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A Word from the WORD:
Reading 1 Peter this morning the Lord reminded me that suffering against sin is the struggle of our lives, as a believer, that we MUST go through to attain the glory that is our inheritance with Christ when He appears.
The theme of this letter to believers scattered all over the world is to “embrace” suffering in view of the GLORY to follow, if we stand firm in the Faith.
Salvation from the wages of sin was gained through the suffering of Christ. Salvation is not a one point in time event, other than its beginning, for us. Salvation embraces all of life past, present and future. Our spirit was saved the movement we believe when the Holy Spirit was given to us. Our SOUL is being saved daily as we walk in the Spirit overcoming the world, flesh and devil. Our bodies will be saved in the first resurrection guaranteed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Peter (and especially Paul) teaches us that our present suffering prepares us for future glory (Romans 8:28). That future glory is at the parousia, the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He returns to establish His Kingdom on Earth. IF we suffer against the world, flesh and devil now we will experience greater glory to the glory of God then. (This is the PRIZE.)
Peter closes the letter with his expressed purpose for writing (by the Holy Spirit). He wrote to encourage the scattered saints to stand firm in God’s Grace to suffer with Christ now for future glory with Christ when He returns. Praise the Lord
WHAT IS REGENERATION?
Written by Dr. Daniel R. Carfrey
This brief study defends the Biblical definition of “regeneration” from the viewpoint of the philosophy that teaches/believes that a person must be born again before they can even “believe” the Gospel. In other words, their doctrine believes that regeneration precedes faith.
REGENERATION is not the RESTORATION of LIFE to a sinner’s will, because it is dead towards God.
REGENERATION is the IMPARTATION of Christ’s new RESURRECTION LIFE and RIGHTEOUS NATURE to the inward man (spirit) as of the Day of Salvation, and to the OUTWARD man (body) on the Day of Resurrection.
WHILE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS WERE JUSTIFIED, THEY WERE NOT REGENERATED WHILE LIVING IN THEIR FLESH
Understanding the true nature of REGENERATION, that it was not experienced until Jesus Christ came to give it, helps one to AVOID the ERROR of those who say, “regeneration precedes Faith.”
We believers in Jesus Christ, sons and daughters of His Kingdom, live in the “kingdom of darkness.” I tend to forget that. As a Bible believing Christian I should know this and not be so surprised when culture and the world run headlong into Hell. Adam’s flesh is fallen. It is dead to God and righteousness. The unsaved are “children of the devil.” The governments of this world are under the control of the “god of this world.” We are between two worlds, two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness and the coming Kingdom of Light.
So when I remember this, I must ponder and think deeply about the Kingdom that I do belong to. It is a Kingdom that is not here, yet. It is my “hope.” And this HOPE is sure. We are taught to pray, “Your Kingdom come,” because it is still future, but it is for sure. We are to be “groaning for” and longing for this kingdom, eagerly waiting for it with perseverance (Romans 8:18-25). By God’s Grace in Jesus Christ, I am a member of this Kingdom. I have been transferred from the “dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of Light” because I am now “in Christ.” I belong to the “Kingdom of His dear Son.” I am a citizen of this heavenly kingdom because I have been “born again.” Jesus tells us to enter into the Kingdom “you must be born again.” We must be regenerated, that is new life, eternal life. That Life only comes as a result of believing in the One and Only Lord Jesus Christ who then gives us His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life.
We hear the term “Kingdom” used all the time in Evangelical circles today. “We are building the Kingdom of God.” We “expand the Kingdom of God.” We are “doing Kingdom work.” We say things like, “the Kingdom of God is in us.” I remember being taught in Bible school six different kingdoms that God rules over: the universal kingdom (God’s sovereign rule over the whole universe); the spiritual kingdom (believers individually and corporately the church); the theocratic kingdom (Israel); the Mystery Kingdom (Christendom); the Messianic Kingdom (Millennium); the Eternal Kingdom. This can get real confusing, especially when you have to really “stand on your head” to get all this from the Bible.
In fact the Bible, God’s Word to us today, only speaks of ONE Kingdom. That is the Kingdom of Christ, God or Heaven. It is the Kingdom promised to Abraham and his offspring by covenant. It is the Kingdom that God promised to David’s Son, the One David calls “LORD.” It is the Kingdom that the prophets all spoke of as the hope of Israel and the “covenant of Peace” and the “mercies of David.” It is embodied in the “New Covenant” prophesied by Jeremiah and seen in the “Son of Man” in Daniel. Hosea said that one day Israel will be restored to the land promised to Abraham when Messiah “will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people! And they will say, “You are my God!” God promised Abraham and therefore Israel the Kingdom of God. But the only way they were going to realize it was when Messiah came and restored them to it. The angels announced the birth of Messiah, prophets and prophetesses rejoiced! John the Baptizer was given as the Elijah “preparing the way of the Lord.” He came preaching, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near!” Jesus, the Messiah preached the same thing and taught His disciples to preach the same. The Kingdom was at hand, it was near! Messiah was here, but only a prepared people could receive the Kingdom. Repentance and faith was required, then and now.
When Israel rejected their Messiah the Kingdom was postponed. They killed Messiah as ordained by God, because He had to die for their sins and the sins of the whole world. But the disciples continued to anticipate the DAY when the Kingdom would come. The Day when Messiah would establish His throne in Israel, destroy their enemies and rule the whole world in righteousness from his father David’s throne. Jesus taught them this. For three and a half years He explained how to be prepared for the Kingdom in the many parables and who could enter in. When He rose from the dead He spent the next 40 days with his apostles explaining the Kingdom of God to them further (Acts 1:3) and before He ascended to the right hand of the Father they asked Him when He would establish this promised theocratic, Davidic Kingdom. And He said it was not for them or us to know, but until then we were to be His witnesses (martyrs) taking the Gospel of the Kingdom to the whole world until His return. He said to them in Matthew to “Make Disciples! of everybody, everywhere until I return.”
Friends, we are looking for a Kingdom not made with Hands, one that will come from Heaven when Jesus returns. When the King comes this next time, the Kingdom in Heaven will be established here on earth as it is in Heaven.
Let us be found faithful, enduring to the end, so that we and those who believe our message may share in the Prize of the Upward Call of Christ Jesus in His Kingdom.
vs 7 “And behold, I am coming suddenly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book”
vs. 12, 13 “Behold, I am coming suddenly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
vs. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
vs. 20 …”Yes, I am coming suddenly!”
The discipline of prayer is essential to the Christians walk with God.
When I called, they did not listen; So when they called, I would not listen, says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 7:13
I walk almost every morning. My morning walks are the time I set aside each day to spend with God. I go before the world has awakened, and spend time in quiet prayer and conversation with God. I can’t tell you how important these mornings are to me. In a stressful day, in a stressful business, with a million gnats buzzing around for attention during the day, this is the magic hour for me.
I don’t walk far, usually about 30 minutes, but this when I leave my cell phone at home and set aside time for conversation with God. It has made my days a lot easier to navigate, and it surely has a calming effect on my life. It’s not an easy habit to get into…
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