Sometimes in our walk with the Lord, we have to take a step backward in order to move forward. Sometimes we loose focus on what the Gospel message is truly about because we are trying to force others to see what we see and not what the Lord desires all to see. Sometimes it’s just that we speak the same language, but with a different tongue, but we don’t take the time to listen to each other.
Thank the Lord we have one binding factor and that is Jesus!
We all understand that Jesus died to save us. But do we truly understand what that means
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
No matter what version of the bible you use, King James or NIV or NASB they all say the same thing – Whoever believes in God’s son, Jesus will have eternal life. It is that simple. We are saved through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a free gift from God to all people who are willing to accept it. But this very fact causes some division between the members of the body. But why?
That is a very good question. So many people mistake the true message of the gospel. Some believe it is our works that save us. Others believe you have to be absolutely perfect in order to be saved. But what is really true? Let’s look at how Paul explained it to the church in Rome.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” – that is the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:8-10
I like this verse because it says ‘believe in your heart’. I have said in several studies that you must have a sincere belief that Jesus died to give you life. It is something that is in your heart. You believe in your heart and you proclaim your belief with your mouth.
It is not the intellectual belief in Jesus that is going to save you, it is the true belief in your heart that saves you. Knowing and believing are two different things. Even those who are of satan know of Jesus, but they do not believe in their heart that He died for them.
This is why it is so important to examine yourself when things don’t go just right, your blessings stop, or you have gotten ill and especially if you remain ill. Is it a thorn to help keep you humble or chastisement to try to correct you or do you just blame Satan, thinking you can do no wrong?
Many people do not believe God chastises us when we do wrong, they prefer to give Satan the credit for it. So many will say Satan is trying to attack the body of Christ. But let me share with you what the Lord showed me about Satan.
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go and dust you will eat all the days of your life; And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for you husband, and he will rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:14-19
Although most people know that God punished Eve for tempting Adam, many never see the fact that God also punished Adam for following along and not listening to the voice of the Lord. Even more importantly many more never see that God punished Satan for tempting His child, Eve, to go against the Lord’s will.
In Job 1, the Lord and Satan are talking. The Lord is proud of Job for being a good servant. But God gives Satan permission to test Job. Satan did not touch Job until he was given permission to do so.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1
The temptation of Jesus was a planned event. Jesus went to the wilderness to be tempted, it was planned not a surprise.
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18
He who was born of God is Jesus. Jesus keeps us and the evil one does not touch us – unless he was permission. Satan can not touch us unless he is allowed to. So stop giving Satan so much credit and see, in truth the chastisement of the Lord.
So many people do not teach about chastisement. They bow to the desires of man, and not the will of God, but even more try to teach without seeking the Lord, first. They speak without knowledge, wisdom or understanding. Many who are young in the Lord speak what they hear, believing that what they have heard is correct, but they never take the time to pray over the Word and ask the Lord to give them insight. Many of these will speak harsh things to others about the brethren when they have a difference. They do not take the other in private, sit, pray over and talk over the differences. When this happens it can create division and dissention, but if the two sat down together in private they could work it out in love and truth.
And we are actually taught that is what we should do.
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
We should take our issue to our brother in private first. This way if there is just a misunderstanding you do not harm the reputation of your brother and you do not cause dissension among the body. You must remember that it is what comes out of us, that comes from the heart and it can make a huge difference in how some people see others.
The Lord showed me a powerful verse about this very thing last night, as I was looking something up in James.
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. Fore every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. James 3:6-8
Our tongue is the very world of iniquity. It defiles the entire body. It is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. That is such a powerful word. We have the power to heal as well as destroy. We have the power to bless and we also have the power to curse. When we speak in front of others before we take it to our brother in private, we can literally destroy that person, even if that is not our intent. We need to learn to close our mouths and choose to do what is right and that is to take it to your brother in private first. The more we walk in the Spirit, the more we learn to control our tongue. But until we do, isn’t it wonderful to have a forgiving God!