What The Bible Says About Our Body?

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power……. 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 6:12-20

 

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect born of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness to know what God says about our physical body. 

I have listened to thousands of sermons on what God has to say about our souls, minds, wills and our emotions but not much on our bodies.  While our culture is obsessed with physical beauty and sexy bodies, God’s elect seem to ignore their bodies as if they don’t matter. 

The Bible talks quite extensively on our physical body.  For the sake of brevity, let me show just one passage of the Bible taken from 1 Cor 6:12-20.  The passage is definitely a no-holds barred description of what God considers to the right and wrong use of our bodies.  We learn five radical truths about our bodies as God’s elect that run counter culturally to everything we hear today. 

 

God’s Property  1 Cor 6:13

The physical body of God’s elect belong to God.  It is God’s property and not ours.  We don’t own it, God does.  God created our body and He expects us to use it the way He intended for it to be used.  We naturally rebel against this idea.  Our culture teaches us that our bodies belongs to us and we can do whatever we want with it.  In contrary, God says our bodies were created by Him and loaned to us. He expects it to bring glory to Him.  As such, we should not compartmentalize our lives and think that we can divorce our bodies and live as if only our spirit matters.  God owns our body!

 

Purchased Possession  1 Cor 6:20

Jesus paid for our bodies when He received the baptism of righteousness from John the Baptist at the River Jordan and died for us on the cross.  Owners often think something they own as more valuable than it really is.  The reality is, something is usually valued with whatever someone is willing to pay for it.  If we want to know how valuable our life is to God, just contemplate on the willingness of Jesus to be baptized and die on the cross.  His arms outstretched and nailed to the  cross.   Jesus  was  showing this  is how valuable we are to Him. 

We are priceless to Jesus.  If we are worth dying for, don’t we think God wants us to take care of ourselves as God’s elect.  The fact is, Jesus has made the investment in us, He paid for our lives with His precious blood and expects us to take care of His investment.

 

Spirit Indwelt   1 Cor 6:19

God’s Spirit lives in the physical body of God’s elect.  When we believe by faith in the righteousness of God that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection, we are declared sinless and righteous.  God puts His Spirit inside us as a guarantee of our redemption in Christ.  When God puts His Spirit inside us, our body becomes a temple of God, residence for His love.  Hence, we would be deemed as abusing God’s temple if we deprive it of rest, sleep, over eat, put too much of stress on it and fail to take care of it.

 

Godly Stewardship  1 Cor 6:12

God expects us to take care of our bodies.  God’s elect are not the owners of their physical body but are merely caretakers or managers of it.  Taking care of our body is an issue of spiritual stewardship which many of us tend to fail.  In fact, God tells us that one day we will have to give an account for how well we managed everything He gave to us, including our body.  God’s elect must know that our life on earth is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment.  Our lives as God’s elect is a preparation for the next life which will last forever in eternity.  God is testing us on earth to see what He can trust us with in eternity.  He is watching how we use our time, our money, our talents, our opportunities, our minds and our body. Do not be short sighted in light of eternity.

 

Spiritual Body  1 Cor 6:14

God has promised to resurrect the body of God’s elect after they die.  God never waste anything.  He gets the maximum use out of all He creates.  Right now we are living in the 1.0 version of our body.  We will get the 2.0 version of our body at our resurrection when Christ returns.  We don’t really know what our resurrected bodied will be like but we do have a few clues.  We know that after Jesus came out from the grave, He walked around Jerusalem for forty days in the resurrected body.  Jesus was seen multiple time  by many different groups of people, including one event where more than 500 people saw and talked with Him.  Through Jesus’ example, we know that other people will still recognize us in the new 2.0 version of our bodies.  However, there will be one major difference where the spiritual bodies of God’s elect will be perfect, without blemish, no broken parts, no wounds and no pain.

 

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Peace, Power & Purpose

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were [a]assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  John 20:19-23

 

Introduction

God’s elect established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection are endowed with peace, power and purpose.  The Bible has two parts : OT and NT.  The NT has 27 books, four gospels to  tell the life of Jesus, 21 letters to explain the meaning of Jesus for our lives, one history about the early church and one prophecy.  All 27 of them deal with Jesus as alive, risen from the dead and the central living reality today in the hearts of God’s elect and the world.

The passage above describes on Jesus first appearance to all His frightened disciples after the resurrection.  What did the risen Christ do and say to them?  The Scripture reveals three facts on how Jesus dealt with them.

Furthermore,  He prophetically bestowed three gifts on how to receive peace, power by His Spirit and our main purpose for existence. 

 

Three Facts In What Jesus Did  V19

The three facts on how the risen Christ deals with God’s elect today.

a. The doors were locked

Jesus did not have to open the door.  He simply was there.  This means that in our life, Jesus can  access to where no one else can.  He can access where no counsellors can, He can go where no doctors  can go and He can reach us anywhere and anytime.   Jesus’ resurrection from the dead fits Him to do what no one else can do.  It is a healing wonder to contemplate that in all the complete layers of our life, which neither we nor anyone else can understand, are familiar territory to Jesus. 

 

b. They were afraid

Their fear is totally understandable since their leader had been crucified.  In this fallen world under the rule of Satan, the need for risen Christ is paramount.  Fear originates from Satan and paralyses one’s life.  The risen Christ will come when we cry out to Him in our fear.  He helps us.  Isa 41:10

 

c. Jesus came to them and stood in their midst

The point here is that the risen Christ came right into the middle of their meeting.  He did not come to  the edge  and call out through the wall and deal  with them as a distant deity.  This is what Jesus wants for God’s elect today.  He wants us to experience Him, to know Him and to enter into our lives where no one else can go.  The risen Christ is within us and among us.

 

Three Gifts In What Jesus Says  V20

What did Jesus say in His first appearance to His disciples?  He gave them three gifts namely, peace, power and purpose.  Many lives are ruined by conflict, weaknesses and aimlessness as a result of sin.

 

a. Peace be with you

We don’t initiate peace with Jesus by our actions.  Jesus initiates peace with us.  It is important to note that before Jesus says anything about power or purpose, He wants to establish peace.  The order here is really important.  The peace that Jesus gives is before and underneath any of our empowered actions or any of our purposeful deeds.  The peace that Jesus offers the disciples is the peace Jesus attained through His baptism, death and resurrection.  There are five relationships where the risen Christ brings peace into the lives of God’s elect. They are peace with Jesus, peace with God the Father, peace with others in Christ, peace with ourselves and peace with the world.  Peace is first and it is a gift from God.  All else is the effect of peace, not the cause.

 

b. Power by the Spirit

In vs 21-22, Jesus gives power and purpose to the disciples who are to receive the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was going to pour out the Holy Spirit when He ascends into Heaven.  Acts 2:33   That happens about seven weeks after His resurrection.  In John 20:22, Jesus performs a kind of acted out parable, “He breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit.”  He didn’t say, receive Him at the very moment.  He said in effect, realize that my breath, my life, my word will be in the Holy Spirit.  John 14:18   The power of the Holy Spirit is the only hope for accomplishing the purpose God has for God’s elect.  Jesus declared that purpose in verse 21b, “as the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

 

c. Our main purpose for existence

Jesus comes to us and gives us His peace with God.  Then He gives God’s elect power to do the kind of things that mere human cannot do like defeating our selfishness, loving others and treasuring Christ above all.  Along with peace and power, Jesus gives us our central purpose for existence.  Our great purpose of life is to do the will of God for the glory of God.  In vs 23, Jesus alludes the ultimate purpose to His disciples  “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  What Jesus is saying is this “when we tell people about the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am the One speaking through you, so that if anyone believes my Gospel Truth, I will forgive them.  If anyone does not believe, I will not forgive them.”

 

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Our Body, God’s Temple

“15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?…….19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [a]and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 6:15-20

 

Introduction

When we speak of the church,  we are often referring to the building where we meet throughout the week and gather for worship.  However, this building is not the church! 

The church is the universal, invisible and mystical body made up of God’s elect who are born anew to an ever living hope through faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  The hearts of God’s elect becomes the sanctuary where the Spirit of the Almighty God dwells. 

I do not know how that reality touches you but it is a sobering realization to me.  God lives in us.  Therefore, everywhere we go, everything we do, everything that touches us, in effect, touches God. This is the reason why Paul tells the elect at the Corinthian churches that they are God’s temple.

I want to focus on the concept of God’s elect being the temple of God.  In doing so, to draw some comparisons between this earthly, physical temples and the temple that stood there in Jerusalem. There are several comparisons between our bodies and the original Temple of God. It may be your body but it is still God’s temple.

 

A Place Of Dedication

The earthly Temple was a place wholly dedicated to God and His glory.  Nothing that defiled was allowed on the grounds.  When something out of the ordinary occurred,  God took immediate steps to take care of the problem.  Lev 10:1-2  These earthly bodies we dwell in are also set apart for His glory.  According to our text, God’s elect at NCCkl has no right to use his/her body for anything other than that which glorifies the Lord.  1 Cor 6:19b – 20.  The reason?  We have been bought with a price!  The precious and eternal blood of Christ.  In truth, when we come to the saving knowledge of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness, we gave up all claims to our body and what we desire to do with it.  We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to the Lord. 

 

A Place Of Devotion

The Temple was a place where people gathered to worship God.  They came to the temple and glorified the Lord.  It was a place where songs were sung, prayers were offered, hands were raised, praise was rendered and God was magnified.  Isa 56:7   Just as that temple was devoted to God as a place of worship,  our bodies are to be places where God is worshipped.  The truth is, these  bodies  are to  render worship to the One and Only God.  The question may arise, “how can I worship God with my body?”  The answers are many.  We can present our bodies  as a living sacrifice Rom 12:1-2,  practice His Presence  Heb 13:5, praise Him continually  Ps 47:1 and offer them for service Rom 6:16.

 

A Place Of Duty

The Temple was a place where people carried out the duties they had been given by the Lord.  They did things such as offering sacrifices, tithes, offerings, gifts and prayers.  It was place where duties were performed.  Our bodies are also places where we are to carry out duties we have been bestowed by God.  There are many areas where we are duty bound before the Lord.  In witnessing, in worship, in prayer, in tithing, in obedience, in holiness, in righteousness and in many other ways.

 

A Place of Death

The old Temple in Jerusalem was the scene of many deaths.  Millions of animals were taken there and slain on the altars in obedience to God’s command.  Where there was praise, singing and worship in this great place, there was also the stench of death.  Every time anyone went to the temple, they were immediately confronted with a death scene.  Like it or not, people should be confronted with the same scene when they come into contact with God’s temples, our bodies.  We are challenged to be dead to certain things in this world.  We are totally a new creation born again in Christ.  Therefore, we are expected to be dead to our old way of life and to the way of life held so dear by this world systems.  Col 3:1-9,  we are told to put off or consider ourselves dead to certain activities.  Among these are fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affections, evil lusts, covetousness and lying. 

 

A Place Of Display

When people saw the Temple standing there in Jerusalem, they were reminded of God.  They were reminded that there is a God in Heaven Who loves sinners and has made a way for their redemption.  Likewise,  we as temples of the Lord, are witness to the world that we had been redeemed.  Every time the world sees God’s elect, they see a manifestation of the power and the grace of God.  This is why Paul referred to the Corinthian believers as his epistle.  2 Cor 3:2.  Paul is telling them that everywhere they turn, everywhere they go, they are living and breathing love letters to humanity.  Letters that say to sinners, “what has God done for me, He can do it in you.”  We may be the only sermons some people may ever hear or see.  This message of God’s mighty work of salvation in our lives needs to be seen in the eyes of man.  Whether we like it or not, we are a witness for Jesus Christ.  Our lives either speak well of Jesus or we bring dishonor to Him by the things we do and how we live.  Phil 1:27  Yes, it is our body but we are God’s elect, it is still the temple of God.

 

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Blessed Unlovables

“31 When the Lord saw that Leah was [a]unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren…35 Then she stopped bearing.”  Gen 29:31-35

Introduction

God’s elect who are unlovable in a physical sense are blessed by God.  The passage above in Genesis says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb but Rachel was barren.”  God allowed Leah to have four sons by Jacob.  She named her first son Reuben,  the second son Simeon,  third son Levi and the fourth Judah.  Its is written that Leah was recognized and loved by her husband only after she gave birth to four sons.  What does this mean?  This means that God saw that Leah was not favoured, He opened her womb up so that she could be loved by her husband.

The phrase “she was unloved” means she wasn’t lovable because she was not attractive physically compared to Jacob’s second wife Rachel.  Leah did not have anything attractive in the physical sense.  I believe God is teaching us a valuable lesson through this story.  We learn that the more humanly unattractive we are to the world, the more spiritual blessings God gives us.  Likewise, the more loving and admirable we are to this world, the less spiritual blessings we may receive from God.   Listed below are several aspects seen in the life of Leah :

 

Anointed Life

Rachel was much loved by her husband in a physical sense.  Leah wasn’t loved by her husband.  However, God opened Leah’s womb and allowed her to have Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.  God blessed Leah’s anointed life with spiritual blessings.  He blessed her with Reuben meaning “behold a son” God saw her plight, Simeon meaning “He has heard” God heard her cry, Levi meaning “joining” God united with her, Judah meaning “praising”  glorifying God all the days of her life.  Her sons’ names have special meanings to teach us on how God demonstrated His unconditional love to those unloved who seek God because of their sense of lack in the  physical form and appearance.

 

Sacrificial Life

Whoever wants to be God’s elect like Leah should give up human attractiveness and seek God’s blessings.  We cannot follow God unless we  live a sacrificial life, give up our physical possessions, abilities and looks as our source of security.  What does this mean?  It means that we should give up our human beauty to become God’s elect.  I am not saying we should destroy whatever worthwhile aspects we already have but we should discard the desire to be acknowledged and praised by people and place our hope in God.

 

Fruitful Life

This unlovable Leah gave birth to healthy children.  What is the most troublesome and challenging aspect for us as God’s elect in following God’s Righteousness?   It  is  our  desire  to   become  favoured and acknowledged by others.  God wants us to discard such carnal desires.  When we  the born again righteous do not place our hope in God but in the world, we will never produce any spiritual children.  Those who are loved and praised by people do not bear spiritual children.  What am I trying to convey here is that those who do not seek to be lovely and to be acknowledged by others but put their hearts before God will bear many spiritual children and live a fruitful life as Leah. 

 

Purposeful Life

God’s elect should not expect human love.  We have received the remission of sins and become born again with the indwelling Holy Spirit.  What do we still desire in our hearts?  Don’t we want to have something lovable and praiseworthy before others?  Most people have desires to have favour in their flesh.  We are living in a time of individuality and self preservation.  People are trying all kinds of things to be attractive and impressive.  Even those who have become born again have these inner desires  to  have such favours bestowed upon them.  In other words, they want to be recognized and loved by other people.  If we really want to be loved by God, we should give up seeking after such human adoration and prominence.  Since Leah did not receive any favours from any human perspective, she could fear God,  become united with Him as a woman of faith and live a purposeful life. 

 

Righteous Life

Jesus wasn’t in the people’s favour list just like Leah.  When we become God’s elect, we should give up our own righteousness.  When the Lord came to this earth, there was no beauty in Him that we should desire Him.  Isa 53:2  This is why only a few people followed Him.  He was admired only by those few who knew Jesus to be the Son of God and Saviour of sinners.  He was hated and despised by the rest.  We should be devoid of what people think as adorable.  I don’t mean we should get rid of our attractiveness on purpose but we must live the righteous life and give up anything that we can boast about – for example our own righteousness, our own loveliness and our own abilities.

 

Conclusion

It does not matter if we lack any personal attractiveness or any special abilities.  We are  good as long as our hearts are set towards God and we rejoice and take pride in Him.  Therefore, we should not be so concerned with our external advantages or appearances. 

We should show our true selves and come to God just as we are.  Only then we will be able not to rely on our personal attachments anymore but rely only on God.

 

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Are You Saved?

“There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  1 Pet 3:21

 

Introduction

The terms “save” and “salvation”  are sometimes used by the Bible writers to convey the idea of a person being delivered from danger or destruction. Exo 14:13 Often, though, these terms refer to deliverance from sin.  Mt 1:21  Since death is caused by sin, people who are saved from sin have the hope of living forever.  John 3:16-17  To gain salvation, we must exercise faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  1 John 5:5-6

The Bible shows that we must have works or act of obedience to prove that our faith is alive.  John 2:24,26  However, this does not mean that we can earn salvation by our own efforts.  It is by grace we have been saved through faith and not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.  Eph 2:8 

Can We Lose Out On Salvation?

Yes, just as a person saved from drowning could fall or jump back into water, a person who has been saved from sin but fails to keep exercising faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness could lose out on salvation.  For this reason, the Bible urges God’s elect who have received salvation by grace to contend for the precious faith till the end.  Jude 3  It also warns those who have been saved to keep working out their salvation with fear and trembling.  Phil 2:12; Col 1:23 

 

Will Everyone Be Saved?

No, some people will not be saved.  2 Thess 2:9-10  When Jesus was asked, “are those being saved few?”  He replied, “exert yourselves   vigorously  to  get  in  through  the  narrow  door because  many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able.”  Lk 13:22-24 

 

How Do You Get Saved?

We should believe in God’s Word just as it is.  If we believe in Jesus Christ without believing in His baptism by John the Baptist, can we still be saved from all our sins?  Can we become God’s children without believing  in  Jesus’  baptism?   Can  we  still  go to Heaven? Can we still become the royal family spiritually on this earth?  To these questions, I can clearly say, “NO”  without any hesitance.  God said in Gen 17 that if we do not believe in the baptism (physical circumcision) of Jesus Christ, we cannot be His people.

God’s covenant with Abraham is the same as today’s covenant that God saves those who believe in the baptism Jesus received and His blood on the cross.  This is not a religious doctrine.  This is not a doctrine we at NCCkl made up.  This Truth becomes even clearer when we faithfully preach and teach about it from the Bible.  Many people nowadays misunderstand this Truth because of their own thoughts and their own eschew denominational doctrine.  Therefore, we should not blindly believe in and follow such a doctrine saying, ‘Jesus has saved me anyway.’  We should rather set aside our thoughts and believe in God’s Word of Righteousness just as it is.  Mk 8:34

 

Today, whoever wants to be saved should believe in the Word of promise that God gave to Abraham. 

Every truth seeker should believe in the work of salvation as it was accomplished by Jesus Christ.  Our Savior came to this earth, took all our sins away by being baptized and shed His blood on the cross.  When we do not believe in this work of righteousness like this, we will never be saved. 

God explicitly said,  And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”  Gen 17:14  God said that He would save us through circumcision.  Likewise, God promised that those who have faith in the baptism Jesus received and His blood on the cross would become His children.

 

God gave his Word to Abraham and His descendants, saying, “my covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”  God  said His covenant is in our flesh.  Then where do we have this sign that we receive the remission of sins and are saved?  We have this sign in our heart.  We have become God’s children by being circumcised spiritually when we believed in the baptism of Christ.  We have handed all our sins to Jesus by believing that the Lord bore all our sins through His baptism. We become sinless and righteous children of God by believing that Jesus carried all our sins to the cross, died there  and rose again to save us.  Only then we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Who seals our redemption for eternity.

 

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Be Diligent To Enter Rest

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”  Heb 4:11

Introduction

Rest is one of the greatest gift that God gives to those who are established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection. 

Rest is synonymous to peace that is  enjoyed from a kingdom life on earth. 

Christ’s rest is not a rest from work, rather a harmonious working of all the faculties and affections of a soul.  It resonates through the will, emotions, reasonings, imaginations and conscience of those born again by the righteousness of faith. 

God’s rest is deep and profound that involves the soul and spirit.  It supersedes the rest derived when we are physically tired, sleepy or worn out from our labor.  Let us examine what hinders us from entering into God’s rest, the spiritual significance of God’s rest and the benefits of entering into God’s rest. 

 

Hindrances To Entering Into God’s Rest

  • Lack of faith and knowledge in God’s Word.
  • Unbelief and hardening of heart.
  • Held captive by the deception of sin.
  • Relying on own wisdom to handle matters.
  • Worry and anxiety over uncertainties.
  • Not accepting the life of grace by faith.
  • Not allowing the Holy Spirit to live through us.
  • Not giving glory to God in everything we do.

 

Spiritual Significance of God’s Rest

  • It is a peaceful existence that enhances and enriches our life in all circumstances.
  • It reminds about our obedience to God’s Word.
  • It is a rest that calms our fears and gives a sense of stability to face the future with confidence regardless of situations.
  • It is a lifestyle that enables the believer to be composed by knowing that all things works for the good of those who love God and called according to His purpose.
  • It is a state of rest and tranquility knowing that no weapons formed against us shall prosper.
  • It is a supernatural and divine gift that enables us to endure trials joyfully.
  • It is a super glorious grace to do the impossible for the glory of God.

 

Benefits Of Entering Into God’s Rest.

  • God’s elect are encouraged to enter into God’s rest so that their physical labors of life on earth are meaningful and rewarding even in their after life.
  • God’s elect who have entered into God’s rest are filled with satisfaction and fulfilment in all things they do.
  • God’s elect who have entered into God’s rest are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for God.
  • God’s elect who have entered into God’s rest will recognize that the Word of God is true and powerful.
  • God’s elect who have entered into God’s rest can come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain God’s mercy and help in times of need.
  • God’s elect who have entered into God’s rest will cease from weariness and struggles in life. They would be refreshed in their minds and bodies to achieve God’s vision and goals. 
  • God’s elect who have entered into God’s rest would find their final rest in Christ when their labors in this life ends. They enter into God’s ultimate rest.

 

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Inner Detox

“Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.,”  Ps 26:2

 

Introduction

Health specialist often prescribe a detox  to cleanse our bodies and restore our health.  Often God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness need a spiritual detox.  On occasion, our inner being needs this process to remove toxin that have crept into our minds through life experience.  Spiritual toxin can destroy our lives and the lives of others.  Spiritual detox involves cleansing, recalibrating and an invigorating soul treatment. 

Spiritual detox enables us to clearly hear the Sprit’s voice and see our Savior  high and lifted up.

We would not intentionally eat or drink a poison that could harm or destroy our body.  Instead, we may be consuming poison that is hazardous to our inner selves without even realizing it.  Toxic attitudes, behaviors and cultural influences that we allow into our inner beings exposes us to danger.  We cannot avoid contact with such toxins in this fallen world but we don’t have to be contaminated by them.  We can detoxify our inner being and experience kingdom life attained through Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  

 

  1. Realize

God’s elect must realize that everything counts.  Absolutely everything that we allow into our mind has an impact on how we grow or don’t grow spiritually.  The little choices that we make everyday add up to a significant effect on our inner being.  As such we  must take our everyday decisions seriously to stay away from toxins.

 

  1. Identify

God’s elect must identify the lies that deceives and replace them with the truth.  Examine our lives for toxic such as behavior patterns that harm our spiritual effectiveness, emotions that lead us away from God’s truth and the kind of people we spend time with.  We need to seek God’s wisdom to discern which of all those are toxic to us.

 

  1. Cleanse

God’s elect must cleanse their thoughts at all times.  Since spiritual battles are ultimately either won or lost in the mind, it is crucial to pay attention  to  what  thoughts  we  are focusing on.  Our thoughts shape  what kind of person we become.  If we think unhealthy thoughts, we will become an unhealthy person.  Likewise, if we think healthy thoughts that reflect God’s truth, we will become more like Jesus.  We ought to meditate on God’s wonderful qualities so that we may detox ourselves from worldly impurities. 

 

  1. Choice

God’s elect must choose words that build and not one that undermines.   Recognize the incredible power of words to bring about either good or evil.  God’s Word of Righteousness create and heal while carnal words harm and destroy.  Always endeavor to speak, write or communicate choice of words that reflect God’s truth.  Carefully analyse  as well the words that you hear if they reflect God’s truth. 

 

  1. Uproot

God’s elect must dig up bitter roots from their inner selves.  When we allow bitterness to take root, it poisons and hinders us from experiencing the grace of God.  We ought to get rid of bitterness by following God’s command to forgive people who have hurt us.  We can rely on the strength that God gives to forgive others. 

 

  1. Envy

God’s elect must get rid of envy that contaminates their inner selves.  Envying people who have what we want but don’t have will only poison us.  We should stop comparing ourselves with others.  Instead,  we should be overflowing with thankfulness for all the blessings that God has rendered to us.  Cultivate an attitude to seek God’s wisdom in all circumstances in order to practice contentment.

 

  1. Fearless

God’s elect must break free from fear the enemy infuses into their inner beings.  Whenever we feel afraid we must constantly remind ourselves that fear is not from God.  Instead, fear originates from the evil one.  God has given us a spirit of power, love and peace, not fear.  Rather than placing our faith in all the ‘what-ifs’ of life and feeling afraid of what may or may not happen, we ought to place our faith in God Who is in control of all things.  We ought to pay attention to specific and persistent fears because they reveal the areas in which our trust in God is the least. The closer we draw to God, the less we will struggle with fear. God’s promises are antidote for fear.

 

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The Gift

“Be still, and know that I am God;,”  Ps 46:10a

Introduction

The gift of peace is bestowed upon God’s elect who place their faith solely on the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  Most Christians who are not established in the righteousness of faith do not understand peace as a positive concept.  All they know is the negative aspect of peace, which is merely the absence of trouble.  The biblical concept of peace does not focus on the absence of trouble.  Biblical peace is unrelated to circumstances, it is a goodness of life that is not troubled by what happens on the outside.  The Apostle Paul said he could be content in any circumstances and he demonstrated that he had peace even in the jail at Philippi. He sang and remained confident that God was being gracious to him. 

The gift of peace the Bible is speaking of enables God’s elect to remain calm in fearful and adverse circumstances. 

Let us examine the greatest gift of peace that God has given to NCCkl. 

 

  1. The Nature Of Peace

The NT speaks of two kinds of peace – the objective peace that has to do with our relationship to God and the subjective peace that has to do with our experience in life.  The natural man lacks peace with God.  We all come into the world fighting against God because we are part of the rebellion that started with Adam and Eve.  Rom 5:10 says we were enemies of God.  When we believe in the baptism, death and resurrection of Jesus, we cease being enemies of God.  We come over to God’s side and the hostility is ended.  This is how we have attained objective peace through the righteous work of Christ.  However, in John 14:27,  the peace that Jesus speaks is subjective and experiential.  It is tranquility of the soul, a settled and a positive peace that withstands even in circumstances.  It is supernatural, permanent and positive with no side effects.  It is the firm conviction that God Who spared not His own Son will also along with Him freely gives us all things.  Rom 8:32    This divine and supernatural peace cannot be figured out on a human level. 

 

  1. The Source Of Peace

This subjective peace has its foundation in the objective peace with God.  The peace of God is not obtainable by those who are not at peace with God.  God  alone  brings  peace.   In  fact,  in  Phil 4:9, 1 Thess 5:23 and again in Heb 13:20, God Himself is called ‘God of peace.’  Christ is seen throughout the NT as the dispenser of peace. Jesus Christ gives us His own personal peace. It was tested, it was His own shield and His own helmet that served Him in battle.  He gave it to us when He left.  It gives us the same serenity in danger, the same calm in trouble and the same freedom from anxiety.

 

  1. The Giver Of Peace

The Holy Spirit is the giver of this peace and He dispenses it as a gift.  Gal 5:22 says one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is peace.  We might ask, if it was Christ’s peace, why is the Holy Spirit giving it?  The answer is in John 16:14 which says, “ He will glorify Me, for He will take Mine and will disclose it to you.”  The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to take the things of Christ and give them to us.  Notice that every promises Jesus made to His troubled disciples on the night before His death was rooted in the coming of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised life, union with deity, full understanding and peace to those who are His disciples but it is the Spirit of God Who takes the things of Christ and gives them to us. 

 

  1. The Contrast of Peace

The world’s peace is worthless.  The only peace this world can know is shallow and unfulfilling.  Most people’s pursuit of peace is only an attempt to get away from problems.  The fact is,  apart from God, there is no real peace in this world.  Yet, people try desperately to hold on to this kind of mock peace.  It is futile pursuit.  Godless individuals can never know true peace.  They might know only a momentary tranquility – a shallow feeling, perhaps stimulated by positive circumstances mixed with a lot of ignorance.  In fact, if unsaved people know what destiny awaits them without God, the illusion of peace born out of ignorance would evaporate instantly.  People today live in a form of existential shock.  They don’t understand their own being, they don’t know who they are and where they are going.  The truth is peace has nothing to do with emotions and environment.  If you lack peace, it is not because of your mother, father, the church or bad experience.  The Bible tells us why people don’t know peace.  Jer 17:9 says the heart is desperately wicked.   Isa 48:22 says there is no peace for the wicked.  A wicked heart without faith in the Righteousness of God that constitutes Jesus’ baptism and death can never have peace. 

 

  1. The Result Of Peace

Jesus shows us the proper response to His gift of peace.  John 14:27   If we lay hold of the gift of the very peace of Christ, we will have calm, untroubled hearts regardless of external circumstances.  If we have troubled heart, it is because we do not believe God.  We don’t trust His gift of peace.  Anxiety and turmoil seldom focus on present circumstances.  Normally, anxiety is trouble borrowed from either past or future.  Some people worry about things that might not happen.  Other’s anxieties come out of the past.  Both the future and the past are under the care of God.  God promises to supply our future need.  Don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday, Jesus said “each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Mt 6:34  Concentrate on trusting God for today’s needs.  The peace of Christ is an unending source of strength in the midst of difficulties.  Perfect peace comes when our focus is off the problem,  of the trouble and constantly on Christ.  Most people who lack the gift of peace simply have not taken the time to pursue it.

 

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Spiritual Minded

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. “ Rom 8:6

Introduction

Being spiritually minded for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness is a matter of life and death.  Apostle Paul said in Rom 8:6, “to set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  The phrase “set the mind on the Spirit” includes our attitude and not just the mindset.  It resonates the image and disposition of mind that is driven by the Spirit.  It exalts, values and cherishes God. 

Spiritually minded believers sees people and thinks with a relentless God consciousness. 

At NCCkl, we yearn to be spiritually minded at all times.  How to be spiritually minded  and experience the Kingdom peace on earth?

 

  1. Realization 2 Cor 4:16-18

We ought to realize our outer nature is wasting away and the inner nature must be renewed by setting our minds on things that are above.  A lack of awareness of the transformation within us would lead to a life of hopelessness and despair.  A spiritual mind brings forth the true realization  of our identity in Christ.

 

  1. Purity Mt 5:27-29

We ought to take radical steps to keep our minds pure for the Holy Spirit to dwell richly in our hearts.  God inspires spiritually minded believers that are pure and sincere to do great exploits for His glory on earth.  Purity of mind is an indispensable character trait that cannot be compromised if we want to serve His Righteousness and Church with boldness and power. 

 

  1. Joy Ps 43:4

We ought to make God the gladness of all our joys.  It simply means  that in all our joys God should be the gladness of the joy.  Every joy should  become a joy in the Lord.  If joy  cannot offer a  taste of who God is and be cherished, then it is unspiritual joy.  The joy  of the Lord is our strength to live a Kingdom life on earth through the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Sober Lk 8:14

We ought to remember Jesus’ warning about what chokes spiritual life.  It is an undeniable fact that cares, riches and pleasure of carnal life hinders spiritual vitality.  The cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for worldly things enter in and choke the  spiritual mind and cause it to be unfruitful.  

 

  1. Delight Eph 5:2

We ought to ponder what is good to God and what He delights in.  For we must be the aroma of Christ to God.  God’s delight is not in our strength or power but He delights in those who hope in His steadfast love and grace.

 

  1. Companion 1 Cor 15:33

We ought to be friends with spiritually minded people.  Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Bad company often corrupts spiritual mindedness. 

 

  1. Eternity 2 Cor 5:8

We ought to ponder on our life that will very soon be without a body.  How attached are all our joys to our physical body?  Think about how short life is.  Man is like grass and all his achievements are like flowers of the grass.  The grass withers,  achievement crumbles but the Word of God remains forever. 

 

  1. Alive Gal 5:24

We ought to remember that we who are baptized into Christ by faith at the River Jordan have been crucified with Christ.  As such, we died to all passions and desires of the world.  The basic key to spiritual mindedness is a deep sense of knowing that we have died and risen in Christ, having forgiven and justified.

 

  1. Suffering 2 Cor 5:8-9

We ought to accept God’s appointed suffering as discipline to bring about greater spiritual mindedness.  It is for discipline that we are to endure.  God is treating us as His children.  For the moment of discipline may seem painful rather than pleasant but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

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Peace In The Midst Of Warfare

Blessed be the Lord my  Rock,  Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle—.”   Ps 144:1

Introduction

God’s elect who place their faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection are living on earth  in the enemy’s territory.  As a result, we experience spiritual warfare and ought to be always on the alert.  The enemy comes in like a flood, trying to fill us with doubt, fear and discouragement.  He tries to bring division in our relationship. 

However, only those who trust in God’s righteousness are able to walk in peace and experience victory. 

If we want to be peacemakers, agent of restoration or a communicator of the Gospel,  we must be clad in God’s armor. We must also understand the seriousness of spiritual warfare.  How can we walk and maintain peace in the midst of an unrelenting attack from the enemy?  It is possible to walk in peace only when we  adhere to:

 

  1. We must be a lover of God first and then a warrior.

Jesus must be our all in all.  We must concentrate on our relationship with Him.  Abiding and intimacy are two indispensable components.  We must cultivate and harness our relationship with Jesus to maintain peace at all times.  The enemy is crafty and he knows where our power and weakness lie.  Deut 6:5

 

  1. We must develop a life of praise and worship.

Worship is a powerful tool for spiritual warfare.  I personally find worship to be my greatest strategy in seeing breakthrough in all circumstances.  Prayer and worship infuses peace into  our inner beings.  God opens the door for His grace and peace to come into our hearts when facing adverse situations.  Ps 18:46

 

  1. We must persevere and resist the devil.

The enemy is intent to stop us as we move forward in the things of God.  We need perseverance to maintain peace at all times.   After all we are living in the enemy’s territory and are bound to be oppressed by evil forces.  However, we are empowered to destroy the work of the devil in Christ.  In fact, Jesus destroyed the work of the devil through His baptism and death.  More so, at His resurrection, He sealed Satan’s defeat forever.  We ought to take our stand against the enemy, not give any ground and retreat.  We must resist the enemy and draw near to God.  James 4:7-8

 

  1. We must handle adversities in God’s way and with His peace in the midst of difficulties.

The enemy brings on discouraging thoughts, false reasoning, doubts and disappointments.  He tries to steal our peace.  If we choose to trust God’s Word and strengthen our intimacy with Jesus, then the clouds of darkness will soon disappear. The godly relationship  will eventually lead us to a sustained peace.  It is part of God working in us to test our endurance so that we may mature and know how to maintain peace  in all circumstances. Eph 6:10

 

  1. We must thank God even in adverse situations because He is stretching us.

God is developing our spiritual muscles so that we may be able to maintain peace in the midst of spiritual warfare.  It is God’s plan to strengthen our faith and confidence on His ability to mature us.  No matter how difficult it may be, we must continue to believe His love will see us through.  God loves us.  This is why He permits whatever trials we may be facing.  It is for our good.  We must see adverse circumstances from God’s perspective and let His peace rule in our hearts.  Col 3:15

 

Conclusion

We must not walk  our spiritual lives with our own strength.  Listed above are some of the ways that we can maintain God’s peace in the midst of warfare. Let us live a life of total dependence on God by loving Him and standing firm on His Word in order to maintain peace in our inner beings.

 

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