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Vigilant (γρηγορέω)

In 1 Peter 5:8, we are instructed to be watchful because our adversary, the Devil, roars around seeking whom he may swallow up. Vigilant (γρηγορέω) means to watch; be on alert for danger.

On his way to Jerusalem, Paul takes the opportunity to stop in Ephesus to encourage the Pastors to shepherd the flock of God while taking heed for themselves, Acts 20:28. When he is gone, he is aware that savage wolves will come in among them, Acts 20:39. Even some of their own will draw away disciples after themselves, rejecting the truth and seeking the glory of men, Acts 20:30. Therefore, they are to be on alert, for Paul has warned them of the dangers for the past three years, Acts 20:31. This assembly listened to Paul’s instruction. They tested those who claimed to be apostles and were not, finding them liars. They kept watch in their work, hard labor, and patience, not bearing things that were wrong. However, in doing so, they lost their love for the brethren, Revelation 2:4. We are to remain on guard for false teachers while being cautious not to fall into the same trap as the saints in Ephesus and lose our love for fellow saints.

After rebuking and exhorting the saints of Corinth, Paul encourages them to be vigilant and stand firm in the faith. Rather than being carnal, they are to do all things out from love, 1 Corinthians 16:13. They are to welcome those who are doing the work of the Lord and pay attention to the dangers of false apostles, who had infiltrated their assemblies and caused a lot of spiritual damage. Still today, their impact is felt among many assemblies that are focused on […]

Vigilant (γρηγορέω)2023-12-22T06:26:33-08:00

Laying Hold of Eternal Life

Godliness with contentment is great gain. Yet, some seek to deceive the saints by teaching that financial gain is a means of godliness. This false doctrine is also known as the prosperity gospel. The fondness of money is a root of all wrong, and those who follow after it will stray from the faith in their greed, 1 Timothy 6:3-10. Therefore, we are to put away the fondness of money and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and objectivity of mind, 1 Timothy 6:11, for in doing so, we will take hold of eternal life, 1 Timothy 6:12. Those who are rich in this present age are not to be high minded, trusting in uncertain riches; rather, they are to do good works, being rich in proper works, generous, fellowshipping, so that they store up for themselves a proper foundation for the time to come, taking hold of eternal life, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, for those who determine to be wealthy fall into temptation and a snare, leading them into many harmful and foolish desires, 1 Timothy 6:5.

A person who continues a lifestyle of sin after being saved is not taking hold of eternal life. We are to lay aside the things of the old man and put on the new, Colossians 3:9-10, while abstaining from fleshly desires that war against our soul (emotions), 1 Peter 2:11. Although sin does not take away the salvation of the one who is saved, for nothing can separate us from the love of God, Romans 8:39, it still needs to be dealt with. One who is clean only needs to wash his feet, John 13:10. Unfortunately, many saints walk around with filthy feet because they continue to walk in […]

Laying Hold of Eternal Life2023-12-14T07:52:56-08:00

Fight (ἀγωνίζομαι)

In 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight of the faith. Fight (ἀγωνίζομαι) is a word that describes the struggle that an athlete has in striving to be the best in competition, 1 Corinthians 9:25. Unlike in a battle with Satan where we parlay (πάλη) against him by putting on the armor of God and standing firm, this struggle has to do with laying hold of eternal life; therefore, it involves the exercising of our senses to discern what is proper from what is wrong, Hebrews 5:14.

While Jesus was going through the cities and villages teaching on His way to Jerusalem, one of the disciples questioned Him concerning the number that would be saved, Luke 13:21. Jesus tells them that they are to struggle to enter through the narrow gate, not the way many will seek to enter, for those who do not enter through the narrow gate will not be able to find their way into the Kingdom of God, Luke 13:24. He then speaks of a time coming when the Master of the house will shut the door. All who are outside will not be permitted in, even though they claim to have eaten and drank in His presence while He taught. Jesus is the only way, and all those who seek salvation through other means will not find it, John 14:6.

Near the end of Paul’s life, while giving instructions to Timothy regarding the duties of a Pastor, he writes that he has struggled the proper struggle, for he guarded the faith, 2 Timothy 4:7. The faith Paul refers to is the doctrine concerning the good news of the Christ. Through Christ’s death for our sins, burial, and resurrection […]

Fight (ἀγωνίζομαι)2023-12-14T07:53:43-08:00

The Love of God: Longsuffering

God’s quality of love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Because we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, through being led by the indwelling Holy Spirit as we seek to fulfill His desires and feel at ease with who we are in Christ we are able to express this type of love towards other Christians, Galatians 5:22. This is not a love that is to be directed at unbelievers or the world, for it is by this love towards each other that they will know that we are disciples of Christ. Rather, we are to do good to all, but above all, love the brethren, Galatians 6:10.

The love is longsuffering … 1 Corinthians 13:4

Longsuffering is the long holding out of one’s anger against unreasonable people. It is not the same as patience, which is remaining under a circumstance as we wait for a resolution, Colossians 1:11.

Longsuffering is very important when it comes to dealing with other saints as we mature in our faith. For we are to warn the unruly, comfort the little souled, uphold the weak, and be longsuffering towards all, 1 Thessalonians 5:14. This does not justify a sharp or bitter person that everyone must put up with their “quirks”. If that is you, stop it, for this is not expressing love towards others; rather, it is selfish and has no place among the saints. We are to serve each other in humility and objectivity of mind with longsuffering, Ephesians 4:2-6. As a farmer is longsuffering concerning the fruit of the earth, we are to be longsuffering towards each other, James 5:7-9.

One of the aspects of being a Pastor is to be persistent in teaching the truth, convicting, rebuking, exhorting with […]

The Love of God: Longsuffering2023-12-14T12:26:19-08:00

Faith

Scripture defines faith (πίστις) as the substance of that which is hoped for, the conviction of accomplished deeds not seen in Hebrews 11:1. It is therefore not an attitude or belief that is dictated by probability, that is wishful thinking based upon a desire, want, or need; rather, it is a conviction based upon a promise.

Substance is referring to the underlying essence by which something exists. Christ is the exact image of God in the flesh. Through His life the fundamental nature of God was made visible to humans, Hebrews 1:3.

Conviction is the act of presenting evidence to persuade a person’s mind to believe in the truth. This evidence is established upon accomplished deeds that are not seen. We see this demonstrated in the actions of God when He determined to show the heirs of promise the immutability of His determination by giving two immutable facts, it is impossible for God to lie and making an oath based upon His word, Hebrews 6:13-18. The conviction of faith is therefore based upon the facts related to accomplished deeds that God has done.

Therefore, faith is the essence of that which is hoped for, and by the conviction based upon the facts of the promise that hope is based upon, the individual expressing belief will act according to their confidence in the person making the promise.

Many times in Scripture Jesus called out the faith of those around Him, especially of those who would not normally have faith. When a Centurion, a Gentile, asked Jesus to heal his servant, he expressed faith in the fact that Christ is the Messiah promised to the Jews by only asking that Jesus speaks the words, for one who is of authority only […]

Faith2023-12-14T08:12:55-08:00
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