Victory over Sin

“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,…” 2 Timothy 2: 8

This blog is part 2 of a series that explains the main revelation of the Bible, that is, the gospel of salvation that may be obtained from, or in, Christ Jesus the Lord.  In part 1, I discussed the need for salvation and what it means to be “saved”, in this portion I will discuss what/who is the Messiah and the implication of His coming.

I remind you that the gospel in a nutshell is the following: if you believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah (the Christ) then you will be saved, and is stated in the following verses from the gospel of John.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11: 25-27

From this definition of the gospel there arises 3 questions: 1) what does it mean to be saved? 2) What is “the Messiah”?  3) What does it mean to believe?  We’ll look at question 2 in this blog.

In part 1 we clarified what it means to be saved and the background that caused us to be in this position of having a need to be saved. In short, the sin and rebellion of our first parents in the Garden of Eden resulted in a curse upon mankind.  The Messiah was sent in response to this need with the intention of offering a means of removing the consequences including the removal of God’s judgement incurred due to man’s sin, and also the transformation of man’s fallen, carnal nature, that is, our tendency to focus on the physical world and the hopes and pleasures that this world offers.  The Messiah offers a means of removing the penalty resulting from our sins and a means of transforming us from carnal to spiritual beings (being born again of the spirit).

In order to accomplish this purpose of removing the consequences of the curse and of man’s sins, we must understand who the Messiah is, what His purpose was in coming, and how His coming impacts our lives.  We cannot place our faith and trust in someone without a complete understanding of these things.  The following is an attempt to clearly define who and what the Messiah is, why He came, and what His coming means to us, so that we can better exercise our faith in Him and in the promises of God that He represents.

 “What is the Messiah?”

The dictionary definition of the word “messiah” is “the promised and expected deliver of the Jewish people.”  According to Wikipedia, in Judaism the word “messiah” (hamashiach, meaning “the anointed one”) is often referred to as “King Messiah”, emphasizing the fact that the Messiah is to be physically descended from King David and King Solomon, and His coming will re-establish Israel and usher in the Messianic Age.  It is my understanding that much of the Jewish religious ceremonies and activities are focused on the expectation of the coming of the Messiah (and they are still looking for the messiah since they have not accepted Jesus as Messiah).

There are many prophecies concerning the promised coming of the Messiah and I would suggest that you research these prophecies for yourself.  A good source of information is the “Jews for Jesus” website ( where they have listed the many prophecies about the Messiah and the fact that these prophecies point to Jesus as fulfilling them.

In the New Testament of the Bible, the use of the Greek word for Messiah is “Christos” (or Khristos), meaning “anointed” and has been anglicized into the word “Christ” as it also appears in the Bible when it is translated to English. Any place where the word Christ is used you can substitute Messiah. We must recognize that even the title attributed to Jesus in the New Testament scriptures, i.e. The Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledges that Jesus was regarded as the Messiah by the writers of the biblical text and the Holy Spirit.

The Jews who were living during the time of the initial coming of the Lord Jesus, even His disciples, were expecting the coming of the Messiah to be with physical power, and that He would be a deliverer of the Jews from the Roman Empire and a restorer of the nation of Israel.  They had missed the fact that the Messiah must first come in humility and suffer at the hands of evil men, as was prophesied, and that He would come a second time to establish and restore the kingdom of God.  There are many prophecies regarding His first coming; here is an example from Isaiah:

“Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.  Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men;” Isaiah 52-13-14

This fact of His humble coming to suffer was also confirmed by the angels who were at the empty grave when Jesus was resurrected.

“He is not here but risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” Luke 24: 6-7

And there is also this from the Lord Jesus Himself after when He appeared to the men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection:

“Then He (Jesus) said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ (Messiah) to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ and beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24: 25-27.

As pertaining to the Gospel, it is important to recognize that the Messiah was promised to be sent to this world by God the Father with the express purpose to remove the curse from God’s creation and restore the world to its intended state (as it was originally created to be in the Garden of Eden). The Scriptures state clearly that Jesus came to restore what was lost by the first Adam.

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came on all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19

It should be noted that when God issued the conditions of the curse, at that exact time, He first mentions the coming Messiah:

“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you head, and you shall bruise His heel.’” Genesis 3:14-15

The following lists the multiple purposes of the coming of the promised Messiah:

  1. He is THE only begotten Son of God who had taken on human form and come to earth, and is equivalent to God as His only Son, and the physical representation of God with the stamp of His nature (remember that mankind was separated from God’s physical presence as a result of the curse and did not clearly know God’s nature and attributes).
  2. He is the Lamb of God, the Savior of mankind, offering redemption from the judgment of God that was the result of the curse. This redemption represents God’s mercy towards us, even when we were His enemy. God showed His love towards us by sending His only Begotten Son to die on our behalf.
  3. He is the first to be resurrected by God, the first born of many who will enter into glory with a resurrected, immortal body, restored from the cursed body of death and corruption, and He is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father. The curse from Adam’s sin brought death, but the free gift of redemption from Jesus Christ brought eternal life, restoring hope to all who believe.
  4. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, who will return to destroy the current earth with its associated world system, and establish a new heaven and earth where He will rule His kingdom in righteousness and justice. All authority and powers that exist will then be submitted to Him, with Him submitted to the Father. He therefore is the Lord of every believer, and so we must recognize and honor Him as such.

I would like to discuss each of the above listed items briefly with the supporting scripture, but would encourage you to research deeper.

Purpose 1 – The only begotten Son of God

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1: 1-4

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14

Although all of those who have entered the kingdom of God through the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, are children of God and therefore sons and daughters of God, the position of Jesus is different or special as the only begotten Son of God.

In Psalm 45 there is a clear statement about the Messiah being God:

“Your thone, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” Psalm 45: 6-7

And also, in Psalm 110, David addressed the Messiah as Lord, although He was to be a descendant of his, suggesting that David knew that the Messiah would be more than just a descendant, but that He would have an exalted position, since He would ascend into heaven and be seated at the right hand of God:

“The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’” Psalm 110:1

The fact that Jesus was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit also points towards His divine origin.

Why is this important?  We must understand that Jesus came down from heaven. He was God with us!  He represented God on earth, and therefore His communications, actions, judgments, and declarations of truth were and expression of God, and were ordained by God the Father.

“Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, ‘You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.  But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.’” John 7:28-29

Jesus, as Messiah, is also the only representation of God the Father.  The Father sent Jesus on His behalf and He is the only way to be restored to the Father.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Think of the implication of this truth, that Jesus had come down to earth from heaven as a direct representation of God.  Proverbs 30 says this:

“Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?”  Proverbs 30:4

Jesus expressed to us the nature of the living God, the Creator of the universe, in human form:

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1: 1-4

And Jesus set an example for us by humbling Himself to become a man:

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery (something to be held onto to be equal) to be equal to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2: 5-8

In short, the Messiah, Jesus, has made a way for all who believe in Him to enter into an intimate relationship with the living God.  We can communicate with Him, and we can get to know Him through His Word, the Bible, seeing in Jesus the very nature of God.  When He returns at His second coming, we will be fully restored  to a place where we will be in His physical presence, and the curse will be completely undone.

Summary of purpose 1:

  • Who was the Messiah:  The only begotten Son of God with the stamp of God’s Nature
  • Why did the Messiah come: to reveal the nature of God to mankind, since they had been rejected from God’s presence under the curse
  • What Promise did the Messiah present: the establishment of truth from God the Father, from someone who had come from heaven directly.

Purpose 2 – The Savior and Redeemer

Our need to be saved is the result of the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, and the resulting curse and system of sin and death that was passed down to all humans.  All mankind is guilty before God, needing a Savior to redeem them or to pay the price required for the judgment of sin to be removed from their life.  God has supplied that redemptive payment by sending His Son, Jesus, to die, or be sacrificed, as an innocent “sacrificial lamb” to pay the price for all mankind.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1: 7-14

This redemption applies to us immediately to restore our relationship with God, allowing us direct access to the Father.

“For through Him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2: 18-19

Additionally, the redeemed have their name written in the “Book of Life” so that on the day of Judgment, when we stand before God, we will be spared from the second death.

“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelations 20:15

A very high price was paid on our behalf, that is, the life of the Messiah.  We have been purchased by this payment, or redeemed.  Yet we didn’t deserve it.  We need to live our lives within this context.

Summary of purpose 2:

  • Who was the Messiah:  The Savior and Redeemer of all mankins
  • Why did the Messiah come: to remove the penalty of sin, paying the price by His suffering and death on the cross, and to restore our relationship with God the Father, now allowing us to enter into intimate communion with Him.
  • What Promise did the Messiah present: All those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life will be spared the second death; All those under the blood of Jesus can enter into God’s presence directly to communicate with Him.

Purpose 3 – The Resurrected Messiah

The Lord Jesus Christ was not just raised from the dead, as was Lazarus previously (who later died), but His body was transformed into a new resurrected body, from a physical body like ours to a new, resurrected, spiritual body.  No other person, throughout history, had gone through this type of transformation, nor has anyone since.  It is this new, immortal, spiritual body that is promised to all those who are truly in Christ Jesus, truly saved, and who are the true Christians.

In the 15th chapter of the book of 1st Corinthians in the Bible, the apostle Paul emphasizes the importance of the resurrection as part of the gospel.  Please read the entire chapter to get the full context.

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas (Peter), then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Cor. 15: 1-8

And this later in the same chapter:

 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (died). For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” 1 Cor. 15: 20-23

This is our hope!  No other religion or alleged revelation or belief system offers this hope that has been established by an historical event, that is, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, as was witnessed by many and has changed our world as a result.

The curse of death and hell were defeated by the risen Christ Jesus!

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and the mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’” 1 Cor. 15:51-55

Summary of purpose 3:

  • Who was the Messiah:  The First and Only person who has been Resurrected
  • Why did the Messiah come: to establish our hope of a future resurrection with an immortal and eternal body.  We not can set our minds and hearts and affections on the spiritual things that await us, storing up our riches in heaven rather than on earth.
  • What Promise did the Messiah present: All those who are in Christ Jesus are citizens of Heaven and will share in the Glory of the resurrected Messiah, including the receipt of a new body.

Purpose 4 -The Messiah King

The very same Jesus who was resurrected from the dead exists today in the same body.  Remember that He ascended up into heaven and will return in the same manner.

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,  who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ ” Acts 1: 9-11

The Lord Jesus ascended to a place of authority at the right hand of God the Father, with all things submitted to him:

“and what is the exceeding greatness of His (God the Father) power towards us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him, who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1: 19-23

Looking back also at the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, Paul states that at the second coming of Jesus Christ the final enemies will be defeated and all things will be in literal submission to the Lord Jesus, the Son, with Him in submission to God the Father, making God the Father “all in all”.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive, but each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says “all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15: 22-28

Summary of purpose 4:

  • Who was the Messiah:  The Lord and King
  • Why did the Messiah come: to prepare for the restoration of the initially intended creation and kingdom of God. The Messiah’s first coming clarified that His first appearance would be in humility and suffering as a lamb to be slain, but His second coming would be in power and authority as the lion of Judah to restore the kingdom.
  • What Promise did the Messiah present: Upon the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the new heaven and new earth will be established and all of God’s children will have an inheritance in this kingdom


We see that the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, has come to correct the damage that resulted from Adam and Eve’s rebellion and sin.  Upon His first coming, He has made a way for us to be reconciled to God the Father, and to establish in us a hope for a future in heaven.  This establishment of our hope is the means for us to be transformed internally from the carnal/fleshly attitude and mindset of this world to a spiritual way of thinking with our hearts and minds set on heaven and the things above.

We will see more clearly in the next part of this blog series about the exercising of our faith/believing has also made a way for us to be internally transformed into new creations, resulting in our becoming spiritual with the ability to walk in true love.

We eagerly await His second coming when all things will be made completely right with the kingdom of God completely restored and all enemies defeated.  In the meantime, we press on towards the prize that awaits us, with our hearts set on the promised future in heaven.



Why wait until you are married to have Sex?

I recently watched a YouTube video about empires that are in decline.  It was a historical lesson that listed all of the characteristics that were present immediately before the collapse of the large empires of the past.  I had heard similar discussions before and many of the same characteristics were mentioned: loss of value in a debased currency, extreme government debt, large disparity between the poor and the rich, etc., but this time they mentioned something I hadn’t heard before that was somewhat surprising: people have an obsession with sex.  Of course, the point they were making was that the United States had all of the characteristics that were historically present just before an empire went into severe decline or collapse.

Would you agree that the United States has an obsession with sex?  Maybe you haven’t thought about it.  Maybe we all have become so programmed and brainwashed by the constant bombardment of sexually explicit television, movies, music, advertisements, education, and the activities that surround us every day that we are unaware of how obsessed we have become.  Our hearts have become hardened and our consciences have been scarred.

My observation has been that the decline of morality with regards to sex is happening rapidly at an exponential rate.  Perverse things that were unheard of a decade ago are common place now.  For example, displays of homosexual or lesbian sexual encounters are becoming common in the mainstream shows and movies, and are presented as being cool and chic.

I was very saddened and upset when I recently read an account of a young lady who was brave enough to disclose in her public blog that she was a virgin, but that it was a cause for her to be insecure and shamed.  She felt that some of her friends and acquaintances would shame her because of her choice to be a virgin.  She also felt that when she would finally meet her soul mate, that he could possibly be taken back or upset because she was a virgin.

It is completely absurd to me and I can’t even imagine that a man would be disappointed to find out that the woman that he has fallen in love with is a virgin.  When I was a young man and had fallen in love with a young lady, I wished that she was a virgin, and also wished that I was a virgin!  How sad it is that for someone who has chosen to follow God’s plan and do what is righteous and correct, that they would be made to feel like an outcast or an oddball.  It is very sad that the moral integrity of our society has deteriorated so greatly.  Truly the Scripture has been fulfilled that states that good will be seen as evil and evil will be seen as good.

The special intimacy that is associated with sexual intercourse should be preserved for you and your spouse only.  It should be cherished and held in high esteem by you both for as long as you live.  It is most valued when marriage is entered into with both bride and groom being virgins!

My mother was born in 1930, so she was a teenager in the mid to late 1940’s.  She has told me that she and every female friend that she knew at that time were virgins.  To this day (she is now 86 years old), the only man that she has ever had sexual relations with was my father, her husband.  I see this as very honorable and righteous, and I know that she has absolutely no regrets about this!  How far we have come in the last 70 years or so!

There is a direct correlation between our society’s obsession with sex with the accompanying sexual promiscuity, and the destruction of the family unit.  There have been countless teenage pregnancies resulting in single parent families and the problems that accompany that situation.  There has been a dramatic rise in the divorce rate that I believe is in large part due to sex related issues such as infidelity, the use of pornography, or a poor sexual relationship between spouses.  There have been millions and millions of abortions, that I believe to be the murder of innocent unborn humans, and that they have caused psychological damage to millions of women that have impacted their view of sex and therefore their marriage relationship.

God’s directions and His guidance are for our own good.  He knows what is best for us, and His laws have a purpose.  Disregarding His laws will have consequences as we will reap what we have sown.

I am writing this so that my Christian brothers and sisters, especially if you are young, can clearly see the value of God’s way to wait until marriage before having any sexual activity.  As difficult as this may be in our current society, it will be a worthwhile investment in your future and more specifically in your future life together with your spouse.

As Biblical Christians, although we are deeply saddened and disappointed by the moral demise of our culture here in the west, it is not unexpected, since the Scriptures warn us of these things occurring in the last days:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

As Christians we must also stand for what we know to be right and pleasing to God, no matter what the rest of the world thinks or no matter what pressure our peers put upon us.  This may require facing persecution in many forms, but we must remain strong.

Let’s look closer at the major reasons why waiting is best.

The first and most obvious reason is that all sexual encounters between a male and a female have the potential to end in a pregnancy.  There is no such thing as a 100% fool-proof birth control method. Once sexual activity begins with a couple, it is likely to continue and become more frequent, increasing the potential for a pregnancy to occur.  The high percentage of teenage pregnancies and abortions in our society is a confirmation that birth control isn’t a guaranteed prevention of pregnancy.

It should be the privilege of every newborn human being to come into this world with an established family in place, with two loving parents who are committed to one another for the rest of their lives and who are committed to raising and nurturing their children through childhood into adulthood.  A child’s home should be like an earthly heaven for them.  Following God’s plan of refraining from sex until the family nucleus is established is the best way to guarantee this loving environment will exist for all newborns.

The second major reason is a spiritual one and therefore non-tangible, yet very real non-the-less. The Bible reveals that there is a special, spiritual union between a man and women that occurs during sexual intercourse, where the “two become one flesh”.  The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, warns the Corinthian Christians that as members of Christ (i.e. spiritually united with Christ) they should not then be united with a harlot or prostitute.  Here is the full context:

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?  Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot?  Certainly not!  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?  For ‘the two,’ He says, ‘shall become one flesh.’  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  Flee sexual immorality.  Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6: 15-18

The union that occurs during sexual relations is very real and very deep.  Therefore, when this union happens outside of marriage, the inevitable separation is extremely painful.  Those who feel that they are not impacted have only made themselves impenetrable because they have hardened their hearts into an unhealthy state.  Some, as a result of experiencing the pain of this separation after their being sexually united, vow to never allow themselves to enter into the same deep love again, so they harden their heart.  Sadly, this callous-hearted approach to relationships is unhealthy and causes damage, even when they eventually enter into a marriage.  Let me spell this out clearly:  if you choose to enter into a lifestyle that includes casual sexual intercourse outside of marriage, you will be forced to harden your heart.  This hardening of your heart is unhealthy and abnormal, and not what God intended for us.

My final reason is very simple and straight forward:  God requires of His children to refrain from sexual activity outside of marriage. Period!  If you are a child of God, then you must be obedient to His commands.  The Scriptures are very clear that fornication (sex outside of marriage) is forbidden and is a serious transgression.  Here are some supporting Scriptures from the New Testament:

“Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication…” Acts 15: 19-20

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1: 24-32

“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’ Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 1 Corinthians 10: 6-11

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness…” Galatians 5: 19

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;” Ephesians 5:3

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3

“ Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1:7

For those of us who have already stumbled on this (including myself), we are thankful that there is forgiveness and restoration through Jesus. It is never too late to turn from sin and God is able to give you what is needed to be victorious, and to restore what has been damaged.  Remember also that the root of the problem is in our thoughts, in our minds, and in our desires.  We must deal with our inner man and control our strong desires.

I hope that this information has strengthened the resolve of those who have chosen to remain pure until marriage, and maybe the Lord would even use this to convince some to choose the better path of remaining a virgin.  If even one person is encouraged or convinced, it would be well worth it to me, even though I realize that this topic is unpopular and may turn many readers off because of its “political incorrectness”.

For parents, maybe this will give you some information to share with your children as they must also decide on their lifestyle.  There is a great challenge in abstinence from sex since all current forces and influences in our society are contrary to righteousness in this area.

Remain strong and steadfast and be encouraged that Jesus will come and bring His reward with Him for those who are faithful.  This world will get worse and worse and I will not be surprised if we get closer and closer to the state of Sodom and Gomorrah, resulting in an increase in persecution for those who are faithful to the truth.

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12


What does it mean to Walk in the Spirit?

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (strong desires) of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

The Scriptures have revealed to us that the sin in our lives is rooted in our desires.  We are tempted by our desires and then, as these desires further develop in us, the result is sin.  The book of James says it this way:

“But each man is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin.” James 1: 14 – 15

Knowing, then, that our desires are the root cause of sin, it is important for us to understand how to deal with our strong desires and the lust of the flesh.  According to this verse in Galatians 5 (quoted above), walking in the Spirit is the key to changing or overcoming our fleshly desires and, therefore, it is the key to our victory over sin.  The Scriptures in Galatians 5 continue as follows:

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5: 17

We must understand that there is a conflict within us between our fleshly desires and the Spirit, and we must make sure that we are following (or walking after) the Spirit and not after the flesh.

And later in the same chapter of Galatians it says this:

“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 24, 25

Christians who are well versed in the Scriptures understand that they must put to death, or put an end to, the strong desires of their flesh that are tied to their old nature, and that are tied to this world and the things that this world has to offer us.  We have shifted our desires and affections to spiritual things rather than physical things, setting our hope on the promise of eternal life in heaven and the unseen reality that accompanies this spiritual, heavenly future place for us.

I have written in more detail on this topic in the past, focusing on the need for us to put to death or crucify our passions and desires, and the shift of our hope from the things of this world to the promise of heaven and eternal life.  Here’s a link to one of the previous posts on this topic:

In this writing, I would like to focus more on a Christian’s spiritual mindedness. Christians must also make a change in the way that they think in order to correctly walk in the Spirit.  They must shift their dependency on their natural minds and lean more on the guidance and direction of the Spirit.  I can tell you right now that this is utter foolishness to the non-Christian, and unfortunately, is foreign to many Christians.  Christians must learn to look to the Spirit and not to their own natural, logical thoughts as they are guided through this life.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” Romans 12: 2

In order to better understand this truth, we must remember that we are made up of three parts.  We have a spirit, a soul, and a body.  The body is all that is physical in us: our organs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.  The soul consists of our mind, our thoughts, and our emotions.  The spirit is the part of us that is connected with the Holy Spirit and is also linked to our conscience.  By the spirit we are able to discern spiritual things.

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.  And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.  The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2: 12 – 13

In the light of these three areas of our being, as Christians, it is our goal to have our spirit rule over our soul and body.  For the secular or unspiritual man, their spirit is dead, for we must be born of the spirit in order for our spirit to come alive.  As a result, there are only two possible conditions: their body, or flesh, rules over their soul (mind), or, their soul has partial rule over their body.  Some people have disciplined their bodies to submit to their soul and are able to control their body, keeping their body under submission, but this control from their soul does not work in the long run, and it does not make them spiritual, although some religious people suggest that physical rigor produces spirituality (this is not true).  The Apostle Paul, when speaking of physical religious restrictions, said this to the Colossians:

“These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.” Colossians 2: 23

Attempting to focus on training our body to obey our mind or will is not a solution; it will not make us spiritual and therefore cannot produce love in us.

As Christians we must not be fooled into thinking that we are spiritual if we have our soul (our natural mind) rule over our body. This does not make us spiritual and is not enough!  We must have our spirit, in tune with the Holy Spirit, to be ruling over our soul, and then our soul to be ruling over our body.

Our unspiritual desires can originate from our soul, not just from our body.  I think this is an error that can lead to problems for Christians. We must recognize that our natural minds can also be the source of unspiritual desires that are contrary to the Spirit and therefore can lead to sin.

To be clear about this, it is not wrong to have desires from either your soul or your body, but we must recognize what they are and not allow them to “conceive and give birth to sin” as the verse in James (quoted above) suggests.  We must be able to recognize when they are in conflict with the spirit, or when they are taking too deep of a hold on our lives, influencing our emotions and actions.

Additionally, we must recognize that walking in the Spirit is not always about suppressing or guarding against desires that lead to sin.  We also need the Spirit’s direction in our lives.  We need to know God’s will and work to accomplish His desires.  We need to go with the spiritual “flow” of things in our lives, and not succumb to the flow that comes from our carnal, natural mind.  It is important that we are able to discern the moving of the Spirit in the day to day circumstances that we encounter so that we are in tune with His guidance and direction.

I would like to refer now to a portion of Scripture in the Gospel of John that I believe illustrates the difference between using our logical, natural mind and following the leading of the Spirit.  By the way, there are many, many places in the Scriptures that illustrate this, but I happened to be reading this recently.  The account is in the 21st chapter of the Gospel of John.  The background is that a group of disciples including Peter and John, a total of about 7 men, were by the sea of Tiberias.  We’ll pick up the story from the Scriptures here:

“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We are going with you also.’ They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.  But when morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Then Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any food?’  They answered Him, ‘No.’ And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’  So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ “ John 21: 3-7

Let’s examine what was happening here.  First some background: For those of you not already familiar with this portion of Scripture, you should know that this event occurred after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but it was before they Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples on the day of Pentecost.  You should also know that these men were fishermen by trade and had fished these waters for many years, learning from their parents, who were also fishermen.

Exactly why Peter decided to go out and fish is not clear, but I would think that since it was part of his livelihood, he most likely had assessed the conditions and thought that this was an ideal time to go out to fish.  I would also think that he was against wasting time, both his time and the other six men with him.  Using his experience as a fisherman and possibly some other logical and sensible reasoning, he decided to go out to fish for the night, and his fellow disciples, trusting his leadership in this, decided to join him.

On the following morning, after being out fishing all night, which I assume meant that they spent the entire night casting their nets and hauling them in only to find them empty, they were returning to the shore and were confronted by a man who told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat and they would catch fish.  They didn’t know that it was Jesus.  For some reason, they listened to the man and it turned out to be exactly as he said, they caught many, many fish, so many that they could not haul them into the boat.

Immediately, we see what seems to be a very reasonable and logical endeavor, initiated by Peter, who was an expert fisherman, ending in complete failure.  And then, what seems to be unreasonable and illogical, to listen to the directions of some stranger on the shore, resulting in a bountiful success.

I wonder what the disciples thought when the stranger called to them.  Why didn’t they question him since they didn’t know that it was Jesus?  I think they must have had some spiritual discernment to know that there was something happening spiritually, even though they didn’t immediately recognize that it was Jesus.

The lesson here is simple.  We must recognize, no matter how much we think we know, or how much of an expert we think we are, or how reasonable or logical we think our plans are, that our natural minds are far inferior to the knowledge and direction of the Spirit of God.  We must therefore be more inclined to look to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction, then to look to the logic and reasoning of our natural minds.

I am not saying that it was evil or necessarily wrong for Peter and the other disciples to go out to fish that night.  We must recognize that if they would have stayed on shore for the night and saw Jesus the next day, that it is possible that Jesus could have directed them to go out and drop their nets and catch many fish.  It would have saved them a night of toil that got them no fish.

I also find it interesting that the disciples didn’t ask Jesus for help.  His actions were not a response to their requests.  It seemed that Jesus knew they hadn’t caught any fish and came to their help without them asking. God knows what we need before we even ask for it; He knows our situation and what is best for us.

Here’s what’s hard: we are not always able to hear clearly from the Holy Spirit to get direction from Him, and are therefore tempted to move out on our own without waiting for His guidance.  I have found in my own life that waiting is always better and when we are following the direction of God’s Spirit, we can be assured that His plan will work best.  We need to hone our skills of discernment so that we can recognize the leading of the Spirit or recognize when it is our own natural minds.  We need to understand that many times what is logical and reasonable is most likely from our own minds and many times God’s direction will appear to be unreasonable and illogical.  I believe that this is because He will get the glory from the results when we know that the direction came from Him and not our logical and reasonable thinking.  This is difficult for many Christians because following the direction of the Spirit can make us look stupid, or unwise according to worldly wisdom, or put us in a position that is against all sound reason and therefore in conflict with our friends and family.

Walking in the Spirit means that we are aware and aligned with the moving of the Spirit, depending more on His direction and guidance than on our own natural mind and the associated logic and reasoning.  Functioning in our own natural mind will bear little or no fruit whereas functioning under the direction of the Holy Spirit will always be productive.  I have learned the hard way that every time I move out on my own energy and planning it ends up being a waste of time and effort.

There are times though that following our natural mind and thoughts can get us into spiritual trouble.  We can miss God’s plan and purpose in certain circumstances and this can be wrong and evil.  The best example in the Scriptures is that of Peter rebuking the Lord for saying that He was going to suffer and die at the hands of the religious Jews.  Here’s the account of this situation in Matthew:

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day.  Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord; this shall not happen to you!’  But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God but the things of men.’ “ Matthew 16: 21 – 23

In this situation, Jesus called Peter “Satan” because he was “mindful of the things of men and not mindful of the things of God.”  In other words, he was being led by his natural mind and not following his spiritual mind.

Our natural minds are limited to the information from this physical world or what Jesus called “the things of men” in the above quote.  To Peter, who was looking only at the physical situation without a regard for the spiritual (things of God), it was perfectly logical and rational to conclude that it was a bad idea for Jesus to go to Jerusalem to suffer and be killed.

It should also be noted that Peter may have thought that he was aligned with the things of God since he had incorrectly interpreted the Lord’s purpose, thinking that He was going to establish His physical kingdom at this time.  We too must be careful that we are not basing our thinking incorrect information that would possibly mislead us into thinking that we are being spiritual but in fact are carnal.  Being open to the guidance of our conscience and the help of the Spirit should correct this situation.  In other words, when we are walking in the spirit, attempting to follow the flow of the Spirit and align with the things of God, we must be open to the communication of the Spirit and the guidance of our conscience.

In summary, walking in the Spirit is not just putting to death those things that are associated with our physical body, but it requires that we also put aside our logical natural thinking and instead be guided by the Holy Spirit.   We do this by prayerfully listening to His voice, that still, small voice that we have come to recognize as the Lord’s voice.  We also must allow our conscience to guide us as it is connected to the Spirit’s guidance.  Although listening and following the Spirit’s leading can cause us to look foolish to others, it will be the best and most productive path for us to follow.  Learning to walk in the Spirit in this manner takes time and practice and we will possibly fail or miss it, but God is faithful to help us and correct us in all of our efforts when we do so sincerely seeking to please Him.

May the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ bless you with the ability to hear His voice clearly and with the strength to follow Him wholly and completely until the end.  Amen.

The Lord Requires Obedience

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15: 22

Obedience to the Lord is difficult for us because it first requires that we recognize and submit to the authority of the Lord, and then for us to be attentive to Him about what He expects from us, and finally, we then must determine in our hearts to heed His requirements.  For most Christians it is easy to accept His love and forgiveness, to receive His many benefits like His guidance and direction for our lives, or His healings of body and mind, and His many blessings.  It is much more difficult for Christians to turn over the “reigns” of their life to the Lord totally, submitting to His commandments and instructions in every area.

My purpose in writing this message is to encourage Christians to pay attention to this need to obey the Lord, not only the commandments that are written in His word but also in the things that He has placed upon your heart, and has spoken to you about individually.  This is a reminder that obedience is important to the Lord.

Some Christians are confused about obedience, thinking that any one mentioning it as a requirement is being legalistic.  This idea is false and is only used as an excuse by those who wish to continue in disobedience.

The New Testament of the Bible does not remove the requirement for obedience to God’s commands, but rather supports it. It first exposes the error of the Old Testament of attempting to be obedient to God without faith, and thinking that this faithless attempt at obedience will merit a place in God’s family and kingdom.  The result of this erroneous approach of focusing on obedience without having a true, living faith, is that God’s requirements are eventually either made less important than, or even replaced by, men’s requirements, rituals, and traditions.

Although the Israelites from the time of Moses on were attempting to make themselves right before God by focusing on being obedient to the laws that were given to them through Moses, they failed because they did not have true faith.

“But that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law.  Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.” Romans 9:31-32

J.B. Phillips translation of verse 32:

“And why? Because their minds were fixed on what they achieved instead of what they believed.”

But the error of the Israelites and the later shift in the New Testament to faith and grace, does not remove the requirement that we must be obedient to God’s rules, laws, commandments, etc.

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then releases one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5: 17-19

On the contrary, the New Testament now gives us the power to keep the laws and commandments of God by giving us a true, living faith and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  We now can walk in the spirit, having the law written on our hearts and doing by nature the things that God requires.  By becoming spiritual in nature, we can walk in love, and love fulfills all of the laws of God.

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery. You shall not kill. You shall not steal. You shall not covet.’ And any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”  Romans 13: 8-10

As Christians, with the Holy Spirit intimately connected with us and abiding in us, our conscience is alive and fully functioning.  So rather than focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can now allow our conscience to guide us as we focus on walking in the spirit and walking in love.  We need to be assured that our conscience is clear, allowing the Holy Spirit the freedom to show us clearly what needs to be corrected when our conscience is accusing us.

“They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts. While their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them”  Romans 2: 15

My main point here is to emphasize that Christians need to be mindful of this requirement of obedience and that God expects obedience from us.  As stated earlier, this means that we need to recognize and submit to His authority and all authority that has been established by Him, and we must be open to His directions and instructions for us, listening to His voice and heeding it.

There is a very interesting portion of Scripture from the book of Jeremiah that emphasizes this need to be open and aware of the Lord’s instructions and to obey them:

“Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not receive instruction to obey my words?’ says the Lord. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father’s commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me. I have also sent to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying “Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.” But you have not inclined you ear nor obeyed Me. Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commended them, but this people has not obeyed Me.”’” Jeremiah 35: 12-16

I find it interesting that God was aware of the obedience of the sons of Jonadab to their father.  He is aware and honors our obedience in all circumstances.

As for the error of the Israelites, the Lord says there are two (vs. 15): “But you have not inclined your ear nor obeyed Me.” The two are: 1) not listening, 2) not obeying.

By not “inclining their ear” I assume He means that they were not attentive to His instruction; they didn’t listen for it.  I say again, this is the important lesson for us, to be aware of the requirement of obeying His instructions and listening attentively to His voice.  Also, we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and our conscience.

One last warning: we are very good at making excuses for ourselves for why we don’t obey the Lord.  Don’t deceive yourself.  God knows your heart anyway so there is no sense in making excuses.

In 1 Samuel chapter 15, Saul was instructed by the Lord to destroy completely or exterminate the Amalekites, but he didn’t do so and was rebuked by the prophet Samuel and was rejected by the Lord.  When Samuel confronted Saul, he first made an excuse:

“But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord God in Gilgal.” 1 Sam. 15:21

Samuel’s response was longer than this, but the gist of it was in the above quote at the start of this writing:

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Sam. 15: 22

After this Saul admits to Samuel that he sinned:

“Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.’” 1 Sam. 15: 24

In closing I urge you to listen attentively to the Lord’s instructions for you, and be strong and committed to perform them completely.  God will honor this obedience both now and in the future in heaven.

I leave you with this exhortation that Paul the Apostle gave to Timothy, his son in the Lord, regarding the law:

“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,  desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.” 1 Timothy  1: 5-11


Jesus is the Second Adam

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”  1 Cor. 15:22

Back in the late 70’s my sister moved from our hometown in PA to Denver  to work at a new job after graduating from college.  While there she got involved with a religious group called the Unification Church whose founder was Sun Myung Moon.  At the time I did some research into Moon’s teachings, comparing them to the Bible.  Having concluded that his teaching, the “divine principle”, was a lie and not based on biblical truth, I then attempted (unsuccessfully) to convince my sister of the error.

The reason I mention this is because Moon’s divine principle teaches that Jesus failed His mission.  Here’s a quote I found under the Unification church in Wikipedia: “Unfortunately Jesus was unable to complete his mission of perfecting the world and went the way of the cross”.  Moon claims that now, since Jesus failed, that he (Moon) is the new messiah who came to establish a “true family” to correct and restore what was corrupted by Adam and Eve, to accomplish what was the original mission of Jesus.

Was the real mission of Jesus to get married and establish a “true family” to create a divine lineage to perfect the world?  Absolutely not. There are no prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah that aligns with this thought.  Also, Jesus was resurrected and is still alive.  He appeared to His disciples and never mentioned any “change in plan” to them.  He didn’t say, “Hey guys, I was supposed to get married and start a family, but that didn’t happen so someone else will be coming to do this.”  On the contrary, here is what Peter spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost:

“- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men, “ Acts 2: 23

In another version it says “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God”.  Clearly, Peter saw this as God’s plan, and this was also inspired by the Holy Spirit to be included in the Scriptural account.

Paul, in his defense to King Agrippa recorded in the book of Acts, stated that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of Moses and the Old Testament prophets by suffering and then being raised from the dead:

“To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that Christ must suffer, and that by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles” Acts 26:22-23

Why would Moses and the prophets predict that Christ must suffer and rise from the dead if His real mission was to start a new family?  There is no prophecy about the Christ coming to start a new family!

Also, the Scriptures confirm that Jesus was successful and victorious, having been elevated by God the Father to be seated above all things in this age and the age to come:

“according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”  Ephesians 1: 19-23

So Moon claimed to be a “second Adam” in the sense that he came to correct what Adam had corrupted.  Moon claimed that by starting a “true family” and a new “divine” lineage from this family, the world will be perfected, and put back to the state that it was in before the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden.  Unfortunately, this claim is false and does not align with the truths that are revealed in the Scriptures.  As I stated above, Jesus was successful in His mission and He has corrected the results of the sin of Adam and Eve.  Jesus is the second Adam. Let’s look closer at this.

So what was the mission of Jesus?  Jesus came to establish the promise of eternal life for all men.  He did this by conquering death.  His righteous life and obedience to the will of God the Father, submitting to His death on the cross as a sacrifice of redemption for all men’s sin, resulted in His subsequent resurrection from the dead.

Man’s real enemy is death; the death that was brought on by Adam.  This death has brought hopelessness, resulting in bondage.  Jesus came to gain victory over death and to establish a living hope to free us from bondage.

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [i.e. died].  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” 1 Cor. 15: 20-26

And also:

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’  ‘O Death, where is your Sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15: 54-57

Jesus’ death on the cross has also reconciled us with God, or restored a right relationship with Him.  As we put our faith in God’s promise though Jesus, we are then pardoned of our past sins, receiving forgiveness and justification by the sacrifice of Jesus.  Adam’s act of disobedience brought sin to all men resulting in God’s wrath.  Jesus’ act of righteousness resulted in forgiveness for all men, justified by His blood.

“But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only that but we also rejoice in God through Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.  Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. “ Romans 5: 8-12,14

Jesus was the second Adam because He corrected what Adam had done.  Adam brought death; Jesus brought eternal life.

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” Romans 5:18

“so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ.” Romans 5: 21

This foundation that Jesus laid by conquering death and reconciling us to God is the very foundation of our Christian life that we must build on.  It is the basis of our faith.

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  1 Cor. 3:9-11

It is the ploy of the enemy to get us to focus on this world and not on the next.  Our true hope is not for a change to occur in this current world, but rather our true hope is for a new heaven and new earth that will replace this current world.  This current world will be destroyed by fire.

By the way, Sun Myung Moon has claimed that he is the second coming of christ and that he will establish a new world order by starting a true family.  Jesus warned that many will come in His name claiming to be the Christ.  It is interesting that recently one of Moon’s sons committed suicide by leaping to his death from a 17 story building in Reno, Nevada.  As a result of this suicide, even those who are not familiar with or accept the Biblical warning against false christs should be questioning the validity of Moon’s family being  “perfected” and restored from the results of Adam’s sin.  The only true correction and perfection will occur when Jesus returns – the true second coming.

Having our hope set on some promised change or restoration that will occur in this world is not Biblical.  When we have our hope set on a false promise of change in this world, we ultimately get caught up in the things of this world.  Focus on this world will feed the flesh, even if the promised future is based on good things, like God’s kingdom and love, etc., it’s still in this world and will keep the flesh alive.  Material possessions, fame, success, pleasures, etc. will all become a part of the situation when the focus is on this world.  Of course, they will be sugar coated and seen as good and necessary for the progress of the movement towards the worldly hope.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to 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, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8: 5-8

Don’t be deceived or fooled.  The Bible instructs us to consider ourselves as temporary residents and pilgrims just passing through this world on our way to the promised hope for a new heaven and earth. We await the return of Jesus Christ, the King, to establish His kingdom on this new heaven and new earth.  The old, cursed ones will be destroyed.  This is our blessed hope.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’  Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ “  Rev. 21: 1-5

This is the hope that I am waiting for.  I reject any lie that suggests that we should shift our hope from that new heaven and earth, to some promise of “perfecting this world.”  Please remain steadfast in this hope.

“And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of life freely to him who thirsts.  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son”  Rev. 21: 6-7

Secure Your Inheritance

“For of this you can be quite certain: that neither the immoral nor the dirty-minded nor the covetous man (whose greed makes him worship gain) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” From Paul’s letter to the Christians at Ephesus – Chapter 5 – J.B. Phillips Translation

We humans have a tendency to twist things in the Scriptures to align with our desires.  The Bible states that we are “saved” from God’s wrath and judgment as an act of His mercy and grace, and that we cannot earn this by our good deeds or by keeping His laws, so that no man can proudly boast that he has earned God’s forgiveness and pardon (God owes him).  Some Christians have twisted this to say that our good deeds and keeping of the law is therefore not important, or they have twisted it to say that any thought of our righteous actions having an impact on our acceptance to God and our salvation is contrary to His grace and is “salvation by works” and therefore is erroneous.  The Scriptures are clear: we cannot earn our pardon by our good deeds, but we can disqualify ourselves by our evil deeds. We must prove the sincerity of our faith by allowing it to transform our inner man so that we change our actions from darkness to light, from evil to good, from selfishness to love, from carnal to spiritual.

But we humans want to have an excuse to continue in our old nature, and yet feel that we are accepted by God and are His children. We want to have the pain of our guilt removed, but not have to experience the pain of putting to death our flesh, leading to victory over our sins.

I have encountered professing Christians who have reacted adversely when I suggested that God expects us to be literally righteous and free from sin, and that we must have a clear conscience regarding sin.  They confronted me in anger: “Are you perfect?  No one is perfect but Jesus!  If you say you are without sin you are a liar!  Even the Scriptures say this in 1st John!”

Some of this thinking comes from the “Eternal Security” doctrine or “Calvinism” that some Christians adhere to.  It states that once you are “saved” (said the sinner’s prayer), you are always saved no matter what you do, good or bad.  This doctrine is based on the idea of predestination, that God has chosen us before we were born to be children of light, and others are “predestined” to be children of darkness.  Our infinite God knows the future, so, of course, this is true, but it is impossible for our finite, limited minds to fully comprehend this.

The eternal security doctrine also says that if a professing Christian has immorality or sin in their lives, either God is going to change them so they don’t need to worry, or they were not “saved” in the first place (they are children of darkness).  I don’t agree with this view.  I believe that although God knows what we will do in the future, He holds us responsible for our actions and He expects us to deal with our flesh and to strive towards living and acting in love, like Jesus.  Some Christians are using the eternal security doctrine as an excuse to continue in sin.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that living a righteous, holy life is not important, or that all Christians sin, that Christians aren’t perfect, they are just forgiven (I once saw a bumper sticker that said this).  Yes, our transformation takes time and we will struggle with some sin in our lives.  God doesn’t reject us when we sin, but He expects us to make every effort to purge our lives from sin.

Consider for yourselves what the Scriptures say regarding the expectations of holy, righteous living:

“As obedient children, do not conform to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:15-16

“For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, that each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor, not (to be used) in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will, that no man transgress and over-reach his brother and defraud him in this matter or defraud his brother in business.” 1 Thess. 4: 3-6 (Amplified Bible)

“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and ‘Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (sin).’” 1 Tim. 2:19

“Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. Be wretched and morn and weep.  Let you laughter be turned to mourning and you joy to dejection.  Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.”  James 4: 8-10

“And by this we may be sure that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says ‘I know Him’ but disobeys His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him truly love for God is perfected.  By this we may be sure that we are in Him: He who says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  1 John 2: 3-6

“We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18

I think it is very clear from the Scriptures, not only in the above quotes from the New Testament, but from the main principles communicated in the Gospel and taught by Jesus, that we are expected to live a holy, righteous life free from the bondage of sin.

Don’t be discouraged if you are struggling with sin in your life.  God is able to strengthen you and He promises to aid you in your efforts.  He also promises that no temptation is too powerful for us to resist; He won’t allow us to be overpowered by temptation.

My goal here is to encourage you.  Remember that we have the key to victory.  If we set our affections on the things above, where Christ is, and not on the things of this earth, placing our hopes fully in the promises of God, we can have victory over our flesh.  Having a false hope in the things that this world has to offer is the root of our problem with sin.  Also, God has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, aiding in our transformation.  We have everything we need in Christ to obtain a victory over sin in our lives.

I believe that our enemy, the devil, wants to distract us and catch us off guard, not focused on living a holy, righteous life.  Much of western Christianity has fallen into this trap and allowed sins such as pornography, adultery, greed, jealousy, envy, strife, drunkenness, drug use, sexual promiscuity, etc. to put them into bondage.  Many of these sins are so rampant in our society and so well accepted that Christians are blinded to them or powerless over them.  And now they have been led to believe by the leadership of some western Christian church organizations that holiness and righteousness is not important because we are “saved by grace, not by works.”  Instead, these leaders should be admonishing their congregations to focus on pursuing holy, righteous lives by dying to their flesh, not focusing on material blessings, or spiritual manifestations, or even on gaining more converts by evangelism.

The same admonition that Paul gave to the Ephesians applies to us today.  Here is the rest of his words from the 5th chapter of the letter:

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.’ Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,  always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” Eph. 5: 1-20

Let us also be wise and make the most of our time here on earth.  This will secure our future inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven.


This week I was reading the book of Micah in the Old Testament. God used Micah to confront the sins of the people of Israel and Judah:  “Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds!  When the morning dawns they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.  They covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.”  And regarding idolatry and witchcraft: “…and I will cut off sorceries from your land, and you shall have no more soothsayers; and I will cut off images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands.”   And He reminded them what the Lord had required of them:  “…and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Most of the writings of the prophets were to rebuke the people’s sin.  God is a holy God and sin is of extreme importance to Him, as indicated in His Word.

Jesus said that if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, or if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to go to heaven without an eye or a hand, then to go to hell with them.  Here Jesus uses an extreme to make a point.  What is more important to you than your eye or your hand?  Yet, they are to be discarded, or removed, if they cause you to sin.  Essentially He is saying that sin is of critical importance.  Sin is a major theme throughout the New Testament, in the teachings of Jesus, the writings Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John, yet we don’t like to hear about sin.  Sin is uncomfortable or even painful for us to deal with.  There is guilt associated with it that gives rise to pain.  Or our pride can get in the way of us admitting our sin.

Another way of saying this is that God requires holiness from us, and not just a “positional” holiness that comes from us accepting the covering of the sacrifice of Jesus, but we need to literally walk in holiness.  I’ve heard the response to this kind of statement many times: “we can’t be perfect!  Nobody was perfect except for Jesus…”  Unfortunately, for many Christians, there is a misunderstanding of both sin and holiness.

One of the first things we need to understand is that the holiness that God desires is equal to walking in love.  The scriptures say this: “..for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”  And “Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”  Jesus also said “All the law and all the prophets can be summed up in this one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  This is the real requirement, that we love one another and love God “with all of our heart, mind and soul.”

The second truth that we need to understand is that sin is a symptom of a deeper issue.  It’s comparable to fruit on a tree.  If the fruit is missing, the issue is at the root of the tree.  Like the parable that Jesus told, there may be a need to dig out around the root and refill it with better soil or manure.  For Christians, the root cause of our sin is our misunderstanding of faith and hope.  True living faith, combined with a living hope will produce a godly love in us, a spiritual love that fulfills the law and causes us to walk in holiness.

When the Israelites were given the law, they failed to attain the righteousness of the law because they didn’t pursue it with faith.  Romans 9: 31&32: “but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law.  Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works.  They have stumbled over the stumbling stone…”  In verse 30, immediately before these verses, it states: “that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith.”  And again, this was, I believe, a literal righteousness.  The Gentiles were walking in love and therefore fulfilling the law, and they were doing this because of their faith.

Let me summarize at this point.  God requires of his people to walk in holiness and righteousness, or really to take on his divine nature which is one of true love and not selfishness (see 1 Corinthians 13).  The means of attaining this is through faith, but we need to be careful that we understand the biblical faith that is required for this.

There is another important component that I need to point out, and that is that true faith will cause us to be spiritual.  When we are born of the spirit, we then learn to walk in the spirit.  The law is spiritual, as it explicitly states in Romans 7:14: “We know that the law is spiritual…”, so we must be spiritual to fulfill the law.  It is also interesting to note that the scriptures also say that “God is Spirit” and “God is love”, so it stands to reason that we need to be spiritual to truly walk in love and fulfill the law.  I also like what it says in Galatians 5: 16, “If you walk in the Spirit, you will not gratify the deeds of the flesh.”

But how do we become spiritual?  I would like to talk about this more extensively in the future.  In short, we need to fully and totally immerse ourselves in the reality of the promise that has come to us from Jesus as the Messiah.  This world is cursed and we don’t belong here, but Jesus has made a way for us to become a part of a future world that will be established by the true and living God.  We must place our hope and desire totally in this future promise, and separate our hopes and desires from this current cursed world.  The scriptures advise us to consider ourselves dead to this world system, but alive to the new systems where Jesus has gone.  Jesus also said that we should store up our treasures there with Him, in heaven, and wait for Jesus to return and establish this new system here, destroying the old system.  If you truly do this, you will become spiritual and will learn to walk in love.

Being spiritual also means that our inner desires have changed.  What we long for, what we covet, and what we are living for, all is now focused on spiritual, eternal, things rather than earthly, temporal, things.  This is the real key to victory over sin in our lives.  James 1:14 & 15 shows us that sin is really an outgrowth of our desires.  “…but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”  So as we put to death these earthly desires in our heart, and set our affections on things above that are spiritual and eternal, we will correct the root cause of the bad fruit of sin, and the result will be the good fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law (Galatians 5: 22&23).  Verse 24 of Galatians 5 goes on to say “and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  In other words, they have dealt with the root cause of sin, and are now producing the good fruit of the spirit, rather than having the deadly symptoms of sin.