A Spiritual War

(2 Corinthians 10:1-3)

Here is a reminder to all Christians, especially when they are under attack and feel everything is just too much. When you reach that point where you think you can’t go on, you need to remember that we are at war.

The war of the spirit must be fought by the spirit
The war of the spirit must be fought by the spirit

The war we are fighting is not against the people of this world, but is a spiritual war. We are contending against a spiritual enemy whose whole purpose is to try and tear us away from the Lord Jesus and His salvation.

Those who choose to follow Christ have not chosen an easy path. Christians are put down, ridiculed, presented as pariahs, and treated as if they are of no account. Christian views are stomped on by those who oppose the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet they believe they are in the right to do so. However, if a Christian were to dare stand up for himself or herself, we are falsely accused of all manner of evil. That is why we must always remember this is not a worldly war and we should ask ourselves the question… Continue reading “A Spiritual War”

Defeating The Serpent

(Acts 28:1-6)

In my last post on this blog I wrote about the protection of The Lord. As Christians we are protected in many different ways, both physically protected and spiritually protected.

Defeating the serpent
Defeating the serpent

We do have a responsibility to not put ourselves into situations where we are in danger if we can, but that is not always possible. Often danger comes to us. Sometimes while we are among people or in unfamiliar places we may not be aware that danger is nearby.

This was the situation Paul found himself in after the ship he was travelling on was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. He was unaware that while doing the innocuous task of collecting firewood that a deadly viper, one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, would bite him and attach itself to his hand. What happened after this though is nothing short of miraculous for he did not die. And there is also another lesson we can take from this regarding other “snakes.”

Continue reading “Defeating The Serpent”

The Lords Protection

(Acts 23:12-35)

There are many people who can and do bear testimony to the protection they have received from The Lord. I know His protection first hand and how The Lord protected both my wife, myself and my children from death. If you are interested in my testimony relating to this you can Protection

Protection

Anyway, we see the power and working of God’s protection in Paul’s life as he waited in prison in Jerusalem. The Lord has said that we would and will be protected and that was certainly true in this case.

So it is worth looking at the protection of The Lord and what the bible says about his protection, both in relation to Paul’s situation and ours also. It is a wonderful thing knowing that all the power of the creator of heaven and earth is there to protect us from all things that may come against us. Evil men, troubled times, difficult circumstances even demonic and satanic attack cannot stand against the protection of The Lord.

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The Ruler of This World

(John 14:28-31)

ruler of this world
Who is the ruler of this world?

Time for a quick quiz. Who is the ruler of this world that Jesus was referring to in this section of scripture? A king or a queen? Perhaps Herod or the Caesar of Rome? If you answered any of these you would be wrong.

What if this event had happened today instead of two thousand odd years ago, who is the ruler of the world today? The United Nations? Maybe the US President as the leader of the world’s greatest superpower? Well, again if you answered this way you would still be wrong.

The fact is that this world is not controlled and ruled by any man. It is controlled and ruled from the spiritual realm and the ruler of this world is a spiritual being. So enough clues, who is the ruler of this world in the spiritual realm? OK just one more clue. The ruler of this world was the most beautiful person in the heavenly places and he walked in the presence of God Himself. So…got the answer now? Yes you’re right. The ruler of this world is Satan.

Continue reading “The Ruler of This World”

Satan Cast Out

(John 12:31-32)

cast out
Cast out in desperation and no hope of return

Two strong pieces of information are contained in these two verse. One that could and should strike fear into the hearts of mankind, but only those who are not followers of Jesus. The second is a declaration of the hope of salvation and the promise of the Lord.

There are insights here about the power struggle that is and was going on in heaven. It is a fascinating study in the power of God versus the opposition from Satan. Let’s look at some of the interesting insights we can gain from these two verses and the powers at work on both sides.

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Sons of Light, Sons of Darkness

(John 3:19-21)

Light and darkness. Could there be any greater or more compelling a contrast between two things? Opposites and in opposition, and neither can exist in the presence of the other. This is exactly the position we see between those who come to the Lord and those who choose not to, as described in this scripture. Just as light displaces darkness, so too the truth of the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who is the light of this world, displaces the darkness of ignorance and evil.

Continue reading “Sons of Light, Sons of Darkness”

Jesus Came to Save, Not to Condemn

(John 3:17-18)

Quite often you hear people talk about how hard it is to be a Christian. They talk about all the rules and regulations and laws and how if you make a mistake you’ll be condemned to hellfire and brimstone. Unbelievers in particular talk about God as if he were ready to damn every person for every mistake they ever made and that everyone is under the constant threat of condemnation and damnation.

If you have heard such talk too, then you need to read this post, because nothing could be further from the truth.

Continue reading “Jesus Came to Save, Not to Condemn”

Get Behind Me Satan

(Mark 8:31-33)

Satan is the great deceiver of mankind. He is subtle and cunning like a fox. His desire is to destroy mankind and especially those who seek the Lord. Here we see the battle lines drawn up. Christians on the side of God but Satan on the side of men.

sly-as-a-foxThere is a good message in this section of scripture. Jesus was telling his disciples plainly what was to come. He was explaining that he was to suffer and be killed by the hands of the elders, chief priests and the scribes.

But Peter took him aside and began to rebuke Jesus. Peter said to him, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” (Matthew 16:22) But we see the response of Jesus and his words are interesting.

Peter knew Jesus was the Christ. He also had seen the manifestations of Jesus’ power over several years. He knew that no man would be able to stand against Jesus and prevail. So he said, “This will never happen to you.” Jesus could have taken action and prevented his death by using the whole power of God. But then how would we have been saved? How would he have provided salvation for all of mankind if he had chosen to keep his life and not die for our salvation and our sin?

No. What we see here is Satan deceptive and deceitful as ever using Peter against Jesus to sway his decision. Satan is the great deceiver and the father of lies. His influence was such that he was even permitted to use one who was closer to Jesus than any other to attempt to tempt Jesus into stepping away from his purpose.

If this could happen to Jesus, it can happen to us also. Satan can use those who are closest to us to tempt us and try to gain the advantage over us. Sometimes we may fall into the trap, but fortunately for us Jesus did not fall. He stood against Satan and recognised that the attack was not from Peter but from the evil one. He put Satan in his place and did not rebuke Peter but showed the source of this attack.

Jesus said that sometimes those closest to us will be our enemies. He said, “…a man’s foes will be those of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36) So just as Jesus recognised the attack of Satan through Peter, we too need to be aware that those closest to us, especially if they are not looking to the Lord, may be used to attack or tempt us into evil as Satan tried to tempt Jesus into evil.

So take warning from this scripture and know that this can happen. But like Jesus, if it does happen, and if you are caught out, put the blame where it belongs…on the head of the deceiver. Pray for the person who was used as Satan’s instrument and don’t hold a grudge. As they say, don’t shoot the messenger, it is the work of Satan to tear you down. But Jesus has already conquered and through him we will find the victory.

(Picture sourced from stock.xchng: http://www.sxc.hu and taken by Dave Dyet)

Jesus Nailed to the Stake

 (Matthew 27:32-44)

To all the readers of this blog:

I will be away for the next two weeks until the end of April 2011 and unsure of internet access. I will attempt to keep posting during that time but cannot guarantee there will be a post every day. Thank you for reading my blog and I do hope you gain something useful. Now to today’s instalment…

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Jesus was led away to be nailed to the stake. I have used the term “stake” rather than “cross” for the Greek word is literally translated as stake and not cross. I am led to believe that this word was translated as “crux” in the Latin Vulgate and thus when the early translations into English were done they took the word “crux” and rendered it as “cross.” Whether the actual stake Jesus was nailed to had a transverse beam or not is not really known. Thus I will use the term “stake” as it was written in the original Greek.

When a person was put to death in this manner it was normal customer and practice in those times to also nail up the charge or list of charges against them. This was to show the basis for the execution. In the case of Jesus the “charge” that was written was, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Now while they meant it to be mockery and a denouncement of Jesus, it was in actual fact the truth. They did not know it at the time, or rather refused to accept it as truth, but it was indeed the truth. He was both King of kings and Lord of lords.

All who saw him thus displayed derided and reviled him. Even the two thieves who were likewise executed with him derided him, and yet t hey too were suffering the same punishment. Such is the foolishness of men. In one of the other versions of these events we see one of the robbers come to his senses. He said to the other robber that they too were in the same situation as Jesus and yet Jesus had done no wrong. He repented of his actions and asked the Lord to remember him when he came into his Kingdom, which the Lord said he would do. Many people use this situation as a point of hope to make a deathbed confession and thus be saved.

Anyone who thinks such as this is living in a fool’s paradise. Who apart from God knows the timing or manner of their death? Who knows whether they will even have the chance to make a deathbed confession? And if they have lived a life of sin and this confession is just a mockery or a slim hope of not suffering for their sins, will it even be accepted by the Lord? God knows the hearts of all mankind and will render to each according to their faith and works. If anyone thinks there is a “get out of jail free card” by making a deathbed confession is kidding themselves. The old saying that you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time does not apply to God. You cannot fool God ANY of the time.

Jesus suffered humiliation right up to the point of his death. It was as if the devil wanted to wring out every ounce of suffering, derision and humiliation against the Lord that he could. And well he might, for in the death of Jesus, Satan was defeated and the Lord victorious. In the death of Jesus the New Covenant came into force and through Jesus’ death man was able to be set free from sin, death and all forms of bondage. The devil is the master of bondage and so in the death of Jesus those bonds were not just loosened, they were shattered.

In spite of the humiliation of Jesus or rather because of his humiliation we should give thanks. Without his death we would still walk in sin and under the power and bondage of the law. But in his death we are set free if we come to him and accept his freedom through faith in the power of his blood and through entering into this death in baptism. Praise be to God for his gift.