Salvation! What next?

Everyone who believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that Jesus came down in flesh receives the gift of salvation from God. Is salvation that easy to attain? How about the good works that the world preaches one has to do to qualify to receive salvation?

Salvation can never be attained by our good works since our works can never be perfect in the sight of God who is Holy. The reason God sent Jesus on earth was because of the fact that no one was able to do the good works and be called righteous before God. No one can please God except through faith. Faith cries out to Holy God that we are weak but He is strong and its only through Him that we could receive deliverance and salvation.

The moment a child of God believes in his heart on God’s work of salvation, he is justified before God and the moment he confesses through his mouth that Jesus is the Lord, he is saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved . After salvation, comes the gift of the Holy Spirit that God freely gives to help and guide us. The Spirit counsels us in our time of need and make us powerful to accomplish great works for God’s kingdom.

Does the act of salvation stop once the gift of salvation has been received? No! The one who has been saved by believing and confessing becomes a new creation in Christ by being born of the Spirit. The one who is born  of the Spirit comes under the submission of the Spirit. Since it’s the spirit who gives utterance and prepares us to become Christ’ ambassador, we become accountable to the Spirit to declare to the world then we are born again. How can we do that:

1. By walking under the authority of the Spirit. – Paul says in 1Cor9 :27 , “I beat my body to bring it under complete submission“.  This is the attitude every child of God should have. “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh” Gal5:17. Those who declare that they are born by the spirit should submit their ways to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2. By spreading the gospel – The world is still looking for ways to attain salvation. It is the responsibility of those who have received this truth to spread the good news to others. Telling others about Christ  is not easy and a  child of God should be ready for rejection. There may be many who will not like you for what you do but Be patient! Do your work and leave the rest to God, for “The word of the Lord never go waste but accomplish the purpose for which it has been sent. Isaiah55:11″

3. By interceding for others – Prayer is a powerful weapon. Jesus used it all the time to receive help from the father during his earthly ministry on earth. Being in the image of Christ, we should use this weapon regularly. Prayer is the only way to sit in the presence of God the father. As the spirit leads you, pray for others for the word of God says in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.

4. By giving thanks – Give thanks to the Lord for it is good. By giving thanks for everything we acknowledge God’s hand in every situation and glorify him. He is supreme and can turn any situation into a blessing for us. Just give thanks!

The act of Salvation doesn’t stop at believing in Christ and HIS works but goes beyond to enable a believer to lead a life controlled by the Holy Spirit. Salvation shines brilliantly not just through our preaching but the way we live our lives. What message are we giving to others?

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How does God deal with Sin?

2 Cor. 21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

Sin is replicative in nature. One act of sin calls for subsequent acts of the similar nature because of the momentary gratification it produces.

The effect of sin was one man sinned so all were called sinners since all inherited the sinful nature. What is Sin? Sin is simply not doing the good that we know to do. In other words it is the deliberate resistance to the urge to do good. Is there any logical explanation why we don’t do what we know is good and instead choose just the opposite? This is how sin works, it paralyses our discernment and blocks our vision.

What God did to deal with the disease of sin? He designed a solution that again is replicative in nature “Righteousness of God”. He brought himself down to the level of sinful men and became a part of the problem by sharing the sinful nature so that men may share in his righteousness. It’s easy to deal with the problem being a spectator but the challenge is to walk through it and work out a solution. When men were unable to do good, God became a part of the weakness of men by putting himself under sinful nature so that He could deliver those who come to him in faith.

We identify ourselves with those who have been through similar circumstances as we face. This is what God did. He planned a remedy to deal with sinful nature by being a part of sin, so that when tempted to sin, we may not rely on our own strength but know that strength is available from the one who has been through it. It was God’s love that brought him down and made him to share the sinful nature of men. The greater became smaller so that the smaller be exalted to stature of the greatest. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that whoever believe on him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

How does the God-given remedy work and what are the practical implications?

God’s dealing with sin makes us humble, for it declares that all of us have sinned and fell short of his glory. We all are the same and no one is better than the other. We all need a saviour to help us in our time of need.

God’s remedy encourages us to stand on the truth that we are God’s loving children and will always be despite being sinful. We never lose this identity despite our weak nature, since our identity is not made up by our works – good or bad. It’s already been established before we even did anything and no one can take it away from us.

Does the assurance that we always be loved despite our weakness give us a permission to lead an ungodly life knowing that the solution is available every time we do wrong? No. Once we have been enlightened, it becomes our responsibility to take God’s help and do our best not to go back to the old nature and habits. For the one who believes in God’s plan to deal with sin should also believe that God is powerful enough to save him from all temptations.

Are you deliberately running away from what your heart knows is good and tend to choose just the opposite? Are you tired that you have made many wrong choices and there is no going back? This is not true.

God has already designed a solution for you. Accept it with faith since it’s been designed by the one knows you intimately, He’s been through everything you are facing right now. Just believe your God and saviour that He is powerful enough to give you freedom. He loves you!

Be persistent in prayers

Luke 18: 1-8 talks about a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor cared about men and there was a widow who kept coming to him asking for justice. The window was so persistent  that the judge began to thing that “even though I don’t fear God or care for men, I will see that this widow gets her justice.”

How many of us find ourselves subject to people and situations that are hard to deal with. People who neither walk in the fear of the Lord nor have compassion for others, who abuse their authority mercilessly and try to put themselves in place of God making the situation difficult for those who want to quietly follow Christ. But the parable is telling us that persistence always brings the desired result. The widow was fully determined to get justice, even though she knew that the only person who had been appointed to answer her was “unjust.” Her persistence not only brought her justice but a change in the attitude of corrupt judge, who began to realize that he was unjust and started thinking, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice.”

Jesus related this parable to those who have been praying for long without seeing any answer. He said, “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen one who cry out to him day and night. I tell you that he will see that they get justice and quickly, however, when the son of man comes, will he find faith on earth.”

Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when he comes in answer to the prayers of those who have been calling God for a long time. It’s easy to lose faith when there is a delay in getting answers to prayers. Some people suffer for 12 years, some for 38 years (as in the Bible) and some even longer. Is it possible to keep the prayer and request alive for such a long time? We tend to get discouraged when we don’t see anything happening for a long time. Many of us begin to learn how to live with the adverse situations and just go with the flow, thinking that this is what God has appointed us to live by. When Jesus appeared to the man who had been invalid for 38 years, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus wants us to keep the hope alive even though its been 38 years since we have been waiting. He wants us to remain courageous in negative situation and answer Jesus the way the Syrophoenician woman answered whose daughter was afflicted for a long time. When she came to Jesus, the disciples discouraged her and then Jesus told her, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Her persistence turned her misery into blessing when she answered “Its dogs who eat what falls from their master’s table.” Jesus commended her answer and said ” For such  reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

Persistence is the Key to bring the desired result. Have you been waiting for very long? Are you losing courage and getting accustomed to your situation. Take heart, the answer is coming. Its right at the door.  Keep up the faith and the courage for they have great value in the sight of the Lord. Speak up and show to the Son of God that your are still keeping your hopes alive despite long wait and hardship. And It will be done in Jesus name.

May God bless you!

I will never leave you

Following Christ is like walking on a narrow path, which is not easy. A child of God who has accepted Jesus as his Lord and saviour enters into a covenant relationship with Jesus. Walking with Jesus never guarantees a life that is free from pain and suffering. Sometimes answers to prayers arrive before the prayer is finished, other times nothing seem to move for a very long period of time. No one knows why it happens. None of us knows the secret of time. When the good times will arrive? When will the night turn into brightness of day? When the suffering will be over? These are the questions that are common to those who have made up their minds to follow Christ.

Bible is full of verses which portray the sufferings and pain of those who wait for the Lord. One cries out in desperation, “How long, my Lord how long?” Another one says, “My soul longs for the salvation of the Lord.” Yet another, “Why have you left me alone?” Despite that the heartfelt prayers bring no answers and the tears dry up on cheeks. Faith begins to shake and a child of God start questioning, “Is there a God? Does he listen to me? Does he know what I have been going through?” “Why I am in so much pain and suffering when those who don’t lead a Godly life live comfortably?” “How can God who is so full of compassion let his precious child go through a valley of tears for days that don’t seem to come to an end?”

It’s a hard truth that those who want to lead a godly life in Christ will be persecuted. Pain and suffering are an inevitable part of a the life of a child of God. But everything under the sun follows a cycle. Nothing is permanent except the word of God. Our pain and suffering, that is temporary in nature is going to produce an eternal reward for us. Paul says, “What we suffer at this time can’t be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Our suffering may seem cruel to us at the moment but those who have been trained by them are filled with Godly perseverance and hope. And We are not going through the valley of death by ourselves, Jesus our covenant partner who has promised to be with us in good and bad times, comes to suffer with us.

No-one will remain deserted by God forever. In fact, the one who cried in his desperation, “Father why have you forsaken me?” has become our high priest to bless us with grace in our time of need. Grace is expensive since it cost Jesus his life. Let’s ask for the precious grace of Christ to fill our lives so that the weak child of God becomes able to stand firm again and speak up in eager expectation, “The one who did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? He will and will do it soon.