10 BIBLICAL PURPOSES FOR FASTING.

Scripture:

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashesDaniel 9:3

 


Message:

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turning to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually.

Fasting is not an end in itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever we fast, we must do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Here are ten primary purposes for fasting mentioned in Scripture:

  1. TO STRENGTHEN PRAYER; “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” – Ezra 8:23

Numerous incidents in the Old Testament connect fasting to prayer, especially intercessory prayer. Fasting does not change whether God hears our prayers, but it can change our praying. As Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.”

 

  1. TO SEEK GOD’S GUIDANCE; “Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord.” – Judges 20:26

As with prayer, fasting to seek God’s guidance isn’t done to change God but to make us more receptive to His guidance.

 

  1. TO EXPRESS GRIEF; “Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.” – 1 Samuel 31:13

Expressing grief is one of the primary reasons for fasting. Ever notice that when you’re moved to tears by grief you lose the urge to eat? When we grieve, our family and friends often have to plead with us to eat because our body’s appropriate response to grief is to fast. A prime example occurs in 2 Samuel 1:12, where David and his men are described as having “mourned and wept and fasted till evening” for their friends, their enemies and their nation.

 

  1. TO SEEK DELIVERANCE OR PROTECTION; “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek Him. – 2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4

Another common reason for fasting in the Old Testament was to seek deliverance from enemies or circumstances. In Scripture, this type of fast is generally carried out with other believers.

  1. TO EXPRESS REPENTANCE AND A RETURN TO GOD;When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.” -1 Samuel 7:6

This type of fasting helps us to express grief over our sins and shows our seriousness about returning to the path of godly obedience.

 

  1. TO HUMBLE ONESELF BEFORE GOD; “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackclothand fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” – 1 Kings 21:27 – 29

“Remember that fasting itself is not humility before God,” reminds Donald Whitney, “but should be an expression of humility.”

 

  1. TO EXPRESS CONCERN FOR THE WORK OF GOD; They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”- Nehemiah 1:3 – 4

As with Nehemiah, fasting can be a tangible sign of our concern over a particular work God is doing.

 

  1. TO MINISTER TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS; “Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Isaiah 58:3 – 7

We can use time we’d normally spend eating to fast and minister to others.

 

  1. TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION AND DEDICATE YOURSELF TO GOD; “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” He said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.” – Matthew 4:1 – 11

Fasting can help us focus when we are struggling with particular temptations.

 

  1. TO EXPRESS LOVE AND WORSHIP FOR GOD; “and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” – Luke 2:37

Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that “what we hunger for most, we worship.”

PREPARING TO FAST

How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to “declare a holy fast”? Here are some four things to consider as you prepare for fasting:

  1. PRAY AND CONFESS YOUR SINS

A necessary step before fasting is to humble yourself before God – Psalm 35:13 and confess your sins – 1 Samuel 7:6. Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a contrite heart.

  1. TURN TO SCRIPTURE

Spend additional time meditating on God’s Word, before and during the fast. – Psalm 119:15

  1. KEEP IT SECRET

Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality – Matthew 6:16 – 18 or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others – Isaiah 58:1 – 11. Don’t boast about your fast; tell people you won’t be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives – 1 Samuel 14:24-30.

  1. PREPARE YOUR BODY

Fasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any fasting regimen to make sure you can fast in a healthy manner.

Fasting is an appropriate bodily reaction to the grievous state of our soul. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control.

 

FOR REFLECTION

Rather than wondering whether you should fast, ask why you would want to miss out on the Father’s reward.

Stay blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

INTEGRITY IN PSALM 15

Scripture:

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. – Psalm 15.

 

Message:

INTRODUCTION

The book of Psalm can also be called the “Christian’s Psalm.” It sets forth, not so much the way a person finds the Lord, as it does the way we are to live after the Lord has entered our life. In other words, it doesn’t deal with how someone becomes a Christian but rather how a Christian should maintain a life of integrity. It sets forth many of the day-to-day lifestyle, both in public and in private.

ELEVEN SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS

  1. He who walks with Integrity: This has to do with who we are as well as where we go. The word integrity means “to be solid, wholesome, complete.” The believer who is interested in maintaining temporal fellowship is careful about how he lives and where he goes – he walks in the realm of truth. He refuses to live a lie.
  2. He who works righteousness: This has to do with what we do. Righteousness is to be the habit of our conscious life. Our dealings are to be honest; our activities clear of compromise. In today’s vernacular, we’re to “keep our nose clean.” To do less is to weaken our integrity.
  3. He who speaks truth in his heart: This has to do with how we think. Notice that the truth mentioned here is spoken “in the heart” – attitudes, reactions, and motives are in David’s mind. The source of these things (the heart – Proverbs 23:7) is to be a bedrock of truth, no place for deception or lies or a hidden agenda!
  4. He who does not slander with his tongue: This and the next two characteristics have to do with what we say. The Hebrew word translated slander literally means “to go about, to foot it” – we might even say “to hoof it”. It would include one who walks here and there spreading malicious slander, pouring out verbal venom and poisoning others behind their backs.
  5. He who does not do evil to his neighbour: The Spirit-filled believer is loyal and consistent – not fickle, not erratic. He does not consciously bring difficulty upon others.
  6. Nor takes up a reproach against his friend: This means he does not say sharp, cutting and scornful things about others, either behind their back or to their face. There is honesty yet gentleness in his character. – Galatians 5:22-23
  7. In whose eyes a reprobate is despised: This has to do with who we are with. A reprobate mentioned here is literally a “worthless reprobate”, someone who is totally disinterested in spiritual things. The genuine believer with strong integrity will discern the impact such a person can have on his own walk with the Lord, and will not cultivate an association with him. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’1 Corinthians 15:33.
  8. He honours those who fear the Lord: Like the preceding phrase, this is still dealing with our associates, only this phrase is the other side of the coin. It addresses those with whom we should keep company. The believer who walks with the Lord has a scale of values that is determined by biblical principles. Since we become like those with whom we spend our time, a Christlike friend needs to be sought out for companionship.
  9. He swears to his own hurt, and does not change: This means that we perform what we promise, even when keeping our word is difficult to achieve. Our word should be our bond. The Christian with integrity makes it his aim to do what he says he will do, even when it hurts – even when it is inconvenient.
  10. He does not put his money at interest: According to Deuteronomy 23:19-20 and Leviticus 25:35-38, the Jew was commanded not to loan a needy Jewish brother money on interest. He was to assist generously and unselfishly. The believer in Christ who offers to extend personal financial assistance to his brother in Christ should do so without interest, love being his only motive. (Needless to say, discernment must accompany love… or we will have more love than money!) Not every financial need among believers is a “need”. Some “needs” stem from careless spending.
  11. Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent: My Webster’s dictionary defines a bribe as “money or favour bestowed on or promised to a person in a position of trust to pervert his judgement or corrupt his conduct.” We have all read about what has come to be known as “influence peddling.” Not even Wall Street has been protected from such schemes. The Psalmist’s point is clear: One with integrity won’t stoop to that level.

THE PROMISE

We are promised that if these things become our practice, we will live stable, solid, dependable lives. Those who bring these areas under the control of the Holy Spirit will live wholesome lives as solid citizens of heaven. Or, using Ben Franklin’s suggestion, whoever lives like this will be considered a “Christian gentleman.” Such people are rare, indeed. No wonder they are not easily shaken! Integrity reinforces a life with steel.

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

Message:

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE MEANING

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So says A.W. Tozer in his classic book on the attributes of God, The Knowledge of the Holy. Why would he make such an extreme pronouncement? Tozer goes on to say, “Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.”

In our hearts we know the above is true. It is not enough to follow “god.” That word has come to mean so many different things today that it actually means very little. If we just make up our own minds concerning what He is like, then we are just creating an idol in our heads.

 

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE BASIS

Jesus came to reveal the God of the Bible. And God has revealed Himself in His book. Any deviation from that insight from Him is a made-up god. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy finds 18 characteristics of God in the Bible. They are repeated here, although not in the same order. Tozer’s definitions, when used, will appear in quotes.

The Bible says to praise God for who He is, especially in prayer. Much of Psalms is a good example of this. Most people concentrate their praise in just a few areas, such as God’s love, and then spend the rest of their prayers asking Him for things. (So that you can remember all of the attributes of God they are presented in the order of this acronym: WISH TO FLOSS JIM EGGO.)

 

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE CHARACTERISTICS

Wise: “Wisdom is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve these ends by the most perfect means.” In other words, God makes no mistakes. He is the Father who truly knows best, as Paul explains in Romans 11:33: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!”

Infinite: God knows no boundaries. He is without measure. This attribute by definition impacts all of the others. Since God is infinite, everything else about Him must also be infinite.

Sovereign: This is “the attribute by which He rules His entire creation.” It is the application of His other attributes of being all-knowing and all-powerful. It makes Him absolutely free to do what He knows to be best. God is in control of everything that happens. Man still has a free will, and is responsible for his choices in life.

Holy: This is the attribute that sets God apart from all created beings. It refers to His majesty and His perfect moral purity. There is absolutely no sin or evil thought in God at all. His holiness is the definition of that which is pure and righteous in all the universe. Wherever God has appeared, such as to Moses at the burning bush, that place becomes holy just for God having been there.

Triune: Though the actual word is not used in the Bible, the truth of God revealing Himself in three persons is included. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God, given worship as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do. Although, God reveals Himself in three persons, God is One and cannot be divided. All are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active.

Omniscient: “God possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. God has never learned and cannot learn.” Omniscience means all-knowing. God knows everything, and His knowledge is infinite. It is impossible to hide anything from God.

Faithful: Everything that God has promised will come to pass. His faithfulness guarantees this fact. He does not lie. What He has said in the Bible about Himself is true. Jesus even said that He is the Truth. This is extremely important for the followers of Jesus because it is on His faithfulness that our hope of eternal life rests. He will honor His promise that our sins will be forgiven and that we will live forever with Him.

Love: Love is such an important part of God’s character that the apostle John wrote, “God is love.” This means that God holds the well-being of others as His primary concern. For a full definition of love, read 1 Corinthians 13. To see love in action, study the life of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross for the sins of others is the ultimate act of love. God’s love is not a love of emotion but of action. His love gives freely to the object of its affection, those who choose to follow His son Jesus.

Omnipotent: Literally this word means all-powerful. Since God is infinite and since He possesses power, He possesses infinite power. He does allow His creatures to have some power, but this in no way diminishes His own. “He expends no energy that must be replenished.” When the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, it was to set an example for us and our need for rest, not because He was tired.

Self-existent: When Moses asked who he was talking to in the burning bush, God said, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS.” God has no beginning or end. He just exists. Nothing else in all the universe is self-caused. Only God. In fact, if anything else had created Him, that thing would be God. This is a difficult concept for our minds since everything else we will ever encounter comes from something other than itself. The Bible says, “In the beginning, God.” He was already there.

Self-sufficient: The Bible says that God has life in Himself (see John 5:26). All other life in the universe is a gift from God. He has no needs and there is no way He can improve. To God, nothing else is necessary. He does not need our help with anything, but because of His grace and love, He allows us to be a part of advancing His plan on earth and being a blessing to others. We are the ones who change, but never God. He is self-sufficient.

Just: The Bible says that God is just, but it is His character that defines what being just really is. He does not conform to some outside criteria. Being just brings moral equity to everyone. When there are evil acts, justice demands there be a penalty. Since God is perfect and has never done evil, no penalty would ever be necessary; however, because of His love, God paid the penalty for our evil deeds by going to the cross Himself. His justice needed to be satisfied, but He took care of it for all who will believe in Jesus.

Immutable: This simply means that God never changes. It is why the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Merciful: “Mercy is the attribute of God which disposes Him to be actively compassionate.” Since God’s justice is satisfied in Jesus, He is free to show mercy to all those who have chosen to follow Him. It will never end since it is a part of God’s nature. Mercy is the way He desires to relate to mankind, and He does so unless the person chooses to despise or ignore God at which time His justice becomes the prominent attribute.

Eternal: In some ways, this fact about God is similar to His self-existence. God always has been and will forever be, because God dwells in eternity. Time is His creation. It is why God can see the end from the beginning, and why He is never surprised by anything. If He were not eternal, God’s promise of eternal life for those who follow Jesus would have little value.

Good: “The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men.” This attribute of God is why He bestows all the blessing He does on His followers. God’s actions define what goodness is, and we can easily see it in the way Jesus related to the people around Him.

Gracious: God enjoys giving great gifts to those who love Him, even when they do not deserve it. Grace is the way we describe that inclination. Jesus Christ is the channel through which His grace moves. The Bible says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Omnipresent: This theological term means “always present.” Since God is infinite, His being knows no boundaries. So, clearly He is everywhere. This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the phrase “I am with you always” is repeated 22 times in both the Old and New Testaments. These were even Jesus’ words of assurance just after giving the challenge to His disciples to take His message to the entire world. This is certainly a comforting truth for all who follow Jesus.

 

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE CONCLUSION

This is the description of the God of the Bible. All other ideas about God are, according to the Bible, false gods. They are from the imagination of humankind. By learning the attributes of God, we are able to praise God for who He really is and for how each of His attributes impacts our lives in a positive way.

Stay blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

WHAT DOES RIGHTEOUSNESS MEAN?

Scripture:

The Good News shows how God makes people right with Himself – Romans 1:17 (NCV).

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

 

Message:

The righteous person – one who is “in a right” relationship with God – continues to live by faith, growing from one level of maturity to the next. In this way, the believer progresses along the path of righteousness and approval from God to experience a fulfilling spiritual life.

Righteousness is a big word in the Bible. It’s used hundreds of times. The Bible says that God loves righteousness and that God is righteous. It says that one day God is going to judge the world in righteousness. Psalm 23 says that God leads us in the paths of righteousness.

So what in the world does this word mean?

There are various definitions for righteousness, but let us boil it down to two things: Righteousness is a relationship and a lifestyle.

  1. Righteousness simply means being in a right relationship with God and having the ability – through faith in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit – to live in a way that is right by God’s standards.
  2. Righteousness does not refer to a person’s own ability to keep God’s law. No one can get it right with God through good works, and no one can keep God’s law in their own ability. The only way we can become righteous is by accepting the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins and by surrendering our own sinful lives to Christ in return for the new life that comes through faith and devotion to Him.

Romans 1:17 says, The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself” (NCV). The Good News is that God made us right with Himself through Jesus’ death as a payment for our sins. His righteousness is given to us at our conversion. This is what Christians mean by Christ’s atonement for sin. Because of Jesus’ death, we can have a personal relationship with God.

In the world, bartering works only when two people exchange goods of relatively equal value. But God offers to trade His righteousness for our sin – something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless. How grateful we should be for His kindness to us.

  1. Righteousness is also a lifestyle. It means living right as God intends. The Bible says in 1 John 2:29, “All who practice righteousness are God’s true children”.

So why should you care about being right with God? Because it’s the only way to live, and it’s the only way to heaven.

When you are disconnected from God, you’re not really living; you just exist. Most people in the world aren’t really fully alive. They just exist, trying to make it to the weekend. But to be disconnected from your Creator who made you for a purpose is nonsense.

Life is not about the acquisition of things or the achievement of goals. Life is about getting to know God—the one who loves you and made you for a purpose. You’re not really living until you’re right with God and have a relationship with him.

  1. Righteousness is also the way you get to heaven. God created heaven as a place for His children whom He loves, and He wants you to be with Him forever. He wants you to be in heaven, but He’s not going to force you to go to heaven. You can choose to be disconnected from God here on earth, but when your life on earth is done, you will not have a second chance to choose where you spend eternity.

You can’t blame God, because He gives you the choice right now to have a relationship with him. He wants you to choose to love him! And when you do, you will be made right with Him. It will change your life—here on earth and for eternity!

To Ponder:

  • If God makes you right with Him, why does He still want you to learn and grow in spiritual maturity?
  • What does it mean to have a relationship with God? What does it look like in your life?
  • In your own words, how would you explain righteousness to someone else? What difference has it made in your life to be made right with God?

 

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART IX)

 

 

 

Scripture: 

 

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

 

 

Message:

 

INTRODUCTION

We conclude our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “His Ministry Concerning the Fruit of the Spirit.” It the eleventh and final recorded ministry performed by the Holy Spirit of God which we started last week.

 

Please remember that we have studied the personality of the Holy Spirit, His names and emblems, His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts; and the eleven permanent gifts which demonstrate His ultimate goal here on earth.  That is, to bear fruit for Christ through believers.  “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  Rom. 6:22. so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” – Col. 1:10.

 

We ended our study on the fruit of the Spirit on faith as follows: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Gal. 2:20.  “Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” – Gal. 3:11

 

You will notice that Dr. Wilmington in his Guide to the Bible lists eleven fruits instead of the nine we read of in Galatians 5:22-23 “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  He adds Righteousness and Truth as part of the fruit.

 

Please enjoy this concluding gifts of the Holy Spirit and pass it on!

 

  1. RIGHTEOUSNESS:

Right acts; going the appointed mile. “Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God”. – Philippians 1:11

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

  1. h. GOODNESS:

Wholesome acts; going to the extra mile.  “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go wit them two miles.” – Matthew 5:41

 

  1. MEEKNESS: SUBDUED STRENGTH
  • Paul used this method in dealing with the Corinthian church.  “What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit? “– 1 Corinthians 4:21

 

  • This is the method to be used by spiritual people in restoring a backslider. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:12-13

 

  • It is to be used in keeping unity with a church.  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3

 

  • It is the method to be used in dealing with all men.  “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,” – 2 Timothy 2:24-25

 

  1. TEMPERANCE: SELF-CONTROL

The great New Testament example of this is the Apostle Paul. Observe his testimony:

      “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as

      many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law

      I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those

      under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I

      am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the

      law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so

      that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I

      may share in its blessings.  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one

      gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the

      games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to

      get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do

      not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after

      I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”  – 1 Cor. 9:19-27

 

  1. TRUTH:

living an open life, without guile and hypocrisy.  “This, then, is how you ought to regard us:

      as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.  Now it is

      required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” – 2 Corinthians 4:1-2

 

END PIECE

We cannot end this exclusive study of the Holy Spirit without mentioning the kind of life we lead when we choose not to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul talks about The Sinful Nature.

 

In contrast to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Bible clearly points out that there are visible and demonstrable “acts of the sinful nature” as we read in Gal. 5:19-21The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  These acts refer to the human nature with its corrupt desires resistance to God and insistence on going its own way.  This nature has been in effect since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

The sinful nature remains within Christians even after we choose to accept and follow Christ, it continues to be our deadly enemy that battles against our spirit – “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:6-8, 13.  For this reason, this sinful nature must be resisted and put to death spiritually through a continual spiritual battle that we must fight and win through the power of the Holy Spirit –“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” – Galatians 5:17

The spiritual conflict within believers involves the whole person – mind, body and spirit.  The struggle is whether we will give in to our own sinful desires and yield to sin’s control, or whether we will surrender to the Spirit’s demands and continue under Christ’s authority and control.   “ in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.   Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”Rom. 8:4-14 (NIV)

The battlefield is within each Christian, and the conflict will continue throughout our earthly lives if we are to reign with Christ in the future.

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

Stay blessed!

 

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

PRINCIPLE-CENTERED LEADERSHIP

Scripture:    

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:20-27.

 

Message:

When we center our lives on correct principles, we become more balanced, unified, organized, anchored, and rooted. We have a foundation for all activities, relationships, and decisions. We also have a sense of stewardship about everything in our lives, including time, talents, money, possessions, relationships, our families, and our bodies. We recognize the need to use them for good purposes and, as a steward, to be accountable for their use.

Centering on principles provides sufficient security to not be threatened by change, comparisons, or criticisms; guidance to discover our mission, define our roles, and write our scripts and goals; wisdom to learn from our mistakes and seek continuous improvement; and power to communicate and cooperate, even under conditions of stress and fatigue.

  1. SECURITY

Security represents our sense of worth, identity, emotional anchorage, self-esteem, and personal strength. Of course, we see various degrees of security – on a continuum between a deep sense of high intrinsic worth on one end and an extreme insecurity on the other, wherein a person’s life is buffeted by all the fickle forces that play upon it. – Isaiah 26:3-4.

  1. GUIDANCE

Guidance is the direction we receive in life. Much of it comes from the standards, principles, or criteria that govern our decision making and doing. This internal monitor serves as a conscience. People who operate on the low end of the guidance continuum tend to have strong physical addictions and emotional dependencies, conditioned by their centering on selfish, sensual, or social life-styles. The middle of the continuum represents development of the social conscience – the conscience educated and cultivated by centering on human institutions, traditions, and relationships. On the high end of the continuum is the spiritual conscience, wherein guidance comes from inspired or inspiring sources – a compass centered on true principles. – Proverbs 3:5-6.

  1. WISDOM

Wisdom suggests a sage perspective on life, a sense of balance, a keen understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgement, discernment, comprehension. It is a oneness, an integrated wholeness. At the low end of the wisdom continuum are inaccurate maps, which cause people to base their thinking on distorted, discordant principles. The high end represents an accurate and complete life compass wherein all the parts and principles are properly related to each other. As we move toward the high end, we have an increasing sense of the ideal (things as they should be) as well as a sensitive practical approach to realities (things as they are). Wisdom also includes the ability to discern pure joy as distinct from temporary pleasure. – Proverbs 8:12-16 & 32 – 36.

  1. POWER

Power is the capacity to act, the strength and courage to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also represents the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective habits. At the low end of the power continuum we see people who are essentially powerless, insecure, products of what happens or has happened to them.  They are largely dependent on circumstances and on others. They are reflections of other people’s opinions and directions; they have no real comprehension of true joy and happiness. At the high end of the continuum we see people with vision and discipline, whose lives are functional products of personal decisions rather than of external conditions. These people make things happen; they are proactive; they choose their responses to situations based upon timeless principles and universal standards. They take responsibility for their feelings, moods, and attitudes as well as their thoughts and actions. – 2 Kings 1:1-17.

These four factors – security, guidance, wisdom, and power – are interdependent. Security and well-founded guidance bring true wisdom, and wisdom becomes the spark or catalyst to release and direct power. When these four factors are harmonized, they create the great force of noble personality, a balanced character, a beautifully integrated individual.

CHARACTER

Above all these four principles, Security, Guidance, Wisdom and Power; Character is the greatest element of leadership principle. of The issue of character is debated hotly in leadership circles today. Traditionally, character has been defined as the moral constitution of a person. Popular descriptions today are, what you are when no one is looking or who you are in the dark. In other words, character reveals the true substance of a person – who that person really is, day in and day out, in good times and bad times – over the course of a lifetime. Contrary to some opinions, character is not one’s title, role, or position.

Leadership is not a position, it is a lifestyle. Those who have made the greatest mistakes are leaders who have assumed that their position was more important than their lifestyle. For some of them, the consequences have been tragic.

Some years ago, America dealt with the sexual improprieties that occurred by President Bill Clinton with an intern in the White House. A resulting impeachment trial did not lead to any conviction, but perhaps a greater verdict was rendered to the nation. The notion that character was essential to leadership was muted by the message sent that popularity and prosperity had become the defining measures of a good leader. But character is the essence of leadership. Several news items still fill the screens and airwaves about leaders whose character flaws have led to their downfall and sometimes the collapse of companies and nations they lead.

Trusted leaders seek to be consistent in their lives publicly and privately, are authentic in their concern for their followers, and are true to their word.

 

Leaders cannot lead unless they have the full trust of their followers. When that trust is betrayed, support is withdrawn.

End Piece

Leaders cultivate character by acquiring wisdom and understanding. These of course come at a great price because they require the kind of dedicated and patient leaders must diligently “search” for wisdom treasures covered by the layers of earth and rock.

Stay blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART VIII)

Scripture:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

 

INTRODUCTION

We continue our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “His Ministry Concerning the Fruit of the Spirit.” We have studied so far, His personality, names and emblems, His ministries; His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts; and the eleven permanent gifts.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

 THE HOLY SPIRIT MINISTRY CONCERNING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

We now come to the eleventh and final recorded ministry performed by the Holy Spirit of God.  In a very real sense it best demonstrates His ultimate goal here on earth, namely, to bear fruit for Christ through believers.  “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  Rom. 6:22. “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Col. 1:10.

 

  1. THE COMMANDS TO BEAR FRUIT
  2. God desires His new creation to do the same as He ordered His old creation to do.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth

            and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every

            living creature that moves on the ground.”  Gen. 1:28.

 

  1. God desires the believer to fulfil the prophecy concerning Joseph.  “Joseph is a

             fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.” – Gen.

            49:22.

 

  1. God desires His children to experience the blessings of Psalm 1.  “That person is like

            a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does

            not wither—   whatever they do prospers.”  –  Psalm 1:3

 

  1. God desires His children of light to function today as His tree of life will function

in eternity.  “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as

            crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great

            street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops

            of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of

            the nations.”  Rev. 22:1-2

 

 

  1. THE PREREQUISITE FOR BEARING FRUIT
  2.  One Must Die to This World

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains

            only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”John 12:24

 

  1. One Must Abide in the Saviour – John 15:1-5; 16

In the Old Testament the nation Israel was God’s chosen vine vessel.  “You

transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.”Psalm 80:8“Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself.  As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.”Hosea 10:1

 

Thus, the nation was eventually set aside by Jesus.  ““Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” Matt. 21:43.  In the Gospel, Christ was God’s chosen vine vessel while He was on this earth.  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” –  John 15:1.  “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”Isa. 11:1.

 

Jesus told His disciples they were to be branches.  The only useful function of a

branch is to bear fruit.  A branch does not produce fruit, it simply bears it.

 

  1. THE TWO KINDS OF FRUIT

 

  1. Outer Fruit:  Soul-Winning

“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” – John 4:35 – 36 (See also Rom. 1:13; Prov. 11:30)

 

  1.  Inner Fruit:  Christlikeness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Gal. 5:22-23

 

It should be noted that the word fruit in both of these passages is in the singular.  Paul does not say “the fruits of the Spirit are,” but rather, “the fruit of the Spirit is.”  The reason is this:  all the fruit of the Spirit, unlike all the gifts of the Spirit, are to be possessed by every believer.

 

  1. THE ELEVEN FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
  2. LOVE: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect

             unity.” –    Col. 3:14

 

  1. JOY:  “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,

              faithfulness,” – Gal. 5:22. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and

            drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” – Rom. 14:17

 

  1. PEACE:   There are two kinds of peace:

(1)   The Peace with God:  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we

                               have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Rom. 5:1   This peace is

positional peace and includes all believers at the moment of their salvation.

 

(2)   The Peace of God:  “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will

                  guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:7.  This peace is

experienced, and includes only those believers who are filled with God’s Spirit.  It

can be defined as reassurance in tribulation.

 

  1. PATIENCE:   The ability to cheerfully bear an unbearable situation and to

patiently endure the unendurable.  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his

            kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to

            lead you to repentance?” –  Rom. 2:4

 

  1. GENTLENESS:   A quiet and respectful kindness. “to slander no one, to be peaceable and

             considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  –  Titus 3:2. “And the Lord’s

            servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not

            resentful.” – 2 Timothy 2:24

 

  1. FAITH: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,

           faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –   

          Gal. 5:22-23.

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

RIGHTEOUSNESS

Scripture:

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death. – Proverbs 10:2

 

INTRODUCTION

Proverbs 10:2 contrast the blessings of right, godly living with the dissatisfaction of wicked, ungodly living.

3 EXAMPLES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS DELIVERING:

  1. Noah;The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.” – Genesis 7:1

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” – Hebrews 11:7

  1. Daniel (Daniel 6)
  2. Three Hebrew Children (Daniel 3)

Crime does not pay! Sin will not succeed! Wickedness cannot profit, no matter how much wealth you temporarily pile up. You cannot buy God off from judgment in this life or the next. Righteousness is the key to a successful life, and it will deliver you from several deaths. Are you committed to righteousness, even if it means earthly poverty?

Wicked men may prosper for a while. Do not envy them. It is an illusion – terrible judgment is coming soon (Proverbs 3:31-32; 23:17-18; Psalm 37:1-3; 73:1-20). Do not copy them. Sin will not work, and you will lose (Proverbs 11:4; Psalm 49:6-14; Luke 12:15-21; James 5:1-3). The rich man fared sumptuously every day, but he could not prolong his life or buy his way into heaven. He could not even buy a drop of water for his tongue (Luke 16:19-21). 

Ahab and Jezebel murdered Naboth to steal his vineyard, but the wine it produced could not cheer the heart of a holy God or comfort the sinners He condemned. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. This wicked couple appeared to be gaining in real estate holdings by their wicked conspiracy against Naboth, but a chance arrow killed Ahab, and dogs licked his blood from his chariot and ate Jezebel (I Kings 21:1-16; 22:37-38; II Kings 9:30-37).

If you get ahead by wickedness, it is only for a moment. Judas pleasure at thirty pieces of silver did not last long, as his scattered bowels have testified for two millennia (Acts 1:18-19). Achan’s family regretted the day he took of Jericho’s riches (Joshua 7:19-26). Gehazi could not trade his theft for the cure of leprosy (II Kings 5:20-27). Ananias and Sapphira held back some money by deceit, but they did not take any of it with them (Acts 5:1-11).

 

The King of Assyria, whom God sovereignly used to punish Israel, heaped up treasures of wickedness by his greedy, conquering heart (Isaiah 10:5-14), but the same God tore him and his army to shreds when his usefulness was over (Isaiah 10:15-19). The harlot church of Babylon – Roman Catholicism and Protestant daughters – has taken treasures by wickedness, but Jesus Christ is coming to grind her to powder (Revelation 17:1-6; 18:1-24).

Crime does not pay. Sin will not succeed. Hear God’s word. “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.” – Proverbs 21:6-7. “Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools.” – Jeremiah 17:11.

But righteousness delivereth from death,” Solomon wrote. The righteousness of Jesus Christ will deliver His elect from the second death – eternity in the lake of fire – by the book of life (Revelation 20:11-15; Romans 5:19; II Corinthians 5:21). But it is by personal righteousness you avoid death of your fellowship with God (James 5:19-20; Revelation 3:1), bodily death by chastening (I Corinthians 11:28-34), and lay hold of eternal life (Psalm 15:1-5; I Timothy 6:11-12).

While many do not understand the importance of personal righteousness, it is the certain emphasis of God’s word. The modern invention of a mere decision determining your eternal destiny is heresy. Believing and calling on the name of Jesus Christ are nothing without obedience to His commandments (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; John 5:29; Acts 10:34-35; Philippians 3:8-14; I Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrew 5:9; James 2:14-16; II Peter 1:5-11).

Do you envy the treasures of the wicked? Do you wish for their pleasures, riches, and comforts? The exchange is not nearly worth it. Solomon judged, “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” – Proverbs 16:8. And Jesus confirmed it by teaching, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”Matthew 16:26.

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART VII)

 

 

 

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

INTRODUCTION

Last week, we studied “The Eleven Permanent Gifts of the Holy Spirit” and ended on the 5th gift – “The Gift of Ministering” and said Dorcas and Phoebe had this gift. We continue this week with the remaining permanent gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

(6)    THE GIFT OF THE SHOWING OF MERCY 

if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8

Often untrained laypeople possess this supernatural ability to minister to those sick and afflicted.

 

(7)      THE GIFT OF RULING OR ADMINISTRATION

if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8.  This is the supernatural ability to organize, administer, and promote the various affairs of a local church – Titus 1:4,5.  A local church will not grow beyond a ministry of those individuals empowered with this gift.

 

(8)     THE GIFT OF FAITH

The Bible describes three kinds of faith:

 

  • Saving Faith: given to all repenting sinners.

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -you and your household.”  – Acts 16:31

 

“However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” – Romans 4:5

 

  • Sanctifying Faith:  available to all believers.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. – Galatians 2:20

 

“Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. “ – Galatians 3:11

 

  • Stewardship Faith:  given to some believers.

”For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” – Romans 12:3

 

“To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,– 1 Cor. 12:9

 

(9)         THE GIFT OF TEACHING

The supernatural ability to communicate and clarify the details of the Word of God.

 If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach”; – Romans 12:7.  The gift was given to:

 

  • Paul – “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” – Acts 20:27

 

  • Apollos – “Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” – Acts 18:24-25

 

  • Aquila and Priscilla“He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately”. – Acts 18:26

 

While no one can present a better gospel than that in the Bible, there are those who can teach that gospel better.  This is the gift of teaching.

 

(10)     THE GIFT OF EVANGELISM

The supernatural ability to point sinners to Christ and to burden  Christians about soul-winning.  All believers are to witness for Christ whether Timothy, for example, was not an evangelist, but he was a soul-winner.  “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” – 2 Tim 4:5.

There are others, however, who were given this gift.  Philip, among others in the book of Acts, possessed it  – “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.  “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so

he did not open his mouth.  In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants?  For his life was taken from the earth.”   The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.  Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.” – Acts 8:26-40

Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.”Acts 21:8

 

(11)      THE GIFT OF PASTOR-TEACHER

The supernatural ability to preach and teach the Word of God and to feed and lead the

flock of God. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:  Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because  you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;  not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”1 Peter 5:1-4

 

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.” – Acts 20:28. 

 

This is the only “double portion” gift of the eighteen gifts.  Thus, all teachers are not called to be pastors, but all pastors are to be teachers.

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

 

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

 

 

FREEDOM TO LIVE TO PLEASE GOD.

 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. – Romans 6:1-7.

INTRODUCTION

The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. – Romans 6:10

Although Christ was sinless, He suffered from ad was humiliated by the power and punishment of sin for our sake. He endured this to restore our opportunity to have a relationship with God. In His death, Jesus died to the influence and effect of sin; in His death, Jesus died to the influence and effect of sin; in His resurrection, He triumphed over its power. As a result, Jesus makes His life and power available to all who accept His sin-forgiving sacrifice and yield their lives to His leadership. Those who enter this personal relationship with Jesus are united with Him in death to sin and are freed from its power so they can experience a new life as God planned. Today we have quoted directly from Romans 8:1-39 using the new Living Translation.

LIFE THROUGH THE SPIRIT

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.  Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)  And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. – Romans 8:1-17.

 

FUTURE GLORY

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are.  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.  For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory. – Romans 8:18-30.

NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

 

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:31-39.

Remain Blessed!

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