Tuesday, January 23, 2024

A Morning Bible Study - How You Can Win - As A Christian

Leonard V Johnson   About

The LORD God’s living word tells us that all who follow our Lord Jesus Christ will have to face three deadly enemies! And, each of these three enemies tends to discourage us from overcoming and growing in the character of God. These deadly enemies can come between the LORD God and us. But, only if we allow them.

The eternal LORD God tells us that these enemies MUST be defeated, and we are told how we can do it!
1) Does the Apostle Paul show us that there is effort involved in living the Way of a true Christian!?
“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19) having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.” – 1 Timothy 1:18-19.

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” – 1 Timothy 6:12.

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4) No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please [H]im who enlisted him as a soldier” – 2 Timothy 2:3-4.

We, brethren, as soldiers for Christ Jesus, should not engage ourselves with the affairs of this life! God’s living word compares His true begotten children as spiritual soldiers for Jesus Christ. We must submit ourselves willingly to the Rock of our salvation. And we must endure hardships, persecutions of all kinds, deprivation, tribulations, and even severe temptations – if we are ever expected to receive our crown of life. We are highly admonished - “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might [the Holy Spirit]. 11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” – Ephesians 6:10-11.
2) Did the Apostle Paul steadfastly follow the LORD God’s Way of life – and did he know just before his death that he had won?
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8) Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day [the Day of the LORD], and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” – 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

Recall, our Lord Jesus says, ’ He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life IN THIS WORLD will keep it for eternal life’ – John 12:25.

Our Lord Jesus Christ says ’ Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’ – Luke 21:36. And we believe this and we stand upon this promise of the LORD our God! That is our hope! That even in the midst of a world gone completely insane to where it will completely annihilate itself – we have hope that we will survive and that our families will be protected. And, I want you to understand – to not necessarily survive being alive – but more akin to what the Apostle Paul writes above at the end of his life.
3) Is this warfare against physical enemies, or is it a spiritual warfare?
2 Corinthians 10:3 – “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” – we fight our battles differently now! Verse 4 – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [meaty; just typical meathead human beings] but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” – and breaking down barriers and overcoming issues and problems.

Verse 5 – “casting down [imagination, false thinking, or a more common term – fake religious news] and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” – that’s a meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” – and how do you let the mind of Jesus Christ be in you!? Except the Spirit of God enter into you and grant you part of the mind of Jesus Christ. Again, symbolically that’s what the Days of Unleavened Bread are all about. The Unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth. The Unleavened Bread of the presence of Jesus Christ! Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, [brothers and sisters], by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [rational, logical, or spiritual] service. 2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, …” – what do you mean, ‘the renewing of your mind’? Well, instead of having your old brain cells operate like human beings, have your brain be renewed, reenergized through the Spirit of God, through the mind of Jesus Christ, “…that you may prove [demonstrate] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Our FIRST ENEMY in this Way of life is our human nature with all its ungodly characteristics –

Galatians chapter 5, verse 19 – “Now the works of the flesh are evident, …” – and here’s a list by the Apostle Paul.

“ … which are: adultery [including, of course, spiritual adultery – going after false gods], fornication, [the Greek word porneia, meaning sexual immorality, prostitution, a generic term for sexual sin of any kind – Strong’s Concordance #4202] uncleanness, lewdness, 20) idolatry, sorcery [witchcraft], hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath …” – indeed, I would say what is happening in America today with civil unrest, the violent protesting would be considered ‘outbursts of wrath’ – wouldn’t you!? “ … selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21) envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” So, through the Apostle Paul inspired by God’s Spirit – if you do these things you’re not going to inherit the kingdom of God.

“’ The heart [the human psyche] is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?’” – Jeremiah 17:9.

Our human nature along with its ungodly characteristics can destroy us physically and spiritually unless we resist its strong and wrong impulses, which lead to sin. Notice, the Apostle James – “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15) Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” – James 1:14-15.
4) What is our SECOND ENEMY?
“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4) who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE, according to the will of our God and Father.” – Galatians 1:3-4.

Satan is the primary cause behind the wickedness that dominates human life – the cause of all the suffering and tragic circumstances that afflict so many. But Satan is primarily the foe of God’s chosen people – the modern-day nations of Israel and the Church of God. Thus, as Christians, we struggle “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” – Ephesians 6:12. Satan is especially deceitful in the area of religion, and few realize just how deeply Satan’s deceptions have infiltrated even Christianity! He has the entire world duped as to the identity of the true God and how to rightly follow and worship Him. He even has his own ministers that look and sound like true ministers of God – but they are counterfeits – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. As God’s elect, we must be diligent to “put on the whole armor of God” in order to “stand against the wiles of the devil” – Ephesians 6:11. If we diligently resist Satan, he will flee from us! – James 4:7.

What should our attitude be, brethren, to this world, to its glitter and glamour, its alluring appeal?

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16) For all that is in the world─ the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life─ is not of the Father but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does THE WILL OF GOD abides forever” – 1 John 2:15-17.

You must admit to yourself the true conditions of this present evil age! STOP living in your own little bubble – believing that “things aren’t really that bad!” Look into God’s spiritual mirror of His living word – and let His words reflect every rotting and putrefying sore you have – every evil, every deception, every resentment, every rebellion, or hostility of your mind and heart. Then REPENT unto God! It’s the only way of survival for you.
5) Should we, as true Christians, strive to avoid the evil that is in THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE?
Our Lord Jesus lived among nothing but rebellious people, but He showed us how to coincide with such people. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” – Romans 12:18. As long as our guard is up we can overcome. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14. We are told by the LORD our God to guard our minds – we need to take heed to simply NOT ALLOW ourselves to listen to people’s garbage. We true Christians need to stay in the Word and live by every Word! “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it springs the issues of life. 24) Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips away from you” – Proverbs 4:23-24.

Sadly, in this world in which I have lived for some 5 ½ decades, I have noticed that a great many people tend to be small-minded and live their lives in a type of individual “world.” They accept their own particular world in attitude and superiority and look with a kind of disdain at anyone outside their bubble of a world. It is a sort of self-centeredness. And it was in this kind of world that our Lord Jesus came as the Savior for all mankind. He came to begin an entirely NEW AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORLD! He said, ’On this Rock I will build My church.’ And indeed He did! But this world hardly recognizes His living Church. The New Testament Church along with her teachings were suppressed all within 40 years – even as soon as AD 49, cf. Galatians 1:6 – and counterfeit gospels escalated into a great religion that calls itself Christian. And God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ tell us to “ ’Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’” – Revelation 18:4.

Brethren, our Lord Jesus’ prayer recorded for us to Father God shows us that He doesn’t expect us to be like the Amish. Rather, we should strive to separate ourselves spiritually and refuse to participate in the sins of this present evil age.
6) Who is the THIRD GREAT ENEMY for every true Christian?
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9) Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” – 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Passage after passage God’s living word WARNS us about being misled and deceived! 2nd Corinthians chapter 4 the Apostle Paul says that – referring to Satan as the ‘god of this world’ “has blinded, who do not believe, …” And then the Apostle John, in the Book of Revelation says – speaking of that great dragon in chapter 12, verse 9 – “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; …” 2nd Corinthians chapter 11 said, Verse 13 – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14) And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15) Therefore [and HEAR THIS! – the Word of God!] it is no great thing if [Satan’s] ministers also transform [or appear] themselves into ministers of righteousness, …” – the Apostle Paul says, ‘there’s nothing shocking about that!’ And in Matthew chapter 24, our Lord Jesus Christ WARNED the people – ‘don’t be deceived, don’t be deceived!’ He talked about false apostles. And, how does a person discern between a false minister, a false prophet, or a true minister – a true prophet of Jesus Christ? And, this would be – if you’re comparing the Church of God to Protestant churches. One way – our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew chapter 7 – ’ You will know them by their fruits.’
7) What else did the Apostle Paul say was necessary to win this Christian fight?
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might [the Holy Spirit]. 11) Put on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, that you me be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 13) Therefore take up the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, that you me be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14) Stand therefore, having GIRDED YOUR WAIST WITH TRUTH, having PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15) having SHOD YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16) above all, TAKING THE SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17) And TAKE THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God; 18) PRAYING ALWAYS with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints─” – Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18.

Brethren, we are to draw close to Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ in persevering prayer. Praying always for God’s begotten children all around the world, and for the living work of God.

This is how we can succeed in overcoming our own nature, this present evil world, and our adversary – Satan the Devil! Spirit-begotten Christians will have a continuous fight on our hands until our last dying breath – because we follow our Lord Jesus Christ. But with the living word of God as our sword and Their armor as our protection, and if we preserve to the end, we will triumph over all three deadly foes!

Like Sir Winston Churchill’s famous speech – as memory serves – let us brethren, “never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never in nothing, great or small, large or petty never give in … never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - Proverbs 4:23-24; Jeremiah 17:9.
New Testament - Matthew 7:16, 20; 16:18; Luke 21:36; John 12:25; Romans 12:1-2, 18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 6:14; 10:3, 4, 5; 11:13-15; Galatians 1:3-4; 5:19-21; Ephesians 6:10-11, 12, 13-18; Philippians 2:5; 1 Timothy 1:18-19; 6:12;  2 Timothy 2:3-4; 4:6-8; James 1:14-15; 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 John 2:15-17; Revelation 12:9; 18:4.

1 comment:

  1. We have additional Bible Studies @ https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hE3RpW9X9Zexwo8P8wvjqK5glz3FaBJf?usp=sharing


Be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you think.