Wholesome Doctrine of Jesus

1 Timothy 6:3   (KJV)   3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness

We’re enjoying our lives as believers. That’s natural for people who’ve been richly given all things we need for our enjoyment. But we’re not without struggles. We have a very undesirable division going on in the beautiful body of Christ. The Lord Jesus prayed that 1 Timothy 6.3 - Wholesome Teaching of Jesuswe as the church be one as He and the Father are one. We’re still far from that reality. The issues and teachings dividing the church are disputable—non-essentials—as often referred to.

There are dangerous teachings though creeping in the church. I’m a personal witness to this. It’s rampant and it’s ongoing. The Scriptures teach us that the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus are in accordance with godliness—our Lord’s doctrine upholds godly living. But I’ve heard messages talking down on preaching about morality and good deeds. In trying to affirm the doctrine of grace—grace which we love and appreciate tremendously—they have condemned the wholesome doctrine of our Lord Jesus—godly living.

We teach godliness; other teachers consent not. Sadly, a lot of opposition comes from fellow Christian teachers. Truth is: it’s possible for believers to stray and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:15). That’s why we’re encouraged to fight the good fight for the true faith, to hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called us… (see 1 Timothy 6:12). We don’t downplay God’s warnings: “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good” (Titus 1:16).

God’s Word is replete with such examples of our Lord’s wholesome doctrine of godliness. Here’s just another example—just a short segment: “12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds” (Titus 2:12-14). This is our doctrine as people under grace. We don’t regret it; we don’t abhor it; we love it.



Live What We Preach

Malachi 2:6   (KJV)   6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

This is one of the times when the Lord commended the priests in the Old Testament. They taught and preached the Word. They were truthful. They lived before the Lord in Malachi 2.6 - Live What We Preachpeace, meaning: they had integrity. They effectively turned many people away from their lives of sin.

We’ve received the wonderful privilege of bearing the torch of truth to everyone. We possess within us this great treasure of God’s Word, the honor of preaching the Good News of salvation to the lost, and this unequalled task of making disciples of all nations. With this is the necessity of living faithfully before God. We steadfastly stand on God’s pure truth; no lies or deceit are found in our lips or in our lives. We maximize our effectiveness that way.

Our hearts sincerely cry out for salvation of God-loved sinners. And it’s just appropriate that we  remove any and every blinding obstacle that would shun them from being attracted to the light of God. One of those obstacles is hypocrisy—living differently from what we preach. We don’t want that for ourselves; we don’t want that for Christianity; we don’t want that as a picture others will have to erroneously represent Jesus and us to them.

Living Faith

James 2:18   (KJV)   18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

I opted to blog a little differently today.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth James 2.18 - Living Faithwhat manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22-25).

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14).

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:17-20).

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:22,24,26).

I rest my case.

Transformed Hearts

Romans 2:29   (KJV)   29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. That’s a saying we’ve probably heard many times, but its truthfulness can’t be ignored. It’s not that outside appearances aren’t important to God, it’s that He knows that the true nature of a person is found and comes Romans 2.29 - Transformed Heartsfrom the heart. The heart is the wellspring of life. Our words and actions, whether they be good or evil, are just natural external expressions of what’s abundantly stored within us.

Obedience is good, good works are that—good, but it’s obviously possible for people to obey and do good things externally—as great pretenders.  To do good, even when forced, for the purpose of helping others has some merits, but doing good for the purpose of deceiving others is reprehensible. It’s possible to have a heart that really desires to worship, serve, and obey God—a heart that sincerely desires to do good to others. It’s a heart changed by God’s Spirit.

One of the best evidences of a Spirit-transformed heart is that it’s “praise is not of men, but of God.”  For us, living good, upright, and godly lives isn’t to impress people but to bring their attention to the Him Who made us new creations as we shine our lights. He deserves our full surrender and obedience.  The truth is: He deserves everything we are and everything we have.  More so, He deserves infinitely more than everything we all are and everything we all have.  We see perfect sense in giving Him no less than our all and our best.

Life of Light

Luke 11:36   (KJV)   36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

A life described to be full of light sounds very beautiful. The good news is: this isn’t just a pipe dream; this can be true. Our entire being can be totally bright. Our bodies can be offered as pure living sacrifice to God; we can make a covenant with our eyes never to look luke-11-36-life-of-lightat anything with lust; we can renew our minds so that our beliefs are correct and our thoughts are completely surrendered to the authority of God’s Word. We’re not part darkness part light; we’re children of light—through and through.

Life surrounded and saturated with light is incomparable. It’s very easy to associate it with wonder and peace. In the middle of a very dark world, we’re under a direct heavenly beam, shining down on us, affecting our entire being. There’s no space for or trace of hypocrisy in our conduct. We live in the light; we don’t engage in works of darkness; we don’t have to hide anything; we don’t have sinful and shameful hidden secrets weighing us down. This may sound very lofty, and yes it does when bragging about self. But we glory in Jesus alone. He’s the One making all these things possible.

Lord, we understand that left to ourselves, we’ll continue to find ourselves as victims of our own weaknesses, imperfections, and sinfulness. You’re the Light of the World illuminating our own world. We lay ourselves restfully under a flowing heavenly fountain of light continually falling on us. Our world’s bright—in and out—because of You. You drive away darkness from us. Now, we project this light brilliantly; our desire is to get the world to clearly see the good in and about us, and by doing so, lead their sight and focus to Your glory—the Father of lights in Whom there’s no variableness neither shadow of turning.

The One Mediator

1 Timothy 2:5   (KJV)   5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Jesus became man; that’s the Word becoming flesh. But He isn’t just a mere man. It’s worth noting: He took upon Himself the form of a servant in the likeness of man; humanity was something He took upon Himself. What was He before? He was in the very 1-timothy-2-5-the-one-mediatorform—or nature—God. That’s why He’s the perfect mediator between God and man—He’s a part of both worlds—both nature: GodMan. He is the fulfillment of the “kinsman-redeemer.” Hallelujah; He truly is one of our very own—our brother.

In Him resides the hope of sinful humanity’s reconciliation to our holy God. Everyone has hope to be saved though not everyone will be saved. With love, with faith, we pray for everyone nonetheless—whoever they are. Yes, I pray, even for leaders I almost don’t feel like praying for; it’s a natural tendency for the righteous not to like treasonous tyrants who attack God’s people and destroy the country they’re supposed to uphold. It’s natural for me not to like bullies, but I have to pray for them—lovingly, simply because God loves them, and He commands us to love even enemies. But I pray that God will bless them with a changed heart—a heart that pursues what’s good, what’s right, and what’s godly.

Our dear Lord Jesus paid dearly as a mediator. For us to be brought back, reconnected with the Father, He had to pay with His life. We were in chains, shackled by sin and death, but because of the precious sacrifice of our Mediator, we’re free. As those who now live in God, we spread that Good News, while living out what we preach. There will be sacrifices, but nothing compared to what He has offered. We may not live in luxury, but even that is a blessing. We don’t have to incessantly try to climb up the ladder of the world’s ever-changing yet empty expectations—chasings after the wind. We live simply, modestly, yet full of satisfaction. That’s what we have after we find ourselves mediated back to fellowship with the King.

Seed of Holiness

1 John 3:9   (KJV)   Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Our heart deeply yearns that we glorify our holy God in the way we live. What a great honor to be instruments of our Master’s praise. It’s a wonderful privilege showing people that there are real believers—people who truly follow Him. Our treasured relationship with Him goes beyond cerebral; it totally involves our hearts; it plainly shows through the 1-john-3-9-seed-of-holinessindisputable way we live. Our confident confession and our visible actions are in harmony with each other. God has made us righteous; we show it well.

Others say believers are total hypocrites; that’s quite understandable, but it doesn’t mean they’re right. Hypocrites show something different without an inch of inclination to change. True followers of the Lord Jesus aren’t perfect, but changes are happening progressively; we truly desire change, we passionately pursue change. We try our best getting rid of our sinful ways and anything that displeases our beloved Savior. If we show ourselves holy, it’s because God has made us holy and we want to be holy.

It’s our deep desire to have God’s seed in us growing and manifesting increasingly more. Personally, in my humble understanding of God’s Word, a true believer’s life and lifestyle is characterized with goodness and godliness; a sinful lifestyle and true Christianity is a contradiction. Yes, we’re not perfect; we still fail, sin, and fall, but we don’t make a habit and practice of it. It breaks our hearts when we do; we don’t glory in it. Our search isn’t on how to be better in sinning without being caught or exposed, rather, our journey is a continuous quest towards our Father’s greater pleasure. Positionally, He’s always pleased with us; praise God, He also gives us additional honor and privilege of pleasing Him practically.