Courage To Stand


         Children of God, when trouble comes (and it always does) do not succumb to the trial and fail by employing your own strength. You can find the courage to stand up and not be overtaken when you know the Divine outcome of the Troublemaker. You can have peace in the midst of the storm through “the God of Peace.” Enjoy this “shot” by way of my mom – Sister Cheryl DeGroat-Payne.  
 Stay in the race!   Rev. D

       “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…” (Romans 16: 20).

Peace

The apostle Paul exhorts Christians in Rome to endure the hardships brought on by the wiles of the devil.  The Holy Spirit of God – through the believer’s faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for remission of sins – inducts us into the army of God.  The resurrecting power of His shed blood within believers empowers us to resist the enemy-until His return. We have the blessed assurance as good soldiers of Jesus Christ to know we are predestined to victory – the source of the God of peace. His message still resonates Divine truth to us today.

The God of peace foreknew -from eternity past, into eternity present and further to eternity future – our status as a lost and trouble-ridden humanity.  He loves us so much that he planned to divest himself of His glory by stepping down out of infinity and descending into time. Lowering Himself to human form, He became as we are – human – so that we could become as He is – Spirit.

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).  Jesus knew humans are heavily reliant on their five senses. He also knew we would live our lives with limitations stemming from ignorance of the oppression of the spirit world system against us.

These spirits dwell in the heavens and stand in opposition to God and us. They have a steadfast allegiance with Satan, the archenemy of God, as their head. He governs this world’s system, known as the Kosmos (GR.). The Kosmos hated Christ and it hates us.  Jesus said, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15:18).  He went on to say, These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I had overcome the world (John 16:33).

C.I.  Scofield wrote of the kosmos saying:

“In this sense of the present world-system, the ethically bad sense of the word, refers to the ‘order,’ ‘arrangement,’ under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principle of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure (Mt 4:8,9; Jn 12:31; 14:30; 18:36; Eph 2:2; 6:12; and 1 Jn.  2: 15-17).  This world-system is imposing and powerful with armies and fleets; is often outwardly religious, scientific, cultured, and elegant; but, seething with national and commercial rivalries and ambitions, is upheld in any real crisis only by armed force, and is dominated by Satanic principles.” (Scofield Reference Bible footnote Revelation 13:8).

A “Hope” Shot

   “The God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…”  The Word of God urges and encourages us to persevere in resisting the wiles of the devil with great confidence in Him and courage to trust Him. It promises we will find ourselves fully discharged from this ongoing spiritual battle. Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ is the foundation of the expectation of this promise being fulfilled.  In the meantime, encourage yourself in the faith (become more and more inclined to trust in the LORD) and await the thrill of having the neck of our enemy – Satan the devil – under our feet while witnessing the abject humiliation of our conquered foe.  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet (Psalm 91:13) .

         The exclusive purpose in the manifestation of the Son Of God taking up human flesh is to destroy the works of the devil in and through the Body of Christ, which is called the Church (earlier referred to as the Army of God).  It is an organism comprised of believers. These are they that have surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Christ – as their Head. This is the mystery hidden in God throughout the ages. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. He did this by defeating the power of sin and death through His triumphant resurrection. 

Hebrews 2:14-18  (PHILLIPS) Since, then, “the children” have a common physical nature as human beings, He also became a human being, so that by going through death as a man He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might also set free those who lived their whole lives a prey to the fear of death. It is plain that for this purpose he did not become an angel; he became a man, in actual fact a descendant of Abraham. It was imperative that He should be made like his brothers in nature, if He were to become a High Priest both compassionate and faithful in the things of God, and at the same time able to make atonement for the sins of the people. For by virtue of his own suffering under temptation He is able to help those who are exposed to temptation.[i] 

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8) 

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope.(Romans 15:13) 

The God of peace be with you all, amen. (Romans 15:33)
Cheryl DeGroat-Payne

[i] J. B. Phillips, “The New Testament in Modern English“, 1962 edition by HarperCollins

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Why Faith?


Why is faith a necessary action in daily Christian lifestyles?  This question is often unspoken.  Yet I have come to realize that when it is left unsaid, life continues on human will which is limited.  Without faith in Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior in your life, death and eternity, a person is left to fend for themselves throughout the course of life. Depression, anxiety, fear, doubt and anger are issues of an absence of faith.

The Bible speaks to us about faith in Hebrews the 11th chapter. This chapter is often referred to as “the hall of faith” as it depicts multiple instances where faith is the guiding force bringing God’s will for mankind into existence.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

The Greek word for faith is pistis. The meaning is the conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

  1. relating to God

    1. the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ

  2. relating to Christ

    1. a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God

The only way to tap into God’s determined will for our lives is by faith.  Any attempts to know, understand and manifest His will absent of faith is without merit in God’s sight.  We always need a secure positioning in our core belief system to realize God’s presence, power and peace in our lives. This necessity is established in and through our faith.
Why faith? It is the substance of everything we hope for.  Substance in the Greek is hypostasis a compound word derived from hypo meaning under and histemi meaning to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
 God = Elohim the plural of El (1 of the names of Deity; the Creator found in Genesis 1 and the Creator’s connection to the created including man, namely Jesus Christ, the Son of God)
The Greek word for evidence is elegchos meaning that by which a thing is proven; a conviction or proof.  The apostle Paul simplified the development and growth of faith in this passage in Romans 10:17 (NET) “Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.
You must know who you believe in. The only way to get to know God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit is through reading and hearing the Word of God rightly-divided.
Faith comes through hearing/reading the Word of God
Faith comes through hearing/reading the Word of God
All of the proof of God’s abilities are contained in His Word. You can’t believe in what you don’t know.  And you can’t survive on yesterday’s meal today. Your faith in God is the culminating effect of getting to know God through His Word on a daily basis.

Why faith? Faith in God and His Sovereignty over His Creations is the process by which we have access into this grace in which we stand. Trust in the foundational substance of all of God’s Spiritual resources by His substantial qualities, nature and persons of His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit establishes our faith, confidence, hope, strength and Power to be victorious in our Christian lives from day to day.

We trust in the actual existence of God, confirmed in Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us giving us newness of life by the regeneration of our spirits.  Through our daily surrender to Him by faith our spirits are renewed, our minds are transformed and our bodies become representative of His life  IN us. We become new creations IN Christ. This is the fundamental meaning of our directive to “get & stay IN Position!” Being justified by this faith, we have peace with God and we become joint heirs with Jesus Christ making us more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

Rev. D

Full of Courage


Courage
Courage (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

In my lifetime I have been accused of being full of s_ _ t for various reasons – where I was, who I was with, what I was doing, what happened………  Sometimes I was even accused of this status even though I was as sober as a judge and telling the God‘s honest truth. It then occurred to me that this expression is a cliche’ and not necessarily a response that I needed to take to heart. It gave me the wisdom to “consider the source.” 

That consideration has prompted me to examine the statement “full of courage” today. When have you ever used this expression in describing someone? Try saying it – “You (are) full of courage!”  The tone and expression of this observation begs the question – “How is this possible?” You must admit that when you stumble upon someone that is endowed with courage it can be confrontational to you as you perhaps are entangled in a fear-driven reality. If honesty is present, and you are willing to acknowledge this person’s courage and inquire about how to attain it personally, the act of inquiry opens up your spirit to the opportunity to become “full of courage” yourself. BUT YOU MUST CONSIDER THE SOURCE!

2Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord —
5:7 for we live by faith, not by sight.
5:8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.(NASB)

The person is the example but the source of courage which fills the person is the BLESSED ASSURANCE OF THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH THE POWER OF CHRIST THE RISEN SAVIOR AT WORK IN HIM/HER BY THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The theme of Paul’s writing deals specifically with the spiritual reality of the GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN WITH CHRIST and the human struggles associated with living on Earth with all of its daily issues we face. This human reality is apparent to all- no matter what their socio-economic status may be. However, the spiritual component is what seperates “the men from the boys.”

Paul in this chapter defines being “full of courage” as a standard design for living as an Ambassador for Christ. It comes, not because of ANY attainment of status in the flesh (the flesh is to experience the continual “dying” process he defines in Galatians 2:20) which humans aspire towards naturally. When Christ was here on Earth performing all of the duties of His Earthly ministry, His most substantial acts were the death at Calvary, His burial and resurrection. By these acts, He secured the benefit to mankind for a “continued presence of His spirit in us” thereby relieving man of any need to please Him in the flesh.  PERSONAL COURAGE IN HUMAN ABILITIES IS FUTILE FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE. IT’S JUST NOT ENOUGH!

A thorough persuasion of the “fear of the Lord” is at work in this instance. This reverence is the bedrock of our “walk by faith, not by sight.” It yields the assurance of the appointed time which God ordained before the foundations of the world whereby we must all appear before the “Judgement seat of Christ.” Notice that there is no hesitation for this great appearing. It is a bold statement that infers a “Blessed Assurance” that “Jesus Paid It ALL” at Calvary. Therefore, all of the blessings associated with His “Finished” work at Calvary cultivates a fullness of courage deep within our spirits that garners a great expectation for our Eternal Life over any human expectation for our Earthly life. And so, we are FREE then to experience ALL of the FULLNESS OF OUR EARTHLY LIFE through the “good works that God foreordained that we should walk in them” during our lifetime while we “look forward to that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” eternally.

Stop trying to fix yourself with human effort and let God create your NEWNESS through His spirit at work in you today.

The fact remains WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR OR NOT you will STAND before HIM in eternity. You can stand before Him at the Great White Throne IN FEAR OF THE ETERNAL OUTCOME or you can BOLDLY STAND before Him at The Judgement Seat of Christ FULL OF COURAGE! This earthly life you are blessed with is afforded to you as an opportunity to GET IN WHERE YOU FIT IN.

Jesus Christ is the Way!