Are You Ready to be Used More Powerfully by the LORD?
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24
Those who feign to represent Christ, while actually misrepresenting Him, are causing great damage to the true Gospel.
Why? Their attitudes are ungodly and do not reflect the heart of Christ.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14
In Psalms 7:11, the Bible says that GOD is angry with the wicked. He is the only One who is qualified to be angry with the wicked because He made all men, He died to save all men and HE alone is “Holy, holy, holy.” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8) He never told us – mere men who are recipients of His sheer, saving mercy through Christ – to be mad or have an angry attitude toward the unsaved. The Bible never tells US (undeserving sinners) to be angry with the wicked.
This wicked and sinful attitude towards others is greatly hampering our usefulness to God in winning them to Christ. Doesn’t the Bible tell us to be winsome?
“He that winneth souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
Are we winning or alienating souls? Are we gathering or scattering abroad? (Matthew 12:30)
I know of people who boast about their great Bible knowledge and yet, have never won anyone to Christ and don’t even obey Him in the command to communicate His blessed Gospel! Astounding hypocrisy! That is tragic! They do “ministry” in order to be seen and heard of men and for self-serving reasons and not out of a true, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ (John 15). Based on what Scripture teaches, this makes me wonder if they are even saved (1 Corinthians 13).
A godly attitude will help us win people to the LORD and not repel them with our own sinful disposition that people can sense. Others discern these inner attitudes. Even when we are speaking all the right things, people notice our inner attitudes. LORD, please grant us to have pure hearts! “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
In light of this, what does this say for the angry street preachers who yell at sinners? What does this say for the modern pharisees among us who harbor ill will towards sinners and saints who stumbled and fell?
Why are we angry with the lost for whom Christ died? Did God not love them also? John 3:16 anyone?
While WE were yet sinners, God loved us and sent for us His only begotten Son right? (Romans 5:6-9)
Just what was Jesus getting at when He instructed us to be “perfect”? Was He speaking primarily of sinless perfection, or was He teaching that we should have a mature attitude toward the lost for whom He came to die? Can we examine this passage and its context?
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect (mature), even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (having mature disposition).” Matthew 5:44-48
Why are WE angry with the wicked? WE are not “Holy, holy, holy,” only God is (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). Right? Think about it.
Think about how self-righteous we are in our attitudes toward others when God has had nearly infinite mercy upon our own corrupt, wretched souls. Is this not hypocritical?
You see, once we get the revelation of how much mercy and lovingkindness our God has shown upon our own hearts and lives, we will be filled with His hope for those who do not yet know Him and for His precious saints.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
This is an extremely important divine truth that we must personally seek out and study to obtain. His Word is abundant in this rich revelation. God truly is good and His desire is to forgive, to make whole, and to show mercy. His will is that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He surely will damn many and yet, this is only due to their refusal to repent, know, appreciate, and abide in His “abundant mercy” and “goodness.” (Romans 11:20-22; 1 Peter 1:3). Those who go to hell will have no excuse. Out of His great tender mercies and loving kindness, God has provided the way to eternal life for all men by sending His only begotten Son to pay the price for our sin. Thank you Father!
“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalms 86:5
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalms 86:15
You and I are only saved due to the goodness and graciousness of our God and due to no righteousness of our own (Psalms 39:5; Romans 7:18). If we are self-righteous in our attitudes toward others, it is simply because we are deceived and the truth is not in us.
“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:2-7
The LORD wants to use us to draw in and WIN souls to Him, not to repel them with our undue, unwarranted, self-righteous attitudes.
“A Vessel Unto Honour”
Here is a very insightful and important passage that we should know well:
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:20-26
Purging ourselves of wicked judgments is part of being conformed to Christ’s holy image. This includes realizing that God loves those for whom He gave His only begotten Son. He blesses them in this world so they can see and, hopefully, repent and believe upon Jesus (Matthew 5:44-48). Do you desire to be “a vessel unto honor”? (v21) As we are purged and established in these divine truths, we will be much more useful or “meet (fit) for the master’s use.” (v21)
How do I get to this place spiritually? How do I avoid striving with others? How can I have a sound heart and mind that is ruled by the fear and peace of God?
Understanding a few things the LORD teaches us in His Word will be the way He brings us to a deeper understanding and renewing of the spirit of our minds or our attitudes and disposition.
When we begin to search out and understand what the Bible says concerning all men and their sinful state, much can be accomplished.
If you need mercy – and you certainly do – show mercy.
If you do not, God will withdraw all mercy from you (Matthew 18:21-35).
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7
Now really, just WHAT stone do you and I have to throw?????? Are we not included in the “ALL” who “have sinned”? (Romans 3:10, 23) Were we not also in need of Christ coming to die and rise again for our justification?
“And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this.” Ezra 9:13
“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Psalms 103:10
“If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, WHO WHO WHO shall stand?” Psalms 130:3
There is a direct correlation between the self-righteousness in our own hearts and our lack of the fruit of kindness in our daily lives. Prayerfully reciting Titus 3:5-6 aloud daily in early morning prayer will do wonders to eliminate such sinfulness in our dispositions.
The daily cross and blessed work of the Holy Ghost of God is the key to the renewing of our minds and transformation of our attitudes and ways of thinking.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:6
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The “sinners’ prayer.” There are variations of it, but in a nutshell it involves confessing you are a sinner and asking for forgiveness from God. In your opinion, is this the point of salvation?
Romans 10:9-10 … The mouth is important to God as it externalizes what’s in the heart (Matthew 12:34) and in their initial act of obedient repentance, one should confess Jesus Christ as their new LORD and outwardly/verbally acknowledge that He rose again from the dead. – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) In being saved, that soul is repenting – turning their life over to the LORD, placing their full faith in Christ (Acts 16:31; 20:21). Yes, if a sinner prays sincerely from the heart in repentance (turning their life to God), confessing Christ as the new LORD of their lives, believing He died for them and rose again, God is going to save them right then and there. That is according to His own Word of promise – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)