Archive for the ‘The Christ’ Category

The demonstration of God’s Righteousness

September 2, 2011

….being made right (righteous) with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe. Why? Because all have sinned and fallen short… Justified without any cost, by His grace. How? Through the redemptive work of the Christ, whom God set forth as The Atoning Sacrifice, by His blood, and only through faith. And why was all this so? For God to demonstrate His Righteousness, so that He might be Just. And also, that He would be the Justifier of all who have faith in Jesus, The Christ. (taken from Rom.3:22-26)

Don’t forget the “Main” reason….. to come to God

October 19, 2010

 

We live in a day where believers are sharing all kinds of reasons for people to come to God.

Just a few of them are :

Come to God, he will take all your pain. Come to God so you can go to heaven. Come to God so you can escape hell. Come to God he will get you a job. Come to God because he loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Come to God so you can be happy. Come to God and he will supply all your needs. Come to God so he will make everything better. The list goes on and on……….

While the above may be true, these are not the main reason for one to come to God. If any one of these reasons are shared as the reason to turn ones life over to God, big disappointment can come. Many have fallen away because they were sold on a reason to come to God that had to do with their needs being taken care of. Yes He does take care of our needs in his timing and way, but it not the reason to come. Many have come to God for the above reasons, then they have experienced difficulty after a period of time, then they have decided that this God turned out to be something other than what was promised.

An example would be:

Come to God and he will take all your pain. So this person who has just lost their husband, turns to God and finds great comfort for her loss. Time goes on and she begins to heal from her loss. She meets this guy and falls in love with him. He also is a believer. They get married and life is good. Five years pass, and soon he meets a lady at his workplace. They start having lunch together, which eventually leads to sex. The wife finds out and her life is crushed. She no longer wants anything to do with God. She has had pain once before and now she is done with this so-called God.

Another example would be :

Come to God because he loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. This persons life is in a mess before coming to God. He has no job, no wife, no home. Soon after coming to God, he gets a job. He meets a beautiful lady in church and they soon get married. They eventually buy a house. Life is good.

Three years into it all, he gets laid off from his job, they lose their house, and life takes on some bad stuff. To top it off, his wife comes down with breast cancer and dies a year later. He now is finished with this God. He has found temporary relief with the bottle now.

We must all realize that this life is not going to be perfect, and one should not strive to make it so. This life is filled with pain, sorrow and death. Turning ones life over to God is not going to make it care free, nor take all the problems and make it better. In fact, most believers would say that since they have given their hearts to God, they now have more battles, more difficulties and struggles than before. In no way does one’s life become a bed of roses when they give their lives to Christ. Usually, quite the contrary.

So what is the “main” reason to come to God? What is the main reason that we should be sharing with others?

First off, we must be reminded that we cannot properly share the Gospel without first getting into the subject of sin. Any other door that we open could very well be a misleading door that could set them up for fail.

I am well aware of how awkward the subject of sin is today. I have spent most of my saved life looking into the subject, studying the subject, teaching the subject and sharing with countless people on the subject. And as I have always said, God’s word deals with the subject front to back, more than any other subject. So we as believers must dig into the subject. We must learn it more than all the rest, if we want to be effective in bringing souls into the Kingdom.

So, the main reason for one to come to God through Christ is…….. forgiveness of our sins. There can be no other way to have a true relationship with God, unless we receive Christ as our own sacrifice for our own sins. In sharing the Gospel, one most first talk to them about their sins. We must, with the help of the Holy Spirit, convince them that they have sin. That there is sin in their heart. Now the good thing here is, that most don’t have a problem realizing that they have sinned. The problem is them knowing that they need forgiveness of their sins, if they are going to have a relationship with a Holy God.

One must share the holiness of God, and that He hates sin and will not look upon it. We cannot approach this righteous, Holy God on our own merits. Our sinful being is not capable. We must have someone to stand between us and God.

One must share in some detail the nature of sin. It is death. Not only physical, but more importantly spiritual death, which is “separation” from God. The sinner must realize that he or she is separated from God because of sin. I liken this to a wall. People that have yet to receive Christ, are separated from God. They must know that there can be no true relationship with God until the wall comes down. And it can only come down through the only gift that God gave for our sins, that being The Christ. For more on the subject of the wall and seperation see my post  https://rjperalta.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/the-wall-and-the-wrecking-ball/

YES, EVEN IN 2010, WE MUST TALK ABOUT SIN AND THE FORGIVENESS THEREOF.

There seems to be very little conversation going on about it, especially these days. We as believers must start the conversation as the Spirit leads. Be prepared to be looked upon as some “nut case”. So was Christ in his day. If we are afraid to talk about sin and forgiveness, then we are ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. How can you tell them about Christ, without mentioning sin? It can’t be done. You can’t offer the cure until they understand their condition.

So, if you are not talking about sin currently with those who He leads you to, what are you talking about? If it’s Christ centered, you must share the subject of sin. We must get used to it, if we are going to share Christ. I say, “sharing Christ”. It does little good, talking to people about God, without never mentioning Christ. Are we comfortable talking about Christ? Do we only just mention God, because of it’s more comfortable? Remember, the devil is somewhat satisfied if all you talk to them about is God. He also believes and trembles. But, if you mention Christ, the devils usually rise up. I see it all the time.

So in the end, don’t forget caught up in the popular reasons for coming to God today. Stay with the time-tested way of God’s Word. God bless you all!

“Hear Him!”

December 21, 2009

Where do you spend most of your time in reading, studying and listening?

If our time is not found in Christ and getting back to reading and studying what He taught, then we are in trouble. It doesn’t make any difference how long we have been saved, we should still be looking at His commands and teachings and following them foremost above all. Studying His life to gain understanding about how to live.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”

(Heb.1:1-2)

Many today are following man. Man has lots of good things to say and teach, but he is not Christ.

Do you spend more time in reading books that are written by some men than you do in the Gospels? Do you spend more time in listening to some man’s sermons than letting the Spirit minister to you through the very words of Christ? Christ said himself, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (Jn.6:63)

Sure there are lot’s of popular Christian book authors out there, and we can gain some wisdom and understanding  by reading an occasional book now and then, but we must not “camp” there. We should take inventory of our time and devotion.

Do you spend more time reading the writings of Mark Driscoll, John Piper or Paul Washer? What about John MacArthur? These men are certainly good teachers, but not The Christ. Yes, called of God and used by God, but not The Christ. Mere Men.

Jesus was more than a man like us. He spoke the very words of God. (Jn.14:10, 24). If this be the case, shouldn’t we be found there? If His words are “spirit and life”, shouldn’t we be partaking in this “spirit and life”?

More importantly, if God said we should “hear him” don’t you think we should?

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!” (Matt.17:5).

Not only are many putting man’s writings and teachings before Christ, but it would appear that they are building “tabernacles” for them just as Peter wanted to do for Elijah and Moses. Christ turned to them and said, “Hear Him!” Basically, don’t worship Elijah and Moses, hear my Son and worship Him.

Even Moses said 1451 years before Christ, “Him you shall hear.” (Deut.18″15)

Also what did God say to Moses? “I will raise up from  them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.” (vs.18)

So, the very words of Christ are what God has spoken to us in these last days. There is no need to take up with anything else. By the words of Christ and God’s Spirit, we have all we need. The problem is that many have become too sophisticated.

I will end with a quote by Don Everts (I think he hits it on the head).

“It’s hard to remain focused on Jesus because we have become too sophisticated. The Gospels are so simple and straightforward that we sort of graduate on to Paul (or I might add, Paul Washer, Driscoll or Piper) where the meaty theology lies.”

So it is.

Jesus Christ was not his name

June 4, 2009

Jesus was his name. He didn’t have a last name like we do. Christ was his title.

I came across this as I was once again studying about Jesus the Christ.

I have known God through Christ for quite a few years now. However, I cannot get enough of studying about Christ. I don’t think any of us can. Once you think you have learned most of what there is to learn about Him, bam you discover more. He is The Word, and just like it, it is ever new and alive. It doesn’t matter how many years we have looked into it. He is new every day!

Back to Jesus Christ. “Jesus” in the Hebrew means, “Salvation”. The literal meaning means “Savior”. This goes along with Matthew 1:21. “And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Sounds like salvation to me! Salvation from sin!

The Greek word “Christ” is “Christos”. It means, “Messiah” which means, “The Anointed One”.

This helps us when sharing Jesus as The Christ. The Messiah, The Anointed One.

What about, “Christ Jesus?”

The Anointed One who brought Salvation? The Anointed One who is The Savior from sin?

I am using these meanings/names out there on the streets. I believe they are powerful.

God bless you!

To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!(Part#3)

November 4, 2007

In the last post, I had forgotten to mention that on my way to the city in the train, I needed to stop off and use the bathroom at a local store. After that, the Lord wanted me to go to a bus stop close by that I had been to several times before.

After praying, I jumped in and started to preach The Good News on one corner. One young kid didn’t like it, so he sounded off. (I spoke with this kid later, he is one step closer to Christ now) Then a young black guy came over to talk. He listened real well as The Holy Spirit moved upon his heart. It took probably close to an hour before he made the move to receive Jesus. But he did! Praise God! He went off changed by the power of God!

I called him that night on the way home. He said that he was at home resting. Now this was Friday night close to 8:00pm. He was saved from drugs and may have been either in a gang, or had came out of one. But glory to God he is changed! He said to me as we parted on the phone, “pray for me, I just want to live”. That tells it all.

Back to where I left off in “Part#2”.
It was 4:00pm at the train stop and it’s Friday night and there are people in need of hearing The Gospel everywhere as they wait for the train to go home from work. I started in and before long James showed up. We took turns preaching and God’s Spirit was moving as several came up to either take a tract or talk.

Then the distractions came once again. This young guy who had a plastic cup full of wine, starts to scream and yell and gets in our faces. James calms him down as I finish. I went over to him and tried to talk with him. He seemed surprised that I would have come over to talk with him after all his yelling and carrying on.

As we talked, God through His Spirit began to speak to him, a little at a time. He said he had to go use the bathroom, and asked if I would be there when he came back. I assured him I would. I miss out from time to time, but I knew there was hope for this guy. He came back with more wine and seemed to be even more intoxicated. What I really liked about this encounter was that the fact that he was still drinking, but God was still coming after him. I could see transformation taking place.

Now James comes up to talk to him, and gets real straight with him. The guy blows a gasket big time, screams and yells. The crowd turns and begins to listen in as to try and figure out what is going on. The guy storms off. I thought we had lost him then. James begins to preach again.

Minutes later he returns in a huff. I with the help of God, calm him down, and once again we(the Spirit and I) start to share Christ with him. He shares a lot of his problems and fears. Now, it was pretty obvious that this guy was a outcast by others, by the things he shared with me. But God was loving on him big time. I could see His love being poured out on our soon to be brother.

He takes off to smoke a cigarette across the street. I shared with James what was taking place. When he returned glass in hand, James apologizes for some of the things that he had said earlier. They hugged and forgave each other. It was powerful to behold.

James starts in again, sharing God’s love and power to change lives to the crowd. The guy who I will call Dan, comes over to me again. This time I am noticing that he is listening more and getting closer to The Kingdom as we spoke. All of a sudden, HE TAKES THE CUP OF WINE AND THROWS IT 30 FEET DOWN THE BRICK WALKWAY. Wow! I was taken back! HE THEN BEGINS TO SING THE SONG, “CREATE A PURE HEART IN ME, O GOD, AND RENEW A STEADFAST SPIRIT WITHIN ME” He sings every word of the song. I noticed that he was sobering up as he was singing. God was moving!

He finishes the song and immediately DROPS TO HIS KNEES AND STARTS TO REPENT BEFORE GOD AND CONFESS. It was really powerful to hear him repent before God and ask Jesus for forgiveness and to be his Saviour and then his Lord. I knelt down with him and prayed for complete deliverance through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. (now remember, this is all taking place in a public square with lots of people standing around watching and listening) Praise God!
We finally stood up together and gave praise to God! He is Born of The SPIRIT OF GOD!

I will continue with “part#4. Wait and see what happens next. It’s a real testimony, glory to God!

Is Christ being preached here?

October 30, 2007

This is the question we need to ask ourselves as we hear preachers, ministers and the like speaking to people.

Maybe we hear them on the T.V. or the Radio. We might even get to hear a street preacher on the corner. Or it may be on Sunday morning when we hear the minister in our church. Wherever it may be, we need to ask the question, “Is Christ being preached here?”

If you give them enough time (listening) you should be able to know if Christ is in the message or not. We may not agree with everything they are saying, and maybe how they are saying it, but is Christ in it?

The Apostle Paul had some good words to say about this subject.

“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:”
“The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:”
“But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.”
“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Phil.1:15-18)

I like this translation :
“Of course some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine good will.”
“These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel.”
“The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison.”
“It does not matter! I am happy about it – just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives.”
“And I will continue to be happy,”

Did you get that, “It does not matter! (exclamation mark) I am happy about it – just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives.”

Just as long as Christ is preached, that is the key. So wherever you go and hear some preaching, listen real good and see if you can pick up on Christ. Is he there?

Are you a secret disciple of Christ?

August 26, 2007

If so, it is because of the fear of man or pride. Either one will keep you from confessing Christ.

In the time of Christ, the fear of the Jews kept many from openly confessing Christ. In short, the fear of man did. They would be kicked out of the synagogue if caught confessing Christ. Let alone beatings and in some cases death. So because of this, they would go around “secretly”.

Here in America we suffer no real persecution for confessing Christ. Not yet anyway. What will happen here when real persecution comes? This question is to be answered now. Are you openly confessing Christ today? While you have the freedom with no persecution? If you can’t stand up now and be counted as “one of those”, what will you do when your life is at stake? If you can’t take it now while it’s easy, you will not make it then. Today is the day to prepare. It’s the day to ask yourself these questions.

If you can’t confess Jesus to your co-workers, friends and family now because of pride or fear, how will you fare when someone has a gun at your head? Are you fooling yourself?

“But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God”. (Jn.12-42-43)

We could say today,  “because of my co-workers, I would not confess my faith in Christ because of fear of losing my job. Or, my pride would be hurt. What would they think of me then? I would no longer be popular, I would then be labeled an “odd-ball” or a ” religious fanatic”.

The demons tremble when you confess Christ publicly. It shakes the kingdom of darkness. Your confession sets you apart. There is a separation that takes place when you openly confess Christ. It’s powerful! Try it!

Only fear of man and our pride keeps you from confessing Christ. The enemy of your soul is very content if you choose not to. I believe he smiles (if only he could).

Christ, speaking of persecution and fear in Matt. the 10th chapter said, “Whoever confesses (acknowledges) me before men, I will also confess him before my Father in heaven. But whoever shall deny me before men, I will deny him before my Father in heaven.” (vs.32-33)
Now that’s serious stuff! Did you get that? If this scripture didn’t sink in, you must read it again.

Did you know that by not speaking up for Christ in this sinful and adulterous generation that you are deny him? You surely can’t be ashamed of him, can you? After all He has done for you? The very least you can do is talk openly about Him just as if you know him personally, right? Just as He is your best friend, or is He?

“If we deny him, he will also deny us” (2Tim.2:12)

If we are not confessing Christ, then we are ashamed of him, point-blank. In the end, Christ will be ashamed of us when he comes back with the holy angels. (Mk.8:38) Now I know that is not what you want, right? So what is the thing to do then? CONFESS CHRIST WITH YOUR MOUTH, TODAY! He will bless you, for sure!

In order to “confess Christ” you must deny yourself. Your pride must go. You must get to the place where you no longer care what they think of you. If they hate you, that’s OK. If they no longer want anything to do with you, then that’s OK. If your friendship has to go, then it’s OK.
You must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Christ wholeheartedly (Mk.8:34-38)

When you take up your cross, you are headed up the hill to be crucified. There is no turning back. You no longer think about how you look, or what they say about you. Our lives are to be on the cross daily, thus we “die daily”. Pride should die daily also.

In closing, there is no time to be a “secret disciple”. The day of “straddling the fence” is over. You are either confessing Christ and not ashamed of him, or you are being “secret” and in reality, ashamed of him. I know that is hard to hear, but it is true.

And the good news is, you can “Repent” today and get on track while there is still yet time. It’s still day when we can work.
Amen.

First Importance

August 8, 2007

The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth says, “Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel” (1Cor.15:1). We also need to be reminded from time to time about the gospel. It’s too easy to get caught up in everything else, and forget the main point or emphasis. When was the last time you took time to refresh yourself with the studying of the gospel?

If you had an opportunity today to share the gospel, how would you fare? By that I mean, would the hearer be able to understand what you are saying? Would it be plain and simple enough for them to grasp? Or would it be way too “churchy” or “religious”?

Paul goes on to say in the second verse, “By this gospel you are saved,”. The gospel of Jesus Christ “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes:” (Rom.1:16)

He continues, “if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (vs.2) Are you “holding on firmly” to the gospel? Even if you have been saved for 20, 30, 40 years?

Have you studied everything under the sun, but have forgotten the gospel?

Paul says, “For what I received, I passed on to you as of “first importance:” (vs.3) What he is saying is, this is what is most important. First things first.

And what is this “first importance”? What is it that we need to be reminded about? “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,”… (vs.3)
“he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isa.53:5)
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,” Why? “so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds we have been healed.” Healed from what? Healed from our sins! (1Pet.2:24)

And the “first importance” continues with, “he (Christ) was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,” (vs.4) Oh! let us be reminded this day of “The Resurrection”. Just because it is not “Easter”, do we still remember it through out the rest of the year?

Be honest, when was the last time you thought about Christ’s resurrection? How about refreshing yourself in the scriptures regarding the resurrection. How long has it been?

“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep it’s hold on him.” (Acts 2:24)

It is all for not if Christ has not been raised. “Our preaching and our faith is useless” (1Cor.15:14). More importantly than that he says, “we are then found to be false witnesses about God.” (vs.15) How about this, “Our faith is futile, and WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS” (vs.17)

In other words, if there is no Resurrection of the Dead, if Christ has not been raised, then we best pack it up and go home. Lights out, show over. We are all still dead in trespasses and sins. And all those that have died before us “are lost forever.” (vs.18) All our loved ones, everybody, lost if there is no Resurrection.

“BUT CHRIST (don’t you just love those words) has indeed been raised from the dead,” (vs.20). He appeared to Peter, and then to the twelve. After that, Christ appeared to more than 500 (vs.6). There you have it! HE IS RISEN! Hallelujah!

Death came through one man, Adam. But the resurrection also came through one man. And that man is The Christ (vs.22). In Adam, we all die, but (don’t you love the “buts”) in Christ all will be made alive (vs.22).

How awesome and wonderful is The Resurrection of The Christ. In Christ we are made alive. There is no death to our spirit when we are in Christ. Our spirit man lives for ever and ever with our creator, God.

In closing, spend some time reviewing the “first importance”, The Gospel of Christ. You will be refreshed and blessed. Who knows, you might not be able to contain it and the next thing you know, your rushing out the door to tell somebody!
Amen.