“Spiritual Growth And Transformation”

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“Who Then Is The Righteous?”

“REMEMBER YOU ARE DUST”

When people begin to see that their lives should be invested in internal, rather than in temporal things, the very first thing they need is personal spiritual formation and management.The first any believer should know is  how to manage the resources of time here on earth.

We should know that God has given us all the time we need to accomplish the specific tasks God has assigned to us.when we  learn to live by his principal, it will give us time to invest in the matters of his kingdom. Following that, we should learn how to organise our time using making sure that our day by day personal devotion with God and  preparing our hearts to work with him and receiving directions from what God wants us to do during the day.

The next thing focuses on the basics of the Christian Life Bible reading, bible study, prayer, scripture memory, witnessing,  follow-up and caring for God’s temple, the body of Christ.

The final part is a time management aid on which the Christian make out a “do list” rearranging their activities in keeping with their newly- formed biblical priorities, arranged around the internal.

If people cannot manage their time ,they will never properly manage anything else in their lives !

The basic principle- God has provided us with time to invest in the internal things of God ,this is the heartbeat of spiritual formation .

 Basic Christian living

The lesson involving in this massage deal with the very basic business of living out once christianity ,including such matters as having the assurance of one’s salvation, learning how to have a quiet time ,the importance of prayer ,walking in victory, understanding the importance of the word of God, and obedience, and coming to grips with the lordship of Jesus Christ.

The imperative of the great commission in Matthew 28 is “go and make disciples”. At this moment, the whole world is talking about discipleship. if you are not into discipleship, you are missing it!

I would point out to you, that there may be a difference in the discipleship Jesus talk about and the discipleship the church talks about in the twentieth century.

The importance of spiritual memory: spiritual memory is one of the most important aspects of this massage. if people know the word of God and can quote it(” the word have I hid in  my  heart…) they are more apt to apply it to their own lives and share it with others .

God’s original intention is outlined for us in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

“And he himself gave some to the apostles, some prophets, some evangelist, and some pastors and teachers ,for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” Ephesians 4 11 and 12.

In this passage God gave the full-time Christian workers(  the apostles, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers )to the church for a special purpose that  purpose.

That purpose was not to do the work of ministry themselves” but to get his holy people ready to serve as workers and building body of Christ )(Berg translation).

This special agents were to be coaches to train the disciples to be the players in the great commission.

The ordinary sense of the church were to be on the front lines – witnessing, leading their friends to Christ, discipline the nation.

scripture is so clear – the work of ministry and the edifying of the body of Christ belong to the saints. This gifted leaders are charged with the responsibility of equipping the saints so they can engage in the work of ministry .

The two great realities of Life are :

1 .The Cross of Christ, from where he died for the sins of mankind over 2,000 years ago. which reality involves an issue. At the Cross the issue is our personal sin; those thoughts and deeds, which separates us from God.

Each issue requires a decision . The decision we make about sin in light of the cross will decide where we will spend eternity . Gospel for each of us is that we spend eternity with him in heaven.

However, if a person refuses to deal with the issues of sin in light of the cross, then God has no recourse but to send him to hell. He refused to let Jesus blood from the cross cover he’s sin.

All of this Someday will culminate  at the great White throne judgement where unbelievers will be judged at the end of the millennium.

If there is no work of repentance for sin,  their names will not be recorded in the lamb’s book of Life . This judgement is recorded in Revelation 20:11 to 15.

They will be cast into the lake of fire because of their unwillingness to deal with this first reality.

2. judgement seat of Christ; this is often called the beama or reward seats .it is from here, the believers of the obeyers of Christ will Someday be rewarded for their faithful stewardship to the building of God’s kingdom here on earth . The issue in in this second reality is the believers works .

it is not our sin, since our sin was covered by Jesus substitutionary death upon the cross for our sin(  the first reality)

Study on rewards:

The Bible warns us many times that we had to be careful to both strive for and protect spiritual rewards. *Behold, I come quickly! holdfast what you have, that no one may take your crown”. -Revelation  3 : 11.

it is possible that someone could take another crown away , or Jesus will not have warned us about it .stay alert and let no one defraud you  of your reward, taking the light in false humility and worships of Angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind- colossians 2:8.

 It is possible that someone could receive another of his reward or paul would not have won us about it .”watch out that    you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully”-2John 1:8.

Is possible that one could receive less than a full reward ,or John would not have won us about it but it.

Reward and works

The Bible is also very clear that our reward are very closely related to our good works. for the son of man will come in the glory of his father with his Angels, and then he will reward  each according to His works – Matthew 16:27.

Here we can see that rewards are clearly the result of our works. Because of this we can  conclude our reward is not salvation, for we can never end salvation .For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast- Ephesians 2: 8 and 9.

Sin salvation is a free gift of God obtained through Faith,our reward must be something other than salvation. we do  know that it was God’s plan for every Christian to give himself to good works. for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should work in them, Ephesians 2:10.

We also know our good works are to be maintained carefully, and they will result in profit for us. This is a faithful saying, and this thing’s I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.

These things are good and profitable to men. Titus 3:8 if. our works cannot save us and our reward is not salvation ,to what end are our good works profitable?

The five crowns reward

The Bible mentions five different crowns or rewards which a child of God may win as he passes through his life. As we study these, we particularly take note of three things; How the crowns are won!

The area of life they refer to,

And God’s commands for each of these areas

1. Crown of life

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him-James 1 verse 12 .

The crown of life is a reward promise to those who truly love the Lord .loving God and demonstrating that Love by enduring in trials and temptation win it .

These are really opposite sides of the same coin. it is our love for God that gives us strength to endure in our testing, trials and temptations rather than becoming bitter, critical or  disillusioned . This crown deals with our own personal discipleship . The writer to the Hebrews reminds us of Jesus endurance under the supreme test ,an exhaust us not to lose heart In Our own personal struggles.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself,lest you become wary and discouraged in your souls- Hebrew12 verse 2 and 3 .

Endurance means the crown of life.

2.Crown incorruptiable

And everyone who compete for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest ,when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified -1 Corinthians 9 verse 25 and 27.

This crime also deals with personal discipleship and is won for self-denial; something this existential  age knows nothing about. The challenge of Jesus; then he said to them,”  if anyone desire to come after me ,let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me”.-Luke 9:23.

Though”self-denial” maybe a dirty word for the existentialists, it is at the heart of a personal discipleship for every follower of Jesus Christ .

 If we have discipline our lives and have denied ourselves the pleasures of sin in this life, the crown incorruptible will be ours.

3.Crown of Joy

For what is our hope, or joy or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?1 thessalonians 2:19.

Here Paul says, that the thessalonian Christian whom he had led Christ, would be his crown of joy at the last day in Christ presence.Rhis crown  is given to those who have been obedient to what the scriptures teach concerning evangelism.

And the he said to them,” follow me, and I will make you fishers of men “.Matthew 4 verse 19 .

If you are not a fisher of men I don’t know whom you are following ,but I would wonder if it is Jesus. He said,” I will make you fishers of men”. Evangelism may not be your primary gift, but at least you will know how to fish for men.

I would like to believe that Jesus teaches you to fish, you would not come home empty-handed. Men and women will be brought into the kingdom because of the testimony, not only of your life but your lips as well. If you have been faithful to proclaim Christ to others during this life, then surely this crown we belong to you at the last day.

4.Crown of Glory

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseas,  not by constraint but willingly,  not for dishonest gain but eagerly;nor as been Lords over those entrusted to you ,but being examples to the flock ,and when the chiefs Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of Glory that does not fade away 1 Peter 5 verse 2-4.

This crown is given as a reward to those who nurture the flock of God. it is not a special crown reserved for the clergy but one that every Christian can  win.

It has to do with caring for the children of God ,helping  to grow in chrit so they can serve in the building of God’s kingdom- in other words ,descipline making.

Jesus said, go therefore and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son  and of the Holy Spirit -Matthew 28:19.

Jesus last command is to be our first. We are charged with the responsibility of desciplining the nations. Jesus not only command us to be disciples, but to make disciples.

5.Crown of rightousness

finally there is laid up for me  the crown of righteousness, which the Lord ,the righteous judge ,will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing- 2 Timothy 4 verse 8.

Those whose lives are lived in anticipation of the second coming of Jesus Christ win this crown.  many Christians have their own hopes ,dreams and aspirations that have nothing to do with God or his kingdom.

In reality, for such people Christ return would “ruin everything”. Jesus said blessed are those servant whom the master when he comes, will find watching.

Assuredly I said to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat ,and will come and serve them”. Luke 12 verse 37.

Jesus desire was that we will live life watching and waiting for his return,  exchanging our life for the building of his kingdom. If we do ,we will receive the crown of righteousness .

Are you leaving for his coming ?

Conclusion

The crown of life, and crown incorruptible are vertical I nature.  These two crowns makeup the vertical spokes that deals with our own personal discipleship and walk with God.

They relate to the great commandment and demonstrate in a very tangible fashion our love for God (Matthew 22:27 to 38- the first commandment ),and our willingness to make disciples.

The next two crowns and horizontal in nature.  The crown of joy and the crown of Glory relate to the great commission and engage us in what God has commanded us to do. We are to be fishers of men( Matthew 4 verse 19 ),and makers of disciples Matthew 28 verse 19.

The last crown  is related to the hub of our  existence which made Jesus the great commander of Our lives. All five of these croqns demonstrate the reality functioning in our lives as obeyers of God’s word.

 


Shalom….