Posts Tagged ‘Christian living’

Elder Joe Casey, Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


 

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Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  This week we are pleased to have Elder Joe Casey bring us a message on faithfulness.  God is faithful, are you?

Please click on the link below to listen to this helpful sermon.

Fruit of the Spirit is FAITHFULNESS – Joe Casey

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Ephesians 5:20 “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;”

This is an especially good Thanksgiving Day message, as we are reminded that we are always to give thanks, not just on one special day.  Listen as Pastor Ron works through the following questions regarding thankfulness.

Notes:                                                            ephesians5_19-20

CONTEXT…

A.  When are Spirit-filled believers to be thankful?

B.  For what are Spirit-filled believers to be thankful?

C.  How are Spirit-filled believers to be thankful?

D.  To Whom are Spirit-filled believers to be thankful?

You can listen to this thought-provoking message below:

 

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Ephesians 5:15  “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,”  True believers are to walk in wisdom. How are we to do that?  Pastor Ron Lewis unpacks this scripture and teaches us what it means to walk as wise men. We truly need to have discernment in this world today.

Notes:

B.  THE CALL (V15b)                                                    james1_5

  1. This is who you are…
  2. This is how you’re to walk…

C. THE CHARACTERISTICS (V15a, 16-17)

  1. Be Careful how you walk…V15a

a.  What does that mean…?

b.  What are the objectives…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this sermon.

Put God’s Wisdom on Display

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Ephesians 5:15-17  This section of scripture tells us to walk as wise men.  Just how are we to do that?  Pastor Ron Lewis will explain the difference between wisdom and folly.  Today we have much information thrown at us from every direction.  How can we sort it out and know what is true wisdom and what is false wisdom?  There is a way.

Notes:

A.  THE CONTRAST                                                                             ephesians5_15

  1. WISDOM

a.  What is Wisdom…?

b.  Where do you find Wisdom…?

c.  How do you get Wisdom…?

d.  What are some characteristics of a wise man…?

2.  FOLLY

A.  What is Folly…?

b.  What are some characteristics of a Fool…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this excellent sermon.

Wisdom vs. Folly

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I want to let you know that I’ve started an online Bible study for the ladies who read my blog.  We are studying Philippians and our teacher is Susan Heck.  She is an excellent Bible teacher and counselor, and comes highly recommended.  You will love how she digs deep into the scriptures and brings out so many truths that I would overlook.  I try to post a new lesson every week.  The lessons and discussion area are protected and you will need a password to get into them.  That way we can keep what we say private and just between the members of the group.  If you are interested you can click on the link below to see what it is all about.  Hope to see you there!

Dig Deeper Bible Study

 

 

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I have something on my mind that really bothers me, and I wonder if any one else feels the same way?  What is Christian fellowship anyway?  I would think that Christian fellowship would be when Christians get together for some social event and the topic of discussion would always turn to Christ.  After all we are all one in the body.

Have you noticed that when professing Christians get together for a time of fellowship there seems to be something missing? At least that is how it has been with me.  I’ve noticed that there is not a lot of talk about Christian things.  Oh, we talk about each others jobs, and families.  We tell each other of something funny that has happened recently.  Mostly it seems people talk about their troubles and all the illnesses and problems others are going through.  Is this gossip? And, we joke around and say clever things. We don’t usually even talk about ideas. But, most of all  Christ is left out.

Time and again, I’ve noticed that no one mentions Christ, or the Bible, or God.  People don’t seem to share the things of Christ and I wonder why?  After all, we are suppose to be different, (and we are) so it would seem that we would want to share things that have to do with Christian living.  Or, something that the Lord has done for us lately.  Do we just take Him for granted?

I’d call this fellowship and not Christian fellowship.  It seems to me this is no different than how unbelievers fellowship.

Anyway, I’d like to know if anyone else has noticed this and if anyone has any suggestions to  turn this around.  I need your input and advise.

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1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB  (19)  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

I suppose I’ve read the above scripture many times and kind of skimmed over it and the meaning didn’t really set in.  Maybe you have also.  Let’s take a few minutes and meditate on these verses.

Just think, the Word says our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Now, what does that mean?  When we became Christians the Holy Spirit came and now dwells in us.

2 Timothy 1:14 NASB (emphasis mine) Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

The Holy Spirit of God now actually lives in us!  Wow!  That seems impossible doesn’t it?  But, it is true!  The third head of the godhead now lives in me!  And also in you! We have been changed! We are different now that we have Him in us!  What an awesome privilege it is that God in His infinite wisdom chose to allow the Holy Spirit to live in us.  That simply boggles my mind!

We are not the same as when we walked in the world before we were saved.  In fact, the Bible says we “are a new creation.”

2 Corinthians 5:17a NASB  (17)  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;…

What does it mean that our bodies are a “temple” of the Holy Spirit?  The word temple means a sacred place.  We are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and our bodies are to be holy, acceptable to God.   How can my body be holy?  I know that when something in the Bible is holy it means that it is set apart for a special use, such as the vessels used in the temple in Old Testament days.  So, that must mean we are set apart by God for a special use and part of that is for us to be a temple for the Holy Spirit.

This is serious business!  As we live out our Christian lives we must remember who we are in Christ.  We must remember that the Holy Spirit lives in us and that we are His holy home.  We need to think about the things we do and the places we go.  Remember, who is with you at all times.

As I ponder these things, I realize it is vitally important how I act, where I go, and who I spend my time with.  I need to evaluate my actions with the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in me.  I need to remind myself throughout the day of this fact.

Do you remember from the scriptures how Jesus went into the temple area and found the money changers there and because there was corruption and greed going on He threw over the tables and cleansed the area?  He said, “…My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13 KJV) Likewise the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer according to God’s will.  We are the means the Holy Spirit uses to offer up His prayers.

But, what if we don’t live holy lives?  We are a temple and when we sin we are as the money changers.  We corrupt the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and that is shameful. Do you think God just might discipline us for that?

Do you realize that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to purchase our salvation?  He gave His life so that we might not have to pay the penalty for our sins.  The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death.”

Romans 6:23 KJV(emphasis mine)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB (emphasis mine)   (20)  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

We must keep our bodies undefiled because they are a shrine of the Holy Spirit. When we live holy lives we glorify God.  We show Him respect and honor by living the right way.

After meditating on these things I think we need to take an inventory of our lives and see if we live a holy life, or if we follow the things of the world.  There is  much coming at us all day long that can trip us up.  We need to be mindful of who we are in Christ and who lives with us.

  • Can we take the Holy Spirit to the bar?
  • Can we take Him to the casino?
  • Can we take Him out on that date with an unbeliever?
  • What about the kind of people we hang out with?  Is there coarse language and dirty jokes?
  • Do we watch the right kind of movies and television programs?
  • Can we go out partying like we did before we were saved?

I believe that when we are faced with a decision about whether we should do something or not we need to ask ourselves: “Would Jesus do this?  Does this thing honor Him and will it bring Him glory?”

A few weeks back I wrote an article about doing Tai Chi.  As a Christian I determined that I could not do that because I should not participate in a false religion.  I could not take Jesus with me to Tai Chi.  It would not glorify God.  This is just one example of how we need to evaluate what we do and who we spend our time with knowing that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.

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We have to understand that God’s way and man’s way of solving problems are different.  If we are not believers then all we have is man’s way.  Man’s way of solving problems includes such things as psychology, philosophies and ungodly theories.  On the other hand the Word of God has been given to believers as the sole source for solving man’s problems.  The Bible is sufficient for problem solving.

What is the biggest difference between man’s way and God’s way:  SELF

We try to please self, comfort self, rely on self, fulfill self, forgive self, exalt self, and to love self.  We are basically selfish people.  It’s all about ME.  That is man’s way.

While God’s way is applying the Word of God to our problems.

The other day I wrote a piece called, Key to Recovery.  In it I stated that the key is developing an intimate relationship with God.  That is so true.

In order to have an intimate relationship with anyone we have to get to know all about them.  It’s the same way with God. 

I’d like to expand on that thought a bit and think about the benefits that believers have been so graciously given by our wonderful Heavenly Father. It will help us to get to know God better as we see how much He loves us and what He had done for us.

When we know God in a personal way He bestows upon us certain benefits.  All true believers have these benefits, but not all true believers enjoy them, or even realize how loving and kind our heavenly Father has been to us.  It would be helpful if we go through some of these benefits and remind ourselves what a marvelous God we serve.

1. We are forgiven of all our sins. Every one of us had a death sentence upon us.  For God said in Rom 6:23 NASB “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We were spiritually dead because of sin.

But, God, in His marvelous grace, made a way for our sin payment to be paid in full.  Jesus Christ hung on the cross on our behalf.  He canceled what we owed to God for sin, and satisfied God’s justice.  Because of His great love for us our sins are forgiven, past, present, and future.  Now that is mind boggling to me.

Col 2:13-14 NASB When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

2. At the time we are born-again we actually become a new creation.

2Co 5:17 LITV So that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!

Sometimes it is hard to understand this new change because we do not look any different on the outside. We have the same bodies and the same physical problems.  So, the new creation has to be on the inside. 

What does it mean that we are a new creation?  We are born again spiritually and we actually become new in the inner man. This is a divine act of God. Our old views of life are passed away and we now have new views.  We see things differently than before. 

I remember when I was young I was arrogant and prideful.  I don’t like to admit it, but I looked down my nose at certain people.  Usually, they were the poor and unlovely people.  In some twisted way I thought those people deserved what they got.  I had no pity for them.  At one point I too became impoverished and the shoe was on the other foot.  Part of that lead me to find the Lord. 

After conversion to Christ my views toward people changed a great deal. Then when I saw poor people I had real sympathy in my heart toward them.  I looked at them as beautiful souls that the Lord created and I wanted to help them if I could.  Sometimes I would see a poor soul on the street and I would pray for them.  My whole attitude changed toward people, and I wanted to tell them all about my precious Savior.  I also began to understand why people acted the way they did.  I could see the selfishness that I couldn’t see before.  It was as if my eyes were opened for the first time. 

Barnes in his commentary talks about the “old things have passed away.”

“…, it is also true that old things pass away. Their former prejudices, opinions, habits, attachments pass away. Their supreme love of self passes away. Their love of sins passes away. Their love of the world passes away. Their supreme attachment to their earthly friends rather than God passes away. Their love of sin, their sensuality, pride, vanity, levity, ambition, passes away. There is a deep and radical change on all these subjects – a change which commences at the new birth; which is carried on by progressive sanctification; and which is consummated at death and in heaven.”

Isn’t it wonderful what God has done for us?  He has allowed us to be changed in a way that we could have never done on our own.  Do you see change in your life?

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