Monday, April 28, 2014

New Life In Christ

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Brethren, this message, like all the messages we have shared previously, is from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. During the past four years that the Lord has been speaking to us, He has taken a personal interest in our walk with Him through the various messages of encouragement and correction. Many brethren around the world who have heard the Lord for themselves can attest to this truth. Equally, there are many who have heard the Lord for themselves, but through a lack of faith and an appetite for wrong doing some have wandered from the Lord.

In utter disbelief, I have witnessed people ignoring the Lord’s warnings and doubting the very message that is Biblical in every way. Of the many who heard from the Lord, none can say they were led into wrongdoing. A truthful witness sides with the truth and disregards his own position or feelings on matters affecting his walk with God. If we love the truth, our reputation or integrity has no value; what matters is our fear for God.

Before our new life in Christ through conversion (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:3; Acts 16:31), we lived our lives without regard for God and His Word. In our old lives, we lived to only please others and ourselves, and we also approved the way others lived so that our way of life would also carry their approval. In Christ, however, and through the born-again experience, we are encouraged “like newborn babies, to crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 NIV). The Lord told us that salvation through Him leading to eternal life is very important, and that we should, “make every effort to enter through the narrow door…” (Luke 13:24). In our obedience to Him, the Lord said we should consider our lives in this world less important, for His sake and the gospel’s sake (Mark 10:29-30). The gospel is not just the preaching of the Word, but the outward witness through holy living of a grateful heart.

Furthermore, we express our appreciation to God for the gift of salvation through our obedience to Him by leading our lives to please Him (Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 3:9) and bear good fruit (Matthew 13:23). When we live in obedience to the Lord, we are living our lives for His good pleasure; we are dead to sin and the pleasures of this world (Romans 6:1-2; 1 John 2:15). This is the new life in Christ!  I am testifying the truth in Christ Jesus; the Lord said many people after giving their lives to Him start faithfully and when tests come they live double lives (Matthew 13:18-22). This He said is like an athlete who competes in a race and does not complete the race (Galatians 5:7). He said He has no reward for Christians living double lives, but Judgment (James 1:6-8). Let us therefore live for God in such a way that when we near the end of our lives, we can confidently declare like Paul, that we have completed the race (2 Timothy 4:7-8). In Scripture we read how Paul lived and surely it is worth following his example and way of life (1 Corinthians 11:1).

In addition, in his zeal for Christ and not living a double life, Paul encouraged the Thessalonian Christians how he lived in Christ among them and that they do likewise (1 Thessalonians 1:5). Brethren, this is no new message but a reminder to us to live our lives worthy of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:20-25).

The Lord’s Way

I have already given testimonies on how the Lord corrected us in regard to disobedience. I can truthfully testify that the Lord is very displeased when we deliberately disobey Him. It is like a son who despises his father’s instructions. He commands us to obey Him even at the expense of our lives (Matthew 10:37-39). Furthermore, most of the things the Lord corrects us on concern our inner attitudes, which even when someone insists on living by the ten (10) commandments would still fall short on. There is hatred, swearing, gossip, slandering and gluttony, just to mention but a few, which makes us fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of holy living.

Therefore, as we confess our sins, we acknowledge our shortcomings and express our desire to live in obedience to the Lord. Our confession is an expression of faith when we apply our lives to the Scriptures (James 1:22).  In a vision recently, a man known to us who had faith in Christ but lived a double life died in a car accident. The Lord showed that his life of faith without works of obedience did not save him.

In the vision, Charis was made to understand what he was thinking. He was thinking about a message he heard me preach and he longed for that moment. I preached saying, "Don’t allow death to catch you by surprise!" His eyes were small and filled with regret, with sadness on his face as she heard the words by a witness saying, “I feel very sorry for that young man”. The message is clear; he did not make it to Heaven.

Once we accept the Lord Jesus as Savior, the Lord expects us to walk daily in the New Life.  Last month, a sister who accepted the Lord and joined our ministry about 9 months ago, was "suspended" by the Lord from ministering with us for six months because she did not walk faithfully after having been warned by the Lord to stop her wickedness. She was secretly smoking without us knowing until the Lord showed us in a vision. When we asked her, she admitted and gave glory to God. She is not allowed to minister in the Word like witnessing and praying in the corporate intercessory prayers. She is, however, attending regular weekly services and she must continue reading her bible and praying. The Lord said that those involved in sexual sins like adultery or fornication should not serve at the altar, that is why He made an example of this sister. Her suspension is a punishment and the purpose is to deter others while maintaining the purity of the ministry. We share this to tell you that the Lord wants us to walk purely before Him; He is coming back for a spotless bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).

In conclusion, I beseech you brothers and sisters: please take your salvation serious by living to obey the Lord daily. He expects us through this new life to read our Bibles daily and pray often (daily, about 3 times) (Daniel 6:10; Psalm 55:17; Thessalonians 5:17). Surely, Bible reading changes our attitudes and behavior. The conviction coming from the Holy Spirit through Bible reading leads us to obedience provided we submit to God. If there are some of us still living a double life and when we know we ought not to live our lives in Christ like that, there is a chance to make right with the Lord. Today is that chance, so please repent now (Hebrews 3:14-15; Hebrews 4:6-7)! Follow Christ Jesus daily and be about the Lord’s business every day. If not, the devil has the world and its pleasures to keep you occupied. Be therefore in the WORD business, the SOUL winning business and the OBEDIENT living business. By that we live a Christ-centered life.

Blessed Peace in New Life,
Brother Glenn.