Redemption Through God Unbiasedness

One undeniable fact of God is His fairness. The root of this truth first surfaced after Adam and Eve’s great fall from His grace. Once God finished handing them their consequences for disobedience, He provided a way out (Genesis 3:22). It’s here, where God’s unbiasedness gave birth to faith and redemption.

The ensuing story is my experience with the Lord’s impartial interaction with me.

On the negative side, agnosticism fueled my disbelief of God and I spread its poison to anyone with open ears. Many times I argued God’s none-existent using the evilness of the world to point out His dislike for humanity.

How could God exist in a world riddled with death, hatred, and cruelty to children?

This outlook on God showed my misunderstanding of faith. I couldn’t grasp the idea those kinds of human actions in the world are not acts of God but the results from wicked people doing evil deeds. In my mind, I used those realities as a way to reject God. I didn’t know faith is an example of the inner changes God provides to remove sin’s corruption.

During this period of life, my thoughts became influenced by alcohol and drugs. This sent me on the road of self-destruction causing severe problems.

In fact, addiction almost killed me. One time I wrecked the car. It happened driving home from a bar. I became intoxicated from several hours of hard drinking and this impaired my ability to think. My drunkenness caused me to veer off the side of the road and crashed into a metal utility pole.

Then the next thing I remember is waking up in the middle of the road in the opposite direction from the flow of traffic. Even though I walked away uninjured, this incident put me in the path of death. This wasn’t enough to stop me ruining my life. I continued driving drunk.

Besides the substance abuse, I lived in fierce resentment, self-centered fear, and other unrighteous behavior. Sin ran wild, causing emotional, mental and physical harms to many people. My life continued to get worse, and along the way, suicide raised its ugly head.

Then one day in the spring of 1985 God got my attention. Alcoholism reduced me to one hundred and ten pounds, looked as if I was walking death and ended back home at mom’s house. This devastated her, and those tears she cried showed the terror behind her eyes. Now she experienced up close a frightening example of the horrors of an unsaved soul. With the agony of defeat prevalent and nowhere else to turn I heard God’s calling.

God took my hand and taught me the real meaning of life. His light overpowered the darkness hanging over my head. And nothing mattered except God. Over the next fifteen years, the relationship between God and me blossomed. He gave me the keys to the meaningful and purposeful life anchored in His purpose.

Even though God took hold of me, He understood I wasn’t ready for His way of living. And in the summer of 2000, I chose to distant myself from God. It began with complacency. You know those times when I believe my spiritual life is well but fail to rely upon Him. Well, this lack of faith cost me His grace, and three years later I returned to the nightmare of addiction.

It wasn’t a wise decision returning to alcoholism. But because of my dead faith and failing to recognize my error God’s voice fell on deaf ears. Under those circumstances, the day I drank, alcoholism returned with a vengeance.

Over the next eight years nothing I tried to ease the unnecessary suffering caused by my disobedience worked. My ability to make sound decisions ceased to exist, and this drove me deeper into despair. In my darkest days, I remember sitting on the couch with no electricity or running water with a cooler full of beer getting drunk. Self-pity filled my heart driven by my refusal to turn back to God.

I tried geographic changes to no avail. Every time I moved the lurking notion of impending doom never left my mind. Other ways included changing friends, hangout places and isolating myself at home. Nothing overtook the reality of my choice to walk away from God. And from my actions to live willful the quality of life continued to get worse.

Alcohol became my worst enemy and every time I drank the blackouts from abusing it became severe. It wasn’t uncommon for me to awaken from a blackout with black eyes or broken ribs because others told me I became violent. They had to manhandle me to stop me from causing more physical damage to property. And this led to more destructive drinking to drown out the embarrassment.

Not sure what happened. One day in the summer of 2011 I asked God for help. And within a few weeks, God’s Living Spirit became visible. He embraced me with His grace. God showed me mercy, and Christ entered my heart. This remarkable and unbelievable spiritual awakening changed me forever.

I knew God answered my cry for help because He removed my obsession with alcohol. No longer was I consumed with constant thoughts of getting drunk. Those became non-existent and God replaced them with a peace of mind unlike any other I had every experience. And God freed me from the bondage of self and as the result of His intervention, my thoughts shifted from the alcohol to thinking on Him.

I am grateful the Lord gave me another chance. Today I keep my faith active. For example, once awaken the first thoughts of the day begin with glorifying God. Prayer is where it starts and throughout the day a conscious effort made to rely upon Christ. And every night a sincere thanking for His daily bread.

God didn’t give up on me nor will He for you. His unbiased treatment of me keeps me seeking Christ and I look forward spending time with Him. I cherish His Spirit. I hope your experience is one full of His love and filled with His presence!

Chapter 2 Dead Faith

Many people proclaim faith in God, but their actions say otherwise. They speak of God’s word, but lack the wisdom in living holy. Their lives don’t imitate Christ and in times of distress, they are troubled by God’s silence.

It’s easy to speak God’s word, but to live it means making sacrifices pleasing to God and unpopular with the world. In our human existence, we don’t have the strength to overcome evil. This takes courage beyond our own. But God made Christ our conqueror over sin (John 3:17).

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What is dead faith?

Dead faith doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees had faith in God, but lacked His Spirit. They leaned on their interpretation of God’s law, unaware of the danger it brings to one’s eternal resting place. Their spiritual arrogance prevented them from entering God’s kingdom, and Christ exposed their disbelief (Matthew 23:1-36).

Jesus didn’t stop there and went further by identifying a real believer’s righteousness must exceed the Pharisees. “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20 NIV).

God used Disciple Paul to explain real faith (Ephesians 2:1-10). Here we see God’s Spirit working through Paul’s faith. In those ten verses, God anointed Christ as the redeemer. Then, as the result of placing our faith in Christ, God promises us the gift of salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Spiritual intelligence can’t resist the evil one. We don’t have the wisdom, smart enough to fight Satan. No one has the consistent knowledge crucial in turning away from sin and live in harmony with God. This must come from Christ.

Don’t be mistaken, Christ is the key to living with God and without Him salvation is out of reach. The good news is a living faith places you in the body of Christ. It brings you into God’s kingdom and makes you worthy to receive His grace.

Christ has defeated God’s enemy and cleared a path for you to receive the Holy Spirit. Nothing matches being anointed by God’s Spirit. God’s presence is the most profound and gratifying experience known to humanity and makes your salvation secure.

Jesus’s explanation of His Parable of the Sower identifies dead faith. (Matthew 13: 18-23). Here Christ distinguished between real faith and the ones unfavorable with God. Our Messiah pointed out four types of believers. Three of them are unacceptable to God, since they are self-serving. Those beliefs are short lived and centered on corruption. But the faith worthy of God’s grace is rich in understanding.

In James Epistle, he reaffirmed Christ’s message and labeled dead faith as one lacking Christian works. But did you know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?  (James 2:20).”

It’s easy to misinterpret James message. Paul (as noted earlier) points out that faith is from God leading to His grace and the gift of salvation. James is adding to Paul’s truth by showing us the way of keeping faith alive is through doing God’s will.

James emphasized being a doer of God’s word. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). Christian action is the key to unlocking the fruits of God’s words. Without action, we can’t grow faith and live holy in a defective world.

Our faithfulness to God’s sovereignty secures our salvation. God’s gift of heaven inspires us to glorify Christ. It’s in Christ we find the strength to live righteous in a wicked world and prepare ourselves for heaven.  We can’t afford not to work for God and miss out on eternal life.

Think of it this way. God was active in creating the heavens and the earth. He made sure we had everything needed to survive and live righteous. If God was energetic in His creations, then shouldn’t we give Him our best efforts? Isn’t receiving God’s mercy enough to improve our faith? Shouldn’t God’s love convince us to become better followers?

Salvation isn’t a free pass.

One way dead faith enters a believer’s life is through concealed sin. Un-confessed sin is damaging to our spiritual growth since it keeps us separated from God. Nothing good comes from hiding sin. God knows we sin, but this doesn’t abolish our responsibility in confessing our trespasses. We can’t afford to take the position that God has forgiven us, but fail in confessing our sins.

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Remember Christ is helping us prepare our place in God’s kingdom, so it’s imperative in owning up to our disobedience. A Spirit-filled life knows sin and wants to please God by confessing them to Christ. Sin is Satan’s opportunity to keep us in disobedience and to leave an opening for him is dangerous.

How can we repent unless we know our transgressions?

We must be diligent in our walk with Christ or face eternal consequences. A Christian’s life is an example of God’s living Spirit manifested through adhering to His commands. Hidden sin blocks us from being obedient to God. Even though confession is painful, it outweighs God’s wrath. Noah’s generation came up close to God’s fiery. Their outcome was fatal.

Unbelievers watch the way Christians behave and this makes it imperative for us to back up our words in action.  A Spirit-filled life radiates a loving, forgiving and compassionate response to life’s difficult terms. Every time we overcome adversity through Christ, then those around us see God’s hand at work. We never know when God uses us to help convert others to His truth.

It’s unwise to hold onto inequity since this block God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13). And a life without God’s mercy is full of unnecessary pain. Most of our struggles can be traced back to a hidden sin. It shouldn’t surprise us that concealed sin causes us trouble.

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We are commanded to confess our particular sins. “Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing.” (Leviticus 5:4-5).

Yes, God has forgiven us, and Christ’s death has taken away sin, but we must be an active participant in our salvation. Remember, God will judge us according to the way we live. “For God will bring every work into judgment. Including every secret thing. Whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Christ pointed out the need to look at our sins. “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own.” (Matthew 7:3). Our sins are the specks Jesus’s talks of and will stay there until we express them with God.

James reaffirmed Christ’s command for confession by showing us the fruits of sharing them with each other. He put this way. “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  (James 5:16)

God is pleased when we are truthful with our fellows and own up to our iniquities. Being honest with others through confessing our trangression places us in the best position to become useful servants to Christ. Sin isolates us from others, causes spiritual conflicts, damages our relations with each other and keeps us distant from God. By praying for each other, God notices our compassion and heals our spiritual wounds. God is delighted when our prayers are sincere and includes others.

When God saved me, I didn’t understand the value of confessing sins. Salvation was a great revelation and in my spiritual infancy, the overwhelming experience of the Holy Spirit was astonishing. God’s grace was extraordinary and consumed my heart. This spiritual awareness was an incredible experience.

Then one day I had trouble living holy. I couldn’t stop myself from disobeying. My constant prayers and humble approach weren’t paying off, but God was listening. The Lord answered and showed me the way to confess sins. It involved confessing them to Christ.

The way this works is simple. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is pride. So when I realize my prideful ways I pause and pray to Christ: “I confess to you Christ, my sin of pride. Forgive me for my trespass. Guide me in my repentance. Show me how to live. Your will always not mine. Amen.” This works for any sin and brings me in line with God’s will. Sometimes I have to wait and listen for the answers. But Christ never leaves me guessing on what I need to do in making amends for my wrongs.

A vibrant faith welcomes self-examination (Haggai 1:5). Concealed sin thrives in darkness blocking Christ’s light. It’s painful to look at our sinful nature but to grow in God’s Spirit, we need to know our misconduct. Nothing strengthens our bond with Christ more than owning up to our sins.

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Our willingness to give God our best effort is crucial to our eternal lives. Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but wants us to strive for spiritual growth. Our admission to wrongful behavior opens the door to Christ’s abundant peace. Then God will give us the freedom from the bondage of sin.

Another sign of dead faith is the lack of repentance. John the Baptist message prepared the way for Christ. And John preached repentance (Matthew 3:2). He made it known the hand of heaven begins with repentance. Christ reaffirmed this message. “… Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).  

What good is confession without repentance?

Confession is acknowledging sin, but repentance is a change in behavior. Our ancient ancestors the Israelites had trouble repenting. They were in and out of God’s grace. Their inability to turn away from iniquity placed them at odds with God. Confession is useless without repentance, and the Old Testament is full of examples attesting to the penalties of a hardened heart.

Without repentance God’s mercy is unavailable. God is watching how we respond to His gift of salvation and through repentance, He takes notice of our faith. The Lord rewards repentance to salvation. ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Once we confess our infractions, then we need to show God action to amend our wrong. This isn’t an overnight matter, nor can we do this alone.  To make things right with God, we need Christ’s righteousness. Remember, we are now a part of Christ’s body, and this means we must rely on Him to teach us how to live holy.

Perseverance is an essential ingredient to repentance. Part of salvation understands we sin. God made Christ our intercessor and through Him, we find the courage to turn away from sin. Repentance brings us in line with God’s commands and changes our hearts. Christ is our greatest strength in staying on the narrow way.

We have touched on a few signs of dead faith. Bitterness, anger, and selfish motives are other red flags of a faith unfavorable with God. The Bible is full of unacceptable behaviors in direct conflict with a living faith.

A Spirit-filled life is your insurance of a faith anchored in Christ. God lets you know your salvation is real. It’s the Holy Spirit, He uses to get your attention. Once Christ takes your hand, then your life changes forever. Here is where you find your inheritance in heaven.

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Dead Faith: Concealed Sin

 

Did you know it’s possible to have faith and leave God out?

Many people proclaim faith in God, but their actions say otherwise. They speak of God’s word, but lack the wisdom in living holy. Their lives don’t imitate Christ and in times of distress, they are troubled by God’s silence.

What is dead faith?

Dead faith is a self-knowledge of God’s words lacking the qualities of a Spirit-filled life. Here the individual leans on its interpretation of God’s will unaware of the dangers it brings to one’s eternal resting place. Spiritual intelligence can’t stand up against the evil one. We don’t have the strength required to fight Satan.

In the Epistle of James, we find the Biblical definition of dead faith. Here James points out that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). He emphasized being a doer of God’s word (James 1:22). Words are meaningless until put into action. Action speaks volume in the kingdom of God.

 

One way dead faith enters a believer’s life is through concealed sin. Un-confessed sin is damaging to our spiritual growth. Nothing good comes from hiding sin. Even though God knows we sin our responsibility is to confess our transgression.

Salvation isn’t a free pass.

We must be diligent in our walk with Christ or face eternal consequences. A Christian life is an example of God’s living Spirit manifested through selfless service to God, Christ, and others. A real believer’s life is full of good deeds, helping to spread the good news Christ brings to the faithful.

Unbelievers watch the way Christians behave and this makes it imperative for us to back up our words in action. And a Spirit-filled life radiates a loving, forgiving and compassionate response to life’s difficult terms. Spiritual integrity doesn’t use words for its God’s way of attracting others to a life centered in Christ.

Holding onto inequity is unwise for we won’t find God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13). And a life absent of God’s mercy is full of unnecessary pain. Most of our struggles can be traced back to a hidden sin. It shouldn’t surprise us that concealed sin causes us trouble.

 

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A secret sin is an act of disobedience. We are commanded to confess our particular sins (Leviticus 5:4-5). It’s easy to overlook the need of owning up to our sins. We can’t afford to let disobedience rob us of our inheritance with God.

Yes, God has forgiven us, and Christ’s death has taken away sin, but we must be an active participant in our salvation. Remember, God will judge us according to the way we live (Ecclesiastes 12:14). And Christ pointed out the need to look at our sins (Matthew 7:3).

When God saved me, I didn’t understand the value of confessing sins. Salvation was a great revelation and in my spiritual infancy, this worked.

Then one day I had trouble living holy. I couldn’t stop myself from disobeying. My constant prayers and humble approach weren’t paying off, but God was listening. The Lord answered and showed me the way to confess sins. It involved confessing to Christ and asking for the guidance in repenting.

The way this works is simple. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is pride. So when I realize my prideful ways I pause and pray to Christ: “I confess to you Christ, my sin of pride. Forgive me for my trespass. What is my repentance?  Your will always not mine. Amen.” This works for any sin and brings me in line with God’s will. Sometimes I have to wait and listen for the answers. But Christ never leaves me guessing on what I need to do in making amends for my wrongs.

Our willingness to give God our best effort is crucial to our eternal lives. Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but wants us to strive for spiritual progress. And our admission of wrongful behavior opens the door to Christ’s abundant peace. There is no greater Christian freedom than the one God gives.

A vibrant faith welcomes self-examination (Haggai 1:5). Concealed sin thrives in darkness blocking Christ’s light. It’s painful looking at our sinful nature but to grow in God’s Spirit, we need to know our misconduct. And confessing our findings makes our faith alive.

 

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We have discussed one way of identifying dead faith. Un- forgiveness, selfish prayers, and judging others are indicators of a faith unfavorable with God. Remember the Pharisees had faith but Christ exposed it as dead. Our hope is secured through a living faith anchored in the body of Christ.


The Eternal Awakening

Every man, woman, and child will experience the eternal awakening. It’s not up for debate. God will judge everyone. The question is where will your eternal destination take place heaven or damnation?
Contained within the Bible is God’s truth, warningsand realities of our lives beyond the flesh. Everything we need to know about our spiritual resting place is in God’s book. The Bible is the blueprint of God’s master plan. Here is where you will find the correct and direct path to God’s kingdom. 
God’s mighty wrath is tough to grasp. The Lord’s love is unconditional, but His judgment is swift, just and righteous. We are commanded to fear God.
Why should we fear God?
The answer is in the way God dealt with our ancient ancestors.

God closed the Garden of Eden’s gate from Adam and Eve for disobeying His command. (Genesis 3: 23-24). And in Noah’s generation He wiped out the population for wickedness (Genesis 7: 1-24).
These two truths are prime examples of the way God hands out His penalty for disobedience. They are severe and should be feared. Remember Christ told us to fear the One who can kill both the body and soul (Matthew 10:28).

The fear of God isn’t meant to make us afraid of Him.
“Wait a minute, I thought fear is a natural instinct to stay away from an injurious experience.”
That is a human definition.  But, God isn’t a man. He is the creator, alpha, omega and the beginning and end.
  
Christ is where we find God’s wisdom and understand good from evil (Genesis 3:22). This provides us proof to draw closer to God and fear the results from disobedience. So, fearing God isn’t fleeing from Him, but knowing the outcome of our defiance has fatal consequences.
Humanity’s eternal destination isn’t a theory. Theories have no weight or depth and disproved. They are not reliable and are changed to meet the needs of the collective agreements among those involved. Science can’t explain the mysteries of God.
God never changes, is always faithful and lives inside our spirits. The bloodshed of Christ’s, His Resurrection and Ascension into heaven is real. God makes His presence, indisputable, undeniable and everlasting. 

The Holy Spirit, a remarkable union between God and us, is the entry into heaven. Nothing in the world can offer matches God’s incredible presence. The overwhelming love, serenity and spiritual energy God releases is a profound awareness of His sovereignty.
Faith is crucial in our Christian walk. Without it, we can’t become God-conscious. But the Bible warns us about the improper use of its purpose. Apostle James preached on dead faith. He emphasized faith in action by being doers of the word. (James 1:21-27; 2:14-26)
Quoting scripture is not enough. Knowledge of Christ is a good start, but it won’t be enough for finding the wisdom to live with Him. The way to be a doer is to exert our efforts in applying the commands of God’s word. We have to react to life’s terms in a holy way so others can witness Christ’s way of dealing with a hostile world.
An excellent example of a living faith comes from the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:5-11). Here Disciple Peter listed seven Christian principles to stay active in faith and grow in our walk with Christ. They are Christ’s commands and lead to unshakable faith. Besides their fruits, they help keep us renewed in God’s spirit.
John the Baptist pointed out the urgency of repenting (Matthew 3:2). And repentance allows Christ to cleanse our souls. Here John shows repentance as a crucial action in entering God’s house.
Repentance goes beyond words. It begins with confession and ends in making amends to God for the sin we commit. Even though God has forgiven us through Christ, it doesn’t mean we have a free ride. The Lord is watching the Christian action we take in turning away from sin.
Real repentance is a change in sinful behavior. Once we admit to God the evilness we did in front of Him, then we have to make corrections. The key to changing our sinful nature is self-discipline, perseverance and reliance on Christ’s strength for the courage to live holy. If we don’t repent, then, we can’t expect to receive God’s mercy.
I struggle in my walk with Christ. Sometimes I leave Christ out and make unwise decisions. This is the subtle way pride works in my life and feeds other sinful desires. Here is where the evil one is working hard to take root and keep me away from God. The way out of this wicked cycle is seeking Christ daily. 
 
My reactions to sin, glorifying God and abiding in Christ are proportionate to my final resting place. The Holy Spirit allows me to know the right steps to take in staying in God’s favor.  Whether I’m active or complacent in faith, my fate is in God’s judgment.

The Bible has many other scriptures explaining the right way of following God’s will. Christ is our intercessor. We will have to stand before God and let Him decide our destiny.