John H. Stephens, Teacher

Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature April 1997

by: John H. Stephens

Acts 3:25-26 "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." (NKJ)

Jesus, the Seed of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth SHALL be blessed. Not maybe, not if you work at it, but "shall be blessed." We can think about this, wondering when it will happen, but the key is "believe God", it SHALL happen. Taking this thought, we can decide if we are going to be part of the blessing or not. If we believe God, and act on this, we are part of the blessing. If not, the blessing will still come to pass.

Believing God is the basis of all the Christian life.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (NKJ)

Galations 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." (NKJ)

Habakkuk 2:4 "Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith. (NKJ)

So many times, we, as teachers, confuse the people we are teaching. We teach that it is by faith we receive Jesus and become righteous (His righteousness!). Then we teach "works" to become sanctified.

We lay commandments on the people that they "must" do to "stay" justified. In truth, the Bible teaches, we live by "faith", believing God and His promises. I heard a teacher say, satan just does not understand "grace". He stands before God, accusing the saint, saying, he did this wrong thing, or he did not do the right thing, and God says "but he believes me and he is righteous." Im glad satan does not understand, but it is troubling that so many ministers of the "gospel" do not understand! They lay rules and commands on the people, and that causes guilt for not performing, and God is saying "but they believe me." Yet, with the treatment the people get from the ministry, they start to doubt, and we as teachers have caused unbelief.

Our whole mission as ministers is to -

Ephesians 4:11-14 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-- Christ--from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (NKJ)

In the simplest of thoughts, teach the people to believe God, His promises, and to walk in faith, believing. God will take care of the rules, commandments, and changing the person to conform to His Son, Jesus.

Ministers, the Holy Spirit can do more in five minutes, to conform a person to what God wants, than we can in a life time. Allow Gods chosen Presence, His Holy Spirit, to be your constant guide, teacher, and fellow minister. He is great! He is the perfect co-teacher! You and the Holy Spirit make the greatest team the world has ever known.

Next time, let us think about what God has given His chosen people. With this, and believing God, we shall bless all the families of the earth, in our life time, even by the year 2000. Only believe.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.
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