Pastor Lonnie Phillips
The question that needs to be answered today is not whether or not you are a Christian but whether or not you are a disciple of Jesus Christ?
The first time the word, "Christian" is used is in Acts 11:26 when we read, "And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."
The disciples of Jesus Christ were called Christians because their behavior, conduct and speech were like Jesus Christ.
Every believer of Jesus Christ is called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ because Jesus has placed His Spirit within us so that we will reflect Him (Romans 8:9).
Labelling ourselves "Christian" does not make us Christian but it is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, empowering us to behave like Chirst Jesus, Speek like Christ Jesus and conduct ourselves like Christ Jesus, that testify to the world that we are Christian and that Jesus is the Son of God.
Isaiah 50:4 says, "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple."
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
John 14:16-17 - Jesus speaking, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because he abides with you and will be in you."
If there is any confusion in your life today and you need clarity, the Spirit of truth has been given to every believer in Jesus Christ so that you never have to buy in to the notion that you have to figure it out on your own. Thank you Father for sending the Holy Spirit who is with and dwells in every Child of God through Christ Jesus. Amen!
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
With many today believing that Open borders is somehow Christian and that closed borders is being bigoted and racist, I am reminded that the Kingdom of God has borders.
There is an invitation that has gone out to the whole world, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." This indeed recognizes that every race of people is sacred and loved by God and not excluded from His invitation.
However, it is only those who allign themselves to God and His will that can come into His Kingdom, "that whosever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)"
We see the division of these two borders in Colossians 1:13 which says, "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Within one domain there is darkness, bondage to sin and eternal death and within the other Kingdom there is light, forgiveness of sins, redemption and eteranl life.
God is universal in His love and invites all to know Him through Jesus Christ. However, it is only those who repent of their sins and call on Jesus Christ who will come into God's borders and know Christ Jesus as King and Lord. Thank You Jesus for the grace that is given through faith to enter Your Kingdom and become a Kingdom child.
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
Are you good enough? I have been to many funerals over the years and almost always, I have heard people say of the person who has passed on, "He/she was a good person."
Yet, when we call someone "good" are we in essence saying they were good or righteous enough to enter heaven. If we are, then what standard of "goodness" or "righteousness" are we using in making this judgement.
The rich, young ruler ran up and knelt before Jesus and said, "Good Teacher, what must I do to ...inherit eternal life?" Jesus, before addressing this man's desire for salvation, first addressed his view of what is good by saying back to him, "Why do you call me good, no one is good-except God alone... (Luke 18:18-27, Mark 10:17-27)
Our society, and sadly many churches today, have incorporated the Rich, Young Ruler's standard of goodness instead of Jesus'. The reason Jesus of Nazareth offends so many today and is being replaced by a jesus of our own making is because we no longer are willing to see that our standard of goodness will always miss the mark before a Righteous, Loving and Holy God.
When we truly see that our standard of goodness will never be good enough, there Jesus is with His nail pierced hands and feet ready to wash away all of our sin, including the false standard we lived by. Then, and only then will we come to know this amazing Grace whereby we are clothed in His righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ!
As I woke up this morning, my very first thought was, "What does it mean to be saved in Christ Jesus?"
- It is by Grace, and grace alone, not by any works
- My sin has been atoned for. I have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus, who died and rose again and now has ascended and sits at the right hand of God the Father.
- I am no longer a slave to sin but now a slave to righteousness
- I stand no longer condemned but forgiven of all my sin in Christ Jesus.
- My Destination is no longer eternal separation from God but eternal life in Christ Jesus.
- God's law is no longer ouside of me but has been written upon my heart.
- I am no longer under the dominion of darkness but in the Kingdom of God.
- I am a new creation in Christ Jesus - the old things passed away, behold new things have come.
- God is now my Father and I am His child
- I am now a citizen of Heaven
- God has placed His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to indwell me. I am therefore a temple of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit indwells me and is present to:
Teach me the truth
convict me of sin
counsel me in the way of righteousness
empower me to bear witness of Jesus Christ
Fill me so that I bear fruit of Love, joy, peace, patience...
He has given me gifts so that I may serve in His strength and speak His utterances.
- I am now running a race of faith with my eyes to be fixed on Jesus who is the author and perfector of faith.
- It does not mean that I will not have trials and temptation but it does mean that Christ will be with me to lead me so that I can be an overcomer.
- I have become part of the "called out ones" The Church.
- I am a disciple, a Christ Follower
- I have been made holy in Christ as God is holy.
- I have access to the Throne of grace to pray and seek and make petitions before Him.
- Jesus Christ is now and forever my Lord and King. I no longer live for self but for Christ and Him alone.
These are just a few. Truly this is the Good News that is to be proclaimed in a world lost in darkness and yet amazing Grace is being offered.