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Showing posts with label Repentance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Repentance. Show all posts

Monday, January 17, 2022

Rejoice, Give Thanks, and Repent? Say What? - Purity 630


Rejoice, Give Thanks, and Repent?  Say What?  -  Purity 630

Purity 630 01/17/2022   Purity 630 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a boat cruising beneath a setting sun and waves rolling into one of Florida’s beaches comes to us from a friend who shared an abundance of photos of their recent 12 day holiday get away where they visited Dunedin, Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, St. Petersburg, and Tampa all for the first time.   That sun, those waves, that beach and that completely cloudless blue sky makes me want to take a walk along the beach with my shoes off!  

Well, it’s Monday again, and the weather in upstate New York doesn’t really bode well for barefoot walks along the coasts of nearby bodies of water. In fact even in the relatively safe confines of the Hudson Valley that tends to not get as buried as the areas to the east, west, and north, we have what seems to be 3 inches of snow on the ground at my riverfront homestead. 

When I saw the forecast on Friday I had the presence of mind and good fortune to be able to use a vacation day to take the day off from work today. So I won’t be rushing out the door for my regular commute, but I will have to spend some time today clearing our driveway.   My upstate neighbors to the north, east, and west will undoubtedly be dealing with a few more inches than me so I feel blessed even though I have a burden to bear.    

In my years of experience of dealing with situations unskillfully and being negatively affected by every passing circumstance, I was blessed by the Lord to discover His way for living that directs us to: 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
16  Rejoice always,
17  pray without ceasing,
18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

So even after or during a snowstorm, we are able  to give thanks, rejoice, and keep communicating with God in prayer.  When we stay grounded in our identity in Christ and know the reality of being set free from sin and death, we can face each new day with joy and peace instead of worry, anxiety, fear, or anger.  

In Christ we have found the answers to the big questions in life and when we abide in Him, by communicating with the Lord in prayer and Bible study and by following His guidance from His word, we have the answers to the “small problems” that can seem so big.   

The problem in America and the world at large is that the cultural and societal  Christianity of denominational church systems created a paradigm where clergy are the only ones who studied the word of God and the laity would just attend worship services resulting in a system of spiritual materialism where the laity would try to “follow the rules” by trying to “be good” and “go to church” and felt no obligation to do anything more to build their knowledge of or relationship with God and the clergy was this exalted and isolated sect who felt forced to portray an image of piety making them more unrelatable and unapproachable to the people they were entrusted to serve.    

Within this system, sin and superstitious beliefs based on the traditions of men, grew like wildfire sometimes resulting in disillusionment, oppression, and abuse.  Eventually, there was a rebellion and the societal pressure to be a part of a church relaxed resulting in nearly empty churches across America today.  These systems didn’t work because they didn’t encourage the authentic faith of a Christian disciple who actively seeks to know God more and apply God’s teachings to their lives. Or those systems unwittingly catered to the sinfulness of men who refused to attempt to truly repent and who were content just sitting in a pew and suffering through a church service before getting back to the “real world” and their fulfilling their fleshly appetites.

Arthur and Suzanna Cincotti, my wife, and I did our weekly Bible Study podcast on repentance yesterday and one of the listeners asked about my comment that instructed that after we sin we are to repent.   

Their concern apparently was that I was saying that salvation was lost with every sin.  This belief is a product of church systems or pastors that teach a mixed gospel of works and grace when the Bible teaches that it is through faith in Christ alone that we are saved.  

I explained that if we have truly made Jesus our Lord and Savior we are forgiven of all our sins, past, present, and future, and we are saved, and nothing can separate us from the love of God.  

I was speaking on our relationship with God as His children and pointed out that God understands that we will be “saints who sin” who will need to be both forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness continually as we walk out our lives as Christians.   As

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

This verse points to repentance. We aren’t just to confess our sins and go on our merry way in a life of sin. We are to agree with God and turn to His way of living to be cleansed of all unrighteousness.  

Arthur Cincotti’s outline yesterday cited several scriptures where Christ preached repentance and the injunction to “go and sin no more.”   So there is an expectation for the Christian to grow in their faith and forsake their worldly ways.  

But this is not some oppressive system that wants to whip you into shape. This is your relationship with the God that loves you, forgives you continually, and encourages you to leave the darkness of sin behind and He does so for you good.  

The confession of sins for the disciple of Christ is not a means of regaining the salvation that they already have. The confession of sin for Christ’s disciples is to re-establish the harmony of your relationship with God and to restate the commitment to follow Him.  So yes, we should repent every time we are made aware that we sin to eliminate the sin that would condemn us and leave a foothold for Satan in our lives.  

The Christian faith isn’t supposed to be a theological system of weekly meetings that condemn you for your weaknesses. The Christian faith is supposed to be a personal dynamic interaction between us and God where we are drawn closer to Him because of His love for us that will motivate us to become more like Him.  

To experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we are not supposed to have some anointed clergy man say a prayer for us while we stay uninvolved in the building up of our own faith or be a matter where we expect to receive blessings because we sat in a pew for an hour each week.   

To experience the peace, love, joy, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control from the Holy Spirit, we are supposed to take responsibility for our relationship with God and endeavor to grow in our faith.  To gain the fruit of the Spirit we have to walk in the Spirit. 

For those in Christ, our salvation is a settled matter. Let’s not fear losing what God has already given us. Instead let’s pursue the abundant life that Christ has already given us and that is merely waiting for us to discover.  

So keep walking and talking with God. If you have sin in your life, repent of it and turn to God’s ways for your life where you can rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything.


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 10:9 (NLT2)
9  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Today’s verse is one of the lynch pins that declare that we are saved by faith in Christ alone.  

We highlighted Romans 10:9 very recently to be used as a proclamation of our “saved” status.  I directed those who doubted their Christian standing to use Romans 10:9  to examine their experience compared to the truth of this verse by reading it and asking themselves if they met “God’s requirements” for salvation.  By asking:

Did I confess with my mouth that Jesus was my Lord?

Do I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead? 

If the answer to those two questions is “Yes”, the conclusion is that “you will be saved”. 

The phrase “will be saved” obviously points to our ultimate entrance into God’s eternal kingdom at the hour of our physical deaths or when Christ returns, whatever happens first.   But don’t worry about that “will be” as some uncertain destiny for other scriptures declare that Christians “are saved” or “have been saved” to cover both the past, when you made Christ your Lord and Savior, and the present.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NKJV)
1  Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.

These verses point to the past, present, and future tense of our salvation.  It is a done deal, a present reality, and will be ultimately fulfilled with our entrance into the eternal kingdom of God. 

But 1 Corinthians 15 points out that we are to hold fast to the gospel of grace because there is a spiritual reality of the possibility of “believing in vain” which points to false converts: those who say they believe in Christ but who fail to follow Him, reminding us of possibly the two scariest passages in the Bible. 

Luke 13:25-27 (NKJV)
25  When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' 26  then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.'
27  But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.'

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)
21  "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.
22  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?'
23  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Here Christ’s words condemn false converts whose fruits are “lawlessness” and “iniquity”. These false converts tried to talk the talk of a Christian but didn’t have a heart for God and whose fruit was either absent as in Luke 13 or false or “in vain” as in Matthew 7.  

So stand on Romans 10:9 to assure yourself of your salvation but hold on to that gospel of grace and follow the Lord so you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ is your Lord and Savior, and you are a child of the most high God.    

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we conclude sharing from Chapter 4.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

DEVELOP AN IDENTITY LIST

As you work through your list, it can be very helpful to make a “before and after” identity chart. Take a clean piece of paper and draw a line down the center of the page. At the top of the left column, write the words “Old Identity.” Under that column write down every negative thing you said about yourself or was said about you. At the top of the right column, write “New Identity in Christ.” Write down what is really true about yourself in Christ.

Recall the words that describe your beliefs about yourself as a result of abuse. In the left-hand column, record such words as “dirty,” “unloved,” “abandoned,” “not worth anything” and “can’t do anything right.” Especially record those words associated with the people of influence in your early years (mother, father, siblings, etc.). Such labels influenced your belief system and behavior patterns.

When you go to a store and buy a can or package of food off the shelf, it has a manufacturer’s label describing the contents. As you go through life—the bad experiences, the things done to you, the things said to you, the wrong things you were involved in—Satan is there with paper and pencil writing a label for your life. Now that you are alive in Christ, you are no longer a product of your past; you are a product of the work of Christ on the cross. All the old labels of the world don’t describe the contents of who you are anymore. Renounce the lies and choose the truth. Some examples are as follows:

For those who have been betrayed by a parent and transferred that mistrust to their heavenly Father: “Lord, I renounce the lies I’ve believed about You because of the way my earthly father treated me. I announce the truth that You are not like my earthly father. You are perfectly loving and faithful.”

For those who think they are responsible for holding their dysfunctional families together and for being a parent’s emotional support: “Lord, I renounce the lie that I am responsible for being a savior to the people around me or that I must always be responsible for others by being the strong one. Thank you, Lord, that it’s all right for me to be honest about my own need. Thank you that when I am weak, You are strong within me.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:9, TLB.)

For those who have been constantly put down by the authority figures in their lives: “Lord, I renounce the lie that I am unworthy and insignificant. I announce the truth that I am your special child and I am precious to You.” Or “Lord, I renounce the lie that I am a helpless victim as I felt when I was a child. I announce the truth that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (See Philippians 4:13.)

 

SEEKING FORGIVENESS FROM OTHERS

Some are reluctant to forgive others because they believe they have to go to those people. The prospect of facing their abusers is too traumatic to even consider. To forgive others, you only need to go to God. Don’t confuse the issue of forgiving others with the need to ask for forgiveness, which is called for in Matthew 5:23-26. The Lord requires us to go to others before we go to Him and seek reconciliation if we know that someone has something against us.

The important thing to remember is that if we have hurt someone else, we need to go to that person first before we go to church. But if we have been hurt by others, we need to forgive them by going first to God. Forgiveness must precede reconciliation. Paul wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men,”87 but it doesn’t always depend upon you. You cannot be reconciled with someone who doesn’t want to be reconciled. The goal is for you to be free from past abuses and abusers. Reconciliation may come, but only if the abusers will own up to their abusive ways and honestly seek forgiveness. The freedom of the abused is never contingent upon whether the abuser will own up to it. You must be willing to forgive from your heart regardless of what the abusers do. If you make your willingness to forgive others contingent upon them, then you will be controlled by abusers all your life. You may protest, but you don’t know how bad they hurt me. They are still hurting you. Forgiveness is how you stop the pain. Forgiving others from your heart is a draining experience, but a major conflict has been resolved between you and God. Satan has no right to torment you anymore. It is normal to feel exhausted, but a brief break, a good stretch, a glass of water, and you are ready to go on to the next Step. But before you do, finish this Step with the following prayer:87

Lord Jesus, I choose not to hold on to my resentment and bitterness. I relinquish my right to seek revenge, and I ask You to heal my damaged emotions. Thank You for setting me free from the bondage of bitterness and free from my past experiences. I now ask You to bless those who have hurt me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

CHAPTER FOUR: OVERCOMING

THE BONDAGE OF BITTERNESS


65. Romans 12:19

66. Proverbs 14:10

67. Colossians 2:18

68. 2 Corinthians. 10:5

69. Hebrews 12:15

70. Job 42:6

71. 2 Corinthians 5:21

72. Matthew 26:38

73. Luke 23:34

74. Romans 6:10

75. Ephesians 4:31, 32

76. 2 Corinthians 2:10,11

77. Ephesians 4:26, 27, 31, 32

78. Romans 6:23

79. Titus 3:4, 5

80. Ephesians 2:8

81. Luke 6:36

82. 2 Peter 1:4

83. 1 John 4:8

84. John 13:35

85. Romans 8:1

86. Hebrews 12:15

87. Romans 12:18

 ---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Repentance - 01/16/2022


 Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 01/16/2022

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Repentance Podcast


Repentance

 

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet,     but is completely clean; and you are clean…” Jn. 13:10

 

Interestingly, the first mention of foot washing in the Bible is all the way back in Gen. 18:4 where Abraham, startled by three unexpected visitors, quickly offers to serve them by washing Their feet and preparing a meal. In our above passage, One of those visitors would wash the disciples feet hours before His passion.

 

Feet washing was a common practice among Bedouin’s who wore sandals as they traveled across a dusty landscape. It was typically done by a servant, or the lowliest member of a household, or at the very least water was provided that one may wash their own feet.

 

In Lk. 7:44 Jesus rebukes a Pharisee named Simon by pointing out, “you gave Me no water tor My feet…”

 

Note: It is important to say that, with the exception of some     Orthodox communities, feet washing in not invoked as an        ordinance of the Church.

 

So, what does this have to do with repentance?

         Much I think. Jesus never wastes a teachable moment by         simply performing nice rituals.

 

Recalling the Jn. 13 passage, Jesus engages with Peter who first who proclaims, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus responds, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

                  So we know that Jesus is not talking about hygiene

Peter continues, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

                                    Peter still doesn’t get it.

Our first act of repentance is in turning to Christ. This is an act of God. Notice how Jesus says, in Jn. 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you”. “By grace...not of yourselves” Eph. 2:8 That's the bath!


Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus imperative was consistently  “repent”

         Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Mt. 4:17

         Repent, and believe the gospel” Mk. 1:15

         I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will likewise perish.”                                                                                   Lk. 13:5

         “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” Jn. 5:14

         “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more: Jn. 8:11

         I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to                                 repentance.” Mt. 9:13

So we see that repentance is an act of faith by turning to Jesus for the remission of sins; see Acts. 2:38, 10:43; Heb. 10:18

 

But we also understand that repentance is an ongoing imperative;

                             a lifestyle so to speak!

Paul says, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on…” Phil. 3:12-15

That word is “dioko” meaning: to pursue, follow, press forward.

The Greek word for repent is: “metanoeo”.

Notice, the word change, from II Cor. 3:18 is “metamorphoo”

This change is both a process and a pursuit that we engage in.

We, as believers should always have a sense, in our understanding of self, of what we need to change, or repent of. God is always bringing us in deeper, and as we glimpse His holiness we are, and should be shocked and humbled by the comparison.

J. I Packer: “Repentance means turning from as much as you know of your sin to give as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of your God, and as our knowledge grows at these three points so our practice of repentance has to be enlarged.”

---------------------------Join  Us for another Study Next week---------------------------------------

or

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, Audible.com, and many others.  

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Living with a New Name – Walking into Repentance - Purity 619


 

Living with a New Name – Walking into Repentance - Purity 619

Purity 619 01/04/2022   Purity 619 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pink, blue, and golden sunset sky over the Hudson River somewhere along River Rd in Easton NY comes to us from the love of my life as she captured it on our return trip from a day of errands as man and wife that included TammyLyn Seguin legally declaring her new identity as TammyLyn Clark.  This beautiful sky gave us great joy as we knew I would be sharing one of the several shots TammyLyn captured on our first Monday as husband and wife and that it would be the first photo highlighting God’s creation in 2022 that was taken in 2022.  

Well it’s Tuesday and as the old Soul II Soul song says it’s “Back to life, Back to Reality” as both me and the Mrs. will bid adieu to what was the period of our lives that was a whirlwind romance, engagement, and wedding and now have to go back work pretty much like we were before this weekend but fundamentally changed in very significant ways as we reenter the working world as married people, one of us with a new name.  

Sometimes in life we form relationships that change who we are forever.  In the Bible, there are several scenes where God’s interactions result in people receiving a new name. Abram to Abraham, Jakob to Israel, Simon to Peter, and Saul to Paul are some examples of people who were called by God who got a new name.  But would the name fit? 

When I developed the blog and tried to think of a name for it, I thought that “Empty for Christ” would be a good way to express how we have to “empty” ourselves to be filled with the life that God has for us.  But then I thought of my name, Marc Thomas, and how my initials M.T. sort of sounded like “Empty”, and because the blog was going to be about my testimony and my decision to try to live a Christian life, I decided to make the name MT4Christ because it adequately expressed not only the idea of the need to surrender to the Lord in general but it also served as a proclamation of sorts that I, M.T., was indeed for Christ as I sought to surrender myself to His will for my life for the rest of my days.  

But just like the patriarchs of our faith and the Apostles, it took me sometime to grow into the new name.  Even though I started mt4christ.org back in 2015, I personally didn’t really decide to “go by” my initials until 2020 when I completed my master’s Thesis in Christian Counseling and decided to get trained for and to begin a Community Freedom Ministry. Although I boldly started the work in 2015, I didn’t have the boldness to adopt the “new name” until relatively recently.  A lot has changed.

It might surprise some that I never really spoke in public or shared writings publicly before coming to Christ.  All of this, my writings, my serving in the church, my teaching and ministry work, and now my podcast were all products of the transformation of Marc – “the fun loving but secretly troubled worldly dude” to M.T. – “encourager and promoter of the gospel of Jesus Christ”.

And guess what, just like the Apostle Peter would show his faithfulness one minute and put his foot in his mouth and show more “Simon” like characteristics the next, I haven’t arrived yet.  I am still a work in progress.  

Even though I made great strides in 2021 towards my goal of optimal health, perhaps because of stress or due to the surrounding seasonal celebrations of Autumn that begin with Halloween and lead to Christmas and New Year’s, somewhere along the line M.T.’s resolve to stay the course got engulfed in behaviors that were more like “Marc’s”.  And just like a Mr. Hyde induced hangover, Dr. Jekyll is left feeling the pain, so I M.T. am left to pick up the pieces and start again.   

So with the new year upon us, I am officially renewing my goal to reach and maintain a body weight and state of health that distances me from the classification of “obese” and brings me closer to normal, or healthy, according to the BMI scale and my personal standards.   

Also I am in the midst of doing a spiritual check up as I lead a new Online discipleship class Thursday and want to be able to encourage others to pursue their freedom in Christ and provide them with an example of someone who has had a measure of success but who is still human but who is committed to the path of Christian Discipleship because I know that our relationship with Christ and living according to God’s word reflects the Lord’s perfect will for our lives.   

So as is my habit, and my local church’s tradition, I have begun a period of fasting and prayer to both crucify the flesh and renew the mind as I surrender the time spent in eating and meal preparation to focus on God and my walk of faith.   

With one day fasting under my belt, I already feel the deep relief that comes from surrendering to the Lord and from giving my body a break from the season of feasting that I have been in.   

When we give ourselves to the Lord, I have learned that you never regret it.  So as we try to adjust our lives to be less like our old selves and to better fit into God’s mold and into our “new names”, let’s remember to keep going. Let’s keep walking and talking to God.

And now that we have 2021 behind us, let’s open our eyes, open our ears, open our hearts, and open minds and listen to what the Lord wants us to hear. Let’s pray and ask Him for His love, guidance, and strength as we seek His repentance to turn from our old ways and seek to represent Him and give Him glory on the earth. 


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 6:23 (NLT2)
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today’s verse puts things pretty clearly.  Sin leads to death. Christ is the free gift from God that leads to eternal life.  

As the Bible and most of society will gleefully point out: nobody’s perfect, everybody sins.  But before we relax and rest in our sinful lives, and unknowingly just keep on trucking on the Highway to Hell, let’s remind ourselves and world at large that the wages of sin is death.   All sin and all die.

But these statements that seem so true, “all sin, all die, nobody’s perfect, and nothing lasts forever” are contradicted by the reality of an everlasting God and the person of Jesus Christ.  

Christ is perfect. Christ never sinned. And although, Christ did die, He was resurrected and lives forever.   And Faith in Him, gives us the answer to those wages of sin. Faith in Christ results in the forgiveness of all your sins and in eternal life with Him.     

Today’s verse, and Jesus’ said that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. 

In John 11:25-26 – Jesus said
....., "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

This is THE CRITICAL QUESTION: Do you believe this? 

For those who do and put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, they receive a new and eternal life. 

For those who don’t, they receive their wages for sin: death.   

So don’t let people make those statements like “all sin, everybody dies, nobody’s perfect, and “nothing last forever” without challenging them and letting them know, quite frankly, that they are wrong.   

Christ is exception that gives us hope. He didn’t sin. He didn’t stay dead. And makes a way for us to live with Him forever.   

Sometimes these “common knowledge statements” that are so ingrained in our cultures and society are evidence of the lies of the enemy ruling the world when they are compared to the Truth of Jesus Christ.  So seek the Truth, seek Christ’s salvation, and Live. 

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 3.   

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

SATAN IS THE DECEIVER

Jesus described Satan as the father of lies. “Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”61 He cannot speak from truth because there is no truth in him. He can distort the truth, and he will even quote Scripture as he did when he tempted Jesus.

Satan keeps people in bondage by deceiving them and by blinding the minds of the unbelieving.62 The power of Satan is in the lie, and the battle is for the mind. If he is able to deceive Christians into believing a lie, they will be spiritually impotent. He can’t do anything about our identity and position in Christ, but if he can get us to believe it is not true, we will live as though it isn’t. When the lies are exposed, Satan’s power over the believer is broken.

Asking the Lord to reveal the deception and declaring the truth in the Doctrinal Affirmation at the conclusion of this Step is a powerful experience for many who have been deceived for years. Some will become increasingly confident as they verbalize the truth. You may struggle just trying to read through the Doctrinal Affirmation, but when you have completed the Steps, come back and read it again, and you will see the difference.

Most Christians honestly desire to live righteous lives but have distorted concepts of God and are ignorant of their position and identity in Christ. As you make this 49

public declaration of faith, you are choosing God’s truth about His nature, character and redemptive plan for your life.

STANDING AGAINST THE DECEPTION

The battle is for the mind, and Satan will twist Scripture or tell half-truths in order to deceive us. So we must trust God to expose the deceit, remembering that the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. In this Step, we use truth to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”63

During this Step a lady suddenly said, “Do you know what I’m hearing now? It’s just a thought! That’s all it is! I don’t have to believe that trash anymore.” She understood what the battle was, and it no longer had a hold over her. Another lady printed up a bunch of cards and was handing them out to anyone who wanted one. Each card contained the following questions, “Where did that thought come from? A loving God?”

If the voices, noises or laughter in your mind seems too overwhelming, stop and pray as you did at the beginning of these Steps on Page 33. You maintain control by exposing the lies and the battle for the mind, and by ignoring the distractions and continuing on with The Steps. Freedom doesn’t come from swatting flies (demons), it comes from taking out the garbage (sin). The way we overcome the father of lies is by choosing the truth. We are not called to dispel the darkness; we are called to turn on the light. The freedom progressively comes by resolving the conflicts. The noise in your head is just an attempt by the enemy to get you off the path that leads to freedom. If you seemingly can’t go on, then pray out loud: “I renounce this attack on me, and announce that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and I choose to continue to seek my freedom.”

Marcy was a sincere Christian who was being mentally “beaten up” with lies and accusations. She had been deceived into thinking that God was not a good God, that she couldn’t trust Him, that she would never be free from her past. This fragile lady was slowly and gently guided through The Steps, renouncing all the lies as they surfaced. A few days later, she wrote:

God is different from what my concept of Him has been, and I choose to trust how God has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus. I am His child, and I choose to believe that He will relate to me as a good Father would. I am a new person. This day is new, and I eagerly await to experience it as a new creation, free from my past.

 ---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship