Wednesday, April 29, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Where Our Faith Comes From

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Where Our Faith Comes From: 1 Corinthians 15 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. U...

Where Our Faith Comes From

1 Corinthians 15, New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him, it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord[e]from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
My Comments: Many will tell you the stories of Christ were made up long periods of time from when they could even have happened. No one goes and allows themselves to be killed for something they made up. In those days for a Jewish person to be killed by hanging on a tree was a very bad thing and yet Jesus allowed it to happen to him so He could pay totally for all mankind's sins. Peter allowed himself to be crucified as well but it is said he would only be hung upside down because he did not feel equal to His Lord and Savior.
The Apostles and disciples of Jesus, walked with, talked with and remembered in their heart what He did and said with great clarity after He rose again from the dead on the third day and walked among them. I have known people with very good memories and yet I believe those who wrote the word of God down did so because the God the Holy Spirit, helped them to remember and write what we call the Holy Bible. Just as the Lord helped the writers of the Old Testament to write.
Knowing there are many from that time like Historians who were not even followers of The Way as it was called then, who recorded the events of Jesus and the Crucifixion; and knowing that Archaeologists have proven and never disproven anything in the Bible, we can be assured of the truth of the Gospels and the New Testament. Why is this important to a study of faith?
To have faith one must know the truth. To have faith one must be given it by Father God. And God is truth therefore when He has someone go to a county to give them a word like Repent and turn back to me, or Prepare you the way of the Lord, or “I will rise again on the third day,” we can be sure that is what happened. Because we can know the truth of God we can trust His Word as He gives it to us in the Scriptures. Though men wrote God inspired them to write and record His words. This is important to us because He tells us in His word that He came to save us from sin.
The law we call the Ten Commandments could not be kept nor could anything wipe away sin that is why blood animal sacrifices had to be done every year to cover the sins of the people. Yet Jesus Christ came to earth, died and rose again and because of His blood sacrifice, our sins  and debt is paid in full and if we confess our sin, accept His Sacrifice and follow Him then we will become Children of God (not gods) and He will come into us and be with us always and death of the body will have no sting because for His people to be absent from the body is to be present with Him. All will see Him to be judged yet not all will live with Him eternally. It is a choice.
We cannot and do not receive help or intercession from anyother. No one is an intermediary to God the Father except God the Son and no one goes between us and Jesus. To go to others is to have false Gods and that breaks the first Commandment of Thou shall have no other Gods before me. Jesus waits with open arms for all to accept the free gift he obtained for each on the Cross. It is a choice.
Have you made the choice to follow Him and believe His Gospel? Our faith comes from knowing the truth, God is truth and Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” He suffered, shed His blood and died once and for all for all and each is given a chance to accept of deny Him and the gift of salvation He offers freely. 
There is nothing else any of us need to do to be Born Again. Once we accept His gift we become Children of the Living God and coheirs with Jesus (we are not higher or equal to Him because He is God and we are not yet we are coheirs of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness) and God the Father calls us His Sons and Daughters. We cannot earn salvation by doing "things" nor by buying it monetarily or with prayers or acts of service like some religions teach.
When Jesus said He was the only way He meant the only way and any who say differently are going against Him. Once a person is Born Again they need to be in the Word of God and letting the Holy Spirit guide them. They will be drawn to study the Word which is Jesus. Their lives will show a change (some instantaneous others steadily over time) in the way they think, speak, act and do things. The old will fall away. They area new creation in Christ Jesus. May you make the choice today or soon (if you have not already) to accept the free gift of salvation and redemption from Jesus the Son of God. He waits beloved for you. He will not force you. It is your choice to have faith in Him. There are not many ways to Heaven. There is only one and it is through the person of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Abba Father, I pray You will open eyes, ears and hearts to the truth of Your word and that many will come to You through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son Jesus the Christ. May the smoke screen of the ruler of this world be removed and may Your truth ring in their ears and hearts. May their hearts be softened with the oil of righteousness. Fill them Holy Spirit with faith enough to take the first step and to hold on tightly to Jesus.
Thank You Abba for opening their hearts to Your truth and filling them with a thirst for Your Word. Send You Holy Spirit to fill them with Your knowledge and wisdom and to give them discernment in Your Word. Thank You for sending Your Son to save us from sin and thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice and the gift of salvation and Your Holy Spirit to fill us with Your truth. In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015