God Bought You

1_corinthians_6_20

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

I just want to share some Scripture today on God owning us as Christians.

for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

1 Corinthians 6:20 NLT

 

God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.

1 Corinthians 7:23 NLT

 

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT

 

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 NLT

 

And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Revelation 5:9 NLT

 

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Acts 20:28 NIV

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Christians Who Are Over-Exposed & Underdeveloped

 

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Today’s blog post is rather lengthy but well worth to be read.

“Christians are like old-fashioned photographs–over-exposed and underdeveloped.

Howard Hendricks (born 1924), professor, Dallas Theological Seminary

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“So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.” 

Hebrews 6:1 NLT

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“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,”

Hebrews 6:1 ESV

Therefore – “Since, as was stated in the previous chapter, you ought to be capable of comprehending the higher doctrines of religion; since those doctrines are adapted to those who have been for a considerable time professors of Christianity, and have had opportunities of growing in knowledge and grace – as much as strong meat is for those of mature years – leave now the elements of Christian doctrine, and go on to understand its higher mysteries.” The idea is, that to those who had so long been acquainted with the way of salvation, the elements of Christianity were no more adapted than milk was for grown persons.

let us leave – Dismissing; intermitting; passing by the consideration of with a view to advance to something higher. The apostle refers to his discussion of the subject, and also to their condition. He wished to go on to the contemplation of higher doctrines, and he desired that they should no longer linger around the mere elements. “Let us advance to a higher state of knowledge than the mere elements of the subject.”

the elementary – Margin: “The word of the beginning of Christ.” Tyndale renders it: “let us leave the doctrine pertaining to the beginning of a Christian man.” Coverdale, “let us leave the doctrine pertaining to the beginning of a Christian life.”

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

Hebrews 5:12 NLT

The Greek there, indeed, is not the same as in this place, but the idea is evidently the same. The reference is to what he regarded as the very elements of the Christian doctrine; and the meaning is, “let us no longer linger here. We should go on to higher attainments. We should wholly understand the system. We should discuss and receive its great principles. You have been long enough converted to have understood these; but you linger among the very elementary truths of religion. But you cannot remain here. You must either advance or recede; and if you do not go forward, you will go back into entire apostasy, when it will be impossible to be renewed.” The apostle here, therefore, does not refer to his discussion of the points under consideration as the main thing, but to their state as one of danger; and in writing to them he was not content to discuss the elements of religion as being alone suited to their condition, but would have them make higher attainments, and advance to the more elevated principles of the gospel.

the doctrine – Literally, “the word” – λόγον logon – “reason, or doctrine of the beginning of Christ.” That is, the word or reason that pertains to the elements of his system; the first principles of Christian doctrine.

Of Christ – Which pertain to the Messiah. Either what he taught, or what is taught of him and his religion. Most probably it is the latter – what pertains to the Messiah, or to the Christian revelation. The idea is, that there is a set of truths which may be regarded as lying at the foundation of Christian doctrine, and those truths they had embraced, but had not advanced beyond them.

and go on to maturity- Let us advance to a higher state of knowledge and holiness. The reference is alike to his discussion of the subject, and to their advancement in piety and in knowledge. He would not linger around these elements in the discussion, nor would he have them linger at the threshold of the Christian doctrines.

to maturity- The word here is used, evidently, to denote an advanced state of Christian knowledge and piety; or the more elevated Christian doctrines, and the holier living to which it was their duty to attain. It does not refer solely to the intention of the apostle to discuss the more elevated doctrines of Christianity, but to” such an advance as would secure them from the danger of apostasy.” If it should be said, however, that the word “perfection” is to be understood in the most absolute and unqualified sense, as denoting entire freedom from sin, it may be remarked:

(1) That this does not prove that they ever attained to it, nor should this be adduced as a text to show that such an attainment is ever made. To exhort a man to do a thing – however reasonable – is no proof in itself that it is ever done.

(2) It is proper to exhort Christians to aim at entire perfection. Even if none have ever reached that point on earth, that fact does not make it any the less desirable or proper to aim at it.

(3) There is much in making an honest attempt to be perfectly holy, even though we should not attain to it in this life. No man accomplishes much who does not aim high.

Not laying again a foundation – Not laying down – as one does a foundation for an edifice. The idea is, that they were not to begin and build all this over again. They were not to make it necessary to lay down again the very cornerstones, and the foundations of the edifice, but since these were laid already, they were to go on and build the superstructure and complete the edifice.

Of repentance from dead works – From works that cause death or condemnation; or that have no vitality or life. The reference may be either to those actions which were sinful in their nature, or to those which related to the forms of religion, where there was no spiritual life. This was the character of much of the religion of the Jews; and conversion to the true religion consisted greatly in repentance for having relied on those heartless and hollow forms. It is possible that the apostle referred mainly to these, as he was writing to those who had been Hebrews. When formalists are converted, one of the first and the main exercises of their minds in conversion, consists in deep and genuine sorrow for their dependence on those forms. Religion is life; and irreligion is a state of spiritual death, whether it be in open transgression, or in false and hollow forms of religion. The apostle has here stated what is the first element of the Christian religion. It consists in genuine sorrow for sin, and a purpose to turn from it.

And of faith toward God – This is the second element in the Christian system. Faith is everywhere required in order to salvation, but it is usually faith “in the Lord Jesus” that is spoken of.

I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike–the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus. Acts 20:21 NLT

 

Here, however, faith “in God” is particularly referred to. But there is no essential difference. It is faith in God in regard to his existence and perfections, and to his plan of saving people. It includes, therefore, faith in his message and messenger, and thus embraces the plan of salvation by the Redeemer. There is but one God – “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ;” and he who believes in the true God believes in him as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the Author of the plan of redemption, and the Saviour of lost people. No one can believe “in the true God” who does not believe in the Savior.

so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.

John 5:23 NLT

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And this is the way to have eternal life–to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. John 17:3 NLT

He who supposes that he confides “in any other” God than the Author of the Christian religion, worships a being of the imagination as really as though he bowed down to a block of wood or stone. If Christianity is true, there is no such God as the infidel professes to believe in, any more than the God of the Brahmin has an existence. To believe “in God,” therefore, is to believe in him as he “actually exists” – as the true God – the Author of the great plan of salvation by the Redeemer. It is needless to attempt to show that faith in the true God is essential to salvation. How can he be saved who has no “confidence” in the God that made him?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, thanks!

Source: Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Following JESUS IS MORE IMPORTANT than Material Gain

 

Following Jesus Is More Important than Material Gain

Every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple

(Luke 14:33).

If we have made a relationship with Jesus a priority and have committed to His purpose for a lifetime, we must let go of material wealth. Jesus declared that nothing in life can take the place designed for Him. Things can become gods as easily as people can. If Jesus does not allow people to assume God’s place, neither will He allow material possessions to

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” 

Matthew 6:24.

Scripture teaches that God is the owner of all possessions,

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him”  

Psalm 24:1.

and that humankind is only a steward charged with their care. Even the church’s teaching on tithing is sometimes misunderstood. Some believe that if they give a tithe of their income back to God, the remaining 90 percent is available to be used any way they choose. The reality is that all belongs to God, and a Christian is responsible for using all 100 percent in a way that glorifies God. The tithe is just the prompter.

Biblical discipleship involves following Jesus rather than adhering to a moral code. Although the task seems daunting, it is life at its very finest. Jesus said,

“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance”

John 10:10.

Jesus is not just the giver of abundant life. He desires that all people experience it,

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 

2 Pet. 3:9.

However, it is found only in following Him. The good news is that Jesus enables even the following if someone in faith chooses to do so. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, who comes to indwell the believer at the moment of expressed trust in Jesus’ atoning death for him. God Himself is at work in the believer’s life to manifest His grace and goodness

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Phil. 2:13.

He prompts someone and even arranges circumstances to enable the person to do what He desires, but He never forces or manipulates the person. He always allows the individual to make the decision to follow Him.

(Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog post as we will cover, Foundational Tenets of Christian Discipleship)

More to come on this topic, “Biblical Discipleship.”

Source: http://www.lifeway.com/

Picture:http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_upsMSoBL6H4/TKCgQju2R6I/AAAAAAAAAj4/jZ3bCGl7EOI/s1600/God+and+money.jpg

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

The Call to Follow Jesus Is Lifelong

 

The Call to Follow Jesus Is Lifelong

Which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, “This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.”

Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace

(Luke 14:28-32).

Jesus’ call to follow Him is never meant for an interim period of time. It is always an invitation for the person to commit the whole of life for all of life. Often someone fails to maintain the intimacy with Jesus that enables the commitment to continue. As Jesus said, we can lose our saltiness (see Luke 14:34-35). Spiritual sensitivity can keep us from becoming ineffective in our faith practice.

We may be willing to follow Jesus, but we want to choose the conditions for doing so. We have secularized our faith, carving out specific times and places to practice it. It is far too dangerous to allow Jesus to set the parameters. He will ask for more of us and for a much longer period of time than what we have in mind. In Luke 14 Jesus made it clear that He wanted prospective disciples not to make an emotional decision to follow Him that they might renounce after giving it thought. Rather, He wanted them first to consider the cost, then choose to follow Him even though they knew the cost was great and would extend for the rest of their earthly lives.

(Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog post as we will cover, Following Jesus Is More Important than Material Gain)

More to come on this topic, “Biblical Discipleship.”

Source: http://www.lifeway.com/

Picture link: http://www.loveofjesusministry.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Salvation.jpg

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Discipleship Expresses Itself in Purpose

 

Discipleship Expresses Itself in Purpose

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple

(Luke 14:27).

Jesus used this illustration before He experienced His physical death by being crucified on a cross, but He was aware that the Romans used the cross as a means of execution. He was also aware that the cross would be the means of His death in the near future. The cross for Jesus was the means for Him to accomplish the purpose for which He had been born. The purpose of His incarnation was to redeem humankind—to make possible the restoration of a relationship between God and His human creation. Although Jesus modeled such a life and taught His followers how to live in such a relationship, His overarching purpose was to redeem humankind by satisfying the penalty for rebellion against God.

The cross means the same thing for us today. It symbolizes our purpose as disciples of Jesus. Our purpose is not to die for humankind as Jesus did but to die to a self-centered agenda and live to lead people into right relationships with their Heavenly Father. No matter what our livelihood is, our purpose as a disciple of Jesus is to help people know God and to live in fellowship with Him through Christ. Christian disciples should be eager to share their faith experiences with others.

This discipline of the Christian life is perhaps the most difficult because it speaks to the core issue of lordship. We may be willing to do any number of things for Christ, even to sacrifice a great deal, but we want to do it on our own terms. When His purpose becomes our purpose, it means we are also willing to forgo personal freedoms to carry out God’s purpose for our lives.

He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:30 ESV

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(Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog post as we will cover, The Call to Follow Jesus Is Lifelong)

More to come on this topic, “Biblical Discipleship.”

Source: http://www.lifeway.com/

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez