“How Then Should We Live” Part 3

Posted: December 10, 2018 in Christian Life, Dispensations, God's Will, God's Glory, New World Order

Many people live their lives as “wondering generalities” rather than as “meaningful specifics.” This includes a lot of Christians. Some believers lack assurance of their salvation, and are confused as to what they are supposed to do now that they have become a Christian. Studying is not appealing to many of them and they seem to lack the ability to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). They aren’t fully convinced that all 66 books of the Scriptures are God breathed and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness so that they can be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). They don’t realize that while all of the Bible is to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9). Some try to live by the “Mosaic Law” and the “Ten Commandments” (Exodus 20). Others try to live according to the “Sermon on the Mount” as the “Red Letter Christians” do (Matthew 5-7). Both of these “Rules for Living” were given to the Jews, not to Christians and the Church. Many of those who follow them allegorize and twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16) rather than use the normal (literal, historical, grammatical) interpretation of the Bible. Both of these two are legal systems which many “preachers” prefer to teach (1 Timothy 1:7). Living by “Grace Principles” is foreign to most Christians (See Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:1-3; 5:1 ff; 2 Peter 3:18). Some of them erroneously think that it leads to a license to sin (Romans 6:1 ff). If you think this way, please note what happens to God’s disobedient children (Hebrews 12:5-11; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13).

What Does God Want Christians To Do?

Baptism. Once a person has been saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 6:23; 8:1), he/she should be baptized/immersed. This is not a requirement for salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9) but it is a picture of our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 2:20). He commanded this of His disciples (Matthew 28:19, 20). It enables a believer to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21) and it serves as a witness to others that we are identifying ourselves with Christ (Acts 8:36-38; 10:47; 16:33) and the “Body of Christ – The Church” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).  Sadly, there are many Christians who haven’t been baptized/immersed yet. Perhaps they’re ashamed of Jesus and deny that they know Him as Peter did (Matthew 26:75). Maybe they fear opposition or even loss of life (1 Corinthians 15:29; Philippians 1:21). What about you?

Dedication. Having been purchased out of the slave market of sin” with Christ’s own blood (1 Peter 1:18, 19; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), every true Christian should present his/her body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2). We should gladly make ourselves available to the Lord so He can live out His life through our lives (Galatians 4:19; 5:22, 23; Romans 6:13). Note: This is not a condition for salvation as the Lordship In Exchange For Salvation” people teach. We should submit to Christ’s Lordship over our lives because we have been saved, not in order to be saved. If you’re saved, have you submitted to His Lordship yet? Is He your Master? If not, why not? Are you afraid that He might ask you to do something you don’t want to do? Are you interested in pleasing God or yourself (See 2 Corinthians 5:9, 10)? When God saved us, He gave us His quality of life – eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24) and we began to participate in the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). He began to put new desires in our hearts (Philippians 2:13). When He does this, He gives us the power and resources to do them (Philippians 3:10; 4:19; See Ephesians 2:10; 3:20). We bring joy and blessings to His heart when we do His desirous will” for our lives. He in turn makes us happy too. But, in spite of all this, many Christians frequently quench the Holy Spirit’s leading in their lives (Romans 8:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:19) and render Him inoperative. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If we deny Him (i.e. say “no” to Him), He also will deny us (say “no”) to us” (2 Timothy 2:12). Don’t ask God for favors if you’re disobedient to Him. This verse is not teaching that we will lose our salvation but we could lose rewards, crowns, and/or praise from God (Revelation 3:11).

Growth. Even though some parents may say that they want their babies to stay small, they really want them to grow up to be normal, well adjusted human beings who can reproduce themselves. New Christians need the milk of the Word” (1 Peter 2:2) and then the meat/solid food” of God’s Word (2 Peter 3:18). God has provided everything we need for life and godliness in His Word (2 Peter 1:3). But it must grieve the heart of God to see so many Christians remaining in a state of spiritual infancy and/or carnality (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:12-14). How much spiritual growth has taken place in your life? Would this make God happy? If not, what needs to change?

Walk. Rather than crawling around everywhere, God wants His children to learn how to walk (order their lives) by means of the Holy Spirit so we don’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) of the flesh/sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; See 1John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25). It brings delight to the heart of God and to spiritual leaders when they see believers walking in love and truth (Ephesians 5:2; 2 John 1:4), and in the light as God Himself is in the light (1 John 1:7). Not only are we saved by one act of faith (Ephesians 2:8), we are to continue to live in an attitude of faith and claim the promises that were addressed to New Testament grace believers (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:2; 10:38). Regrettably, most Christians live by sight rather than by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and only a few of them are aware of God’s promises and mix them with faith and live restful, joyful lives (Hebrews 4:2-16; Philippians 4:6, 7).

Be Filled. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). This verse tells us that not all Christians are filled with the Spirit; all can be filled; all should be filled; and all can/should be filled again and again. This filling of the Holy Spirit” involves His making up in our lives where we are lacking. But instead of our being spiritual Christians (1 Corinthians 2:15) who allow the Holy Spirit to produce the Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22,23) in their lives, and who then direct this fruit toward the right objects, at the right time, for the right reasons (1 John 2:15-17; Ephesians 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31), many (perhaps most) Christians act carnally and are governed by their old sin nature (See 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Habitual carnality and sinful (lawless – 1 John 3:4) behavior can lead to a Christian’s premature, painful, physical death (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16). Is this your condition right now? If so, immediate repentance (a change of mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9) and honest confession of your known sins could prevent your premature death (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). The believer’s chastening by God the Father is limited to this life so that he/she will not be condemned later with the world (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-11). The idea of Purgatory, where one pays for his venial sins before entering heaven, is not found in the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul wrote, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present [immediately] with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer to God the Father, Jesus said, I do not pray for these [disciples] alone, but also for those who will believe in Me [in the future] through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:19, 20). Most people don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. They may know and believe the facts of the Gospel but they haven’t transferred their faith from themselves and their good works over to Christ alone. True unity can only exist among those who are a part of God’s family, not among God’s children and the devil’s children (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10). To which family do you belong? Are you sure?

Yokes. True Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” (2 Corinthians 6:14). The Apostle Paul went further when he instructed the believers in the church in Corinth to put out of their fellowship the carnal Christian who was living in an incestuous relationship with his mother (1 Corinthians 5). So they did. But even after this man repented – changed his mind about his sin (2 Corinthians 7:9) and confessed it (1 John 1:9; James 5:16), they still didn’t want to forgive and restore him back into the fellowship of the church (See Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:34). So Paul gave them instructions to take him back into the church lest Satan take advantage of them (2 Corinthians 2:1-11). Sadly, too many carnal Christians bring disunity to the church over the wrong issues (Examples: the color of the choir robes, carpet, their favorite teachers, Et al) and render the church ineffective in its witness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:1-4). Note: God is opposed to man’s New World Order consisting of a One World Government, Religion, and Economic System (See Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 17:26; Revelation 17; 18; 19:11-16). He doesn’t want Christians promoting it. But God will allow rebellious man the opportunity to set one up, but it will only last for seven (7) years (Daniel 2:44, 45; 9:27; See Psalm 2). If Christ didn’t limit them, no flesh on earth would survive (Matthew 24:22). Man is not capable of ruling himself without God’s help (John 15:5). As is, over ½ of the world’s population will die during the 7 years of the Tribulation (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). The globalists, we’re told, want to reduce the population down to 500 million people. If this is the case, where will that leave you?     

Gifts. Our salvation is a gift from God that was purchased with Christ’s own blood (Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 1:18, 19). When He ascended back to heaven after dying for our sins…and rising again, He gave spiritual gifts” (special abilities) to Christians who make up the “Body of Christ – the True Church” (Ephesians 4:8-16; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10). Some of these gifts were of a temporary nature until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:10; Hebrews 2:4). Others are extant and are still being given out to believers at the moment of their salvation. They need to be developed and used with Divine love for the glory of God and the good of others, primarily the Church (1 Corinthians 10:31; 13:1-13; Galatians 5:13).  Sadly, most of these spiritual gifts get left undiscovered and/or unused by most Christians. Some teachers of the Bible misinform people by telling them that all 20 spiritual gifts are still being given to the Church. Many carnal Christians seek the flashy gifts that aren’t being given out today. [1]

Love. The best that an Old Testament believer could do was to love his neighbor as himself  (Leviticus 19:18). Christ’s New Commandment is …that you love one another [fellow believers] as I have loved you (John 13:34, 35). This “agape” love needs to be directed back to God the Father and to His children first (1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17; See Galatians 6:10). We can’t love God and the world system at the same time. It’s passing away (See 2 Peter 3:10-13). It was devised by the devil, in the days of Cain, to control man’s sin nature (Luke 11:50, 51; Genesis 4:16-24). Sadly, there are some maturing Christians who misdirect God’s love toward the world system. The Apostle John says this must stop! Christians may use it but we’re not to abuse it by making it more important than God and His children (1 Corinthians 7:31; See Hebrews 10:24, 25).   

Witness. God usually leaves believers on this earth for awhile after He saves us. He wants all Christians to bear witness to His saving power (Romans 1:16, 17; Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 7:25) and for us to share the Good News concerning Christ with lost people (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) so we can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20; See Revelation 4:10, 11). Our lives need to correspond with our lips. We need to be ready to give an answer to those who ask us about our hope (1 Peter 3:15). But most Christians fail to tell others about the Savior and seem to be timid or ashamed of Him (2 Timothy 1:7, 8). Some distort the Gospel message (2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15) and/or the method/way of salvation (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). This produces many “professing Christians” who aren’t truly saved (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23).   

Glory. God wants all His creatures to know that He is who He claims to be. He has revealed Himself through nature (Psalm 19:1), His Word – the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and through God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). The chief end/purpose of man should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Sadly, many Christians are more interested in promoting themselves rather than God (Romans 12:3). Do you worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25)? In the end God will be glorified and everyone (spirit beings and human beings) will admit that Jesus Christ is the God-man (Philippians 2:11; See Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).  These verses are NOT teaching “Universal Salvation.”

Check Up. God wants His children to examine themselves on a regular basis (1 Corinthians 11:28). “An unexamined life is not worth living.” One day, at the “Bema Seat Judgment,” every Christian will have his/her works examined to determine which ones are rewardable and which ones get burned up because they are worthless (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). This judgment will NOT be to determine if one gets into heaven or not.

Judgment. Even though God accepts all true Christians in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), and graciously teaches (1 John 2:20, 27), disciplines (Hebrews 12:5-11), empowers (Matthew 28:19, 20), rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15), guides (John 16:13) and enables (Philippians 4:13) us to grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), many (perhaps most) Christians fail to carry out the responsibilities that God has placed on them. With God’s help you don’t have to be one who grieves God (Ephesians 4:30).

Grace. In spite of this, at the time of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52), God will raise all the dead New Testament Christians, and translate/transform the living Christians, and then judge their works and reward what He can (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 15:51, 52). Then He makes the true Church His Bride (Ephesians 5:22) and takes her to His home in heaven (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9-27). Will you miss out on some crowns, rewards, and praise because you were carnal? If you are, repent and then confess your known sins to God, and start abiding (feeling at ease) in His presence so that He feels at ease in your presence (John 15:1-8).

Motivation. Doesn’t God’s marvelous grace deserve a response of love and obedience from true Christians (John 14:15; 15:10)? Living each day with Christ’s imminent return in mind will (1) encourage us to be pure (1 John 3:3), (2) bring us true happiness (Titus 2:13), and (3) comfort us in times of sorrow (1 Thessalonians 4:18)? Ask yourself, “Am I pleasing God or self?” (2 Corinthians 5:9). With God’s help, what changes will I start making today (James 4:14, 17)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 25; 3:16, 17). We’d like to hear from you. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has, and then SHARE it with others.

This article is an expansion of some of the material I have on my website under “Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart.”  If you’re not sure you’re truly saved, please read “The Bad News & The Good News.”

[1] Spiritual Gifts. See “Basic Bible Docs” on our website.

Please watch “The Ultimate Final” by Dr. Howard Hendricks  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKaavuDlvZ4

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