Who is this person called "GOD"?
Now though most believers think they have a pretty good understanding of “GOD,” almost none of them have a good understanding of God, because few of them have studied what Scripture says about Him. Now since “GOD” has an infinite nature (not a finite one) He is the Creator and the GOD of the entire universe! (Gen 1:1). With that in mind, consider what all of the following sentences say: God is the ultimate reality & ruler of every thing that exists in the universe. Now since God makes Himself known to people, and is the redeemer of people, knowing God requires that people study His Word (i.e., Scripture), and not simply believe some-thing that a finite mind believes. Beloved, remember, since God ministered truth to the world by being the author of Scripture, all of us as human beings can know “GOD” to the degree that His Word reveales Himself to us in Scripture. Keep in mind, those who question the integrity of God’s Word, are not embracing divine truth; instead they are embracing the demonic minds of the devil and his cohorts. Now since God is not fully comprehensible due to the fact that He is vastly bigger than the entire universe, we cannot totally fathom God. Said the psalmist David, “The Lord’s greatness is unsearchable!” (Ps 145:3). Said Paul, “God’s judgments are unsearchable and His ways are unfathomable!” (Rom 11:33). Now though no human being can fully know God, that is why the doctrine of God has been placed in “Scripture” as God’s Word (Ps 19:7-14). Now in addition to that, God alone is self-existent… self-sufficient… eternal… and in need of absolutely nothing out-side of Himself (Ps 50:12-14; 93:2; Acts 17:24-25). Now since God is to be trusted, worshipped, and obeyed, He is not only sustaining the world, He is governing it toward its eternal ending (Eph 1:11-13). Remember, when God sent His Son into the world to die on the cross for us & give His life to us (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4-10;7; 1 Jn 4:10), grace, holiness, goodness, justice, and love characterized God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit.
Now since the word “GOD” does not possess a term that makes God fully identi-fiable in people’s minds, they must not only remember that God transcends all creatures, but that He has always existed and is an infinite creature, not a finite one like human beings. Now with that in mind, let me expand a little more on who God really is — remember, God is the Lord, the almighty, the creator, the maker, and the ruler of Heaven & Earth, and in addition to that God is the King of Kings, and is merciful, and all powerful. As such, He is a Holy Triune God and is God the Father… and God the Son… and God the Holy Spirit. Remember, God is not only eternal, He is infinite, loving, immutable, holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, sovereign and righteous. Now with the forgoing in mind, remember what God said to the prophet Isaiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways & My thoughts than your thoughts” (Is 55:8-9). Obvi-ously, as human beings we don’t have the ability to fully understand the God of the universe, because we are very small creatures in comparison to God; remember, God is trillions of times bigger than we are as human beings. Now since we are extremely limited creatures, the wonderful news is that the Lord is “OUR GOD!” and the eternal “RULER” of our lives! Now with that in mind, read some of what the psalmist David said to God when he was a leader in the nation of Israel: “God, heed the sound of my cry for help, for to Thee do I pray” (Ps 5:2)… “Look upon my affliction & my trouble, and forgive me of all my sins” (Ps 25:18)… “Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am in distress, and cleanse me from my sin and wash me and I shall be whiter than snow… renew a steadfast spirit in me, and restore to me the joy of Thy salvation… I will cry to God most high, who accomplishes all things for me” (Ps 31:9; 51:1-12; 57:2). “Hear my cry, O God and give heed to my prayer… though my flesh and my heart may fail, God is the strength of my heart forever; as such Help me O Lord and save me according to Thy lovingkindness” (Ps 61:1; 73:26; 109:26)… “Bless the Lord who pardons all my iniquities & all my diseases; for He is mindful that we are but DUST!” (Ps 103:1-3, 14). Now since many Psalms” speak to our hearts and minds, God gives significant messages to us as His people.
THE FACT THAT “GOD LOVES US” IS IMMENSE!
The wonderful truth for us as believers is that “God loves us with an everlasting love!” Keep in mind, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we would ultimately be Holy and blameless and loved by God” (Eph 1:4). Thus it should be obvious that none of us as fallen human beings have ever merited God’s love… God had simply predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ by the glory of His grace… keep in mind, we were redeemed by Christ through His blood, which He lavished upon us (Eph 1:4-8). “Now though we were all alienated from God and hostile in mind and embraced evil deeds, nevertheless God recon-ciled us to Himself through death, that He might make us Holy and Blameless” (Col 1:21-22; Rom 5:10). Now due to the fact that “sin” still exists in our lives because God never removed our sinful flesh from our lives, “we are no longer the one’s who are sinning, but sin which dwells in our flesh” (Rom 7:16-18). Now with that in mind the apostle Paul said, “Walk by the Spirit that you will not carry out the desires of the flesh, for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh… they are in opposition to one another that you may not do the things that you please.” Remember, “the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit & the Spirit against the Flesh” (Gal 5:16-17); thus they are in constant conflict with each other, because God wanted to continually remind us of our weaknesses. As such Paul said, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts” (Rom 13:14). Remember, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the Flesh with its passions and desires; thus if we now live by the Spirit, we must walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:24-25). Beloved, “don’t lose heart in doing good, for in due time you shall “reap” if you don’t grow weary; therefore do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith” (Gal 6:9-10). Now remember, the Spirit and the Flesh are in constant conflict with each other. Though God could have removed our flesh from us when we became His people, He didn’t choose to do that, because He wanted us to continually be mindful of our own weakness… therefore instead of God removing our sinful nature from us when we became one of His people, God placed “His Holy Spirit” in us that we might live to the praise of His glory! Now since God’s Spirit and our Flesh are at war with each other until He takes us into heaven, as believers we are to constantly yield to the “Holy Spirit” rather then our Flesh! (Gal 5:17). Keep in mind, all of Christ’s people “crucified their flesh when they were converted,” thus there was a sense in which we nailed our old corrupt nature to the cross, and determined that we would no longer enter into our fallen sinful nature and let it rule in our lives; remember, as God’s people we must continue to renew this decision in our lives. Said Paul to the Galatians, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires, because they were crucified with Christ; now since Christ lives in us, the life we now live, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us & delivered Him-self up for us” (Gal 2:20; 5:24). Now since we LIVE by the Spirit, we must WALK by the Spirit” (Gal 5:25; Col 2:6; 1 Jn 1:7), and live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
THE ISSUE OF “SIN” IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER
Now regarding “SIN” in our lives, we all essentially become aware of our sinful nature when the Holy Spirit ministers to our hearts & minds, and becomes God’s ruler in our lives (Ps 51:1-9; Is 6:5; Lk 5:8). By the way, “Scripture teaches that sin is universal, that all people sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Keep in mind, “there is not a religious person on earth who always does what is right and never sins” (Eccles 7:20). “No one can say, I have kept my heart pure, and am clean and without sin” (Prov 20:9). Said the psalmist David, “All people have gone astray, there is no one who simply does good, not even one” (Ps 14:3). Now since the issue of sin is unbelief or hardness of heart, the chief manifestations of sin are pride, sensuality and fear. By the way, other significant aspects of sin are these: self-pity, selfishness, jealousy, and greed. Said James, the brother of Jesus, “Each person is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust, and when lust has conceived it gives birth to sin & when it is fully groan it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). Remember, since we are all born with a propensity to sin, sin is inherent in the lives of all human beings. Now with the forgoing in mind, remember, Scrip-ture teaches that “SIN” cannot be overcome by human effort; thus the solution to the problem lies in what GOD did for us through Jesus Christ. Remember, the penalty of sin is death, judgment & hell, yet the gospel says that God chose to pay the penalty of sin through the death of His Son “Jesus Christ” (John 3:16-17; Acts 20:28; Rom 3:21-26; 2 Cor 5:18-19; Col 2:13-15); keep in mind, it was the death of Christ on the cross, and the resurrection of Christ, that accomplished the redemption of sinners. Now in spite of the fact that all of us as Christians have been delivered from the guilt of sin, we still suffer from the pain of more sin in spite of the fact that we are now in the state of grace! Remember, “All believers sin & fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23); thus there is no such thing as a sinless person; by the way, sin is nonconformity to the law of God; thus it is defined as transgressing the Law of God. Now with the forgoing in mind, no sin destroys our justification by faith, in spite of the fact that even the smallest sin is an act of rebellion against God; therefore the “grace of God” is greater than all our guilt combined (1 John 1:8-10). Keep in mind, this world we live in is not at all a pleasant world for us, because it is a diabolical sinful world, not a wonderful glorious world! As such we are often affected by negatives that frequently occur in this world. Remem-ber, negatives can frustrate us, discourage us, upset us, disappoint us, and make us angry, because those things are not at all pleasant. Now in spite of the fact that most of God’s young people did not experience many “negatives” in life, since they have gotten older, God has subjected them to numerous negatives in life, which is simply how God operates in the lives of His people. Remember, God disciplines us with “negatives” in life that we might grow our faith and live a godly life (read Hebrews 12:1-12), and not simply live a happy life, which has never been God’s will for us as His people; thus we must fight the good fight of evil and walk in the light with God & His people, and serve them and minister to them that they might also live a godly life. Remember what the Apostle Paul said to the Colossians: “When you are filled with the knowledge of God’s will, you may walk in a manner wor-thy of the Lord to please Him in all respects; because good work increases in our lives when we increase in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:9-10). Beloved, remem-ber, if we don’t give serious consideration to what God’s Word says, sin will result.
THE NEED TO “REPENT” AND “WALK IN THE LIGHT”
Now since “sin” is a dominant issue in the lives of believers, they must “repent” of their sins and let God minister to their hearts & minds. Remember, repentance means to turn back and turn away from sin, which is a “gift of God!” (Psalm 80:3, 7, 19; Jer 31:18-20; Is 55:6-7). Remember, repentance was the theme of “John the Baptist,” who preached to the people in Israel just prior to the ministry of Jesus a little over 2,000 years ago in Israel; incidentally, John the Baptist baptized Jesus just prior to His ministry back then (John 1:6-51; Mt 3:1, 8, 13-15; Mk 1:4; 1 Jn 1:8-10), wherein He encouraged people to turn away from sin and turn to God and walk in the light, which essentially defines our relationship with Christ. Remember, if we live for Christ we will show others what Christ is like and how we live for Him. Remember, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn 8:12). Remember, following Jesus means to come to Him in repentance (because sin & self-centeredness is so common), and commit one’s life to Him. Remember, when people embrace Jesus they will walk in the light, and those who reject Him will walk in darkness (John 12:35). Beloved, remember, we are not to walk according to our Flesh, but accord-ing to the Spirit (Rom 8:4; Gal 5:16). Keep in mind, a Spirit controlled life is the life God wants us to live. Remember, “We were created in Christ Jesus for good works that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Furthermore, “those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8). Remember, “when we walk in the light we have fellowship with God, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7). Remember, being a follower of Christ means turning away from self-centeredness… and self control… and turning our lives over to Christ and His control. Said Jesus, “I did not come into this world to abolish people, but to fulfill them” (Mt 5:17). What is critical important for us as believers is “faithful obedience from the heart,” in spite of the fact that human beings can’t completely save themselves from sin and its consequences; remember, no matter how good we are, we cannot completely remove our fallen sinful nature from our lives; because only Jesus can do that! Now since Jesus became our Savior, we must thank God for His death for our sin, and then ask Him to take control of our life that we may live for Him. Now since “life” depends on God, when we walk in fellowship with God, we will live to the praise of God and His glory. Said Jesus to His people: “I came that you might have life and that you might have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Now with the forgoing in mind, remember, “Jesus chose 12 people (Peter, Mark, Luke & John, etc.) to be His people and be with Him; as such, He sent them out to preach and have the authority to cast out demons” (Mk 3:14-15). Keep in mind, Jesus expects whole-hearted obedience from His followers… as such, when He ascended into God’s heavenly realm, His twelve people were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to carry out special roles in the growth of the early church. Furthermore, Jesus had His people repent of their sins that they might live to the praise of His glory.
THE NEED TO “FREQUENTLY STUDY GOD’S WORD”
Remember what Moses said to the Israelites: “You must read God’s Word every day in life that you might not only believe God’s word but obey what His word says. Now when we fail to study God’s Word every day, we are not at all pleasing to God… which is precisely what the ancient Israelites did over and over again, thus God destroyed the nation of Israel because the people did not honor God, instead the vast majority of them were simply self-centered people! Remember, God asks us to study His Word that we might know His word, and that we might teach it to others. Remember, if we don’t study God’s Word, our faith will start to fall and we won’t live the life God wants us to live… as such, when we don’t study God’s Word every day, we are simply “living a self-centered life!” Keep in mind, when we read and study God’s Word, the “Holy Spirit” ministers to our hearts and minds; but such does not occur when we don’t spend time reading and studying His Word. Keep in mind, as God’s people, we must spend significant time reading & studying His Word…and praying to God every day…and seeking the will of God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Now with that in mind, remember what “The Old Testament Book of Ezra” said, “Study God’s Word and practice what it says, and teach it to the Israelites” (Ezra 7:10). Said another one of God’s people: “Great are the works of the Lord, because they are all studied by those who delight in them” (Ps 111:2 & 92:5). Keep in mind, the most fundamental teaching of the Bible and Christian theology is that God exists and is in control of the entire universe, and that Scripture recognizes the knowledge of God and gives strong evidence for His existence (Rom 1:18; 1 Cor 1:21-25). Now though people knew God in the ancient world, they did not honor Him as God; thus God darkened their foolish heart. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of an incorruptible God for an image of a corruptible man. Thus God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, and they exchanged the truth of God for a lie… and worshipped and served a creature rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:21-25). Now with that in mind remember, God communicates Himself to people through His Word; thus He reveals Himself to give true knowledge of Himself to those who in faith open themselves to God’s divine self-disclosure. Remember, many of God’s people have reached out to worldly people with the true knowledge of God’s Word.
THE FACT THAT “GOD FORGIVES US” IS IMMENSE!
Now since God forgives sinners when they come to Him for mercy, He obviously possesses a tremendous amount of love! Remember, it was love that prompted Jesus to come into the world to die for people and bring about salvation. As the book of Romans says, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who are called according to His purpose; and those He called He justified & glorified… obviously if God is for us, who can be against us? Remem-ber, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:28-32). Obviously as God’s people we conquer through Him who loved us. Said Paul, “I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). Now in spite of the fact that many believers face hardships in life, many of them fear that they have been abandoned by Christ, yet that does not at all coincide with God’s Word; said the apostle Paul said, “It is not possible for believers to be separated from Christ, because His death for us is proof of His unconquerable love”… thus nothing can stop Christ’s constant presence in our lives. Remember, God tells us how great His love is so that we will feel totally secure in Him! Says the book of John, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that however believed in Him will not perish (never!) but have ETERNAL LIFE!” (Jn 3:16). Said the psalmist in the Old Testament, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever!“ (Psalm 136:1). Remember, we never have to worry that God will stop loving us… by the way, remember, the more we become like Christ, the more love we will show to other people, which is one of the significant things that God asks all of us as believers to do (1 Cor 13; Gal 5:6; 1 John 4:11-12, 21). Remember what the apostle Paul said, “God showed His love to us in that while we were yet sinners Christ DIED for us” (Rom 5:8); remember, God’s love is seen in its fullness on the cross of Jesus Christ. Said Jesus’ favorite person (John the Baptist) in His ministry to the Israelites: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!” (John 3:16). As John said in the book of Revelation, “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood, He has made us to be priests to His God & Father” (Rev 1: 5-6). With that in mind remember, God’s love is not only gracious and everlasting (Jer 31:3), it is infinitely deeper than our full awareness of it. As such, God’s love cannot be fully understood…and since His love is eternal and has no end, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:35-39). Now remember, as God’s people we are to “love the Lord” (Matt 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27), “and love our neighbors and our enemies and pray for them in order that we may be sons of God” (Matt 5:43-45; Rom 13:9; John 13:34; 15:12-13); beloved, remember “God’s love has been poured out in us by the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5)… thus Christian love is not a feeling… it is a choice… thus we can treat people with respect, whether or not we feel great affection for them. Therefore, if we choose to love people, God will help us express our love… thus we must acknowledge the fact that God loves us with an everlasting love, because none of us ever merited God’s love; therefore God’s love must be a great encouragement to us. Beloved, keep in mind, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that He might make us His creatures, and predestine us to be His sons (Eph 1:4-5)’ so God chose us to be His people because He is a tremendously loving person! The incredible miracle is, when we enter in to heaven GOD is going to completely transform us into His glorious presence!!! In spite of the fact that WE NEVER MERIT HIS LOVE FOR US!!! Now since we did not deserve His love and grace, His love for us far exceeds our sinful nature! As such the apostle Paul said that “It is completely impossible that any of us will eventually be separated from our Savior, Jesus Christ!” (Rom 8:28-30); now with that in mind, remember, God’s Word speaks of God’s Love numerous times in His Word! Remember, Christ loved us so much He died for us on the cross! that we might be His people in heaven FOREVER! Keep in mind, due to the fact that God loves us with an everlasting love, we must take the time to embrace God’s Word and not simply make it a questionable issue. Now with the forgoing in mind remember, God’s love for us is EVERLASTING & WILL NEVER END!
NOW SINCE THE “HOLY SPIRIT” LIVES IN US,
WE ARE TO “LIVE FOR GOD EVERY DAY!”
Beloved, keep in mind, “Since Scripture is the by-product of the “Holy Spirit,” all of Scripture is inspired by God, not human beings (2 Pet 1:21; Acts 1:16); now since all of Scripture is inspired by God & is profitable for righteousness, we as God’s people may be adequately equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). Keep in mind, the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to “guide believers into spiritual truth” (John 14:26). Thus the life we live as believers is the life of the Holy Spirit and sons of God and heirs of Christ (Gal 5:16; Rom 8:9; 8:14-17; Gal 4:6). Beloved, remember, it is the Holy Spirit who engages God’s people to war against their sinful flesh; as such, as believers we are to be led by the Holy Spirit and walk by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:16-17; Rom 8:5-8), and in so doing become slaves of righteousness which ul-timately results in sanctification and eternal life (Rom 6:18-23. Now since Christ abides in us by the Holy Spirit, when “sin” overwhelms us in life, we can become very discouraged spiritually, and struggle in life & question our relationship with God, because we may see God as the one who subjects us to most of the negatives we experience in life, in spite of the fact that Satan and his cohorts also subject us to negatives in life (cf. 1 John 3:23-24). Now with the forgoing in mind, remember negatives can be very frustrating and discouraging in life, yet God still permits such things in our lives. Now though that can be a little frustrating to us as believers, we must grow in our knowledge of God and accept what He is subjecting us to in life (Heb 12:1-12; Prov 3:11-12; Ps 119:75; 1 Pet 5:9-10). Thus the question is, “How do you respond to God when you experience negatives in life, and how do you restore your relationship with God, once you become angry and disappointed in life?” Remember what “King David” said in the ancient world of Israel about 3,000 years ago: “God be gracious to me and blot out my transgressions & cleanse me from my sin according to Thy lovingkindness” (Ps 51:1-2). Said David, “Answer me when I call you God… be gracious to me and hear my prayer… for I have sinned against Thee” (Ps 41:1, 4). Said David to the Lord, “Do not rebuke me in Thine anger. nor chasten me in Thy wrath…Have mercy on me God, for my soul is greatly dismayed” (Ps 6:1-3). Remember, David went on to say a number of other things in the Psalms:
*O God of my righteousness, be gracious to me and hear my prayer (Ps 4:1).
*Listen to my words O Lord, and heed the sound of my cry for help (Ps 5:1-2).
*Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, or chasten me in Your wrath (Ps 6:1).
*Lord, why do you stand far off and hide Thyself in times of trouble (Ps 10:1).
*God, why have You forsaken Me; I cry daily but Thou dost not answer (22:1-2).
*How blessed is He whose transgression is forgiven & whose sin is covered (32:1).
*Lord, incline Thine ear and answer me, for I am afflicted and needy (Ps 86:1).
Remember what Jesus said to His people, “Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord… for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines… though discipline is not a joyful experience, yet afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness and helps us grow our faith” (Heb 12:5, 6, 11). Remember, God causes the growth in our lives (1 Cor 3:6; Col 2:19), yet contrary to what some people believe, God does not use a pleasant joyful life to grow our faith (Heb 12:11). Now though all of us as God’s people stumble and sin in life (Rom 7:18; Jam 3:2; 1 Jn 1:8; Prov 24:16), God subjects us all to difficulties and negatives in life; thus this thing called life is not nearly as wonderful as we had hoped. So the question is, how do you deal with the negatives that God subjects you to in life? Now since God doesn’t give negatives to young people, He gives a lot of them to older people. Furthermore, He doesn’t remove them immediately from believer’s lives when they pray; therefore we must accept God’s presence in our lives & not simply insist that God remove them from our lives. Now regarding “repentance with God,” it means turning from self to God, because it is God who is the most important person in the lives of believers. As such, calls for repentance are found in several places in Scripture (cf. Ezek 18 & 33; Isa 55; Lk 5:32; 24:47; Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:9 & 2 Pet 3:9). Remember, repentance was the keynote preaching of “John the Baptist” who ministered in Israel just prior to Jesus Christ’s ministry; remember, John the Baptist preached this thing called repentance for the forgiveness of sin… as such, the emphasis upon a “total life change” continued in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Remember the message of repentance was at the heart of Christ’s preaching (Mark 1:15); thus Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32)… furthermore Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will perish” (Luke 13:3). Now since few people in Israel repented back then, Jesus denounced most of the towns (Matt 11:20), and told people that “there will be great joy in heaven for those who REPENT!” (Lk 15:7). Remember, Jesus told His people to preach the same message to the world when He entered into heaven (Luke 24:47).
Now regarding repentance by God’s people when they sin and experience a lot of negatives in life, they must “repent and commune with God” and let Him minister to their hearts & minds. Now regarding some of the things Jesus said to His people, they are as follows: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37-39), “and love your neighbor and your enemies” (Matt 5:43-44). Said Jesus, “Keep watching & praying that you may not enter into temptation” (Matt 26:41). Said Jesus, “If you abide in My word then you are truly My disciple, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Furthermore, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask what you wish and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). Obviously for believers it is critically important that they constantly embrace God’s word in life, and not simply live a self-centered life. Now with that in mind, remember what the author of Hebrews said, “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith… now since God disciplines His people that they might grow their faith, if you are without discipline you are not one of God’s people. Now since discipline is not a joyful thing, ultimately it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, that people might grow their faith!” (Heb 12:1, 2, 7, 11). Remember, as God’s people we are to live a God-centered life, not a self-centered life. Keep in mind, the Holy Spirit views “SIN” as a lack of fellowship with God, which is critically important for God’s people. Now when we sin we must humble ourselves before God, that we might receive “grace” from God, which is simply “unmerited favor!” Now since none of us as fallen sinful creatures merit God’s love… God’s forgiveness… God’s goodness… or God’s favor (Jam 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5; Mt 23:12), we must humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our sinfulness that we might receive God’s forgive-ness. Now since God gives GRACE to us when we humble ourselves before Him, we must acknowledge our sins and ask God to forgive us. Now due to the fact sin creates a barrio between us and God, sin often leads to more sin, just as it did to King David who fell deeper into sin in the ancient world (cf. 2 Sam 12:9, 11). Remember, in order to counteract sin, we must turn away from sin and turn to God and put our trust in Him alone that He might guide us. Remember, in order to pay the penalty of sin, we must commune with God, because He is the one who provides the sacri-fice for our sins and removes them from us… therefore, when we confess our sins God forgives us of our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Beloved, keep in mind, when we come to Christ and confess all our sins to Him, we not only receive forgiveness of sins, but enjoy fellowship with Him. Now with that in mind, if Christ did not want to forgive us of our sins, He would not forgive us, “but His desire is so great He died on the cross for us as sinners! The wonderful truth is, God loved us with an everlasting love!” Beloved, remember, when we die God is going to put us into this place called “HEAVEN!
And when we enter into heaven we will be members of the “TRIUNE GOD;” i.e., God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:2). Remem-ber, we will be placed in the city of the living God forever where God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit live (Heb 12:22-24), Thus the new heaven is said to possess the glory of God & be pure gold!…and that the house in heaven is going to be over 1500 miles long! (Rev 21:10-11, 16-21), and that no longer will there be any lights or nights in the city of heaven, because the unobscured glory of God in the city shall illumine everyone (Rev 22:5). Now when we enter into heaven, God will then make us “His rulers” over almost everything in heaven (Matt 25:21). Remember what Jesus said to His disciples just after He had died on the cross – “I am going to My Father’s house to prepare a place for you… and I will come back and take you to be with Me that you may also be where I am” (Jn 14: 2-3). Now when we as God’s people enter into heaven, God is going to completely remove death, negatives, pain, tears, and sin from our lives (Rev 21:4-27; 22:3, 5), because heaven is a dwelling place that God is pre-paring for us as His people (John 14:2-4). Thus when we enter into heaven we are going to be “God’s people;” thus we will be far greater than the entire “Angelic world!” that right now is far greater than human beings. Obviously God new exactly what He was going to do with “His people” when He placed them in heaven; though we were a mess in this world in which we have lived… now that we are going into heaven, we are going to be with God and rule with Him over the entire heavenly realm; thus we will no longer simply be human beings. Beloved, Lord willing, this study was a very encouraging one for you (Rev 21:1, 5, 7, 22:12). Now what is extremely important for God’s people in this study is that they do all they can to understand what God’s Word says; incidentally, that takes a lot of reading, and once you understand what God’s Word says, you then must let God’s Word rule in your life and live for Him! Thus you must pray to God every day and seek His will in your life. Now since that is not easy, you must spend a lot of time studying God’s Word and the life He wants you to live. Lord willing this study was a wonderful one for you.
God’s best to you my beloved,
your friend in Christ, Dr. Donald W. Ekstrand.