But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
I Peter 1:15-16
Rise and Shine, There's Work to be Done
God did not save you so that you could just warm a pew bench on Sundays. Oh no, dear friend. He saved you to have intimacy with Him and to work with him in the beauty of his holiness. When he said, "Be ye holy" it was not a request, it was a command. And God doesn't command us to do anything that he won't empower us to do.
Is your life counting for Jesus Christ? Is anybody impacted by your life? Have you led someone to Christ, or offered an encouraging word in the name of Jesus? Are you exercising your spiritual gifts? Is your lifestyle above reproach? Do you watch that horrific television? Do you read your Bible regularly? Do you obey it?
Read the Bible Everyday, Pray, and Do Your Daily Work
You've Got to Be Serious About the Lord Jesus
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Jesus was serious about you and his true disciples are serious about him. He left his glory in heaven and was born as an infant in this cruel and wicked world. Herod tried to kill him in his childhood, but it was not yet his time. After he had shared the word of the kingdom and healed all manner of sickness and disease, he gave his life a ransom for many. Think about all the evil of this world--he suffered and died for all of it! Oh yes beloved, he was very serious about us and he expects us to be serious about Him.
Do you really believe that the Son of God died for your sins and rose from the dead? If you do, then you CANNOT be satisfied living just any old kind of way. Dear friend, it's an impossibility because God lives inside of you. If you feel comfortable sinning and you name the name of Christ you need to--
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5)What Kind of Fruit Do You Bear?
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Jesus talked about two different types of fruit in Matthew 7:16-27--good fruit and bad fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit any more than an apple tree can bring forth pears. If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, your life should show forth good fruit. GOOD FRUIT, I.E. GOOD WORKS, DO NOT SAVE YOU, BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST DOES. But good works are the external result of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Below, there are two types of lifestyles--Spirit-filled and flesh-filled. When you examine your everyday lifestyle, which category do you operate in?
If you call yourself a Christian, I sincerely hope that you are in the first category. If you are in the second category and you claim to be a Christian, here's some counsel from the Bible:
Galatians 6:7, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
If you are NOT a Christian and you feel that you are in the first category, you are still on your way to hell because you don't have forgiveness for your sins. No amount of good works will get you into heaven. God will only accept those who accept his Son and he will reject all who reject Jesus.
John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Look at what God says about the good works of the natural man who tries to earn his way into heaven.
Isaiah 64:6, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.Call to Holiness
Dear friend, where are you today? Is your life a sweet-smelling savour in the nostrils of God or is it a stink? If you are a Christian, II Peter 1:4 says that you are to be partaker of the divine nature. As we read and obey the holy scriptures, we change, our desires change, and the way that we see things change, we are the children of God, we live in his household.
I oftentimes hear preachers and lay-people say, "I'm only a sinner saved by grace." After you are saved, God no longer calls you sinner. Look it up in the Bible--he calls you righteous. I hear people say, "If you're normal, you sin everyday." What a thing to say! When you read I John, the apostle admonishes us to sin not. If we do, we have an advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus.
Instead of being woe-begone about sin, we need to be avoiding and resisting it with all that we have. We need to seek out holiness. The world uses the phrase, "holier-than-thou" with contempt. I say, "Praise the Lord that somebody is trying to live like Jesus!"
I was a big-time sinner when Jesus cleaned me up and made me brand new. When I look back, I know I lived the way I did, but I still have trouble understanding how I was so blind. The reading of God's word, the Bible, has continually washed my mind and shown me how I am supposed to live and contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. As soldiers before the Lord, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God". By God's grace, we do what we can as individuals until he calls us home.
I see myself as a living miracle. I didn't grow up in a Christian home and my lifestyle was reprehensible, but God cleaned me up from the inside out. I found life in the limitations and duties imposed on me by God's word.
I'm not unique, but the God that I serve is. He didn't save you to "chill out" and do what you want to. "Ye are bought with a price" the Bible says. That price was the blood of Jesus Christ. He saved you to serve him and do good works in the furtherance of his kingdom.
Though you wouldn't know it based on the level of crime and lawlessness in America, many people in the U.S. claim to be Christians. I believe that very many of these people have a false hope. Most people want to go to heaven, but they are unwilling to do it God's way. They won't make it in. Remember what Jesus said,
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven...Christ in You, the Hope of Glory
When a person gets saved, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost come to live inside of them. As a result, a Christian will bear Christ-like fruits. That's what Christ meant when He said that by their fruits shall ye know them. When you plant an apple seed, you get a tree that bears apples. When you plant God's word, you get good fruits (good according to the Bible).
Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Conversely, when a person is not saved, they bear Satan's fruit e.g., addiction, pride, idol-worship (of money, academic credentials, television, nature etc.), lust of the flesh, humanism, bad language, gluttony, etc.
Through Christ, we have been reconciled to God.
II Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
If then, we have been reconciled unto God, we should be bringing forth godly fruits:
II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Bible says to "give diligence to make your calling and election sure" (II Peter 1:10) and to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phillipians 2:12) You say that you believe? That's good, but according to James 2:19 "the devils also believe and tremble." The question is, "Have you been born again?"
What Must I Do to Work the Works of God?
1. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
John 6:28-29, Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
2. Read God's word, the Bible.
Joshua 1:8, This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
3. Do what God commands you to do.
James 1:22-25, But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
As a church worker and servant for Jesus Christ, a number of people have asked me for advice on problems, fears and other things like how to live. I try to answer based on the Word of God and many (perhaps most) are turned off by what the Bible says about purity and holiness. There is no shortcut to having a thriving relationship with God.
You've got to seek holiness to be near him, for he will not fellowship with sin. I Timothy 4:7 says to exercise thyself unto godliness. The only way to do this is to:
You also need to learn what your spiritual gift is. The Bible says that every single believer has one because the Holy Ghost gives it to us. I'm not talking about natural ability, but a supernatural ability used for the edification of the body of Christ.
Examples of gifts include teaching, preaching, exhortation, prophesy, and ministry (helping people). There are other gifts too--ask your preacher about them, or better yet, research the gifts for yourself in the Bible. Lord willing, I'll create a page about spiritual gifts and the characteristics of people who have certain gifts. [Postscript: page on spiritual gifts has been completed. It needs work but it has included relevant passages for your consideration and study.]
The Conclusion of the Matter
...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.