Tag Archive for Faith

Conflicting Religions

I often asked the question why should there be so many religious denominations, with so many divergent and conflicting ideologies! Causing so much confusion in the body of Christ when there is in fact only One true God, One Lord Jesus Christ the only Mediator between God and man, who by no means the author of confusion, but to the contrary One of peace?

Bearing in mind also that there is only one truth, one faith, one way to the Father for which believers have been admonished saying, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4).

The root cause of this dilemma is straight forward and quite simple. There is only one faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, but ungodly men have done the following causing the majority of those who professed to believe in Jesus Christ to follow them. They have:-

1. Turned the grace of God into lasciviousness

This means that they have taken the grace of God which is His unmerited favor, His forgiving mercy, His gifts and talents, eternal life etc. things mankind could not have attained on their own, and turned this around taking it as a license to gratify the lust of the flesh.
For example, these ungodly men are misleading themselves and others in believing that they are not subject to the law. But let us allow the scriptures to clarify this sensitive issue. The scriptures for example state the following:-
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14)
What does that mean! Does this mean that one can continue sinning? Or in other words continue transgressing the law of God, since we are not under law but under grace?

The answer to this question is simply this, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:15)

Being dead to sin is figurative to, not allowing sin to reign in our mortal body, that we should obey it in its lusts, and that we should not present the members of our body as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, which is the transgression of the law.

Another important question one should ask is why are we not under law? The answer to this question is thoroughly explained by the apostle Paul`s letter to Timothy which reads, “knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust” (1Timothy 1:9-11).

Therefore, those who are not under the law are those who are already living within the confines of the law, and so the law is not made for the righteous because he/she is already practicing righteousness, as it is written. “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins (transgressing the law of God) is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1John 3:7-8).

Yes, we know that, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, but it is by the law one can know what sin is, as clearly stated by the apostle Paul who wrote; “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet” (Romans 7:7).

Therefore, the big question is, do we then make void the law through faith? The answer is: Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. The irony of truth is, the source of our salvation, our calling, our faith, our justification, our forgiveness and our consolation is from the grace of God, and therefore, if it is by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! The truth of the matter is, having been set free from sin, by removing the heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh, by having the laws of God placed in our mind and written on our hearts, by transforming the natural carnal mind which is enmity against God and not subject to the law of God neither can it ever be, and replacing it with a spiritual mind which now understands the things of the Spirit, we now become slaves of righteousness.

This is one of the main reasons why there are so many divisions in the body of Christ: Ungodly men turning the grace of God into a license to disobey the laws of God in order to gratify the flesh.
Copyright © 2017 by Lucius Joseph
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The Correlation between Jews and Gentiles

It is no secret that in the past Jews and Gentiles were at variance with each other, there existed enmity between them; Jews were not even permitted to associate and eat together with Gentiles, and so we have been reminded saying; “Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Un-circumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 1:11-12).
According to the words of Jesus Christ Jews and Gentiles were two separate sheep folds, for thus he said; “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).

Today however, since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ there no longer exist two sheep folds, because the two has become one flock with one shepherd. And so it is written; “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both [Jews and Gentiles] to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.’
“And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off [Gentiles] and to those who were near [Jews]. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.’

“Now, therefore, you [Gentiles] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:13-22).

Since Jews and Gentiles are now one in Christ, and through Jesus Christ they both have access to the Father, why is there still a difference between the way the Jews worship God, and the way Gentiles worship God? Especially when it is stated so plainly saying; “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you [Jews and Gentiles] to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name. And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”

One should never forget that it is with the Jews that God has committed his oracles, for it is written; “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged” (Romans 3:1-4).
Gentiles are not to live, worship and glorify God in isolation, or contrary to the way Gentiles Jews worship God, because Jesus said; “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (Matthew 23: 2-3).

In addition to this, Gentiles should always remember that they being a wild olive tree were grafted in, and therefore have become partakers of the root and fatness of the olive tree. For it is written: “If the first-fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches [Jews] were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them [not in isolation] became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.’
“You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either” (Romans 11: 16-21).

Gentiles should not be haughty and feel that they can worship and glorify God in isolation, or contrary to the way the Lord stipulated to the Jews, there ought to be nothing such as Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sabbath, Jewish Festivals, and Christian festivals which incidentally falls on different days, and for different occasions, because God is one, and he is not a God of confusion, for it is written; “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Yes! The law is not made void through faith. Those of the circumcision are justified by faith because their actions were based on something they had no prior knowledge of, like Abraham they had no circumstantial evidence. Whereas with the Gentiles, their justification is through faith in Jesus Christ, because their faith is as a result of what is established, they have circumstantial evidence, and are acting as a result of what is already in place. They have a source of faith from which to draw from.

The admonition to the Gentiles therefore is: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”
And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15: 10-13).
Therefore The Lord’s admonition to the children of Israel which says; “I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’ applies also to us Gentiles, for the Lord further says; “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

And again thus says the Lord; “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).

The only difference which exist between now and the time the Lord gave this command to Moses and his prophets is that previously the Lord said; “You shall” signifying that it was a command, but now it is, “If you love keep my commandments:” Signifying that it is no longer by command, but out of faith and love: And therefore we are duly instructed saying; “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:4-13).

The question is; how long are we going to continue to deceive and be deceived, thereby causing confusion and division in the body of Christ? One’s option to ascribe to the Lord, or not to ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name does not give them the right to hold in contempt the days which God have set aside as being Holy to him and to his people, and substitute other days and pagan festivals in their places, such an action is tantamount to profaning the holy things of God.

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