Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of God's Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" Colossians 1:10
When it becomes our desire to walk worthy of God and be pleasing in His sight, we must ask, "What is it, Lord, that you want me to do? What are the things in my life that are not pleasing? What are the things that are not in my life that would be pleasing in your sight?" These questions have been asked down through the ages, and yet the Apostle Paul gave us the answer when he stated we should be fruitful in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.
As we increase in the knowledge of God by studying His Word, we are enlightened as to what is pleasing and not pleasing in God's sight. When Paul was taken before King Festus, he related:
"For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from Him; for this thing was not done in a corner." Acts 26:26
Paul informed King Festus the things of God are not done in a corner and "hidden". God wants us to know His will, and He expects us to know and follow His will. We can only do this if we know and live by His Word. David, the Psalmist, wrote:
"For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalm 128:2c
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:" Philippians 2:9
God places His Word above the His name. It was His Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us, John 1:14. It is His Word that He has given us, so we know what is pleasing and not pleasing in His sight. It is not hidden in a corner. God desires that it be proclaimed from the housetops for all the world to know the grace and mercy God has shown toward His creation man.
Paul informed the church at Colosse of the things in their lives that must be killed off, the things in their lives that were to be put off, and also the things that were lacking in their lives they must put on. Paul wrote:
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1
Paul began with the little two letter word IF. This qualifies everything else he is going to say. Paul stated, "...if ye are risen with Christ...". The word risen has the same meaning as "resurrected". Those who are risen with Christ are those who are resurrected from among the dead. Paul's writings are to those who have become part of the first resurrection. If you are not risen with Christ, then these writings are not written to you.
Paul continues, "...seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Most of those who call themselves Christians are so busy with their earthly endeavors they never have time to seek God in their lives. They go to church, follow their religious doctrine, serve on their committees and believe this is their whole duty to God. We must ask ourselves what was Jesus' purpose for coming to earth and suffering a terrible death? Was it so we could have an easy life and live in prosperity, and inherit all He has at our death? No! Those who believe this have been deceived, not knowing the Word of God. Paul continues:
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2
The word affections means "to be intent with oneself". We are to set our minds on moral interests. Our whole moral being must be set on the things of the Spirit, not on the things of this life. In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul spoke of those who are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
"Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." Philippians 3:19
Those whose God is their belly, and whose glory (self-esteem) is their shame, mind earthly things. These are the enemies of what the Father sent His Son to accomplish for all mankind. Those who seek those things which are above with their whole being are those who are seeking to be pleasing in God's sight. Paul continued:
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3
To those who are seeking God with their whole being, their old life has been dealt with and their new life in Christ is hid in God. They are protected, nourished and revitalized by the living Word that is in them. God gives a promise through Paul's anointed pen:
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:4
When Christ who is our life appears, those who are risen with Him will then appear with Him in His glory. The beloved John wrote:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2
When Christ appears we shall see Him as He is? Why? Because we will be like Him. We will appear with Him in His glory. Praise God for His wonderful promises! Paul continues to inform us what we must do to prepare ourselves for that glorious day:
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" Colossians 3:5
The word mortify means "to kill, destroy, not to let live any longer." Then Paul proceeded to give a list of five things we must remove totally from our lives if we are going to be risen with Christ and appear with Him in His glory.
We are to put to death those members which are upon the earth. The word used for members is MELOS and means "the parts of the body". The physical members, or parts of our own body, cannot sin unless they are commanded to do so by our mind. All sin originates in the heart (mind) and is then carried out by the body. This is why the conscience or spirit of man must be in control of the heart or mind of man. Until we allow the Spirit of God to control our mind, we will be subject to the sins of the flesh in our members. When we no longer allow the spirit of darkness to have access to our mind, we have destroyed the avenue where temptation enters in.
We must view our members as being members of the body of Christ. When our members are members of unrighteousness, then we must kill off those things in our life that are unacceptable in the sight of God. Paul lists the things in our lives we must kill off if our members which are upon the earth are to become instruments of righteousness and no longer instruments of evil before our God.
Fornication is sex outside marriage. We are not to be around fornication, nor are we to allow our families to be around it. It is a corrupting influence in our lives. Fornication and adultery have the same meaning. The term fornication is generally used when two who are not married enter into a sexual relationship. The term adultery is used when two married people enter into sexual relations with those whom they are not married. Paul warned the church at Corinth the penalty for fornication:
"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." I Corinthians 6:18
Fornication is a sin against our own body. When we are involved in fornication we are allowing sin to have an affect on our own body. As Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
". . .The wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23
The wages for fornication may not be collected all at once. People do not drop dead when they engage in fornication. The wages for the sin of fornication are collected in various ways. Those who engage in fornication or adultery collect the wages for that sin many years later in diseases or other disorders in the reproductive organs that are very delicate and are not to be abused.
In almost every abortion, the pregnancy is the direct result of fornication. Fornication has become acceptable in our young, even to the pre-teen years. Mothers give their daughters birth control and fathers give their sons condoms. All of which condone fornication. If a pregnancy occurs the parents pay for the abortion. After the abortion the young person must live with the fact they have taken a life for the balance of their life. The young suffer because the parents put their stamp of approval on fornication. Some parents seem to be proud that their children are sexually active at an early age. Being sexually active has become a "macho" term, and states, "It is OK to sin and if they get caught, killing the child is the way out."
Adultery is the reason over 50% of marriages end in divorce in the first five years. The result of adultery is that over 50% of the children are being reared by one parent. Then we wonder why children end up in trouble at very early ages.
God instituted marriage so children would have two parents. Parents are to provide a safe and secure home for the children until they start a home of their own. Children who are products of broken homes most often suffer a failed marriage in their life. This is because their parents did not control their own sexual drive, and failed to teach their children to control their sexual drive. As a result they go from bed to bed with the attitude, "If it feels good, do it". This has become their sordid way of life.
Adultery can be spiritual as well as physical. Jesus informs us:
"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28
One does not have to enter into the act of adultery or fornication to be guilty of that sin. The lust we generate in our heart (mind) makes us guilty before God. This does not mean we cannot look upon a beautiful woman or a good-looking man to enjoy the beauty God has created in that person. But when we do not mortify the members of our body that lust after that person, then we enter into a fornicating, adulterous act. Pornography is a good example of lusting after the body of a person we do not know, have never met and probably never will meet. This perverse looking and lusting is sin before God.
Many diseases are transmitted through sexual adultery and fornication. One of the most newsworthy of these sexually transmitted sins is "Aids". Aids is a direct result of sin, and truly the ways of this sin is death. In the beginning it was thought that only the homosexual (sodomites) contracted Aids. Then it appeared in heterosexuals. Aids occurs when the body no longer heals itself. When people have violated God's Word, He simply takes His healing power from their body, and death is the result of their sin.
Venereal diseases are rampant, destroying many lives. This disease goes so far as to affect the mind. Those who suffer from sexually transmitted diseases die raving maniacs, all because they have not heeded God's Word that fornication is a sin against their own bodies.
The evidence of fornication is rampant in the church today. Many who are living together without being married sit in church every Sunday and nothing is said to them about their fornication. Many who stand in the pulpit have not been able to mortify their members which are on the earth. These have brought disgrace to the name they are called to represent. They have broken up families and have been exposed before the whole world for what they are; fornicators. The writer of Hebrews proclaimed:
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:4-6
The Bible clearly states that it is impossible to renew to repentance those who have put God to open shame. This is how serious God looks at the act of fornication. Those who are guilty before God of physical or spiritual fornication must mortify their members that are upon the earth.
The word uncleanness simply means "living a lustful, luxurious and depraved life, being physically and morally unclean." This speaks of a man who lives by his own devices with no regard for God's ways. In his lusts, he demands from God the things that please and gratify the flesh. He cares nothing for others, only himself. Paul wrote to Timothy:
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." I Timothy 6:10
It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. There is power in money.
Many use their money to control other's lives. Paul revealed to Timothy those who covet after money have erred from the faith and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The rich, young ruler is an example of a man unwilling to rid his life of his uncleanness. He wanted to follow Jesus, but could not because he had great possessions that he would not part with. When Jesus told him what he must do to follow Him, the young man went away sorrowful, Matthew 19:22. Those who fail to mortify (kill off) the uncleanness in their life will not sit on the right hand of God in His Kingdom.
Paul informed us we must kill off or mortify inordinate affections. The phrase inordinate affections has the meaning of "depraved passions". Perverted sex is the most base of these passions. Those who pervert the natural use of the body are those who have depraved passions. They have perverted what God has given man for pleasure and to procreate. Those who operate in inordinate affections are sodomites, homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites and all others who violate God's natural use of the body. Others must abuse their mate in order to satisfy their sexual drive. These have not submitted their members which are on the earth to the direction and the will of God. These have not set their affections on the things above. James spoke of these:
"This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." James 3:15
Those who have not killed off their inordinate affections are earthly, sensual and devilish. These can expect nothing from God.
The phrase evil concupiscence means "desiring the things that are forbidden by God". It also means "lusting, craving and longing". Evil concupiscence began in the Garden of Eden. With the serpents help, Eve craved that which God had forbidden. The things that are forbidden by God are called abominations in His sight. Solomon, the all-wise King, revealed one of the vilest of these abominations before God:
"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19
Solomon listed six things that God hates in His people:
1 A proud look
2 A lying tongue
3 Hands that shed innocent blood
4 A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
5 Feet that be swift in running to mischief
6 A False witness that speaketh lies
Solomon declared the seventh thing was an abomination in the sight of God: sowing discord among the brethren. The word discord means "contention, strife, brawling and quarreling". Those who bring these abominations into the body of Christ are guilty of evil concupiscence.
"Covetousness which is idolatry...". The word covetousness means "greedy desires, to have more". Those who are guilty of covetousness are always wanting, wanting, wanting; never being satisfied. This is idol worship. These have made their wants and desires their god. The lust for "things" is never satisfied. The more they get, the more they want, bigger and better. Desiring everything they see, their appetite for things consumes their life. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of those who are guilty of covetousness:
"In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury (interest) and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God." Ezekiel 22:12
Those who have not mortified their covetousness have taken usury and increase from their neighbor. God calls usury "extortion". These have forgotten God and His Word because they are greedy for gain. Those who are involved in such things will not appear with Christ in all His glory. Paul reveals what will happen to those who have not mortified their members that are upon the earth:
"For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:" Colossians 3:6
Paul declares if we fail to kill off that which is not pleasing in God's sight then we are "children of disobedience" and can expect to suffer the wrath of God. Paul gave us the list of what we must mortify in our life. Then he gave us another list of the things we must "put off":
"But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." Colossians 3:8
Anger is a form of insanity. When we are angry, we are not in control of our thought processes. When we are angry we become unstable, unable to think rationally. It is impossible to praise the Lord when we are angry. Anger, more than anything else, hinders our walk with God. When we are angry we say things we may not mean, but cannot take back. Paul admonished the church at Ephesus:
"Be ye angry and sin not . . ." Ephesians 4:26
Paul gave this admonition because he knew when we are angry we are very close to sin. Many times when we are angry we have already entered into sin because of our thoughts. The first instance of anger recorded in the Bible was when Cain's sacrifice was not accepted before God:
"But unto Cain, and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth (angry), and his countenance fell.
And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." Genesis 4:5-7
When Cain became angry God told Cain, "Sin lieth at the door". Cain did not put off his anger and it ended in taking Abel's life. Peter warns us not to suffer as a murderer, I Peter 4:15. When we have murder in our hearts because of anger, we have become a murderer in the sight of God. Anger must be put off if we are to enter into the presence of God.
Next, we must put off wrath. The Greek word for wrath is THUMOS. Our word thermos comes from this Greek word. The word wrath means "indignation". A colloquial term would be "blowing your stack", becoming so enraged that we lose all control over our faculties. Anger and wrath are closely aligned. When we lose all control the end result is uncontrolled anger. Paul relates that wrath is not a godly attribute in a Christian's life. Wrath must be put off if we are to appear with Christ in all His glory.
Next, we must put off malice. The word malice means "ill-willed, a vicious nature". When someone harms us the basic nature of man is to get even, to afflict more pain then what we have. This desire to injure or kill is malice toward our fellow man. This vicious nature generally comes from an uncontrolled temper. When a person is provoked or attacked, his first impulse is to violently protect himself. This attitude is against what God says we should do or be. In his letter to the Romans Paul wrote:
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord." Romans 12:19
We are warned not to avenge ourselves. We are to give place to wrath in others, yet not allow wrath in ourselves. Vengeance belongs to God alone and He will repay those who are wrathful towards us. We do not need to defend ourselves because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, II Corinthians 10:4. When we resort to carnal weapons, then we do not need God. We are admonished not to defend ourselves with the arm of the flesh. The Psalmist wrote:
"For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king." Psalms 89:18
The Lord is our defence. Peter spoke that Jesus was our example. Speaking of Jesus, Peter revealed:
"Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:" I Peter 2:23
When Jesus was reviled, He reviled not again. When He suffered, He did not threaten back. Jesus was committed to the One that judgeth righteously. We, as God's people, must put off our "Get Even" attitude. All malice must be dealt with in our life if we are to sit on the right hand of power.
The word blaspheme means "to speak evil, to rail, slander, to speak injurious of another". This has become common place in the church. One church speaks evil of another church. Those in the same church speak evil against others in the same congregation. A common term used for this in God's Word is "backbiting", speaking behind another's back to do them harm.
In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul revealed:
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." Romans 1:28
God has turned those who did not retain Him in their knowledge over to a reprobate mind. The word reprobate means "rejected of God". Then Paul continued to list what was not acceptable in the sight of God. Backbiters are part of the list, Romans 1:30. Those who are guilty of this blasphemous act will be turned over to a reprobate mind. Solomon wrote:
"The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue." Proverbs 25:23
A backbiting tongue causes strife, contention and separation. Generally those who are guilty of backbiting are tearing down others, trying to build up self. You never raise yourself up by standing on others. Backbiting in the church is nothing new. It began almost immediately in the early church and continues today. Paul spoke to the church at Ephesus:
"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." Acts 20:29
Those who have not put off blasphemy will continue to cause problems in the church until they are dealt with. God has given us direction to put off blasphemy, putting it far from our life. If we fail to do this, we will not be as He is when He returns.
The phrase filthy communication means "foul speaking, low and obscene speech". This is generally speech that is embarrassing to others around us. Many times we hear Christians use the gutter language of the world. This type of language does not edify or lift up. It shows the general lack of self-respect for others and for themselves. This is the acceptable language in the world, but not in the sight of God. We are admonished by the writings of Paul:
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29
Everything we do must be for the edifying of the body of Christ. We must make sure that no corrupt communication is allowed to come out of our mouth.
What about what we wear? Is how we dress edifying to Christ or is it also communicating a message that is not edifying to the One we represent? We see T-shirts, sweat shirts and hats that have filthy messages on them, or which represent organizations or products that do not edify. All these are filthy communications. Do the clothes we wear communicate a wrong message of who we are? Filthy communication must be put off if we are to be edifying to the body of Christ.
Paul continued with the list of things we must put off in our life:
"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;" Colossians 3:9
Lying is part of the old man nature. The word lie has two meanings; one is "to tell a deliberate falsehood", the other is "to deceive". Both fall into the category of lying. A lying tongue is part of the list of those things which God hates.
There are two things even the world hates, and that is lying and stealing. No one trusts a liar or a thief. When we call ourselves by His name and are found to be liars, then we bring reproach upon His name.
Paul admonishes us not to lie one to another. As Christ-ones, we must make sure that every word that proceeds out of our mouth is the gospel truth. In his letter to Timothy, Paul proclaimed:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15
We are taught to study the Word of God and rightly divide the Word, because the Word is truth. If we speak the Word, then we know that we are speaking God's unadulterated truth. As the Psalmist, we should cry out,
"Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue." Psalms 120:2
All lying must be put off in our life if we are to see Him as He is.
The Things We Must Put On
When we have killed off and put off all the things that are not pleasing to God, then Paul admonishes us of the things we must "put on".
". . . Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him." Colossians 3:10
God has revealed much about His new creation man. Paul relates that God's new creation man is renewed in knowledge. How can we be renewed in knowledge? It is only by and through God's anointed Word. God has promised to recreate man in the image of the One who created him in the beginning. Paul wrote:
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:" Colossians 1:15
Jesus came in the image of the invisible God. He is our example of what we must become. We must come to the under-standing of God's original plan for man. God's original design for His creation man was not flawed. In the beginning God's creation man was perfect, and He is going to bring man back to that perfect design.
"And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:24
We must put on that new man which is created in the image of God in righteousness and true holiness. Paul continued:
"Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." Colossians 3:11
When we come into that new creation man, then Christ is all and in all. Paul is speaking of the body of Christ that God is raising up in the earth. He informs us that when we come into this place there will be no difference in God's people. Nationality will make no difference (Greek nor Jew). Religious doctrine will make no difference (circumcision or uncircumcision). Language will make no difference (Barbarian or Scythian). Station in life will make no difference (bond or free). The only thing that makes the difference is that we have put on the new man. Only those who have put on the new man and have been recreated in righteousness and true holiness will be part of His body.
Bowels of Mercy
Paul continued with what we must put on:
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;" Colossians 3:12
We must put on bowels of mercy. The word bowels in scripture means "the seat of all emotion; love, hate, fear, anger, kindness and mercy." The phrase putting on bowels of mercy means "showing compassion". If we are to be the elect of God, holy and beloved, then these things must be evident in our life.
Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom. Peter's kingdom teachings were sent to the body of Christ in Pontus, Galatia, Cappodacia, Asia and Bithynia. Today we can use Peter's "Kingdom Keys" to understand what we must do if we are to enter into the kingdom of God. Peter wrote:
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:" I Peter 3:8
Those who are destined to enter the kingdom must be of one mind, and that mind is the mind of Christ. We must have compassion one of another. We must put on bowels of mercy. Our compassion must come from the heart, not just an outward show. We must love as brethren. We must display the same love for the body as Jesus showed when He declared:
"Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
We must have this kind of love for the brethren if we are to enter into His kingdom and His rest.
Pitiful and Courteous
We must be pitiful and courteous one toward another. The beloved John proclaimed:
"But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" I John 3:17
If we have not put on bowels of mercy it is impossible to display the love of God. When we see a brother in need and we do not meet that need, we are no different then the worldly people who do not have the love of God in them. Jesus showed compassion to every one He met: to the children, to the woman taken in adultery, to the woman that had an issue of blood, the blind, the maimed, the demon possessed. He healed the multitudes because He had compassion. He fed the thousands because He had compassion. How can we say we are Christ-like if we have not put on bowels of mercy.
Put on kindness
The word kindness means "moral goodness, having integrity, being just." Kindness is being what we appear to be, not putting up a front. Kindness is being kind. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. Peter's "Kingdom Keys" again give us the pattern we must follow if we are to partake of God's divine nature:
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness: And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." II Peter 1:4-8
Put on Virtue
Those who have truly escaped the corruption in the world have added to their faith, virtue. The word virtue means "moral goodness, moral uprightness". The corruptness of the world cannot touch our virtue.
Put on Knowledge
To virtue we are to add knowledge, the knowledge of God's Word. The Psalmist wrote:
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalms 119:105
The Word of God is to light our path. The light of God's Word enables us to overcome every stumbling block, pit and ditch in our walk towards God.
Put on Temperance
To knowledge we are to add temperance. The word temperance means "self-control". If we possess self-control our whole spirit, soul and body will be under the control and direction of the Spirit of God.
Put on Patience
To temperance we are to add patience. In his letter to the Romans, Paul explains how we may obtain patience:
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" Romans 5:3
Patience can only be developed in our life through our trials and testings. Those who desire an easy life in God and refuse the times of testing will never develop the patience that will get them through the times that are coming upon the earth. Paul stated, "...we are to glory in our tribulations". When God allows us to go through tribulation, it is to develop patience in our lives.
"And patience, experience; and experience, hope:" Romans 5:4
Our patience gives us experience in the grace and mercy of God. When our patience has given us experience, then we have hope. Peter revealed that patience leads to godliness. Through patience we can develop a God-like character. To Godliness we add brotherly kindness to all we come in contact with.
To brotherly kindness we add charity. The word charity is used 27 times in God's Word, and each time the Greek word AGAPE is used. The Greek word AGAPE means "the benevolent, manifested love of God". When we put on kindness then the love of God shines through us. It is magnified by faith, virtue, the knowledge of God, temperance, patience and Godliness.
Put on Humbleness of Mind
The phrase humblness of mind means "having a humble opinion of oneself." This does not mean to look down or have a low opinion of ourself. To possess humbleness of mind is to recognize who we are in the sight of God and not exalt ourselves above our brothers. Paul wrote to the Romans:
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3
We are not to think more highly of ourselves then we ought to think. In Paul's letter to the Philippians he revealed:
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." Philippians 2:3
We are to esteem others better than ourselves. We are not to try to exalt ourselves above others.
Paul admonished the church at Thessalonica to know them which labor among us:
"And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." I Thessalonians 5:13
We are to esteem those who labor with us very highly and in love.
The Father spoke to the prophet Isaiah:
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15
God is going to inhabit eternity with those who have a contrite (broken) and humble (lowly) Spirit. It is God who will revive the spirit of the humble. We must put on humbleness of mind if we are to inhabit eternity with the Father.
Put on Meekness
The word meekness means "gentleness and mildness". Both gentleness and meekness are fruits of the Spirit. God is looking for gentle men and gentle women who have a meek and quiet Spirit. God has made many promises to the meek:
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
Only the meek will inherit the earth. Jesus, speaking of Himself, revealed:
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29
Jesus is our example of what we must become. He was meek and lowly in heart. Jesus had put on meekness, not raising Himself up in any situation, but always giving the Father all the glory. The Psalmist stated:
"The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way." Psalm 25:9
God is going to guide those who have put on meekness in His judgment. He will teach the meek His ways. We cannot teach others to walk in His ways until we have walked there ourselves. God gave us a promise through the prophet Zephaniah:
"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Zephaniah 2:3
The meek are admonished to seek righteousness and meekness so they may be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. The Apostle Peter wrote:
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." I Peter 3:4
God has promised those who have put on humbleness a meek and quiet spirit which is of great value in the sight of God. He has promised to guide those who put on meekness in judgment. He has promised to hide them in the day His anger (wrath) is poured out upon the earth.
Put on Longsuffering
The word longsuffering means "to suffer long". This, too, is a fruit of the Spirit. The church today wants nothing to do with the "Suffering Message". When the pastor begins to speak of suffering for the cause of Christ, many will look for another church. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those who did not want to hear the true Word of God:
"Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:" Isaiah 30:10
They only want to hear the smooth things. The word smooth means "flattery". They will only receive the things they want to hear. They would rather be deceived than to hear the true Word of God. Paul wrote to Timothy of the day when God's people would not endure sound doctrine. He declared they have...
". . . a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts," II Timothy 3:5-6
Those who will not endure sound doctrine have taken captive silly women laden with sin. The church is always referred to in the feminine gender. These silly women are those who will not believe sound doctrine. They are deceived by those who have captivated them in their denominational system. They have developed a form of godliness, but have denied the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives to change them into the image of the Creator. Paul declared, "From such turn away". These are...
"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." II Timothy 3:7
They are ever learning, but they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth of God's Word because they have denied the Holy Spirit anointing. Paul continued in his letter to Timothy:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" II Timothy 4:3
Those who want no part of the suffering message have heaped to themselves teachers having itching ears. It is not the teachers who have itching ears, but the people. The word heaped means "to gather an abundance". In order to keep their religious systems of false hope going they have started their seminaries. This is to assure they will have a heap of teachers to teach their easy message.
Those who have put on longsuffering have believed God's Word.
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us:" II Timothy 2:12
Those who desire to reign with Him do not resist suffering. They understand Paul's words:
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
Longsuffering is necessary to prepare us for our Kingdom walk. Longsuffering must become part of our life. Longsuffering is part of God's preparation for those who will rule and reign with Him for one thousand years. Paul continues in his letter to the Colossians:
"Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:13
Put On Forebearing
The word forebearing simply means "putting up with one another". We may not always please one another, but we must forebear one another.
Put on Forgiveness
It is also necessary to forgive one another. If we do not forgive we end up holding grudges. Bitterness sets in and our relationship with God is endangered. The writer of Hebrews warns:
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." Hebrews 12:15
We are defiled when we allow bitterness to spring up in our life. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared:
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15
If we do not forgive we are still walking in our sin. Forgiveness should be automatic in the body of Christ. There should be no question of forgiveness. We must forgive as Christ forgave us. Unforgiveness is alien to our body. Unforgiveness can cause illness, both physical and mentally. We must forgive if we are to stay physically and Spiritually healthy.
Put On Charity
Paul added one more thing that every member of the body of Christ must put on:
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." Colossians 3:14
Charity is agape love. It is declared in God's Word that "God is love". How do we demonstrate that Christ is in us if we do not show love; not loving as an act in the flesh, but loving because of a changed heart. We must manifest Christ's love. Love is not just a feeling, it is a commitment. We must be committed to love. Paul revealed that love is the "bond of perfectness". The Greek word bond means "to bind together". We can never come into perfection without love. Love should be as natural in a Christian's life as breathing. Mark recorded Jesus' words:
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31
We know we must love the Lord with every fibre of our being. Many claim they love the Lord, but what about those around us? Do we love them? The beloved John admonishes:
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." I John 3:14
If we do not love the brethren we have not passed from death into life. The love of God is not resident in us, and we are still abiding in death. It is God's desire that we dwell in His presence.
Through Paul God has shown us
Those things we must kill off in our life:
God has also revealed the things we must put off:
God has given us what we must put on:
bowels of mercy
What has God promised those who are obedient to His Word and strive to be pleasing in His sight?
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:15
When we have killed off, put off and put on the things that God has told us, then the peace of God will rule in our hearts. Paul spoke of this peace in his letter to the Philippians:
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Today everyone's desire is for peace in the world. We can only come into the peace of God that passeth all understanding when we obey the Prince of Peace.
It is God's desire that peace rule in our hearts. He has promised to keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus if we kill off and put off all things that rob our peace. We may not have all these things in our life. We need only be guilty of one to miss what God has planned for our life. The same is true of the list of things we must put on. If one is missing then we will come short of His glory. God has provided the way. We must supply the will.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:16-17
The Word of God must be the center of our life. His Word must dwell in us richly. Our wisdom must come from the Word. Our teachings must come from the Word. When we admonish we must do it by the Word. What ever we do in word or deed, we must do in the name of Jesus.
God is waiting for all who are called by His name to come into a place where He can pour out His blessings, glory, and power. We must begin, today, to kill off, put off and put on. To God be all the glory. Amen!
Spiritual Growth II
What Do I Need To Put Off
Alphabetical Titles Link Page
Separate Us From God?
Man Of Sin
The Two Nations of the Mind
The Enemy of God
Pulling the Lion's Teeth
Blessings and Cursings
Harden Not Your Heart
Thorns and Thistles
Sowing and Reaping
Kill Off, Put Off, and Put On
Revile Not Again
Do No Violence
Purged With Hyssop
The Unfulfilled, Unhappy Life of Solomon
Weighed in the Balances
1.How do we become enlightened as to what is pleasing and not pleasing to God?
2.How can we know and do God's will? Psalm 128:2c
3.What does God place above His name?
4. Who are those who are seeking to be pleasing in God's sight?
5.What does the word mortify mean as used in Colossians 3:5?
6.Where does all sin originate?
7.What is fornication? p 6
8.Adultery can be as well as?
9.What is the disease, aids, a direct result of?
10.Who is impossible to renew to repentance?
11.What is the root of all evil? I Timothy 6:10
12.Give several examples of people who participate in inordinate affections.
13.What does evil concupisence mean?
14.What are the six things Solomon named that God hates? Proverbs 6:16-19
15.What was the thing that Solomon spoke of which is an abomination in God's sight?
16.What makes us become unstable and unable to think rationally?
17.What does the word blasphemy mean?
18.What are the two meanings of the word lying?
19.In scripture, what does the word bowels mean?
20.What did Jesus show toward everyone he met?
21.If we possess self control, our whole , and will be under the control of the Spirit of God.
22.What is developed in our lives through our trials and testings?
23.What happens when we put on kindness?
24.What is always referred to in the feminine gender in scriptures?
25.What can cause physical and mental illnesses?
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give