Starting and Living a forgiven life

The story of Christ’s coming, His purpose, and our living a forgiven life as told by God Himself.
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken. . .[Deuteronomy 18:18 KJV]
Therefore. . .
. . .the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [Isaiah 7:14 KJV]
But. . .
. . .he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. [Isaiah 53:5]
However. . .
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. [2 Peter 3:9 KJV]
Because. . .
. . .the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Romans 6:23 KJV]
So. . .
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16 KJV]
Therefore. . .
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV]
And. . .
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? [Luke 24:26 KJV]
So. . .
The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. [Luke 9:22 KJV]
And. . .
. . .they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. [Acts 16:31 KJV]
Remembering that. . .
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. [Philippians 4:13 KJV]
Therefore. . .
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. [Proverbs 3:6 KJV]
Because. . .
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. [2 Timothy 4:8 KJV]
Therefore. . .
. . .brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV]
What must we then do to lead a forgiven life. . .?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. [Acts 2:38-39 KJV]
And. . .
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [Romans 10:9 KJV]
Therefore, follow along and receive Christ’s forgiveness. . .
Jesus, I believe that you died for me. I believe that you were buried and that God raised you from the dead on the third day. I want to be forgiven. I repent of my sins and turn away from the wrong doing that displeases you. I ask for your forgiveness. Please Lord, come into my heart and guide me in your ways. Thank you Lord. I am now a child of God. In your name, amen.

Take Up Your Cross

I just can’t handle him anymore. He’s mean, cruel, and abusive. I know God hates divorce, so I guess this is the cross I have to carry.

How many of you have heard this statement quoted at least once and maybe concerning other subjects? Many feel that carrying one’s own cross means that it is a burden for them to carry. They believe that it is what Christ meant when He told the disciples to deny themselves and to take up their cross and follow Him. Let’s look at what He told His disciples.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – [Matthew 16:24 KJV]

Granted, Christ’s Cross bar appears to be a huge burden, especially after everything He had to endure on the way to Calvary’s tree. In fact, Christ fell once and the soldiers ordered Simon of Cyrene to help Him carry the bar [1]. Christ’s back was already laid bare to the bone and each step must have been excruciating for Him as the bar ground into His scourged back.

Nothing could be further from the truth as to the meaning of what Christ meant. Life is full of burdens that we must endure and work through but when we have Jesus, those burdens are light. Jesus told us to, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light [2].”

Jesus was telling His disciples to die to self and stop trying to help in the decisions of life and just to follow Him. The message behind these three verses was, in fact, obedience. Jesus set the stage of His journey down the Via Dolorosa to the Cross in the Garden of Gethsemane as He prayed to His Father, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Jesus was not scared or telling His Father, “What have I gotten myself into? Can I change my mind Father?” On the contrary, the Bible prophesies that Christ must suffer and it was His human side that spoke out as He asked His Father, “Will my death really save my people, and do I have to die to save them?” But notice what He stated directly after His question, “. . .Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” Hebrews 12:2b confirms this, “. . .who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross. . .

Christ knew that He had to die on the tree, but He also knew that Judas was bringing the soldiers to capture Him. It is my contention that He may have been asking His Father that the cup of premature death be removed from Him as well, because Judas was about to betray Jesus by bringing the soldiers for Christ’s arrest.

Christ’s 33 years of physical life was in obedience to the Father, even unto the death of the Cross. We must daily choose between God’s will and our own. Every day we, as believers, take up our cross and follow Him on our own Via Dolorosa [3]. On our journey, obedience is the key. The question is, how far will we carry our own cross? How far down our Via Dolorosa are we willing to travel? Are we acquiescing to God’s will or to our own? The real question is will we carry our cross unto death – for the sake of Christ? Is our faith in Christ a conviction, or just a preference?
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[1] The traditional sense is that Christ actually fell three times but it cannot be verified in Scripture.
[2] Matthew 11:28-30
[3] Via Dolorosa is Latin for “The Way of Grief.”

WORDS ON PAPER

Well gang, I have been studying Christ’s death on the Cross for a few days now and my heart feels very heavy this morning. It’s been an emotional time for me. However, it’s been a very worthwhile study and because I understand now what Christ actually went through for me, it has brought me even closer to Him. The level of His love for me means a lot more to me now. I feel that for two thousand years we have all, me included, been sugarcoating God’s Word in terms of Christ’s Cross experience, to help our medicine go down like Julie Andrews sang about in her song “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

Now I have never done this before on one of my blogs, but because of the heaviness in my heart, I would like to pray my heart on this blog entry. I don’t know where this is going gang so have patience with me please. Whatever ends up on my computer, that’s the way you’ll read it. May God bless you all. Because of my studies and because of the times in which we find ourselves, we should be in God’s Word heavily and humbly seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways. We should be taking up our cross and following Jesus in total obedience. Repentance and salvation are the words for today and not just on paper. I exhort you to study God’s Word, and don’t just read the words that are on paper.

“Our dear heavenly, gracious, and merciful Father, I come to you asking you for forgiveness. Lord, I am in need of your grace and mercy for my heart is heavy this morning as I reach out to you. I confess that I have minimized you and your love for me. I am remorseful and heavy laden because I have not carried my own cross in a way that would be worthy to you Lord. I want to be your disciple but I fear that I have fallen very short.

“I sin every day thereby making a mockery of your death on the Cross. Lord, please forgive me that when I sin, I put you back up on the Cross. And worse Lord, since you dwell within me, I make you experience my sin with me. Please forgive me Lord.

“I know that I am worthy Lord, because you are in me and dwell there for which I am grateful and thankful. However, I know that I am undeserving. I feel like Paul this morning Lord when he wrote in your Word, “What I do, I allow not, and what I hate, that I do. . .Lord it’s not that I am unwilling to carry my own cross and obey you unconditionally no matter what the cost. It’s just that it is not I that sin but the sin nature that dwells within me, like Paul says. But Lord, Paul and I are making excuses for our own decisions, and I ask forgiveness for my excuses. Like Paul, I hate it when I sin against you or take you for granted. We have the choice that you gave us and it is up to us personally to fight the sin nature and make the right and righteous decision(s).

“I thank you Lord for your love for me, and that you would actually die for me, a sinner, is incomprehensible to me. Lord, I hate to ask, given all that you have already done for me but I am need of your grace and mercy. I therefore ask for forgiveness for minimizing your death on the Cross and what it took for you to get there and through that time.

“Lord, I just feel in my heart that I want to ask forgiveness for the whole world because we have ALL minimized your death on Calvary’s Tree, but I can’t, for it’s up to each of us to do so. The way mankind has treated you Lord is unforgivable, but I know that you would forgive them, each and every one, if they’d just ask. I know that it’s up to each of us to ask you Lord. Father in heaven, please send the Holy Spirit to those who don’t know you and share with them the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. My heart cries out to those who don’t know you Lord.

“I love reading your Word Lord for it is a lamp unto my feet and a guide unto my path. But I must confess Lord that many times; I just read the words on the paper of your Word. For that, I am truly sorry. Thank you Lord for your Word.

“But Lord, I don’t understand something. Sometimes you just tell us about an incident or about what happened. You don’t show us. Lord, please forgive the writer in me but I need to see, feel, and be shown to fully understand the consequences of what we are supposed to feel, learn, understand, and obey. I speak of the Via Dolorosa and the Cross Lord. I feel that I have sugarcoated and minimized those events. Oh I’ve read the words Lord, many, many times but only as words on the papers of your text. Then I thank you in my spirit for doing that for me, and then go about my day. I am so sorry for taking you for granted and for not studying about you.

“I have done that for years Lord. I know that you were wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and that your stripes healed us. I think that all Christians know this verse and could quote it verbatim but I am so sorry for JUST READING those words and not studying, imagining, and understanding what those words really meant and what has happened to you. I never asked, “How did it affect you Lord? How did it affect the characters in your Word? What actually happened to them? What actually happened to you? How can I apply that to my life?” What you did for us and what you went through on the Via Dolorosa and the Cross were NOT JUST WORDS ON PAPER. The words actually happened and had consequences.

“Lord. . .The Roman soldiers unmercifully beat you, they shredded your back with leather straps laced with metal, bones, and glass. . .thirty-nine times. You bled profusely. How you withstood the pain, I know not. Your back was laid bare to the bone and sinew could be seen. Your face was puffed and swollen from the beatings. Your eyes were probably swollen shut. They crammed a crown of thorns on your head and you bled much more, not to speak of the excruciating pain that you experienced because of the thorns. Your own blood dripped down on your face and into your mouth, maybe even into the slits you had remaining of your eyes. By this time Lord, because of the loss of blood and lack of water, you were dangerously dehydrated, weak, and disoriented. After that, they made you carry your own Cross a half of a mile down the Via Dolorosa with the Cross grinding on your already bare to the bone back.

“Then they nailed you to a Cross with 7-9 inch spikes, which meant more bleeding and terribly excruciating pain. You were beat to a pulp and your body was like hamburger. You were slaughtered Lord like the lambs to the slaughter. You hadn’t had anything to drink since the night before and you even refused the sponge filled with gall and wine. It would have made things easier for you Lord and a little less painful. It would have eased your suffering a little Lord. But you refused it, just for me (and all of us). Thank you Lord. I mean that Lord. I say that with my heart Lord, not just with my words. It seems hardly enough to say.

“Lord, if the physical pain wasn’t enough, you no doubt suffered emotionally because much of the world and some of your disciples rejected you and even claimed that they didn’t know you. They even slept while you were sweating blood. And here you were, dying for them and they ignored and rejected you. I am so sorry Lord. You were an emotional and physical wreck and disheartened by all the rejection.

“Then to top it all off, they hung you on the Cross for six hours suffering all that emotional torment and excruciating physical pain. You depleted a great deal of your blood. You were completely spent, exhausted, dehydrated to the point of death. You were terribly weak and your legs gave out on the Cross thereby dislocating your shoulders, arms, and wrists. Because of all this, you were unable to support yourself so that you could exhale. ALL the sins of every human being that ever lived or will ever live were placed on your shoulders. My Lord God and savior, Jesus Christ, you eventually suffocated to death. Oh my God in heaven, I am so sorry. Then for the final act, they thrust a spear into your side, piercing your heart and lungs.

Lord, your love for me overwhelms me and I scarce know what else to say. I should fall prostrate before you and stay there for the rest of my life because of what you did for me.

“Lord. . .Please forgive me for I have played a huge part in your death and suffering. I am so very sorry Lord. In fact Lord, we all play a part in your death, pain, and suffering, but I can only speak for myself. ‘Thank you Lord’ seems so inadequate. How can I even come close to loving you in that capacity? But I do thank you Lord for what you did and continue to do for me. That you will never leave or forsake me is a complete mystery to me Lord, and while I was yet a sinner, you died for me. Lord God in heaven, I worship you and love you, with all my heart.

“Lord, I am in tears as I pray this to you, not to open up old wounds but to show you that I understand what you went through and that you are NOT just a bunch of words on paper to me that I just read and then go about my day. This study has brought me to a new understanding of the level and magnitude of the love that you have for me Lord. Although the study was hard to do Lord, it was so much more enlightening to make it, rather than to just read the words of your Gospel “Jesus died for our sins.” To go through all that you did Lord, just for me, has brought me even closer to you.

“My study has opened my eyes to the brutality that you suffered for mankind and the VERY high price that you paid for your Bride. And to have them reject you Lord, hurts my heart and more so as it no doubt hurts yours. I am so sorry for what you went through and how the world, myself included, have treated you, rejected you, and not properly taken up our own cross to follow you no matter what the cost.

“You are everything to me Lord. You are my Lord, my Savior, my master, my King, my light, my guide, my salvation and redemption, and soon coming husband and I give worship, glory, and honor for all the days of my remaining life. Lord, I give you my life. Have your way with me. I am proud to be in your family and associated with one of those who are called by your name – Christian. Lord, I give you my undying gratitude, respect, and worship, and I do so in the name that is above every name, and that name Lord. . .is yours — Jesus Christ. Amen.”

DO WE DIE IN ADAM OR EVE?

Someone asked me recently, “Why do we die through Adam, when the Bible clearly says that it was Eve who took the first bite?” I wondered the same thing once and it is why I researched an answer because he was right, the Bible does say that Eve took the first bite. Maybe this question has puzzled you as well. I know it did me then. Thankfully I had an answer for him [1] and all due to my earlier research. First, let’s look at the Scripture to which he made reference.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV]

Right now, and to answer the question before us, we only need to concern ourselves with part “a” of verse 22, For as in Adam all die. . . It is a given that when you disobey God, it is sin, for The wages of sin is death. . . [2].

Granted, Eve took the first bite as Genesis 3:6 tells us, but v6 also tells us that, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. So why does all of mankind die in Adam? Here is why.

Genesis 2:17 reveals that God told Adam what would happen if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “. .for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die [3].” The thing is, God had not even created Eve as yet. He didn’t create Eve until Genesis 2:21, 22.

Therefore, Eve was not present when God commanded Adam not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But wait a minute, doesn’t Genesis 3:2, 3 clearly state that Eve knew about the commandment when she answered the serpent. Read for yourself in your own version of the Bible, Eve’s words to the serpent.

We know that Eve was not present when God commanded Adam, but verses 2 and 3 clearly states that she knew. Because of her response, we must assume that Adam told her of God’s commandment. The Bible says that sin is not imputed where there is no law [4]. Because God did not personally tell Eve of the commandment, His Word considers her beguiled [5] and does not charge her with sin.

Adam should have stepped in, protected his wife, and stopped Eve from partaking of the fruit because he knew first hand of the commandment. Therefore, Adam sinned and God charged him accordingly. However, because of the woman’s participation in the transgression, a judgment was forthcoming [6]. However, because of the faith of many before Mount Sinai [7] in God, Christ’s death on the Cross imputed unto them His righteousness [8].

And there you have it. The Bible is right again, go figure. The Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers. (Add one more hammer Sorry guy. LOL.)
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[1] 1 Peter 3:15
[2] Romans 6:23
[3] His physical life would become terminal but more importantly, he would die a spiritual death. He would not live forever.
[4] Romans 5:13 From Eve to Mount Sinai, Jesus imputed to them His righteousness.
[5] Genesis 3:13
[6] Eve’s participation included 1) speaking for her husband. 2) Not deferring to him. 3) She added to the commandment thereby interpreting God’s Word thereby speaking for God. 4) Usurping not only her husband’s authority but God’s.
[7] Again, from Eve to Mount Sinai
[8] Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:22