Salvation

“Be strong in your work for I am with you”

“Be strong in your work for I am with you”

By

Jose de Carvalho

It has been sometime since I last posted to this blog, but I can assure that it has not been through neglect.

What motivated me to do so now was a study on the book of Haggai. The book of Haggai addresses problems common to all people of all times and gives inspired solutions to those problems. The first problem he encountered was disinterest (1:1-15), the second problem was discouragement (2:1-9) and the last problem Haggai had to face was dissatisfaction (2:10-23).

The summary of the prophetic message of Haggai is that we should embrace the task assigned to us by God. We should not allow
difficulties, enemies, or selfish pursuits to derail us from our divinely given responsibilities. The noble nature of our calling and the promised presence of God and His Holy Spirit should encourage us to fulfil our commission.

The objective of this post is to enumerate practical truths from the book:

  • God and His work must take first place in the life of His people. This is the only way through which God is honoured.
  • Putting personal or selfish interests ahead of God is self-defeating.
  • God showers His blessings on those who put His interests before their own.
  • The significance of a man’s work is not to be valued by comparing it with the work of others, but by the measure of how it conforms to God’s will and purpose.

If any of this is interesting or enriches you, stay connected and travel with me as we migrate in this pilgrimage of life finding  ‘what adds meaning to our lives’.

The previleges of adoption

The privileges of adoption

By

Jose de carvalho

 

When we come to God for salvation through faith in Christ we are made spiritually alive, able to relate to God in prayer and worship and able to hear His Word and Voice with receptive hears. One of the major blessings of salvation is adoption; the act of God whereby He makes us members of His family, and His children related to one another in the body as family members. John mentions adoption at the beginning of his gospel, where he says “to all who received him, who believed in his name, He gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). The New Testament’s epistles repeatedly bear testimony to the fact that we are now God’s children (Romans 8:14-17). 

What are the privileges of adoption? 

One of the greatest privileges of our adoption is being able to relate to Him as a benevolent loving father. We are to realise that we “are no longer slaves but sons” (Gal. 4:7) therefore we are not to relate to God as a master, but as a child relates to a father. This relationship to God as father is the foundation of many blessings in a Christian’s life. The most intimate role and the role that conveys the highest privileges of fellowship with God for eternity is His role as our heavenly father. This relationship illustrates clearly that He loves and understand us. He has compassion and cares for us, takes care of our needs and gives us gifts. He especially gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to comfort us and empower us for ministry and Christian living. Gifts not only in this life, but also in the afterlife.  As sons and joint heirs with Christ, we have an inheritance in heaven. We are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom.8:17) thus have the rights to “an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). 

“…and forgive us our sins” (Matt 6:9-12), this daily prayer for forgiveness is not a prayer of justification.  Rather a prayer in which we express a wish to restore the open fellowship with our Father that has been disrupted by sin that displeases Him.  It is a prayer of restoration not to a judge, but to a loving father.

 The privilege of being “lead by the Spirit” is another benefit of adoption.” All whoare led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom 8:14).The Holy Spirit put in every believer the desire to obey God and enable us to live according to His will. As God’s children we are to imitate our Father in conduct. Paul says “be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph.5:1). 

Another privilege of adoption into God’s family, though not always recognized as a privilege, is the fact that God disciplines us as His children. “The Lord disciplines him whom He loves” (Heb. 12:5-6). God treats us as sons: “for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:7). 

It is in the context of a father that we must relate to God and to the Church as members of one family. This concept of the Church as God’s family should give us a new perspective on the work of the Church: it is family work!!! The various members of the family should never compete with each other or hinder one another’s efforts, but should encourage one another and be thankful for whatever good or whatever progress comes to any member of the family, for all are contributing to the good of the family and honour of God our Father.

If any of this is interesting or enriches you, stay connected and travel with me as we migrate in this pilgrimage of life finding ‘what adds meaning to our lives’.

Bible verses, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NKJV Holy Bible copyright 1983 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

 

Salvation

Salvation is Christ’s work

By

Jose de Carvalho

 

This is the last post in the series of comments on the Pope’s speech.  It deals with the insinuation of the association between the ‘church’ and salvation. There needs to be a clear warning that a mere association with a ‘church’ and outward conformity to the accepted Christian patterns of church practice does not guarantee salvation; particularly in societies and cultures where it is easy and expected for people to profess to be Christian.  There is a real possibility that some people are associated with the ‘church’ through infant baptism and are not genuine believers. The consequence is that these will be lured into complacency by assurances that they will still have justification and adoption into God’s family through their association with the ‘church’. 

A consistent pattern of disobedience to Christ’s Commandments, coupled with the lack of the evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), as well as the absence of a Christ-like character is a warning signal that a person is probably not a true Christian inwardly and that there has never been a genuine heart-faith decision for Christ.  Consequently there are thus no signs of any regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. The words of John the Baptist (1 John 2:4) come to mind.  He tells us “he who says I know Him but does not obey His Commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him”. 

The objective of the post is to promote introspection. A long term pattern of increasing disobedience to Christ should be taken as evidence to doubt that one is really a Christian at all. Examine yourself!!!