Sunday, August 4, 2013

What Do Want to Be When You Go Up.

Many people often ask children what they want to be when they grow up.  Often when children are younger they may say things such as policeman, fireman, or astronaut.  As they grow up, they may change those dreams to football player, basketball player, or music artist.  Their priorities change as they grow up which is why their dreams differ.  They start out looking up to people with character and then move to characters who make money.

We start our Christian lives in such the same manner; however, our expectations change as we learn more from scripture.  In the beginning of our "Christian life" we are just happy to be saved from Hell.  We look at those Old Testament saints such as Abraham, Noah, or David and say, "I want to live like (fill in the blank)."  The Bible student which puts in time to properly study scripture will find that they can live a life much greater than those who lived before us.  

1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." KJV

What does it take to become a man?  We must change the way we speak, understand and think. That is how we become a man, which is what will prepare us for what we want to be when we go up.

This is the basis upon which we must build. Understanding will change the way we think, which in turn will change the way we speak.  

2 Timothy 2:1-3,7, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." KJV

We are to learn what the Apostle Paul wrote, in order for us to change our understanding. In the previous passage he states, "Consider what I say..." He does not tell us to look to the Psalms, neither does he tell us to read the four gospels.  He, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, tells us to consider what he says.  He wants us to read his epistles.  In doing so, The Lord will give us understanding in ALL things.  Not just one or two things, but rather in all things.  This knowledge will revolutionize your life once you grasp the truth of rightly dividing the word of truth.

The next thing that changes in the life of the believer is our thinking. We have learned some amazing truths, once we learn to rightly divide, and those truths will change the way in which we think about our lives.  

Philippians 4:7-9, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." KJV

Once we have the proper basis of understanding, then we are to change the way we think by continually renewing our minds through proper studying of Gods word.  We are directed by our apostle, once again as the Spirit works through him, to think on the proper things.  The list is given to us in the previous passage. These are things that we have learned and received, as we study Gods word, and we have heard and seen in the life of Paul, as we study Gods word.  Once again, we should notice that our example to look to is the Apostle Paul.  

The last part of becoming a man, based on this study alone, is how we change the way in which we speak.  If we have come to a better understanding of what God has done for us and we know who we are "in Christ" then we will change our thinking pattern to align with who God has made us.  Once we have that established, we should also change the way in which we speak.  If we are in Christ, then we should constantly be aware of the things we say.  

Ephesians 4:11-15, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" KJV

Notice the theme continues in this passage as well.  In order for us to be no more children, we need to speak in truth in order for us to grow up.

What we are going to be when we go up has a lot to do with how we grow up right now.  If we understand some truths and then do not change the way in which we think, speak, and live; then we will not be want we want to be in the future.  Would we still be saved?  Absolutely!  

1 Corinthians 3:10-15, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." KJV

What do you want to be when you go up?  You must first learn what it means to grow in grace.

2 Peter 3:18, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." KJV

Grace and Peace,
Greg Resor

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What We Believe and Why, Part 1

"A Gospel You Can Believe" Part 1
Romans 1:16,17 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." KJV

In order to understand what we believe and why, we are going to look at four main points of doctrine upon which this entire study is based. The four points are:
     1) A Gospel You Can Believe
     2) A Life You Can Live
     3) A Bible Study You Can Understand
     4) A Book You Can Trust

There are three basic topics that will allow us to examine a gospel you can believe:
     1) Are all gospels the same?
     2) Our gospel vs. all other gospels.
     3) How we are saved today?

Differing "Gospels"

Throughout scripture there have been many different gospels, all of which were true.

Gospel of the Kingdom, which takes us back to King David.
Gospel of the Circumcision, which takes us back before David to Abraham.
Gospel of the Uncircumcision, which takes us back before Abraham, when his name was Abram.
Gospel of Reconciliation, which takes us back before Abram, to Adam.
Gospel of the Mystery, which takes us all the way before Adam where the triune Godhead set forth a plan to accomplish the good pleasure of His will.

     Here are some popular concepts of what the gospel is.
     1) Sinner's Prayer - Luke 18:9-14
     2) Ask Jesus into your heart. This is not found in scripture. This is a man made doctrine based upon the popularization of pseudo-psychological, self-help, positive-thinking preaching going on today.
     3) Ask God to forgive your sins. Contrast Matthew 6:9-15, and Ephesians 4:30-32.
     4) Every head bowed, every eye closed. Some teach that you should do this quietly between yourself and God.
     5) Come forward. Some teach you have to make a public profession, citing Matthew 10:33, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him I will also deny before my Father which is in heaven." 
     6) Repentance, confession, and baptism. Some teach that you should repent of all of your sins, confess, and then be baptized in water. Acts 2:38, and 3:19

Let us look at some verses to see what God thinks about His word.  Luke 1:70, Acts 3:21, and Romans 16:25,26. 

Luke 1:70 KJV
[70] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

Acts 3:21 KJV
[21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Romans 16:25-26 KJV
[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

If you read the verses, you can clearly see that there were some things spoken of since the world began and some things were kept secret since the world began. Now I realize you may want to change the word "world" to "age" and destroy Gods word to prove your point. However, let us just allow the words on the page to speak for themselves. 

Luke wrote both the book of Luke and the book Acts. In the context of both passages they are talking about the same thing. They are talking about the gospel of the kingdom. That gospel of the kingdom has been preached since the world began. 

Have you ever noticed that the opening verse of the Bible states, Genesis 1:1 KJV[1] "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."? 

Have you also noticed from that point on, scripture deals with a kingdom which will set up on the earth? 

Have you noticed that everything that is promised to the Nation of Israel is based in the literal, physical, earthly establishment of the Davidic Kingdom? 

Have you noticed that a period of time in Acts, around chapter 9, that God saved Saul of Taursus, changed his name to Paul and gave him a new doctrine that teaches God is also setting up a kingdom in the heavenlies? 

Have you noticed the title "The Most High God" is always followed by "the possessor of heaven and earth"? 

Have you also noticed that the kingdom of God consists of the earthly and the heavenly? 

Have you ever noticed the establishment of the heavenly kingdom was "kept secret since the world began"? 

Perhaps you should ask your pastor these same questions, and then ask him why you do not know these simple truths.

Grace and Peace
Greg Resor
Complete in Him

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How Do You Walk? (Live Forgiven Series, Part 5)

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 KJV
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

God, through the pen of the Apostle Paul, gives us a glimpse into to His mind and gives us a standard by which we are to live.  Paul tells us that we walk in the flesh but we are embattled in a manner that is not physical.  As a member of the Body of Christ, we have been given the mind of Christ, which was written down for us to read in the King James Bible for English speaking people.  We are to bring our mind in line with the word of God, which is why the Bible version issue is so important.  In Philippians 2:5-8, we are given a glimpse in how we are to allow Gods word to work in our lives.  Jesus Christ was obedient to Gods word throughout His life on the earth.  Every time Satan or other religious believers came to Christ, He repeatedly stated, "As it is written", and then quoted scripture.  While on the cross, you can see Him thinking about the verses that are to be fulfilled.  That is how we are to live forgiven today.  

We must allow Gods word to work effectually in those who believe.  How do we do that? 

Verse 5 above states, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" 

We need to cast down imaginations as we walk forgiven.  Every thing we think, that is not centered on Christ and His body, should be brought down and destroyed, we are to overthrow our reasonings and the way in which we do this, is by changing the way we think.  The only way we can change the way we think is by reading and studying the word of God.  We can not turn over a new leaf, we can not pull ourselves up by the boot straps, nor can we just stop thinking incorrectly on our own.  As stated in 2 Corinthians 9:8, "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things may abound unto every good work:" God has written down everything we need to know and has given us all grace to change the way we think.

When we are able to reach the point in our lives where we purpose to change our thoughts processes by changing what we think about, how we think of others, and how we walk through our life, then we will be able to live a life as a forgiven person.  This mindset will allow us to forgive others as Christ hath forgiven us.  We are to bring our every thought into captivity, we are to take control of our thinking.  The way we do that is the dame way Christ showed His obedience, and we are to bring our thoughts up to the level of Gods word. 

Grace and Peace,
Greg Resor
Complete in Him

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Things Freely Given to Us (Live Forgiven Series, Part 4)

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 (KJV), "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

This passage is one of the most important and one of the most misunderstood as well. The main reason it is misunderstood is because most people only read or quote verse nine, which is a wonderful truth. However, the very next verse allows us some insight into the mind of God because God has revealed unto us His purpose within the pages of scripture. The Spirit of God has revealed unto us the knowledge of what He has given unto us, "freely".

The word freely has tremendous importance to us and throughout scripture. The word tells us that we have been given some things without us having to pay for it, work for it, or pray for it. There is absolutely nothing we can do to receive these things because we have received these things because of what Christ did for us over 2000 years ago. Is there another verse where this word is important? What about Genesis 2:16, Romans 3:24, 8:32, and 1 Corinthians 2:12? Read these verses. They speak for themselves. The point we want to make here is, the word is very important.

God has revealed a secret that the Trinity decided, before the foundation of the world, to complete salvation for all through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Also, they would indwell all who have accepted the gospel.

Understanding Gods word; which is possible, contrary to popular thought, through proper study, is easy if we allow His word to work in our minds the way He designed to work.  

Grace and Peace,
Greg Resor
Complete in Him

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Forgive As You Have Been Forgiven. (Live Forgiven Series, Part 3)

Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV), "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

How many times have been you told that you must forgive in order to be forgiven?

How many times have you been told the Bible says that you must forgive in order to be forgiven?

How many times have you been told that you are already forgiven of all of your sins?

How been times have you been told that the Bible says that you are already forgiven and that should be your motivation to forgive others?

I am sure the answer to the first two questions were higher numbers, unless you are a believer who studies the Bible in the proper way, rightly dividing the word of truth. Ask yourself why your pastor has failed to tell you about the last two questions. Better yet, ask your pastor why.

The basic principle behind living forgiven is understanding that you are forgiven of all trespasses and the sin debt is no longer held to your charge. Otherwise, this whole series will mean absolutely nothing to you. In the verses above, we read a small list of attitudes, attributes, and actions that should follow the believer as they walk each and everyday of their life. The last quality is what this study is all about. "Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Those are powerful words that should resinate in the hearts and ears of those who read and hear them. Once you fully grasp the concept of complete and total forgiveness, your life will be revolutionised. You will live life in a complete and totally different way.

This bears the question, "How did God forgive you?"

Let us take a look at how God forgave you.

Romans 5:6-12 (KJV), "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."

This becomes more and more amazing as we read and study the Bible. God forgave for Christ's sake while were sinners. While we an ungodly, pitiful, unrepentant, and without strength, Jesus Christ, of His own free will, chose to suffer the death of all mankind. In fact, God chose to accomplish this before the foundation of the world. Now that we have been justified by His blood, we are also saved from wrath. Now is a present tense word that means at this time you possess forgiveness, you possess the atonement, and you possess salvation, from the tribulation, to come. So then, it should not be too hard for us to forgive our neighbour for blowing leaves into our yard. It should not be too hard to forgive the guy who just cut you off on the road. Living forgiven starts with an understanding that you should also live forgiving.

Grace and Peace,
Greg Resor
Complete in Him.

Friday, February 15, 2013

What Did You Give Up? (Live Forgiven Series, Part 2)

Galatians 4:9-11,  "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."

Recently, I have noticed a trend that is quite disturbing, yet I am not surprised.  There is a trend where denominational churches are taking things that are almost exclusively related to the Catholic Church and are bringing them into their "Protestant" churches.  It should be no surprise though. 

Why do you think "Protestant" churches are so bent on having Christmas as part of their religious holidays?  They do not care that it dates back to a Pagan religion and that it has become a "religious holiday" through the Catholic church. 

Why do you think "Protestant" churches are so bent on performing the Eucharist in their churches?  They say it is different, but seriously?! 

So "Protestant" churches have recently begun having Ash Wednesday services and participating in Lent. So, I ask you... What did you give up?

Paul tells the church at Galatia, who was struggling with living as though they have already been forgiven of all of their sins (which they were), that they should not return unto the weak and beggarly things of the law program.  There were Jews living in their day telling them that they need to keep the law to be saved and remain saved.  Those things only bring you into bondage.  However, a true understanding of the grace of God will allow you to live your life free of worry and strife.

If you are saved by grace through faith, and you live by grace through faith.  Why would you need to turn to weak and beggarly things, like lent??

The answer to that question is ... you should not turn to those things.  In fact, I would say that Martin Luther is standing in Heaven right now waving his 95 theses, proclaiming that his work was for naught. He must be thinking that he died for nothing. 

I will give you an even better example.  Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of God and He is proclaiming that His work must have been for naught.  He must be thinking that He died for nothing.  Jesus Christ purposely gave His life for you at Calvary, that He might give you His life when you trust in His death, burial, and resurrection, and He lives His life through you as you live day-by-day in this life.  You have the triune Godhead living inside of you.  There is nothing in this world that can make you more saved, there is nothing in this world that you make you more forgiven, and there is nothing in this world that can make you closer to God.  Quit going to the weak and beggarly things of mans religion and understand that you have been forgiven of all sins and that God wants you to live for His glory, not your own. 

I recently had someone who attends a Catholic church tell me that they are better than me because they partake in lent, they go to mass, and they perform the sacraments.  However, this same person could not tell me what they believe or their church believes.  Many today are held under the tyranny of a religious system and they do not even know it. 

I guess a better question would be ... What did Christ give up?

Grace and Peace,
Greg Resor
Complete in Him

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blessed, are they? YES! (Live Forgiven Series, Part 1)

Romans 4:6-8 (KJV)
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Did you know that God has forgiven you of all trespasses by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Many today like to quote verses like, Matthew 6:12, Luke 11:4, or 1John 1:9, when speaking about forgiveness. The main idea behind these verses is that you must do something to receive forgiveness. Whether it be forgiving others, or confessing sins. However, each of those things are works and the passage we just quoted teaches us that those who are forgiven without works are blessed, or happy.

Why does there seem to be a contradiction between these four verses?

There is a simple explanation that you may not have heard about. God has changed the way in which He deals with man. David never understood what it meant to be forgiven without works, but he knew how much his life would have changed had he known. Notice, he only described the blessedness of the man to whom God would impute righteousness without works, who would have sins forgiven, and who would not have sins put to his charge. You and I live in an amazing time where God is not imputing our trespasses against us and He has given us, unto those who believe, His righteousness. He has given us His righteousness as a free gift because we are no longer under the law of sin. Romans chapters five and six is very clear about this truth.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 are our marching orders for today. The passage clearly states, "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

How amazing is that truth?

God gave unto the Apostle Paul an amazing gospel to preach to the world, Jew and Gentile without separation. Many in Christendom have long since left that message behind to preach unto the world a gospel meant only for the Nation of Israel, who rejected it, first.

Something changed in the book of Acts. Ask your pastor to explain it. I am sure he knows. If not, come back as we continue this study of living forgiven, in 2013.

Grace and peace,
Greg Resor
Complete in Him