For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

https://bananas.liberty.me/youre-a-criminal-in-a-mass-surveillance-world-how-to-not-get-caught/Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. 

… I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours… Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. …I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one 

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 

https://bananas.liberty.me/the-fault-is-ours-144-antiwar-poems/

My understanding of law, criminality, and mass surveillance coalesced into a horrifying picture.

Although the law is incomprehensible to the governed, ignorance of the law is not a defense when you’re prosecuted by the government.

pathocracy (n). A system of government created by a small pathological minority that takes control over a society of normal people

https://bananas.liberty.me/youre-a-criminal-in-a-mass-surveillance-world-how-to-not-get-caught/

 

 

http://notyourplaything.com/2013/04/05/ambient-abuse-gaslighting-effect-and-the-diabolical-personality/

My hope for the reader in this next section is that it elicits at least one, if not many, “Eureka!” moments as perhaps each of you recognize that you are in one or more of these power relationships and that, no, you aren’t crazy! The gaslighter’s over all goal is to modify evidence then falsify information for the purpose of making their intended target(s) question their own recollection, memory, analysis, and perception of events and/or behaviors. In other words, they reject reality and substitute it with their own for personal gain and entertainment. In short, they enjoy inflicting psychological pain onto others and will stop at nothing to psychologically abuse their targets in order to get their own way. So what is it that they do?  The primary behaviors are listed as follows:

  • Deny existence of an event even when presented with evidence (Denial);
  • Deliberately block their victims from source data (Compartmentalizing);
  • Deny behaviors by immediately putting their targets on the defensive (Deflection);
  • Insist that their targets are imagining things (Chronic Invalidation);
  • Shame their targets for expressing very real hurts (Minimization);
  • Insist that others are the source of their poor choices (Blaming);
  • Mentally abuse their targets with criticism veiled as “advice” (Depreciation);
  • (Usually) must have the last word (again, Chronic Invalidation);
  • Force agreement by their targets to accept their false reality (Domination);
  • Engage in gossip in order to hurt and control their targets (Humiliation);
  • Has the ability to “sell ice to an Eskimo” meaning that they are persistent and manipulative enough to convince someone to invest in something that they could receive for free (Insincerity).

The above described behaviors are perpetrated in concert and incessantly by ambient abusers, always. At their very core, those who Gaslight others are accomplished con artists who know how to select, isolate, and then stealthily psychologically abuse their targets into submission for their own personal gain.

Satan is not equal to God. He is not even a king. He claims to be a god and a king, but he is a liar. The highest rank ever attributed to him is “prince”, and his realm is a subordinate “power”. He, along with everything and everyone held within his power, is accountable to God. The “Most High” God is still in control.

Next: Their Character

Scripture References
  • …the enemy…is the devil…” (Matthew 13:37-39 KJV)
  • …I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18 NKJV)
  • I know…where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is…” (Revelation 2:132:13 NKJV)
  • You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” (John 8:44 NKJV)
  • He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Luke 11:23 NKJV)
  • …I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:17-18 NKJV)
Commentary
  • God has given humanity limited “free-will”. The first man, Adam, choose to obey Satan rather than God and in so doing condemned all of us to follow in his footsteps. Throughout history man has choosen evil instead of good and, despite claims to the contrary, continues to do so to this day.
  • Jesus declared Satan to be the “enemy” and those people who mimic the enemy’s desires to be the devil’s children. All men do not have the right to call God “Father”. Jesus taught the only way to the Father was through the Son, and that we are either with Him or against Him. We either lead others to Him, or we oppose them.
  • The devil’s primary goal is to delay, if not deny, the expansion of the kingdom of God’s Son.
    • His main strategy: set up strongholds in the hearts of men to resist that expansion.
    • His standard tactic when engaging Christ’s disciples is to get them out of the primary fight or, at the very least, diminish their effectiveness in it.
  • For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel. —Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) Table Talk
  • Thankfully Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. As you learn about the enemy, make sure you learn about Christ. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution. For every three vistors who visit this site to learn about the enemy, only one takes the time to learn about Christ and the power of His life available to all of His disciples. PLEASE be one!
The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth.
The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.

The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Satan’s strongholds are spiritual in nature. These are overcome only by grace of God granting new life through faith in Jesus Christ by the preaching of the word of God. Even with the Holy Spirit living within a Christian, the enemy attempts to influence the spirit of man by acting upon his physical enviroment and through his mortal body.

Next: Blindness, Pride, Faithlessness

Scripture References
  • …the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV)
  • …through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… (Romans 5:12 NKJV)
  • …it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment… (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:16-21 NKJV)
  • Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:24-29NKJV)
  • He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…’” (Matthew 25:41 NKJV)
  • The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:10-15 NKJV)
  • These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power… (2 Thessalonians 1:9 NKJV)
Commentary: The devil’s strongholds.
  • Satan does not fully achieve victory in any battle, until a mortal body lays decaying in a grave, and the soul that animated that body is eternally separated from Father God in the lake of unquenchable fire.
  • Man’s fallen nature, separated from his Creator by the sin of Adam, is fashioned in the image of Satan. That is why Jesus taught that all must be “born again”… made a new creature by a work from God.
  • Like skilled counterfeiters of money, the devil and his children have coined many persuasive substitutions for a real life. To our shame, they can outwardly appear more credible than many who claim to be “born again”. But like money with no value, the devil’s substitutions are eternally bankrupt.
  • Christians still must face the remnants of the fallen nature, that is the “flesh”, even after being spiritually reborn.
  • Because of this, the spiritual war is not just between opposing forces in the heavens, or just between “us” vs. “them” upon the earth, but also within ourselves… the Holy Spirit versus our carnal flesh. If we let the flesh win on any given day, our “spirit” looks and feels more like the devil than like our Lord Jesus.
  • Despite his protests to the contrary, and favorable reflection in comparison to fellow humans, man is accountable to God for his deeds and his choices. The most important choice is this: “What shall I believe about Jesus Christ?”. The choice has eternal consequence.

Every struggle we have with the enemy must be seen in kingdom perspective. There is not only conflict within us …the flesh versus the Holy Spirit… but also a larger battle being fought around us to hinder the advance of the kingdom of God. And each battlefield is only one skirmish, of one campaign in that global war which spans human history.

Next: Christian Character

Scripture References
  • He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1 NKJV)
  • I must preach the kingdom of God…, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43 NKJV)
  • But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,…” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)
  • …surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:28 NKJV
  • The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15 NKJV)
  • All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40 NKJV)
  • My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” (John 7:16-18 NKJV)
  • All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27 NKJV)
  • My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” … “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:36-37 NKJV)
  • He sent them to preach the kingdom of God… (Luke 9:2 NKJV)
  • All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV)
  • Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:12-16 NKJV)
  • Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV)
Commentary
  • Each soldier must understand his role in the commander’s battle plan.
    • For a Christian, that means knowing God’s purposes and acting in accordance with them.
    • Too many of us are seeking “deliverance” from the battlefield for our own relief, instead of ultimate “victory” for His glory.
    • God’s will is plainly stated in the verses above. Our role clearly communicated. Preach the kingdom of God; preach the gospel. Transform lives into the image of Jesus Christ by the teaching of His word and the manifestation of His life.
  • Great battles are really won before they are fought. To control our passions we must govern our habits, and keep watch over ourselves in the small details of every day life. — Sir John Lubbock
  • Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you, you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action, and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://notyourplaything.com/2013/04/05/ambient-abuse-gaslighting-effect-and-the-diabolical-personality/

https://bananas.liberty.me/youre-a-criminal-in-a-mass-surveillance-world-how-to-not-get-caught/

 

 

They spend too many moons
Away from their true homes

Put away in corners their supposed to call their own
But the crow still sings, at the break of day

No matter what the sun brings
They’ll still sing their songs and say

Hope it finds us crawling in the dust
Pleading mercy as you plunge right into trust
See you tremble up to stand
Centuries brought us here so we can mend

Please let us meet there in between
Draw down the fruits to change the dream

Yes I will sit you by the tree
Where all the soils mix with seed

How we came here, did we in the start
Cut it into pieces that slowly broke apart

When I fall to cross all boundaries
All the while we scramble for our keys, to

Hope it finds us crawling in the dust
Pleading mercy as you plunge right into trust

See you tremble up to stand
Centuries brought us here so we can mend

Hope it finds us crawling in the dust
Pleading mercy as you plunge right into trust
See you tremble up to stand
Centuries brought us here so we can mend

We would continue to speak on some topics from Ephesians. Our first topic was on our spiritual possessions / blessings in Christ from Eph. 1:1-14.
We will speak on Paul’s 2nd topic in Ephesians that is our spiritual position in Christ.

Position is very important to a person. We can see this in our social and political world how people become influential, famous and powerful because of their position.
How they will try their very best to fight for, cling and retain their position. This keeps our courts busy dealing with their cases .
Of course, often than not people are more concern about their worldly position more than their spiritual position.

From this passage : Eph. 2:1-10 , we are going to look at our spiritual position in Christ.

A.  Our past spiritual position—i.e .before we become Christians
Vs. 1-3,
 Paul described how sin worked against us, as sinners or unbelievers, causing us to be in our terrible spiritual condition and position..

Paul used certain verbs to describe the terrible position of a sinner or unbeliever.He is
1.DEAD [ 2:1]
This does not mean that he is physically but rather spiritually dead which is caused by
“ transgressions and sins” [Eph.2:1] .
Rom. 6;23 tells us “ For the wages of sin is death,”

In the Bible, death basically means “separation” not only physically, as the spirit separated from the body [James 2:26], but also spiritually, as the spirit separated from God [Isa.59:2].
Just as the physically dead person does not possess life and has lost all his 5 senses of hearing [ears ], seeing [eyes ], smelling [nose], tasting [tongue ] and touching [skin ] thus he does not respond to physical stimuli, so it is with the inner man of the spiritually dead person. His spiritual faculties are not functioning, and therefore is unable to function and respond to spiritual things and can do nothing of himself to please God unless and until God gives him spiritual life.
Matt.13:13 says “ Though  seeing, they do not see; though  hearing, they do not hear…….”
The unbeliever is not sick, he is dead ! He does not need resuscitation, he needs resurrection.

2. DISOBEDIENT
Vs. 2-3a  This was the beginning of man’s spiritual death i.e his disobedience to the will of God.
In Gen.2:16-17, God commanded and said to Adam “ You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” BUT Satan said to Eve “ You will not surely die,” [Gen.3:4] Because they believed this lie, the first man and woman sinned and experienced immediate spiritual death and ultimate physical death.
Since that time, mankind has lived in disobedience to God.

There are three forces that encourage man to his disobedience –[1] the world, [2] the devil, and [3] the flesh.
[1]The world, or world-system, puts pressure upon each person to try to get him to conform to its life style or standard [Rom.12:2] ;

[2]the devil / Satan is “ the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” [Eph.2:2].
Satan influences the lives of all unbelievers, and also seeks to influence believers. He wants to make people “ children of disobedience” [Eph.2:2;5:6].
He himself was disobedient to God, so he wants others to disobey Him, too;and….

[3]the flesh is our fallen nature that we were born with, wants to control the body and the mind and make us to disobey God.

Illustration: An evangelist announced his preaching topic” “ Why your dog does what it does.” Of course, many dog lovers came out to hear him. What he had to say was obvious, but too often overlooked: “ A dog behaves like a dog because he has a dog’s nature.” If somehow you could transplant into the dog the nature of the cat, his behavior would change radically.

Why does a sinner behave like a sinner ? Because he has the nature of a sinner.
In Ps.51:5, David said “ Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
In Ps.58:3, the psalmist says “ Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.”

Is it any wonder that the unsaved person is disobedient to God ? He is controlled by the world,,the devil and the flesh,the three great enemies of God. And he cannot change his own nature or, of  himself, overcome the world and the devil. He needs outside help, and that help can come only from God.

3. DEPRAVED
Vs.2:3b  
The word means “ morally bad, corrupt “. The lost sinner lives in “ gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.”
His actions are sinful because his appetites are sinful.

However, when we apply the word depraved to the unsaved person, we are not saying that he only does evil, or that he is incapable of doing good. We are simply saying that he is incapable of doing anything to merit salvation or meet the high standards of God’s holiness. Jesus said that lost sinners do good to each other and to their children [Lk.6:33; 11:13] but they cannot do anything spiritually good to please God.

Illustration:
When Paul and his friends were on a ship on their way from Jerusalem to Rome crossing over the Mediterranean Sea, they were shipwrecked but landed safely on the Island of Malta.
When they were on the Island of Malta, the natives on the island kindly assisted Paul and his friends and showed hospitality; they certainly did good works, but they still they needed to be saved.
They could do a lot of good works. But their good works could not save them. [ Acts 28 ].

Similarly, today, in our society, there are many charitable organizations whose members are showing a lot of love and doing good works, much better than us; sometimes they put us to shame; but in spite of their charitable works they cannot saved themselves.

4. DOOMED
Vs.2:3  
By nature, children of wrath ! By deed, children of disobedience !
The unbeliever is condemned already.
John 3:18 tells us  “ Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”.

The sentence has been passed, but God in His is staying the execution of the sentence.
“But God!”— what a difference those two words make !
This leads to God’s for work us

B. How we become Christians : JUSTIFICATION
Vs.4-9  This is where God worked for us.
The focus of attention now is on God and His salvation for sinful men and women.And Jonah, in his prayer from the belly of the whale, tells us that “ Salvation comes from the LORD” [Jonah 2:9].

We are reminded of at least 4 activities that God performed on behalf of sinners to save them from the consequences of their sins.

1.He LOVED us
V. 4  Because of His great love and rich mercy for us [v.4] , God grants us that favour that we do not deserve – that is His grace. And by Hisgrace He saved us.
Verses 2:5,8 tell us this “ it is by grace you have been saved.” Grace means salvation completely apart from any merit or works on our part. [ 2;8-9]
Grace means that God does it all for Jesus’ sake !

Salvation cannot be “of works” because the work of salvation has already been completed on the cross. This is the work that God in Christ, does for us .and John tells us that ” It is [a] finished” work [John 19:30]. We can add nothing to it [Heb.10:1-14]; we dare take nothing from it.

When Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom, signifying that the way to God was now open. There is no more need for earthly sacrifices. One sacrifice – the Lamb of God – has finished the great work of salvation.
Therefore our salvation is the gift of God for us. It is a gift, not a reward
God did it all, and He did it by His grace.

2. He   MADE US ALIVE
V.5  This means He made us alive, even when we were dead in sins.
He accomplished this spiritual resurrection by the power of the Spirit, using the Word of God.
In the  4 Gospels, it is recorded that Jesus raised 3 people from the dead: the widow’s son from town of Nain [LK.7:11-17],                 Jairus’ daughter [Lk.8:49-56] and Lazarus [John 11:41-46].
In each case, He spoke the Word and this gave life.   ..
Heb.4:12 says,” The Word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword…”

These 3 physical resurrections are pictures of the spiritual resurrection that comes to the sinner when he hears the Word and believes [John 5:24]
But our spiritual resurrection is much greater because it puts us in union with Christ: God “ made us alive with Christ.”
As members of His body we are united to Him [Eph.1:22-23], so that we share His resurrection life and power [Eph.1:19-20].

3. He RAISED us
V.6  We are not raised from the dead and left in the graveyard.
Because we are united to Christ, we have been exalted with Him and we are sharing His  throne in the heavenlies.
Our physical position may be here on earth, but our spiritual position is “ in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
Like Lazarus, we have been called from the grave to sit with Christ and enjoy His fellowship.[John 12:1-2]
The great work of conversion is but the beginning of our salvation.

4. He KEEP us
Vs. 7-9  
God’s purpose in our redemption is not simply to rescue us from hell, as great a work as that is.
His ultimate purpose in our salvation is that for all eternity the Church might glorify God’s grace
[Eph.1:6,12 & 14]   So, if God has an eternal purpose for us to fulfill, He will keep us for all eternity.

This is the assurance of salvation. Jesus, in John 10:28, says “ I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
Therefore, this is our present spiritual position – we are JUSTIFIED.

C. How we are to be Christ-like Christians :  SANCTIFICATION
V. 10a  Here God works in us.  “ For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus….”
We are a part of God’s “ new creation “ [2 Cor.5:17], and He continues to work in us to make us more like Christ [Rom.8:29].

But how does God work in us ?
Through His Holy Spirit, in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”  [Phil.2:13].
Christ finished His work of redemption on the cross, but He arose from the dead and returned to heaven.
There He carries on His unfinished work of perfecting His Church [Eph.4:7-16; Heb.13:20-21]

Christ is equipping us for our walk and our work here on earth.
To do this, He uses 3 special tools: the Word of God [1 Thess.2:13], prayer [Eph.3:20-21] and suffering
[1 Pet.4:11-14]
As we read God’s word, understand it, meditate on it, and feed on it, the Word goes to work in our lives to cleanse us and nourish us.
As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release power
And as we suffer, the Spirit ministers to us. Suffering drives us back to the Word and prayer, and the cycle is repeated.

Too many Christians think that conversion is the only important experience, and that nothing follows. Too many stop at JUSTIFICATIONand nothing else…
But this is wrong.
Paul, in Eph.4:22-24 writes “ ….. put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
He said similarly in Col.3:1 “ Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things.”

The same resurrection power that saved us and took us out of the graveyard of sin can daily help us live for Christ and glorify Him.
At great expense to Himself, God worked for us on the cross.
And today, on the basis of that price paid at Calvary, He is working in us to conform us to Christ.

Therefore, we must not stop at JUSTIFICATION, [God worked for us on the cross ] but move to SANCTIFICATION /MAKE HOLY [ God works in us ] so that we may be more and more like Christ

D. How as Christians we are to witness for Christ : WITNESSING
V.10b  We are “ created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”
This is one of the purposes why God saved us , that is we do good works/charity.
We are not saved by good works, but saved to do good works

This is one of the many ways we are to witness for Christ.
Unfortunately, until recently, for years, we, the evangelical, has minimized the place of good works in the Christian life.
We claim our responsibility is the salvation of human soul and the welfare of  the human bodies is the responsibility of the government, social welfare or other charitable organizations

But if we look closely into Scripture, we will find that it has a lot to say about good works/deeds-which we will not at length here but suffice to say that we have Jesus’ life as our example and His teaching for us to follow.
In Acts 10, when Peter was preaching in the home of Cornelius, one of the things he said about Jesus is that God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil [v.38]

And in His teaching on the sermon on the mount, Jesus said  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” [Matt.5:16].
Here Jesus tells us the importance of doing good works – it will bring glory to God.
Therefore, we do not do good works to glorify ourselves, but to glorify God.

Conclusion:
As we conclude, it would be helpful if we ask ourselves – which of these four works are we experiencing ?
Is it sin working against us because we have not yet believe and accept Jesus as our Saviour ?
Then, we need to come and believe and accept Him now.

Have we experienced His work for us – in us – through us ?
Are we wearing the “ grave-clothes” or the “grace-clothes” ?
Are we enjoying the liberty we have in Christ, or are we still bound by the habits of the old life in the graveyard of sin ?

As Christians, we have been raised and seated on the throne. Practice our position in Christ !
He has worked for us, now let Him work in us and through us , that He might give us an exciting, creative life to the glory of God.

http://www.battlefocused.org/publications/Spiritual_Warfare_Chart_Free_Distribution.pdf

Good vs. Evil

  • I am told that a postmodern society does not respond well to epic stories. Therefore, it is better to tell small-scale personal stories, or personal testimonies. As matter of record, Jesus Christ simply instructed many of the people whom He had healed to go home and tell others what great things God had done for them.
  • Nevertheless, contrary to the foregoing stated cultural rejection of epic stories, the best selling movies of the last 30 years have been grand tales of battles between good and evil: Star Wars, The Dark Knight, The Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, and even Harry Potter.
  • Maybe the secret to their success has been the ability of the storytellers to tell the epic story by involving the audience in the personal lives of the main characters. But the epic dimension of the story was not diminished to favor the personal; rather the personal magnified the events of the epic stage, the consequences of defeat, and the necessity of struggle and sacrifice to achieve ultimate victory.
  • To the point, the only epic that is marginalized in this postmodern culture is the one told by the Holy Bible; in particular, the Gospel story of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the difference is that the movies are mere entertainment, and the stories within the Holy Bible are something more than fictional tall tales.
  • Consider how much effort fictional arch villains put into hiding their “diabolical” schemes until they are finally revealed in the climatic act of a story.
  • If you were a character in one of the movies above… How would you react when the protagonists introduce you to the storyline? What would you do if they tried to persuade you to join their side? Would you withhold your decision until after the innocent have been enslaved, or slaughtered? Maybe your friends and even your own family?
  • Real life is not as simple as movies portray, the plot is more complex, the difference between good and evil is sometimes obscure, even intentionally distorted, and the storyline takes more than six sequels to tell. Nevertheless the truth remains… we live each day on a global battlefield on which a cosmic war is waged between the forces of good and the forces of evil.
  • The war has been fought for thousands of years. The visible battlefield has spanned the entire surface of the earth, and has touched every human that has ever drawn breath… up to this very moment. It is fought in multiple dimensions, some of which are beyond the spectrum visible to the human eye, and each side has forces in the spiritual realm that usually go unseen.
  • It is important that you understand the big picture beyond what your senses are capable of discerning. But what matters most is the part of the battle which you can discern, and which you influence through your decisions and subsequent actions.
  • Fists, knives, swords, spears, rifles, tanks, and a host of other weapons have been used as instruments of warfare. But within the realm of mortal men the most powerful weapons in spiritual warfare are ideas expressed in words and made manifest by our actions. Ideas touch and transform human beings: their minds, their hearts, their souls, and their spirits… the evidence can been seen in their faces, their hands and feet, their words, and their deeds. Ideas can enslave them, or set them free; can bring life, or result in death.

The Kingdom of God vs. the Power of Darkness

  • You can choose to be a spectator and victim, or a warrior and hero. You even get to choose sides, but you cannot be neutral. The choices have everlasting consequences… in this life and the next.

    “…if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15 NIV)

    Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11 NKJV)

I ask you to share with us in the hardships, as a good soldier following our Lord and King… Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of God. His disciples are fighting against the spiritual forces of darkness commanded by a thief and murderer named Satan who has made false claims in order to be called the ruler of this world.

Victory in Jesus Christ

Today I set before you life and death, so choose life!

Jesus Christ gave the following order to the Apostle Paul. Notice the following words:

open  eyes“, “turn  from  to“,and “receive  by faith in Me“.

 …I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:17b-18 NKJV)

  1. Realize that, without Christ, we are ALL sinners and separated from God:

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

    “…the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23a NKJV)

  2. Recognize God’s provision:

    “…the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b NKJV)

    “…God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV)

    “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV)

  3. Repent, turning from sin to God, and ask Him to save you:

    “…everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)

    “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved… Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9,13 NIV)

  4. Receive God’s gift of forgiveness and life, and rejoice in His love and peace:

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

    “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 NKJV)

    Now you have a choice to make. For more information:

  5. If you have received Him, share His gift with others!Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. Andthey overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Revelation 12:10-11 NKJV)

    “…I now send you…” (Acts 26:17b NKJV)

 

 

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