The Purpose of Parables

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speak thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  Mat. 13:10-11 KJV

A parable: the Greek word parabole (GSN-<G3850>) is a comparison, Mk. 4:30 figure Heb. 9:9; 11:19 proverb Lk. 4:23 and an illustration; Mt. 13:3,10,13,18,24,31-36,53; 15:15; 21:33,45; 22:1; 24:32 they are extended similes.

They illustrate truth and make it clear by comparison with something that is already familiar. They impart instruction and rebuke without causing offense.  2Sam. 12 They create interest and hunger for further information. Mt. 13:10-17; 2Sam. 12  The stories are always true and the points illustrated must not be considered false and absurd. The historical background and the circumstances and occasion when uttered must be understood. Their words and details must be defined literally, not spiritually. The similarity between the point illustrated and the illustration must be noted.  The point illustrated is always stated with the parable or is clear by the occasion uttered.  The principles of interpretation are given by Jesus Himself. Any interpretation at variance with these principles or with the purpose of the parable is unscriptural.

Parables were used to reveal truth in a form intended to create more interest; Mt. 13:10-11,16 to make known new truths to interested hearers; Mt. 13:11-12,16-17 to make known mysteries by comparison with things already known; Mt. 13:11 to conceal truth from disinterested hearers and rebels at heart; Mt. 13:11-15 to add truth to those who love it and want more of it; Mt. 13:12 to take truth away from those who hate and do not want it; Mt. 13:12 and to fulfill prophecy. Mt. 13:14-17,35

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Mat. 13:12-13 KJV

A mystery is a secret previously hidden but now made clear so that no mystery remains for anyone who will accept the truth as revealed. Mt. 13:19; 2Cor. 4:3-4  At present the realm of profession, for tares and wheat and good and bad are now mixed together in the same kingdom. At the end of this age the two classes will be separated. The professors will be sent to hell and the possessors of the kingdom will continue in its literal aspect forever. Mt. 13:40-43,49-50; Mat. 25:31-46; Rev. 20; Zech. 14  Believers increase in knowledge, but unbelievers go into more ignorance and darkness. Rom. 1:18-32; Tit. 1:15; 1Jn. 1:7; Jn. 3:16-20 This is a work of man’s own unbelief and rebellion and the work of satan. Mt. 13:15,19; 2Cor. 4:3-4  They can see, but they refuse to see; they can hear, but they refuse to hear; they are capable of understanding, but they refuse to accept the truth, desiring to hold on to their old religious traditions and professions in preference to walking in the light of new truth.

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Mat. 13:14-15 KJV

This Old Testament prophecy of Israel written by Isaiah 6:9-10 is fulfilled in Matthew 13:14-15 Jn. 12:39-40; Acts 28:25 describing the condition of their hearts as being made fat, stupid, insensible, inattentive, dull, and callous. Acts 28:27 The idea here is that the people became this way, little by little, until they were past normal, vigorous obedience to truth and righteousness, but they were failing to do, see, hear, and understand with the heart.  They missed out on the promised blessings of conversion, a change of direction, a new walk with God and of physical healing, a change of health, a new health in God. Ps. 91; 103:3; Mt. 8:17; Isa. 53; Rom. 8:11; 1Pet. 2:24; 3Jn. 1:2; Jas. 5:14-16; Mk. 16:17-18; Jn. 14:12-15; 15:7,16

All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke He not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. Mat. 13:34-35 KJV

 

 

I Am the True Vine

I am the true vine …I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same bring forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.  John 15:1a, 5 KJV

Jesus Christ as the true vine brings forth good fruit in us, as we are washed and cleaned by His Word 15:3 that create a pure heart in us as we walk in the light. Then and only then, do we form a unity with Christ as He is IN us – His Word – and we are IN Him: representing Him by living the word.  As a believer is fruitful he is purged to produce more fruit, if he is fruitless he will wither and be removed. The Father does this, not man. 15:2,6 No man is able to pluck one branch from God’s hands, but if we say that God cannot cut off any branch that is fruitless, then we limit God and make the dead, fruitless, and useless branches to be more powerful than He is.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:4, 5-7 KJV

We are commanded to remain in Christ, to abide in Him, because we are powerless to produce fruit otherwise and will be cast off if this fruitless-condition remains! The ‘abiding’-status is also a condition for Asking and Receiving!  For when we remain in obedience to the Word, we can ask what we want and it shall be done, with the purpose that the Father will be glorified.  14:13; 15:8  Without glorification of God, others cannot be drawn unto Him and that is why it is so important that our lives always give Him glory!

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13 KJV

I choose to be purged so that I can be more fruitful and to be “in Him” to be clean; I will always “abide in” Christ and He in me to produce fruit; I will have His words abiding in me so that my prayers can be answered and the Father will be glorified as I produce much fruit!

Works of the Flesh

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, ….. they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  Gal. 5:19a … 21b

No man who commits the sins mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 will ever inherit the kingdom of God unless he confesses and puts them out of his life.  These are called the works of the flesh and are given in contrast of the fruit of the Spirit that we receive as we are washed, sanctified and are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

These sins can be classified in four divisions, the four sins of lust: adultery, fornication, uncleanness and lasciviousness, Gal. 5:19 the two sins of impiety and superstition: idolatry and witchcraft, Gal. 5:20 the nine sins of temper: hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings and murders, Gal. 5:20-21 and the two sins of the appetite: drunkenness and revellings. Gal. 5:21 Let’s have a look at them:

  1. Greek: moicheia (GSN-<G3430>), unlawful sexual relations between men and women, single or married. Mt. 15:19; Mk. 7:21; Jn. 8:3 Note the related Greek: verbs, moichao (GSN-<G3429>) Mt. 5:32, 19:9; Mk. 10:11-12 and moicheuo (GSN-<G3431>). Mt. 5:27-28; 19:18; Mk. 10:19; Lk. 16:18; 18:20; Jn. 8:4; Rom. 2:22; 13:9; Jas. 2:11; Rev. 2:22
  2. Greek: porneia (GSN-<G4202>), same as adultery above besides all manner of other unlawful relations.
  3. Greek: akatharsia (GSN-<G167>), whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion Mt. 23:27; Rom. 1:21-32; 6:19; 2Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19; 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Th. 2:3; 4:7; 2Pet. 2
  4. Greek: aselgeia (GSN-<G766>), licentiousness, lustfulness, unchastity, and lewdness. Translated “lasciviousness” Mk. 7:22; 2Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3; Jude 1:4 “wantonness” Rom. 13:13; 2Pet 2:18 and “filthy”. 2Pet. 2:7 Lasciviousness is the promoting or partaking of that which tends to produce lewd emotions, anything tending to foster sex sin and lust. That is why many worldly pleasures have to be avoided by Christians, so that lasciviousness may not be committed.
  5. Greek: eidololatreia (GSN-<G1495>), image-worship. 1Cor. 10:14; Col. 3:5; 1Pet. 4:3 Idolatry includes anything on which affections are passionately set; extravagant admiration of the heart. Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5
  6. Greek: pharmakeia (GSN-<G5331>), sorcery, practice of dealing with evil spirits; magical incantations and casting spells and charms upon one by means of drugs and potions of various kinds. Rev. 9:21; 18:23 Enchantments were used to inflict evil, pains, hatred, sufferings, and death, or to bring good, health, love and other blessings.
  7. Greek: echthra (GSN-<G2189>), enmity Lk. 23:12; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:15-16; Jas. 4:4 and hatred. Bitter dislike, abhorrence, malice and ill will against anyone; tendency to hold grudges against or be angry at someone.
  8. Greek: eris (GSN-<G2054>). Rom. 1:29 Dissensions, discord, quarreling, debating; and disputes.
  9. Greek: zeloi (GSN-<G2205>), envies, jealousies; striving to excel at the expense of another; seeking to surpass and out do others; uncurbed rivalry spirit in religion, business, society, and other fields of endeavor. Translated “zeal” Jn. 2:17; Rom. 10:2; 2Cor. 7:11; 9:2; Php. 3:6; Col. 4:13 “fervent mind” 2Cor. 7:7 “envy” Acts 13:45; Rom. 13:13; 1Cor. 3:3; 2Cor. 12:20; Jas. 3:14-15 “jealousy” 2Cor. 11:2 “indignation” Acts 5:17; Heb. 10:27 and “emulation”.
  10. Greek: thumos (GSN-<G2372>), “wrath” Lk. 4:28; Acts 19:28; 2Cor. 12:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; Heb. 11:27; Rev. 12:12; 14:8,10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1; 18:3 “indignation” Rom. 2:8 and “fierceness”. Rev. 16:19; 19:15 Turbulent passions; domestic and civil turmoil; rage; determined and lasting anger.
  11. Greek: eritheia (GSN-<G2052>), “strife” 2Cor. 12:20; Php. 2:3; Jas. 3:14,16 “contention”. Php. 1:16; Rom. 2:8 Disputations; jangling; strife about words; angry contentions; contest for superiority or advantage; strenuous endeavor to equal or pay back in kind the wrongs done to one.
  12. Greek: dichostasia (GSN-<G1370>), “divisions” Rom. 16:17; 1Cor. 3:3 “seditions, parties, and factions”. Popular disorder; stirring up strife in religion, government, home, or any other place.
  13. Greek: hairesis (GSN-<G139>), a choosing, hence, a sect Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5; 28:22 and heresy. Acts 24:14; 1Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20; 2Pet. 2:1
  14. Greek: phthonoi (GSN-<G5355>) Mt. 27:18; Mk. 15:10; Rom. 1:29; Php. 1:15; 1Tim. 6:4; Tit. 3:3; Jas. 4:5; 1Pet. 2:1 Pain, ill will, and jealousy at the good fortune or blessings of another; the most base of all degrading and disgraceful passions.
  15. Greek: phonoi (GSN-<G5408>) Mt. 15:18 to kill; to spoil or mar the happiness of another; hatred. 1Jn. 3:15
  16. Greek: methai (GSN-<G3178>) Lk. 21:34; Rom. 13:13 Drinking, living intoxicated; a slave to drink; drinking bouts.
  17. Greek: komoi (GSN-<G2970>) 1Pet. 4:3 rioting. Rom. 13:13 Lascivious and boisterous feastings, with obscene music, and other sinful activities; pleasures; carousing.

Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1Cor. 6:9-11 KJV

I choose to live a life wherein I die to the self and the works of the flesh and I choose to live in the Spirit and in Truth and not to give in to worldly or fleshly lusts. I choose to serve Christ Jesus! Amen

Do Not Conform To This World

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2 KJV

Note the two commands of this verse: We are warned not to conform to this world and THEN to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Conform is the Greek word suschematizo (GSN-<G4964>) and means to conform to another’s example.  The warning here is to not follow that which is in the world, to go after their example.  As Christians or followers of Christ, we are to follow in His example and in His footsteps:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps 1Pet. 2:21

When we conform to this world, Eph. 2:2 we are representing all that it stands for and can thus not represent Christ – we cannot serve two masters! Mt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13 Satan is the god of this world 2Cor. 4:4; Jn. 12:31 and we follow him when we conform to it as we love the things thereof. Col. 2:8 Our God is not in this world and if we love the things of the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – we are not serving Him and are not doing His will!

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that do the will of God abide forever. 1 John 2:15-17 KJV

Our second commandment is to be transformed – the Greek word metamorphoo (GSN-<G3339>) which means to be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change – by the renewing of our minds – as we think upon the things that were given to us by God in His Word – we are continuously being renewed Tit. 3:5; 2Cor. 4:16; Col. 3:10; Heb. 6:6; Eph. 4:23 and this enable us to confirm what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is!  There are six things that constitute to this acceptable and perfect will of God:

  1. To present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God 12:1; 1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:20
  2. To make the body holy 12:1; 2Cor. 7:1
  3. To make the self acceptable to God 12:1
  4. To render reasonable service 12:1
  5. To not be conformed to the world 12:2
  6. To be transformed from the world 12:2

I will present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service. And I will not conform to this world, but will be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may confirm what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Known By Their Fruit

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Mat. 7:20 

This is a statement from Jesus Christ Himself. Mt. 7:15-23 There never was a statement made that is truer than this one. It plainly teaches that there are ways whereby all men can know who is right and who is wrong, who is for the truth and who is against it, who is a true Christian and who is not, and who is a true teacher and who is a false one. The ways whereby man can be discerned is “by their fruits” and not by their outward appearance and refinement, which can be so deceptive. A rotten apple may have an attractive coating of wax on the outside and it may be colored with the most beautiful paint, but a bite into it would be a bite into corruption. A most perfect and beautiful fruit tree outwardly will sometimes be so diseased inwardly that it produces the worst kind of fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit, and a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree brings forth of its own kind whether it is good or bad. So it is with false teachers and those who follow them. Such people can be ever so good outwardly and they may be more refined and correct in life than many true Christians, but this does not prove that they are of God. We all have seen false teachers and rebels against God and the Bible who have been so nice, refined, polite, well-mannered, polished, high toned, and poised until one would think they were gifts from Heaven, but in reality, they were destitute of all truth and spiritual experience and bitter enemies of the Bible.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jer. 17:9-10 KJV

We have two facts about the natural heart:

It is deceitful above all things and it is desperately wicked. Then the important question: Who can know it? No one knows how they will react in certain circumstances.  But the Lord searches our hearts and tries the reins, for the purpose of distributing rewards according to the ways and doings of each man.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance Mat. 3:8 KJV

The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is for character, not for power as the nine gifts of the Spirit are. Love is the crowning grace of all this fruit and is the impelling force of God in the true exercise of the gifts. A character may be complete with no gift, but it must have all the fruit of the Spirit in order to be Christ-like and normal.  Every element of the fruit of the Spirit should be in every life when one attains to all the fullness of God.  This fruit is expressed in 1 Cor. 13:4-8 as follows: Love suffer long [longsuffering], and is kind [kindness]; love envy not [goodness]; love vaunt not itself, is not puffed up [meekness]; doth not behave itself unseemly [temperance], seek not her own, is not easily provoked, think no evil [meekness]; rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth [joy]; bear all things [gentleness], believe all things [faith], hope all things [trust], endure all things [patience and longsuffering]. Love never fail.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 KJV

The Nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit:

  1. LOVE.  Greek: agape (NT:26), divine love. A strong, ardent, tender, compassionate, devotion to the well-being of someone. Let’s have a look at the  Nine Ingredients of Divine Love:
  • Patience – love passive: no hurry; suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things 13:4,7
  • Kindness – love in action: never acts rashly or insolently; not inconsistent, puffed up, or proud 13:4
  • Generosity – love in competition: not envious or jealous 13:4
  • Humility – love in hiding: no parade; no airs; works then retires 13:4
  • Courtesy – love in society: does not behave unseemly; always polite; at home with all classes; never rude or discourteous 13:5
  • Unselfishness – love in essence: never selfish, sour, or bitter; seeks only good of others; does not retaliate or seek revenge 13:5
  • Good temper – love in disposition: never irritated; never resentful 13:5
  • Righteousness – love in conduct: hates sin; never glad when others go wrong; always gladdened by goodness to others; always slow to expose; always eager to believe the best; always hopeful, always enduring 13:6-7
  • Sincerity – love in profession: never boastful and conceited; not a hypocrite; always honest; leaves no impression but what is strictly true; never self-assertive; does not blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs; always just, joyful, and truthful; knows how to be silent; full of trust; always present
  1. JOY. Greek: chara (NT:5479), the emotional excitement, gladness, delight over blessings received or expected for self and for others.
  2. PEACE. Greek: eirene (NT:1515), the state of quietness, rest, repose, harmony, order, and security in the midst of turmoil, strife, and temptations.
  3. LONGSUFFERING. Greek: makrothumia (NT:3115), patient endurance; to bear long with the frailties, offenses, injuries, and provocations of others, without murmuring, repining, or resentment. 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 2 Cor. 6:4-6; Ephes. 4:1-2; Col. 1:11; 3:12-13; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2
  4. GENTLENESS. Greek: chrestotes (NT:5544), a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct. 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:1-2; Jas 3:17
  5. GOODNESS. Greek: agathosune (NT:19), the state of being good, kind, virtuous, benevolent, generous, and God-like in life and conduct. Ps. 107:9; Ephes. 5:9; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:27-32
  6. FAITH. Greek: pistis (NT:4102), the living, divinely implanted, acquired, and created principle of inward and wholehearted confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that He says.

Faith is not only a natural ability or exercise of a created faculty of man, but it is a fruit of the Spirit and a gift from God. Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:4-11 When man uses his own powers of faith in God and His Word properly he makes contact with God in a supernatural way, and he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. 2 Pet. 1:3-4 He is then free to walk and live in the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit will naturally be evident in his life. Gal. 5:16-26 He should constantly add to his faith the virtues of God by yielding to God in daily life. 2 Pet. 1:4-10 This kind of faith becomes a natural fruit of the Spirit and of holy living. It is not an effort to have this faith. It grows in the life of one who is yielding to God and who loves God enough to draw near to God in daily conflict. It is a fruit, not a work. It is a gift, not something we earn by works Rom. 2:4-5; 12:3-11

  1. MEEKNESS. Greek: praotes (NT:4240), the disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even balanced in tempers and passions, and patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge.
  2. TEMPERANCE. Greek: engkrateia (NT:1466), self-control; a moderation in the indulgence of the appetites and passions Prov. 23:1-3; 25:16; Dan. 1:8-16; Rom. 13:14; 1 Cor 9:25-27;  Php. 4:5; 1 Thes. 5:6-8; Titus 2:2-3,11-12; 2 Peter 1:5-10

I therefore choose to crucify my flesh with the affections and lusts; to live and walk in the Spirit.  Gal. 5:24-25 Jesus are the true vine, and our Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Him that bear not fruit, the Father take away: and every branch that bear fruit, He purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. We are cleaned through the Word which Christ has given unto us, if we abide in Him, and He in us. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can we, except if we abide in Him.  Jn. 15:1-4

 

Do These Things – You Shall Never Fall

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall 2Pet. 1:10 KJV

Christians are warned to give diligence to meeting certain terms of God lest they fall into sin and be lost. The theory that God will not punish, judge, and condemn His people when they backslide and persist in sin and rebellion has no foundation in any attribute, act, promise, prophecy, covenant, or revelation of God. He has been just and good to all in all ages. He is completely impartial; nothing can cause Him to act contrary His nature as He has revealed it. God has given hundreds of warnings for men not to backslide lest they die in their sin and rebellion and suffer the fate of all sinners. Heb. 6:1-2, 4-9; 2:1-4; 10:26-29; 2Pet. 2:20-22; Rev. 2:5  If we do the things mentioned here, we will never fall.  Let’s have a look at what they are:

According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  2Pet. 1:3-7 KJV

Through God’s divine power we are given ALL THINGS that pertain unto life and godliness! HOW?  Through the knowledge of Him that hath called us!  By getting to know God as our love grow in relationship with Him when we read and implement the Word in our lives, Php. 1:9-11 He enables us through His power to get the things that is relevant to life and godliness.  Never that which is sinful or that can lead to temptation. Jas. 1:2-16 We were called to glory and virtue, that which is attained when answering the call on our lives Acts 10:34, 35; John 3:16-20 to follow in Christ’s footsteps 1Pet. 2:21 when we make the decision to represent Him on earth.. John 14:10-12

AFTER we have escaped the corruption that is in this world through lust, we are then given exceeding great and precious promises that we might be partakers of the divine nature!  With diligence Christian virtues are added to our precious faith; 2Pet. 1:1; Rom. 10:17 and to virtue knowledge; Php. 1:9-11  And to knowledge temperance; Gal. 5:22 and to temperance patience; Gal. 5:22 and to patience godliness Tit. 2:11-12 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 1Cor. 13:4

Verse 8 says that if these things are flourishing in us, then we shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  And an important warning follows in verse 9:

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins

I choose to be diligent, making my “calling and election sure,” declaring that I will do these things so that I may never fall. In Jesus Name, amen.

Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints Eph. 6:18 KJV 

Finishing up on the armor of God that we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must always pray with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Pray without ceasing. 1Thes. 5:17 KJV

PRAYER is a  change of communication, a new approach to God. Jn. 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26; Heb. 10:19-23; 11:6; 1 Jn. 3:22; 5:14-16  Praying is not classed as part of the armor, but is an additional and very important part of the fight against spiritual powers of evil. Jas. 4:7; 1Pet. 5:8-9

Supplication: the Greek word deesis (GSN-<G1162>), and entreating; continued strong and incessant pleadings until the prayer is answered. Lk. 18:1-8 Translated as “request” Php. 1:4 “supplication” Acts 1:14; Eph. 6:18; Php. 4:6; 1Tim. 2:1; 5:5 and “prayer”.

‘Watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints’ Without this, prayer and Christian armor will be ineffectual. Mk. 13:33; Lk. 21:36; Heb. 13:17

Perseverance is the Greek word proskarteresis (G4343), to adhere firmly to; Be close in pursuit of; always intent upon your object in prayer. Rom. 12:12

Prayer is the offering up of our desires for lawful and needful things and things we want that are promised by God, with humble confidence that we will obtain them through Jesus Christ for God’s glory and for our good.  It is the pleading of our cause in God’s court.  Prayer is seeking help from God in matters that are beyond our power.  It is the personal appeal to a present God based upon His will and Word and our lawful desires.  It is co-operation with God’s willingness to manifest His goodness to all those who have faith in Him and depend upon Him for help.  Prayer is simply asking and receiving from God.

HOW TO PRAY?  Pray to the Father John 16:23  in the name of Jesus John 14:12-15 with the Holy Spirit’s help Rom. 8:26  with full understanding of rights and privileges, 1 Cor. 14:14-15 in harmony with the Word, John 15:7  in faith, nothing doubting. James 1:6  With praise for the answer Phil. 4:6 that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:12-15

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  Jas. 1:5-8 KJV

NOTHING DOUBTING – the Greek word diakrino (NT:1252), doubting; staggering. He who doubts is like a wave that is rising one moment, sinking the next.  One minute he believes; another he does not.  He says yes and then no to what God has promised, never making up his mind which way he believes.  He staggers like a drunken man, helpless in prayer.

I will make my requests known to my Father by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving without focusing on daily cares Php. 4:6 – for He cares for me!! Mt. 6:25-34

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Mat. 6:33 KJV

Take the Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation Eph. 6:17a KJV 

Still reflecting on the armor of God we are commanded to put, to enable us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must take the helmet of salvation. 1Th. 5:8 One of the different phases of salvation is repentance which means our minds must be renewed; Mt. 3:2; 4:17; Lk. 13:1-5; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 10:43; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 1 Jn. 1:9 which means we must have a change of mind, a new way of thinking:

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind  Eph. 4:23 KJV

To be renewed, the Greek word ananeoo (G365) means the whole course of life now flows in a different direction, 2Cor. 5:17-18 to be renewed in the attitude of your mind by renouncing its vanity, Eph. 4:17  its darkness and blindness Eph. 4:18 and learning of Christ. Eph. 4:20-21

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2 KJV

To be transformed is the Greek word metamorphoo (G3339) that means to be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change. 2Cor. 3:18 This change is by a renewing of the mind or spirit: Tit. 3:5; 2Cor. 4:16

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. Col. 3:10 KJV

The Word of God is clear when it states that we must cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2Cor. 10:5  The only way to change our way of thinking is by thinking on that which we are commanded in the Word – to think as God thinks, we have to consider every thought we allow in our minds and think upon whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, we have to think on these things. Php. 4:8

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isa. 55:7 KJV

Taking the Shield of Faith

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph. 6:16 KJV 

Still focusing on the armor of God, we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, we are instructed to take the shield of faith so that we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  Victory over the enemy and sin has been accomplished and we need to exercise our faith in order for us to be continuously in this position.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 Jn. 5:18 KJV

The word “believeth” denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo (NT:4100) which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits. Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7; 1 Thes. 5:8; 1 Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2 Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38; 2 Pet. 1:5-10

Faith is a change of confidence, a new trust in God; to be persuaded of; Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2 Tim. 1:12 place confidence in; Eph. 3:12; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 3:6,12-14; 10:35; 1 John 3:21;  5:14 the substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen; Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1,6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24 absolute dependence upon and reliance in the Word of God and of Christ; Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1-12:3 full surrender, yieldedness, and obedience to all known truth; Rom. 1:5; 16:26; 6:11-23; Jas. 2:14-26; 2 Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6 we must trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God. Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; Luke 12:28-31; Eph. 1:13; 1 Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1 Cor. 10:13 Give one’s self over to a new way of life. Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; 2 Cor. 10:4-7; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Heb. 12:1-15; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:7; 2:6;  3:8-10;  4:17;  5:1-5,18 The attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into existence things that are unseen; Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Luke 17:6; Heb. 11 the whole body of revealed truth. Luke 18:8; Jude 1:3; Rom. 10:17; 1 Tim. 4:1,6; 6:10; 2 Tim. 3:16-17 Joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom, 1:16; 3:24-31; Eph. 2:8-9; access into grace, Rom. 5:2 fulfillment of the promises, Heb. 6:12 the Holy Spirit, Gal. 3:14 righteousness, Rom. 4; 9:30,32; 10:6; Php. 3:9 sonship, Gal. 3:26 healing, Jas. 5:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:24 eternal life, John 3:15-18,36; 5:24; 6:47 and answers to every prayer Matt. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7,16

If we want to please God, we must have faith, which is an undeterred trust in Him and what He says He will do for us.  Without this trust in Him, we nullify all the promises He gave us and we make Him a liar.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6 KJV

Faith is simple. It is believing God without wavering, without doubting, and without questioning what He says. It is taking God at His Word and believing that what He has promised He is able to perform it.  It is believing not only that He is able, but that He will do it. It is the quality of counting those things that “be not as though they were”. Rom. 4:17  The enemy knows that we can move mountains Matt. 17:20  with this kind of faith and thus need our shields down so that whatever he shoots at us, might struck.  The way to get faith is by hearing the Word of God. Rom. 10:17  The way to use faith is to take God at His Word and count Him faithful in granting what is asked for in the name of Jesus. Ask and then believe that it is done. Thank God for it as if it were already done. Expect the complete answer whether you see it at once or not. Forget symptoms, feelings, impossibilities, or anything to the contrary and it shall be done regardless of how impossible it may appear outwardly!

I choose to believe, to have the absolute conviction, that what God has promised and what I have asked, according to His Word, is done already!!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Heb 11:1-3 KJV

 

Feet Shod with Preparation

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace  Eph 6:15 KJV 

As we still contemplate the armor of God that we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace – being prepared and in readiness to bring the gospel that gives peace with every step we take, as the example was given to us through Christ Jesus’ life in 1 Peter 2:21-22:

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

We have been called to live our lives according to His example ascribed in the gospels and consistent with the instructions as given in the Epistles by the Apostles.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom Col 3:15-16a KJV

The Gospel or the law of Christ, Gal. 6:2 are the grace of Christ which was preached not after man or received of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. 1:11-12 It is that which justifies Gal. 2:16 gives the Spirit, works miracles, redeems from the curse of the law. It brings the promise of faith, as well as the establishment and generation thereof. Gal.3; Rom. 10:17; 16:25 It produces the new birth, Gal. 4:21-31; 1 Pet. 1:23 gives salvation, Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:13 nourishes spiritual life, 1 Pet. 2:2 imparts grace Acts 20:24 and brings liberty which we must stand in, that sets us free. Gal, 5:1, 13; Jn. 8:31-36

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Rom. 5:1 which means we have a change in mind, a new tranquility in God.  Jesus did give us this assurance in John 14:27:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world give, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

We have been warned not to be troubled or afraid because fear will remove our strength, love and sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 I therefore choose to cast all my cares on my Heavenly Father and make my requests known to Him, always in thanksgiving. I will not tolerate anxiety or worry that will injure my soul and destroy my relationship with God and man.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Php. 4:6-7 KJV