The god of this age has blinded

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.  2 Corinthians 4:1-4

Been thinking about what we’ve been exposed to more and more of late. For us to be Bible believing Christians, we then must fight the current of this world’s changing viewpoint of morality, political agenda, and it’s covetous greed of corporate America, as simply being the norm and the Church’s viewpoint of Christianity, as being narrow minded and intolerant. We must take a firm stand in Biblical truth, if we are to make any impact of witnessing for Christ in these last days. This spiritual battle is fought on a plane of invisible concept of demonic activity against Jesus Christ, and His body, the Church. Let’s see what the Holy Spirit is revealing to us. Since we have this ministry—The ministry of the New Covenant gospel of Jesus Christ is what Paul was referring to. This is what his life was now adhered to, and it is what every Christian is to adhere to. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Literally “breathed out by God,” or “God breathed.” Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say, Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth (Jeremiah 1:9), but more often He used to their minds, vocabularies, and experiences as the Holy Spirit enabled them to produce His own perfect infallible, inerrant Word.

We do not lose heart—This give us a picture of “abandoning one’s self to cowardice, or cowardly surrender.” This was not how Paul responded to the continual attacks, and opposition he faced. Neither should it be our response as well. The task of ministering the gospel message of Jesus Christ is too noble of a cause to lose heart over. Since it is God who called Paul, and who calls us, it will be His fight and with His weapons are we to use in this fight, which Paul wrote, are not carnal, nor devoid of any power. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Although a mere man, Paul did not fight the spiritual battle for men’s souls using human ingenuity, worldly wisdom, or clever methods. Neither of these has any power against demonic forces who keep humans in a spiritual bondage. It is only by the power and blood of Jesus Christ, that we have been set free from the bondage of sin. So Paul in a sense is saying, “that he trusted in God to strengthen him.” 

We have renounced the hidden things of shame—It is what every believer does when we repent. We turn away from sinful lifestyles, we renounce that we no longer want to be a part of something in this life that has grieved the heart of God. The term “hidden things of shame” actually refers to secret immoralities, hypocrisies, hidden in men’s hearts. We as a people have become very good at hiding our ugly sinful habits. In fact, have you noticed this about yourself, we are far more intolerant about others who struggle with their sinful practices, than we are with our own selves? What is meant to become a part of what God says He has made new in our lives, is that after repentance, the believer is now to turn away from their old way of life, and pursue, devote their lives after godliness. We often though, leave a “backdoor open” when we don’t recognize the spiritual deception that Satan wants us to believe in his lies and half truths. These deceptions often are very subtle and want us to believe that they aren’t harmful to us. Neither of which is true. We cannot have any form of compromise in our hearts and walk in obedience to Christ.
If our gospel is veiled—Like in Paul’s day, the false teachers bring out a new way to believe in the Lord, and try and explain their version of no longer needing the old and true way of Biblical doctrine, Old Testament law, New Testament age of grace etc. They accuse the followers of Christ, as being intolerant of a more modern way of learning about Christ. A universalism that describes everyone will be saved. What deception! All that stops heresy from spreading is for the hearers to know sound doctrine. To be taught sound Biblical doctrine is the best method against false teachings about Jesus Christ.

the god of this age has blinded—This age is the current world mind-set expressed by ideals, opinions, political and social agendas that turn away from Biblical truth, and the majority of worldly people. It encompasses the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. Satan blinds men from God’s truths through the world system he has created and is ruler of. Without a godly influence, man left to himself will follow that system, which panders to that system’s moral depravity and deepens their moral darkness. When Jesus was explaining the parable of the sower to His disciples He tells them and us how this spiritual warfare happens: Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who receives the word by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endues only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23) As there were 3 soils with no fruit, thus indicating no salvation, there is also 3 kinds of good soil which bears fruit, some to the larger degree than others.

Beloved friend, Does this mean that only one in four people are being saved who hear the gospel? Probably not. But what it does say is, even if it is a sort of indictment to the church, is that those who do not understand the gospel message are being deceived. Those who do not believe in the Virgin birth of Jesus Christ, or in the atonement of believers or some other not to be compromised  message of sound Biblical doctrine. False teachers have already crept in the church! It is to our distinct advantage to be alert to our surroundings, to be rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer (Romans 12:12). Why? Because of Christ’s return and our ultimate redemption. And if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are blinded by their pride and foolish unbelief. There is no reason for any of us to be afraid, just remain steadfast in the Word, praying for discernment that God’s Word be made alive in you. Our soon coming King will reward you in every activity that your faith in Him is being revealed, whether in word or in your life lived for Him. Praise the Lord!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!





Life and Peace

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:1-6

Greetings friends, I hope your new year is off to a well intentioned life abiding in Christ. For those of you who are struggling, those of you who are feeling a sense of guilt, or shame. For those who have to admit that there is no peace in my heart right now. There is good news. Renewed hope and the letting go of the past is only part of what God wants to see done in your lives. Let’s take a look. From our passage today, in particular verse 1, no condemnation—There is probably a handful of Scripture verses that people in the church have gave testimony to as being a “life changing” verse. Here is one of them. For so many years Christians have lived their lives in constant condemnation, perhaps their spirits were willing, but their flesh was weak. These are people who are constantly apologizing to God for the slip of their tongues, or for their thoughts of hatred or lust. Always promising God, “I’ll do better next time.” Repenting, saying your sorry week after week. Only to feel even more guilt because you didn’t own up to your end of the promise. Not wanting to do “those things” is only the initial start of what God says in His Word what I ought not to do. By the way, I am describing myself when I gave these examples. But the life lived with no condemnation now there is something to rejoice in. That is good news for the Christian saint, loved by God that knows what your feeling right now. He sees your struggles with sin, and your flesh. See in fact, as Paul wrote chapter 8 of Romans in particular verse 1, There is therefore—it is the result of the truth just taught previously in chapter 7. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:24-25)

In frustration and grief, Paul laments his sin, indicating to us that a believer perceives his own sinfulness in direct proportion to how clearly he sees the holiness of God and perfection of His law. So we conclude that justification is by faith alone on the basis of God’s overwhelming grace. Condemnation—Occurs three times in the New Testament, and all in the book of Romans, “condemnation” is used judicially and is opposite of justification, refers to a guilty verdict and all the penalty that verdict demands. So what Paul is revealing  through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is that no sin a believer can commit—past, present, or future—can be held against him, since the penalty was paid in full by Christ and His righteousness has been (meaning already has occurred) imputed to us as believers. And there can be no sin that we can commit to ever reverse this divine legal decision. Every true Christian is united in Christ, and is one with Him.

The Spirit has replaced the law that produced only sin and death with a new and simple law that produces life by the law of faith. So I can say, “There is a new law that is working in me,” the law of the Spirit of life that God has written in my heart. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). And it is the words “in Christ,”—that make all of the difference to us. For in Christ, there is an inexhaustible significance of the believer’s redemption, justification, sanctification working in all of our circumstances. Either from a past tense, meaning it has already occurred, or present tense, that it is still a work in progress, God is at work in the believers life to create an atmosphere of love and trust in His power through His Holy Spirit. God now accepts what is in my heart. My love for Him through worship, my desires to be pleasing to Him, God now accepts and even directs and even controls my desires in this new life. It is interesting as I surrender my heart to the Lord, even my desires change so dramatically as I now am in Christ. For what I could not do through obeying the Mosaic Law, that is, have a righteous standing before God, God has done for me by sending His Son, Jesus Christ in the flesh.

Things of the flesh, things of the Spirit—Now man is made of three parts, an inferior trinity. He is body, mind, and spirit. The mind being synonymous with the soul, the consciousness of man. And this consciousness of man is responsive to whatever controls man. So if a man is controlled by his fleshly appetites, these are the things written for us in Galatians chapter 5: Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). Though not every person manifests all of these sins nor exhibits them to the same degree, yet these sins characterize the sinful flesh that we all battle against. For it wants to rule over us, but we master over it. By realizing that Christ died for these sins, and thus since I am in Him, I too have died to these things. Now I must set my mind on Spiritual things, for these produce in me life and peace. Paul went on to say, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-24). These are the Christ-like virtues that are consistent with godly character and attitudes of those only who belong to God by faith in Jesus Christ, and possess the Spirit of God in them.

Beloved friend, This quick review of Scriptural doctrine are the things which must not be compromised with. We must remain steadfast in our daily reading of Scripture, of the leading of the Holy Spirit, and of being in fellowship with other believers. These are evidences that we belong to God, and are in His Son. And this Spiritual life results in glorious peace. If you are struggling in your Christian walk, be still for moment before the Lord, seek His heart for your situation. You’ll find out that He loves you more than can be humanly possible. He desires only what is best for you. And if given over to Him daily, will lead you through your circumstances and into glorious times and seasons in your life of indescribable joy! It is only scratching the surface of all that God has in store for you. Joy, happiness and excitement are often tried to be equated with earthly pleasures, but when we learn that these originate from worshiping a holy God, we can be in His presence with songs of praise and the warmth of His presence. Father God, blessed is the reader who is turning to You by faith, to work in their lives, Your perfect and pleasing will. In Jesus name, amen.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!


Profiting from Wisdom

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like the wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  James 1:2-8

If you’ve been a Christian long enough, you have probably wondered, how can anyone going through trials rejoice over them? Yet, that is exactly what we are being told by James to do here. Let’s have a closer look. James’ audience was the twelve tribes of Israel, a Jewish people who had been scattered abroad through persecution after the death of Jesus Christ. And its to those believing Jews that he states: Count it all joy—We are constantly faced with temptations. It’s just part of life. And in each temptation there has to be a decision on our part, whether or not we are going to walk in the flesh or to walk in the Spirit. For the root of temptation is any situation that would draw me to the flesh and into a fleshly reaction. I have to choose, will I walk after the flesh? Or will I trust in God and walk after the Spirit? The Greek word for “count” may also be translated “consider” or “evaluate.” The natural human response or tendency is certainly not to rejoice; therefore the believing Christian is being taught to consciously face them with joy. It is with certainty a commitment I make that gives it all back to God in prayer. Then I must with conscious effort, resist taking it all back from God through my worrying over it. How in the world am I going to fix this? What is taking place however, it is my limited understanding of things that causes me to be in a dilemma, yet when I through faith bring all of my burdens to God in prayer (Psalm 55:22), I am leaving them in the hands of the supernatural God. He sees the end of matters in this life from the beginning. Of whom Paul wrote: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33) The majesty, grandeur, and wisdom of God’s plan revealed in verses 1-32 of Romans chapter 11, caused Paul to burst out in praise. For God’s future plans for Israel, but also to justification by faith. We are bringing ourselves with all our besetting problems to no higher authority. So why then should we be so quick to want to take them back from God and worry over them, as if somehow, I could do better than He could?

Various trials—This Greek word connotes trouble, or something that breaks the pattern of peace in our lives. Whatever opposes our comfort, joy, and happiness in our life or be it in the life of our loved ones. The verb form of this word means “to put someone or something to test,” with the purpose of discovering that person’s nature or quality of self. God brings such tests to prove and increase the strength and quality of one’s faith and to demonstrate its validity. Every trial becomes a test of faith designed to strengthen: if the believer fails the test by wrongly responding, that test then becomes a temptation, or a solicitation to evil. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:13-15) It doesn’t ever have to go this far. Be relieved that our sin debt has been paid in full. What we must learn to do, is keep short accounts with the Lord. Confess your sins to God, He shall sustain you in your hour of trial. A reminder for us all!

Testing, Patience—Testing means “proof,” or “proving.” Patience better translated “endurance,” or “perseverance” through these timely trials does a Christian learn to withstand the pressure of a trial by their steadfast position in Christ, until He removes it at His appointed time. For our maturity comes, when we, on this side of the trial, meaning before we even know its outcome, start to pray, “Lord, I know this will end up being for my good, yet I don’t understand it, please help to endure.” We are in need at this time a quality of patience, so often our failure is in waiting upon God. And that is true throughout the Bible. So many in the Scriptures got into more serious troubles because they didn’t wait upon the Lord. This testing of our faith then is certainly not new to God. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing—In regards to perfect, God is not saying, “sinless perfection,” but to spiritual maturity. And that’s the whole purpose of God, is to bring us into a maturity, that we would quit acting like children when we don’t get our way in responding to life’s disappointments.

God wants us to be lacking in nothing. Yet, if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him—We should all be asking for wisdom from God. It is His to disclose for our learning and increase  our ability to understand more and more the will of God for our lives. Now James’ Jewish audience would have recognized the Hebrew meaning behind the word “wisdom.” As  a word to mean “skill to understand,” that was necessary to live life to God’s glory. It was not a wisdom from the world’s philosophical speculation, but the wisdom contained in the pure and peaceable, gentle will of God (James 3:13-17). It is only by the working of the Holy Spirit, and by the believer’s willingness to yield, does this divine wisdom enable us, to be joyous and submissive in the trials of life.

Beloved friend, By faith we approach a holy and righteous God who has enabled us to come boldly to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), where not only to ask God, but to have that expectancy that He will deliver. He will always be on time, and without ever my doubting that He cares for all things that concern me. Knowing this truth, enables me to be asking, seeking, and knocking all the time for the Lord to be at work not just in my life, but in the lives of my loved ones, family members, neighbors, and friends. It is to His glory to reward all those who come to Him in faith, as a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

May the Lord bless your walk with Him.

Unveiled Faces

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones (Ten Commandments), was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. ( 2 Corinthians 2:7-18)

A covenant is an agreement between two parties. In this case, between God and man. In the Old Testament, God made His covenant with the children of Israel through Moses, written on tablets of stone, in what know to be  the Ten Commandments. Now the apostle Paul, without hesitation and great boldness, as the Holy Spirit enabled, declares how the Old Testament covenant, which is the law of God, kills us in a sense that it brings the knowledge of sin and death from its consequences, and without ever being able as humans, satisfy the demands of the law on our own, and we are therefore condemned. Now Paul is not depreciating the law; he was acknowledging that it was glorious because it reflected God’s nature, will, and character. When God manifested Himself to Moses, He did so by reducing His attributes to visible light. This light was reflected on Moses face, which was the glory of God that needed to be veiled. The law had a fading glory, for it was not the final solution for man. Thus we are introduced to the New Covenant, which provides condemned man forgiveness of sins through the death on the cross of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is “what remains,” because it is the consummation of God’s plan of salvation and has permanent glory. It is an eternal hope in total and complete forgiveness of sins for those who believe the gospel.

Moses, who put a veil over his face—This physical action pictured the fact that Moses did not have the confidence or boldness of Paul because the Old Testament Covenant was veiled. It was a shadow of things to come. And we learn that the Israelites did not grasp the glory of the Old Covenant because of their unbelief. As a result, the meaning of the Old Covenant was obscure to the people of Moses day, and it was still obscure to the people in Paul’s day who were trusting  in it as means of salvation. Without Christ, the Old Testament is unintelligible. But when a person comes to Christ, the veil is lifted and has their spiritual perception unveiled. Just as the veil of ignorance obscures the meaning of the Old Covenant to the hardened heart, so with believing heart, the veil is removed and enables us to see the glory of God revealed in Jesus Christ (John 1:14). We understand now that the law was never given to save us, but to lead us to the One who could save us.

The Lord is the Spirit—And it is by God’s Spirit that He wants to work in us, and through us. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6). Neither human might, wealth, or physical stamina would be sufficient to complete the work. Only by the abundant supply of the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us to be transformed. This work is from the same God of the Old Testament who is at work in the lives of the people in the New Covenant through the Holy Spirit. The same God is the minister of both the Old and New Covenants. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty—We have now as a Christian freedom from sin and the futile attempts to keep the demands of the law as a means of earning our salvation through our own efforts at righteousness. Through Jesus Christ, is our liberty been purchased by His own sacrifice of Himself and death on the cross. Our righteousness is given to us apart from the law through faith in Him, to all and on all who believe. Why is that? This righteousness is unique in that its source is from God (Isaiah 45:8), it fulfills both the penalty and precept of God’s law. Christ’s death as a substitute pays the penalty exacted on mankind’s failure to keep God’s law, through His perfect obedience to every requirement of God’s law fulfills the demand for righteousness, and since God’s righteousness is eternal, the one who receives it by faith, enjoys it from Him forever. The believer (you and I), is no longer in bondage to the law’s condemnation and Satan’s dominion. What liberty we have in Christ!

But we all—Not just Moses, or the prophets from the Old Testament, nor apostles, and preachers, but all believers who with unveiled face have now nothing obstructing our view of Christ and His glory being revealed in Scripture, and just like a mirror can brings us a closer look at ourselves, so we can also see with intimacy our relationship as an adopted child in the family of God. A mirror in Paul’s day, was polished metal, and thus offered a far from perfect reflection. But that is what our sanctification is all about. We are being transformed by the working of the Holy Spirit more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. From glory to glory, God is at work in your life, using every trial, every testing of difficult circumstances in your life, and in my life, that are uncomfortable to say the least. But this momentary suffering as Paul wrote in Romans: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). This looks forward to the resurrection of the body and subsequent complete Christlikeness which is the believer’s eternal glory.

Beloved friend, from the moment we placed our faith in Christ, He began to transform us into His loving and gracious Spirit filled likeness. What a joy it is to be one of His children! We are transformed from glory to glory into His glorious and wonderful image. We are starting the New Year right, when we keep this fresh perspective on what God through His Son, has done for us in our past, that is, made the way possible for us to come to Him by faith. And simply believe that what He has done for us at the cross of Calvary, is enough for me to have my sin debt paid in full, but also to be in His presence forever. Now it is through His Holy Spirit working in me, that great work of salvation. Just glorious to know, that our future is safe and secure for those who are in Christ, redeemed by His blood, purchased and secure, awaiting the final completion to be with Him in His Father’s kingdom forever! Amen.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!