As we come upon another year’s recognition of our Savior’s resurrection, let us pray for peace, love, and security for all. Jesus’ resurrection saved us from eternal hell. Let us vow to uphold peace, kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control, and goodness. Pray God’s Spirit prevails in our lives and the world. Our desire should be eternal life and not eternal damnation, the path of evil. We have been set free.
The world is oblivious to God’s power and love for us. The traits of the world are working desperately to create a world of idol worship, placing things in our path that draw us away from Christ. Embrace Christ’s Resurrection Day to the fullest throughout the year. This is not a one day event, we should celebrate Him and what He accomplished for us everyday.
“His death was a gift of eternal peace. We all have sinned and fell short of God’s perfection, holiness, and glory…He was prosecuted for the sins of humanity…He triumphed over death and redeemed us from sin, which is the core of our belief and foundation of our faith that stems from Christ’s resurrection.” (6 Reasons Why Easter is Celebrated. Bibilium.com.)
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV, He him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Galatians 5:1 ESV, for freedom Christ has set us free; standing firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (sin, idolatry).
Psalm 40:8 ESV, I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.
Galatians 5:16-1 I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, sexual immortality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, ethnicity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and all things like these. I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God…The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law, and those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit let us also keep step in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, or envying one another.
John 15:10 ESV, If you keep my Commandments, you will abide in My love; justice, I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
The Resurrection of Christ means I have eternal life. He bore my sin so I could live.
God conducts invisible heart surgery on all people who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. God promises to give us a new heart and insert His Spirit in us. ~ Lisa Blair
When God places a new spirit in us, He is renewing our hearts by replacing our own spirit with the Spirit of God. According to a commentary (Ezekiel 36:26-27, biblegateway.com), we are receiving a ‘new heart’ “renewed by the Spirit and grace of God. A new principle of life is put replaces the carnal principles. A new light is infused with a new will, filled with new purposes and resolutions, where new affections are placed, and new desires are formed, and where there are new delights and joys.”
If we compare God’s heart surgery with physical heart surgery, we will see similarities, the methodology differs, but the outcomes are generally the same. In one, surgeons disconnect the heart, cycle the blood and replace the old heart with a new one. Once they remove the old heart, they prep and insert the new heart and reconnect it, removing all surgical machinery, and then they wait to see if the transplant is a success.
When God goes into surgery, He examines our old stony heart and replaces it with a renewed heart in which he places His spirit. He does not wait to see if the transplant works, it is instantaneous. He knows that as soon as He breathes into our new heart, it begins to work and will work until we return to heaven at the close of our life on earth.
We enter life with a stony heart. The stony heart is immersed in sin. The stony heart was hardened by sin, it is impenitent, corrupt, and carnal, seeking after and lusting after the things of this earth. Read Galatians 5:16-22 to learn more about the acts of the flesh. When we accept Christ as our Lord, we immediately feel repulsed by our fleshly desires, they seem out of place. We are no longer inspired by wanton desires as we were before the transplant.
In Galatians 5:16, the scripture inspires us to walk by the Spirit, and not to be gratified by the desires of the flesh. We felt the inkling to ask God to come into our hearts and allow Him to prepare and give us heart surgery. So, why must we fear returning to our old ways that created the stony heart? Could it be because God also gave us free-will? Think about it, people have surgery for all types of ailments with clear instructions not to return to their old way of life the caused the abnormality, and what happens more often than not, they return to eating in excess, drinking in excess, and abusing their bodies.
We do the same after receiving a renewed, Holy Spirit-filled life. Hear me out. Receipt of the new heart does not make us immune to fleshly wants, in fact, Satan will continually try to taunt you. He knows your weaknesses and carnal desires. He did the same thing with Adam and Eve. He tried to offer Christ earthly riches and his strategy has not changed since the beginning of time. He also knows that God gave us free-will, the ability to make our own decisions, something he could work with. His game plan was and is to destroy your soul and separate you from God.
So, what will you do with your new heart? We are not perfect and will not know perfection until we reach heaven. We will fall because we are human. Our saving grace is that when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were no longer doomed by sin with no chance to repent. When Jesus was crucified, He took on our sin and gave us the ability to repent of them and walk with Him.
Satan lost when he fell from heaven. His only objective is to destroy us as he did himself. Where does your loyalty lie with God or Satan? I live on the side of the Lord. I make mistakes. I pray and repent and try to December myself as soon as I become aware that I am wandering off to the left or the right and failing to follow in Christ’s footsteps. Life will challenge us; we are not immune. We should cherish our renewed heart. Our love for Christ will give us the strength to overcome.
Now, more than ever, it is time to embrace your new heart and growing into becoming more Christlike by emulating His character and remembering to repent when you fall short. I thank God every day for being a God of many chances. Accept His loving-kindness and walk in the light.
Christians are born into sin, but not bound by sin. Sin produces either Worldly sorrow or Godly sorrow. The two are not the same. Godly sorrow brings repentance and eternal life, worldly sorrow brings self-forgiveness and death.
~ Lisa Blair
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
What is this scripture saying to us?
The kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin. My concern is that most try to categorize sin as a minor act or a major act, making one easier to erase than the other. Many feel sinning is defined by weight, the truth is that sin is not defined by scale but by act. The act itself defines it as sin. Whenever we focus on self and not the Lord, our sin nature is in control, and we are acting in sin that leads to death. Sin is defined as either sin of omission or commission.
Types of Sin: Sins of Omission and Commission
Sin through omission is sinning without being aware, and therefore one cannot experience remorse or shame for having committed the sin. The other type is sinning through commission, meaning we are knowingly committing the sin, and thus consciously experience shame, not because we sinned, but because we have been caught or feel guilt, this produces worldly sorrow. When we sin against God, because He is God, we feel Godly Sorrow. It is important to understand that worldly sin (sin focused on self) begets worldly sorrow because we want forgiveness for selfish reasons; when we sin against God, we want forgiveness because we know we hurt Him.
Because we are human, we experience a contrite self-focused sorrow, a feeling of remorse or regret affected by a sense of guilt, a worldly sorrow. For example, when, as children, we fibbed to a parent or adult, we felt guilty and wanted to be absolved to remove the guilty, shameful feeling. Worldly sorrow focuses on regret and remorse and is focused on self, leading to death; conversely, Godly sorrow leads to salvation and life.
Godly sorrow is the acute sense of sadness we experience when we knowingly sin against God. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation. Godly sorrow results from the heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin, it has nothing to do with our feelings. This sorrow is sorrow towards God because the sinful act is against His Holiness first. It is unselfish in its focus.
Regret involves the mind primarily, and remorse involves the emotions. But, repentance includes a change of mind, a hatred for sin, and a willingness to make things right. If the will is not touched, conviction has not gone deep enough.
Repentance is not to be taken lightly. It is not a ‘get out of jail’ card. When we repent for hurting God, we immediately become responsible for eliminating this act of sin from our being. While elimination may take time, each time we are confronted by the sin, we learn to stand fast and turn away until it is powerless over us. God looks at our intent as we grow into maturity, following His Will for our lives. There is no complete perfection in this life. He looks at our righteousness through Christ who mediates on our behalf. Like Paul wrote, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 NLT. We must press on, relinquish our quest for self-gratification and focus on how we live a Godly life. As we mature, our lives should become less hurtful to God because our eye is on the prize and less on self. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
Earlier in my Christian walk, I prayed that God would forgive me for my sins of omission and commission, not realizing the focus of the prayer was on self. I did not understand wanting forgiveness was not an act of Godly sorrow, but one of worldly contrition. Now I pray that He helps me to remove myself from the equation and focus wholeheartedly on Him. When the focus is on Him, I remove my self-interest.
Once we define which type of sorrow we are experiencing, we can remove ourselves from being the subject. We can then acknowledge that we have sinned against God because He is our focus. It is not until we understand that it is not about us that we can suffer Godly sorrow that leads to salvation and eternal life.
Resources — gotquestions.com; purelifeministries.org; Nelson’s Quick Reference. Bible Commentary, Warren Wiersbe; Authentic Ministry “What is Real Repentance” II Corinthians 7:2-16. Pastor John Miller
Sin is often subtle. Satan cloaks it in many ways, often through feelings of shame and guilt, leading us back into sin and hence, sinning against God.
How can this be so? All sin is sin against God. Yes, He freed us of sin that strangled us when Jesus suffered on the Cross and gave His life for us. We are no longer bound by our sins. We received salvation because Jesus died for our sins. Our Father promised us that He would give us redemptive life.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4:14 NIV
As humans, we will sin until Jesus returns and conquers Satan, but through redemption, we do not have to wear it like an albatross. It does not have to hang around our necks, carrying it with us into eternity. We have been given the gift of repentance. When we acknowledge our sin, we have the opportunity to ask God’s forgiveness. When we do so, He forgives us and removes the sin from our lives as far as the east is from the west.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:8-12 NLT
It is our faith that is affected when we ask for forgiveness only through guilt to relive the sin again and again in our minds. If God forgave us, removed the sin from us, we must do the same. If we don’t, we are sinning against God. We are doubting His Word and resigning ourselves to the prison (faithlessness) Satan creates to incarcerate us within the walls of our past.
Most of us have done things we are ashamed of doing. Things that, if given an opportunity, we might have done differently, but we cannot change the fact that it occurred. We can accept God’s forgiveness and attempt to refrain from committing the same sin again. We may also find that there are consequences for what we have done, but the most important thing is that we learn from what we have done, repent and thank God that we are not bound by it any longer; until we forgive and place it in the sea of forgetfulness, we are sinning against God.
God warned those (of the Jewish faith) who became the first Christians about returning to their old ways in the Book of Hebrews. This warning is the same today as it was in the past. Returning to our old ways is an intentional act of denial. We deny God’s love for us and promise to keep us and never leave us, we reject His promise of redemption. We speak repentance but continue to carry the chain, we sin against our Father simply by denying His forgiveness.
If you are like me, and most humans, we have to work on forgiving ourselves once God has forgiven us earnestly. We have to learn to stop returning to the mental scene of the crime so to speak, thank God and move forward.
Moving forward is an act of maturity. As we learn about God’s promises, we must use them to reinforce who we are in Christ. This is an ongoing exercise. Living a Godly life is a process. Paul equates life as a race and crossing the finish line occurs when we perish from this earth and take up residence in heaven with Christ.
Warnings are opportunities to change. We are warned before we continue to repeat our past. God promised we are freed from sin when we repent. Repent and do not return to the past; do not bind yourself in regret and guilt. You have been freed. Accept it and move forward. Our Lord placed our sin into the sea of forgetfulness, and we must do the same. Let God set you on level ground. God’s Will is to free us from sin.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me to level ground. Psalms 143:10 NIV
Lord place me on solid ground, the land of uprightness (NKJV), lead me forward on a firm footing (NLT), lead me to level ground (NIV).
Failing to follow our Lord in our innermost being is living an outward life of a Christian. An outward life is one of self-righteousness and only a substitution for true faith. Releasing guilt must be an inner act of spiritual life in Christ that leads to Christian maturity. Holding on to guilt and shame is an act of spiritual immaturity, reflecting that we do not actually rely on Jesus Christ for salvation. Our sins are not unpardonable as was the case in the Old Testament. Christ provides the way for each of us who obey the gospel commands (by faith) to do so.
True repentance is complete surrender and submission to Christ and involves a change of mind and will to recognize and refuse our sin natures control over us and follow Christ. We must refuse to mentally return to the sin we committed, scolding ourselves over and over again. The Lord freed us from sin, accepted our repentance, and encourages us to move forward into Christian maturity. We should not sin against God. People who know what the gospel is about and refuse to repent and believe, in effect, crucify Christ all over again.
Believing the gospel through faith is an act. We have to intentionally hold fast to our faith, release the thoughts (guilt) that bind us, stop crucifying Christ over-and-over again, and move forward as maturing Christians.
The Holy Spirit lives in us and will not leave us or forsake us. His job is to fill us daily, direct our paths, guide us, and tell us what to say when sharing the Good News.
~ Lisa Blair
FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHO LIVES IN BELIEVER’S
In Acts 2:7 Jesus told his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. “
Jesus also instructed his disciples to wait, not to begin witnessing until they received the Holy Spirit, why? Because we cannot interpret the Word without the Holy Spirit, only the Holy Spirit can provide the Words that will reach the hearts of the people, only the Holy Spirit knows the heart of man. Only the Holy Spirit has the authority and power to interpret God’s Word. We cannot become witnesses independent of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to speak the truth. He commands and guides our thinking.
Paul wrote, in Romans, that we are given life through His Spirit, God’s Spirit, who dwells in us. He takes controls when He takes residence in us. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of our conversion, until the day of Redemption, Ephesians 4:30 NKJV:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
The seal equips us to live a Godly life. We become convicted after we repent and receive the Spirit. We are convicted to live a holy, Godly life. He ushers in our desire to live a Christ-like life, to share the Word with others, and to demonstrate our faith through our actions and deeds. Our priorities change and are no longer focused exclusively on ourselves, we are transformed and renewed. We become dependent upon the Lord to lead us and direct us. We yield to His promptings. We want to live moment-by-moment in the will of God. We are willing to give up our liberty in exchange for dependence upon our Father, our Lord. We learn to become sensitive to His initial prompting as He guides, leads us, empowers us as we walk in victory spreading His Word.
BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE TIME EVENT
We are baptized once with the Holy Spirit, who will never leave us or forsake us. When we repent of our sins and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit.
If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you are saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7) [unitedbiblesocieties.org. 10 Bible verses about accepting Christ. Oct 9, 2017]
ONE BAPTISM, MANY FILLINGS—TIME TO GO TO WORK
When we are baptized, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our human fears are replaced by to the power of the Lord. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we relinquish control of our thoughts and emotions. We don’t lose control, we surrender all to God. We relinquish our independence and become dependent upon the Him; we go where the spirit leads. Our mind is set on the things of God, no longer consumed with doubt or fear, but rather a spirit of power and a controlled mind.
The scripture says, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we are being filled by the Holy Spirit daily. Christ resides in us through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit directs our daily living. We are being continually being filled, we are saturated, and under His influence, much like wine.
Ephesians 5:18 NLT instructs us, not to be drunk with wine, because that will ruin our lives. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
After we receive the Holy Spirit, it is time to go to work, the waiting is over. The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us to do God’s work. God does the filling when we ask Him. Yes, we must ask to be filled. It is an action. “He is in us, and we are completely permeated with the Spirit, we are inviting something to happen to us” (James McDonald).
WHAT HINDERS US FROM BEING FILLED?
Acts 7:51 NLT, explains that resisting the Holy Spirit is the most obvious way of hindering being filled. In this chapter, Stephen addressed the high priests and recognized they we not receptive and he was speaking to deaf ears.and told them,
“You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth.”
The sad truth is that not all believers are responsive to God’s commands. We (Christians) often openly resist obeying what God instructs us to do. Our flesh is rebellious and disobedient. Being filled is ascribing to God’s way and not our own. It is acquiring and taking on the characteristics of Christ identified in the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5. We hinder/forfeit being filled when we place ourselves first, focusing on our carnal needs and not on our spiritual relationship with our Lord. We hinder being filled when we do not listen to the Holy Spirit or do as we are commanded. How often do we hear his quiet voice instruct us to do one thing and we do another; far to often. Being filled requires action on our part, the Word is acted out through us. We are His ambassadors spreading the Good News through our actions and deeds.
WE ARE SAVED ONCE. WE ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT ONCE. BUT, WE ARE BEING FILLED UNTIL REDEMPTION.
How to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Pastor James McDonald. Https://youtu.be/xllbEPKHV1o
Walking with the Holy Spirit. Dr. Charles Stanley. In Touch Ministries, Life Principle 2.
How can I be Filled with the Holy Spirit? GotQuestions.org