“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” [Gen 2:8]
There’s a TV program called, “What Would you Do?” The premise is to create scenarios in public and film the reactions of innocent bystanders.
What if we took the same concept except, we used events from the Scriptures?
What Would You Do if…
You were in the Garden?
You were called to build an ark?
You were told to marry a harlot?
You were told to sacrifice a son?
You met Jesus by a well?
You were Peter by that fire?
You were standing by Stephen?
These are just a few of the People and events we will explore in this & future articles.
What would you do…
If you were in the GARDEN in Eden?
GOD had placed man in the Garden and was told to dress it and to keep it. [Gen 2:8] Having access to all the good fruit that God had made, What Would You Do? Would you view the work as being good, or would you view work as a necessary evil?
“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” [Eph 4:28]
Adam was ALONE in the Garden. What Would You Do if you were alone? How would you feel if after a search of all of creation that not a creature was found suitable for you? What Would You Do if no one was watching? Would you continue to be faithful? Would you slack up on your work?
“Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching:” [Luke 12:37]
What Would You Do if you were RESTRICTED from just one tree? You’re given everything else, but one tree, the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. [Gen 16-17]. Just two commands, one positive (do) and one negative (do not). What Would You Do? Would you be angry saying, ‘I don’t like being told what to do?’ You have freewill. Why can’t you do what you want? What Would You Do, realizing the penalty for disobedience?
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” [Ecc 12:13]
What Would You Do if the DEVIL appeared to you in the form of a Serpent? [Gen 3:1-5] What Would You Do if someone misquotes God’s command? Would you put up with it?
[2Cor 11:1-4] Would you know that the original command had been changed? An addition was made.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” [Gen 2:17]
“But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” [Gen 3:3]
You’ve EATEN the forbidden fruit, now What Would You Do? Will you hide from God? How would you do that exactly? Where would you go, What Would You Do? Would your conscience try to excuse you or accuse you? Would you consider it sin, or would you call it a little thing?
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” [1John 3:4]
The last question is more troubling. What Would You Do if were NOT allowed to remain in paradise? Would you cry out that it’s not fair? Would you put together a list of all the good things you’ve done trying to ignore or overlook your iniquity? Would you blame everyone else as they did?
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
What Would You Do?
“Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for Jehovah seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh on the heart.”
What a comforting verse, or troubling, depending on what’s going on in our hearts. Whether we like the scrutiny or not, the looking continues.
This passage demonstrates two divine truths:
- God Looks upon the heart. [cr. Prov 15:11]
- Man looks upon the outer appearance. [cr. Mat 7:1-2]
There are two looking at man, but did you know there’s a third?
Who’s Looking at whom? Being aware that someone’s watching gives us an advantage. We can and should make adjustments to our lives.
The DIVINE look.
We think of God as LOOKING down from above. “And the LORD came down to see…” [Gen 11:15] And in another passage; “I will go down now, and see…” [Gen 18:21].
Man is willing to overlook or hide sin when it favors him, but God looks down and sees. “For mine eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity concealed from mine eyes.” [Jer 16:17] He has, “set our iniquities before thee, Our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” [Psalm 90:8] In looking down, Divinity takes account of these three main things:
God sees our state of mind, or attitude, when rendering service. “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” [2Cor 8:12] “Let each man do according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” [2Cor 9:7] God doesn’t accept our obedience if the heart is not connected.
God sees and takes into account our capacity of output. What are we able to do? “…to each according to his several ability;” [Matt 25:15] The problem for the one talent man wasn’t his one talent. It was his failure to USE his talent. The first two received the same reward; “Well done, good and faithful servant:” [25:21,23] Neither did more than the other for each were doing according to their ability. It is not the amount of work done that gets the attention & approval of our Lord. What matters is whether we are reaching our capacity for output in service to the Lord. We will be LOOKED upon based on our individual ability as well as our attitude.
The third thing God sees is not how much we give, but how much we have left after giving. Don’t mistake this statement as being just about money. It includes our TIME and other RESOURCES. We remember that the widow gave all that she had. [Luke 21:3]. The Macedonians were poor, but it wasn’t the money they gave that got God’s attention, “But first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God.” [2Cor 8:5] God sees whether we are trusting in Him or in ourselves. [cr. 1Tim 6:10-17; Matt 6:19-21] “for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.”
The SATANIC look.
“And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” [Job 1:7] What was Satan looking for? Satan looks OVER the earth for the purpose of seeing where he can hinder our Christian work. “…and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary.” [Zec 3:1]
Paul said, “we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” [1Thess 1:18] Satan’s power is limited, but his teaching and his human followers are certainly hindering the Gospel. [cr 2Cor 11:13-15] Peter also warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” [1Peter 5:8] Satan hinders the spreading of the gospel, which is able to save men’s souls, through false teachers. Satan looks OVER to hinder.
The HUMAN look.
God LOOKS DOWN, Satan is looking OVER, and man is to look into his OWN self. If man looks unjustly at another he is looking with the eyes of Satan. The bible clearly teaches that we humans are to look at our OWN heart. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” [Matt 7:3] The Lord is emphasizing that we must look into our hearts by looking in His word.
The Lord wants us to look at our OWN selves during worship. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” [1Cor 11:28] While we eat, we may find ourselves looking at another, impugning their hearts, while we are to be looking at our own heart. This is an outward examination, when our Lord says it should be inward.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your OWN selves. Know ye not your OWN selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” [2Cor 13:5] An inward look is essential for our lives. David said, “I thought on my ways, And turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” [Psalm 119:59] God LOOKS down, Satan looks OVER to hinder and humans are to look at our OWN heart. One more thing; Our eyes should be KEEPING watch; “Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh.” [Matt 24:42]
How to EAT an Elephant?
One Bite at a Time.
The answer to this question is one way of talking about beginning & finishing an enormous task. Another illustration… “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
I’m inviting you on a journey with me in 2021. A journey through the scriptures. Admittedly, it appears at first as a daunting task. Some have said, “where do I even begin?”
I can empathize, the Bible is…
66 Books, with 1,189 chapters.
929 chapters in the Old Testament.
260 chapters in the New Testament
Where do we begin?
How do we stay motivated?
What does it mean to me?
The answer to these questions is the same answer to the question; “How do you EAT an Elephant?” One bite at a time.
Jesus said, “I Am the Bread of Life.” This discourse about Himself, He is not referencing the Lord’s Supper. Rather, He is encouraging followers to learn everything we can about Him. This is done through reading His word. [John 6:22-68]
Following is a 3-step overview of how to EAT an Elephant, then a Bible Reading Plan for 2021;
3 Steps for how to…
EAT an elephant?
The first thing is to break it into…
EASY to manage, smaller bites. (A Bible Reading Plan)
Just as we have regular eating times, we should set an…
APPOINTED time to bite, chew & digest. Nothing ever gets done until it is scheduled. (Set an Appointment with yourself)
The hardest part has been in taking the first bite, now just…
TAKE another bite. Then rest a bit. Chew on what you’ve read.
Psalm 1 says; “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (emp mine seb)
The Hebrew word for meditate literally means to chew the cud. It is an agrarian term used for us to compare how cows digest their food & how we can study God’s word. Cows sit and ‘chew the cud’ so as to squeeze out as much nutrition from their food as is possible. So, take small manageable bites. Meditate upon what you’ve read. Then TAKE another bite.
Here is an easy Bible Reading Plan for 2021. Here are a few helpful tips.
- Maintain your own pace, each according to their own ability.
- If you miss a day, just read what is appointed for that day.
- Read to understand not just to get through the material.
Pray for wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” [James 1:5]
Read that again; “…through the comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.” Did you catch it? Paul was referring to the Old Testament scriptures, and that those scriptures can give us comfort and hope.
I know many that find the Old Testament unpalatable, being too disgusting and violent. While it’s true that the OT is full of those things, the Holy Spirit has revealed that through them we may have COMFORT and HOPE.
The new year is upon us. Let’s renew our efforts to read for COMFORT and HOPE.
COMFORT and hope in the OT Scriptures.
The first thing we can notice is that CHRIST is in the Old Testament. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Jesus taught of Himself to those on the road to Emmaus, and they said, “Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?” [John 5:39; Luke 24:13-27,32]
Paul wrote in two of his letters saying the scriptures were written for OUR Learning and OUR admonition upon whom the end of the age are come. We have a huge advantage in that we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ. [Rom 15:4; 1Cor 10:11]
In the letter to the Corinthians he wrote about those God brought out of Egypt, “Howbeit with MOST of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. We always learn by others example or experiences. The Old Testament scriptures reveal both good and negative examples. It is foolish to try to learn from just your own mistakes. You may never recover! [1Cor 10:1-13]
A major lesson the entire world needed from the very first day of man in the Garden until now is to learn the FEAR of the Lord. Every generation, every person must learn this. The Old Testament teaches this lesson over and over through the example of those that disobeyed God. “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.” Some dislike this idea of the FEAR of the Lord, but they misunderstand. If you’re in Christ through faithful baptism, you will have a reverential fear. But if not, you ought to have a terror type fear. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” [Job 28:28; 2Cor 5:11; cr Prov 1:7; Ecc 12:13; Mat 10:28]
Another lesson is that the OLD Covenant was hard, really hard. By reading Leviticus & Deuteronomy (reading through Romans & Hebrews also) we can see that the Law of Moses went well beyond the 10 Commandments. The Jewish traditions teach that there are about 613 commandments. But now we are under the Liberty of Christ. “A better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises.” We are no longer under the bondage of the OLD testament system that couldn’t remove sins, but left a reminder of sin year by year. “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” [Heb 8:6; Gal 2:4; 4:3, 9, 24, 25; 5:1]
The Law of Moses has been REMOVED & REPLACED by the Love and Blood of Christ on that cross. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments. We now live under grace through the doctrine of Christ. [Col 2:12-14; Eph 2:15; 2John 1:9]
Finally, we can use both the Old and the New Testament scriptures to TEST the spirits. The Bereans were “more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” Who’s teaching where they testing? It was the Apostle Paul’s delivered to him through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, AND THEY ARE CALLED MORE NOBLE! [Acts 17:11; Eph 3:3-4; cr. 1Thess 5:21; 1John 4:1-4; Deut 13:1-11; 18:20-22]
We need not abhor the OT scriptures for in them is COMFORT and HOPE.
FOLLOWING THE STAR…
We know not the date of His birth
We have no command to celebrate it.
We have no idea how many Wise men.
Mat 2:1-12 Wise men following the star
Following the star, what made these…
WISE men? Matt 2:1-12
What can we learn from these WISE men?
It’s WISE to…
WORSHIP. Mat 2:11.
When Christ was born, all the angels of God worshipped Him. (Heb 1:6)
John 4:24 must, in spirit and in truth.
It’s WISE to…
INVEST in Christ. Mat 2:11; 6:20
GIVE. Gold = King; Fran = Priest; Myrhh = Burial.
GOD has always required it.
Deut 14:22-29 (1st Tithe, Lev 27:30-33; 2nd & 3rd Tithe Deut 14:22-29
Abraham gave; [Heb 7:4].
Give of yourself first! 2Cor 8:5
INDIVIDUALLY, directly. Luke 10:33.
The judgment scene, Mat 25:31-46
VOLUNTARY. 2Cor 8:12, 9:7
EVEN a cup of water. Mr 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name,
It’s WISE to…
SEEK Christ. What GUIDE to use?
Those with lessor wisdom seek the perishing things. Col 2:22-23 perish with using.
They had a divine GUIDE, the star.
Mat 6:33 seek ye first. Col 2:1-2 seek, set…
Emotionalism. Deceived, joy or hurt. Consider Jacob about Joseph. Gen 37:34; 45:26
A painful or joyful falsehood, if believed by us, will affect us in the same way.
Wise men depend not on uncertain guides.
DIRT man wisdom.
Mars Hill Men’s IGNORANCE. Act 17:22,23
Man’s wisdom doesn’t know God. 1Cor 1:21
The wisdom from above is not within man. James 3:17; Jer 10:23. Judges 21:25
INSIDE your conscience? consider Paul.
Ac 26:9 I verily thought with myself, contrary
His conscience was perfectly clear. Act 23:1
A Conscience trained in the truth urges.
A conscience untrained cannot bear the truth.
Rom 2:15 conscience accusing or excusing
Weak (1Cor 8:12), Defiled (Titus 1:15), Seared (1Tim 4:2), Evil (Heb 10:22).
Wise men depend not on uncertain guides.
While the heavens declare (Rom 1:20; Psa 19:1)
Nature as a sole guide makes sun, river, moon, animal worshippers. EGYPT.
We can learn from nature… Prov 6:6
Nature alone doesn’t lead us to know God.
Wise men depend not on uncertain guides.
NOT… Emotion, Dirty man, Inside us, Universe…
The wise men followed a divinely created star, the only divine guide for today’s wise man is…
GOD’S revealed, inspired word.
Ps 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Pr 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
John 8:33 The truth shall make you free. John 17:17
2John 1:9 abide not… hath not God.
Mat 7:21-23; Luke 6:46
It’s WISE to go the…
The wise of the east did not stop until they reached.
Far too many stop SHORT of reaching Jesus…
SCRIBE was close. Mar 12:34 Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.
HARD sayings stop some short. Joh 6:60-66
One w/ greater sin, Judas. Mat 26:14-17; John 19:11
RULER so young, lacked one thing. Mark 10:17-22
TURNING back once the hand is at the plow… Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
ENDURE unto the end.
4 strategies on how to…
GIVE more. Eph 4:28
To give more we can…
GET rid of Debt, Get more income. Prov 23:7
Work some OT to have extra money to Give?
Sometimes folks need mentoring and some new…
INFORMATION giving. Prov 9:9 give instruction…
It takes no money to…
VOLUNTEER giving. Snack Pack, hold a flashlight, hold a hand. Mat 25:31-ff
Take a look at your current spending and…
EVALUATE your budget. Expensed vs Extra
You can tell a lot about a person when you look at their monthly spending. I knew a man that spent most of his money on food delivery. It’s no wonder he was also a heavy man.
reverse the direction.
Run out of Money before you run out of month?
Put giving first and EXTRAS last.
We can have and enjoy things. 1Tim 6:10
God want us to give and to have. 2Cor 9:8 Luke 6:38 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.
Many will cite the above verse as proof that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. Does it really mean that? Not if you understand the context of the passage and the problem of sectarianism that existed in the church at Corinth.
Another point can be drawn out of this passage; preaching the gospel of Christ out of order. Because denominations reject baptism so vehemently, we often place baptism at the front of preaching of the Gospel.
It reminds me of a preacher trying to reach a denominational group. He said, “I think I’m only making them better Lutherans.”
We often preach against certain sins and unscriptural practices of denominationalism. (ie. instrumental music, social gospel, false worship etc.) While we are preaching the truth, there are preeminent truths.
Here’s an illustration of what I am saying. Before a child can run, they must first build strength to crawl, then stand, and then walk.
Another illustration is the building a house. We never begin to build with the roof! We begin with pouring a foundation, then the walls, and then the roof.
Much of our preaching emphasizes baptism without laying first the foundation of the Authority of Christ. We rightfully understand that the ‘steps’ of salvation are; Hear, then Believe, then Repent, then Confess, and then be Baptized. Once we become Christians we Grow and Endure. Unfortunately, we get caught up cramming faithfulness and baptism verses down the throats of those who haven’t truly yet believed in the Preeminence of Christ. [Col 1:18]
Jesus gave us the order when He gave what is commonly called “the Great Commission.” “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” [Matt 28:18-20]
An evangelist named Philip met up with a Eunuch where we read that he “preached unto him Jesus.” [Acts 8:35]. While nothing else is revealed about his preaching, we can necessarily infer that ‘preaching Jesus’ included submission to His authority.
How can we preach Jesus?
Philip…preached unto him…
JESUS, Acts 8:35; Matt 28:18-20 ‘Go ye…’
We begin with showing that…
JESUS is the Christ, and He has all authority.
Mat 28:18 “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.”
Hebrews 1; Mark 9:7 ‘Hear ye Him.’
Hearing is first, and hearing leads to Believing. [Rom 10:17; John 20:30-31]
Preaching Jesus must include the…
EXAMPLE of His life leading to His Death, Burial, and Resurrection.
This is the GOSPEL. 1Cor 15:1-4
Preaching Jesus must include teaching that we must…
SUBMIT to His will,
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [Mat 7:21-23; John 14:15; 15:14; 1John 5:3]
“And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” [Col 3:17]
This teaches us about Repentance from sins and Confessing Him.
Preaching Jesus must include teaching that we must go…
UNDER the water to come in contact with His blood,
The Eunuch, upon hearing the preaching of Jesus, concluded baptism was necessary for Salvation. [Acts 8:35-38]
Matt 26:28; Rom 6:3-4
Only after laying the foundation of Hearing, Believing, Repenting, Confessing, will we have laid the foundation for scriptural Baptism. Mat 28:19
With a foundation in the Authority of Jesus, they’ll also believe they’re…
SAVED if they Grow and Endure until the end.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2Peter 3:18
“But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt 24:13
Matt 28:20; Rev 2:10
Life as a Christian is not overly difficult in practice [1John 5:3], but it can be incredibly hard due to the world’s hatred of the teachings of Christ. You know, the stuff about love, kindness, and honesty.
We don’t often talk about it as one of the parts of going to heaven, but the scriptures do. It makes sense. The Christian needs endurance (patience in the KJV) lest they turn away from walking in Christ. [Mark 4:17]
Let us examine how to ENDURE.
All quotations are from the ASV or KJV
1] “Mt 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22
2] “Mt 24:13 But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13
3] Mr 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Mark 13:13
4] “Heb 3:6 but Christ as a son, over his house; whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope firm unto the end.” Hebrews 3:6
5] “for we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end:” Hebrews 3:14
6] “And we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence unto the fulness of hope even to the end: 12 that ye be not sluggish, but imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11
7] “And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations:” Revelations 2:26
The above verses are just seven of several about endurance. There are examples of endurance [Job] and passages about developing endurance. Then there are passages warning about failing to endure.
The conclusion; we must endure, hardships, persecutions, hatred, unfairness, etc. etc. The good new is this, when we endure God will reward us and it will be worth it! “He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.” [Rev 3:21]
6 Lessons to help us to…
ENDURE? 2Peter 1:6
The best… EXAMPLE of endurance is JOB.
James 5:11 Behold, we call them blessed that endured: ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful. [Read Job chapters 1 & 2]
The scriptures are teaching us to… NEVER give up during difficult times.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. [Php 3:13-14; 2Cor 11:22-33]
When going through tough times keep… DOING the Will of God.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Endurance is built when we… UNDERGO trials or temptations.
James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. [cr. 1Cor 10:13]
Since there are so many examples of endurance in Hebrews 11, let us… RUN with patience.
Hebrews 12:1-2 lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
IF we will ENDURE unto the end… ETERNAL LIFE awaits us.
Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.” [2Peter 3:18]
Everyone recognizes the need for growth. Mothers desire for their children to not only grow physically, but to grow emotionally and intellectually.
God is no different. He uses Parent-child phrases to demonstrate our relationship with Him…
He is our Father. Heb 12:9
Jesus is like a Mother Hen. Mat 23:37
He calls us Newborn babes. 1Peter 2:2
We’re His children. 1Peter 1:14 Let us examine a few verses where God is commanding and therefore expecting spiritual GROWTH.
#6, we must GROW: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV
- “For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.” Hebrews 5:12
- “Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;” 1Peter 2:1-2
- “…that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” Ephesians 4:14-15
- “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2Timothy 2:22
- “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:20
- “Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love.” 2Peter 1:5-7
- “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2Peter 3:18
No verse states we are to grow at the same pace as another. We grow, each according to our ability. [cr. Mat 15:15]
5 keys to spiritual…
GROWTH? 2Peter 3:18
We are to have GROWTH in…
GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Peter 3:18. It is to be cultivated. Grace is a gift from God to be received by us and utilized.
REFLECTION and examination to see if we are in the faith. 2Cor 13:5. “But let a man examine himself,” [1Cor 11:28]
GROWTH requires spiritual weeding by…
OFFLOADING (put off) the old man of sin. “But now ye also put off all these…” [Colossians 3:8; cr. Heb 12.1; 1Pet 2:1; Eph 4:22; Jas 1:21]
GROWTH requires a…
WEIGHT check. “the LORD weigheth the spirits.” [Prov 16:2; cr. Dan 5:27; 1Sam 2:3; Job 31:6] God weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart.
When GROWTH stalls, a Mother will often make a…
TEMPERATURE check. God does also, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” [Rev 3:14-16; cr. Titus 2:14]
Finally, GROWTH requires a…
HEALTHY diet of spiritual food. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:” [John 6:35, 48, 51]. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” [1Peter 2:2; cr. Heb 5:12]
No two children grow at exactly the same rate. There are benchmarks to which the Great Physician will look to determine our GROWTH. As we mature, we ought to examine those benchmarks in ourselves so we may be will pleasing to our HEAVENLY FATHER. May God Bless you all. Spencer
When presented with this passage and the others in this article, you’d think that a believer would jump at the opportunity to obey the commands of God & His Son Christ Jesus. Sadly, most will argue using denominational dogma to argue against God.
We didn’t invent baptism for salvation, God did. It perfectly matches His word. It matches what Jesus did. He died, was buried and was resurrected. [1Cor 15:1-4]
We’re commanded to obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9], but how does one obey DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION?
BAPTISM in water through faith in the working of God!!!
#5, we must be BAPTIZED: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV
- Matthew 28:19
- Mark 16:16
- Acts 2:38
- Acts 10:48
- Acts 22:16
- Rom 6:3-4
- Gal 3:27
These are just a few of the many verses that command & show a believer must be water baptized to have their sins washed away and be saved. We didn’t bring this up, God did.
BAPTISM? Mat 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:35-33; 22:16
It is a BURIAL and a resurrection. [Col 2:12]
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
It is AUTHORIZED by Christ’s command. [Mark 16:16]
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
It is PART 5 of conversion. [Acts 2:38]. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess and be BAPTIZED.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
It TRUSTS God’s working, not our own. [Col 2:12]
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
We are baptized INTO Christ & a putting on Christ.
[Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27]
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Baptism SAVES you. [1Pet 3:21]
“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us”
It is done at MIDNIGHT, midday, or the same hour upon H-B-R-C. Not a scheduled monthly social event. [Acts 16:33]
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
If your denomination schedules baptisms, they don’t believe it is essential for salvation. People in the bible obeyed God IMMEDIATELY, the same hour. [cr. Acts 8:36]