How can our lives be transformed? introduction

In the O.T. God speaks to the Israelites rather harshly and warns them of some “heavy” things to come. In Hosea 4:1, He warns “Hear the word of the Lord…for the Lord hath a controversy (bone to pick) with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy (love), nor knowledge of God in the land.”
The very same thing can be said of today. First of all, we must understand what “truth” is. Truth is where our words and our deeds match and become one. Jesus, of course, is the Truth. He is the Word who became the Deed. He also “lived the truth.” His Words (promises) always matched His Deeds and His Life actions.
In 3 John 3, the apostle John comments on how important it is that we “live the Truth.” He says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” Why does seeing his “children walk in truth” bring him so much joy? Because it shows his children are genuine and authentic Christians (whose words and deeds matched). There were no “masks” or “facades.” They were truly showing forth God’s Life in their actions and so, the Gospel could be passed on.
This is the biggest problem facing Christianity today. Far to many Christians are phony in belief and practice. All most all think, just being Born Again is all they must do. Is It? We are required to walk out our salvation in fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12) What does the Bema seat Judgment teach us? In short that we will all stand before a Holy God who will judge what we have done after salvation. Snooze and you lose.
Is it any wonder why should unsaved people want something that doesn’t seem to work for us?
How are we able to do this? Just how am I emptied of self-life and filled with God’s life? The answer is Romans 12:1,2. Read. This Scripture tells us that a renewed life is the “key” to our transformation. Transformation simply means an exchange of life. It means taking off self-and putting on God.
John 12:24 shows us more: “Verly, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall to the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” A renewed mind is the “bridge” or the link between our being emptied of self-and being filled with God. The Word of God is the mechanism or instrument by which Christ’s supernatural life in our hearts can become our life in our souls.
This Scripture exhorts us to become “emptied of self.” So that we can be “filled with Him.” Now being emptied of self does not mean becoming some sort mindless robot. Or a non-entity with no personality or individually of our own. Quite the opposite, when we surrender ourselves to God, He takes our own unique personality, our own individual temperament, our own make-up and then fills it with His love, His thoughts and power.
Ephesians 4:22-24 explains what a renewed mind does: “That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according the former deceitful lusts; and be and being renewed in the spirit (personal spirit) of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Goal and purpose of being a Christian. Being transformed into Christ’s image is the basic goal and purpose for each of our lives as Christians. God wants us to show forth and reflect His Life (Jesus’ life) in our souls and thereby not show forth our own soul with it’s deeds. This, to me, is what Romans 8:28-29 means when it says, we are to be conformed into the image of Christ. When we allow the Holy Spirit to do this, then we’ll be able to live the truth and our words and deeds will match the gospel and have a chance to be passed on. So, a renewed mind is the key to our transformation and our living the truth. You talk about important subjects, this one is critical.
When we don’t choose to renew our minds, however, either because we don’t know how or because of wounds, hurts, fears, insecurities, trauma that we have chosen to hang on to, then we quench God’s Spirit in our hearts and block His life from coming forth.
So, the life that is manifested in our souls is not going to be Jesus’ Life as it should be, but self-life.
Just what is our Soul.
1. Our soul is like a neutral area that “shall have life” because of free flow of God’s Life or, shall “wax cold” because God’s Life is quenched
2. For the most part, our souls are the outward expression of our lives. It’s the life that we see, hear and feel coming forth from each other
3. There is a hidden, secret part of our soul (hidden Chambers)
4. The whole purpose of our being called Christians is to be filled with God’s Life—”the fullness of God” Eph. 3:19; 2Cor.2:14, walking by His Spirit-Gal.5:14, conformed into His Image Romans 8:29 and manifesting His Name 2 Cor. 4:10-11
5. Our souls are made up mostly of our conscious thoughts, emotions and desires.
6. Life exists both in our hearts and souls; what’s the difference? —Life is originally created in our hearts Proverbs4:23 it’s life—only God can see it Jeremiah 17:10;12:3; 1 Chron.28:9. Life is then outwardly expressed in our souls. Isaiah 58:10-11;Proverbs 14:30; Matt.12:35. It’s visible Life, all can see it Jeremiah 31:12.
7. Our souls are a neutral area that can be filled with God’s Life or self-Life. If we have made the appropriate faith choices, God’s Life will be showing forth through our souls. His Love will become our love, His Thoughts, Our thoughts, His Power, our own John 4:14. This demonstrates single-mindedness—one life is being lived God’s. IF we have made emotional choices to follow our own thoughts, God’s Life becomes blocked or quenched and self -life will show forth. This results in double-mindedness—Two lives are being lived God’s and our own. 2 Peter 2:17. This is what a hypocrite looks like. James 1:8.
8. Where does “self-Life” come from? Self-Life comes from hurts, doubts, resentment, that we have never dealt with, either out of ignorance or disobedience, but have simply stuffed in our hidden chambers. Self-Life is triggered when we choose to follow what things are telling us to do over what God is saying Proverbs 5:22;John 8:34. Read. These hidden things have the power to work on our conscious thoughts and emotions to make us choose to follow them. These hidden things are stored in a secret place called Cheder in Hebrew. These chambers are comparable to the secret, hidden chambers of the Temple (1 Kings 6:5-10) where priests stored their own personal idolatrous things (Ezekiel 8:6-12). They represent the place in our soul where we hide, bury and store our hurts, wounds, guilt and fears Proverbs 18:8;26:22; Ezekiel 14:3-5.
9. We must learn to set aside our Self-Life, so that God’s Life can come forth Romans 6:6-7, 11-13; Col. 2:11; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; Acts 20:24. This is what the Sanctification process is all about 2 Cor.4:10-11. It’s putting off the old man Eph.4:22; Rom.6:6 and then putting On Christ Col.3:10; Eph.4:24. The putting ON of Christ is twofold : positionally at our new birth and experientially in the process of sanctification. It’s Christ’s Life Col.1:27 that we are to, put on moment, by moment in our lives. This is Transformation as given to us buy the Word of God. Part two :Hidden Chambers

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How can our lives be Transformed? Part two

In part two, we are learning what part our bodies play in our transformation. The body is a container for the spirit and soul.
Our Body.
1. Our bodies are the vehicle or the carrier for the expression of our lives Phil. 1:20;1 Cor.6:19-20.
2. Our soul and body together are known as the flesh.
3. Just as the Outer Court of the Temple had many outside influences 1 Kings 11:1-6; 1 John 2:16, so our bodies are “wide open” prey to the wiles of the enemy.
4. The “power of sin” resides in our bodies Romans 7:20-21, 23.
a. The power of sin is an energy force whose whole purpose is to cause us to “Veer off course” and “miss the mark.” Phil. 3:14;Romans 7:19-23. Satan is the author of the power of sin John 8:44; Eph. 6:12 “It’s no more I” that does these bad things, but the power of sin in me Romans 7:18,20. No one can take us out of the keeping power of God, once we are born-again Col.1:13-14; John 10:27-29. However, when we quench God’s Spirit, we open ourselves up for the arrows of the enemy. We then give Him access to all the gray area Prov. 5:22.
b. This is the reason we are not sinless, even though we have God’s Life in our hearts Matt. 26:41.
5. We have a constant choice to either “walk by the Spirit” or “walk by the flesh.” By “birth” we are always in the Spirit Romans 8:9, but by “choice” we can either:
a. Walk after the flesh Romans 6:21; 7:5; 8:6; and 13 first half of verse. We still have God’s Life in our hearts, but because we have chosen to follow what we want and desire, we have blocked His Life from coming forth Matt. 12:25; 26:41. We have opened ourselves up to the arrows of the enemy and are in bondage to the power of sin Gal. 5:19; Rom.6:12,16,21. We are serving the Law of sin Rom. 7:25c (Last part of verse). We are “pleasing self” Ezek. 33;31; Rom.8:8. His light in us has been darkened Luke 11:35; Psalm 38:10; and we are “Living a lie” John 5:31; 12:35;Jeremiah 7:28. We grope for the wall like the blind Isaiah 59:10. This is where pure water gets blocked up Jeremiah 2:13; Prov.25:26.
b. Or, we can walk after the Spirit Romans 8:6b,13b; 6:13, 22; Gal.5:24-25. We are filled with the “fullness of God” Eph.3:19; Luke 9:24b. We are freed from the power of sin Gal.5:1; Rom.6:2,7; 7:25. Salvation means freedom from power of sin 2 Thess. 2:13. There is no dark part Luke 11:36b; and we are “living the truth” 2 John 4; Eph.6:5-6.
The War.
A. The war that goes on within us between the power of God and the power of sin, is fought in our soul and body, not in our hearts Rom. 7:21-23; 6:13,16.
B. 1. Since our “Old Man” no longer exists Rom.6:6, the power of sin’s hold on the flesh has been destroyed and we have been, if we chose to be, freed from sin Rom. 6:7-14,22.
C. 2. Soul and body are the battlefield, our mind leading into trouble if we allow it, not our hearts, Rom. 7:23.
3. The battle is spiritual 2 Cor.10:3-6.
B. Christ is now the “overcoming power” to free us from this war Rom. 6:2,6-7; 7:25.
C. As believers we have God’s authority and God’s power to resist what the “flesh” is urging us to do Rom. 6:6,7: Col.2:11.
Hidden Chambers
Hidden Chambers. When we don’t know how to renew our minds or how to put off the “Junk” in our thinking, then we not only give Satan handles to grab hold of in our conscious thinking, but we also allow him to establish strongholds in our hidden chambers or our innermost part as Scripture calls it.
It is my fervent desire to talk about the things in our lives that we don’t deal with, either out of ignorance or disobedience, but simply push down into the secret recesses of our soul. These are the things that eventually can become the hidden motivation for much of what we do.
The actual word “Subconscious” or “unconscious” is not used in our translations. The Hebrew word found in Scripture is “Cheder” which means the innermost part, the hidden chambers, the inward part or the secret place. The word cheder is used 38 times in Scripture over half refer to secret hidden, innermost chamber or parlor. 1 Chron. 28:11,1; 1 Kings 6:5-8. Here are a few Scriptural examples.
Psalm 19:12-13 speaks to this, “Who can understand his errors? (his mistakes, his straying’s, wonderings) cleanse me from secret faults (hidden, covered, not discerned)…let them not have dominion over me.”
Searching the hidden Chambers. Proverbs 20:27. The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inward parts (rooms of the belly) cheder of the belly. Lamp of the Lord Man’s spirit is God’s contact point, through which He illumines man and shows him his own true nature
Why would the spirit search our inward parts, if not to reveal, hidden sin in us? If there is no “secret place” or “hidden chambers,” where is this “innermost part”
Psalm 51:6 seems to follow this same line of thinking. David declares…”in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” God wants this hidden part —this secret place –cleansed of secret faults and then filled with all precious and pleasant riches, example God’s wisdom. “By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Prov.24:4.
Just as access to and from these hidden chambers was allowed through only one door at the front of the Temple sanctuary, so, too, the “power of sin that lives in our bodies has access not only to the conscious part of our soul (our self-Life) but also has access to these secret, hidden recesses of our souls. Remember, the hidden chambers are a part of our flesh.
It’s not so much that these buried things in themselves hinder our sanctification —they don’t. But they do affect our choices. And it’s our choices that hinder our sanctification. Buried hurts and wounds definitely influences us, but they don’t need to determine our choices. There is a much “more excellent way.”
How can these Hidden Chambers become Cleansed? Awareness of the dangers of simply burying our negative thoughts and emotions in our hidden Chambers makes us examine three questions.
1. How can we catch our negative thoughts and emotions Before they go into our hidden chambers? 2 Cor. 10:4-6. Read. Strongholds are first established in our minds; that is why we are to take every thought captive. Behind a stronghold is a lie. A place of personal bondage where God’s Word has been suppressed to any unscriptural idea or personally confused belief that is held to be true.
2. How can we get rid of the ones that are already there? Agree with the Holy Spirit that there is a sin He shows us. Psalm 32:5 King David says, “I acknowledge my sins to you, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. (continually unfolding the past till all is told Amp). Confess the sin, (take accountability) repent of the sin, ask the Lord to forgive the sin, receive by acknowledging His forgiveness. Fill that hidden place with the Word of God.
3. How can we reprogram the truth back in? By the “Renewing” of our minds with the Word of God Romans 12:2; and Eph. 5:26. read. “To renew is to renovate,” implying a restoration to freshness or to an original state. It speaks of the potential of redemption’s power to reinstate features of God’s original intention for humanity and a recovery of many potentialities of the human mind and soul as designed before the fall.
The “mind” forms the intellect or understanding, but also includes all that is described in the word “mind-set,” that is the feelings and the will. Being transformed by the renewal of the mind indicates a literal “change in the form or formulas of thought or being.” This describes redemption’s provision of power to instill godliness in us—a power that transforms
1. Our thoughts, which lead to formulating
2. Our purposes, which proceed to dictate our actions, and so,
3. Our actions become character-determining habits, shaping the life and setting the course for the future. The path to godly living is not complicated, nor is it energized by the flesh, but it does call the believer to willing submission to the Father’s provision and ways.
The Bible shows us Christ’s likeness so that we may measure our conduct and character against His and allow God to shape us into Christ’s likeness Rom.8:29.
4.Power of sin. It is important to remember; the power of sin’s whole purpose is to cause us to “veer of course” and to “miss the mark.” The mark refers to Romans 8:29 being conformed into the image of Christ. Because of our ignorance, not only as to how we renew our minds, but also what the Mind of Christ is and the power and authority of God we possess because of it.
Through the power of sin, Satan’s goal is to work hand-in-hand with our flesh influencing, persuading and manipulating us to follow our own self-Life, rather than obey and trust God to perform His Will in our lives. The enemy wants us to be conformed to the world’s image, because then the Gospel will not be passed on.
God, on the other hand, wants us to constantly yield our self-Life to Him, regardless of how we feel or what we think, and put on the Mind of Christ. Then, we’ll be conformed to Christ’s Image and the Gospel will have a chance to be passed on.
Coming episode’s : Mind Renewal, the Mind of Christ.

How can our lives be transformed? part three

How can our lives be Transformed? Part three
The Mind of Christ –we all have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2: 12, 16. Tells us that as Christians we all possess the mind of Christ in order to get God’s Life from our hearts out into our lives. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; WHY? That we might know the things that are freely given to us from God.” Verse 12. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that He may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” Verse 16.
Even as believers, most of us have been completely ignorant, not only as to what the Mind of Christ is, but also what it does and how it works. And because of this ignorance, we have not been able to use this incredible gift God has given us. So, we’ve gone on depending upon our own thoughts and our own emotions, again playing right into the enemy’s hands.
If our basic thinking patterns are not changed, then our lives will not change either, no matter what we do. Isaiah 59:10 graphically describes this, “we grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.” Eye in Scripture is often referred to as our mental vision or our mind.
And it’s true; we do grope for the wall as if we had no eyes because we don’t know how to put off our old thinking and put on the Mind of Christ …our new “eyes.” Provers 3:5 declares, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
How it works.
Take every thought captive. Another reason why many of us continue to depend upon our own thinking rather than God’s, is that we seldom “Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” as 2 Cor. 10:5 exhorts us to do.
Now, when God says take every thought captive, He doesn’t mean examine every single thought we have. He means stop and take a good hard look at the anxious thoughts, the hurtful ones, the doubtful ones, the frustrations, the anger, the pride, and all the other “emotional” and self-centered thoughts that take away our peace.
Lack of peace is a good barometer for us to see which thoughts God wants us to deal with. Romans 14:23 teaches, “what is not of faith is sin.” So, any thought that is not of faith and take away our peace is a thought that we need to deal with.
Chain Reaction. The reason our thoughts are so important to God is that our thoughts are the first to be triggered in the chain reaction of our souls. Our thoughts stir up our emotions; our emotions then cause our desires ; and our desires produce our actions. This is why thoughts are so critical. If we can catch our negative thoughts when they first occur, then we’ll stop the whole chain-reaction of our souls before it begins.
What happens, however, when we don’t take every thought captive, is that we end up being carried on by the tide of emotion (that chain-reaction), quenching God’s Spirit, and His Life in our hearts is not able to come forth. So, yes, we all have the Mind of Christ, but we won’t be able to use this incredible gift, unless we recognize, first of all, that own emotional way of thinking is totally opposite from God’s and recognize the importance of taking every negative thought captive.

Our Basic Goal and Purpose of being a Christian. 1 Tim.1:5; 1 John 4:16.
A. Being conformed into Christ’s image. Romans 8:29; Gal.4:19; 5:14
1. Being emptied of self-Life and filled with God’s 2 Cor. 4:10-11; Jon 3:30
2. Being filled with Life Eph. 3:17-19. Knowing His Life as our own Phil. 1:21;Gal.2:20
B. Walking in God’s Love and truth. Bearing witness of the truth John 13:35; 18:37; 14:6.
C. Showing forth God’s Life, not our own. 2 Cor. 4:10,11; John 1:4,8,17.
D. Proving what is the “good, acceptable and perfect and perfect Will of God.” Romans 12:1,2; 1 John 2:12-14.
1. What is God’s will? Eph. 5:17-18, “Be filled with the Spirit”
a. God’s good will is bearing fruit “Thirty-fold” (as children) Matt. 13:8;1 John 2:12.
b. God’s acceptable will is bearing fruit “sixty-fold” (as men/women) 1 John 2:13a; Eph.5:9.
c. God’s perfect will is bearing fruit “a hundred-fold” Heb. 5:14; 13:21.
2. Walking in love is proof we are doing God’s will. 2 Cor. 2:8,9; 1 john 4:12,17.
3. Walking in truth is proof we are doing God’s will. 2 John 4:3; 3 John 3,4.
Satan will do anything to prevent our transformation. 2Cor. 10:3-5.
A. When we don’t know how to renew our minds , we give Satan many holes to attack. Luke 11:24-26.
B. We are ignorant of things in the hidden part of our soul. We must allow God to expose our “whole” man. Psalm 19:12,13.
C. Our warfare is mighty to the “pulling down strongholds.” 1 John 4:4; 2 Cor. 10:3,4.
Our Mind is the Link to this transformation.
A. A renewed mind is the only way we can be transformed into Christ’s image. Romans 12:1,2; Eph. 4:22-24.
1. The natural mind is hostile to God. Romans 8:7.
2. The natural man doesn’t receive the things of God. 1 Cor. 2:14

B. Our mind is the connection between God’s Life in our hearts and its expression in our lives. Romans 7:25; Eph. 2:2-4.
1. God’s Life does no good if its blocked in our hearts. Psalm 119:70. Amplified says, Their hearts are as fat as grease; their mind is dull and Brutal; but I delight in the law of God.
2. This causes us to live a lie in our souls—showing forth =self-Life. 1 John 1:6.
We all have the Mind of Christ.
A. The mind of Christ helps to get God’s Life from our hearts out into our Lives. 1 Cor. 2:16;Proverbs 3:5.
B. AS Christians, however, many of us still depend upon our own thinking, rather than God’s. Prov. 3:5; 30:12; Jeremiah 10:23.
C. And we end up grouping for the wall like the blind. Isaiah 59:10.

The Holy Spirit will continually remind us of the critical importance of setting aside our own natural, emotional way of thinking and beginning to think with the Mind of Christ. If we can learn to do this Romans 12:2 tells us we will be transformed into God’s image.
Transformation is God’s will and His goal for all of us. He wants us to constantly take off our self and put on Himself. He wants us living the truth and walking in His Love. The only way this is possible, however, is by the constant renewing of our minds.

The Body is for the Manifestation of a Personality part two

The purpose of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection not only concern the salvation of soul but the transformation of life.  “To reveal his Son in me…” (Gal.1:16). The cross not only secures eternal life but also enables the transformation of present life: “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Rom.8:29). The goal is to develop “Christ-like character”…a total change of HEART, OUTLOOK, and PRIORITIES “…by the renewing of your mind” (Rom.12:2). “The entrance of thy words giveth light…” (Ps. 119:130).

This involves a process of yielding, by which we allow the truth of God’s word to reshape our thinking, restructure our priorities and refocus our outlook…so that our way of thinking, living and responding lines up with His. Many are the believers who seem to be ignorant of this foundational truth, failing to fully comprehend the purpose of salvation.  It does not mention the soul as the container that houses all the goings on which is the salvation of soul.

Faith is the catalyst which transfers knowledge into experience. Many fellowships step back from experiences in one’s life. They say, “we do not live by our experiences, but rather by the Word of God only.”That is highly commendable, but “Really”?

In our daily walk as Christians do we not experience being transformed by the presence of the Holy Spirit within us? Do we not go through the growing pains of character transformation and look back and behold the wonder of His work in us. Living is a daily experience in that we should seethe effect it has on us as Christians.

What is the ability to discern?

Read Heb. 5:12-14-emphasize in 14 full-age (mature) and by use (practice). It is vital to the Christian’s spiritual welfare and usefulness to the Lord, that he/she learns to discern…refuse the evil and choose the good.

There are two types of wisdom in the world. One is born of  Light the other of darkness; one is from above the other from below. The new man is animated (made alive) by the wisdom from above; the old man by the wisdom from that is from below. Spiritual growth depends on discernment and choice. The first challenge is to discern between the two types of wisdom. The second challenge is to choose between the two.

What is discernment? Read list. Discern, to separate by the eye, or by the understanding. To discover by the intellect; to distinguish; hence, to have knowledge of; to judge. “So is my lord the king to discern good and bad. 2 Samuel 14:7. Solomon said, in 1 Kings 3:9 “Therefore give to your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil…”

Discern, verb. To see or understand the difference; to make distinction; as, to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood. The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.

Learning to discern the nature and source of our beliefs and thoughts and be willing to make the necessary changes is pivotal.  “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” [defenseless] (Prov.25:28).  If you don’t control your thoughts your thoughts will control you. “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”  “How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” (Jer. 4:14).“…choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Josh. 24:15).

Therein lies the power to resist temptation. Self-determination, in and of itself, is incapable of overcoming the flesh. Self-discipline is, of course,important but it can only carry you so far; it is insufficient in the sense that we cannot will ourselves spiritual…we can only “yield” our will to God’s will  “…not my will,  but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42). Concerning spiritual matters, sheer determination, because it is rooted in the flesh is inadequate. Flesh cannot over come flesh…only the Holy Spirit can do that. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)

No matter how hard you try you cannot serve God in the flesh“the flesh profiteth nothing…” (John 6:63). Inconsistency is the enemy of spirituality; in order to consistently guard our hearts and overcome our enemies, we must ask the Lord to supply the spiritual wisdom and necessary grace to live a life pleasing to Him. “Ask and it shall be given you…”(Matt.7:1).

The Eye Gate.

In order to guard our hearts, we must control our eyes.  The eye gate is the primary entrance to the mind. Eighty-nine percent of what we learn comes through visual stimulation,ten percent through audible stimulation, and one percent through the other three senses. Therefore, the eye gate is of foremost concern and must be strictly guarded.

The eye gate is the primary pathway of enticement…the trigger of temptation. Temptation is a struggle between desire and reason which begins (activated) when (stimulus, influence) on the outside connects (through the eye gate) with something on the inside (old sinful nature) setting off a lustful response.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

You must guard your heart by learning to recognize and “abstain from all appearance of evil.” Avoid that which provokes negative stimulation…identify and shun your areas of weakness;abstain from every form of evil 1 Thess. 5:22. In those things to which you have little resistance. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:14). Acknowledging and shunning our vulnerabilities goes along way to guard our hearts.

Remember, the “eye-gate” is the primary entrance to the soul. In order to guard your heart, you must control your eyes; a glimpse will lead to a gaze; imprinting an indelible image on the heart. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes…” (Ps. 101:3).

To illustrate: Eyes the projector, heart the screen and mind the computer (memory). The eyes project indelible images upon the heart, which are then stored in the mind.

A definition of indelible means it cannot be removed, washed away, or erased except by the Holy Spirit in true repentance, confession, and coming out of agreement with the image. The Holy Spirit removes the lust or passion out of the memory. It is still there, but the image has no power; only God can do this.

One of the most amazing features of the human mind is the memory, which is in effect, an incredible living computer. Man’s memory not only has the capability of recalling information and reviving past images but also has the capacity to create its own scenes in the form of dreams and imaginations from information stored in the subconscious.

Whether prior to, or after salvation, all evil which has entered through the unguarded eye-gate is permanently stored in the mind; thus,providing the enemy internal poison with which to hinder the Holy Spirit.  As each sensual, thought-provoking scene passes unchecked through the breach, the will to resist is weakened until the eye gate becomes the failed floodgate. The effect can be profound and lasting, adding much resistance and frustration to the battle for God’s control of the total being. Henceforth the postle Paul’s exhortations in 2 Cor. 10:3-5 & Rom. 12:1-2: read.

The Essential Exchange   (“Put off”  “Put on”)

Real spiritual growth is a choice; depending on a willingness to be changed…submission born out of sincere gratitude; a heart felt desire to obey the will of the Lord as revealed in His word. Spiritual development requires retreat from self “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The deciding factor, which determines whether we are carnal or spiritual, hinges on a crucial exchange:

(Eph. 4:22-24). READ.

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation [manner of living] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

This putting off or yielding,initiates an essential lifelong process whereby changed people   learn to live changed lives; a gradual transformation which causes that which happened on the inside to become evident on the outside “Christ be formed in you…” (Gal.4:19).

Spirituality is the fruit of resistance; the more you choose to resist self-life (flesh) the more spiritual clarity and supply of God’s power you experience. However, it is of utmost importance to realize, in and of ourselves, we do not possess the power necessary to overcome the influence world, flesh, and devil.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest impediments to resisting the flesh and guarding the heart is to rely on our own strength…attempt to go it alone. The surest path to defeat is to forget, or be ignorant of, the fact that “…our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5). “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7) “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.” (Phil.2:13) The power is in you yet not of you. There is a vast difference between a work “for God” and a work “of God.”

As far as living the Christian life successfully and overcoming the flesh the most important thing to realize is that Jesus Christ lives in you in the person of the Holy Spirit “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)  “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba,Father.” (Gal.4:6) Consider the Apostle Paul’s declaration in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”

Therein resides the power to resist temptation. Self-determination, in and of itself, is incapable of overcoming the flesh. Self-discipline is, of course, important but it can only carry you so far; it is insufficient in the sense that we cannot will ourselves spiritual…we can only “yield” our will to God’s will  “…not my will,  but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42). Concerning spiritual matters, sheer determination,because it is rooted in the flesh is inadequate. Flesh cannot over come flesh…only the Holy Spirit can do that. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)

Summary:

No matter how hard you try you cannot serve God in the flesh“the flesh profiteth nothing…” (John 6:63). Inconsistency is the enemy of spirituality; in order to consistently guard our hearts and overcome our enemies, we must seek the Lord to supply the spiritual wisdom and necessary grace to live a life pleasing to Him. “Ask and it shall be given you…”(Matt.7:1).

God dwells in the spirit, self-dwells in the soul, and senses dwell in the body.The battle between good and evil is a tug-of-war for the control of man’s soul.

The Body is for the Manifestation of a Personality part 1

The purpose of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection not only concern the salvation of soul but the transformation of life.  “To reveal his Son in me…” (Gal.1:16). The cross not only secures eternal life but also enables the transformation of present life: “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Rom.8:29). The goal is to develop “Christ-like character”…a total change of HEART, OUTLOOK, and PRIORITIES “…by the renewing of your mind” (Rom.12:2). “The entrance of thy words giveth light…” (Ps. 119:130).

This involves a process of yielding, by which we allow the truth of God’s word to reshape our thinking, restructure our priorities and refocus our outlook…so that our way of thinking, living and responding lines up with His. Many are the believers who seem to be ignorant of this foundational truth, failing to fully comprehend the purpose of salvation.     It does not mention the soul as the container that houses all the goings on the salvation of soul.

It is obvious that contemporary Christianity has left off teaching the vital fundamental doctrines of the Bible: “co-crucifixion”[Gal.2:20],the distinction between the believers “standing and state”, the significance of “spiritual circumcision” [Col.2:11], the dynamics of inner struggle between the “new man” and the “old man” [Eph. 4:22-24] etc. Sound doctrine is designed to produce sound Christians…believers who understand their identity,purpose, authority, and freedom “in Christ”.“Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge…”(Isa.5:13).

Week after week many well-meaning pastors and Bible teachers exhort God’s people to live sanctified lives…to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit…mortify the flesh and abide in Christ;without sufficiently teaching them HOW. Without a good understanding of the above-mentioned doctrinal truths, most of which are contained within Romans chapters 6-8, it is impossible to “…be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man” (Eph. 4:23-24). How can a believer obey the command “…yield your selves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead…”(Rom.6:13) without a thorough understanding of the doctrine of co-crucifixion?

Modern Christianity is a victim of liberalism/humanism/Socialism and has drifted far from its Biblical roots, away from the fundamental doctrines which are vital to its effectiveness and well-being. Even among good Bible-believing churches, the divisive disparity of doctrine demonstrates the depth of deception in these last days.

This current crisis within Christianity should not come as a surprise considering the fact that there are numerous prophecies in the New Testament clearly stating the end times to be characterized by a dramatic increase in demonic activity and false doctrine.

The apostle Paul repeatedly warned that as the Church Age drew to a close, “…evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…” (1 Tim.4:1).

Day by day, as we draw closer to the return of the Lord,satanic influences are increasing, and contemporary Christianity moves further and further away from the fundamental truths of Scripture.

So, we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. Eph. 4:14.

Doctrine isn’t merely meant to be a transfer of spiritual principles from one mind to another…doctrine is designed to renew the mind and change the heart! In order to comprehend spiritual truth, you must first have a heart for it: “Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? (Proverbs 17:16); that is, a humble heart that’s willing to be changed by truth, (Ex.35:5,21,22,29). The obedience of heart which is rooted in love and gratitude for the Savior, “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:10).

Sound doctrine exposes false doctrine and prevents us from being deceived.

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee”(1 Tim. 4:16). Paul obviously is not referring to Timothy’s salvation when he said, “save thyself and them that hear thee.” The context of this chapter deals with deception. So, when Paul says, “save thyself,”he’s speaking of being delivered from false doctrine.Save thyself and those whom you teach from being deceived. Sound doctrine is of utmost importance…especially, in the latter days.

The Minefield of your mind.

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…” (1 Peter 1:13) the analogy put forth in this verse provides valuable insight regarding the essential defense of the mind. The key word is“loins” which means the vital parts of the body, major organs which were protected in battle. A wound in this critical region was almost always fatal.

“ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Notice the war like terminology used by the Holy Spirit in these highly instructive verses; war,weapons, warfare, casting down, and captivity.

Consider the three main spheres of influence (strongholds, imaginations, and thoughts) detailed in the above verses concerning the spiritual battle for the mind:

Strongholds: Prior to salvation we lived, “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience…” (Eph. 2:2). During that time the insidious influence of an ungodly society had thoroughly indoctrinated our way of thinking…conforming us to “this present evil world.” Over time, through repeated exposure, thought patterns were formed and a world view established.The Bible refers to these carry over captive areas of the mind, held by the devil and strongly defended, as “strongholds.” These well-founded worldly attitudes are contrary to the teachings of the word of God and unless “pulled down” will add much resistance to spiritual growth. As new creatures in Christ,we are clearly warned by the word of God, not to be, “conformed to this world”(Rom.12:2).

Imaginations: The LORD hates “A heart that devises wickedimaginations…  ”(Prov.6:18). The word“imaginations” is mentioned 6 times in the scriptures and always carries a negative connotation.  Consider (1 Chron. 28:9, Prov. 6:18, Lam. 3:60-61, Rom.1:21, 2 Cor. 10:5). Imaginations: The ability to form a mental image of something not actually present to the physical senses…mind pictures. Imaginations can be defined as spontaneous thoughts and mental images projected from the sub-conscious; stored thought and images which primarily arise from the sinful heart of the “old man.”Fantasize… the sensuous free play of man’s sin nature.

The first mention of “imagination”  “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen.6:5). Fallen man is “a transgressor from the womb…” (Isa.48:8),  “…for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” (Gen.8:21). It is vital to the Christian’s spiritual welfare (and usefulness to the Lord) that he or she learns to discern “…refuse the evil and choose the good…”(Isa.7:15; Heb.5:14).

Thoughts:  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Prov.23:7). Every word, every action, begins as a thought.  “Sow a thought, reap an act, Sow an act reap a habit, Sow a habit reap your character, Sow your character reap your destiny.”   Our thoughts can sway the whole inner being in one direction or another; they are an accurate reflection of who we really are. That which occupies the mind shapes the heart “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matt.12:34). “The language we employ is a sure index to the condition our souls.”

All “thought” and “belief” belongs to one of two realms…the realm of truth or the realm of falsehood…each having its source in God or Satan.” Quote from Jessie Penn Lewis “War on the Saints”

(James 3:13-17) read

13 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly,sensual, devilish.16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits,without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

There are two types of wisdom in the world. One is born of Light the other of darkness; one is from above the other from below. The new man is animated by the wisdom from above; the old man by the wisdom from that is from below. Spiritual growth depends on discernment and choice.The first challenge is to discern between the two types of wisdom. The second challenge is to choose between the two.

Thoughts, like most everything else in life, are a matter of choices.  Keeping your heart pure involves selectivity in the thought life and control of imaginations. Thoughts are like food; some foods are beneficial, some are harmful and many times that which looks or tastes good isn’t good at all.It is vital to our spiritual health and mental wellbeing that we choose wisely

Learning to discern the nature and source of our beliefs and thoughts and be willing to make the necessary changes is pivotal.  “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” [defenseless](Prov.25:28).  If you don’t control your thoughts your thoughts will control you. “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”  “How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” (Jer. 4:14).“…choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Josh. 24:15)

“We will remain the same until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change.” Unknown.

What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the salvation of the soul?

I want to touch on something that goes on a lot in Christianity. Many camps of Protestants are divided over Biblical truths no matter how many recognized positions of Bible scholars and theologians may be referenced in support of their beliefs. The error camps make in the noble effort to understand God’s Word is called “illegitimate totality transfer,” which is the assignment of a “meaning” to a word or phrase regardless of context.  Certain words, such as “save” and “life,” are often subject to this type of misapplication of meaning.

In brief, the salvation of the soul (soul-salvation) as seen in various passages throughout the New Testament.

  1. (Matthew 16:26, 27
  2.  Romans 8:13 + Galatians 5:19-21. emphasize “being saved” soul salvation
  3.  1 Corinthians 1:18
  4.  Hebrews 10:35-39
  5.  1 Peter 1:3-9
  6.  James 1:21; 5:20), is an aspect of salvation distinct from salvation of the spirit
  7.  spirit-salvation;John 3:5-7; 16-18
  8.  Acts 16:30, 31
  9.  Ephesians 2:8, 9 this includes the eventual salvation of the body
  10.  Romans 8:23
  11.  1 Corinthians 15:51-57. which distinctions are purposely and rigidly maintained by the Holy Spirit throughout the Word, embodies the following characteristics:

 (1) It involves only the soul-component of a person, as opposed to his spirit and body (1 Thessalonian’s 5:23; Hebrews 4:12); the soul being his life now (sanctification) and,specifically, its relevance (i.e., rewards or lack thereof [suffering]) to the Millennial Kingdom — the rule and reign over the earth by Christ for one thousand years to be established at His Second Advent.

 (2) Although soul-salvation, like spirit-salvation, is based on (made possible by) Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, it may be secured only after a person comes to the cross — placing one’s faith alone in Christ alone for one’s personal and eternal salvation, which is spirit-salvation.

 (3) Whereas spirit-salvation is a past, completed act (a one-time act of the will when a person places his faith in Christ) that results in a secured (guaranteed) eternal possession; where does the word of God state this:

  1. 2 Cor. 1:22
  2. 2 Cor. 5:5
  3. Eph.1:14

soul-salvation is a present,continuous process that, when and if completed successfully, results in a future, inherited possession.

(4) Whereas spirit-salvation is a free gift totally apart from any works by man, soul-salvation is obtained by the production of divine good-works — perseverance in faithfulness and bearing the fruit of the Spirit by (through)the person himself.

 (5) Whereas spirit-salvation is totally the work of the Holy Spirit, soul-salvation is a shared work between the Holy Spirit and the person who has passed from death to life through faith in Christ Jonah 2:9.

 (6) Whereas spirit-salvation involves only the judgment of sin in the person of  Christen the cross at Calvary, soul-salvation involves the judgment of the believer (his temporal life of faithfulness or lack thereof) at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Bema Seat Mat. 27:19; 2 Cor. 5:10.

 (7) Whereas spirit-salvation has eternal verities in view, soul-salvation has millennial verities in view.

What does verities mean? Verity designates the quality of a state or thing that is exactly what is purports to be or accords completely with facts <test the verity of his remarks> referrers to things felt to be of lasting, ultimate, or transcendent truth.

Summary.

Therefore, the term “salvation” in its full context means not only receiving God’s Life in our spirits, but also renewing every part of our soul and body as well.  This takes time and effort.

The first step in salvation (justification)gives us peace and satisfaction and joy.  The second step in the process of full salvation (the sanctification of our soul) gives us the power to overcome sin and self, receive personal deliverance from the enemy and the freedom to walk in God’s way.  Many Christians, however, take only the first step (justification).

 Like the Israelites, they only put the blood on the door posts of their house (Exodus 12:22), but they forget to purge the leaven from their lives (sanctification).  They trust God for the salvation of their spirits, but they fail to declare war on their flesh.  Consequently,they prevent the power of God from doing the work of sanctification in their lives.

Complete salvation is not only believing in the Lord, it also includes walking with the Lord, overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil and enduring to the end.  Again, a lifelong process. First, we are saved (in our spirit) from the penalty of sin; next, we are saved (in our soul) from the power of sin, and finally, we are saved (in our body) from the presence of sin.

  Our spirit is saved by God at the time of our new birth; our body is redeemed by God at the time of the rapture and translation; but the salvation (or the transformation) of our soul by the Holy Spirit is dependent upon and determined by the individual himself.

Finding Beauty in Brokenness: Christ Came to Heal and Redeem

By Debbie McDaniel

It crashed to the floor, breaking into an explosion of pieces. Beyond repair. My favorite mug, now being swept into the trash. “Should have been more careful,” I mumbled to myself. In the midst of the hurried cleaning frenzy, I’d lost my grip. So telling of real life. “Just glue it back Mom,” my kids said. But it would never be the same. The damage was done.

Broken things. Very familiar to a family of 5, with 4 pets. Lots of things moving around and active in our house. And if certain broken pieces are able to be fixed, they normally find a temporary home on the shelf, awaiting the super glue repairs. Or maybe just tossed away if unable to be neatly pieced back together and strategically repaired without hint of a patchwork of super glue lines. Often, it takes too much work to fix what is broken. It’s easier to just buy a new one.

Ever feel that way? Broken. Shattered. Set on a shelf. Tossed aside. Or thrown away. It takes too much work to try to restore. “Just get a new one,” the mindset of our culture whispers our way. “Don’t let anyone see the broken flaws.” Such reality in the way we often live in this world.

With our broken families.

Broken marriages.

Broken relationships.

Broken dreams.

Broken lives.

In Japan, they’ve made an art out of restoring broken things. An ancient practice called Kintsugi, meaning “golden joinery” or “to patch with gold,” is an age-old custom of repairing cracked pottery with real gold, not only fixing the break, but greatly increasing the value of the piece.

The heart of it all – turning what is broken into beautiful, cherished pieces, by sealing the cracks and crevices with lines of fine gold. Instead of hiding the flaws, Kintsugi artists highlight them, creating a whole new design and bringing unique beauty to the original piece. The pottery actually becomes more beautiful and valuable in the restoration process because, though it was once broken, it not only has history, but a new story.

While most normal repairs of broken things hide themselves, like nicely sealed super glue fixes, the usual intent is simply to make something “as good as new.” Yet the art of Kintsugi reinforces a profound belief that the repair can make things not only as good as they were before, but “better than new.”

Better than new. Soak that in for a moment.

There are lies out there that swirl around and whisper to your deepest soul in weak moments, when you’ve lost your grip, and things come crashing down. You feel the need to hide the scars. You feel like the brokenness has rendered you useless in life. You feel beyond repair this time. You feel tossed aside. Forgotten. Shamed. Rejected. As you sit on a shelf.

Yet God breaks through all that mess. You are never beyond healing. You are never too broken for restoration. You are never too shattered for repair. Don’t be ashamed of your scars, of the deep crevices that line your soul, or the broken places of your life. They have an amazing story to tell.

Here is truth. Just because we’ve been broken doesn’t mean that we are thrown away. Just because we’ve been broken doesn’t mean that we are un-usable, set up on a shelf. Just because we’ve been broken doesn’t mean that we are forgotten.

Brokenness has the power, unlike anything else, to bring forth new beauty, strength, and inspiration to others. Because it’s often in those moments that we’ve tasted deep suffering, that we noticed, we were made for more. There’s more. There’s purpose.

The scars of life, the healed wounds, the deep lines, they all have stories to tell. Yet often we try to hide them away, preferring instead to present to the world, a safe façade of who we are, a more “perfect” version. It’s too difficult to risk the real vulnerability of exposing what once was. Or what still is.

We have a Healer. One who repairs. Who can fit the broken pieces that no longer seem to fit right into a perfect design. He works, often behind the scenes, mending, fitting together, creating a better work of art, more than we ever dreamed possible. He makes all things beautiful. Especially in the broken. All from His grace. It is real life. Jagged edges and all. They have such meaning.

You are not just simply patched back together, as He secretly hopes the glue will stick this time. Your repair and healing is never intended to be invisible. But beautifully lined with shining grace through every scar and broken space. Gold filled crevices of our heart, now stronger, better, more beautiful than before.

broken-640x480

And that is what His story is really all about. Bringing life to what was broken. He was willing to take on the brokenness of the world in exchange for our freedom.

Beautiful Savior.

Jesus.

Who sets us free.

He makes all things new.

7 Verses of Hope for Times of Brokenness, He Redeems:

“Behold, I am making all things new.” Rev. 21:5

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Is. 43:19

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Ps.147:3

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecc. 3:11

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

Debbie McDaniel