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The Persecuted Church




The goal of man, Lessons in Basic Christianity

There is no greater goal or ideal than for man to be in sync with God, and do His will instead of sinful mans.

It is God that gives us new life by our response of acceptance to his Gospel.

2 Cor. 5:17 if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away”

Eph. 2:4-5 “even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”

We learn that by faith which he has initiated by his grace we are appointed to do his will, that God has a plan for our life.

Eph. 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

The only reason mankind is in this predicament is because of self. Self focus, self righteousness, and just plain selfishness. It is our pride that has brought sorrow.  Focusing on ourselves, even when doing good Self wants to take the credit, we want to be noticed for the good we do. But Self must be humbled so the glory and honor go to God, then He can be exalted. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3), to consider ourselves weak and to need filling, needing help is a good position.

Even as Christians we can struggle with the same things we did before until we give them over to the Lord and allow him to full our life and ways with his Spirit. Paul wrote the Corinthian church

Paul feared “I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults” (2 Cor. 12:20 also Gal.5:20)

He even spoke of those who “preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains” (Phil 1:16). Being Jail he was disturbed at those who did this even though he also rejoiced that Christ was spoken of.

Phil 2:1-4 His instructions to eliminate selfishness and self aggrandizement was this.“being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

 That is what Christ taught, to be other centered. This is basic Christianity. This means we live by a continual dying to self. our selfish desires are conquered in our lives by resisting them and by yielding to Christ through the Holy Spirit

Self-sufficiency produces pride, we attempt to serve God in our own strength. It can prevent and paralyze our ministering to others. All of Christianity begins with and centers upon the person of Jesus and His work for us on the cross. Grace begins and continues as we are God reliant. That we do his work not on our own power, obeying a command as our duty, but doing it from the heart as if it is a natural response. Eph. 6:6-7 doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.”

 True Christianity is sacrifice, a dying to one’s self to have fellowship with God, which is our spiritual service. As Rom 12:1 states, you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  

The dying of self becomes a necessity if we are to be filled by the Spirit of Christ. It must be the Spirit governing self. When I’m weak and depend on Him, then I am strong. It is through denying what we can do in our own abilities that we can say, “it is not I but Christ that lives in me” As Paul declared. Then the honor and credit go to him, not us.

One of the ways we show we a have matured spiritually is knowing our calling and stepping out in faith to live it. If someone is not pursing God’s call in his life, has he really come to the point of denying self? As we learn to live contrary to our own selfish wants God’s will and purpose for our life become known. That then becomes our desire. As self desires die, the life of Christ displays our new nature, which then rules over our fallen nature (self). It is by our daily dying to self that the life of Christ moves us to minister and affect those around us.

Heb. 12:2 explains that Jesus is our example of suffering to do the will of God. ”looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” The joy was realized in him rescuing us from sin and death.

If one believes what Jesus spoke on these matters and our new life, they will accept the new life he has given and will of the Lord and move forward so that they will be other centered. We are as salt, to be shaken, turned upside down to be poured out and used, not to be a frozen pillar like Lot’s wife. This willingness to teach, disciple, to help others must come from our heart. And it can only take place because we are learning the word of God, growing in grace and knowledge.

Prov. 12:20 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.”

It should be a joyous matter to do God’s will, not a burden.

 Even for David who was depressed at a certain point prayed “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.” (Ps. 51:12-13)

Scripture says our salvation gives us the joy of the Lord, it is our strength.

Neh. 8:9-11 When Ezra gathered the people and they heard what they were missing, the words of the Law, and they wept. V.10 he said this day is holy to our LORD, and for them to “not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Our worth is found to do what is right before God, that brings God’s joy.

John 15:11-12 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

And this joy will continue now and throughout eternity.

Matt. 25:21-22 “well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'  In his presence is fullness of Joy (Ps.16:11).

Rom. 14:17-20 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”

Serve the Lord while you can.



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