting the traditions of our ancestors because: ’Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things.’ – Jeremiah 16:19 One has to ask oneself, Where does all of these traditions come from? Are they from the Bible? Or are many of our traditions come from our ancestor’s pagan past? Does God like it when one mixes pagan worship with the worship of the one true God, Yahweh? The truth about man’s traditions when mixed with the word of Yahweh is that it makes God look like He is incompetent, not real and definitely not trustworthy. Jesus said: ‘Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.  Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:


     ‘ These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
      And honor Me with their lips,
      But their heart is far from Me.
      And in vain they worship Me,
     Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
– Matthew 15:6-9

 

Believers in Jesus as the Son of Yahweh are called to shine like stars to a desperate world that is in need of the truth. Who are the people of God if they do not stand firm to the truth? If followers of Messiah do not stand firm to the truth of Yahweh, Jesus’ God and Father, then Christians are not good witnesses for Yahweh. The world is against God’s word and the world is definitely quick to point out the contradictions that the followers of Messiah do that the bible does not say to do. Followers of Jesus and Yahweh show themselves to be hypocrites, just as Jesus said in Matthew 15.

 

Is learning about the one true Creator a lack of knowledge and wisdom? It says: ‘The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding’ – Proverbs 9:10-11. All wisdom comes from Yahweh and it would be in ones best interest to understand and know this Awesome God. Yahweh created the heavens and the earth with wisdom. He created us in His infinite wisdom as bearers of His image. Nonetheless, when God says we shall not null, add nor subtract from His Word, God means what He says. God’s word when carried out in its entirety gives life to the believer, life to others and even to creation itself.

 

     Lack of knowledge of the one true God and what His Word actually says destroys the very people of God it was meant to protect. When traditions of men are added to the words of Yahweh, many people, Christians and non-christians alike, raise their level of mistrust for the truth of God’s existence and even His word itself. In the academic world, there cannot be contradictions in one’s thesis in order to gain the respect and trust of other scholars. Even though academic scholars cannot be compared to God, the truth is of utmost importance especially when we deal with Yahweh the Creator of the universe. To not follow what the word says truthfully brings distrust to Yahweh. Faith is nonetheless a hope that is not seen (Romans 8:24) and all believers must give up some form of human logic that our human mind cannot comprehend. The truth is found in the Bible because there is absolutely no known theory that can give anyone a lasting form of peace. Theories about our existence will always change, ‘but the word of our God stands forever" – Isaiah 40:8 and ‘For I am Yahweh, I do not change’ – Malachi 3:6. The people of God can find comfort knowing Yahweh will always be there.

 

    More and more people whom claim faith in Jesus become upset when they hear that many traditional practices are found in other ancient pagan religions. Some act on their love for the God of the Bible and others decide to ignore the facts. Anyhow, those who are not Christian will be very quick to point out the very similarities found between ancient pagan religions and the Bible. Certain festivals such as Christmas and Easter are extremely pagan in origin and have absolutely no place in the Bible. Other practices such as the speaking in tongues have its origins in very ancient pagan religions: Hinduism and Voodoo speak in tongues where the language is far from a language but a babbling nonsense. Paul preached for the ability to understand the language being said in 1 Corinthians 14: 9-11 and Isaiah 28: 8-9 talks of the need for God’s people to understand His words. Speaking in babbling nonsense is contradictory to God’s Word and it very much Satanic because those who follow this nonsense must go into a trace like state and let got of all self-control to a spirit. The Bible also gives us a warning:’ do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world’ – 1 John 4:1. Anyhow, any sincere believer in Yahweh and Jesus must ask themselves these very important questions: can the Bible be reliable if so much of church practice is pagan in origin? Is the Bible real? Is God real? Those who are ignorant of the truth will either lose all faith in the God of the Bible or they will decide to ignore the facts and continue to be poor witnesses to the truth of Yahweh and the testimony of Jesus Christ. In either case, the people are destroyed for lack of knowledge of the one and only Most High God.

 

    The Bible says that Yahweh does not accept the mixing of pagan religion with the God of Israel. Believers are called to not add nor subtract from His Word: ‘Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it’ -Deuteronomy 12:32. Throughout Israel’s History, the Israelites have proven that God will destroy those who mix paganism with the worship of Yahweh. Since God does not change, why would God now accept paganism in His Church? It says:


      ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
      Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
      For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
       For the customs of the peoples are futile;
      For one cuts a tree from the forest,
      The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
      They decorate it with silver and gold;
      They fasten it with nails and hammers
      So that it will not topple.’
Jeremiah 10:2-4

 

    This passage can quite easily fit the modern day Christmas tree. God says to not learn of the way of the Gentiles or pagans. Those who believe in God’s word must take heed to these words for God is a jealous God: ‘for you shall worship no other god, for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God’ – Exodus 34:14. When the word of God is followed in it’s entirety, Yahweh can give a lasting peace to all believers, however, the facts are evident. It does not take much to look at how Christmas can destroy families financially and sheds light on the fact that many families divorce during or immediately after the Christmas season. There are even suicides connected to the financial burden that Christmas toils out on believers. When true believers focus their trust in Yahweh and the work of His Son, believers can take the following passage to heart: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’- Matthew 11:28-30. God does not want us to be burdened down by the world and the pagan philosophies that go with it. Truly lack of knowledge, destroys the people of God: ‘Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet’ – Proverbs 19:2.

 

    Another phenomenon that is sweeping many Christians and non-christians away is the desire to place tattoos on the body. When the summer sun comes one can immediately see the lusts of the flesh that war against the soul (Galatians 5:17). Tattoos no matter how one looks at it are contrary to God’s Word. God delights in mankind for it says: ‘And my delight was with the sons of men’ – Proverbs 8:31. It also says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made: ‘I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well’ – Psalms 139:14. What wonderful words! However, many Christians refuse to take heed to God’s commandment to not make idols to oneself (Exodus 20:4-7) and tattoos are a form of self-gratification and worship of oneself. God’s word says not to make marks in the flesh: ‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am Yahweh’ – Leviticus 19:28. Even though it is apparently clear that believers in the God of Israel are not to make tattoos, many do so anyway. Many wish to desecrate their wonderfully made bodies with man-made flesh marks. A God who has ‘inscribed’ all humans on the palms of His hands as cherished created beings, does not wish that believers place marks on their bodies. (Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands... – Isaiah 49:16.)

 

    When tattoos are placed on the flesh, even the most intentionally sincere person wishes to show off to others who they are through symbols. The desire to be tattooed turns into an addiction because how can an image truly show who one is as a person. Many who receive one tattoo wish to have another tattoo because the original image was not exactly what they wanted. People change and their eyes are never satisfied as it says in proverbs 27:20. The true desires of the heart must always be on guard because the true desire of oneself comes from the heart (Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:20-23). As believers in Messiah Jesus and Jesus’ God Yahweh, believers are called to a higher standard. As Paul states: ‘do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body’ – 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20. (1 Corinthians 3:16). Everyone’s body is not their own and when one is reborn, the Holy Spirit of God indwells fully. Tattoos are the worship of self and all humility is thrown out the window. Believers are called to be Holy: as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy’ – 1 Peter 1: 14-16. Truly, lack of knowledge destroys and it destroys a believers capacity to stand firm for Yahweh’s truth and one’s capacity to truthfully witness for Yahweh and His Son Jesus.

 

    The church for centuries has claimed that the dietary laws had been abolished based on misunderstandings of certain New Testament scriptures that will not be discussed at this time. The fact is that God has never abolished the dietary laws; they are still in effect today for all who call upon Yahweh and follow His Son Jesus. Noah kept the dietary laws in the ark when he took seven of every clean male and female animal and two of each of the unclean animals (Genesis 7:2). After the flood, Noah made sacrifices to Yahweh of clean animals and not of unclean animals (Genesis 8:20). The significance of Noah is the fact that he followed the law of the clean and unclean animals (Leviticus 11) before the giving of the official Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and Covenant (Ceremonial Requirements of the law) with the Hebrews on Mount Sinai with Moses. Noah followed the laws prior to Moses, which is very significant because Noah was not necessarily a Hebrew who had covenant status as one of the chosen people of God. One could say that Noah was a Gentile. Now, when one considers the reasons behind why God would say some animals are clean and others are not clean is understandable for the most part. Most animals that God considers to be unclean are animals that clean up the garbage. These animals are extremely important for cleaning up God’s creation, but they also as a result, carry the most diseases and pollution. God loves His people and He cares that everyone lives long healthy and fulfilled lives because God knows that those who truly worship Him will not be able to give God praise when they are dead. ‘For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?’ Psalm 6:5. God’s people must stand fast to the truth of God’s Word and stop making excuses. Jesus did not come to create a whole new religion, for Jesus said that he did not come to abolish anything: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 5:17-19. Believers must hold fast to what is good and test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Believers must be separated from the world:


      Come out from among them
      And be separate, says the Lord.
      Do not touch what is unclean,
      And I will receive you. – 2 Corinthians 6:17


    Jesus Christ is our firm foundation on solid rock (1 Corinthians 3:11). If our foundation is not on God’s word, the ravenous wolves of the world will slaughter the Jesus’ lambs (Matthew 10:16).

 

    Lack of knowledge in the One true God Yahweh lead to the destruction of Israel as they were taken into captivity in Babylon. The Israelites continued to worship idols and mixed Yahweh with paganism. As a result, the Israelites went into captivity in Babylon: ‘Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge’ - Isaiah 5:13. Yahweh does not want believers to be ignorant and He wants His believers to learn and comprehend what past ancestors believed as well. ‘For inquire, please, of the former age, And consider the things discovered by their fathers; For we were born yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow’ – Job 8:8-9.


    This does not mean that one can add or subtract to Yahweh’s commands, but Yahweh desires that all believers become knowledgeable of Him and His truth because ‘lack of knowledge destroys.’ Yahweh wants believers to understand the past in order to understand fully that there is only one true God and one lord. If one is knowledgeable of the past, one can fully serve Yahweh as it says: ‘It is Yahweh your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear’ – Deuteronomy 6:13.

 

     Yahweh is said to be invisible and that no man has ever seen Him. (John 1:18; 5:37; 1 John 4:12; John 14:9; Colossians 1:15; Exodus 33:20). Is it possible through our propensity to sin to be able to understand and know this God who is ultimately in control?


      ‘It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
      And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
      Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
      And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
       He brings the princes to nothing;
      He makes the judges of the earth useless.’
– Isaiah 40:22-23


    God has nonetheless made Himself known and He will be made known throughout all the earth. We are so small compared to Yahweh because we are as grass, but the word of our God stands forever! – Isaiah 40:6-8. Yahweh calls the generations to Him because He is truly the ‘existing one’ the I AM.

 

      Who has performed and done it,
      Calling the generations from the beginning?
      ‘ I, Yahweh, am the first;
      And with the last I am He.’”
– Isaiah 41:4

 

    When we all die, God continues because He is the existing One that can never die. He calls us out of the shadows and into the light. God has made Himself known to us believers by various means: ‘At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages’ – Hebrews 1:1-2.

 

He made known His ways to Moses,
         His acts to the children of Israel
–  Psalm 103:7.

 

The secret things belong to Yahweh our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law

– Deuteronomy 29:29.

 

    Through the sacrifice of God’s Son, all us lowly grasshoppers can draw near to God through Jesus’ mediation on our behalf for our sins. We have been reconciled now to God in order to have life (2 Corinthians 5:18). Christ is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). Through Christ, we all can learn and understand more fully than ever before what was truly God’s plan from the beginning of time. Christ is not God but Christ made God known to us who are in our sins. ‘For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved’ – John 3:17. Jesus ‘is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” – John 6:29.

 

    Our sins had truly separated us from God:


 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;

And your sins have hidden His face from you,

So that He will not hear – Isaiah 59:2.


    Mankind desperately needed God’s true light to be shone which was accomplished through Jesus. Jesus magnified God’s true light and showed us how to worship God in Spirit and in Truth and as a result we are called to follow Christ’s example and walk in Christ’s footsteps (1 Peter 2:21). Christ’s example allows believers to not become further separated from God. As we follow Christ’s example, we learn more about Yahweh and His desires for us. The more we learn and grow in the knowledge of the truth, the more we realize how a lack of knowledge of Yahweh’s truth destroys. Through the strengthening of God’s holy spirit, we are called to expose the darkness (Ephesians 5:11). We can now walk as children of the light (Ephesians 5:8) and adopted through Jesus to be ‘sons’ of God (Ephesians 1:5). As we kneel for the Father, the God of Jesus, let us remember to stand fast to the truth and test all things (2 Thessalonians 5:21) so that we will not be destroyed for lack of knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent (John 17:3).

We must:


      Remember the former things of old,
      For I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is none like Me, -  
Isaiah 46:9

 

     May Yahweh bless you through Messiah Jesus in all your endeavors to know Yahweh and the lord Jesus Christ. May we:


     Talk no more so very proudly;
      Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
      For Yahweh is the God of knowledge;

      And by Him actions are weighed. – 1 Samuel 2:3
      

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

 

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. - Hebrews 10:27-28

 

 

18 Pride goes before destruction,
      And a haughty spirit before a fall. -
Proverbs 16:18

 

5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to Yahweh;
      Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
-
Proverbs 16:5

 

 

3 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
      Pride and arrogance and the evil way
      And the perverse mouth I hate.
- Proverbs 8:13

 

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
         For from it flow the springs of life.
- Proverbs 4:23

 

Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
      And he sins who hastens with his feet.
- Proverbs 19:2

 

My son, if you receive my words,
      And treasure my commands within you,
       2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
      And apply your heart to understanding;
       3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
      And lift up your voice for understanding,
       4 If you seek her as silver,
      And search for her as for hidden treasures;
       5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
      And find the knowledge of God.
- Proverbs 2:1-5

 

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. - Hebrew 11:6

 

22 “ For My people are foolish,
      They have not known Me.

      They are silly children,
      And they have no understanding.
      They are wise to do evil,
      But to do good they have no knowledge.”
- Jeremiah 4:22

 

Seek the LORD while He may be found,
      Call upon Him while He is near.
- Isaiah 55:6

 

He made known His ways to Moses,
         His acts to the children of Israel.
- Psalm 103:7

 

29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. - Deuteronomy 29:29

 

Share this post
Repost0
June 24 2010 5 24 /06 /June /2010 17:48

BibleStudy

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.


Have you ever had an important appointment to fill, one that meant very much to you in years to come? How did it affect your other business affairs of lesser importance? Do you remember how you planned to let no other affairs interfere with your being there at the proper place and time? For days you planned and worked, with that appointment the center of all your aspirations. Perhaps it was the opportunity of a life time. To have missed it would have meant immense loss and disappointment.

 

Did you ever stop to think that Yahveh has some appointments that you must meet? There are two that you cannot escape, and there is one that He invites you to make with Him. If you meet that appointment you need not fear the others, for you will meet them in peace.

 

The Two Appointments

 

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Here they are: death and judgment. You must face them both.

 

Let us consider these appointments. Are you prepared to meet them? Would you be ready to answer before God should death call today?

 

A Time of Judgment

 

“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

 

Yahveh, our God “. . . has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31)

 

Today is the day of mercy, but

“. . . we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

 

“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)

 

“...The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4)

 

“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

 

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

 

“...death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)

 

The only way to get the pardon of our sins and a right to the resurrection to eternal life is through repentance, faith in Christ, and baptism (Acts 2:39).

 

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

 

You may hide your sins from man but God has them on record, and some day not far hence when Jesus comes, your life will be as an open book held out before you. Will it mean life or death?

 

A Choice to Be Made

 

You now have the power of choice. God has set before you “. . . life and good, death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15).

 

He is “...not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

 

Jesus died for your sins (Hebrews 2:9). Only through Him can we receive forgiveness and purification (Ephesians 1:7).

 

“Nor is there salvation in any other . . .” (Acts 4:12)

 

You now have the opportunity to get your past record erased and made white as snow (Isaiah 1:16-19).

 

There is no way of escaping the judgment, so why deceive yourself and lose your own soul?

God says, “Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet.” (Isaiah 28:17)

 

“If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:18)

 

“…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

 

You Have Sinned

 

Why deceive yourself into thinking that you need not repent, and that you do not need a Saviour? Yahveh our God says that all have sinned. That includes you. To deny it is to make God a liar and Christ’s death in vain. Beware!

 

“…by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)

 

“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12)

 

Better look into that law (James 1:25; Exodus 20:1-17). God will judge us by His law!

 

Get Right with God - Now!

 

Why not get right with God today? He says, “Therefore turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32) Will you do it? The decision for your eternity is in your own hands. Jesus died that you might have eternal life. Will you accept it NOW?

Share this post
Repost0
June 24 2010 5 24 /06 /June /2010 17:36

BibleStudy

 

Sauf précision, tous les passages tirés des Saintes Écritures sont extraits de la Version Segond 1910.  

 

Avez-vous déjà eu un important rendez-vous à ne pas manquer, l’un de ces rendez-vous incontournables qui fut décisifs pour votre avenir? Comment cela a-t-il affecté les autres aspects moins importants de votre vie? Vous rappelez-vous comment vous avez planifiez de ne rien laisser interférer avec votre désir d’être présent en temps et heure à ce rendez-vous? Pendant des jours, vous vous êtes organisé et avez travaillé en ayant à l’optique et en pensée ce rendez-vous qui cristallisait toutes vos aspirations. Peut-être s’agissait-il d’une opportunité unique dans votre vie. Manquer ce rendez-vous aurait été une cause de désappointement et un échec tragique.

 

N’avez-vous jamais imaginé que Yahvé souhaiterait que vous ne manquiez pas certains rendez-vous importants dans votre existence? Il y en a deux auxquels vous ne pouvez pas échapper, et il y en a un qu’il souhaiterait que vous ayez avec Lui. Si vous êtes capables de vous rendre à ce dernier rendez-vous, vous n’aurez pas à craindre les deux autres, car lorsqu’ils adviendront vous aurez le cœur en paix.

 

Les Deux Rendez-vous

 

« Et comme il est réservé aux hommes de mourir une seul fois, après quoi vient le jugement. » (Hébreux 9:27)

 

Voici donc de quoi il s’agit: la mort et le jugement. Vous serez confronté à ces deux rendez-vous.

 

Êtes-vous prêt à y faire face? Seriez-vous prêt à répondre à Dieu de vos vies si vous deviez mourir maintenant?

 

À l’Heure du Jugement

 

« Non, je vous le dis. Mais si vous ne vous repentez, vous périrez tous également.» (Luc 13:3)

 

Yahvé notre Dieu « … a fixé un jour où il jugera le monde selon la justice, par l'homme qu'il a désigné, ce dont il a donné à tous une preuve certaine en le ressuscitant des morts. » (Actes 17:31)

 

Aujourd’hui, notre Dieu est un Dieu miséricordieux, mais

 

« …il nous faut tous comparaître devant le tribunal de Christ, afin que chacun reçoive selon le bien ou le mal qu'il aura fait, étant dans son corps. » (2 Corinthiens 5:10)

 

« Car le salaire du péché, c'est la mort… » (Romains 6:23)

 

« … l'âme qui pèche, c'est celle qui mourra. » (Ézéchiel 18:4)

 

« Car quiconque observe toute la loi, mais pèche contre un seul commandement, devient coupable de tous. » (Jacques 2:10)

 

« Car tous ont péché et sont privés de la gloire de Dieu. » (Romains 3:23)

 

La seule façon dont vous pouvez obtenir le pardon pour vos péchés et bénéficier de la résurrection à la vie éternelle, c’est en vous repentant, en manifestant votre foi en Christ et en acceptant le baptême (Actes 2:39).

 

« Écoutons la fin du discours: Crains Dieu et observe ses commandements. C'est là ce que doit faire tout homme. Car Dieu amènera toute œuvre en jugement, au sujet de tout ce qui est caché, soit bien, soit mal. » (Ecclésiaste 12:15-16)

 

Vous pouvez peut-être cacher vos péchés aux yeux des hommes, mais Dieu les connaît, et un jour prochain, au retour de Christ, votre vie vous apparaîtra comme un livre ouvert devant vos yeux. Cela signifiera-t-il pour vous la vie ou la mort?

 

Un Décision Doit Être Prise 

 

Vous avez maintenant la possibilité de choisir. Dieu a mis devant vous « … la vie et le bien, la mort et le mal. » (Deutéronome 30:15).

 

Dieu est patient, « …il use de patience envers vous, ne voulant pas qu'aucun périsse, mais voulant que tous arrivent à la repentance. » (2 Pierre 3:9)

 

Jésus est mort pour nos péchés (Hébreux 2:9). Ce n’est que par Son sacrifice rédempteur que nous pouvons recevoir le pardon et être purifier de nos péchés (Éphésiens 1:7).

 

« Il n'y a de salut en aucun autre… » (Actes 4:12)

 

Vous avez dès à présent la possibilité d’être purifié de vos péchés passés (Ésaïe 1:16-19).

 

Il n’y a nul moyen pour vous d’échapper au jugement à venir, pourquoi donc vous mentir à vous-même et perdre toute chance d’être sauvé et de connaître la vie éternelle.

 

Dieu a dit, « Je ferai de la droiture une règle, Et de la justice un niveau. » (Ésaïe 28:17). 

 

« Et si le juste se sauve avec peine, que deviendront l'impie et le pécheur? » (1 Pierre 4:18)

 

« … Ce qu'un homme aura semé, il le moissonnera aussi. » (Galates 6:7)

 

Vous Avez Péché

 

Pourquoi nier l’évidence et ne pas reconnaître que vous devez vous repentir? Vous avez besoin d’un Sauveur. Yahvé notre Dieu a déclaré que tous avaient péché. Vous êtes pécheurs. Contester cela revient à dire que Dieu est un menteur et que Christ est mort en vain. Prenez soin de ne pas adopter une telle attitude!

 

« … c'est par la loi que vient la connaissance du péché. » (Romains 3:20)

 

« Parlez et agissez comme devant être jugés par une loi de liberté. » (Jacques 2:12)

 

Prêtez bien attention à cette loi (Jacques 1:25; Exode 20:1-17). Dieu nous jugera en accord avec cette loi!

 

Mettez-vous au Clair avec Dieu dès à Présent

 

Pourquoi ne vous mettriez vous pas au clair avec Dieu dès maintenant? Dieu a dit: « Convertissez-vous donc, et vivez » (Ézéchiel 18:32). Pourquoi donc ne pas le faire? Vous pouvez choisir la vie éternelle, ce choix est le votre aujourd’hui même. Jésus est mort afin que nous ayons la vie éternelle. Allez-vous l’accepter MAINTENANT?

Share this post
Repost0
May 26 2010 4 26 /05 /May /2010 23:35

BibleStudy

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (or a reborn one); old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


The new birth comprises the entire change necessary to fit us for the kingdom of God, and is twofold: Firstly, a moral or spiritual change of heart wrought by repentance, confession, conversion (or forsaking of sins), faith, water baptism, and the reception of the Holy Spirit; Secondly, a physical change at the second coming of Christ, whereby if dead we are raised to incorruption, and if living, are changed to immortality.


We are not so much concerned about the physical change to take place at the second coming of Christ as we are of the moral, for the change of heart must be experienced in this present life, and God will take care of the rest in due time.


“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).


If this wicked heart is not changed, there is no hope for eternal life.


“Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31).


The Natural Birth


To illustrate a point, or to teach a spiritual lesson, Jesus often used incidents from practical life, and so did He in His endeavor to teach what He meant by a regeneration of our lives.


“That which is born of the flesh is flesh (or carnal), and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (or spiritual)” (John 3:6).

In the natural before a child is born into this world, it is first conceived or begotten, and it grows in its embryonic stage until it is born, and after birth it continues to grow to perfection or manhood. In the spiritual, the same process takes place. One is first begotten or conceived of God’s Spirit after he is born of the water.


“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15).


“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18).


Being begotten or conceived by the Word and Spirit of God, and submitting in obedience to same, will bring about the first phase of the new birth.


“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again (of water), not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23).


When a child is born in this world (of corruptible seed), it is a babe and is expected to grow. And so, when one is born of water and begotten of the Spirit, he is not full grown or a perfect man either, but he is expected to grow in grace and knowledge. 2 Peter 3:18.

If a child that is born into this world and fed on milk thrives, it is expected to be able to partake of stronger meats from time to time. And so are we expected to grow until we can get away from a mild diet to stronger meats, spiritually speaking. If a child remains dwarfed there is reason for its parents to feel that something is wrong What will our heavenly parent think of us if we must have milk all the time and never grow to the place were we can partake of meat? See 1 Peter 2:1-3.


“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).


Begotten Sons and Daughters


“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:14-17).


“Therefore“ Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “ I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).


Steps to the Begettal of the Spirit


Repentance


When Jesus was about thirty years of age, He began His ministry, and His opening message was:


“and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”” (Mark 1:15).


If one will study New Testament history; he will find that Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostles of Christ preached repentance as of paramount importance.


Many modern preachers never say “repent,” for that is deeper than they went. A prerequisite to repentance, however, is acknowledgment As long as one does not acknowledge that he is a sinner, you cannot expect that he will repent. That is the trouble with so many so called morally good people. “Why shall we repent? Are we not all right? Who can say that we are so bad?” are some of their questions. But no one can claim that he has never sinned.


“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)


“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).


By repentance is meant a sorrow and regret for sins committed in the past, and this leads to a change from past evils. Genuine repentance means more than joining a church by one’s confession of faith. Many people are deceived into thinking that repentance is merely a change from the false doctrine to the true. This is only a turning from darkness to light, but not from the power of Satan to God. See Acts 26:18. One can accept all the doctrines, prophecies, and truths of the Bible, and still be under the power of Satan as long as his heart is still unregenerated. Head religion alone is insufficient to save anyone. The heart must be changed, and the head in most cases will come along all right. True worship consists of worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth. Read John 4:23.


It often so happens that when a preacher comes to a new place to hold protracted meetings, that some of those who attend will become convinced that what he preaches is truth. They can easily see that their own beliefs were wrong. And when this certain evangelist has preached all the doctrines that he feels are necessary for his new prospects to accept, he finally makes a call of membership or baptism. Many of his listeners have been persuaded that what he preached is truth, and so what shall they do but join his church. All that he asked of them was to accept the new doctrine, in many cases, and so they have been converted from one doctrine to another only, but what about a change of heart? Who is to blame if these people have deceived themselves into thinking that they can get by with a mere head knowledge and still finally be lost because they had no personal experience, of forgiveness of former sins? Is not this one to blame whomever told them the real foundations of a Christian life? To have a personal experience with the Lord, to know when one’s sins are forgiven, and to feel the power of God come into one’s life, is more than accepting new doctrines or asking the hand of a preacher. It means that he will humble himself, get on his knees, and “pray earnestly” according to the following:


““Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.” (Joel 2:12-13).


Godly sorrow produces repentance. See 2 Corinthians 7:9-10. There are two kinds of sorrow, a godly and a worldly. The former leads to life, and the latter to death. To illustrate: A man steals a car and gets by with it for a long time, but is finally nabbed by a policeman. This man may be very sorry that he was caught. He may not be sorry in the least because of his sin, but just because he was caught. Such sorrow is of no use. On the other hand, if this same man were never caught by a policeman, yet finally became very sorry for the sin he had committed, and is led to repentance, he will restore the car to its rightful owner, confess his guilt, and pay of the damages. Such sorrow which leads to repentance brings forth life.


“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).


It is sad to see how lightly conversions are regarded today. This present generation, in professing Christianity, has departed a long, long way from the pure gospel of early days, which was the power of God unto salvation. One can see very few genuine repentances and conversions nowadays. Very few are humble and penitent enough to get down upon their knees and confess their past sins to their Creator who would be willing to forgive.


God at one time said that His Spirit would not always strive with men. Because man has grieved and rejected the pleadings of the Holy Spirit so much, is evidently the reason why so few really have spiritual experiences with God. The Holy Spirit at one time also worked mightily in the life of the Psalmist David, and not until he confessed his guilt did he have peace. Listen to his testimony:


“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah” (Psalm 32:1-5).


After a person acknowledges that he is a sinner, and sees the lost condition he is in, he will confess his sins if he is in earnest about wishing to be saved. Not only is it necessary to confess sins to God who is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse from all unrighteousness; but confession and restitution must also be made to man where wrongs have been committed. Our Master said:


“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).


That many people need to make restoration in order to be saved may further be seen from the following:


“Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die” (Ezekiel 33:14-15).


You will remember the story of Zacchaeus, chief among the publicans, how he climbed the sycamore tree in his endeavour to see Jesus, and then was asked to come down, for Jesus wished to abide in his house that day. At his home, this Zacchaeus made a confession and promised to make restitution for anything he might have taken falsely. And upon this promise Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19: 1-9).


Some people try to hide their sins, rather than to confess them, but such will never get by.


“He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).


The only right way to get our sins covered or hidden is by the blood of the Lamb, and that through confession.

 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).


Those who try to cover their sins any other way will not be able to do it well enough to get by all together. Fig leaves were not sufficient originally to cover sin (Genesis 3:6-7). It took the blood of a lamb to atone for sin. Read Genesis 3:21. Unconverted sins will leak out sooner or later anyway.


“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).


“For the bed is too short to stretch out on, And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it” (Isaiah 28:20).


There is altogether too much hypocrisy manifested in so-called Christians. Just think of it! Some will boast of how they were able to put something over on someone else. Others tell how they are going to get even with those that have mistreated them, and so on. Many deceive themselves. Don’t people know that they will have to appear before the judgment bar of God some day?


“For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).


Conversion (Forsaking of sins)


“and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).


“Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7).


“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).


“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:5-10).


True reformation in one’s life is brought about by the power of God, and not by our own willpower alone. Many people make resolutions to do better than they have been doing, but so many fail. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to change one’s life (to transform one), and without that power, one cannot stand. Oh, that the many people who profess Christianity would really have had a spiritual change in their lives instead of trying to be morally good in their own strength alone, how must better for them and the church also!


Faith


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).


“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).


“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).


“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).


“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).


It is by faith that we are saved. Unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire. Read Revelation 21:8. We are not saved just because we do penance, sacrifice, or do works, yet the good works will follow one’s faith. The way one proves that he has faith is by his works. See James 2:14-26.


“You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).


There are extremists in most everything. Some apparently think they will be justified by works alone and others by faith alone. There are those who say they will be saved just because they keep the Ten Commandments, or do works; another again will refer one to such as Acts 16:3 1. “...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved...,” and say that is all that is necessary-nothing to do, no repentance, nothing to make right, just believe. If that were true then devils also are in a saved condition.


“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20).


Water Baptism


“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38).


That it is necessary to be baptized in water in order to be saved, we have previously gleaned from Mark 16; 16. It is one of the works that follows faith and repentance. Baptism is not the first step on the Christian ladder. According to the Scriptural injunction, a number of steps precede it, namely, repentance, confession, conversion, and faith. The old man of sin has to die to sin before he is buried. We do not bury people to kill them, but we bury them after they have died. Nor should anyone be baptized with the idea that this step will change him. Let the old man of sin die first, and then bury him. Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God. 1 Peter 3:21. How can anyone claim that he has a good conscience as long as the old man of sin is still alive, as long as he has not repented of, nor confessed his sins?


When John the Baptist was immersing people in the river Jordan, and they were confessing their sins, there came also many of the Pharisees and Sadducees to him. If John had been like many preachers of today, he would have baptized them all very gladly so as to send a good report to the church headquarters to make others think of him as a good worker. But, no, he was not so much interested in quantity as he was in quality He wanted to be sure that his candidates for baptism had a heart experience with God before he laid his hands on them. They were to show by their fruits, first, that they had repented of sin. Read Matthew 3:5-8.


We are baptized of the water to be washed from OUR SINS. Sin is the disobedience of God’s Ten Commandments. 1 John 3:3-4 says:


“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, (receives baptism) just as He (Jesus) is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”


Baptism is the operation of God. Read Colossians 2:12. It gives the Holy Spirit a chance to grow in the person washed free from sin. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that we must remain free from sin by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Of ourselves we can not keep the Ten Commandments of God. Only through the help of Christ (begotten in us) can we keep from sinning.


“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4).


Paul’s first reaction is to recoil from the idea of continuing to break the Perfect Law of Liberty. Let us put it this way in language of today what Paul meant. “Do you suggest that we should go on breaking God’s Law in order for the Holy Spirit to operate? God forbid! We should never pursue such a vile idea.” And yet, this is what some men are doing today. Baptism is the dividing line in a man’s life. He is entering a life that is to be led by the Spirit because it is begotten in him. To be led by the Spirit is to divest himself completely of the things of the world. When a man descends into the water and is covered, it is like being buried in the grave. That man of sin has died. When the man is lifted out of the water, he is a new creature in Christ. He is begotten by the Spirit, and there is “Christ in him the hope of glory.” This is the operation of God.


The Begettal of the Spirit


“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:1-6). See also Romans 6:1-6 and Acts 8:14-17.


““When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”” (Matthew 12:43-45).


One may be cleansed from his evil ways and become a virgin, and yet be lost. This we learn from the parable of the ten virgins. Read Matthew 25:1-13. They were all virgins (pure ones), and had their lamps (the Word of God), but had no oil (the Holy Spirit) Even if they were virgins, yet they were not saved because they lacked the Holy Spirit in their lives.


“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) is the command of God.


“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Roman 8:9).


The Spirit of God dwells not in the head (the seat of knowledge) only, of its possessor, but in the heart (the seat of emotion). The heart must be circumcised (Roman 2:28-29), and the mind must become renewed. Read Romans 12:2. A true worshipper will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Read John 4:23. He will have a “know-so” religion, as well as heartfelt (blessings in the inward man) Christianity.


“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).


“that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:16-17).


The Spirit of God is necessary in one’s life for sanctification (2 Thessalonians 2:13), to reprove of sin (John 16:8), for power (Acts 1:8), for guidance into all truth (John 16:13), and to be sealed (Ephesians 4:30). And when one has fully surrendered his life as a living sacrifice upon the altar of God, when he has repented, confessed, and make restitution where necessary, has a knowledge of forgiveness of former sins, and has forsaken his former ways, when he has been baptized and has received the Holy Spirit, if he is a follower of the Lord Jesus, it can be truthfully said of such that he is a new creature. Read!! Corinthians 5:17.


“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (at baptism) and the Spirit (at the resurrection), he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).


The Third Birth – Born of the Spirit


There are two phases of redemption for us. We have been redeemed, in this life, through the blood of Christ (Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12), and there will also be a redemption for our physical bodies (Ephesians 4:30), having reference to the resurrection or redemption from the grave.


“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).


The raising of the dead is also termed a birth. Christ was the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18). Others had been raised to life, but none to immortality before him. And when the righteous will be born from the graves at the second coming of Christ they also will put on immortality (1 Corinthians, 15:50-55), and be like him. See 1 John 3:2.


Here the apostle speaks of being begotten to a lively hope, and this begetting is by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead which is prefigured in water baptism.


“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).


When we go into the watery grave, we manifest faith in the resurrection at the last day and are begotten to that hope or begotten of the incorruptible seed.


“having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “ All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.”” (1 Peter 1:23-25).


Jesus is the engrafted word that was able to save our souls. He did His work of the common salvation by His death and suffering on the cross, but now has been born of the incorruptible seed He is alive and abides forever. Now, it is the Spirit of God that performs this work of making us incorruptible beings.


“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).


“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:10-14).


“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Verses 24-25).


This shows that after we have been begotten to the lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, which is eternal salvation from death and all the causes that brought it on the people of the earth. The resurrection of Christ is spoken of as a birth. If our resurrection is going to be by the same power, and we are going to be like him, then our resurrection will be a birth to incorruption. If we are born of incorruptible seed, we will be incorruptible begins never to die any more.


“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “ O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”” (1 Corinthians 1.5:51-55).


Then there will be no more temptation, no more sin, nor no more sorrow, but we will live in God’s eternal Kingdom in reality with no more death, or pain, or sorrow, or sighing where in His presence there will he pleasures forevermore.

 

The Church of God - Publishing House - Salem, West Virginia

Share this post
Repost0
May 24 2010 2 24 /05 /May /2010 19:43

BibleStudy

 

Sauf précision, tous les passages tirés des Saintes Écritures sont extraits de la Version Ostervald révisée édition de 1996.

 

« Si quelqu’un est en Christ, il est une nouvelle créature [ou né de nouveau] ; les choses vieilles sont passées ; voici, toutes choses sont devenues nouvelles » (2 Corinthiens 5:17).

 

La nouvelle naissance comprend tous les changements nécessaires pour nous permettre de trouver notre place dans le Royaume de Dieu. Elle s’accomplit en deux étapes : Premièrement, un changement de cœur moral et spirituel qui s’effectue au travers de la repentance, de la confession, de la conversion (ou renoncement aux péchés), de la foi, du baptême par immersion, et du don du Saint Esprit; deuxièmement, un changement physique à la seconde venue de Christ, où nous serons alors, si nous sommes morts, ressuscités  à la vie éternelle et si nous sommes toujours en vie rendus immortels.

 

Nous ne sommes pas tant concernés par le changement physique qui adviendra à la seconde venue de Christ que nous le sommes par le changement de cœur que nous devons expérimenter dans cette vie présente. Dieu prendra soin du reste en temps voulu. « Le cœur est trompeur par-dessus tout, et désespérément malin ; qui le connaîtra? » (Jérémie 17:9). Si un cœur tortueux ne change pas, il n’y a aucune chance qu’il puisse accéder à la vie éternelle.

 

« Rejetez loin de vous toutes les transgressions dont vous vous êtes rendus coupables, et faites-vous un cœur nouveau et un esprit nouveau; car pourquoi mourriez-vous, ô maison d’Israël? » (Ézéchiel 18:31)

 

La naissance biologique

 

Afin d’illustrer un point ou bien afin de communiquer un enseignement spirituel, Jésus utilisa souvent des exemples tirés de la vie courante. Il procéda de la même manière lorsqu’il s’efforça d’enseigner ce que cela signifiait que d’avoir sa vie régénérée. « Ce qui est né de la chair est chair [ou charnel], et ce qui est né de l’esprit est esprit [ou spirituel] » (Jean 3:6).

 

Avant qu’un enfant ne naisse dans ce monde, il est d’abord conçu ou engendré et se développe du stade embryonnaire jusqu’à la naissance. Après sa naissance, l’enfant grandit et devient mature. La même chose est vraie spirituellement. Une personne sera toute d’abord conçue ou engendrée de l’Esprit de Dieu après le baptême par immersion.

 

« Car, vous auriez dix mille maîtres en Christ, que vous n’auriez pas plusieurs pères; car c’est moi qui vous ai engendrés en Jésus-Christ, par l’Évangile » (1 Corinthiens 4:15).

 

« Il nous a engendrés selon sa volonté, par la parole de la vérité, afin que nous fussions comme les prémices de ses créatures » (Jacques 1:18).

 

Être engendré ou être conçu de la Parole ou de l’Esprit de Dieu, se soumettre et Lui obéir, cela constitue la première phase de la nouvelle naissance. « Ayant purifié vos âmes, en obéissant à la vérité, par l’Esprit, pour avoir un amour fraternel et sans hypocrisie, aimez-vous avec constance les uns les autres d’un cœur pur, Étant régénérés, non par une semence corruptible, mais par une semence incorruptible, par la parole de Dieu, qui vit et qui demeure éternellement » (1 Pierre 1:22-23).

 

Lorsqu’un enfant naît dans ce monde (d’une semence corruptible), il est un enfant et l’on attend de lui qu’il grandisse. De la même façon, lorsqu’une personne naît à l’issue du baptême par immersion et est engendré de l’Esprit, elle ne devient pas totalement mature immédiatement. Il est attendu d’elle, qu’elle grandisse en grâce et en connaissance (2 Pierre 3:18).

 

Si un enfant né physiquement dans ce monde grandit du lait qui le nourrit, il est cependant espéré qu’un jour il puisse se nourrir d’aliments plus consistants. Nous devrions également être spirituellement capables de changer de régime afin de nous nourrir de mets spirituels plus consistants. Si un enfant souffre de rachitisme, ses parents auraient bien raison de s’en inquiéter. Que penserait de nous notre Père spirituel, si nous nous nourrissions uniquement de lait spirituel et que nous ne grandissions jamais assez pour accéder à une nourriture solide? Voir 1 Pierre 2:1-3.

 

« En effet, tandis que vous devriez être maîtres depuis longtemps, vous avez encore besoin d’apprendre les premiers éléments des oracles de Dieu; et vous en êtes venus à avoir besoin de lait, et non de nourriture solide. Or, celui qui se nourrit de lait, ne comprend pas la parole de la justice; car il est un petit enfant. Mais la nourriture solide est pour les hommes faits, pour ceux qui, par l’habitude, ont le jugement exercé à discerner le bien et le mal » (Hébreux 5:12-14).

 

Fils et filles engendrées

 

« Car tous ceux qui sont conduits par l’Esprit de Dieu, sont enfants de Dieu. Car vous n’avez point reçu un esprit de servitude, pour être encore dans la crainte; mais vous avez reçu un Esprit d’adoption, par lequel nous crions: Abba, Père. Car l’Esprit lui-même rend témoignage à notre esprit, que nous sommes enfants de Dieu. Et si nous sommes enfants, nous sommes aussi héritiers; héritiers de Dieu, et cohéritiers de Christ; si toutefois nous souffrons avec lui, afin que nous soyons aussi glorifiés avec lui  » (Romains 8:14-17)

 

« C’est pourquoi, sortez du milieu d’eux, et vous séparez, dit le Seigneur, et ne touchez point à ce qui est impur, et je vous recevrai; Et je serai votre Père, et vous serez mes fils et mes filles, dit le Seigneur tout-puissant » (2 Corinthiens 6:17-18)

 

Les étapes de l’engendrement par l’Esprit

 

La repentance

 

Lorsque Jésus eut atteint la trentaine, il commença son ministère. Le message introduisant et définissant son ministère fut le suivant : « Le temps est accompli, et le royaume de Dieu approche. Repentez-vous et croyez à l’Évangile » (Marc 1:15). Si l’on étudie le Nouveau Testament, on découvrira que Jésus, Jean le Baptiste, et les apôtres de Christ considéraient le message de repentance comme étant d’une importance capitale.

 

De nombreux prédicateurs contemporains ne parlent jamais de repentance; ils ne vont jamais assez loin dans leurs discours dans l’étude et l’analyse qu’il offre de la Parole de Dieu. Il est cependant avant tout nécessaire de se savoir coupable pour vouloir se repentir. Aussi longtemps qu’une personne ne reconnaîtra pas sa propre nature pécheresse, il est très peu probable qu’elle ressente le désir de se repentir. Et c’est en fait bien le problème que rencontre les personnes qui se considèrent moralement acceptables. Vous entendrez sûrement certaines personnes s’exclamer : « Pourquoi devrais-je me repentir? Ne suis-je pas une bonne personne? Qu’ai-je donc fait de si répréhensible? ». Aucune d’elle n’affirmera cependant n’avoir jamais péché.

 

« C’est pourquoi, comme par un seul homme le péché est entré dans le monde, et par le péché la mort; de même la mort s’est étendue sur tous les hommes, parce que tous ont péché » (Romains 5:12).

 

« Si nous disons que nous n’avons point de péché, nous nous séduisons nous-mêmes, et la vérité n’est point en nous » (1 Jean 1:8).

 

Par le terme repentance, on entend un regret et un chagrin profond causés par la pensée de péchés commis dans le passé. C’est ainsi que s’amorce en nous la volonté de se défaire de l’ancienne nature mauvaise de laquelle nous sommes prisonniers. Une repentance sincère signifie bien plus que de rejoindre une église par le biais d’une simple déclaration de foi. De nombreuses personnes se dupent elles-mêmes, croyant que la repentance consiste simplement à s’éloigner d’une fausse doctrine pour en accepter une autre doctrine qui serait la vérité. Ces personnes se détournent des ténèbres pour se tourner vers la lumière, mais ne se défont pas nécessairement de l’emprise de Satan sur leurs vies en se tournant réellement vers Dieu. Voir Actes 26:18. On peut accepter toute les doctrines, les prophéties et vérités de la Bible, et être pourtant toujours soumis à la puissance de Satan, et ceci aussi longtemps que notre cœur n’est pas régénéré. La raison seule n’est pas suffisante au salut d’un individu. Le cœur doit être également changé, et, dans la plupart des cas, la connaissance viendra suite à ce changement. La véritable adoration consiste à adorer Dieu le Père en esprit et en vérité. Lire Jean 4:23.

 

Il arrive fréquemment, lorsqu’un évangéliste se rend d’un endroit à un autre pour y tenir des réunions publiques prolongées, que certaines personnes qui assistent à ces réunions deviennent convaincues que cet évangéliste prêche la vérité. Elles réalisent alors facilement combien leurs anciennes croyances étaient erronées. Après avoir terminé de présenter les doctrines qu’il pense nécessaire pour ses nouvelles recrues, l’évangéliste appelle l’assistance à rejoindre son mouvement religieux ou bien à accepter le baptême. De nombreux membres de l’audience peuvent alors être persuadés qu’il s’agit de la vérité. Peut être ne désirent-ils alors rien d’autre que de rejoindre l’église de cet évangéliste. Tout ce que l’évangéliste leur demanda fut, dans de nombreux cas, d’accepter une nouvelle doctrine. Les nouveaux membres se sont ainsi simplement convertis d’une doctrine à une autre. Qu’en est-il cependant de la régénération du cœur? Qui faut-il blâmer si ces personnes se dupent elles-mêmes, pensant qu’elles peuvent simplement se tirer d’affaire par l’acquisition de nouveaux savoirs, alors qu’elles sont en fait toujours perdus puisqu’elles n’ont pas expérimenté le pardon pour leurs péchés? Le prêcheur qui leur enseigna les fondements de la vie chrétienne serait-il celui à qui l’on devrait imputer la faute? Avoir une relation personnelle avec notre Seigneur, savoir lorsque nos péchés nous sont pardonnés et sentir la puissance de Dieu dans nos vies, cela signifie bien plus que d’accepter un nouvel ensemble de doctrine ou que de suivre un quelconque évangéliste. Cela signifie plutôt que nous nous humilions nous-mêmes, nous mettant à genoux et priant sincèrement et avec ardeur telle qu’en parle le passage suivant des Écritures :

 

« Et maintenant encore, dit l’Éternel, convertissez-vous à moi de tout votre cœur, avec jeûne, avec larmes et avec lamentations. Déchirez vos cœurs, et non vos vêtements; et revenez à l’Éternel votre Dieu; car il est miséricordieux et compatissant, lent à la colère et abondant en grâce, et il se repent d’avoir affligé » (Joël 2:12-13).

 

Des regrets sincères sont un premier pas vers la repentance. Lire 2 Corinthiens 7:9-10. Il y a deux genres de regret ou tristesse : la tristesse du monde et la tristesse selon Dieu. La première produit la mort, alors que la seconde mène à la vie. Prenons l’exemple suivant : Un homme vole un véhicule, il parvient à s’enfuir avec ce véhicule et se déplace librement avec lui pendant un certain laps de temps. Finalement, il se fait appréhender par la police. Cet homme peut amèrement regretter de s’être fait arrêter. Il se peut très bien alors qu’il ne regrette pas le péché commis, mais bien plutôt de s’être fait appréhendé. Un tel regret n’est d’aucune valeur devant Dieu. D’un autre côté, si le même homme n’a jamais été arrêté par la police, mais en est venu à réellement regretté le péché qu’il a commis, à tel point que, se repentant, il restitue le véhicule à son propriétaire, admet sa culpabilité et paye pour les dommages occasionnés, alors il s’agit d’un autre genre de regret. Un tel regret accompagné de repentir mène à la vie.

 

« Repentez-vous donc et vous convertissez, afin que vos péchés soient effacés » (Actes 3:19

 

Il est navrant de constater avec quelle légèreté la conversion se pratique de nos jours. La génération actuelle de ceux qui professent être chrétiens est bien loin de la bonne nouvelle qui fut originellement partagée par les apôtres, bonne nouvelle qui représentait et représente toujours la puissance de Dieu, pour le salut de tous ceux qui croient (Romains 1:16). Il y a peu d’authentiques repentances et d’authentiques conversions de nos jours. Rare sont ceux qui sont humbles et suffisamment pénitents pour se mettre à genoux et confesser les péchés qu’ils ont commis par le passé devant le Créateur afin que celui-ci veuille bien leur pardonner.

 

Dieu déclare dans sa Parole, la Bible, qu’il ne s’efforcera pas toujours de convaincre par son Esprit Saint les hommes de leurs péchés. Puisque les hommes ont si souvent rejeté l’appel de l’Esprit Saint, il n’est pas étonnant que pour cette raison il y ait si peu de personnes qui aient de réelles expériences spirituelles avec Dieu. Le Saint Esprit a également travaillé puissamment à une époque dans la vie du psalmiste David, et il ne connut pas la paix intérieure tant qu’il n’eut pas admis sa culpabilité.

 

« Maskil (cantique) de David. Heureux celui dont la transgression est pardonnée, et dont le péché est couvert! Heureux l’homme à qui l’Éternel n’impute pas l’iniquité, et dans l’esprit duquel il n’y a point de fraude! Quand je me suis tu, mes os se sont consumés, et je gémissais tout le jour. Car, jour et nuit, ta main s’appesantissait sur moi; ma vigueur se changeait en une sécheresse d’été. Sélah (pause). Je t’ai fait connaître mon péché, et je ne t’ai point caché mon iniquité. J’ai dit: Je confesserai mes transgressions à l’Éternel; et tu as ôté la peine de mon péché. (Sélah.) » (Psaume 32:1-5)

 

Après qu’une personne ait reconnu sa nature pécheresse et ait admis combien elle est perdue aux yeux de Dieu, il faudra alors qu’elle confesse ses péchés si elle désire réellement être sauvée. Non seulement il est nécessaire de confesser ses péchés à Dieu qui est fidèle, qui saura pardonner justement et nous purifier de toutes impuretés, mais la confession et la restitution est également importante à l’égard des autres individus que l’on a blessés et offensés. Comme le dit Jésus : « Si donc tu apportes ton offrande à l’autel, et que là tu te souviennes que ton frère a quelque chose contre toi, Laisse là ton offrande devant l’autel, et va-t’en premièrement te réconcilier avec ton frère; et après cela viens, et présente ton offrande » (Matthieu 5:23-24

 

La nécessité d’accomplir cette restitution pour nos péchés passés afin de pouvoir être pardonné par Dieu est mise en évidence dans le passage suivant : « Lorsque je dis au méchant: "Tu mourras certainement! " si, se détournant de son péché, il fait ce qui est droit et juste, Si le méchant rend le gage, s’il restitue ce qu’il a ravi, s’il marche dans les préceptes qui donnent la vie, sans commettre ‘'iniquité, certainement il vivra et ne mourra point » (Ézéchiel 33:14-15). 

 

Vous connaissez peut-être l’histoire de Zachée, chefs des publicains, qui grimpa dans un sycomore pour voir passer Jésus. Lorsque Jésus le vit, il lui demanda de descendre de l’arbre. Jésus souhaitait demeurer pour un temps dans sa maison. Alors que Jésus se trouvait chez Zachée, ce dernier se confessa et promis de restituer tout ce qu’il avait pu voler. Parce que Zachée avait fait cette promesse, Jésus déclara : « Le salut est entré aujourd’hui dans cette maison » (Luc 19:1-9).

 

Certaines personnes essaient de cacher leurs péchés plutôt qu’elles ne s’efforcent de les confesser. Ce n’est cependant pas de cette façon que Dieu espère que l’on agisse. « Celui qui cache ses transgressions, ne prospérera point; mais celui qui les confesse et qui les abandonne, obtiendra miséricorde » (Proverbes 28:13). Le sang du Christ est le seul moyen par lequel nos péchés peuvent être couverts. Ceci passe par la confession des péchés. « Si nous confessons nos péchés, il est fidèle et juste pour nous les pardonner, et pour nous purifier de toute iniquité » (1 Jean 1:9).

 

Ceux qui essaieraient de cacher ou de couvrir leurs péchés d’une quelconque autre manière, ne parviendront jamais à être pleinement justifiés et pardonnés pour leurs fautes. Les feuilles de figuier ne suffirent pas à masquer le péché d’Adam et Ève (Genèse 3:6-7). Le sang de l’Agneau sans taches est nécessaire pour racheter nos péchés. Lire Genèse 3:21. Nous récolterons plus tard les conséquences pour les péchés desquels nous ne nous sommes pas convertis.

 

« Mais si vous n’agissez pas ainsi, voici, vous aurez péché contre l’Éternel, et sachez que votre péché vous trouvera » (Nombres 32:23).

 

« Car le lit sera trop court pour s’y étendre, et la couverture trop étroite, quand on voudra s’envelopper » (Ésaïe 28:20).

 

Il y a tellement d’hypocrisie parmi les soi-disant chrétiens. Pensez-y donc! Certains se vantent d’en avoir remontré à quelqu’un. D’autres vous diront comment ils comptent se venger de ceux qui les ont maltraités, etc. Nombreux sont ceux qui se dupent eux-mêmes. Les gens ne savent-ils donc pas qu’ils auront à paraître devant Dieu au jour du jugement dernier?

 

« Car Dieu fera venir toute œuvre en jugement, avec tout ce qui est caché, soit bien, soit mal » (Ecclésiaste 12:16).

 

La conversion - le pardon des péchés

 

« Et dit: Je vous le dis en vérité, si vous ne vous convertissez, et si vous ne devenez comme des enfants, vous n’entrerez point dans le royaume des cieux » (Matthieu 18:3)  

 

« Que le méchant abandonne sa voie, et l’homme injuste ses pensées; et qu’il retourne à l’Éternel, qui aura pitié de lui, et à notre Dieu, car il pardonne abondamment » (Ésaïe 55:7)

 

« Je vous exhorte donc, frères, par les compassions de Dieu, à offrir vos corps en sacrifice vivant, saint, agréable à Dieu, c’est votre culte raisonnable. Et ne vous conformez point au présent siècle, mais soyez transformés par le renouvellement de votre esprit, afin que vous éprouviez que la volonté de Dieu est bonne, agréable et parfaite » (Romains 12:1-2)

 

« Faites donc mourir ce qui dans vos membres tient à la terre, la fornication, l’impureté, les passions, les mauvais désirs, et l’avarice, qui est une idolâtrie; Car c’est pour ces choses que la colère de Dieu vient sur les enfants de rébellion; Dans lesquelles vous aussi vous avez marché autrefois, lorsque vous viviez en elles. Mais maintenant vous aussi renoncez à toutes: à la colère, à l’animosité, à la méchanceté, à la médisance, aux paroles déshonnêtes; qu’il n’en sorte pas de votre bouche. Ne mentez point les uns aux autres; ayant dépouillé le vieil homme avec ses œuvres, Et ayant revêtu le nouvel homme, qui est renouvelé, dans la connaissance, à l’image de celui qui l’a créé » (Colossiens 3:5-10)

 

Une véritable transformation dans la vie d’un être humain est le fait de la puissance de Dieu, non pas le fait uniquement de notre propre volonté. De nombreuses personnes prennent de bonnes résolutions, mais un bon nombre d’entre elles échouent. Pour  qu’un changement soit effectif dans la vie d’une personne, cela nécessite la puissance de l’Esprit Saint de Dieu. Sans cet Esprit Saint, nul ne peut résister. Si seulement tout ceux qui professent être des chrétiens étaient parvenus à un réel changement spirituel dans leurs vies au lieu de s’efforcer d’être moralement bon par leurs propres moyens, combien cela serait mieux pour eux-mêmes et pour l’Église dans son ensemble!  

 

La foi

 

« Or, la foi est une ferme attente des choses qu’on espère, une démonstration de celles qu’on ne voit point » (Hébreux 11:1).

 

« Or, il est impossible de lui être agréable sans la foi, car il faut que celui qui s’approche de Dieu, croie que Dieu est, et qu’il est le rémunérateur de ceux qui le cherchent » (Hébreux 11:6).

 

« Etant donc justifiés par la foi, nous avons la paix avec Dieu, par notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ » (Romains 5:1).

 

« Car vous êtes sauvés par la grâce, par le moyen de la foi; et cela ne vient pas de vous, c’est le don de Dieu » (Éphésiens 2:8).

 

« Celui qui croira et sera baptisé, sera sauvé; mais celui qui ne croira point sera condamné » (Marc 16:16).

 

Nous sommes sauvés par la foi. Les incroyants seront jetés dans le lac de feu. Lire Apocalypse 21:8. Nous ne sommes pas sauvés simplement parce que nous faisons pénitence, offrons des sacrifices ou parce que nous accomplissons de bonnes œuvres. Il va cependant de soi que les bonnes œuvres accompagnent la foi. La façon dont une personne témoigne de sa foi, c’est par ses œuvres. Voir Jacques 2:14-26. « Vous les reconnaîtrez à leurs fruits » (Matthieu 7:16). En toutes choses, il y a des personnes extrêmes. Certains croient qu’ils seront justifiés seulement par leurs œuvres, d’autres pensent que c’est par la foi seule qu’ils obtiendront la justification. Il y a ceux qui vous diront qu’ils sont sauvés parce qu’ils suivent les Dix Commandements ou accomplissent de bonnes œuvres; d’autres feront référence à Actes 16:31 « […] Crois au Seigneur Jésus-Christ, et tu seras sauvé [] ». Ceux-ci pensent que c’est tout ce qui est nécessaire – qu’il n’y a rien que l’on ne doive faire, nulle repentance, nulle réparation à accomplir, tout ce qu’il suffirait de faire selon eux, c’est de croire. Cependant, s’il ne suffisait que de cela, alors les démons eux-mêmes seraient sauvés.

 

« Tu crois qu’il y a un seul Dieu, tu fais bien; les démons le croient aussi, et ils en tremblent. Mais, ô homme vain! veux-tu savoir que la foi sans les œuvres, est morte? » (Jacques 2: 19-20).

 

Le baptême par immersion

 

« Et Pierre leur dit: Repentez-vous, et que chacun de vous soit baptisé au nom de Jésus-Christ, pour la rémission de ses péchés; et vous recevrez le don du Saint-Esprit » (Actes 2:38).

 

Qu’il soit nécessaire d’être baptisé par immersion afin d’être sauvé, nous l’avons vu précédemment en Marc 16:16. Il s’agit de l’une des œuvres qui suit la foi et la repentance. Le baptême n’est pas la première étape de la vie chrétienne. Selon ce que disent les Saintes Écritures, de nombreuses autres étapes précèdent le baptême ; il s’agit de la repentance, de la confession des péchés, de la conversion et de la foi. Le vieil homme pécheur doit mourir aux péchés, afin que « le corps du péché soit détruit » (Romains 6:6) et que nous soyons « vivants à Dieu en Jésus-Christ notre Seigneur » (Romains 6:11). Par le baptême le corps du péché est enseveli afin que nous marchions « dans une vie nouvelle » (Romains 6:4). Nous n’enterrons pas les personnes afin de les tuer, mais parce qu’elles sont mortes. De la même façon, nul individu ne devrait se faire baptiser avec l’idée qu’une telle démarche va le changer. Laissons mourir le vieil homme du péché et ensuite enterrons-le. Voir le passage entier en Romains 6:1-11. Le baptême est la réponse à « l’engagement d’une bonne conscience devant Dieu » (1 Pierre 3:21). Qui peut se réclamer d’une bonne conscience envers Dieu, aussi longtemps que le vieil homme pécheur est vivant, aussi longtemps qu’il ne s’est pas repenti et n’a pas confessé ses péchés?

 

Lorsque Jean le Baptiste immergeait des membres du peuple d’Israël dans le Jourdain, et alors que ceux-ci confessaient leurs péchés, de nombreux Pharisiens et Saducéens vinrent à lui. Si Jean avait été comme les pasteurs d’aujourd’hui, il les aurait baptisé allègrement afin de pouvoir envoyer un rapport encourageant au quartier général de son église et afin que d’autres le perçoivent comme un bon ouvrier de la Parole de Dieu. Mais non, Jean le Baptiste n’était pas tant intéressé à la quantité qu’il ne l’était à la qualité. Il voulait être sûr que les candidats pour le baptême avaient expérimenté du fond de leur cœur la vérité qui est en Dieu avant d’imposer ses mains sur eux. Il devait d’abord, par leurs actions, témoigner qu’il s’était repenti de leurs péchés. Lire Matthieu 3:5-8.

 

Nous sommes baptisés d’eau, afin d’être lavé de NOS PÉCHÉS. Le péché est la désobéissance aux commandements de Dieu, qui sont compris dans les Dix Commandements. « Et quiconque a cette espérance en lui, se purifie lui-même, comme lui est pur. Quiconque pèche, transgresse aussi la loi; car le péché est une transgression de la loi » (1 Jean 3:3-4).

 

Le baptême est une opération de Dieu. Lire Colossiens 2:12. Cela permet à l’Esprit Saint de Dieu de croître et grandir dans la personne qui fut lavée et libérée de ses péchés. L’apôtre Paul affirme très clairement que nous ne pourrons demeurer libres du péché que par la présence en nous de l’Esprit Saint de Dieu. De nous-mêmes, nous ne pouvons garder les Dix Commandements de Dieu. C’est seulement avec l’aide de Dieu que nous pouvons cesser de pécher. « Que dirons-nous donc? Demeurerons-nous dans le péché, afin que la grâce abonde? Nullement! Nous qui sommes morts au péché, comment vivrions-nous encore en lui? Ne savez-vous pas que nous tous qui avons été baptisés en Jésus-Christ, nous avons été baptisés en sa mort? Nous avons donc été ensevelis avec lui par le baptême en sa mort, afin que, comme Christ est ressuscité des morts par la gloire du Père, de même nous marchions, nous aussi, dans une vie nouvelle » (Romains 6:1-4)

 

Paul réagit vivement à l’idée selon laquelle la loi parfaite et libératrice de Dieu pourrait continuer à être brisée. Si nous énoncions ce que veut dire Paul en des termes plus communs, voici ce que cela donnerait: « Suggérez-vous que nous devrions briser la Loi de Dieu afin que le Saint Esprit puisse opérer? Dieu nous l’interdit! Nous ne devrions jamais laisser libre cours à une idée aussi ignoble. » Et pourtant, c’est bien ce que certains hommes font de nos jours. Le baptême est une ligne de démarcation dans la vie d’un être humain. Cette nouvelle créature entre dans une vie qui doit être mener sous la conduite de l’Esprit Saint de Dieu, elle doit se dépouiller de tout ce qui est de ce monde. Lorsqu’un être humain est immergé dans l’eau du baptême, c’est comme si il avait été mis au tombeau. Cet être pécheur est mort. Lorsqu’il est sorti de l’eau, il est une nouvelle créature en Christ. Il est né de l’Esprit, et ainsi il a « Christ en [lui], l’espérance de la gloire » (Colossiens 1:27). Il s’agit d’une œuvre rédemptrice accomplie par Dieu.

 

Engendré de l’Esprit

 

« Pendant qu’Apollos était à Corinthe, Paul, après avoir parcouru les hautes provinces de l’Asie, vint à Éphèse. Il y trouva quelques disciples et leur dit: Avez-vous reçu le Saint-Esprit, lorsque vous avez cru? Ils lui répondirent: Nous n’avons pas même entendu dire qu'il y ait un Saint-Esprit. Et il leur dit: Quel baptême avez-vous donc reçu? Ils répondirent: Le baptême de Jean. Alors Paul dit: Il est vrai que Jean a baptisé du baptême de la repentance, en disant au peuple de croire en Celui qui venait après lui, c’est-à-dire, au Christ Jésus. Ce qu’ayant entendu, ils furent baptisés au nom du Seigneur Jésus. Et après que Paul leur eut imposé les mains, le Saint-Esprit descendit sur eux, et ils parlaient diverses langues, et prophétisaient » (Actes 19:1-6). Vous pouvez également lire Romains 6:1-6 et Actes 8:14-17.

 

« Lorsqu’un esprit immonde est sorti d’un homme, il va par des lieux arides, cherchant du repos, et il n’en trouve point. Alors il dit: Je retournerai dans ma maison, d’où je suis sorti; et étant revenu, il la trouve vide, balayée et ornée. Alors il s’en va, et prend avec lui sept autres esprits plus méchants que lui, et étant entrés dans la maison, ils y habitent; et la dernière condition de cet homme est pire que la première. Il en arrivera ainsi à cette méchante race » (Matthieu 12:43-45)

 

Ainsi, on peut être lavé de ses péchés et devenir vierge au sens spirituel, et cependant on peut être perdu pour Dieu. C’est ce que nous apprenons de la parabole des dix vierges, telle que nous la lisons en Matthieu 25:1-13. Elles étaient toutes vierges (purifiées spirituellement) et avaient leurs lampes (la Parole de Dieu), mais elle n’avait pas d’huile (le Saint Esprit) pour leurs lampes. Même si elles étaient « vierges », elles ne furent pas sauvées parce que l’Esprit Saint de Dieu n’était pas présent dans leurs vies. L’injonction qui nous donnée Dieu est la suivante : « Ne vous enivrez point de vin, qui mène au dérèglement; mais soyez remplis de l’Esprit » (Éphésiens 5:18)

 

« Pour vous, vous n’êtes point dans la chair, mais dans l’esprit, s’il est vrai que l’Esprit de Dieu habite en vous. Or, si quelqu’un n’a point l’Esprit de Christ, celui-là n’est point à Lui » (Romains 8:9).

 

L’Esprit de Dieu ne doit pas seulement résider dans nos têtes (le siège du savoir), mais doit également avoir toute sa place dans nos cœurs (le siège des émotions). Le cœur doit être circoncis (Romains 2:28-29) et l’intelligence doit être renouvelée. Lire Romains 12:2. Un véritable adorateur de Dieu adorera le Père en esprit et en vérité (Jean 4:23). Il possédera un savoir et une connaissance de la vérité, mais aussi une foi sincère et qui vient du cœur.

 

« Or, celui qui nous affermit avec vous en Christ, et qui nous a oints, c’est Dieu, Qui nous a aussi marqués de son sceau, et nous a donné dans nos cœurs les arrhes de son Esprit » (2 Corinthiens 1:21-22).

« Afin que, selon les richesses de sa gloire, il vous donne d’être puissamment fortifiés par son Esprit, dans l’homme intérieur, Afin que Christ habite dans vos cœurs par la foi » (Éphésiens 3:16-17)

 

L’Esprit de Dieu est nécessaire à la sanctification dans la vie d’une personne (2 Thessaloniciens 2:13), et pour nous convaincre de nos péchés (Jean 16:8). Le Saint Esprit est une puissance (Actes 1:8) qui nous conduit dans la vérité (Jean 16:13) et par laquelle nous sommes scellés pour le jour de la rédemption finale (Éphésiens 4:30). Lorsqu’une personne a pleinement soumis sa vie à Dieu comme étant un sacrifice sur l’autel du Dieu vivant, lorsqu’elle s’est repenti, a confessé et fait les restitutions nécessaires, lorsqu’elle sait que ses anciens péchés lui ont été pardonné et qu’elle s’est détachée de sa vie passée, lorsqu’elle a été baptisée et a reçu le don de l’Esprit Saint, si cette personne est un disciple de Jésus Christ, il peut alors être affirmé avec certitude que cette personne est réellement une nouvelle créature. Lire 2 Corinthiens 5:17.

 

« Jésus répondit: En vérité, en vérité je te dis, que si un homme ne naît d’eau [au baptême] et d’Esprit [à la résurrection], il ne peut entrer dans le royaume de Dieu » (Jean 3:5).

 

La troisième naissance - naître de l’Esprit

 

Il y a pour l’individu pécheur deux phases de rédemption. Nous avons premièrement été racheté, dans cette vie, par le sang de Christ (Colossiens 1:14; Hébreux 9:12). Il existe également une rédemption pour nos corps physiques (Éphésiens 4:30). Ceci fait référence à la résurrection ou au rachat du tombeau.

 

« Et non seulement elle, mais nous aussi qui avons les prémices de l’Esprit, nous soupirons en nous-mêmes, en attendant l’adoption, la rédemption de notre corps » (Romains 8:23)

 

La résurrection d’entre les morts est également désignée sous le terme de naissance. Le Messie « est le commencement, le premier-né d’entre les morts, afin qu’il tienne le premier rang en toutes choses » (Colossiens 1:18). D’autres ont été ramenés à la vie avant Christ, mais non pas pour la vie éternelle. Cependant, quand les justes seront relevés d’entre les morts au second retour de Christ, ils hériteront également de la vie éternelle (1 Corinthiens 15:50-55), et seront comme Christ. Voir 1 Jean 3:2.

 

L’apôtre parle ici de naître à l’espoir vivant qui est en Christ, tel qu’il est démontré par la résurrection de Jésus Christ d’entre les morts et tel qu’il est préfiguré par le baptême par immersion.

 

« Ne savez-vous pas que nous tous qui avons été baptisés en Jésus-Christ, nous avons été baptisés en sa mort? Nous avons donc été ensevelis avec lui par le baptême en sa mort, afin que, comme Christ est ressuscité des morts par la gloire du Père, de même nous marchions, nous aussi, dans une vie nouvelle » (Romains 6:3-4)

 

Lorsque nous sommes immergés dans le tombeau symbolique du baptême, nous manifestons notre foi en la résurrection au dernier jour et sommes né à l’espérance de Christ ou, autrement dit, nous sommes régénérés par une semence incorruptible.

 

« Étant régénérés, non par une semence corruptible, mais par une semence incorruptible, par la parole de Dieu, qui vit et qui demeure éternellement. Car toute chair est comme l’herbe, et toute la gloire de l’homme comme la fleur de l’herbe; l’herbe sèche, et sa fleur tombe; Mais la parole du Seigneur demeure éternellement; et c’est cette parole dont la bonne nouvelle vous a été annoncée » (1 Pierre 1:23-25).

 

C’est en Jésus Christ que la parole de Dieu peut être greffée en nous et est capable de sauver nos vies. Il a accompli son œuvre commune de salut par sa mort et sa souffrance au calvaire, mais il est maintenant né de la semence incorruptible. Il est vivant et présent pour toujours. Maintenant, l’Esprit de Dieu accomplit cet œuvre qui consiste à faire de nous des êtres incorruptibles.

 

« Et c’est lui qui est la tête du corps de l’Église; il est le commencement, le premier-né d’entre les morts, afin qu’il tienne le premier rang en toutes choses » (Colossiens 1:18).

 

« Mais si Christ est en vous, le corps est bien mort à cause du péché, mais l’esprit est vivant à cause de la justice. Et si l’Esprit de celui qui a ressuscité Jésus des morts, habite en vous, celui qui a ressuscité Christ d’entre les morts rendra aussi la vie à vos corps mortels, par son Esprit qui habite en vous. Ainsi donc, frères, nous ne sommes point redevables à la chair, pour vivre selon la chair. En effet, si vous vivez selon la chair, vous mourrez; mais si, par l’Esprit, vous faites mourir les œuvres du corps, vous vivrez. Car tous ceux qui sont conduits par l’Esprit de Dieu, sont enfants de Dieu » (Romains 8:10-14).

 

« Car nous sommes sauvés en espérance. Or, l’espérance que l’on voit n'est plus espérance; en effet, comment espérerait-on ce que l’on voit? Mais si nous espérons ce que nous ne voyons pas, c’est que nous l’attendons avec patience » (Romains 8:24-25).

 

Cela démontre qu’après que nous soyons nés à l’espérance vivante par la résurrection de Jésus Christ, nous sommes maintenus par la puissance de Dieu au travers de la foi et pour le salut qui adviendra à la fin des temps : c’est-à-dire le salut éternel opposé à  la mort et à tout ce qui s’acharne contre les humains sur cette Terre. Il est parlé de la résurrection de Christ comme étant une naissance. Si notre résurrection doit être aussi puissance et que nous devons devenir comme Christ, alors notre résurrection sera la naissance à une nature incorruptible. Si nous sommes nés d’une semence incorruptible, nous sommes des êtres incorruptibles destinés à ne plus mourir.

 

« Voici, je vous dis un mystère: Nous ne mourrons pas tous, mais nous serons tous changés, En un moment, en un clin d’œil, à la dernière trompette; car la trompette sonnera, et les morts ressusciteront incorruptibles, et nous serons changés. Car il faut que ce corps corruptible soit revêtu de l’incorruptibilité, et que ce corps mortel soit revêtu de l’immortalité. Or, quand ce corps corruptible aura été revêtu de l’incorruptibilité, et que ce corps mortel aura été revêtu de l’immortalité, alors cette parole de l’Écriture sera accomplie: La mort est engloutie en victoire. O mort! où est ton aiguillon? O enfer! où est ta victoire? » (1 Corinthiens 15:51-55)

 

Il n’y aura plus ni tentation, ni péché, ni lamentations, mais nous vivrons réellement dans le Royaume éternel de Dieu, où la mort, la souffrance, les lamentations et les soupirs n’existeront plus, mais où nous serons éternellement dans l’agréable présence de Dieu.

 

The Church of God – Publishing House – Salem, West Viriginia

Share this post
Repost0