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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Imitation 2

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” ( Ephesians 5:25-29)

We are to imitate Jesus in our relationships with our wives and for the same reason: to present her to ourselves in glory, “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless.”

You may say, “I cannot do that.” No, but we are still told to do it 'just like Jesus.'

We should spend the rest of our lives studying how Christ loved the church and then do it. I will not go into detail but I started this study in 1956. We had been married four years. Start your study and do not stop.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Imitation #1

You probably know that example is the best means of teaching and imitation is the best way of learning.

Did you know that we have been told to imitate God, several times?

1. Loving our enemies
2. Loving our wives
3. Humility
4. In everything.
5. In love
6. Loving the brothers
7. Wining an unbelieving husband.

Let's look at them.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48)

Jesus tells us to love our enemies then he teaches us how: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (verse 48).

We are to imitate the Father in Heaven in His perfection.

You may say that you do not know how. That is not a good answer. Study the perfection of the Father in Heaven and then imitate. I don't know the meaning of the word 'perfect.' Whatever it means, it is just like the Father in Heaven.

We see the same teaching in Luke 6:27-36,

“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.”

The command to imitate is in verse 36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Study the MERCY of God and then imitate.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Mouth

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

All of the words are great words but I want to emphasize the word mouth. The mouth says what the heart believes.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Out of the heart the mouth speaks.

There is many “a Christian” who believes the gospel in his heart but is afraid to say it with his mouth. Jesus calls it being “ashamed of me and my word” (Luke 9:26).

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak.” (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Do you speak what you believe?

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Be" Commands

Here are a lot of “be” commands. These “be” commands always precede the “do” commands. These commands determine what you are.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Be joyful – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Be kind – Ephesians 4:32
Be prayerful – Matthew 5:48
Be self-controlled – 1 Peter 1:13
Be holy in all you do – 1 Peter 1:15
Be holy because I am holy – 1 Peter 1:16
Be transformed – Romans 12:2
Be joyful in hope – Romans 12:12
Do not be proud – Romans 12:16
Be willing to associate – 12:16
Do no be conceited – 12:16
Be careful to do what is right – 12:17
Be devoted to one another – 12:10
Never be lacking in zeal – 12:11
Be adopted – Ephesians 1:5
Be to the praise of the glory of His grace – Ephesians 1:6
Be to the praise of His glory – Ephesians 12
Do not let yourself be burdened – Galatians 5:1
Be reconciled to God – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Believe we died to sin – Romans 6:2
Believe the old self was crucified – Romans 6:6
Believe we have been freed from sin – Romans 6:7
Believe we have died with Christ – Romans 6:8
Believe He died to sin – Romans 6:10
Count yourself dead to sin – Romans 6:11
Become slaves to righteousness – Romans 6:18

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Giving Offense

Again, these next few posts are written because I am finding many Christians to whom they apply. If they apply to you, fix it. That is, confess the sins and then obey.

You know that taking offense is sin. You do not seem to know that giving offense is the greater sin.

“Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:32-11:1)

“And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.” (1 Corinthians 8:11-12)

“If my conscience is clean that does not make me innocent.” (1 Corinthians 4:4)

Our conscience is not absolute on right and wrong.

In my short acquaintance with you it seems that what you think, you also say – and you think that what you are saying is right. The content of what you say is normally not biblical, and even it were, the manner in which you say it is not loving or kind.

You may think you cannot change because you were born this way, but that is not true because you were born again and received a new nature. “Old things have passed away, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If you are born again and do not change, it is because you will not, not because you cannot. If you will not, it is because you are deliberately disobeying and sinning. If you really cannot change, you have not been born again. Jesus does a better job of saving than what you evidence in your life. I do not know which it is, but I am ready to help you in a positive way.

You say that you love people and are not angry. If that were true, the people would recognize that they are loved.