Evidence of the Spirit's filling

Ephesians 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

 

Contradiction today:

      There are many Christians and even ministers that think that it not against Scripture to drink alcoholic drinks as a “social” drinker. They will use this verse as proof that it is okay to drink as long as you do not become drunken – excess. In reality, medical science tells us that the alcohol in even one glass of beverage alcohol (beer) cannot be completely utilized by the body and the body places the unused portion in the body until it can be eliminated from the system, thus making it impossible for anyone to drink a little and not have the “slightest” effect upon them. So, then there is evidence of being filled with the effects of just a little alcohol.

      In the verse Paul counters the cult of “social” drinking by the words that follow – but be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. One cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit (which implies complete control by the Holy Spirit), if he/she has come to even the slightest degree under the control of alcohol (or anything else

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Thanks be unto God

1 Corinthians 15:57   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

There are many things we can thank God for and should thank Him for – as the song writer says, It will surprise what the Lord has done. We are told to give thanks when we make requests in prayer (Phil 4:6) and also to render thanks in and for all things (Eph 5:20; 1 Thes 5:18). But there are three notable gifts mentioned by Paul in his letters to the Corinthians in which he was led to use the particular phrase, “Thanks be unto God”.

 

Victory:

      The first one is in the text which says that God has given us the victory through Jesus Christ. There are many victories we could attach to this verse, but since it uses the definite article: “the” victory, he is probably thinking of one thing in particular. The context of the verse also tells us that Paul is referring to the victory that we have through Christ over death and the grave. This victory is one of two victories. From verses 51-53 he is speaking of our

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Everything we need

2 Peter 1:3   According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

 

Needy people:

Our basic needs and our perceived needs are often miles apart. Paul tells us that having food and raiment we are to be content (1 Tim 6:8). As the Israelites journeyed in the wilderness they had very little, yet God said they lacked nothing (Deut 2:7). They lived on manna and water as well as goat’s milk. They had food basics, raiment and shelter (man-made and the cloud of God). God provided for their needs with manna and keeping their clothes in good condition (Deut 8:3-4).

      Agar asked that he be feed with convenient food and that God would not make him wealthy or poor (Prov 30:8-9). David said in the shepherd’s psalm that since the Lord was his Shepherd, he would not want – lack anything he needed. In the gospels, Jesus tells us not to worry about certain things because our Heavenly Father knows all about it and will provide for us

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Dogs and danger

Philippians 3:2   Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

 

Potential problems:

      Paul warns of potential failures in our faith and walk in the Lord. In Col 2:8 he speaks of being “spoiled” which means to be carried away as captive; to be lead away from one’s persuasion. We can be spoiled about our beliefs. Paul also mentions making “shipwreck” of our faith (1 Tim 1:19) and Peter mentions of falling away from our steadfastness” (2 Pet 3:17).

      Faith and doctrine are integral parts of our salvation. We need faith to believe and enter into the born again, new life, experience; but we must also keep our faith grounded in God’s word – the pure doctrine of Scripture. Scripture warns of these errors – Ro 16:17; Eph 5:6-14; Col 2:18; Heb 13:9; 2 Jn 8

 

Dogs:

      Paul mentions “dogs” as a danger to our spiritual life. The word means a literal animal, dog, but metaphorically a man of impure mind, an impudent man. The term dog is used throughout Scripture and is always used in a bad or negative sense – Deut 23:18; 2 Ki 8:13;

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Christian duty

Proverbs 29:2  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

 

During these tumultuous times Christians are often torn about their duty as a Christian in the midst of politics and government. But when you look at the whole of Scripture and also view it through historical and present day settings along with historical accounts, our duty seems clear.

Attitude toward government – According to Paul in Rom 13:1 & 4 God is sovereign over this world and He sets up leaders and takes down leaders. Paul tells us that those in authority are actually God’s ministers to stop evil and a “terror to evil doers”. He tells us that they carry weapons for the purpose of stopping the spread of evil. As God’s representatives in this world, we are to obey laws that do not contradict God’s laws. The apostles refused to stop preaching Jesus because their commission was from God and the rulers had no right to stop them. Daniel also prayed three times a day to God even though the law said it was illegal. Man cannot usurp God’s law. We are also told to pray for

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Faith: Definition, Degrees and Tests

 

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Definition of faith:

      The “faith chapter” of Hebrews is a wonderful chapter in God’s word. Here it is defined, not as some intangible wistfulness, but as “substance” and “evidence”.

      Faith must first have a legitimate object, and that object is nothing less than the mighty Creator by Whom the worlds were created out of nothing by His very word.

      Beyond this, faith is defined, not by what it is, but by what it does. The man of faith comes to God by a more excellent sacrifice – like that of Abel (verse 4) – which typifies Christ and His death for us. Faith will, like Enoch, live to please God (Verse 5), and will, like Noah, prepare an ark – do whatever is necessary out of obedience to God – to the saving of his house (verse 70.

      True faith will, like Abraham, go out as God leads, not knowing where and willing to live in tents if necessary (verse 8, 9) as he looks for the eternal city

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Man of God

1 Timothy 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 

Man or woman of God:

      The expression “man of God” appears 78 times in the Bible with only two occurrences in the New Testament, both of these are by Paul to Timothy, the other being in 2 Timothy 3:17.  In the Old Testament it is used often of prophets or those sent by God for His work. Sometimes they are named and other times they are simply called the man of God. The first occurrence is in reference to Moses (Deut. 33:1) and often throughout the Old Testament he is called man of God. David is called man of God in Neh 12:24. In Judges when an angel appears to Manoah and his wife about Samson, he is called a man of God.

 

Qualities of a man or woman of God:

            Moses being called a man of God was a great leader and the law giver to Israel. He was also said to be the meekest man (Num 12:3). David being called a man of God is said to be

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Conformity

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

Be not conformed:

          One of the greatest dangers facing Christians is the temptation to conform to the world and its image – the things around them, the fades, fashions and mannerisms and language. In Rom 12:2 we are commanded not to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In Rom 12:2 the word conformed is similar to the word in Rom 8:29 with the exception it means a “willing and purposeful” act on our part. The word in Rom 8:29 means something that happens in us from outside actions. Being transformed is the word we use for the process that caterpillars go through when they go from the worm stage to a butterfly or moth. It is a process that occurs within progressing to the outside. In Matt 17:2 this word is used about Jesus being transformed by God’s power. The Romans 12 passage commands us not to be like the world but allow the truth of God to change us

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The clean and the unclean

Acts 10:14-15, 28   But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. {15}  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 28  And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

 

The unclean thing:

      Living a separated life follows that we abstain from close association with the “unclean”. If we would live that separation we must distinguish what is the unclean thing Paul talks about in 2 Cor 6:17. The word “unclean” means not cleansed in a ceremonial sense; unclean in thought and morality. So being separate from the unclean thing would mean no close association with unsaved or immoral individuals. According to the first definition an unclean person would be someone who is not a Christian in New Testament standards. The Jews considered all Gentiles to be unclean and it was unlawful for a Jew to be

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Christ's strength

Christ’s strength
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Misquoted or taken out of context:
All Scripture has one primary interpretation, but many applications. However, this verse is used by some to say if we have enough faith or strong enough faith that they should be rich or healthy all the time. This use is not only unsupported by Scripture but is way out of context in which Paul wrote it. In the previous verse Paul spoke of varying situations he faced – from poverty to wealth, learning to be content in each of these.
Content
Our English word “content” can bring up thoughts of indifference and mild temperament. Modern usage tends to give the word a negative connotation, as though such an attitude has little ambition or drive. However, the Greek word God chose for this passage is composed of the pronoun for “self” and the noun for “sufficiency”. Both in Scripture and secular Greek literature, the word “content” demands an ability to conquer whatever circumstances may oppose your purpose or goal and to continue to go on in spite of difficulties. The context here tells us that Paul experienced the full spectrum of
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The Christian lifestyle

Ephesians 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

 

Two factors involved in this verse:

      First: The immediately preceding context confines the primary application to behavior, just as the following context relates the “filled” believer to the fellowship of believers.

      Second: The imagery stresses control of the behavior by the Holy Spirit – contrasted by being filled with intoxicating drink behavior.

 

Filling and baptism

      Filling is not synonymous with baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:12-14; Eph 4:5), since all believers are baptized into the body of Christ but not all are filled with the Spirit. Filling of the Spirit is not equal to or subsequent to speaking in tongues since some were said to be filled with the Spirit yet never spoke in tongues (Lu 1:15, 41; 4:1). Paul, Stephen and Peter were filled on differing occasions (Acts 13:9; 2:4; 4:8, 31; 7:55). The filling with the Spirit appears to give the one filled a special endowment of words, boldness or recall to honor the Lord or speak to those opposing God’s work. It gives a Godly or God-like behavior

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Christian fruit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
What is our fruit?
There are several words that are used for fruit, fruitfulness and they are close in meaning. The most used word means, fruit (picked); from root to seize, catch. The other word used means, fertile, able to bear fruit (Matt 13:23; Mk 4:20, 28; Lu 8:14, 15; Ro 7:4, 5; Col 1:6). It appears that the words are generic and that the context and way they are used tells how to apply them. The most used word means the product of being fertile while the other carries the idea of being able to produce the product of fertility. As used in Scripture they have various meanings.
 
Our words, speech
The writer of Hebrews tells us that giving thanks and praise is the fruit of our lips (Heb 13:15). Also, other verses indicate that our words other than giving thanks and praise to God are fruit (Prov 11:30; 3:18; 15:14; Col. 4:6).
 
Giving money or material things
There are verses that also indicate that our
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Christian awareness

2 Peter 3:1  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

 

Four characteristics:

     It is extremely important in these last days to be diligent in active awareness of our Christian responsibilities. In chapter three, Peter relates four characteristics of “being” Christian.

 

Be mindful: (1-2)

      When Peter tells us to be mindful of the words of the prophets, he is saying more than just reading or memorizing. When you are mindful of something or someone, you are aware of their presence. So, if we are to be mindful of the words of the prophets then we are to recognize that they have written or instructed about areas that we wrestle and struggle with in life. In this chapter Peter is particularly addressing the second coming of the Lord and the consummation of all things. He would be telling us to be aware of what is happening around us in the world and people and remember that God has spoken to these issues through the prophets in the past (Ro 15:4; 1 Cor 10:11). We can learn much from reading the Old

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Christ the King

Luke 19:12-14   He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. {13}  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14}  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Jesus in the parable:

      After the conversion of Zacchaeus before entering Jerusalem, Jesus spoke this parable about a noble man going into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. There were some who thought that the kingdom would come after Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time and He would assume the role of king and oust the Romans and reign over Israel. They did not understand that Jesus was a King already and that the kingdom He would set up on this earth was not of this world system and order but one He would establish at the end of the age.

      When questioned by Pilate, Jesus said that He was born to be a King but that His kingdom was not of this world order (Jn

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Called and chosen

Matthew 20:16 (KJV) So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
 
Called and chosen are not the same:
The words of Christ give us to understand that there is a difference between the calling and choosing of God. The two words are similar in the Greek but the second (chosen) is an extension of the first (kletos, eklektos), and could be translated called and called-out. The same truth is emphasized in Matt 22:14. Our English word “elect” comes from the Greek word for chosen. The second word is sometimes translated “elect” in various passages. Both words apply only to believers and seem to be used at times as synonyms – those who are called are set out as distinct from others (1 Cor 1:23, 24). Yet, our text says that only a few of those who are called have been chosen.
 
What it means to be chosen:
Being chosen does not mean that the called are less than them. Both calling and chosen are acts of God, strictly according to grace and God’s purposes. Paul was said to be chosen (Acts 9:15; Ro 1:1; 11:13; Gal 2:8, 9). Paul
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Born of God

(1 John 2:29) If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
 
Seven times:
There are seven times the phrase “born of God” or “born of Him” occur in John’s first epistle. These seven descriptors give us a way to recognize if a person has been truly born again.
 
Tests given by John:
1. Righteous 1 Jn 2:29 John says that we know that Jesus is righteous then the one who is born of Him is also righteous – lives a righteous life (Ro 8:9) because the very Spirit of Christ indwells that person and produces righteousness in them. Righteousness originates from God and is imparted unto His children. The word righteous means to live by divine law; obey commands of God. Jesus lived the perfect life while in the flesh on the earth. He never violated the slightest law and always did that which was pleasing to the Father (Jn 8:28). Pilate confessed Jesus to be innocent of any wrong doing. Jesus also challenged the people to find sin in Him (Jn 8:46).
2. Doth not commit sin 1 Jn 3:9 John says that a person that
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The blood of Abel

(Heb 12:24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
 
Type of Christ’s shed blood:
There are three references to the blood of Abel in the Bible, each indicating that the shedding of his blood by Cain was a type of the shed blood of Christ. The first mention of blood in the Bible is God’s accusation of Cain killing Abel and the blood speaking to God (Gen 4:10).
God does not overlook the shedding of innocent blood. The Bible speaks of the shed blood crying out to Him (2 Ki 9:26; Psa 9:12; 72:12-14; Heb 11:4. If an innocent person is found dead without as city, God gave instruction for an inquisition to be made by the closest city to discover the person guilty of shedding that blood and a sacrifice was to be made in order to deliver that city from consequences from God (Deut 21:1-9). God does not want innocent blood to be shed and He made provision for the protection of a person to be kept safe from what we call an accident (Deut 19:9, 10). God also told Israel
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Beware of Balaam

(Micah 6:5) O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.
 
Warning concerning Balaam:
Three New Testament writers warn us concerning aspects of Balaam. Peter warned of the “way of Balaam” (2 Pet 2:15); Jude warned of the “error of Balaam” (Jude 11) and Jesus through John warned about the “doctrine of Balaam” (Rev 2:14). God evidently wanted us to learn lessons of “what not to” concerning this prophet. The story of Balaam is recorded for us in Numbers 22-24. It appears that Balaam had some communication with God and Peter called him a prophet – whether he considered him originally true of false, we do not know, but a prophet none the less. If the story of Balaam would have ended in Numbers 22:14, we would say that Balaam was a Godly man and righteous prophet, but the story does not end there and so we see some of what Peter, Jude and Jesus spoke of about him
 
Way of Balaam:
Peter spoke of Balaam when he was telling of false prophets in
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Be separate

(2 Cor 6:17-18) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, {18} And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
 
A lost teaching:
The doctrine of separation from the “unclean thing” is lost or ignored by most Christians today. There are few churches that teach or practice Biblical separation. In a technological world and work place, it is not easy to always discern our separation. In the verses of the text Paul is warning about being unequally yoked together with unbelievers and urges us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor 6:14; 7:1). Separation is very unpopular today especially with many young people who date, socialize and “become like” the unsaved. Parents do not think it wrong for young girls to date unsaved men or for young men to date unsaved girls. They all think they can convert them to Christianity. While this can happen it is the exception and not the norm.
 
The unclean thing:
The Bible
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Freedom

 (Psa 33:12)  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

 

     America’s roots are in God and His word and because we began that way God’s hand of blessing has been upon this nation and the many who have found refuge in it and owned it as their own land. The Scripture is clear, “blessed is the nation whose God (Elohim – the all-powerful Creator of all) is the LORD (Jehovah – the self-existing One). A sign recently mistakenly read: “Blessed is the nation whose God is their Lord.” This could mean any country that worships any god – such as Arab countries or India and etc.

America’s boundaries were established by the Founders of this nation – Godly Christian men and God-fearing men – who knew that any nation is doomed that does not put the Creator God first and the truths of this Creator God into the very fabric of a country’s life. So they set boundaries to guide this infant country toward a path of blessing. Some of those boundaries involved the qualifications of those who were to serve in

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