- a doer of the Word (which presupposes that you know the requirements thereof since you cannot follow what you do not know or keep a command you have never heard) or you are
- not a doer of the Word
We have already covered 6 Secrets of the Christian life.
- The secret of first love
- The secret of faith and
- The secret of repentance
- The secret of the fear of the Lord
- The secret of the chastisement of the Lord, and
We will finish this series with four additional Secrets of the Christian life. If these things are a part of your Christian life, then you most assuredly are and will continue to walk in the Victory of Christ and have God's best and His Will for your life in this present world. Furthermore you can walk in assurance of your eternal life and promised inheritance in Christ for all eternity.
Secret 7: The Lesson of the Holy Spirit and
Work of the Cross-.
There is no way to put to death the deeds of the flesh except by the cross. Denying self, taking up your cross without the Holy Spirit is only religion and affliction of ones flesh. It is only by the Holy Spirit that the cross becomes a living reality. As Jesus baptized, the Holy Spirit came down, a voice spoke from heaven "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." What was this all about? The beginning of the public ministry of Jesus! He had no sin to wash away. Why did he do it? It represented His death on Calvary three years beforehand. He committed himself to the work of the cross there. He died there and daily laid down his life. When the Holy Spirit came down like a dove, most ask what did that mean? A dove is timid. The dove was the most common sacrifice for poor people, not a lamb or heifer. When the Holy Spirit came as a dove, John said "Behold the Lamb of God . . ." The Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to endure the contradiction of sinners and hatred and commit Himself to the cross. He offered Himself to God on the cross, by the eternal spirit (Hebrews 9:14). But three years before the Holy Spirit indwelled him to enable him to walk the way of the cross before it became a reality. The Holy Spirit only works through the cross and the cross can only operate in us by the Holy Spirit. The problem is "I". Not sin! Sin has been dealt with, so we Christianize the "I" and dress him up and put scripture in his mouth and get him to work and in the end we find it doesnít work. Itís only when the Lord causes us to know the reality of being crucified with Christ.
Galatians 2:20 Paul said "I am crucified with Christ. I live yet not I. " Is this a contradiction? No. I live by faith. Itís new management. A new head - the "I" is gone. Colossians 3:9-10 says "put off the old man . . . and put on the new man." The old man must be crucified and die daily so that you can put on the new head, which is Christ. Thatís our cross: "I" must be taken off the throne of your heart and life, so that Jesus can reign as Lord and Savior. You canít know His Lordship, know and follow Him, without the Holy Spirit and the reality of the cross.
Secret 8: The Secret of Sacrificial Giving.
Give: not money, but everything! It is a principle! If you give what God has given you then you will receive more. 2Corinthians 8:5 "And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God." Luke 6:37-38 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Measure! The same! Thereís always the temptation to withhold. It has to do with self-preservation.
Think about the Dead Sea. Itís a beautiful thing to see, but it has no life. Not even a bird flies over it. Fresh, life-giving water flows into it. Water that can make the desert bloom, but when it goes into the Dead Sea, it becomes stagnant.
The Sea of Galilee on the other hand, is full of life. What is the difference? The Sea of Galilee takes in water and gives out the water. The Dead Sea takes the water and gives nothing. Is that you? Do you take all the life of the Lord Jesus and make it dead? Do you take the life of the meeting and give nothing! If you give what the Lord gives you, you will receive more. It is the law of fruitfulness, of growth and life. If the Lord saved you, you have something to give. Learn the secret of sacrificial giving.
Secret 9: The Balanced Christian Life:
The word Balance is defined as several things being in proper proportion to one another. For a believer to grow and mature in the Lord and be happy, for him/her to know the joy of salvation and have the peace of God requires a balance of the basic components of the Christian life. Itís kind of like having a balance of ingredients to make a good cake or bread. If you leave out an important ingredient, even a small one, like leaven, the result wonít be very good. We must have a balance in our Christian life of:
Each of the four components of the balanced Christian life mentioned needs to have a balance in themselves between the public and private aspects thereof. All four of these are involved in the public meeting of the body of believers, but also need to be involved in our private or home life when we are not in the fellowship of other believers.
The most important component of Worship begins with the worship of the body when it assembles together weekly. Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." Psalm 35:18 "I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people." Psalm 107:32 "Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders." What is it to worship God? Psalm 100:1-5 "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 103:1-4 "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies." Isaiah 12:5-6 "Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." That is worshipping God. Exalting His name and praising Him for what He has done for us. Pouring out your heart in thanksgiving. It must come from the heart and not just the lips. Isaiah 29:13 "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men." Lip service is empty and meaningless words and a waste of time. Worship is something that is heart felt and heart centered and comes from an attitude of love and appreciation for all His blessings upon us. Psalm 116:12-14, 17-19 "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. . . I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD."
There are other requirements of a true worshipper of God. John 4:23-24 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." Obviously if there are true worshippers of God then there are also false worshippers of God. False worshippers donít meet those two requirements of worshipping in spirit and in truth. They live by the truth of Godís Word, and their worship comes from their innermost being, their spirit. Remember that your heart is made up of both your soul and spirit. Psalm 29:2 "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 99:5 "Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy." To begin with it is impossible to be a true worshipper of God without truth and holiness. God requires that we live a holy life. Psalm 66:13-18 "I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." If we want God to not only hear our prayers, but also hear and receive our worship, then we must keep our word, the promises we have made to God about serving Him, and we must put sin out of our hearts and lives. Otherwise our worship becomes but mere noise in His ears and an abomination to Him. Proverb 15:8-9 "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness." Amos 5:21-26 "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves." Isaiah 1:12-15 "When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood." There must be no idols in our hearts before God if we are to worship Him in spirit and in truth. In worship we are declaring that He and He alone is our God and the one we serve and obey.
Psalm 95:6-10 "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways." Proverbs 16:5 "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." Proverbs 21:27 "The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?" To worship the Lord, we have to humble ourselves and as a sheep, listen to the voice of our Shepherd and follow wherever He leads us.
Donít forget to worship God during the week and not just when you are in church with the other believers. You can sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord and worship Him while you are cleaning your house or driving your car. It just takes turning your mind to Him and praising and singing unto Him from your heart. The most important part is the attitude of your heart. Most people donít realize it, but worship is even one of the ways in which we do battle against the enemy. Itís part of our victory in the Lord. Psalm 149:1, 5 "Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. . . Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds." David praised God even in bed. (V.6-9) "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD."
Secret 9: The Balanced Christian Life:
Zechariah 7:13 "Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts." True prayer, like true praise, begins from the heart and is directed towards God on the basis of the truth of the Word of God and upon Godís faithfulness to perform it, as well as our obedience to that which we profess to believe. Most people are going through the motions of prayer without real faith in God to hear and answer their prayer. If we believe God for nothing, then that is what we will receive, nothing! Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Do you not only believe that there is a God that exists, but that He desires a personal relationship with you, that He loves you and wants to bless you and that He will reward you if you will do good and seek Him? Many believe that there is a God, that He exists out there, but not that "He exists for me." That is believing that He is not just "the I AM," but your "I AM." He is a personal God who personally deals with and blesses and rewards those who love and believe Him. The other side of the religious spectrum is those who not only believe God exists for them, but they see Him like some big "sugar daddy" or "giant Santa Claus" in the sky. They are so self-centered and selfish and think only what they want and so they want a God who is their servant and who blesses everything they choose to do and give them whatever their hearts lust after. It is religiously sanctified covetousness, greed and lust for personal gain and personal glory. Neither of these two extremes are true Christianity. John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." What most miss is that this is not a blank check, nor is any other scripture on prayer. All the scriptures on a subject must be taken into account if you want to have good and pure doctrine that is scriptural. When the scriptures tell us to ask in His Name, it is not just using His name like signing a check, but it is asking according to His nature and character, which His name represents. And one of God's characteristics is holiness and God will never answer a prayer contrary to His nature and character. However many pray and get what they ask for and think it was God who answered their prayer, not knowing that it was the devil, so that they are deceived and continue to walk in darkness. Prayers that are not accepted by God are accepted by the demon powers. Many people pray, but not to God. They pray to other people, dead people, other gods, with themselves, and to devils.
Yes, prayer is a means of communion with the Father and of receiving the blessings of God in our lives, but not from selfish motivations. 1Jn.5:14-15 "According to His will" is a limitation of God's grace for our own good, because God knows better what is good for us than we do. Secondly, the purpose of prayer is not that we can get what we want from God, but that we can line up with His will and purposes for our lives, and then pray according to His will, so that He will answer our prayers and work in our lives that which He desires for the furtherance of His kingdom and for His glory, as well as for our eternal rewards. The true rewards from God are not those which we receive in the flesh in the present life, but those which are eternal, reserved for us in heaven. When we offer unto God prayer that is according to His will, then we can have confidence before God that He not only hears us, but also will answer us. Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." This is not referring to selfish lustful desire. This means that when we delight in Him, He will put His desires within our hearts so that we will desire His desire for us. He will put within us the very desire of our hearts, so that we will seek and desire to do His will, and as we cooperate with the grace of God and pray God's will as Daniel prayed concerning the returning of the Jews from captivity after 70 years, after having read about it in the book of Jeremiah; then God will answer our prayers and we will be full of joy in His presence.
Another condition of answered prayer is that we do that which is pleasing to God and obey His commandments. 1John 3:21-22 "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." If we are sinning against God, we will not be able to have confidence before Him to answer our prayers. Again, the purpose of prayer is to accomplish the purposes of God on the earth. We should be praying for spiritual things and not physical temporal things. Why? Because if you will set your heart on the things of God and take care of them, He will take care of you and the natural things in your life. That's Matthew 6:33! "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." The heathen seek for things but we seek Christ! Seek the giver of all things and He will add to your life whatever things you need. God wants us to have the right priority and motivation in life, that we put Him first in all things "that in all things he might have the preeminence" Colossians 1:18b. Remember the beginning of this message? God wants your "first love." He wants you to love Him more than you love anything else in this life or world. He wants you to put Him first, then everything else in its proper place. God didn't give you His second best and He doesn't want your second best. He gave you His all, and He wants your all. That is covenant relationship. Anything less before God is idolatry. That is when you put someone or something else in front of God. Then spiritually, that is your god because it is what has first place in your life and controls your motivation and decisions.
We are talking about true prayer, prayer that God accepts from His disciples, those who love Him and whose lives are disciplined by the Word of God. Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." But believing this is an absolute necessity. Matthew 18:19-20 "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Another important part of prayer for the church is unity. Repeatedly in the book of Acts we see the unity of faith of the church and how God did miracles for them. John 14:13-14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." We must know that everything the Father does for us is because of Calvary. All true faith, including faith in God to answer our prayer is and must be tied to the work of Calvary and what Jesus accomplished for us there.
C: Study of the Word
2Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This is for all believers. If you do not study the scriptures for yourself, you will not be able to rightly divide them and testify of your faith to others.
Secret 9: The Balanced Christian Life:
Mark 16:15-16 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." This is the command to all true believers or disciples of Christ. This is not a command to those in the "ministry" offices within the church, as pastor, teacher, or prophet. 2Corinthians 5:17-19 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." Are you in Christ? What many do not understand is that they cannot be in direct disobedience to the Word of God and be living a happy, spiritually healthy, victorious Christian life. The only purpose for a believer remaining in this world is not that they might accumulate things and enjoy the best this world has to offer, but that they might be witnesses for Christ and bring others to faith in Him. The only way to be a happy and healthy believer is to have a balanced Christian life, which must include witnessing for the Lord. Whole messages could be written and have been on each of the components of this message and the parts of this Secret of the balanced Christian life. However the purpose of this study is more overview than detail so we are not trying to give you everything available in Scripture, but enough that you might know how to be successful in living the Christian life and that you might bear fruit unto eternal life.
Colossians 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." 1Thessalonians 2:12-13 "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." 2Timothy 1:9-11 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." You were called to salvation that you might serve the Lord and know your purpose for living. Have you found your place in the body of Christ and are you walking in it to fulfill the purpose and calling of God for your life? Most professing Christians have no concept of this, but only think that if they go to church and do this and that, then they are Christians and God will be pleased with them and they will go to heaven, and yet they have no concept of what the Christian life and calling is all about. 2Peter 1:10-11 "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Do you wish to be given an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God? Then you must do the things that will "make your calling and election sure." What calling and election you say? To that of salvation and eternal life! Also we learn and do the things that make for a successful Christian life so that we will not fall away, lose our salvation and become victims of the devil. 2Corinthians 5:9-10 "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Run this race that you might obtain the prize. If you put these secrets into your daily life, you will see a change in your life, and you will have God's best for you will have His presence with you and His approval upon your life.
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