Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, July 29, 2016

True or False? Galatians 5:22-24

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:22-24)

If this is true, do any of these words describe you? They were given to the new Christians at that time. You probably remember the love, the peace, and the joy you had when you became a Christian.

One of the reasons you might not have joy like that anymore is the chastening of the Lord. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11). The chastening is meant to be short-lived. You can see the progression in Psalm 32:

"Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.' And you forgave the guilt of my sin." (Psalm 32:1-5)

The first two verses describe the saved person. Verses 3 and 4 describe the person who has sinned and has not confessed it. Verse 5 is the repentant Christian who has returned to the blessing of the Lord.

All of the fruit of the Spirit is connected. The fruit of the Spirit is patience. When the Christian becomes impatient, he loses all the other fruit at that instant. When he is impatient, he is not loving, kind, peaceful, joyful, etc. If you have lost the fruit of the Spirit, it is because there is unconfessed sin in your life. Find out what the sin is (or what the sins are) and confess and forsake it. When this is done, you will find that you can obey Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

True or False? Galatians 5:19-21

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)

Is this true? If it is true, are any of these words descriptive of you? The words describe an unbeliever. If you are a believer, confess them as sin and forsake them today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Couple of Assumptions

The "true or false" posts I will be posting over the next week or two are based on two assumptions. The first is biblical:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Tim. 3:16)

The second assumption is that you believe the first assumption.

Monday, July 25, 2016

True or False?

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'" (Matthew 18:21-22)

Is this true or false?

If it is true, are you forgiving your brother that often?

"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart." (Matthew 18:35)

If this is true, are you forgiving from your heart?

This is forgiveness in quantity and forgiveness in quality.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Life

One of the characteristics of human life is knowledge of that life. We can declare that as an axiom, without proof. We have not yet met anyone who was unsure that he was alive. There are many other evidences of life besides knowledge: eating, sickness, breathing, and sleeping are a few.

There is a parallel truth in the spiritual life. Someone who is spiritually alive should have knowledge of that spiritual life. However, there are also other evidences to that life just as there are to physical life. Many of them are found in that short letter towards the end of your Bible, 1 John.

I will start with 1 John 5:13:

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

Notice that this verse gives the reason that 1 John was written. I encourage you to read those five short chapters several times this week in order to find out whether you have spiritual life. Remember, there are only two destinations: destruction and life. There are two ways: a broad way and a narrow way.

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12)

Do you have the Son?

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Do you love your brother?

Do you hate your brother?

These are evidences of life and death, not the means of going from life to death.

Would you like to talk about it? You can contact me by calling (208) 882-4383 or by sending an email to jimwilson27@frontier.com. Our web address is http://ccmbooks.org.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How to Know You Are Saved #9: Jesus Said So

“I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Notice the present tense: hears my word, believes in Him who sent me, has eternal life. Notice the future tense: will not be condemned. Notice the past tense: he has crossed over from death to life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Know You Are Saved #8: Loving Enemies

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)