Powerless? Or powerful?
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
Please hear this journal entry from a voice of love and concern for you, friends – I cannot condemn you or judge you – I can only share the Truth of the Word of God.
There is no such thing as cheap grace. There is no such thing as a lukewarm Christian. The choices are salvation or judgement. This is a pass/fail test. We cannot be living in lasciviousness and debauchery and refusing to repent and dishonoring God while claiming to be a vessel of the Holy Spirit. We are either, saved by grace and walking with Him – or we are still headed to destruction.
If you do not know this truth, you are deceived. Being a Christ follower is not about escaping consequences or about working towards rewards. It is about grattitude, love, obedience, and service – it is about a change on the inside that demonstrates itself outwardly in a changed life.
If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
John 14:15-17 NLT
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.
John 14:23-24 NLT
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Galatians 5:19-26 NLT
And some will say, but I prayed a prayer, I “accepted” Christ as my Savior, so I’m free from sin and I have my heaven ticket, so even though I continue to sin, He has forgiven me, the work is done, and I have nothing to fear, right? Please read for yourself the Word of God and know that you are deceived.
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. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
Hebrews 6:1-12 NLT
And those without understanding will say, then what good does it do me to participate in this Christian religion? And I will tell you that the religious practice alone, nor hiding your sins from others and making the appearance to others that you are religious can no sooner save you from the condemnation that you are facing, than openly practicing the true desires of your evil heart for the whole world to see.
When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
Luke 3:7-9 NLT
It isn’t about talking or knowing about righteous things, but about doing them. And not under our own power, but through the, Holy Spirit who lives in us who are His.
Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Matthew 7:15-23 NLT
1 Corinthians 4:20 ESV
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
1 Corinthians 2:14 NLT
So we must examine ourselves to be sure that we are in the faith.
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you ; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord . Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say,
“We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us.
“You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down, and slaughtered us without mercy. You have hidden yourself in a cloud so our prayers cannot reach you. You have discarded us as refuse and garbage among the nations.
“All our enemies have spoken out against us. We are filled with fear, for we are trapped, devastated, and ruined.”
Tears stream from my eyes because of the destruction of my people! My tears flow endlessly; they will not stop until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. My heart is breaking over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem.
My enemies, whom I have never harmed, hunted me down like a bird. They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. The water rose over my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!”
But I called on your name, Lord , from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!” Yes, you came when I called; you told me, “Do not fear.”
Lord, you are my lawyer! Plead my case! For you have redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord . Be my judge, and prove me right. You have seen the vengeful plots my enemies have laid against me.
Lord , you have heard the vile names they call me. You know all about the plans they have made. My enemies whisper and mutter as they plot against me all day long. Look at them! Whether they sit or stand, I am the object of their mocking songs.
Pay them back, Lord , for all the evil they have done. Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and then let your curse fall on them! Chase them down in your anger, destroying them beneath the Lord ’s heavens.
Lamentations 3:40-66 NLT
And if you find yourself not in the faith, friend, I encourage you to seek Him while there is still time. Believe in your heart and declare with your mouth and your life.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
Romans 10:9-11 NLT
Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
Luke 13:6-9 NLT
I am pleading on your behalf. Christ is pleading on your behalf. Repent and seek first the Kingdom of God AND righteousness.
Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then. ”
Luke 13:23-30 NLT