Home || The Aggressive Vision || Prophetic Word Of The Lord || On Line Library || Current Articles and What's New
Free Literature || Visions from The Lord || More About ACMTC || Contact
Gift of Grace
General James Green
[EMPHASIZED/ENHANCED STUDY EDITION~M.T.W.]
There is another principle, however, which is a main instigator to righteousness—the principle of grace and faith. Grace does not say to a man, “You must do this, or you shall be punished,” but it says this: “God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you; you are saved; heaven is yours; now, for the love you bear to God, who has done this for you, what will you do for Him?” A constraining power, strong as death, has availed to consecrate the lives of those who have felt the sacred spell (Biblical Illustrator).
O K, WE’RE GOING to continue on in our little study. Now today, hopefully this will be a study where I will be digging in more technically and giving out more Scriptures. And this is for the sake of people who really want to study the Bible, not just hear good preaching...or even bad preaching. And it’s something we need to DIG INTO AND REALLY SEE WHAT THE WORD SAYS.
I’VE HEARD people preach, when I started out in churchianity years ago, preaching on the pre-tribulation rapture and everything involved in the coming of Jesus mentality: splitting the sky and the saints flying through the sky with their white robes; people used to scream and yell and roll on the floor, frolicking and carrying on; it was all false doctrine.
Now if you’re interested in the pre-tribulation rapture series, we have some teachings to correct the issue: there is no such thing.
Ok, people don’t know what the word ‘rapture’ means, they don’t know what ‘caught up’ in the spirit means, they don’t know that ‘air’ and ‘spirit’ are synonymous, they don’t know a lot of things, and I didn’t know it for about the first 6 years of my Christian walk...until I dug in and studied it out.
According to J. Keathley’s studies in Revelation, the pre-tribulation rapture is defined as:
“The rapture of the Church (i.e., the coming of the Lord in the air for His saints) will take place before the seven-year period of the Tribulation begins. Therefore, the Church will not go through any of the Tribulation period (the events of many passages in Revelation) according to this view.
In this view, some believe the second advent of Jesus Christ has two phases: one secret as a thief comes to take what is valuable to him (to the church only...), and one open and manifest to all the world (‘the manifestation of His coming’). Others would say it is distinct from the second coming to earth.”
One day God told me: “THAT’S FALSE DOCTRINE.” But before that, I used to scream and yell, until my voice was gone, because of the enthusiasm I would manifest over these false preachings. They weren’t even good Bible teachings, just preachings that we were all some day going to fly away in the sky. It’s all false doctrine, and I can prove it by the Bible.
What is Important?
YOU SAY “You mean we ain’t gonna go to heaven?” I didn’t say that; I said that the pre-tribulation rapture THEORY is a theory. WE NEED TO GET INTO THE WORD TO SEE WHAT THE WORD REALLY SAYS—rather than what makes people shout, and yell, and scream, and lose their voice. And of course, a lot of that was oriented towards getting your money. So stop looking for a silly rapture, just dig in and start winning souls—getting people into the kingdom.
Ok, the Scripture in James chapter 4:6 is what I started reading yesterday. But, the whole purpose of James’ epistle, written to the 12 tribes, to the Jewish believers of those days, was to encourage them to stay with their sufferings, and trials, and testings of their faith, and also to correct erroneous ideas, like I’ve just described, about the nature of the saving faith that we’ve been discussing.
SOME PEOPLE don’t even know what it means to be saved. The WordWeb Pro dictionary definition of saved is “Rescued; especially from the power and consequences of sin.” Some people erroneously think that:
* going to a church,
* signing your name,
* mumbling Muhammad’s confession: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” five times,
* saying Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, five times without repenting of sins...
will save you. But we are going to dig in and find what He means by saving faith, and EXHORT AND INSTRUCT THE READERS about practical workings of their faith.
BACK IN JAMES, he starts out in the first chapter talking about the 12 tribes scattered about, as he is writing this to the JEWISH BELIEVERS. The whole book of James is not written to sinners. So when you come to chapter 4, verse 1, he says: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (KJV).
The Kelly Commentary on James chapter 4 rightly states:
“THESE VIOLENT WORKINGS SPRANG FROM SELF UNJUDGED. If deliberate and continuous they are called "wars"; if passing outbreaks, they are called "fightings" or "battles"; but they describe not effects of violence in the world, but among those addressed [God’s Ekklesia!]”
So he’s dealing with the lust, greed, and the covetousness of God’s people. Do we have that today in the body of Christ? Do we have those problems ourselves? Do we have lust in our hearts as Christians? Do we have wars that take place in our heart? The biggest war is that there is something IN US, AS CHRISTIANS, that makes us want to disobey God. God’s Spirit is tugging on us: “Yes, you should obey God”...“Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee” (Gen. 27:8). But we’re saying “No, we don’t want to obey God, we’re going to make up our OWN gospel.”
So you have this war going on inside, as a Christian, that you must fight: “This charge I commit unto thee...according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare...” (1 Tim. 1:18).
War IS There
HOW NICE it would be if we did not have that war, but it is there. So what is that within the Christian that’s still fighting against God? There’s something left there. Do you think it could be a little demon somewhere, maybe several, or maybe a dozen?
Well, he gets really emphatic in chapter 4, verse 4, calling them: “adulterers and adulteresses” (male and female): “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
So, all ‘Christians’ that are:
- friendly with the world (world-friendly),
- monetary prosperity preachers
- compromising with homosexuality or other sins
- seeker-friendly, -or-
- sensitive-friendly, are full of it!
That is being FULL OF THE DEVIL, and an “enemy of God.” God says we’re not to have any fellowship or friendship with the world in the sense that we give our admiration, we give our energies, we give our time, we give ourselves, to that. That does not mean that we do not love or like people in working to see them saved, but he’s getting down to the root of the lust, and the greed, that we are not allowed to have.
Warfare must be Heard
“FOR THE WORD of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12, KJV).
This is a more study-technical rendering: “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12, Amplified Bible).
This is a warfare concept that people don’t like to hear...like THE SWORD THAT CUTS AND THE FIRE THAT BURNS. William Burkitt’s Expository notes on Hebrews 4:12 state:
“There is a PIERCING POWER in the word of God, through the energy and efficacious operation of the Godly Spirit; it is here compared to a SWORD, because it does DIVIDE THINGS MOST NEARLY UNITED, and discover things most inward and secret, or rather God by the word doth this; he by the word pierces, even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit; that is, the actings of the understanding, and the motions of the will and affections it cuts asunder the most resolute and compacted purposes of the will: yea, it pierces to the marrow, that is, the most secret and close contrivances of the soul, the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
World-friends Hate God
WELL IF YOU’RE A FRIEND of the world, my dear Christians, which 99.9% of you are, you love the world more than you love your brothers and sisters in Christ; and you certainly love the world more than you love Jesus.
Right now, as I look at the church (its dilapidated-ness), what it’s doing (approving sin), where it’s going (to hell), and where it came from (the Lord’s instruction), that alone will tell anyone that THE CHURCH IS IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD. It does everything worldly, and just uses the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. It just tacks His name on its lewdness.
G r a c e
“BUT HE GIVETH more GRACE. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).
In verse 6 where he’s still dealing with Jewish believers or believers, it talks about the word “grace.” The Greek word for “grace” (Strong’s #G5485) in this passage is χάρις, charis (phonetic: khar'-ece)
The definition, according to Thayer’s Greek Definitions is:
a. that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
2. good will, loving-kindness, favour
a. of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
3. what is due to grace
a. the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
b. the token or proof of grace, benefit
1. a gift of grace
2. benefit, bounty
4. thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward
Strong's definition is:
From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying) of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable benefit favour gift grace (-ious) joy liberality pleasure thank (-s -worthy).
“Grace” is found a total of 170 times in the KJV version. Both of the 2 “grace” words in our James 4:6 passage are the Greek word “charis.” Charis is found 151 times (KJC) in the Bible. Out of the 151 KJV occurrences of the word, 128 are translated into “grace.” Other Greek words [besides charis] are translated into “grace” 31 times. So we see that “charis” grace is definitely the majority of the “grace” translated texts. Charis is also translated in other passages in the Bible according to the King James Concordance as:
• ABOUND (2 Cor. 9:8)
• ACCEPTABLE (1 Pet. 2:20)
• BENEFIT (2 Cor. 1:15)
• FAVOR (Luke 1:30; Luke 2:52; Act 2:47; Act 7:10; Act 7:46; Act 25:3)
• GIFT (2 Cor. 8:4)
• GRACIOUS (Luke 4:22)
• JOY (Phm. 1:7)
• LIBERALITY (1 Cor. 16:3)
• PLEASURE (Act 24:27; Act 25:9)
• THANK (1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 1:3)
• THANKED (Rom. 6:17)
• THANKS (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 8:16; 2 Cor. 9:15) -and-
• THANKWORTHY (1 Pet. 2:19).
So we see that these are words quite synonymous, and thus interchangeably translated!
Humility and PRIDE
“BUT HE GIVETH more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the PROUD, but giveth grace unto the HUMBLE” (James 4:6).
The word “humble” in Strong’s #G5011 tapeinos (pronunciation: tap-i-nos') definition says:
“Of uncertain derivation; depressed, that is, (figuratively) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): - base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.”
The word “proud” used in this passage is (Strong’s #G5244) huperephanos. Thayer defines it as:
1) showing one’s self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent
2) with an overweening estimate of one’s means or merits, despising others or even treating them with contempt, haughty.
So you have pride to deal with. That is an abomination to God. So, if you’re full of pride, my dear Christians, God is going to give you less than the best, because you resist God. If you humble yourself, God will give you more.
You see, the problem with Christians of today is they have knee problems—stiffening of the joints where they don’t bend anymore; they can’t bend their knees anymore; they have problems.
IN 4:7 HE SAYS: “Submit yourself to God.”
Well, we thought they already had been? Well he says: “Well no, not all the way, because you have demon problems.”
Robertson’s Word Pictures says: “Be subject therefore unto God (hupotagete oun toi theoi). Second aorist (ingressive) passive imperative of hupotasso, old verb, to range under (military term also). Same form in 1 Pet. 2:23; 1 Pet. 5:5. With the dative case theoi (unto God). The aorist has the note of URGENCY IN THE IMPERATIVE.”
“So BE SUBJECT TO GOD. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]” (James 4:7-10, Amp.).
“...and the devil or devils or demons will flee from you...Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you, cleanse your hands you sinners” he wasn’t talking about the world’s sinners. He’s talking about Christians that sin. Remember WHO he’s writing to.
Purify your Hearts from
“AND THEN PURIFY your hearts you double-minded or those of you who have a double allegiance”—you love the world and yet you love God. Now, I believe this is possible, that some people can love God, but at the same time they love the world.
Rev. Derickson, in Mr. D's Notes, comments on this James 4:8 verse:
“‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.’
All verbs in this verse are aorist [def: A verb tense in some languages (classical Greek and Sanskrit) expressing action (especially past action) without indicating its completion or continuation]- one time occurrences, with the exception of the one relating to God, which is a future - you need to act before He will act might be the thought. Add to that the fact that the ones relating to us are imperatives - not options.
In short...you cannot live your life away from God and expect closeness. Won't happen, no matter how much you want it to be true. You cannot have it both ways. The New Testament is clear on the fact that we serve God or mammon; we walk with God or walk with the world. This is a clear and present choice for every believer. HIS CLOSENESS DEPENDS ON US, NOT HIM.”
In James it says that you can’t be double-minded. You’ve got to have one mind or the other—you cannot serve two masters. He emphatically gets off on other verses throughout the Bible stating that you cannot serve God and mammon/money. Make up your mind: who is your lover?—Who do you love? DO YOU LOVE MONEY OR DO YOU LOVE GOD? It’s not a sin to have money. It’s not a sin to be wealthy, but it’s a sin to have your allegiance in the wrong place.
E.G. White’s Scripture Comments concludes on this passage about being double minded:
“The exhortation is given, ‘Purify your hearts, ye double minded.’ While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God. They are double minded, making an attempt to serve God and mammon at the same time; but the world's Redeemer has declared, ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon’ (Mat. 6:24). By trying to serve two masters, they are unstable in all their ways, and cannot be depended upon. To all appearances they are serving God, while at the same time in heart they are yielding to the temptation of Satan and cherishing sin. They may speak words that are smoother than oil, yet their hearts are full of deception and deceit in all their practices. Professing to be righteous, yet they have a heart that is desperately wicked. Of what profit is it to say pleasant things, to deplore the work of Satan, and yet at the same time to enter into the fulfillment of all his devices? This is being double minded (Letter 13, 1893).”
He says “be afflicted and mourn.” The English Standard Version (ESV, James 4:8+9) says: “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
The Grace and Faith Correlation
THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR describes the grace/faith relationship thoroughly:
“I. FAITH IS A VERY SIMPLE PROCESS. The most vital of all acts is as easily comprehended as a baby comprehends the idea of drawing nourishment from a mother’s breast, and falling asleep in a mother’s arms.
II. FAITH IS A SENSIBLE ACT. The highest exercise of reason is to trust what the Almighty has said, and to rely on what He has promised.
III. FAITH IS A STOOPING GRACE. Self must go down before we can be lifted up into Christ’s favour and likeness.
IV. FAITH IS THE STRENGTHENING GRACE. Through this channel flows in the power from on high.
V. Finally, IT IS THE GRACE WHICH COMPLETELY SATISFIES. When a hungry soul has found this food, the aching void is filled. (T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)
The prominence of faith
in the thoughts of Christ:
THIS WAS ONLY to be expected in one who preached a gospel of grace. Grace and faith are correlatives. A gospel of grace is a gospel which proclaims a God whose nature it is to give. The proper attitude of those who worship such a God to the object of their worship is that of recipiency. (A. B. Bruce, D. D.)
Ok, well we got all that pretty well settled there and let’s go on here about grace—the gift of grace; and I’m still trying to explain what that is.
I want to go to Romans 5 in our Bible study. In Romans 5:21, it talks about: “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now, when we’re talking about faith and grace, I would like this Scripture here in the King James to mention faith, because that is what it is alluding to: “Grace reigneth through righteousness unto life by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.” That’s what it means, but it doesn’t really say that, but that Faith IN Jesus Christ our Lord, is included in the word “grace.”
So, you’re going to have GRACE AND FAITH. Those are the two things I want to look at. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said:
“Grace and faith are congruous, and will draw together in the same chariot, but grace and merit are contrary the one to the other and pull opposite ways, and therefore God has not chosen to yoke them together. He will not build with incongruous materials, or daub with untempered mortar...his work is all of a piece and all of grace.”
Our salvation comes as a gift of God. We know it’s something that we don’t earn. It’s a gift, and it’s God’s grace, mercy, and unmerited favor towards us, but it can only be appropriated by human response to faith. In other words, He just doesn’t come and stick it in our pocket and say “Here, take this.” The only way you get eternal salvation, or the gift of grace, is by your HUMAN RESPONSE; “Yes I want that gift. Please let me have that gift.” That’s our responsibility to Him offering that gift.
Panting After Money = Hellfire
NOW, WHEN it comes to money, if someone comes up and says: “Here, take this 100 dollar bill,” you wouldn’t bat an eye about that. You would grab it out of their hands and take off and go buy yourself something real quick. What would that be? That would be your human greed grabbing that money; you wouldn’t have to be talked into it. You wouldn’t have to be told what to do with it; you would grab it. WHY CAN’T WE BE THAT QUICK TO GRAB THE ETERNAL LIFE CONCEPT?
When you’re talking about eternal life, you’re talking about living forever and never dying—living in the presence of almighty God eternally; you can’t come up with something greater than that. there’s nothing greater than that: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev. 21:3).
But also, it talks about eternal death, and that means being separated from God for eternity while you are still living. And you’re living in hell’s fire and damnation, not salvation, that is a dreadful, horrible thought. Until we bring back the concept, there is a hell, and people are going to go there, there will really be no move of God to save souls.
What pushes people, especially in churches to save souls, is that number one: the more people equals more money. That’s how your greedy pastors look at it: “MORE SHEEP, MORE WOOL THAT I CAN SELL.” But, until the concept of hellfire has come back, people are literally going to spend eternity there. If we do not have a burden to not see that happen, then it will go on the way it’s going on.
Yes, Tell of Hell.
SO, WE NEED TO GET BACK INTO THE HELL- FIRE PREACHING AND BELIEVING AGAIN THAT THERE IS SUCH A PLACE. Old time holiness preacher Elbert Dodd pretty well sums it up like this: “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Even though I know that hell is everlasting and the unrepentant will go to hell and burn forever, I know also that Jesus died to save all who repent and turn from their sins. There is one way to escape this awful place called hell. ‘There is a fountain filled with blood.’ Praise God for this fountain! One will have to wade through the blood of Jesus to go to hell. IF YOU WILL TURN TO GOD YOU CAN ESCAPE THIS AWFUL HELL and come at last to the city of God where there will never be pain nor death. Praise God for Jesus and the great plan of salvation! Christ must be saddened when many who bear His name spend their money for luxurious homes, fine automobiles, jewelry, television, expensive clothes, extravagant furniture, and imposing buildings. Isaiah's question would be appropriate for this day of extravagance. ‘Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not?’ (Isa.55:2). The spirit of the Master has always been that of SIMPLE LIVING AND SACRIFICIAL GIVING.”
Quit working to get numbers (yes you, pastor!) into your church so you can have a mega-church! These mega-churches are full of sinners—the people are not even saved. And even if they are saved, they’re just barely hanging on.
You can lose your salvation even after you have had it. Can’t you die? Can a baby just born die? Well, there are miracles, and God can resurrect the dead, but it’s not God’s will that you die. He resurrects; you die, He resurrects; and sin kills. That’s not a way to live your Christian life.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book" (Exodus 32:33).
“Not Perfect Yet” Clause
SO, I’M NOT ONE of those to get up and brag that you need to put the word ‘expert’ after my name after I’ve written 26 books. I’ve written more than that, if you want to talk about all the things we’ve put together in the last years. We’ve got quite a few things, and you’ve helped me do this. See, we’re all in this together, so none of us are experts. So, when we teach the Bible, we have to do it with humility hoping we’re doing it right. And I don’t mind admitting I make mistakes, and I can correct them if I know they’re mistakes.
“For we are glad, when we are weak, and Ye are strong: and this also we wish, even Your perfection” (2 Cor. 13:9).
OK, LET’S GET into this saving faith issue. We have to understand two words: grace and faith. About saving faith, faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition God requires for salvation. He doesn’t require you to buy it, to pay for it in any way. It’s a free gift. Faith is not only a profession about Christ, but also an activity coming from the heart of the believer who seeks to follow Christ.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary clarifies: “James, in fact, took the leading part on behalf of the Jerusalem church in confirming that Gentiles were saved by faith alone. In this, he confirmed the truth of the message Paul preached. He asserted, moreover, that Gentile converts were not to be forced to obey Moses’ law. But it would be helpful, he suggested, if Gentile Christians respected their Jewish brothers by not engaging in practices that Jews considered repulsive” (Acts 15:13, 19-21).
However, let me also state that James went on in verse 20 to state the upholding, not only of respect to the Jewish custom of restraining from things strangled, but to uphold the MORAL ordinances of the Old Testament: “But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of IDOLS, and from FORNICATION, and from things strangled, and from blood.”
Now, we know that first He is our saviour, and then He is our Lord. In other words, He’s our savior, then He becomes the master of our life, in that order. And some people have even ‘corrected’ my wife and I, saying that: “you don’t use the word ‘Lord’ enough; you wrongly use the word ‘saviour’ instead.” He saves me, sure, and baptizes, yes; but they say “You don’t use the word Lord enough.” That’s fine. Jesus is my saviour, Jesus is my baptizer, and Jesus is my Lord: all three are equally true.
The New Testament conception of faith includes four main elements. Ok, the definition of “conception” is “An abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances.” So, I want to talk about these four; A-D:
A. Faith means firmly believing and trusting in the crucified and risen Lord, or Christ, as our personal saviour and Lord; that is the beginning.
Remember, get and transmit, go and flow—don’t forget those four words:
1. You GET salvation,
2. then you TRANSMIT that gospel message to others that they will get it.
3. And then once you have it, and you’re doing that, the other half is that you GO,
4. and you FLOW with God’s will.
The Salvation and Baptism-Only Rut
DON’T JUST get stuck in a (Baptist) rut and do nothing but preach salvation to those who are already saved in your congregation—not able to come up with anything but salvation and water baptism. What about the other infinite things involved in Christianity? Don’t just stick with getting them saved and baptized for the next 50 years as they backslide and grow moss, never able to go and flow with Christ.
Jon Courson’s New Testament Application Commentary makes it clear that:
“If you feel like you're in a rut, doing the same things every day to try to impress God, you're under the old system. And like the priests of old, your work is never done.”
The Progressive Rut
WIERSBE’S BIBLE Commentary points out another rut:
The danger of going ahead (referring to 2 John 1:9).
The danger here is that of going beyond the limits of the Word of God and adding to it. The word translated “transgress” means “to run ahead too far, to pass beyond the assigned limits.” It is false progress! The apostates like to make us believe that they are “progressive” while the church is “IN A RUT.” They invite us to join them because they have something “new and exciting” to share. But their “progress” is such that they abandon the doctrine that Jesus Christ is the Son of God come in the flesh.
So, it is saying that ruts do not need to be just staunch. We can have a rut of “moving forward” when we have ALREADY arrived at our destination. Notice the propensity of the path correlating to getting a rut in it, aligning with the Greek definition of “paths” (Heb. 12:6):
“trochia (#G5163, pronunciation: trokh-ee-ah')
1) a track of a wheel, A RUT
2) a track, a path” (Thayer’s Definitions).
The Two Baptisms
SO, NUMBER ONE, you must trust in Jesus Christ the Lord as your personal saviour, and your baptizer, both in water and in the Holy Spirit. These are the two baptisms that I like to talk about:
1. Baptism in water just proves that you're a Christian. Water does not save you, but it's a profession that you have been born again—drowning your old man in death.
2. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is what we need next—receiving those charismatic gifts in our lives should not be neglected.
Holy Spirit Baptism Needed
“ONE LORD, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5).
“‘One baptism:’ Some think that because Paul says there is one baptism that the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience is invalid. But Paul only spoke here of the baptism by water which is the visible token of God’s common work in every believer, and thus a basis of unity. There aren’t separate baptisms for Jew and Gentile.
The concept of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is spoken of clearly in Mat. 3:11, Act 1:5; Act 11:16. This may be considered an initial (and sometimes dramatic) experience one has with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, a filling that God wants to continue through a person’s Christian life” (Guzik Commentary).
GOD WANTS to move by His Spirit again. I’m not teaching on that today, but I’m telling you: don’t limit it to just salvation and baptism; there’s a whole world of genuine charismaticism, and not the stuff we have of today—the charisma/charismatic gifts are still available today.
The Greek word “charisma” (Strong’s #G5486, pronunciation: char'-is-mah) Strong’s definition is:
“From G5483; a (divine) gratuity, that is, deliverance (from danger or passion); (specifically) a (SPIRITUAL) ENDOWMENT, that is, (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) MIRACULOUS FACULTY: - (FREE) GIFT.”
1. It’s first of all interesting that it mentions a spiritual endowment, not just a fleshly show, but SPIRITUAL ENDOWMENT.
2. It is a MIRACULOUS faculty, not just a learned ability.
3. It is a “FREE GIFT,” just like grace.
Thayer’s definition relates the Greek word “charisma” even more closely to “grace” :
“1) a favour with which one receives without any merit of his own
2) the gift of divine grace
3) the gift of faith, knowledge, holiness, virtue
4) the economy of divine grace, by which the pardon of sin and eternal salvation is appointed to sinners in consideration of the merits of Christ laid hold of by faith
5) grace or gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on their souls by the Holy Spirit.”
So we see that grace and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are closely linked together by common threads of spiritual endowment.
SO IT INVOLVES believing from our hearts:
● “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37).
● “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17).
● “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
● “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
Giving Him ALL: 100%!
GOD’S REQUIREMENT is to yield up our wills and commit our TOTAL BEING. He doesn’t want 10% of you (don’t be stingy), or give an unacceptable sacrifice: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). He wants all of you.
When we tell people that we give God 100% of our money and 100% of our lives, they can’t believe it. They cannot believe it’s possible! It’s possible. You’re looking at a group of people that give 100% to God:
* we give God all of our money,
* we give God all of our time,
* we give God all of our resources, and
* we serve God totally, wholly, and wholly holy.
Don’t give me this: “God wants your chinchy 10%” business. Come on, I don’t see that in the New Testament. In the Old Testament He was after that, but also, consider the mandatory sacrificial and feast requirements, along with the accompanying rituals! These are not in the New Testament; He wants 100% now.
What does it mean to: “give your life (totally, wholly), to Him/yield your lives up to Christ”? That means that YOU BELONG TO HIM COMPLETELY AND ENTIRELY, and you mutually have an intimate relationship without cheating/adultery, and without a percentage involved—besides the required 100%.
The New Testament requirement is totally holy, all the way; RESERVE NOTHING FOR YOURSELVES. IT CAN BE DONE: IT STARTED OUT THAT WAY, AND IT SHOULD END THAT WAY. What has the church done? It’s done everything except that and has limited itself to give God a stingy, resentful 10%. And then you have 90% to squander on guess who? YOU—SELF.
Faith Necessitates Change
B. FAITH INVOLVES REPENTANCE, which means turning from sin with true sorrow. I call it the from-to movement—you turn from sin, and you turn to Jesus Christ the Lord; you leave your old self in the grave, and you come forth in newness of life.
We are not to: “Come as we are, and stay as we are.” They tell us: “If you’re a whore-monger, stay as a whore-monger, just be a religious whore-monger. Don’t give up your sins. Don’t even call yourself a sinner, because that’s going to hurt your psyche and you’ll be damaged for life!” They have many short-cuts in church today, to where they say that you don’t even have to give anything up, but they tell you that you can have all the “blessings” from God (in your sins!).
Don’t forget James 4:6: “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE.”
R E P E N T E V E R Y W H E R E
“AND THE TIMES of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).
2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
And in turning to God through Jesus Christ, saving faith is always a repentant faith. Unless you repent of your committed sins, you are not saved. Unless you repent, confess your sins, turn from them, and do not go back to them, you do not have saving faith. There is a Biblical way of doing things, and then there is a humanist way of doing things. And unfortunately, the church has stooped to the demonic way of doing things. Amen.
Grace and Faith
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)
August 22, 1858
I HAVE SOMETIMES thought I would try to have more faith, but I have found it very hard to keep as much as I had. I have thought: "I will love my Saviour more," and it was right that I should strive to do so; but when I sought to love him more, I found that perhaps I was going backward instead of forward. How often do we find out our weakness when God answers our prayers!
"I ask'd the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know
And seek more earnestly his face.
I hop'd that in some favor'd hour
At once he'd answer my request,
And by his love's constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry power of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
'Lord why is this?' I trembling cried
'Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?'
''Tis in this way,' the Lord replied;
'I answer prayer for grace and faith.'"
That is, the Lord helps us to grow downward when we are only thinking about growing upward. Let any of you try to grow in grace, and seek to run the heavenly race, and make a little progress, and you will soon find, in such a slippery road as that which we have to travel, that it is very hard to go one step forward, though remarkably easy to go a great many steps backward.