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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 (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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Be instant

(2 Tim 4:2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
A charge to Timothy – and all Christians:
Paul was writing to young Timothy from a Roman prison, where he was awaiting his execution. Though he was facing certain death, Paul was still concerned for Timothy and all others (including us) under his tutorage and desired to give guidance and instruction to them. Paul knew from experience the need for this teaching as he was first a practitioner of it before giving it to others. In the face of the incipient apostasy of the day and also in the moral and spiritual decay of today, Paul’s words are very appropriate.
Being instant:
The word used here is translated several ways in different verses – be present, be at hand, come upon, to stand by. The main idea is simply “be there, doing what needs to be done at the time it is needed”. In the context, it means Christians are responsible to be there with the right words from the word of God – words of exhortation, doctrine, reproof (if needed), words given patiently, even when rebuffed
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Babes in Christ

(1 Cor 14:20) Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
The Christian life is entered by new birth, so that everyone who is genuinely born again must begin as spiritual babes. Even the oldest person who is saved begins this walk as a babe and must begin that way (Matt 18:3). Paul says that in a certain sense we should remain as children -- Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. The word malice also means “ill-will” or the “desire to harm or get even”, so that Paul wants us to be child-like in our interactions with others. This speaks to our personal interaction in regards to being offended or taking offense; we should never lose this attitude of forgiveness and not be offended easily.
Paul speaks of believers who are as “children” being tossed to and fro about doctrinal issues – “ That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Paul does
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Acceptable sacrifice

1 Peter 2:5 (KJV)  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. 

      Peter tells us that we, the corporate church and individuals, are designed for the purpose of offering up acceptable sacrifices to God. The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament had certain criteria that they had to meet in order to be acceptable to God. But, the sacrifices that Peter is talking about are not animal but spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Only as we remain in Christ are we acceptable to God and only those sacrifices made as part of our life in Him is acceptable.

      Prayer -- Our prayers are precious to Him (Rev. 8:4; 5:8). Prayer is not only a privilege to us who were once outside the family of God and actually enemies of God, but it is also a command. We are privileged to present our petitions to God as a son/daughter and have confidence He hears us. The righteous should not fear to call upon God – “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them

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(Mat 26:6-13)  Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, {7} There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. {8} But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? {9} For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. {10} When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. {11} For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. {12} For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. {13} Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.


      Our text today is about a woman who did something extravagant for Jesus that He said would be a memorial for her wherever the gospel would be preached.  It was extravagant in its cost and the sacrifice

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Blessed is he . . .

(Psa 32:1-2) Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. {2} Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
We can be eternally thankful for the truth found in these verses. Sins of omission, sins of commission, sins of deliberate action, sins of the heart, youthful sins, big sins, little sins, etc, are all included in redemption. It is a thrill to know that the payment for them has been accomplished by Christ’s death on the cross. What freedom it brings when we confess our sin and then receive His forgiveness.
Transgression, sin and iniquity. Transgression is going beyond a known boundary. Transgression also carries the idea of trespass and rebellion. It has to do with something that is known by the individual and is committed in spite of their knowledge of the wrong.
Sin is missing the mark (Rom 3:23), falling short of the goal or expectation or demand. God’s demand is to be perfect (Gen 17:1; 6:9; Deut. 18:13; Matt 5:48). The word perfect is not used in the sense of without any flaw, but complete in development.
Iniquity is perversity, depravity as
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Hannah a true mother

(1 Sam 1:1-2)  Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: {2} And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.


       We will look at Hannah one of many in the Bible as an example of motherhood. Booker T. Washington said, If I’ve done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother. He recognized the great influence his mother had upon him. Mothers do not become successful by learning a 10-point lesson on raising children. Success is related to who they are more than what they accomplish. Hannah is an example of this principle.

      Hannah was a woman who desired to be a mother but was barren and she was a woman under trial.  She was grieved because she could not bear children. Too often today young girls are urged to seek a career and let motherhood be only a second thought or “secondary

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Teaching about the kingdom

Acts 1:3)  To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

      Before His crucifixion, Jesus had told the disciples that there were many things He had to tell them but they were not able yet to bear (pick up, carry) them – “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. {13} Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” They would need the presence of God’s abiding Spirit to enable them to comprehend it. This is similar to what Jesus told Nicodemas – “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (See means to comprehend or understand).

      During those forty days Jesus was teaching, perhaps opening their understanding about the Kingdom of God and maybe even elaborating upon the numerous parables that He spoke pertaining to the kingdom. Before His death the

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Post resurrection appearances of Christ

(Luke 24:18) And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
First three appearances:
Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9; Jn 20:11-18) Mary was one of those who watched when Jesus was laid in the tomb (Matt 27:59-61), and after the Sabbath she along with the other women went to anoint His body. The Scripture tells us that Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped Jesus in burial clothes along with spices (Jn 19:39-40) and laid His body in Joseph’s tomb. Mary and the other women may not have known they used the spices or they felt it should be done in a different manner, so they returned the first day of the week with other spices to anoint Jesus’ body.
The second appearance of Jesus was to the other women who had gone along with Mary to anoint His body (Matt 28:8-9). They were on their way back from the sepulcher when Jesus appeared to therm. As as Mary saw the stone rolled away, she stopped hr approach to the sepulcher and ran
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Christ arose

(Mat 28:1-7)  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. {2} And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. {3} His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: {4} And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. {5} And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. {6} He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. {7} And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.


      In the Easter season of 1874 a Baptist minister by the name of Robert Lowry was so impressed by the passage in Luke 24:6-7 that he found himself sitting at an organ composing

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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.


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 over look 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 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

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