That Which Unites Christianity


Theology & Sin

 

John R. Houk

© December 31, 2018

As a blogger I typically write or share on subjects that cause me disenchantment from a Christian-political worldview. My tendency is toward the political more than the Christian. As the year draws to an end in 2018 I thought IO might muse with a little more slant on the Christian perspective.

 

I’ll begin with heresy.

 

Among the Christian faithful “heresy” is a subjective thing. Roman Catholics are ill-at-ease with Protestants who reject the episcopal traditions related to Papal supremacy. Protestants are ill-at-ease with Roman Catholics that place the edicts of a Papacy over the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

 

Protestants are divisive among many Denominations that in varying may view one Denomination to be practicing heretical views divergent from another.

 

For example, traditional Baptists may view Tongue-Talking Denominations as influenced by the devil while visa-versa the Tongue-Talkers view the Baptists as walking in disobedience rejecting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Tongues.

 

Holy Spirit Baptism Denominations may heresy among themselves as to nature of Jesus. Pentecostal movement differences of opinion may appear tangential to the outsider yet to Pentecostal practitioners those apparent insignificant tangents may be fightin’ words.

 

Simplest example Pentecostal differences:

 

There are three main divisions within the Pentecostal movement. The original group which came out of the Holiness churches (Methodist and Nazarene), sees three progressive steps in the life of a believer which indicate growth and blessing. The first step is justification, which is the forgiveness of sins that comes from putting faith in Jesus Christ. The second step is sanctification, or the second blessing, which was first taught by John Wesley in his “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection” (1766). The essence of this doctrine is an inner purity of heart and an infusion of power, whereby the believer no longer practices sin. This is sometimes followed by the third step, the “baptism of the Spirit,” as evidenced by speaking in tongues or other signs. The Church of God in Christ and the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee, are two major denominations in this group.

The second division is comprised of those who came out of a Baptist background, but were heavily influenced by the Holiness revivals of the late 1800s. The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 under the leadership of Eudorus N. Bell, who had been a Southern Baptist pastor. The key difference in doctrine for this group is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is available for anyone, regardless of attaining sanctification.

The third division is the Oneness Pentecostals. At the meeting which formed the Church of God in Christ (1914), there was intense debate over Trinitarian doctrine. While the majority of Holiness believers held to the traditional belief in the Trinity, there was a growing group which held to a modalist [Blog Editor: Words like “modalist” delves into the oft-times difficult to understand realm of theology. Hence a “modalist” is an adherent of modalism which is a particular understanding of the Godhood. The Merriam-Webster definition.] belief and affirmed that baptism should be done in Jesus’ name only. Another tenet of this group is the necessity of speaking in tongues as evidence of salvation. This group was to form the United Pentecostal Church and the Apostolic Pentecostal Church, among others.

What are we to make of this movement? The early Holiness believers recognized that Christianity ought to result in visible changes in a person’s life. The focus of many early prayer meetings was to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1). These earnest believers wanted to run their race faithfully and were seeking God’s help to do so. As that earnestness gave way to emotional religious fervor, doctrines were developed to explain and support the emotions and experiences. For many today, the emphasis is on the excitement, the experience, or the new word of prophecy. Some of the questionable foundations laid by John Wesley (e.g., a second blessing of perfection) paved the way for later Pentecostal doctrines of new works of the Spirit. Some Pentecostals allow experience to trump scriptural teaching and attempt to conform Scripture to what they “know by experience.” But fervent experience, even when it involves miracles, is not the test of true faith (see Matthew 7:22–23). Peter affirmed the value of Scripture over experience when he said, “We also have a more sure Word of prophecy, to which you do well to take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). (What is the Pentecostal Church and what do Pentecostals believe?GotQuestions.org)

 

True to traditional Protestantism, GotQuestions.org emphasizes Scripture over experience. Yet the Got Questions crowd tries to be nice in the explanation, a more combative traditionalist probably uses more pejorative disclaimers in defending the Faith via a subjective perception of truth.

 

The point I’m attempting to make without writing a book is that theological differences apart from theological centralities should be considered meaningless. To avoid fightin’ words among Christians it is best to emphasize central theological beliefs that has a commonality amongst Christian Believers.

 

What are some central beliefs where there is complete agreement (derived from inter-denominational organization – Prayer Foundation):

 

The Catholic Consensus of Greek, Latin, and Evangelical Christendom.

 

I.—RULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICE.

 

  • The Divine Inspiration and Authority of the Canonical Scriptures in matters of faith and morals. (Against Rationalism.)

 

II.—THEOLOGY.

 

  1. The Unity of the Divine essence.

 

  1. The Trinity of the Divine Persons.  Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the Maker, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. 

 

  1. The Divine perfections.  Omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, wisdom, holiness, justice, love, and mercy.

 

  1. Creation of the world by the will of God out of nothing for his glory and the happiness of his creatures.

 

  1. Government of the world by Divine Providence.

 

III.—ANTHROPOLOGY.

 

  1. Original innocence.  Man made in the image of God, with reason and freedom, pure and holy; yet needing probation, and liable to fall.

 

  1. Fall: sin and death.  Natural depravity and guilt; necessity and possibility of salvation. [Blog Editor: Of interest the Eastern Orthodox will typically tell you a denial of Original Sin. Yet after reading an explanation, their theology calls the Fall – Ancestral Sin. It is my belief it is another case of trivial semantics.]

 

  1. Redemption by Christ.

 

IV.—CHRISTOLOGY.

 

  1. The Incarnation of the eternal Logos or second Person in the Holy Trinity.

 

  1. The Divine-human constitution of the Person of Christ.

 

  1. The life of Christ.  His superhuman [Blog Editor: I prefer supernatural to superhuman] conception; his sinless perfection; his crucifixion, death, and burial; resurrection and ascension; sitting at the right hand of God; return to judgment.

 

  1. Christ our Prophet, Priest, and King forever.

 

  1. The mediatorial work of Christ, or the atonement.  “He died for our sins, and rose for our justification.”

 

V.—PNEUMATOLOGY.

 

  1. The Divine Personality of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. His eternal Procession(εκπόρευσις, processio) from the Father, and his historic Mission (πέμψις, missio) by the Father and the Son.

 

  1. His Divine work of regeneration and sanctification.

 

VI.—SOTERIOLOGY. [Blog Editor: i.e. Salvation or in Eastern Orthodox – Theosis/Deification]

 

  1. Eternal predestination [Eastern Orthodox view] or election of believers to salvation.

 

  1. Call by the gospel.

 

  1. Regeneration and conversion. Necessity of repentance and faith.

 

  1. Justification and sanctification. Forgiveness of sins and necessity of a holy life.

 

  1. Glorification of believers.

 

VII.—ECCLESIOLOGY AND SACRAMENTOLOGY.

 

[Blog Editor: It is my opinion all three Christian Movements ascribe to a universal Church, but I sense each branch has slight differences on how that universality presents. All branches have sacraments yet there is a lack of agreement on how to practice and how those sacraments present. Ergo I’m not listing the Prayer Foundation numeration.]

 

VIII.—ESCHATOLOGY.

 

  1. Death in consequence of sin.

 

  1. Immortality of the soul.

 

  1. The final coming of Christ.

 

  1. General resurrection.

 

  1. Judgment of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  1. Heaven and Hell.  The eternal blessedness of saints, and the eternal punishment of the wicked.

 

  1. God all in all (I Corinthians 15:28 [Blog Editor: The Amplified Version is a good explanation]). (What All Christians Believe in Common: Eastern OrthodoxRoman Catholic, &Protestant; Prayer Foundation)

 

I wanted to be clear on universal similarities inherent in Christianity to note there are universal condemnations as sin inherent in Christianity. This is an understanding that MUST be understood. Why?

 

Because the Multiculturalist Left (and not just in the USA) has had a cultural transformation goal that is having a negative influence inside the Christian Church.

 

The Secular Humanism promoted by the Multiculturalist Left has been wickedly successful in what the Church calls sin that separates from God is normal. Calling sin normal literally calls the Creator non-existent.

 

Lucifer Cast from Heaven

 

Who of infamous significance called his Creator of no-effect?

 

The Fall of Lucifer

 

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
[a]Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the [b]lowest depths of the Pit.

 

16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:
Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who [c]did not open the house of his prisoners?’ (Isaiah 14: 12-17 NKJV)

 

The Prophet Isaiah uses the King of Babylon as a type of Satan calling the old devil by his pre-Fall angelic name – Lucifer.

 

Secular Humanism is a modern type of Lucifer. Pretending to bring light to humanity, the humanist ideology tries to cover humanity in a darkness that separates from the Creator. And so moral relativity uses smoke and mirrors to hide God the Creator’s moral agenda

 

The Redemptive plan inherent in God’s morality ultimately secures the human creation’s – made in God’s image – union through Christ Jesus with God Almighty.

 

Union through Christ – John 17: 11-26 NKJV:

 

11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep[a] through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them [b]in the world, I kept them in [c]Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is [d]lost except the son of [e]perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify[f] them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

 

Jesus Prays for All Believers

 

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who [g]will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Bold text Blog Editor’s)

 

The sin excused as normal in Secular Humanist Moral Relativity threatens humanity’s union with God.

An Introduction to What Separates Humanity from Union with God (Romans 1: 18-23 NKJV):

 

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [a]suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is [b]manifest [c]in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and [d]Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like [e]corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

 

A list of immoral acts separating a person from can be read in Romans 1: 26-32 NKJV. Here is a rough list as defined in –

 

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible in BibleHub.com Romans 1:29:

 

  • Homosexuality – Romans 1:26-27

 

  • Sexual Immorality (fornication in KJV): The word denotes all illicit sexual intercourse.

 

  • Wickedness – The word used here denotes a desire of injuring others; or, as we should express it, malice. It is that depravity and obliquity of mind which strives to produce injury on others. (Calvin.)

 

  • Covetousness – Avarice, or the desire of obtaining what belongs to others.

 

  • Maliciousness (Licentiousness KJV) – κακία kakia. This word denotes evil in general; rather the act of doing wrong than the desire which was expressed before by the word “wickedness.”

 

  • Full of envy – “Pain, uneasiness, mortification, or discontent, excited by another’s prosperity, accompanied with some degree of hatred or malignity, and often with a desire or an effort to depreciate the person, and with pleasure in seeing him depressed” (Webster).

 

  • Murder – “The taking of human life with premeditated malice by a person of a sane mind.” This is necessary to constitute murder now, but the word used here denotes all manslaughter, or taking human life, except what occurs as the punishment of crime.

 

  • Strife (Debate in KJV) – … the word in the original meant also contention, strife, altercation, connected with anger and heated zeal … This contention and strife would, of course, follow from malice and covetousness, etc.

 

  • Deceit – This denotes fraud, falsehood, etc.

 

  • Evil-mindedness (Malignity in KJV) – This word signifies here, not malignity in general, but that particular species of it which consists in misinterpreting the words or actions of others, or putting the worst construction on their conduct.

 

  • Whisperers – Those who secretly, and in a sly manner, by hints and innuendoes, detract from others, or excite suspicion of them. It does not mean those who openly calumniate, but that more dangerous class who give hints of evil in others, who affect great knowledge, and communicate the evil report under an injunction of secrecy, knowing that it will be divulged. This class of people abounds everywhere, and there is scarcely any one more dangerous to the peace or happiness of society.

 

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible – BibleHub.com Romans 1: 30:

 

  • BackbitersThose Who calumniate, slander, or speak ill of those who are absent. Whisperers declare secretly, and with great reserve, the supposed faults of others. Backbiters proclaim them publicly and avowedly.

 

  • Haters of God – … No more striking proof of depravity could be given; and in no creed or confession of faith is there a more painful and humiliating representation given of human wickedness … Strong’s Concordance 2319 (theostugés): theostygḗs(a substantival adjective, derived from 2316/theós, “God” and stygeō, “abhor”) – properly, to abhor God (His will). This rare term refers to people who totally turn against the Lord (used only in Ro 1:30).

 

  • Violent (despiteful in KJV) – This word denotes those who abuse, or treat with unkindness or disdain, those who are present. Strong’s Concordance 5197 (hubristés): hybristḗs(a masculine noun derived from 5195/hybrízō) – properly, someone “damaging” others by lashing out with a nasty spirit. This kind of individual is insolent (delights in wrong-doing) – finding pleasure in hurting others (G. R. Berry). See 5195 (hybrizō).

 

  • Proud – Pride is well understood. It is an inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, etc. (Webster).

 

  • Boasters – Those who arrogate to themselves what they do not possess, and glory on it. This is closely connected with pride. A man who has an inordinate self-conceit, will not be slow to proclaim his own merits to those around him.

 

  • Inventors of evil things – This doubtless refers to their seeking to find out new arts or plans to practice evil; new devices to gratify their lusts and passions; new forms of luxury, and vice, etc.

 

  • Disobedient to parents – This expresses the idea that they did not show to parents that honor, respect, and attention which was due. Strong’s Concordance 545 (disobedience – apeithés):

 

apeithḗs (an adjective) – literally, unwilling to be persuaded (by God) which shows itself in outward disobedience (outward spiritual rebellion); disobedient because unpersuaded.

apeithḗs (“unpersuaded”) begins with the decision to reject what God prefers, with His offer to persuade about His preferred-will (cf. 2307 /thélēma). See 543 (apeitheia).

 

PLUS

 

1118 (parent – goneus):

 

Definition: a parent
Usage: a begetter, father; plur: parents.

 

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible – BibleHub.com Romans 1: 31

 

  • Undiscerning (Without understanding in KJV) – Inconsiderate, or foolish

 

  • Untrustworthy (Covenantbreakers in KJV) – Perfidious; false to their contracts.

 

  • Unloving (Without natural affections in KJV) – This expression denotes the lack of affectionate regard toward their children.

 

  • Unforgiving (Implacable in KJV) – This word properly denotes those who will not be reconciled where there is a quarrel; or who pursue the offender with unyielding revenge. It denotes an unforgiving temper.

 

  • Unmerciful – Destitute of compassion. Strong’s Concordance 415 (aneleemon): without compassion, cruel; Definition: without mercy; Usage: unpitying, unmerciful, without compassion, cruel.

 

The inspiration for these comes from a post I found on a Prophecy Update email from December 27. The article that caught my eye was “POWER IN THE BLOOD” by Pastor Mike Taylor. Below is the cross post from Pastor Taylor’s blog entitled Church of the Living God.

 

JRH 12/31/18

Please Support NCCR

*********************

POWER IN THE BLOOD

 

There is Power in the Blood

 

By Pastor Mike Taylor

December 26, 2018

Church of the Living God

 

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”(1st Corinthians 6:19-20)

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”(1st Corinthians 3:16 -17)

 

Man was created in the image of God as is recorded in the first book of the Bible.

1:26  “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”(Genesis 1:26-27)

 

But down through the ages, man has thought that he knew better than God, the lawgiver, the creator of all things. God instituted certain principles, laws of nature, and of Himself to guide men into His ways and to instruct them in righteous living. But the bible is full of stories of men who would not listen to the Words of God, but deviated according the sins of their flesh and their sinful nature, following instead according to the prince and power of the air and temporary ruler of this world, Lucifer….Satan the devil.

Man is made of flesh, but has a spiritual component that when deviating from the Law of God, is defined as sin. What is sin? Words such as Crime, Error, Foul, Wrong, and Vice come to mind. Each of these words name behaviors that fail to reach an accepted standard. Any group of people joining to accomplish a goal will establish a set of rules, laws, guidelines or principles to regulate proper conduct. When such a code is abused or ignored, a penalty is usually imposed.

It is no different when you speak of our Heavenly ABBA Father. God established a code of conduct called His Law, as defined by the Ten Commandments. It defined His perfect nature and His desire that man follow His way of living. Man has rejected God’s way of living down through the ages and the penalty of not following God’s perfect law, is death. Paul speaks of this in Romans, chapter 6,

 

23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Romans 6:23)

 

Jesus, the Substitute of what we all deserve.

In God’s love for His creation, He gave us His only Son, knowing that we could not keep the Laws of God, as we are sold under sin. To transgress one aspect of the law is to transgress the whole law, as there is no difference when it comes to sin in God’s eyes. The law was our school master to lead us to repentance, knowing that we were incapable of keeping the letter of the law. It was God’s plan all along to redeem His creation to all that would look to His Son for payment of the sins past, present and future. God covered them all with one perfect sacrifice, His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

BATTLE FOR MAN’S SALVATION AND GNOSTICISM

In the very beginning of the early church, a heresy developed that men knew better than God. It was called Gnosticism, or secret knowledge, Gnosis. These heretics believed in dualism, or the battle between matter and spirit, good and evil, and light and darkness as defined by the body being bad, and the spirit being good. These early infiltrators of the early church professed that it didn’t matter what you did within your body, as the spirit is what mattered. They believed that Jesus was not God in the flesh, as His flesh was corrupt and could not be our redeemer, but that salvation comes from in one of two ways:

» That the only way to attain true spirituality is to deny their flesh (matter) of anything that might tempt them to sin. Those who thought this way became ascetic or afflictions of their flesh.» The opposite extreme, that the things done in the body are inconsequential because only the spirit counts. These Gnostics often fell into licentiousness as defined “lacking legal or moral restraints especially : disregarding sexual restraints licentious behavior licentious revelers. 2 : marked by disregard for strict rules of correctness.”

Bible shows that Paul battled this heresy in his epistles, especially in 1st Corinthians, Galatians and Colossians. The Apostle John battled it in all his writings. 1st John chapter 3, is one of those examples:

 

3  “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6  Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7  Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous

8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1st John 3:3- 8)

 

John argues against this heresy. Some in John’s area of ministry seem to have believed that they could not sin in their flesh. Since their flesh, matter, was ultimately evil anyway, it could not be redeemed and was worthless. Thus, they concluded, anything done in the flesh had no bearing on one’s salvation. I see that abounding even today in this cesspool we call the world. It surrounds us on every side. New Age Emergent churches are promoting a new gospel, a new way of following Jesus and the epitome of the Gnostic beliefs found in a religion that has survived 2000 years. Both feel they have “secret knowledge” of what God meant in His Holy Word and have redefined what is scriptural and what are the precept of mere mortal men.

 

THE LAODECIAN CHURCH GROWS STRONGER

I had the displeasure of reading an article by a supposedly Christian pastor who proclaimed that we must repackage the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to reach the people of today. Say what? So we must doll up the message to make it more palatable for the young people today? What’s wrong with preaching the truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Is there another way to enter into God’s Kingdom other than the blood and body of Jesus Christ? NO!! Does that mean rock music in the church? Does that mean creating a mall type atmosphere that rivals any shopping outlet? Does that mean we must have tattoo parlors in the church? Yes, I said tattoo parlors. I had a dear lady write and report churches in her area are promoting tattoos right in the building of these churches. Some misled people of these new “enlightened” churches think they have the right to adorn their bodies with different colored inks that show they follow a “christian” message. I categorically reject this pseudo form of Christianity, as it glorifies the flesh, not the Savior. When would you paint graffiti with a spray can on the building you worship in? Would you paint a cross on the sides of the building and adorn the sanctuary with man-made symbols that deface the structure in various colored inks? Is it any different when you tattoo a cross or a crown of thorns across your back and say you are proclaiming Jesus? How can we reach the world that is dying, if we ourselves are identifying with them by our actions?

As a Christian, or one who professes knowing Jesus Christ, what is our duty when trying to live the Christian life? There is only One example that we are to live by and follow and that is our perfect example, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Would Jesus allow a tattoo being placed on His righteous body? Would he follow the sins of this world by doing what I see happening in today’s emergent “enlightened” churches? It smacks of Gnosticism.

1st John chapter 2:

 

4  “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1st John 2:4-6)

Peter reinforced that argument when he wrote in 1st Peter chapter 2:

 

21 ” For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth

23  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”(1st Peter 2:21-25)

 

Jesus our perfect example and the personage we must emulate. God told us in His Word that we must separate ourselves from the sins of the flesh and the ways of this world: 2nd Corinthians,

16 “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. “(2nd Corinthians 6:16-18)

THE WORLD IS DYING. 

 

I am reminded daily when I see the amount of people in our hospitals that abuse their bodies with all form of addictions. I see people ravaged by alcohol addiction and drink heavily daily. I see people who get high on whatever their drug of choice is and there are many forms of chemical abuse that are legal. I saw a young person who damaged his body with a substance called K2, which is abusing bath salts by injecting it, smoking it, or inhaling it to get high. It destroys their brain, their internal organs, and respiratory systems. I see people who are grossly obese, who find comfort in food and gluttony and are diabetic and with failing organs. Or how about 1-2 pack a day smoker who destroys their lungs, heart, and open the door for cancers to invade? If the lost and dying world is suffering this type of destruction, should we not separate ourselves from this type of behavior with its addictions and not even look like the rest of the world? If they can’t see any difference in us, why would they choose this man, called Jesus Christ? If they can’t see Jesus in you, then will they listen to your message? Probably not, but they will take your entertainment in the churches, but live like the devil the rest of the week.

THE MILLENNIALS OF OUR WORLD

I talk to young people who call themselves Christians, but are living with their boyfriend or girlfriend without the sanctity of marriage. How can one profess knowing Jesus Christ, when they live opposite of what He commanded and lived? Are they confused or do they just know better? Hey, everyone is doing it, right? So it must be OK? I see children being born out of wedlock into new types of families, or being raised by same sex couples and it’s OK? Again, how can you reach a world that is dying from being lost in sin, when you indulge in sin yourself, and think it’s alright? God plainly condemns this kind of behavior and the abuse of our bodies and our mode of living to the detriment of our very existence. Peter wrote according to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in 1st Peter,

 

14  “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21  Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”1st Peter 1:13-21)

 

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, SPEAK OF A GLORIOUS EVENT

It is quite clear for all that are awake and see the events around us, that we ARE in the last days of this world’s existence. Suddenly, without warning, your world will be turned upside down and you will either be found in Jesus Christ, or being bamboozled by the god of this world, you have followed another gospel, that is not of Jesus Christ. You will have been living your life according to what you think is best, not according to the clear commands of Jesus Christ or having His sacrifice applied to your life. I have tried to hammer home the message that this world is fast approaching the cliff of tribulation and all of us need to be getting our houses in order. If you profess Jesus Christ, as your Savior, then live like it. If you are playing a fool’s game of following another gospel, or a false messiah, and abusing your bodies in ways that are in direct conflict with the clear teachings of the One who died for the entire world, Jesus Christ, then you may have a sad day approaching. When Jesus banishes you from His presence during the sheep and goat judgment at the Judgment Seat of our Lord, you will have no one to blame, but yourself:

 

33  “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. …….(moving down)
25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, (ye who practice lawlessness) into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: ……..
46  “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(Matthew 25:33, 41, 46)

 

WHAT MUST YOU DO IF YOU PROFESS JESUS?

Christian, look at yourself. Do you follow the clear message of the Bible? Do you continue to make mistakes? Of course you do, but not according to the rest of the world, if you profess our Lord and Savior, but you do not live as the world does. You separate yourself from anything and everything that speaks of the lust of the flesh and follow the Holy Spirit, guiding your own spirit in righteous living. A Christian will not willfully sin according to the lust of his flesh, but seeks after righteousness. The truly converted man or woman is a new creature in Christ Jesus.

17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  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.”(2nd Corinthians 5:17-19)

 

19  “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”(Romans 8:19-23)

 

 

Men are dying because they are abusing the body made in the image of God. They follow the god of this world and fall into every unclean practices that leads to death. They die prematurely and experience painful deaths. I know, because I’ve seen it, up close and personal.

How more should we who have been converted to follow the ways of God, abstain from anything that would look like the world? God will hold each of accountable for things done in our body, meaning he will reward, or withhold reward for each of His children who are truly converted, but never quite learned the lessons of righteous living. See the opening verses that started this sermon. He will sorely judge the haphazard Christian who abuses the body He resides in. He will also, judge those who follow a pseudo form of Christianity, but deny the power thereof as noted in the sheep and goat parable. To mouth the words of being a Christian, does not make it so. It is an inward change of the heart. You will look odd to the world, but Jesus warned each of us of that very fact: John chapter 15,

 

18  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”(John 15:18-21)

 

TO ALL WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL

To the lost and dying, that do not have the payment of their sins paid for by the blood sacrifice and broken body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, time is growing short. Jesus is right at the door waiting to gather His church unto Himself. Jesus said that the time would be as in the days of Noah. Look around you, does this world seem to be going mad? Is it not as Jesus said it would be? Truly, it is.

 

26  “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”(Luke 17:26-29)

 

POWER IN THE BLOOD

 

With all that is happening in this world, men dying needlessly. People without hope of a better life that is coming. Not embracing what John 3:16 spoken of by our Lord Jesus. Our God and Kinsman Redeemer gave up His life on a cruel Roman cross for one purpose, and that is to shed His own precious blood for the salvation of many souls He would reclaim from the sin started in the Garden of Eden. God knew before the world was even formed, and time was created for mankind, that He would have give up His Glory for 33.5 years and come as our Righteous Redeemer. God knew that there was no other way, as man could not do it himself, no matter how moral one man might be….It is totally impossible, as I said, sin one time, and you have broken all the laws of God, as God looks at them all the same..to Him, sin is sin and nothing we can rid ourselves of. This concept draws my mind to the scriptural verse that was the purpose of Christ coming to save this God forsaken world.

 

3 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:3-8)

 

When I was a boy, I recall a wonderful old hymn that spoke of what our Lord did for us:

 

There Is Power In The Blood

 

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood

 

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

 

Would you be free from your passion and pride
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide
There’s wonderful power in the blood

 

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

 

The precious sacrifice our Lord gladly laid down His life, to save mankind is found in shedding of blood, every last drop being spilled on the ground. For without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness, which the Bible testifies through God’s Holy Spirit.

 

22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:22-26)

 

FOLLOW JESUS, NOT ANY ONE RELIGION

Do not look at others who proclaim they are Christians, as some may be deceived. You might look to others for the way they live and use it as confirmation that you do not want this free gift of grace paid for nearly 2000 years ago. You will then make that choice independent of those you hold up as the reason you have not committed your life and heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. You will be solely responsible for the banishment into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Each of us are destined to be either in glory and in the presence of God Almighty, or be banished from His presence for all eternity.

 

9 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”(Philippians 2:9-12)

 

Each of us have been formed in the image of God. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior, must realize that their body is the Temple of God and we were bought with a very high price, hence my opening scriptures concerning this very fact. Those who have not accepted the free gift of salvation, do so at their own eternal peril. I extend an open invitation to all who will listen to that still, small voice inside your heart that draws you to the God who created you. Romans chapter 10,

 

8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

 

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

 

Invite the Spirit of God into your heart to make Jesus Lord and Savior of your life. Become the Temple of God’s Holy Spirit and flee from anything and everything that imitates anything found in this world that the rest of the world revels in to their own destruction.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying God’s salvation in your heart and life. If there is anything I can counsel you on, pray with you about, or just a listening ear, then email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,  or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, for more biblical lessons on salvation and the soon return of our Lord Jesus.

 

God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.

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That Which Unites Christianity

Theology & Sin

 

John R. Houk

© December 31, 2018

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POWER IN THE BLOOD

 

Pastor Mike Taylor is an ordained minister in the Church of the Living God and reaches out to all the world to proclaim the Gospel and the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

STATEMENT OF MINISTRY BELIEFS