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Wednesday, June 26 2019

Have you ever hidden your name or identity to go unnoticed? Today, people seek out privacy, especially on the internet. Many fill their closets with secret desires rather than prayers and devotion to God. By dismissing God, society acts irresponsibly for its behavior.

            As repeated throughout the Scriptures, God’s name is holy (Lev 22:32; Ps 111:9). Jesus declared that God’s name is holy (Matt 6:9; Luke 11:2). Furthermore, Jesus taught that baptism is in a single name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19–20). Throughout Acts, baptism is in Jesus’s name, in water, and for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 10:47–48). In the name of Christ, the believer is washed, made holy, and justified (1 Cor 6:11). Life is only the name of Jesus Christ (John 20:31). As Christians, believers are saved and live by the name of Christ (Acts 4:12).

            No Christian can live anonymously in the world apart from Christ’s name as some today. Peter expressed, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. […] Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name” (1 Pet 4:14, 16 ESV; cf. Acts 4:10). No disciple can present oneself as a person with no affiliation with God and Christ at any time. The person who avoids recognition as a Christian to live anonymously, without the name — Christ's name — is sinning and not living as a Christian.

            Wherever you are, hold the name of Christ. Never deny Christ. Acknowledge and confess Jesus at all times. Do not hide as a nameless person and Christ-less person on the internet, in texts, in phone calls, via email, in an online chat, at a party, in a classroom, in a hotel room in another town, or any time with another person who does not know that you are Christian. 

            Jesus declared, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:32–33).

            The apostle proclaimed no other name by which one may be saved other than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Solomon revealed, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (Prov 18:10 ESV). Thank God for He has “highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9–11).

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 25 2019

Have you ever started a job and they never offered the necessary training? Sometimes, we have to find how to get things done on our own. Almost every occupation takes some time to adjust and learn how to work effectively. A new job or a new school needs some accountability.

            Many Christians need the discipline of training. New believers need to be made into disciples who are trained in all that Jesus commanded so that they will become disciple-makers (Matt 28:19–20). Furthermore, new Christians need training in holiness — holy living. This practice is certainly lacking in the church today when it seems as though accountability and discipleship are needed more than ever.

            God disciplines. He disciplines those whom He loves, His children, to share in His holiness (Heb 12:5–6, 10–11). Children without discipline are illegitimate (Heb 12:7). Without holiness, no one will see God (Heb 12:14). The writer of Hebrews stressed holiness apart from defilement and bitterness connected with the sexual immorality of fornication (Heb 12:15–16). The will of God is that believers become holy and so abstain from sex outside of marriage known as “fornication” (1 Thess 4:3). God has called believers to such holy living (1 Thess 4:7).

            God saves believers through the process of sanctification — becoming holy. Paul revealed that salvation is through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thess 2:13). Therefore, the Gospel calls believers to salvation for this purpose of becoming holy and to obtain the glory of Jesus Christ (2 Thess 2:14). As Jesus revealed, God’s Word is the truth that makes men holy (John 17:17). The word also makes men free from sin (John 8:31–34).

            Many people pursue holiness by their rules. Paul did reveal, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14). However, no self-made regulations, precepts, teachings, religion, or severity to the body will set a person from any sinful behavior (Col 2:20–23). The Christian must seek the things above (Col 3:1–4).

            The apostle Paul described the mentality necessary to live a holy life in Romans 6–8. The apostle described how Christians are to recognize themselves as dead to sin and thus freed from sin (Rom 6:1–11). He taught the necessity of presenting one’s body as a weapon of war for righteousness (6:12–14; cf. 13:11–12). Christians are to become bondservants to righteousness unto holiness and not to sexual impurity unto lawlessness (6:15–23). Paul revealed that holy living is not about living by the holy Law but according to the new way of the Spirit (7:1–13). God through Christ has delivered believers from the evil that is nearby and waging war with the mind of believers (7:14–25). Because Christ has overcome sin in the flesh, believers can set their minds on the Spirit rather than the flesh to live according to the Spirit (8:1–11). Those who live according to the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body (8:12–13). Those led by the Spirit have received the Spirit of adoption as children of God (8:14–25).

            As Paul revealed, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24–25a).

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 09:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email