Scripture says that you will be presented holy and blameless to God, “..if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded & steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel.”(Colossians.1) This presents a real problem for those advocates of a “once saved, always saved” position. It begs the question; “What if you don’t continue, but move away?” – If it is impossible to lose your salvation, and move away, then what is the Bible warning against? I believe that we are eternally secure, IF we continue in the faith, and IF we abide in Jesus. And that is exactly what I am going to do, and so I have that blessed assurance. But I would never teach anything that would contradict the Bible or that would give someone a false sense of security. Pastor Gary
Since the heart is the most important part of a person — for out of the heart are the issues of life—we would expect Satan to make his strongest attacks on a Christian’s heart. And although Satan will tempt us in every way, and though every part of our soul may be battered, yet the Devil levels his deadliest attacks at our heart. Into our heart, the Enemy plants the seeds of every evil thing, and does his best to make it a garden of poisonous plants, and a river of destructive waters. Christians should keep their hearts with all diligence, because Satan makes most of his attacks there. So, with twice the force the exhortation comes: “Keep your heart with all diligence.” And the promise becomes twice as sweet; Don’t Worry – Be Happy—that promise which says; “The peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Philippians.4)
Paul is encouraging his friends in Philippi, who have decided to follow Jesus, to put their past behind them, and reach forward to the goal that Jesus Christ has for them (Phil.3). Now it’s impossible to move forward when you are looking backward. People either look back at their past failures, or rest on their past successes. I want to see what God has for me in the future. I know our best days are ahead of us. Think of how athletes run a race; strong & steady until that final lap when they see the finish line, and only then do they unleash all of their energy. That is how I want to live my life. I am getting older, and the finish line is in sight. So I give it everything I’ve got. I’m leaning into the finishing tape. There’s no way I’m looking back. – Pastor Chuck Smith 1927-2013Paul is
encouraging his friends in Philippi, who have decided to follow Jesus, to put their
past behind them, and reach forward to the goal that Jesus Christ has for them
(Phil.3). Now it’s impossible to move
forward when you are looking backward. People either look back at their past failures,
or rest on their past successes. I want to see what God has for me in the
future. I know our best days are ahead of us. Think of how athletes run a race;
strong & steady until that final lap when they see the finish line, and only
then do they unleash all of their energy. That is how I want to live my life. I
am getting older, and the finish line is in sight. So I give it everything I’ve
got. I’m leaning into the finishing tape.
There’s no way I’m looking back. Pastor Chuck Smith 1927-2013
Sooner or later every knee will bow to Jesus, and every tongue will confess that He is the Christ, the Messiah, and that He is the Lord God. Those are the words of Isaiah the prophet that Paul, the Apostle included in his letter to Philippi (Phil.2 & Isa.45:23). Romans 10:9 says “.. if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Christians choose to make that confession, and bow our knee willingly here and now. That is what saves us. But for those who reject Christ and His salvation now, their day of reckoning will come. They will all confess and bow, but it will be too late to be saved. Pastor Chuck Smith 1927-2013
Paul is writing from a Roman Prison to his beloved brothers & sisters in Philippi to encourage them that Jesus Christ is doing a good work in them, and He is not going to stop until the work that He started is finished (Philippians 1). Just as The Lord is still working on Paul’s life even while he’s in prison, so God will accomplish His perfect work in your life. The Holy Spirit will keep working on you until the day you see Jesus Christ, either when you die and go to heaven, or when He takes you up as His Bride to be with Him in the Rapture of the church (John 14). The Holy Spirit of God will continue His work in you. And that is based on God’s faithfulness, not yours. He hasn’t taken you this far to abandon you.
All Christians face spiritual battles, but the WAR has been won by our Great God & Savior, Jesus Christ. The battles are a reality whether you like it or not. And I can only fight & win the battles if I understand what is happening in the Spiritual realm. In the same way, the law of gravity is real whether you understand the science or not. Regardless of how much you know about gravity, you can feel the effect. It is the same in the spiritual realm, you can’t see it, but you can sure feel it. The Bible is very clear that there’s a war going on, and you are at the center of it whether you know it or not. However, God tells us how to win the battles (Eph.6). 1. Stay in prayer (1 Thess 5:17) 2. Walk in the spirit (Gal 5:16) 3. Meditate on God’s Word (Ps 1:1-6) 4. Quit empty entertainment (Jas.4:4) 5. Worship & praise God (Heb 13:15). 6. Don’t Plan to SIN (Heb.10:29) Rebuke demonic activities, like drugs, porn, & all types of sorcery that this world hides in plain site. (Gal. 5:19-21)
All Christians try to love as Christ loved, (Eph.5) but we all fall short. I can no more do justice to His amazing love than I can grasp a star. Still, by reaching toward the star I may call attention to it. So, as I stretch my heart toward the high, shining love of Jesus Christ, someone may be encouraged to look up and be touched by His Love. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear.” (1 John 4) To know that love of God and to experience leaning on the arm of the Beloved—this and only this can cast out fear. Let a person become convinced that nothing can harm them and all fear leaves. The natural reflex to pain may be felt, but the deep torment of fear is gone. Gods’ love has caused Him to desire our eternal good, and His sovereign power enables Him to secure it.A.W.Tozer
Paul spent the first three chapters outlining the doctrine & glorious calling of the Christian. He lists all our possessions, and our standing because of what Jesus has done for us. He takes the Ephesians, and us, into the heavenlies, with truths of the mystery of the gospel of Christ. Now, he turns to the practical matter of applying these teachings to the Christian life, saying: “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” What calling? We have all been called to be saints of God. We have also been called to be children of God by faith. We have been called to be heirs of salvation. So, walk worthy of your calling, as a saint, as a child of God, and as an heir of God.
ISAIAH 9: 6-7 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this”.
In Christ we have boldness, and access to the Father with confidence through faith in Jesus Christ. When Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. And by Christ’ death we received access to the presence of God. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb.4:16). Our access to God the Father, only comes through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3). There is only one Mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has decided that Mary is a co-redeemer with Christ. However we believe the Bible is very clear that Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer, the only Mediator, and the only Savior. Christ living in you gives you the righteousness to go boldly into the presence of God.