The King James Version of the Bible records Jesus saying that “thy faith has made thee whole” or “thy faith has saved thee” seven times. In the New King James Version and New Living Translation it’s translated as “your faith has made you well” or “your faith has saved you”.
Matthew 9:20-22 (NKJV)20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.21 For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well."22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
Mark 10:46-52 (NKJV)46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you."50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.51 So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Luke 7:44-50 (NKJV)44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."48 Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"50 Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
Luke 17:11-19 (NKJV)11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.13 And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"14 So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."
**There are only four scriptures here because the other three are the same incident recorded in multiple books. The seven scriptures are Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, Luke 7:50, Luke 8:48, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42
The words translated whole, well, and saved are the same Greek word sōzō. Here is how Strongs Greek and Hebrew Dictionary defines sōzō; from a primary sos (contracted for obsolete saos, “safe”); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literal or figurative) :- heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole. - Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
It’s clear that when He told the woman who had the issue with her blood flow, and blind Bartimaeus that their faith had made them whole, that He meant their physical healing. However when He told the woman who washed His feet with her tears there is nothing to indicate that she had any physical ailment. It is also clear that Jesus did not revoke the healing of the nine lepers that did not come back to thank Him when He said to the one who returned that his faith had made him whole (well). In those two instances their being made well or saved meant something else. Jesus was telling them that salvation had come to them and they were completely whole inside and out. How can I say that? Jesus Himself said that whoever believed (had faith) in Him would be saved.
John 3:16 (NKJV)16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 14:6 (NKJV)6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
What’s important, in these and every other instance where your faith in mentioned in connection with healing, salvation or anything else, to realize that the word faith has no power to do anything. It’s in what or in whom you place your faith that things happen.
Here are some definitions of faith;
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Belief, trust, and loyalty to a person or thing. Christians find their security and hope in God as revealed in Jesus Christ, and say “amen” to that unique relationship to God in the Holy Spirit through love and obedience as expressed in lives of discipleship and service.
The writer of Hebrews says;
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV)1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
The dictionary definitions say essentially the same things but the definition in Hebrews really clarifies it. The Greek word that is translated to faith is pistis, which has primarily means, “firm persuasion”, a conviction based upon hearing. It is used in the New Testament always of faith in God or Christ, or in things spiritual.
It’s what or whom you have your faith in that really has the power you attribute to what you say in faith. It's not the saying of it, it's saying it because you have evidence that what you say has happened in the past and will happen again (see my post, "Is Christian Faith Blind Faith?", for the evidence of faith in God). For example I have faith in this chair that I’m sitting in right now and as long as it’s not broken it will keep me off the floor. I have faith that as long as I have gasoline in my car and it’s in working condition it will start and I can drive it to where I want to go. It’s not my faith that keeps me from falling, it’s the chair; it’s not my faith that takes me where I want to go it’s my car. It’s not my faith in the word faith that heals or saves me it’s my faith in Jesus who said that His Father loved the world and sent Him, and if I believe in Him I will be saved.
It’s your faith in God who says that He will always be with you no matter what.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
It’s your faith in God who says His plans for you are for good.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
It’s your faith in the One who promised to meet all of your needs.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
It’s your faith in the One whose purpose is for you to be conformed into the image of His Son.
Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV)28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
The next time somebody tells you that your faith has power and all you have to do is to speak it and it will happen, or that you don’t have something because you don’t have enough faith remember that it’s not faith in faith that has power it’s faith in God who is the POWER SOURCE. It’s God who calls things into existence that didn’t exist before, not your faith.
Romans 4:16-17 (NKJV)16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
It’s not your faith alone it’s your faith in the God who heals you, who comforts you, who is with you in the good times and bad times, who loves you more than words can describe. It’s your faith in the only one that can truly make you whole.
In many of my blog posts over the last several months I've been written about waiting on God. One of the ministers at my church, in our weekly Bible Study, gave us the 7 “Cs” for waiting on God. They are to wait continuously, courageously, consistently, confidently, calmly, concentratedly, communicatively. And then I read Psalm 46 and verses 10 and 11 really resonated with me.
Psalm 46:10-11 (NKJV)10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
I believe that what the Holy Spirit was saying to me is that while we wait for God we should also be still.
What does it mean to be still while waiting for God?
The dictionary defines still as not moving of making a sound; deep silence and calm
Using this definition to "be still" can mean "not moving", and "being quiet".
However, from a biblical perspective, to "be still" takes on much greater meaning.
The word "still" is a translation of the Hebrew word rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down, or cease.”, to let go, surrender. In some instances, the word carries the idea of “to drop, be weak, or faint.” It connotes two people fighting until someone separates them and makes them drop their weapons.
To be still means to stop frantic activity. The meaning would be best understood to say “cause yourself to become restrained or to let go. For Christians being “still” would involve looking to the Lord for their help. In other words, we need to come to a place where we are willing to submit ourselves to God and acknowledge that He is in sovereign control.
Exodus 14:13 (NKJV)13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
This command—“be still”—forces us to realize that we are finite, and that God is infinite, that He’s in control, He’s sovereign over our lives, He’s Lord of heaven and earth.
Romans 14:11 (NKJV) For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."
Being still doesn’t mean that there won't be trouble. It is remembering that He promised to never leave or forsake us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Romans 15:4 (NKJV) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
We can be still in our waiting because of what the end of Psalms 46:10 says; “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The word exalted means being lifted up or honored. The next verse says that we can be still because God is our refuge.
Psalm 46:11 (NKJV) The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
That means that God is our shelter from danger or trouble.
Jesus told the multitudes;
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Be Still And Know That He Is God
Knowing God means we recognize, acknowledge, and obey Him. We must recognize and acknowledge that He is the One who created all things.
Genesis 1:1 (NKJV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV)1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Nehemiah 8:8 (NKJV) So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
John 14:26 (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
What Happens When We Are Still?
1 Kings 19:11-12 (NKJV)11 Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
Matthew 6:25-32 (NKJV)25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
1 John 4:17-19 (NKJV)17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.19 We love Him because He first loved us.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)16 Rejoice always,17 pray without ceasing,18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Peter 5:6-8 (NKJV)6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Romans 5:1 (NKJV)1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
This peace guards you from anxiety, fear, and worry.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
John 14:27 (NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
John 14:26 (NKJV)26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Psalm 39:6 (NKJV)6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
All of this busyness is just moving shadows and ends in nothing. Look what Solomon, the world’s wisest man said;
Ecclesiastes 2:18-23 (NLT)18 I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned.19 And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!20 So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.21 Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
We are always rushing from one thing to another one deadline after another, with a big to-do list, and everything has to get done today. When we are operating at an unrealistic pace we have no intimacy in our relationship with God because we don't spend time with Him. We are not being still.
To really know what God wants for us, what He has done for us, and what He wants us to do, we have to slow down. We have to spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word.
Be Still And Wait
When our mind and spirit are still, our whole body is at peace. We are able to see things with a clear mind, feel things with a pure heart and hear the voice of God with ears that are open and in tune with His spirit.
“Be still and know that I am God,” is not just a saying, it is a state of being. It is the ability to know God well enough to trust in his abilities to rescue you. As we learn to be still and trust in God, we come to know and understand that we are God’s children. We are never alone, and never forgotten. All it takes is for us to be still.
Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
When you aren't seeing any answers, it doesn't mean that God is not working. He's still actively involved in your life, but He works in ways that are not always visible He orchestrates circumstances, changes people's hearts, and protects His children from making hasty decisions that will have disastrous consequences. Perhaps the Lord knows you're not yet ready for the next leg of your spiritual journey. Waiting times are opportunities for growth in character, obedience, and faith.
When you intentionally choose to be still, God unleashes His mighty power on your behalf. He has planned good things for those who wait, and I believe what He has in store for your life will surpass all expectations. When He knows you're ready to receive His blessings, they'll flow into your lap.
After a stirring message, an impassioned plea on television or radio, a conversation with a close friend or relative, or at the urging of a counselor during a time of great distress many people are led in what has come to be know as the “Sinner’s Prayer” for salvation. In that prayer we acknowledge our sinful state and the fact that we need a Savior or we will live in eternal torment separated from God. We are told that if we confess it we will be saved.
Romans 10:8-11 (NKJV)8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
All Christians (believers) prayed this or a similar prayer at the time of their confession and salvation. I wrote a post two years ago titled “Saving Faith” and I included what many call the “Sinners Prayer”
“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”
We prayed it in answer to an “alter call”, or raising our hands in response to a preacher’s urging us to pray, or we signed a card, or we prayed with somebody on the phone after we dialed in to a Christian radio or television broadcast, or even alone in our home. We were told after praying that prayer that we were now saved and justified by God and a subject of His kingdom, a child of God, and that we now have eternal life. All of that is absolutely true if the prayer was made in “saving” faith.
We hear so much about the “Sinner’s Prayer” and have heard it so much, even led others in it, that it’s easy to see why some people believe that it is in the Bible. No, there is no Sinner’s Prayer in the Bible. There is no example in scripture for a “Sinner’s Prayer”, and there’s no specific formula for a "Sinner’s Prayer". For that matter there’s no mention of an alter call or “every head bowed, every eye closed” either. The use of a Sinner’s Prayer may have originated in the 19th Century and make popular for evangelists who spoke at large meetings revival meetings.
Having said these things there is nothing bad about or evil with a Sinner’s Prayer. It is biblical for a sinner to pray to Jesus to forgive him of his sins. It is not biblical to say someone is saved "because of reciting the Sinner's Prayer". It is biblical to confess one's sins and ask for forgiveness and put trust, hope, and faith in Christ and his sacrifice on the cross.
Many people have truly been saved along with saying the Sinner's Prayer. However many Christians make the unbiblical mistake of giving the person praying the Sinner’s Prayer a false sense of assurance of salvation because they simply said the words.
But beware, it is not biblical to give someone assurance of salvation based on reciting a prayer - on simply saying the words. “Saving faith is believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a living person, for the forgiveness of sin and trusting Him because He provides eternal life with God. It isn’t enough to simply believe in the actions of Jesus Christ or the abilities of God. True saving faith is more than that; it is a personal relationship with the Savior. As a result, we desire to repent and to surrender every aspect of our lives to Him. He will then transform us and conform us to His image. As we walk with God, the more He will bless each of us with perfect assurance regarding our salvation and our relationship with Him. (InTouch Ministries)
Can God use the Sinner’s Prayer inHis sovereign work of salvation? Of course. But we need to be very careful and not urge someone to recite a prayer and have them put their hope in that alone to be saved. Walking an aisle in response to the emotional and caring invitation of a pastor does not save anyone. Writing the date in the back of one's Bible to commemorate the day a decision was made to follow Jesus does not save anyone. And praying a prayer does not save anyone. There are no "magical" words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection that can save us.
Don't get discouraged in your ministry. You may never know the impact that it has on others....you may never know but God knows.
As those of you who read my blogs know I write three of them; this one, Faith The Evidence - Bible Studies, What The Bible Teaches Us About Faith, and I maintain this website. It's a lot of work and I sometimes wonder if anybody other than me is getting blessed. I've even thought at times of not spending as much time writing, and every now and then I've thought about stopping altogether. Then God, as He often does let's me know that, even if I never see it, what I do for Him is never in vain.
Today I got a comment on one of my recent blog posts, ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE WORD OF GOD WHEN YOU THINK HE'S ABANDONED YOU. The commrnt reminded me why I do what I do. When I read it I was reminded of something my pastor says every Sunday and what the writer of Hebrews said;
Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV) For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
I want to share that comment with you because it blessed and encouraged me, and I believe it will bless and encourage you, especially if you've every become discouraged in your ministry because it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. You're not seeing people being saved or delivered and you start to question yourself and even God. Then al, of a sudden God sends you a reminder
Here's the comment:
"Your post is an awesome sign of the presence of God always with us. A week ago Friday I was let go from my job. I have continued to trust Gods plans, pray, start and continue my day with Him and listening to His instructions. Every day I read Jeremiah 29. The days after I got let go, numerous people referenced or instructed me to read this. Me reading this post today is no coincidence. I know he has a plan for me. Thank you for your post."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
When you start to get discouraged in your ministry first remember that it's not about you anyway it's all about God. Secondly remember that you may never know who or how you impact people when you are doing what God called and equipped you do. Thirdly He'll always let you know that He won't forget. Keep working don't stop, don't ever stop. Like Paul;
Phillippians 2:16 (NLT) Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
Luke 6:36 (NKJV) Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Two years ago I wrote a post, "The Bible Says That Forgiveness Is Mandatory", in it I wrote; "The Bible does, in many places, command us to forgive each other. Here are two examples:
Matthew 18:21-22 (HCSB) 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.
The Bible also tells us that if we don’t forgive we won’t be forgiven.
Today I read a devotional that is the perfect compliment to that post, especially when it comes to forgiving those who it is most difficult to forgive; those who have hurt us so deep we never thought we would get over it; those closest to us; those that we feel are unforgivable.
I'm sharing the entire devotion written by by Lysa TerKeurst
Have you ever struggled to choose forgiveness over bitterness in the midst of feeling rejected, abandoned, or hurt? Maybe you’re there right now as you prepare to spend time with friends and family over the holidays. Deep hurts from loved ones can feel so very raw and unresolved in the midst of a season that’s supposed to be full of joy and gratefulness.
Let me be the friend who takes you by the hand to say... I understand. Choosing to forgive is hard, especially when it feels like you or someone you care for has been treated unfairly.
But the truth is, it’s good (and biblical) for us to extend forgiveness. And when we release the offense into the hands of God, we can begin to make room for healing in our hearts.
Here are 3 things to remember when forgiving others is the last thing we want to do:
1. Forgiveness doesn’t justify them, it frees YOU!
Forgiving someone is making the decision to choose mercy and grace over bitterness and resentment. To love God is to cooperate with His grace. Luke 6:36 says,
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Since I’m so very aware of my own need for grace, I must be willing to freely give it away, too.
Each hole left from rejection must become an opportunity to create more and more space for grace in my heart. Forgiveness doesn’t validate them, and it doesn’t justify their hurtful actions.
Giving grace helps me. It sets me free.
What does giving grace look like in my life?
...do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. — Luke 6:27b–Luke 6:28
2. Today I will:
Speak with honor in the midst of being dishonored.
Speak with peace in the midst of being threatened.
Speak of good things in the midst of a bad situation.
We have an enemy, but it’s not each other.
Truth proclaimed and lived out is a fiercely accurate weapon against evil.
3. How I feel:
I very much feel like my struggle is against them.
I have been deeply hurt by this struggle.
It’s hard to see that my struggle isn’t with them or caused by them.
However, truth tells me something different. Truth says I have an enemy... but it’s not the person I’m trying hard to forgive. They may very well be the cause of some hurt in my life, but they’re not my enemy.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. — Ephesians 6:12
Point your crosshairs at the real enemy and start firing off positive statements about this person who has caused pain in your life. List three things about them that are good. Then remember a fourth and fifth. Picture each of these positive statements wounding the devil and shaming him away from you.
Forgiveness releases an offense into the hands of God so that you can heal.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean I’ll get my storybook ending. But it will bring peace and honor to a situation that would otherwise leave me bitter, defensive, and hurting. I have to trust God to get me through this forgiveness journey so that I can finally heal.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. — Isaiah 26:3
Lift up your hurt and honest feelings to the Lord through prayer, whether it’s written or verbal. Here’s one to get you started:
Lord, I don’t know all the details entangled in this issue. But You know all. Therefore, You are the only one who can handle all. There are a lot of things my flesh is tempted to seek — fairness, my right to be right, proof of their wrongdoing, to make them see things from my vantage point — but at this point, the only thing healthy for me to seek is You. You alone. I’m going to be obedient to You and let You handle everything else. In Your Name, Amen.
~by Lysa TerKeurst for Devotionals Daily featuring Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely, copyright TerKeurst Foundation.
God designed you to be a good works machine. The good works in the design were not for salvation, but because of salvation. (FAITH/WORKS)
Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
"That salvation not of yourselves. … The Holy Spirit has been very careful to guard this precious doctrine of salvation by grace against all forms of heresy. Works in the Scripture are the product or fruit of salvation, not the cause of it. Lest any man should boast. There will be no boasting in heaven because there will be no one there who has anything to boast about. We are his workmanship. The his is emphatic in the original. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works. It is the purpose of our new creation that we should walk. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
The Greek word “poiēma”, translated “workmanship,” occurs in only one other place in the New Testament, where it is translated, “things that are made.”
Romans 1:20 (KJV)20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Here the reference is to the original creation. Just as God created the universe, at salvation, He brings about a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This new creature is made for good works.
What are these good works?
The Bible tells us that you can tell what this new creation is like by their good works (fruit).
Matthew 7:15-20 (KJV)15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Titus 1:16 (KJV) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Jesus, in Matthew and Paul, in Titus, were talking about false teachers and those who were follow them. If you can recognize them by their works or actions then the opposite would be true as well. Those who know God will be known by their works too. In their case those works would be good works.
Salvation is by grace and entirely of God, so are the good works that follow salvation. Just as we cannot claim any glory for ourselves in our salvation, we can’t claim any glory in our good works.
Charles Spurgeon summarizes these good works a, works of obedience, works of love, works of faith, and acts of common life (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit [Pilgrim Publications], 31:152-153). By works of obedience, he means obeying the commands of Scripture. Works of love includes both love for God and love for our fellow man, with an eye to God’s glory. Works of faith refers to all that we do in reliance upon God and His promises. By acts of common life he meant whatever we do at home, at work, traveling, or on a sick bed, that we do all to the glory of God. In other words, the entire bent of our lives after we have been saved by God’s grace should be lived with a God-ward focus, to please Him. - FROM THE SERIES: EPHESIANS Lesson 15: Salvation and Good Works (Ephesians 2:10) by Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2007, All Rights Reserved.
Most of us think these good works are: attending worship services, praying regularly, studying Scripture, giving generously from our financial resources, joining a small group, going on mission trips, caring for the poor, working for justice for the oppressed, loving our neighbors, etc. These are certainly among the good works that God has prepared for us, but if we stop with them I think we miss the entirety of what God has prepared for us as He includes us in His desire that all men be saved. The works that I listed are not just religious activities but a lifestyle.
My opening scripture says that we should walk in the good works that God has prepared for us. This means that we don’t just do them in our spare time. Walking in good works means that this is what we do every day and in every situation. This means that your good works can include that which you do at work, in the classroom, on the football field, in your neighborhood, and in your community associations. If you're a boss, part of your good works involve the way you manage your employees. If you're a parent, your good works include making dinner for your children as well as praying with them as you tuck them into bed. The more we grow in our faith, the more we see ourselves as God's masterpieces, the more we will indeed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, by his strength, under his authority, and for his purposes.
Colossians 3:23-24 (KJV)23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
We are His workmanship. God knows everything about us… every detail of our lives. He formed every part of us and planned every day of our lives before we were born.
Psalm 139:16-18 (NLT)16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
PRAYER: Gracious God, I find the perspective of this passage exciting, compelling, and counterintuitive. My culture and even much of my Christian experience have taught me to divide my life into the "stuff for you" and "all the other stuff." I am learning to think more truly and inclusively, to see my whole life as an offering to you.
Help me, Lord, to walk in the good works you have in store for me. Help me to be open to all that you would have me do. Teach me to see my whole life as you see it. By your Spirit, may I come to see every moment of every day as an occasion to do good works—including good work—for you. Amen. - From What Are the Good Works God Has Prepared for Us? Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Last year I wrote a blog post “CAN WE BIND AND REBUKE SATAN? WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?” My answer was that that nowhere in the Bible are Christians ever given the power or authority to bind or rebuke Satan.
Yes Jesus gave the apostles authority to bind and loose things on earth.
Matthew 16:18-19 (NKJV)18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:18 (NKJV)18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Yes the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJV)19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
This authority obviously didn’t include the binding of Satan. There is no example in the Bible of a binding of Satan or a demon. The proof of that is that Satan is still loose.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV)1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Bold mine)
He will not be bound until Christ’s thousand year reign.
Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10 (NKJV)1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Since I wrote that post I have continued to hear Christians actually trying to talk to Satan and his demons, or as one of my minister friends say his minions, and rebuke them. I’m talking about people that are looked up to as leaders, televangelists, bishops, major Christian authors. Since I kept hearing about us being authorized and urged to rebuke Satan (“the devil”) to stop illness, financial uncertainty, depression, unruly children, etc., I thought that maybe I missed something, maybe I was wrong, maybe I ought to take another look. I did, and this post is what I found.
The Bible Says Resist, Not Rebuke
The first thing that was and is apparent is that Satan was created by God, and unlike God, is not omnipresent. He can only be in one place at a time. Yes, he does have thousand maybe millions of demons at his command but he can only be in one place at a time. Of course, he has a countless number demons at his disposal and they are everywhere. So let’s first acknowledge that it is unlikely that Satan himself is harassing, possessing, or doing anything you you.
Rebuke is defined as “expressing sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.” On the other hand to resist is to “take a complete stand against” or a “contrary position” and “refusing to be moved.”
However it’s not our place to condemn Satan. He already stands condemned before the Lord.
Colossians 1:12-13 (NKJV)12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (Bold mine)
Colossians 2:15 (NKJV)15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Bold mine)
Ephesians 1:20-21 (NKJV)20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Bold mine)
It’s the Lord who rebukes Satan.
Zechariah 3:2 (NKJV)2 And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" (Bold mine)
Jude 1:9 (NKJV) Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Bold mine)
When we believers are attacked by Satan or his demons we should focus on Jesus, because Jesus has already taken care of them.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NKJV) 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
As Christians, we’re aware that Satan, and his demon subjects are real. No we can’t see them but they are real and they are constantly working against us.
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV)8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (Bold mine)
God has given us armor with which we can resist and even counter attack.
Ephesians 6:13-17 (NKJV)13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (Bold mine)
We counter attack with the Word of God which is our sword.
That’s the sword that Jesus used when He resisted Satan and Satan fled.
Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV)1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' "8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Bold mine)
There’s no reason to rebuke Satan. There’s no reason to rebuke Satan. If we resist the Lord promises us that he will flee.
James 4:6-7 (NKJV)6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
"When praises go up blessings come down"
This is the title of a popular worship songs. It sounds like something that would be in the Book of Proverbs, or the Psalms, but surprise it's not in the Bible. Some people have thought that it’s origin is from Psalm 67 which calls God’s people to praise Him and for Him to bless them.
Psalm 67:1-7 (NKJV)1 God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us. Selah2 That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.3 Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.4 Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, And govern the nations on earth. Selah5 Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.6 Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.7 God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.
The dictionary definition of praise is the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something.
There are seven Hebrew words translated to the English word praise:
There are three Greek words translated praise in the New Testament
All ten of these words contain the idea of giving thanks and honor to one who is worthy of praise.
The phrase, “when the praises go up the blessings come down”, sounds as if it's a transaction where when I do this, God, now you do that. In the case of our praises of and to God it presupposes that all I have to do is praise Him and He has to bless me because that’s the transaction. What if I rob somebody and then praise God, what if I lie on someone and it causes them harm and then I praise God, will He bless me? That’s not what the Bible says.
God can’t be manipulated into blessing by praise! Praise is empty, and useless if it doesn’t come from the heart. Empty praise isn’t true praise. That’s really what it means when it says that we worship God in spirit and in truth.
John 4:23-24 (NKJV)23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Nowhere in the Bible does anyone praise God with the intention of being blessed because of their praise. The instances of people praising God isn’t to get anything from Him, but they praise Him for what He had already done for them. They don’t send praises up to be blessed then send them up because they have already been blessed. Their praise and ours should not be a tool to get but thanksgiving for what He has done. In other words don’t praise to get blessed because you are already blessed.
Obedience Brings Blessing
We aren’t blessed because be praise we are blessed because we are obedient.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Psalm 24:1-5 (NKJV) 1 The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
It’s pretty simple. We will be successful when you do what the Bible says and obey what it teaches.
Proverbs 10:6-7 (NKJV)6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.
Here are some examples of blessings;
Genesis 22:18 (NKJV)18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (NKJV)39 Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.40 You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time."
Proverbs 3:1-6 (NKJV)1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV)7 When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
John 14:23-24 (NKJV)23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV)33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
You can count on God’s blessings that obedience brings.
Hebrews 11:1-6 (NKJV)1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
No “when the praise go up the blessings come down” is not in the Bible and there is no promise in the Bible that blessings come from praise. However, there are promises of blessings coming from obedience. The saying should be “when obedience goes up, the blessings come down”. That’s not in the bible either but it really happens.
Praise is not a tool to “get”. It is our response of gratitude for what God has already given.!
READ MY PRAISE BLOG SERIES =======> HERE!
Many of us often wander around with no idea which way we should go. We pften struggle with what is the right thing to do in certain situations. At those times Christians and non-Christians fall back on a saying that many people think is in the Bible; “let your conscience be your guide”. It sounds good doesn’t it but no, it’s not in the Bible.
Some of you older folk may have heard it first from Jiminy Cricket in the Disney movie, Pinocchio. Jiminy Cricket sang this to Pinocchio; “Take the strait and narrow path; and if you start to slide -give a little whistle, give a little whistle and always let your conscience be your guide.”
The saying didn’t originate with Jiminy Cricket it really originated as an Islamic saying 1,300 years ago. “Caliph Umas Ibn Al-khattab was the father of one of Muhammad's wives and was the third Muslim Caliph. After conquering Jerusalem, he was returning to Medina where he prayed and gave a message at Jabiah. One of the things Al-Khattab said was: -’And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide’”
It is true that every person is born with a conscience that tells you the difference between right and wrong.
Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
No one had to tell Adam and Eve that they had sinned.
Genesis 3:7-8 (NKJV)7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
No one had to tell Cain that he had done wrong when he killed Abel.
Genesis 4:9 (NKJV)9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
The word conscience comes from two Latin words, “con”, which means “with” and “science” which means, “to know”. The Greek word translated “conscience” is “suneidesis”, which means, “to know together.” This has the idea of “knowing with ourselves” or “knowing within ourselves.” When it comes to moral decisions, it means to “understand internally”.
“Let your conscience be your guide” is a well-known expression, but not necessarily good advice. When you rely on your conscience to guide moral decisions it’s reliability is dependent on the principles that guide your conscience. If those principles are those of today where the belief is that there is really no right or wrong, “no black or white only shades of gray” then your conscience will set you up for moral failure. On the other hand if your conscience is programmed with God’s word (the Bible), and yielded to the Holy Spirit only then you can depend on it.
God Never Intended For Your Conscience To Guide You
Your conscience judges your actions and decisions, it doesn’t set the standard for them. Your conscience either accuses or excuses sin, it is not a guide to truth.
Romans 2:14-15 (NKJV)14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
Your conscience can be good.
Hebrews 13:18 (NKJV)18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.
2 Timothy 1:3 (NKJV)3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
Or your conscience can be guilty, corrupt, and weak.
Hebrews 10:22 (NKJV)22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV)1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
You feel guilty at first but the more you sin the less guilty you feel. If this continues a day may come when you believe that what you’re doing is fine.
The Perfect Guide
Since our conscience is filled with principles from a society where “everything goes” it needs to be cleaned. There is great conflict between those principles and God’s purpose for your conscience which is to serve as a check between right and wrong. God works through the conscience to make you aware of sin. When you go against the check mechanism of your conscience you will develop a “guilty conscience”. The check that God has placed in you causes you to now struggle. The only thing that will end that struggle and then cleanse your “guilty conscience” is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV)14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
As faulty as the conscience may be, it is sometimes a good nagging voice that approves or disapproves what you are contemplating doing. You should listen to the voice, but not give it the final say. That belongs to God and God’s Word. -Let Your Conscience Be your Guide? Not Exactly
Once cleansed then look to the Bible, God’s word, not your conscience to guide you.
Psalm 119:9-11 (NKJV)9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
God’s word is consistent and that consistency is the standard by which your conscience can cause you to make good moral decisions.
God’s Word always points to Jesus and He becomes your standard for right and wrong. Moral decisions will no longer be dependent on your conscience because it is unreliable. You don’t decide what is right or wrong on how you feel because feelings are unreliable. God’s Word will guide you in understanding what is right and wrong.
When you become a Christian and allow Jesus Christ to become Lord of you life the Holy Spirit also dwells in the believer and if you are filled and allow Him He leads you in all decisions.
John 16:13 (NKJV) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Only God’s Word is the only consistent standard by which we can live and by which your consciences can make a good judgment. No "let your conscience be your guide" is not in the Bible but the Bible does tell us that it, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus are infallible guides. Follow them and you will never go wrong.
There is a debate that has gone on in the Christian Church for centuries. Should Christians worship on Saturday (“The Sabbath”) or Sunday? I’ve always gone to church for worship on Sunday. Others gather for worship on Saturday. I write 3 different blogs and quite often I am admonished, sometimes severely by believers, for not keeping the Sabbath (Saturday). I’ve been told that I’m disobeying God and His Commandments and I’m going to be punished for worshipping on Sunday. Another thing that I hear is “did God change His mind about keeping the Sabbath holy?” I’ve been told, and after some study believe, that the day that we worship God is not mandated. What is mandated is that we should love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Mark 12:28-30 (NKJV)28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?"29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.
The word "Sabbath" comes from the Hebrew word “Shabath”, which literally means "rest" or "cessation."
After He completed His six days of creation God rested on the seventh day and set it apart as holy. He then required man to rest on the seventh day.
Genesis 2:3 (NKJV) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV)8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Those who worship on the Sabbath say that Jesus Christ never changed the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week. They are absolutely right. The commandments to observe the Sabbath was given specifically to the Jews and Jesus, an observant Jew who was under the Mosaic Law, kept the Sabbath.
Exodus 31:17 (NKJV)17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.' "
However they sometimes forget what Jesus said about the Sabbath including the fact that He is Lord of the Sabbath.
Mark 2:27-28 (NKJV)27 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
The Sabbath regulations were part of God’s covenant with Israel which the Bible and Christians call the Old Covenant. All of the rules, regulations, and commandments, while expected to be followed were meant to lead Israel to Jesus Christ which was the final sacrifice to end the Old Covenant.
Hebrews 10:1-4 (NKJV) For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Hebrews 7:18-19 (NKJV) For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Hebrews 8:7, 13 (NKJV) 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 13 In that He says, “A new covenant ,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The Law required keeping the Sabbath as part of the overall moral, legal, and sacrificial system by which the Jewish people satisfied God’s requirements for behavior, government, and forgiveness of sins. The Sabbath was part of the Law in that sense. If a person didn’t keep the Sabbath they were in sin and quite often punished.
Exodus 31:14-15 (NKJV) You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord . Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
But with Jesus’ atonement, we no longer are required to keep the Law as a means for our justification.
Galatians 2:15-16 (NKJV) We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
The requirements of the Law were fulfilled in Christ. We now have rest from the Law.
Matthew 5:17-20 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Romans 7:4-6 (NKJV) Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Even if Christians worship on Saturday, the Sabbath, which is their choice.and there is no condemnation for it, they aren’t really “keeping the Sabbath.” To “keep the Sabbath” as it was required in the Old Testament would involve compliance with stringent regulations.
Exodus 16:23 (NKJV)23 Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.' "
Exodus 35:3 (NKJV)3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day."
Leviticus 23:32 (NKJV)32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath."
Jeremiah 17:21 (NKJV)21 Thus says the LORD: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
The early Christians did worship on the Sabbath, and other days of the week. It would be natural for them to do so, because most of them were Jews and they continued to associate with their Jewish brothers.
When Paul traveled from synagogue to synagogue he often preached on the Sabbath. He had to in order to meet with God fearing people. If Gentiles wanted to know more about the God of the Jews and His Son Jesus they had to go where they met which was at the synagogue on the Sabbath. Scripture shows however that the first day of the week, not the seventh ( Sabbath), was the primary day of worship in the Apostolic church.
Acts 20:7-12 (NKJV) Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.
The missionaries gathered with the believers at Torah on the first day of the week to preach and celebrate the Lord’s Supper This is the earliest clear reference to the Christian practice of observing Sunday as a day of worship. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
I Corinthians 16:1-2 (NKJV) Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
These two passages indicate that three important things happened on the first day of the week (Sunday), the Lord’s Supper (Communion), preaching, and giving.
Why Do Most Christians Worship On Sunday?
John 20:1 (NKJV) Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
Revelation 1:10-11 (NKJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV)When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
According to the Law, Pentecost came on the first day of the week.
Leviticus 23:15-16 (NKJV) ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord .
This same first day of the week Peter delivered the first sermon of the church and the first converts were added, and the first believers baptised.
Acts 2:14, 41 (NKJV) 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
From the start, the church in Jerusalem met every day in the temple courts and gathered to break bread together in private homes.
Acts 2:46-47 (NKJV) So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Sunday worship is not commanded in the Bible. The point in all is that we are not to limit our worship to any particular day of the week. Let's look at what the
Romans 14:5-6 (NKJV)5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;[a] and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
These verses suggest that there is personal freedom regarding the observance of holy day.
Colossians 2:16-17 (NKJV)16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Paul instructs the believers in Colosse not to judge or allow anyone to be their judge regarding Sabbath days.
Galatians 4:8-10 (NKJV) 8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.
Here Paul is concerned because Christians are turning back like slaves to legalistic observances of "special" days.
As we see the Bible doesn’t require that we worship on Saturday or Sunday, for that matter. We have the freedom to worship on the day that we believe we should. No one should judge us in regard to the day we keep. We are free in Christ and not under law.
Romans 6:14 (NKJV) 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
John 1:17 (NKJV) For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Believers have every right to worship on Saturday or Sunday and they should if they are convinced that is the right thing to do. However, if anyone says to worship on Saturday or Sunday over the other day as a sign of "true" Christianity or "true" redemption, then that is wrong.
Romans 14:10-13 (NKJV) But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “ As I live, says the Lord , Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
Your salvation is not tied to the day you choose to worship. Here is all that it takes for you to become saved and a child of God with all the benefits and blessings that come with it.
Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
John 3:14-16 (NKJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 10:13 (NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This is what determines salvation not the way that you worship.
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.