Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 2, 2013

Preparation for Dangerous Times, by David Bower

A Time for Preparation

(Only the Lord knows about the timing of events and He has them planned to the very second. The preparations discussed below can serve you well even if the potential Biblical dangers of the end times do not emerge in our lifetimes. These preparations can dramatically influence the entire direction and quality of your life on earth and are an accurate reflection of what God wants for you as His child.)

When world shaking events seem to be lurking in the not too distant future, hopes for making meaningful preparations almost seem like an exercise in futility; if the scope of a disaster is so great then most efforts to prepare for it can seem woefully inadequate.

There are, however, a number of vitally important steps that we can take as Christian men and women. Since we are involved in a spiritual conflict we should be mindful of what we are told in Ephesians 6:12 “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We would be very foolish indeed were we not to heed these warnings and avail ourselves of the resources God has provided for His children.

In Ephesians 6:13-17 we read, “13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit

In my last blog I mentioned Stephen; although he is only mentioned in a few verses of the Bible he has gone down in history as a man of faith and full of the Holy Spirit. In this brief account of Stephen the Holy Spirit is prominently mentioned; it was in the power of the Holy Spirit that Stephen was able to do what he did.

I then wrote, “I’m convinced that this remarkable grace extended to Stephen is also available to all of us who walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh.” The secret here is walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh. The one thing that can hamper our efforts to walk by the Spirit is personal sin. Personal sin quenches the power of the Holy Spirit, compromises our walk of faith and leaves us trying to operate out of our own strength and that simply will not work successfully.

Just How Big a Problem is Personal Sin?

It may be advisable to define what is meant by personal sin and fortunately the Bible answers that question in no uncertain terms. In Romans 14:23b it is written, “and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Let’s think about that for a minute; does that really mean everything? Does that mean our feelings of fear, doubt, anger, impatience and uncertainty are sin; should we add to that simply seeing and evaluating life from a mortal, human perspective is that also sin?

Should all those normal human reactions be considered part of everything that is not of faith and therefore sin? I believe the answer to that question is yes, those things are sin; if they do not originate in faith they are sin. That tells us then the personal sin problem is really, really big and the Bible confirms that as well.

In 1 John1:8-10 it is written, “8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

Dealing with the Problem of Personal Sin

While verses 8 and 10 define the scope of the problem, verse 9 provides God’s solution to man’s problem with personal sin and that is confession of sin. In verse 9 we are told if we confess our sins; the Greek word for confess used here is homologeōmen and can be understood as to acknowledge or list one’s sins in agreement with the divine view point of the action or thought. We join with God in seeing the thought or action as sin and God will not only forgive us the acknowledged sin but also forgive or purify us from all unrighteousness as well.

There is no thought here of doing some sort of penance, there’s no crawling on your knee’s down to the end of the block and back or doing something else to earn forgiveness. Your forgiveness from personal sins is a free gift based on your acknowledgement of the sins. How many times a day should you confess your sins you may ask, as many times as needed to restore and maintain fellowship with God and a Spirit led life.

A Godly, Spirit Led Life

Is anything hanging in the balance, waiting for your confession of personal sin? Yes, but not your salvation which is secured by the power and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is hanging in the balance is the ministry of God, the Holy Spirit in your life individually and the promise of the fruit of the Spirit as a characteristic of your life.

Unconfessed sin quenches the power of the Holy Spirit in your life while confession of sin restores the power of the Holy Spirit in your life; it’s as simple as that! Do you want the quality of life described in Galatians 5:22-25? “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

We keep in step with the Holy Spirit by confession of our sins which permits the Spirit to operate freely in our lives. May it be said of each of us that we are men and women of faith and filled with the Holy Spirit.


Responses

  1. If you simply try to live each day with love, thinking about how all your actions and speech affect other people… if you trust in God… you really can pick your head up out of the Bible. Even the devil can quote scripture, and twist it to say what he wants. Just be kind. Don’t judge. Help the poor, the sick, the elderly, the weak. Don’t count out how much you are giving, just do it with an open heart. Thank God every day, and show how His love lets you love all your brothers and sisters, even the criminals, the annoying people, the cheaters and the fools.

    Like

    • Kelley:

      Thank you for your comment. It brings to mind the Bible’s love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, and especially verses 4-7 where it is written, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” NIV Translation

      In the King James translation we read:

      “4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” King James Authorized Translation

      The word charity used to translate the Greek word agapē in the King James Version may be a better translation of this kind of love. I have written the words, attitudinal love, in the margin of my Bible at that point as it is feasible to establish and maintain a charitable attitude toward others even if it may be difficult or even impossible to generate a positive emotional feeling for them.

      While the devil may have quoted scripture to test Jesus; Jesus quoted scripture right back at him to refute him. I think it safe to say the use of scripture to promote or defend the Gospel is legitimate.

      With regard to picking your head up out of the Bible I have not observed that to be nearly so great a problem as simply getting one’s head into the Bible. I think the King James does a good job of translating Paul’s advice to Timothy when it says in 2 Timothy 2:15, “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

      As I mentioned in the blog, the Bible is the sword of the Spirit and the only offensive weapon in the Christian soldier’s arsenal. Wouldn’t you agree, since this is a spiritual warfare, that some skill in handling the sword of the Spirit is well advised?

      David

      Like

  2. It seems that when we talk about sin, we lack a good definition of what sin is.
    I have come to the conlusion that “SIN” is always that behavior which is “UNGODLY”. Ungodliness can clearly be defined from scripture.

    Like

    • Don:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate your interest. I agree with you that sin is mysterious in some ways. Behavioral sin has always been easy to see in others but harder to see in ourselves. The Pharisees had developed a deep sensitivity to sin in others but had chosen to redefine personal sin in order to exempt themselves.

      What fascinates me most about sin as explained in Romans 5 is that the basic sin problem as seen by God has nothing to do with behavior and everything to do with birth. We are declared to be sinners before God because we were born spiritually dead as descendents of Adam. There would be nothing in our behavior, either good or bad, that could change that fact. The only solution was the new birth; when we were born-again as children of faith then the stain of sin was removed by the blood of Christ.

      Paul illustrates that point by noting generations paid the price for sin, by dying, even before the law had been given. Alienation from God by sin was a racial problem, a matter of being born into the human race, resulting from Adam’s disobedience to God’s direct command. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, the entire human race, for all generations into the future, died in him.

      The Mosaic Law was given to show us our desperate need for a Savior, a way to better illustrate our sinfulness before God. I like the way Paul explains this in Galatians 3:23-25 where he wrote, “23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”

      Thanks again Don for being a reader.

      David

      Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: