Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

Most people like the “freebies” that are offered to them.  Some socialists demand them.  They want free education, free entertainment, free circuses, free health care, free housing, free vacations, and freedom to do and say as they please.  Many young people are led to believe that having a college degree, of any kind, (including such things like “basket weaving”) will guarantee for them a six figure income when they graduate.

Socialism. But when they are done with their schooling, and don’t get hired so they can pay back their student loans, they decide that socialism/communism looks like a better route to take.  They fail to realize that atheistic communism (now called “democratic socialism”) and other tyrannical forms of government, have resulted in over 100 million deaths at the hands of tyrants during the last 100 years.  Check out the facts for yourself as you look at Germany, China, Russia and many other countries.

Free/Costly? Are there any “free lunches”? Is salvation (i. e. deliverance from hell to heaven) really free or is it costly? If so, to whom? Can we get rid of heaven and hell by just imagining that they aren’t real as John Lennon has suggested in his popular song “Imagine”?  What about those who teach “Lordship Salvation” and tell people that it will cost them something to become a Christian? Are they confusing salvation with discipleship (spiritual maturity) and rewards?  Can a person earn his/her way to heaven by doing good works?  What’s the difference between salvation and rewards?  A correct understanding of this can/will affect your eternal destiny.

Heaven. Many people think that heaven is a reward for those who do good works on earth. No, the Scriptures tell us that it’s a FREE gift to anyone and to everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See Ephesians 2:8, 9). It’s not merely knowing and agreeing with the facts of the Gospel, but a transfer of trust from yourself and your good works over to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ on your behalf.

Salvation. It can’t be earned and it’s not something we deserve (Romans 6:23). It is a present possession (1 John 5:12) and it can never be lost (John 10:28, 29) by a true believer. It involves our being accepted “in the Beloved” in the same way Jesus is accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Our salvation from God frees us from condemnation (Romans 8:1). Every true believer shares all the same “spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1:3). If you’re a Christian, how many of them can you name?

Rewards. They can/must be earned by faithful service and good works (Colossians 3:22-24; Revelation 22:12). They are things a believer deserves (1 Corinthians 15:10; See Luke 19:16, 17). They will be given out on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). It is possible that other believers might receive crowns that were intended for us (Revelation 3:11; See John 6:37). Salvation is received at a point in time, but rewards can be earned throughout a believer’s life on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). God is not unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love (Hebrews 6:10).

Crowns. Each of the five crowns must be earned. The “Incorruptible Crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27) is given out to those believers who discipline themselves properly. The “Crown of Rejoicing” is given out to believers who have had a part in the salvation of other people (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). The “Crown of Righteousness” is given to Christians who love Christ’s imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Crown of Life” is given out to Christians who resist temptations even if it means physical death (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). The “Crown of Glory” is given to faithful under-shepherds (not false shepherds) who care for the Lord’s sheep (1 Peter 5:4). Believers who receive crowns can/will show their gratitude to God for working in and through them (Philippians 2:13; 4:13) by casting their crowns before His throne while saying, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:10, 11).

God’s Omniscience. At the “Bema Seat Judgment” Jesus, the righteous Judge (John 5:22), will evaluate our motives and reveal why we did what we did (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Were they done in keeping with the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives (Romans 8:14) and with His power (Philippians 3:10; 4:13)? Were they done according to the rules that God set forth in His Word (2 Timothy 2:5; See Romans 3:8; 6:1)? Were they done according to the will of God (Acts 21:4-14)?  Did they bring glory to God or to us (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Imminent. The Lord’s return for true Christians can take place at any moment (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Even if He doesn’t return for us before we die, we should continue to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that [our] labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Please let us know if this has helped you. If it has, please share it with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube.

Salvation vs. Rewards: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/rewards.htm

Lehman Strauss https://bible.org/seriespage/6-future-judgment-believer

Hampton Keathley III https://bible.org/article/doctrine-rewards-judgment-seat-bema-christ

Jack Kelley https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/how-to-win-your-crowns-2/

Socialism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEa8DpheXkM

Lordship in exchange for Salvation? – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

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Perhaps you didn’t know this, but a Christian believer’s salvation comes to him in three phases. When a person puts his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, he is only initially saved but is guaranteed of his final salvation from that moment on (Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Confused? Let me try to explain this to you.

Three Parts. We’re made up of a spirit, soul, and a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The spirit belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23) and is the rational part of our being. The soul is associated with the emotional part of our being which can be excited and happy one moment and discouraged and/or depressed the next (John 14:1). The body is the physical part of our being that expresses the spirit and the soul. It’s not vile/evil in itself, as some have suggested, but it can be used for good or evil purposes (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 6:13-21; Romans 6:11-23).

Carnal Christians. Yes, contrary to what some are being taught, there are many “carnal Christians” in local churches (See 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 5:1-8; Romans 7:14-25). Are you one of them? Would you like to avoid God’s discipline and a premature, physical death (Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16)?

Spirit. When we get saved, God the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16; See John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). The Scriptures tell us that “…he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). We believe that it is in the realm of our spirit that God the Holy Spirit leads us in ways that He wants us to go and do the things He wants us to do (Romans 8:14). This will always be in line with the written Scriptures. Therefore, we believe that the human spirit is the only thing that is saved while a believer is alive on this earth.

Soul. “The soul refers to the immaterial part of man that is the center of the emotions and also interprets the five senses to the mind (Luke 12:19-22; Revelation 18:12-14).” – Dr. H. L. Schafer, Maturing In Christ, p. 86. The Christian’s soul (i. e. emotions) is the last thing that will be saved at the time of the Rapture of the church (1 Peter 1:9). It is very dangerous for a Christian to make major decisions in life based on how he feels at any given moment. Here is some dangerous advice – “If it feels good, do it.” Actions, whether good or evil, have consequences (Galatians 6:7-9).

Body. The human body is obviously not yet saved. “…we groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23). Some teachers have misinterpreted the words “…by His [Christ’s] stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) to mean that every Christian can/should enjoy perfect health in this life rather than ever being sick. Were this true, none of the “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” should ever get sick or die. But they do like all the rest of us. God Himself can and still heals us of all our sicknesses except the last one that will take our life. In the Old Testament times, the devil held the keys of death (Hebrews 2:14; See Job 1:13-22). Today, Jesus does (Revelation 1:18). Don’t assume that you will be alive tomorrow. Live every day as though it might be your last day on earth (See Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14).

Death. “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). This is a general rule. But there will be an exception to this when Christ returns at the time of the Rapture of the true Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Will you be in this group of Christians? Can anyone be absolutely sure (1 John 5:13)? No one is annihilated or reincarnated after death. Once you’re physically dead, your destiny is unalterable (See Luke 16:18-31; 2 Samuel 12:23).

Healing. During the Old Testament times, God saw the disobedient Jews as being spiritually sick and in need of spiritual healing (Isaiah 1:5, 6). Today God sees unsaved people as being spiritually dead in need of new life from above (Ephesians 2:1; John 3:3 ff). Do you have “eternal life” (i. e. God’s quality of life) right now? You can (John 3:36; 1 John 5:11-13).

Temporary. We don’t believe that God is still giving out the spiritual gift of healings today (1 Corinthians 12:9, 28). He stopped giving this supernatural gift out to Christians when the Scriptures (i. e. the perfect thing) were complete (1 Corinthians 13:10; See Revelation 22:18, 19). It, and some of the other temporary gifts, were designed to validate God’s messenger and his message from God (Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:4).

Three “Ps”. When a person puts his faith in Christ alone through the Gospel (Acts16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4), he is judicially forgiven and gets saved from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 1:7; 2:5, 8; Romans 8:1). He is currently being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14; 8:2). He will be saved from the presence of sin, either at the time of his physical death, or the Rapture (Romans 8:18-23).

Gospel. My friend, you are a sinner like all the rest of us and deserve to be eternally separated from God forever in the lake of fire (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). But Christ died for sinners…and rose again bodily on the third day. If you’ll put your faith in Him, He will save you eternally. If you’ve never done so before, why not believe on Him right now?

Questions. If you have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, are you doing the things He planned for you to do while you’re here on earth (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Have you been baptized/immersed to demonstrate your faith to others (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Have you presented your body to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15)? Are you growing spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)? Are you sharing your faith and the Gospel with others (Acts 1:8)? Do others know that you are a true Christian (James 2:19, 20)? Are you F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, Teachable)?

The Salvation Formula

Correct: Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works

Corrupt: Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation

Help. We’re here to help you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Spiritual Giftshttps://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/spiritual-gifts-qa/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/signs-and-wonders/

Gospel – Dr. Manfred Kober, https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Do you think of yourself as the “Captain of your own ship” and the “Master of your own fate”? Do you believe, “If it is to be, it’s [totally] up to me”? You might want to think again. The Scriptures tell us that there is coming a day when “every knee will bow…and every tongue will confess [admit] that Jesus Christ is Lord [the God-man], to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10, 11; See Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11; Revelation 5:13). Jesus said, “…without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). “…in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God alone is sovereign.

Man’s Purpose. The unregenerate, unsaved man usually pursues such things as fame, fortune, power, and pleasure. In his pride, he wants to exalt himself and be unaccountable to God or anyone else. He says, “Don’t tell me what to do!” This same attitude led to the fall of Lucifer, the anointed cherub, who became the devil and the primary adversary of God (See Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19). Having received a fallen, sinful nature from Adam and Eve (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12), we all have a natural bent to be rebellious toward God and most often do just the opposite of what He wants us to do (Romans 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8; 3:4). No one has to teach a child to be bad. It comes naturally. (Read the Minnesota Crime Commission’s report about children. – See link [1] below.)

New Nature. When a person believes in/on the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, and is born again from above (John 3:3-5), he receives eternal life (John 3:16) and participates in the divine nature from God the Father (2 Peter 1:4). This enables him to begin to do what is well pleasing to God (Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:9). As the believer walks by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) and is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), he will be led by the Holy Spirit and mature in his faith (Romans 8:14; See 2 Peter 3:18). If you’re saved, are you doing the works that God preplanned for you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Do you know what they involve? Are you doing the desirous will of God for your life?

God’s Purpose. His primary purpose is to glorify Himself (John 17:3). He does this by letting His creatures, both spirit beings and human beings, know that He is what He says He is. Notice the phrase, “and they shall know that I AM the LORD” (See Ezekiel 6:7, 10, 13, 14; 7:4,27; 11:10,12; 12:15, 16, 20; etc.). This information about God is revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The spirit beings (cherubs, seraphs, and angels) observed the creation of the heavens and the earth and shouted with joy when they saw God doing this (Job 38:7; Genesis 1:1; John 1:3). This presupposes that they were created before this event took place (Colossians 1:16, 17).

God’s Glory. The Greek word “doxa” primarily signifies an opinion, estimate, and hence, the honor resulting from a good opinion. [2] Since one of God’s attributes is truth (John 14:6; 17:17; Titus 1:2), it means that His opinion of Himself is completely accurate. Ours, on the other hand, is usually quite distorted (Romans 12:3; See Ezekiel 28:1-10). We usually think of ourselves more highly than we should, but some think otherwise. They lack a correct understanding of themselves and fail to look into the mirror of God’s Word to see themselves as He sees them. Not until we see ourselves as sinners in need of a Savior are we in a position to be saved from eternal condemnation and separation from God in the lake of fire (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23; 5:8; 8:1; John 3:16, 18, 36).

Manifestations. In no uncertain terms, God let Pharaoh in Egypt know who the true and living God was/is. The “Ten Plagues” were designed to dethrone the false gods whom the Egyptians were worshiping (Exodus 7:5; 14:4, 18). God also demonstrated His power to supply the daily needs of His people, the Jews, in the wilderness for 40 years (Exodus 16:12, 13; Deuteronomy 29:5, 6; See Philippians 4:19). He humbled King Nebuchadnezzar for seven years as he ate grass like the beasts of the field until he acknowledged that “the most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever He chooses” (Daniel 4:25). Pride is one of the things God hates (Proverbs 6:17; 8:13).

Man’s Great Sin. What was it that plunged the human race into paganism and heathenism? It was the terrible rejection of the knowledge of God. God made Himself known to man through natural revelation (Psalm 19:1) and through special revelation (2 Peter 1:20, 23), but man rejected that knowledge and became spiritually blind (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25). The Scriptures tell us “… when [men and women] knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28).  Here is the problem –“The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9)?

One Sin. There is only one “unforgivable sin” today. It is the sin of unbelief in Christ (John 16:9). Jesus told His disciples that it was to their advantage that He go away for awhile. When God the Holy Spirit would come (and He did on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 2), He would convict (convince) people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. “Of sin, because they do not believe on Me, of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more.” Had God the Father not received Jesus back into heaven and sent Him back to earth, it would have indicated to us that He hadn’t sufficiently satisfied God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and the resulting sins (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 1:3; 10:12; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Without Christ’s righteousness imputed (put) to our account by faith, we couldn’t enter into God’s presence in heaven (Romans 4:1-16). Furthermore, the same kind of judgment awaits all unbelievers that will come upon the devil (See Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10). His degree of suffering in the lake of fire will be determined at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). Do you know how you can avoid being judged by Jesus at this time (John 5:22)?

Every Knee… The fact is that someday every human being who ever lived on earth will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (i.e. the God-man) to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10). This happens at the time of salvation for believers (Acts 16:31). In the case of unbelievers, this could take place after they die physically or at the time of their bodily resurrection from the dead (Luke 16:19-32; 1 Corinthians 15:22-24). Do you know in which resurrection you will participate if you die (1 Corinthians 15:22-24, 51, 52)? Will you be among the Christians who won’t die physically (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)?

God The Son. On different occasions God the Father said, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). He shares an absolute equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:19; 2:9; John 5:17, 18; 8:58; 10:30). He is the One who volunteered to come to this sin cursed earth to manifest to us the Godhead (John 1:1-18; 10:15-18; 17:3; Hebrews 10:7, 9) and to die for our sins, once and for all, and then rise again bodily from the dead so we could be saved (John 1:12, 29; Luke 19:10; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-19). Have you been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures, not the cults (Ephesians 2:8, 9)?

Universalism? The fact that “every knee will bow…and every tongue confess (admit) that Jesus Christ is Lord (God)” doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually be saved. While there is the possibility for every living human being to be saved (John 1:12; 3:16; 6:37; 1 John 2:2; 4:10), not everyone will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Most people love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). Once a person dies physically, his/her eternal destiny is unchangeable. The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation.

Deliverance. To avoid having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46), we must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (Acts 16;31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We aren’t saved by our good works, or by our faith plus our good works lest any one should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Have you taken this step of faith yet? If not, why not right now? Do it without delay! “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

Glorifying God? If you are a true Christian, are you getting to know God better each day (Philippians 3:10) and glorifying Him by making Him known to others by the things you do and say (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being displayed to others (Galatians 5:22, 23)? If not, what needs to change with God’s help (Philippians 4:13)?

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has. Share this information with others who are teachable and willing to change. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Minnesota Crime Commission’s Report – Children

http://www.family-times.net/illustration/Self-Centered/201632/

[2] W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words,

https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ved/g/glory-glorious.html

Two youngsters were discussing the difference between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. One of them said, Father’s Day is just like Mother’s Day except you can get him a cheaper gift.” That’s probably true. But today, I’d like to ask the question, What’s a godly, Christian father supposed to do? Let’s take a look at the Book for some answers.

In his letter to some suffering Christians, the Apostle Peter wrote Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Using the word “sober” as an acrostic, I’d like to remind Christian fathers and grandfathers about our roles and responsibilities in life. God wants us to be –

Saved and Secure. Yes, it’s possible for us to know for sure that we have been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). A godly father’s “eternal, abundant life” should cause his children to want to be saved too (John 10:10).

Obedient to Christ’s New Commandment. Loving your neighbor as yourself was the Old Testament standard (Leviticus 19:18), but loving fellow believers as Christ loved us is a much higher standard for New Testament Christians (John 13:34, 35). Only Spirit filled Christians have this kind of “agape” love (Galatians 5:22, 23).  It needs to be displayed to others at the appropriate times (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13), at the proper objects (Ephesians 5:18, 25; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17), and for the right reasons (1 Corinthians 10:31). A godly father will seek the highest well being of his children even to his own peril (1 John 3:16, 17).

Baptized by immersion. This pictures our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:3, 4). A Christian father should do this to be obedient to the Lord (Matthew 28:19, 20), to have a good conscience before God (1 Peter 3:21), and to let others know that he is a true believer in Christ (Acts 8:36-38). Being baptized identifies us with Christ (Galatians 2:20). Beware of the fact that it could lead to one’s being ostracized by others and even physical death (1 Corinthians 15:29). We’re not really ready to live until we’re ready to die (Philippians 1:21-26).

Evangelistic. Before ascending back to heaven, Jesus told His disciples that He wanted them to be His witnesses of His death for our sins and His bodily resurrection (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8). What greater privilege does a godly father have than to lead his own children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Knowing and believing the facts alone won’t save us (James 2:18- 20). We must place our faith in Christ alone to save us (Ephesians 2:8-10). Remember, God has no grandchildren.

Resilient. It’s God’s desire that we don’t sin, but all Christians will sin (act lawlessly) from time to time (1 John 2:1; 3:8-10). When we do, we need to quickly confess our sins to the Father and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13; See Ephesians 1:7).  We also need to confess our sins to those against whom we have sinned (James 5:16). A godly father should acknowledge his sins when he commits them. We all should forgive others as God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32; See Matthew 18:23-35).

Vigilant. In addition to learning how to live victoriously over our spiritual enemy the devil (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17), each Christian also must learn how to overcome the temptations that come from his own sin nature (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; Galatians 5:16, 25), and the present world system (1 John 2:15; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Luke 11:50, 51; Genesis 4:16-24). A godly father will warn his children of physical and spiritual dangers propagated by false teachers (Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 3:1 ff; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 4:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Colossians 2:8; Proverbs 1:10).

Questions. Are you a “S.O.B.E.R.” Christian father (1 Peter 5:8)? Saved, Obedient, Baptized, Evangelistic, Resilient, and Vigilant?  Are you living a “victorious Christian life”? Is God abiding (i. e. “feeling at ease”) in you? Do you “feel at ease” with Him (John 15:1-8). If not, what needs to change? If you need spiritual help, we’re here to assist you to the best of our ability. Are you “teachable and willing to change”?

Contact. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this information with others who might benefit from it too.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill. True or False? If you believe in “humanism” (unlimited human potential), you might think that you can, but there are many things that the mind can conceive without our being able to achieve them. Example – I can conceive in my mind (perhaps in my dreams) that I could grow another 18” and that I could play basketball like Michael Jordan did, but this isn’t going to happen. Jesus said, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit (18 inches) to his stature” (Matthew 6:27)? Some people believe that they can become gods in this or the next life and repopulate others worlds through multiple wives. They worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

False Teachers. The “Word of Faith” false teachers have fallen into this lie too just like their father, the devil did (Isaiah 14:14; Genesis 3:5; John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). Some of them claim to be “little gods” who can just speak things into existence with positive thoughts and words. Some of them can be heard demanding God to do what they want done. Without realizing it, they are actually blaspheming God. We don’t demand things from God. Instead we should humbly ask favors from Him according to His will (John 16:13; 15:16). Have you, or has someone you know, come under the influence of the “Health, Wealth, and Happiness” false teachers? Please read 2 Peter 2:19; Jude 1:13.

The Gift. When God saves a person who has put his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He gives each one of them a “spiritual gift” and enables him/her to do the work that He pre-planned for him/her to do (Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19; John 15:16).

Ignorant. The sad part is that most Christians don’t realize that God has given them a “spiritual gift” (1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Peter 4:10), and so they don’t develop it or use it for God’s glory or the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; 12:7; 13:1-13). Sometimes it’s the fault of the Pastor/teacher who doesn’t tell his people about this wonderful truth from God’s Word (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:1-4), or it may be the believer’s fault for treating this matter lightly after being taught about it (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:11-14).

Rewarding. But once you, as a Christian, discover that you have one of these extant gifts and use it with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13), your life will be much more rewarding and fulfilled (John 10:10). You won’t spend your life engaged in “worthless works” that will be burned up at the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Temporary. Some of these “spiritual gifts” were given out to some believers until the New Testament was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; John 16:13, 14). These include: apostles, prophets, discerning of spirits, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and healings.

Extant. These are the “spiritual gifts” that God is still giving out today to believers at the moment of their salvation: Evangelists, Pastor/teachers, teachers, helpers, ministers, exhorters, mercy showers, exceptional givers, exceptional faith demonstrators, organizers, and administrators.

Information: Spiritual gifts are (1) for service (1 Corinthians 12:7), (2) sovereignly given (1 Corinthians 12:28; Hebrews 2:4), (3) not natural, developed talents (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13), (4) given to all Christians (1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 4:10); (5) to be exercised in love (1 Corinthians 13), (6) given to help us determine our priorities (1 Corinthians 12:4-8), (7) not all permanent (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

Discover. If you’re truly saved, here are some things you might do to discover your “spiritual gift.” (1) Know what the gifts are (1 Corinthians 12:1). (2) Be filled with the Spirit and walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). (3) Ask God to illuminate your mind (Ephesians 1:18). (4) Be available and patient (See Isaiah 6:8). (5) Ask for the acknowledgement of other Spirit filled believers (Acts 13:1-3). (6). Ask, “Does God seem to be blessing my efforts?”

Help. We’re here to assist those who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). To discover more about “spiritual gifts,” we invite you to go to our website: www.kelseypeach.com and go to the section on “Bible Basics.” To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this has helped you, please share this information with others.

You might want to check out these two articles too:

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-gifts/page/3/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/whats-a-pastor-to-do/

About Spiritual Gifts”

Try to imagine how you, as a parent, might feel if, on your child’s birthday, you gave him/her a very expensive gift that was wrapped up in beautiful paper with a bow on it, and your child thanked you for the gift but refused to open it up to discover what it was and use it for it’s intended purpose. Would you feel badly? Of course you would.

Christmas. Or suppose it’s Christmas time and you’ve spent a lot of money to buy your children some gifts. One by one they open up their gifts until everyone has opened up the gifts. But then one of the children decides that he wants what one of the other children has and starts fighting for it. Would that make you very sad? Of course it would.

Big Box. Now let’s consider another scenario. Whether you realize it or not, at the time of your salvation God sent (graciously gave) you a big box filled with a lot of gifts inside it (Ephesians 1:3). You’ve opened some of them but there is one gift you don’t want to open up because it is so beautifully wrapped. However, if you were to open it up and use it, you’d be so much happier in your life and you would/could be a source of blessing and happiness to others too (John 10:10; Acts 20:35).

Unopened. And yet there are many Christians who have left some of their gifts in the big box without opening them. Do you supposed that God is grieved about this (Ephesians 4:30)? One of those spiritual gifts has to do with a special ability (that is more than a natural talent) to do some things that God planned for you to do while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Doing these things will glorify God and greatly help other people if this ability is used properly with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13).

Problem. Some folks within Christendom teach that only the “clergy” have these special abilities and that the rest of the people are just the “pew (seat) warmers” and the “bill payers.” On the other extreme you can find “churches” that tell their people that unless they have spoken in “tongues” they haven’t received the “second blessing” and need to earnestly pursue this ability. Some “preachers” claim to receive new and special revelations (information) from God that they are supposed to pass on to the other “Christians.” Beware of false teachers (Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Jude 1:1-13).

Money. Oftentimes it involves sending money to these “hucksters” [1] so they can “spread the Gospel” (which, most often, is not the true Gospel but another gospel – 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Sometimes they ask people to send them money so they can help starving children in other countries get clean water and food. (What do you know about the “social gospel”? See [2] below) While a few of these ministries are legitimate, and present the Gospel in its purity, many of them are not or very little of the money goes to help the needy. (See article [3] below about Christian Giving)

Temporary/Extant? We find in the Bible twenty spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and in Ephesians 4:11. We understand the Scriptures to teach that ten of these gifts were temporary until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). But ten other gifts (special abilities) are still being given out to Christians today at the time of their salvation. Sadly, most Christians know little or nothing about them. (See link [4] below to learn more about “spiritual gifts”)

Pastor-teachers. These men are supposed to teach Christians about the “spiritual gifts” and encourage them to use them for the glory of God and the well being of other Christians primarily (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10). By working together in unity and harmony (Ephesians 4:3) with other true Christians – not unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), under Christ’s authority and Headship (1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 1:22, 23), much more can be done to bring the spiritual “Body of Christ” to its completion and to spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18).

Bride. When all whom God the Father has given to God the Son have come to Him and been saved (John 6:37, 44), the Father will instruct the Son (Jesus) to come back toward earth to claim His Bride – the True Church and meet her in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Then He will take her to the place that He has been preparing for her for almost 2,000 years now (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9 ff). Are you looking forward to this event? Those believers who really love His any moment return can earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Questions. Are you positive that you will spend eternity with God (Read Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 1:10)? Why should God let you into His heaven (See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on their third day? (See “Clear Gospel” [5] link below) If you’re truly saved, have you been baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Were you sprinkled as a baby? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Do you have your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16)? Are you being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)? Are you walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 6:16, 25)? Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being manifested in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Note: Don’t confuse the one condition for salvation (Acts 16:31) with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth. (See “Lordship for Salvation” article [6] below.

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2 15). Being teachable without being willing to change is of no value (James 1:22-27; 2:19, 20; 4:17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For your consideration:

[1] Hucksters: The Most Evil Man You’ve Never Heard Of https://www.raptureready.com/2016/08/08/james-eugene-ewing-most-evil-man/

[2] Social Gospel: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

[3] Christian Giving: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/money-matters-part-4/

[4] Spiritual Gifts: Go to “Bible Basics” at http://kelseypeach.com/

[5] Clear Gospel: ReadThe Bad News & Good News at http://kelseypeach.com/

[6] Lordship for Salvation – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Touching Video – 2 Minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvihAm-GJs4

One Christian author pointed out that he believes many of the problems that children have today stem from the fact that some of them have never been disciplined or spanked for being bad. Thanks Dr. Spock. Not all children need spankings. Others of us needed it. Many active little boys often are put on drugs to calm them down instead of letting them work off their energy that God put into them. One drill sergeant put a 5 year old boy among his men and told them to do the same things the little boy did. Within short order, the men were worn out.

Babies – Savages

Some years ago the Minnesota Crime Commission released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature (See Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9). “Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncles’ watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact, dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children – not just certain children – are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal – a thief, a killer, or a rapist.” http://www.family-times.net/illustration/Self-Centered/201632/

Discipline

Cliff Barrows, song leader of the Billy Graham Crusade ministry, tells a story about his children when they were younger. They had done something he had forbidden them to do. They were told if they did the same thing again they would have to be disciplined. When he returned from work and found that they hadn’t minded, his heart went out to them. “I just couldn’t discipline them,” he said.
Any loving father can understand Cliff’s dilemma. Most of us have been in the same position. He said, “Bobby and Bettie Ruth were very small. I called them into my room, took off my belt and then my shirt, with a bare back I knelt down at the bed. I made them both strap me with the belt ten times each. You should have heard the crying. From them, I mean. The crying was from them. They didn’t want to do it. But I told them the penalty had to be paid and so through their sobs and tears they did what I told them.”
“I smile when I remember the incident,” he said. “I must admit I wasn’t much of a hero. It hurt. I haven’t offered to do that again. It was a once-for-all sacrifice, I guess we could say, but I never had to spank those two children again, because they got the point. We kissed each other. And when it was over we prayed together.”
Taken from The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart, Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 543-544.

Jesus Took Our Place

In like manner, God has imposed some rules on us for our good. When they are violated, a penalty must be paid (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). God could have maintained His justice if He sent all of us sinners to hell (See 2 Peter 2:4). But God the Father loved the people of this world (John 3:16). So God the Son volunteered (Hebrews 10:7) to come down to earth and become a real man by being born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life for 33 years (Hebrews 4:15). Then, when His hour had come (John 2:4; 10:15-18; 18:12; 19:11), He allowed sinful men to take Him and crucify Him on a cruel and shameful cross (Philippians 2:8; See Psalm 22). While He was hanging there, God the Father placed your sins and mine on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6) He paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2) so we wouldn’t have to end up in the lake for fire to suffer forever with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Now that’s “Amazing Grace.”

While we might be able to identify with the physical pain that Cliff Burrows experienced as his children spanked him, it’s impossible for us to comprehend the suffering that Jesus experienced as He paid for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). His spiritual death (i. e. the separation from fellowship with His Father), from noon until 3 P.M., was far greater than His physical suffering on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46).

The next time you think about engaging in a sinful act to gratify a temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:2), read and think about the anguish and mourning of a man who got involved in an immoral relationship and learn from his failure (Proverbs 5; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). If you’re a Christian, learn how to “Walk by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) so you don’t give in to immoral temptations and engage in other “works of the flesh” that are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21). Think about the whipping that Jesus took for you so you wouldn’t have to be separated from Him forever? Trust in Him alone to save you, not in your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Scripture

“’My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8 NKJV).

Please note King Solomon’s words carefully. Why? Apart from Jesus Christ, he was the wisest man who ever lived. “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:25). “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18). “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die, You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:14). “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).

Rules

Are you, as a parent, making up senseless rules without careful consideration? Would you, as Cliff Barrows did, be willing to allow your children to spank you for violating the rules you had imposed on them? Are you sure your children know that you truly love them and have their best interest in mind? Are you being a parent like God Himself is? If not, what needs to change with His help (Philippians 4:13)? When will you begin to implement these things (James 4:17)?

Saved?

Are you sure that if you died today you would go immediately to heaven to be with God (1 John 5:13)? Why should He let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? If you believe you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39; John 10:28, 29)? If so, what would it be? Have you placed your faith in the Christ of the Scriptures who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? If not, why not do this right now (2 Corinthians 6:2)? Then let us know about it so we can help you begin to grow spiritually.

Contact

Visit our new website: www.kelseypeach.com for more help or to learn how to get in touch with us. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube. Share helpful information with your friends (2 Timothy 2:2).  Please let us know if this article has helped you.