Archive for July, 2009

The discernment of saints (Part 1)

Monday, July 27th, 2009

We hear much talk from professing Christians about one not being able to discern the salvation of another; but these same people tell us we should have fellowship with the saints, and ought not fellowship with those who are not saints. We also live in a time when there are as many lost people inside the church as outside it, so if we are ever going to have fellowship with the saints but we are told not to discern who are saints and who are not saints, what is a Christian to do?


First off, this lack of discernment is a quality of the lost, they simply ‘cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand’ and though they profess Christ they want to bring you into the same predicament they are in. With lack of leading of the Spirit, they willingly and openly ‘justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!’ This wrong judgment is not made in every case for then they would have perfect judgment, even though it would be perfectly wrong! But for the most part due to their lack of leading of the Spirit of God these professing Christians are not able to tell the difference between those who are in Christ and those who are not.


As a whole, the saints are meant to know who are their brethren and who are not. Not having perfect attention to the Spirit, we also may not have perfect judgment in this regard, and in such cases it may be better to refrain from judgment. To believe someone is saved when they are not, and to believe someone is not saved when they actually are, makes one ‘abomination to the Lord’  (Prov 17:15).  In these cases we know that we are to’ judge righteous judgment’, and it requires more than a carnal man can do. Many people think a saint is discerned by practical holiness, yet because this holiness is imitated so well by lost (Matt 19:18-20) is that where we are to look? No. The Bible gives evidence that a saved person can and has committed nearly any sin that a lost person can. Are we to look at the profession? No, mere professions are vain. With so many bruised reeds and smoking flaxes among the saints, where and in what manner are we to look for them?




Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.


The direction of Christ

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Many a person will stand and call out to others to ‘come to Christ’, but is that the way it was meant to be proclaimed? Not particularly. I believe it is better to proclaim to ‘GO to Christ’, and here is why:


Far be it from me or any preacher to ever tell anyone to ‘come to Christ’; as though the way to Him either stops at, or must pass through either of us; as though we held some infallible position between them and Him. What I must tell you is not to COME which may cause you only to seek to be where I am, but to ‘GO to Christ’ as though you not only do not have to come to Christ through me, nor some infallible way I have invented, but rather that you may have to go quite a distance around me to get to Him. Too many treat salvation as though they have the lock on the door. That is not the way it is. Those who most loudly proclaim the ownership of the lock are those least likely to have it. Those who put systems and theologies of men in place or exalt particular denominations or forms as though they had the key to life, are the least likely to know Christ personally and know nothing yet as they ought to know. It is Christ that is to be exalted, and any message that bears not its ‘GO to Christ’, is no message ‘FROM’ Him. To be the gospel message, the hand must always point  to Christ, at the expense of man and traditions of men.


The Sardisian may be to the left of Christ, the Ephesian to the right, the Philadelphian in front and the Pergamosian in the back, Christ may be approached from many a direction. The grand importance is not the direction you approach Christ from, but rather the Christ whom you approach. Each may have their ideas as to who He is, and what He came to do, but any that exalt man (self) or the systems of men (direction to Christ) at the expense of Christ only prove they are pointing not to Christ at the center.


From one vile wretch to another vile wretch, I leave you with this. However it is you must get to Him, please just …….‘GO to Christ’!


Mark 6:56 …and as many as touched him were made whole.

The perception of self

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

There is a terrible lukewarmness about this time as prophesied, but what exactly does it look like? Rev 3:17 teaches that the main characteristic is a false perception of self. Many will claim the riches of Christ who will not claim their own poverty of spirit. They will make much noise about how they are Christ’s and will receive all His riches, yet they will not admit that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. They may lukewarmly take the title of sinner, yet refuse to own all which that means. It means the nature which we possess despises God, it means not only do we have NOTHING good in who we are but we are nothing of which God consists, it means we are opposed to God to our very core, in short it means we are ENTIRELY ungodly.


Now God imparts His nature on top of those who He claims as His children, but these children recognize that this nature is not of themselves, it is God’s who will give to whomsoever He will. With this new nature imparted we can turn Godward, yet with our old nature remaining (the only one we are allowed to claim as us) we are to be constantly reminded we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. We are never to disown who we truly are, for doing so is the mark of lukewarmness. It is to be as the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not as other men are (Luke 18:11). This is why the drunkards and harlots will enter the kingdom of heaven before most who profess the name of Christ. They actually feel their own condition right to the core, they know who they are!


I see the corruptions in the world today, I see how far opposed to God the world is, and I look in my own heart and realize that I am exactly like other men are, and were it not for the restraining grace of God, their thoughts/words/deeds might be mine.


We may be granted ability to forsake gross outward sin, we may be granted restraining grace for a season to try us, for us to see where our hearts really are, but what do we see because of it? Has the eye salve been applied, that we may see that we are ENTIRELY ungodly? Or are we lukewarm in our perception of self?


Rev 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.


Heed the warning thou lukewarm professor, Christ is speaking to US.


The title of ‘sinner’

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Every man, both saved and unsaved are to properly take the title of sinner, but what exactly does this mean? It goes kind of like this.


I am a sinner by title not just occupation. For example if I was a welder, that would be my occupation, but my occupation can change, however my title remains ‘Mister’ and can’t change because that is the way I was born. Likewise, I am a sinner by nature because that is the way I was born. Even if saved, my occupation with sin may have been changed to occupy myself with better thoughts and actions, but my title remains. A casual look reveals that I see enough sin in my very nature (without even considering my actions) to remember that I will always retain that old title of ‘Sinner’. Why? Because that is the way I was born.


Now some may say, but what about the Mrs., her title has been changed from Miss? Good point. Her title is now ‘Mister’s’, that is, she is titled after the man to whom she has married. The problem is when you type her blood and other associated things, you find that it matches the family she came from rather than the husband she married. Though she is now the ‘Mister’s’ through marriage, she sheds not the characteristics she was born with. She may now live and work in a different household, but she never loses the physical characteristics that defined her. Why? Though she is the ‘Mister’s’ by marriage, she is still the ‘Miss’ by birth.


I am a sinner by title, because that is the way I was born. I may change the things I occupy myself with, and even come into the marriage relationship with Christ, but until I shed this body, I don’t lose my original title. Through marriage to Christ I may be referred to as a ‘Saint’, but ‘Sinner’ is the way I was born and is the title that defines who I am.


“A sinner is a precious thing,

The Holy Ghost hath made him so…”


When one sees himself as a sinner it is a blessed work of the Holy Ghost in conviction.


If you see yourself as a sinner and have rightfully taken the title of sinner, then be of good cheer “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”

The sin/sins of man

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

We are born in sin, with a sin nature, and do nothing but sin and we do this in the presence of a most holy God who requires absolute justice. What then allows us to even to live?


We look for the answer in 1 John 2:2 ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ Though not all are saved, the Bible teaches there is a sense in which Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, I believe this is that sense. Christ’s sacrifice was required to allow mankind to even continue to live, making the way even possible for the time when the application of His blood could be made to those who would receive it. This verse talks of ‘sins’ not ‘sin’. ‘Sins’ are individual events by which we offend God, ‘sin’ is why we do it. IE Lying falls under the category of ‘sins’ whereas our depraved nature is ‘sin’. ‘Sin’ is the cause, ‘sins’ are the effect. The ‘sins’ of the whole world were judged on the cross allowing us to even live, yet apart from the application of the atonement of Christ by the Holy Spirit, there will have been no application made for our ‘sin’. In fact though our ‘sins’ have been judged to allow us even the possibility of temporal life, ‘our sin remaineth’ until glorification. In the meantime a new nature with new desires is imparted to those who truly trust Christ. It is with this new nature that we battle the old one with mixed victories and defeats. This ongoing battle with ‘sin’, is made manifest in our ‘sins’.


1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


If we say we have no ‘sin’, (that is no sin nature or propensity to sin) we deceive ourselves, for it is our very ‘sins’ (the effects of our sin nature) that should make our resident ‘sin nature’ obvious.  With the new nature imparted the Christian should not desire to live in the old nature, yet with the remnants of the old nature still there, the Christian is still very prone to fall into ‘sins’. Know this: It is your ‘sin’, that causes your ‘sins’.


But praise the Lord, ‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’

The paradox of God

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Anyone who has ever opened a Bible will be familiar with John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is a great promise to those who have received it, unfortunately it can be a stumblingblock to those yet to receive it. For the latter they see the bloodshed in the world and cruel suffering and can’t imagine that God loves this world. The reason is they can’t see the corresponding doctrine throughout scripture that goes along this line, “For the world so hated God, yet were permitted to kill and destroy, that the depravity of man might be made manifest to all”


When you see the cruelties of this world it is meant to cause you to look above it for relief. This world has nothing to offer the person seeking truth and righteousness. The love of God gives you the opportunity to look to another for the things that can’t be found in mankind. Without the eternal sacrifice of Christ complete with His resurrection and ascension to glory, we would have nothing above this world to look to, and would be left to continue to ponder its cruelties. But thanks be to God that He loved us and sent His Son to reconcile us to Him, and raised Him from the dead, thereby giving hope to those who trust Him.


It takes a lot of love to satisfy one’s own requirement for absolute  justice, in fact it takes nothing less than absolute love. The love of God is absolute, but ever the gentlemen, He’ll not force you to receive it. Is it possible to refuse it any longer?


Gal 2:20 …the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


Rev 1:5 “… him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”