Monday, July 14, 2014
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
I had occasion earlier this summer to spend a week with our church's youth group at a youth retreat. Throughout the course of our time there, our Youth Minister would take the adult sponsors and students through a series of Bible studies to reinforce truths we were learning that week. The one study we did dealt with taking typical lies we all come to believe or hear about and respond to them with Biblical truth. When we concluded that particular study, I told the Youth Leader that I was so impressed with the material that I thought it ought to be shared on this blog site. Today we tackle some of the various lies of the enemy with the only weapon capable of doing so - scripture. All of the scriptures and italicized quotes below derive from that study. May you the reader find this series of posts helpful.
1. Lie: If you were really a Christian, you wouldn't had said or done that certain thing
Truth: Romans 7:15-20 "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me."
This was written by Paul, author of much of the New Testament, a sold-out, devoted follower of Jesus Christ. If he made mistakes, we can expect to make mistakes too.
2. Lie: Nobody knows for sure if you will go to heaven. You're arrogant to think you will.
Truth: 1 John 5:13 "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God."
Not only is it possible to know whether or not you're saved, but God wants you to know so that you can move ahead, grow, and be used to further the kingdom. When you trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart. He guides you and helps you understand Scripture and discern God's will. God doesn't give the Holy Spirit to those who don't know Him. The Holy Spirit's presence in your heart is proof that you are a Christian.
3. Lie: You have sinned, went past your limit, God won't forgive you this time.
Truth: 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 2 Timothy 2:13 "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."
There are no limitations given on God's forgiveness. This verse says that if we confess our sins, He will forgive them. Period. He is faithful.
4. Lie: You don't remember the words you prayed when you got saved.
Truth: Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". 1 John 2:3-6 "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked."
The exact words that you spoke when you gave your heart to Jesus are not as important as the attitude of your heart. If your attitude was right, then you will confess that Jesus is Lord countless times in countless ways over the course of your life. The important thing is that you believe in Jesus' power to save you and allow Him to do so. If your heart is sincere, it will show in your actions whether or not you can remember the words you said.
5. Lie. If you work hard enough, God might let you into heaven, there are no free passes.
Truth: Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Your salvation is a free gift from God. You cannot earn it, no matter how hard you try. God wants and deserves the glory for what only He can do.