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Spiritual Strength

May 3, 2012

“SPIRITUAL STRENGTH”
From
“Works by J.J.” An excerpt by permission from the Author of the book:
“The Authorized Book of Short Christian Stories”

[Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version “NIV” copyright ã 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. All rights reserved.
NIV and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States patent and trademark office by International Bible Society.]

All other scripture taken from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

When a person is born-again in the spirit of Christ, . His spirit is
immediately put at odds against the desires of his flesh. This is
well discussed in the book of Romans where Paul asserts that:
“The good I want to do I cannot do, but the bad I don’t want to
do I do…”
This is a spiritual fight that each “Christian” must go through.
We must all experience the same wretchedness that Paul
experienced, and come into the same discerned realization that
Paul realized, and that is: our rescue from this body of death is in
God’s hands through Jesus Christ.
Having learned this vital truth Paul summed up the matter in his
saying: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ.” And his entire
life was devoted to teaching about Jesus and HOW we can come to
Jesus to find the strength to overcome the enemy of our flesh.
Added to Paul’s ministry, we find another word of
encouragement in the epistle of Jude, the brother of James. In verse
three we read: “…it was needful of me to write unto you and
exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which
was once delivered unto the saints.”
The words: “earnestly contend” come from one word in the
Greek: “epagonizomai.” Which literally means: to agonize in your
determination to overcome the enemy.”
The enemy is satan, we know, but his weapon for sin is being
used to destroy our assurance of faith that we have found in
Christ’s redeeming work. Hence satan’s purpose with tempting us
with sin is to: 1: make us lose hope. And 2: to make us slaves to
the increasing deviancy of sin. All for the bigger purpose of trying
to set himself above God.
The apostles, however, were given to us to show us The Way of
God as taught by Jesus. Paul strived to preach the gospel good
news by first laying the foundation of Christ Jesus, as First
Corinthians 3:10-15 shows and we are to build on that foundation.
The quality of our work being symbolized by the building
materials we use: “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or
stubble.” Materials that must be able to withstand the fire of
temptation to sin.
Notice, that even if our work is burned up us “Born-again
Christians” will still be saved, but we will suffer loss of certain
rewards in heaven. Perhaps, one or more of the crowns we can
receive…but we will still be saved! NEVER FORGET THAT! We
are told to never to let loose of our hope.
Now, let’s tie all of this together into one easy to carry burden,
for Jesus said: “Learn from me for my burden is light and easy to
carry.”
It is in Jesus we find our hope, our strength, our rewards and
our redemption. In him is nothing forward or perverse. In him can
be found love and truth. Yet don’t neglect the understanding that it
is something we must Learn!
The more we become one with Jesus, the more we will be able
to say: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ.”
It serves God’s purpose that the same way we find Jesus, is the
same way we grow in Jesus. IN A WORD: REPENTANCE
We saw in First Corinthians 3:11, that Jesus is our
foundation; Yet now we read in Hebrews 6:1 “…let us go on unto
perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from
dead works and of faith toward God…” Repentance!
You have been taught that this means to turn away from sin 180
degrees, and it does…. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!!! In the New
Testament a new word is used: “Metanoeo” And it means: “to
reconsider your sin from a divine viewpoint of thought, will and
emotion; then choose to submit to the way of the divine.”
Not so hard to do as it sounds, in First Cor. 2:15-16 we see that
the teaching of the Holy Spirit is to give us the MIND of Christ.
Which is to say, having His thoughts, will and emotions? (See The
Amplified Bible)
In the Old Testament days all they could do was turn away from
sin to follow the Ten Commandments; they were unable to
reconsider their sin from the divine viewpoint we “Christians” are
able to learn to do, by virtue of the indwelling of God’s Holy
Spirit. Also known as: “The Gift of Repentance.” A gift given
that allows us: “…the acknowledging of the truth…” (II Tim.
2:24-26) that is in and of Jesus. A pearl of great price, that
Gruden’s Dictionary concordance defines as: “the message and the
person of Jesus Christ.”
But, if the truth is Jesus, and “…no man knoweth who the Son
is, but the Father…” How can we know him?
Read the entire verse of Luke 10:22, “All things are delivered
to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the
Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the
Son will reveal him!”
Jesus reveals the Father! (John 17:25-26) says: “Oh righteous
Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee,
and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have
declared unto them thy name, and will declare it that the love
wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus reveals the love, (agape), of the Father! (Galatians 5:5-6):
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor
uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” BUT pay
attention to verse five!!! Our hope of righteousness is also
established by the love found in faith.
Other verses verify that love from the Father is the way of
righteousness…I Cor. 13, the love chapter, shows many of the
reasons we have for sin. Rom. 13:8-10 shows that our obedience to
submit to God’s love fulfills all of the commandments. II Pet. 1:2-
11, shows that love, on an increasing basis, (vs. 8) will “…make
your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall
never fall…) (vs. 10).
The Agape love in faith is “…the substance of things hoped
for, the evidence of things unseen.”
There are many, many verses found in scripture that become
plain and clear to the person who strives to repent from the
unloving reasons for their sin and find the loving alternatives to
submit to in an ongoing process.
There are five types of love: phileo, eros, epithermia, storge and
agape. Be sure you do not make the mistake of vainly imagining
that the love you believe in is God’s love; unless you have found it
in the alternatives to your reasons for your sin.
Our motives for sin are clearly given in the bible as being:
worries, riches, and/or pleasures…but our “reasons” for these
motives are many and different for each person.
For example” why do you drink? One answer is: I’m shy. Or,
I’m afraid of rejection. Or, I’m being cool, like James Bond….
Repentance asks the questions. (See James Ch. 4)
The reasons are different for every person, and it is in the loving
and truthful alternatives to the reasons, that we find God’s
transforming image of Christ.
Let love be your guide, let love be your goal!!! Love that does
no harm to its neighbor, and applies to everyone equally, is our
aim. When you find it, you will see that it is in- accordance to the
written word of God. But what you have found is the spirit of the
word. Praise God!
And so my prayer for you is the same as Paul’s in Philippians
1:9-11, “That your love may abound yet more and more in
knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that
are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the
day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which
are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”
REPENT….

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