THE INVISIBLE WAR
Message EIGHT: NEVER FIGHT YOUR ... Read more
THE INVISIBLE WAR
Message EIGHT: NEVER FIGHT YOUR BATTLES UNDRESSED
TO WIN THE INVISIBLE WAR I MUST...
“A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so
that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.”
“For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the
evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of
darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”
“Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after
the battle you will still be standing firm!”
THE 6 PIECES OF SPIRITUAL ARMOR
“So stand ready, with the Belt of Truth tight around your waist…”
“…with the Breastplate of Righteousness protecting your chest.”
“On your feet wear the Shoes of Good News, prepared to share the Gospel of
“At all times carry the Shield of Faith; for with it you will be able to put out all the
burning arrows shot by the Evil One.”
“Put on the Helmet of Salvation...”
“…and take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
“Do all of this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit
leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; always praying for all God’s people.”
Ephesians 6:18 (TEV)
Message EIGHT: NEVER FIGHT YOUR BATTLES UNDRESSED
1. Integrity: Knowing and Doing the Truth.
2. Purity: Keeping Our Motives Clean.
3. Serenity: Living and Speaking the Gospel of Peace.
4. Certainty: Trusting the Promises of God.
5. Security: Protecting My Mind from Evil.
6. Maturity: Using God’s Word Against Satan. Read less
''Christ in You...'' with Dale Krebbs
Originally posted on 04/21/2013
There is no subject in the annals of Christian history that has caused more concern, questions, and mental anguish than the words "unpardonable sin". So much so, that it is almost completely avoided in public venues and private conversations. They may even cause a twinge of momentary fear in the heart of those who know little or believe little about God, Jesus, or Christianity. Recently we discussed a hidden fear in the being of all of humanity (see Archives ,"The World Does Not Know"). But the fear of committing or of having committed the unpardonable sin also can weigh heavy on the hearts of those of us who do believe. There is a cliché that is often used to ease the pain of doubt: "if you fear that you have, you haven’t...". This can be true, but it can also not be true.
We should ask first, is there such a sin. The answer is yes - Jesus makes it clear: "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"- (Mark 3:28-29). Matthew and Luke address the same subject in slightly different terms, but the point is the same - blaspheming the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
These should be, and are chilling words, if you understand what is at stake. What is at stake for you (no matter who you are) and for me is, quiet literally - everything!
This unpardonable sin is intimately connected to the activity of the Holy Spirit. Among the works of the Holy Spirit is to witness to Jesus as the Son of God (John 15:26). This involves the convicting of the world of its sin of not believing in Jesus. This is where the preaching of the gospel to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:24) becomes a direct function of the Holy Spirit. As the Father then "draws" those to belief in Jesus Christ, they are being convicted of their sin and guilt against God their maker. Many go on a long, long time without make a conscious decision about Jesus. As the Holy Spirit constantly works upon their hearts (He is not "in" them yet), they eventually repent (they are convicted by the Holy Spirit), and convinced by the gospel, they surrender their mind, will, and heart to God to be molded into Christ image by the Holy Spirit - they are "born (begotten)" anew! They are convicted of the need for righteousness that they do not yet have. In this work of the Holy Spirit, He is also showing that Satan is being judged and is disqualified as world ruler by Jesus (John 16:7-11). In all these things, Jesus is glorified by the Holy Spirit (John 16:14).
As the work of the Holy Spirit continues upon the hearts of those drawn to Jesus by the Father (John 6:44), it is possible that some may deliberately become so hardened through continual resistance to the pleading of the Holy Spirit that they will not repent of their sins of which He has convicted them. They are convicted - but not convinced. They have deliberately and permanently told God in effect, to never interfere in their mind, heart, and life again. By their decision, God will abide. God is not a dictator. He will never force a decision upon us. Even the angels originally - and still do - have freedom to obey or disobey, serve their Creator or to rebel. Many of them did rebel in eons past (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-15).
There is also danger for all who claim Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Without getting into a "catch 22" discussion about whether all those who say they are believers are true believers, tares or wheat, etc., the Bible seems to make clear that some of these can commit the unpardonable sin. A constant spirit and attitude of humility borne of true continuous repentance, and yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the willingness to seek and to receive correction and guidance is of critical importance. Some today are so cavalier about being under grace that they could be in danger of committing the unpardonable sin - they could blaspheme (resist, and ultimately reject) the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20). We all are capable of becoming hardened beyond reach. It is possible because of dulled sensitivity and diminished tenderness of heart, becoming puffed up with presumptuous spiritual pride, to begin to become resentful of redirection and admonishment either through the direct conviction by the Holy Spirit, or through others that God has put in our lives. This is the reason the Bible is so explicit about guarding our heart - the foundation of our soul (Proverbs 4:23). It is from the heart that we believe unto righteousness. It is also from the heart that unbelief and a host of evils come (Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19).
One has committed the unpardonable sin when, either by deliberate and willful intent, or by drifting into a state of quiet rebellion through constant resistance to the convicting and convincing of the Holy Spirit, until such a one will no longer respond to God (Isaiah 63:10). This one cannot not be reached. The burning flame of the Holy Spirit has been put out. Regardless of all effort, regardless of all attempts, not matter what anyone, or God will do, this one has turned the back on God. It is not so much cannot be forgiven, as it is that this person has willed to not be forgiven.
The heart is hardened. Nothing remains to appeal to...(Hebrews 10:26-27).
God does not give us many clues as to how many have, or of how many eventually will, commit this sin. If we are humbly submissive to Jesus Christ, if we can be easily turned, if we desperately seek His righteousness and forgiveness, and yield to the convicting of the Holy Spirit when we sin, it need not be one of us.
"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." - Hebrews 3:12-14
Father, may we allow this warning in "due season", not to discourage, but to serve to assure our hearts before You ... Amen! Read less
A paradox is an argument that produces an inconsis... Read more
A paradox is an argument that produces an inconsistency, typically within logic or common sense. Most logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking. However, some have revealed errors in definitions assumed to be rigorous, and have caused axioms of mathematics and logic to be re-examined (e.g., Russell's paradox). Still others, such as Curry's paradox, are not yet resolved. In common usage, the word "paradox" often refers to irony or contradiction. Examples outside logic include the Grandfather paradox from physics, and the Ship of Theseus from philosophy. Paradoxes can also take the form of images or other media. For example, M.C. Escher featured perspective-based paradoxes in many of his drawings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox Read less