Archive for December 2022

A Famine in the Land

December 20, 2022

Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

There is a Spiritual Famine in Our World Today!

To say the least, we are living in unusual times, which are not at all unlike those spoken of by God to the prophet Amos (see above). Everyone is aware of the ills facing our world today…wars, famines, pestilences, natural disasters, political and economic turmoil, rampant crime and violence, and now, particularly, the abominable sexual perversions, including towards children. But there is more going on behind the scenes of which few are aware. That is that there is little speaking of, or the hearing of, God’s Word. That is the famine that needs to be considered.

In our world today, sin is not only not being punished, it is rather being tolerated, and moreover, even promoted! This is because God is bringing a judgment against our world in the form of Tribulation. There is a dearth in the world with respect to hearing God’s Word. It is a literal, spiritual FAMINE!

Literal physical famines are described many times in the Bible, for example: Genesis 12:10, Genesis 26:1, Genesis 47:4, Ruth 1:1, 2 Kings 25:3, Jeremiah 44:13. But the famine that we now find ourselves in is different. The world is being starved for lack of hearing the true Gospel of Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Biblical Christianity is increasingly being besmirched, while false religions and gospels are being growing in adherence. The Bible is now banned from nearly all schools and almost all public discourse.

Nonetheless, there is still a remnant of believers remaining faithful to God’s Word as we read in Luke 4:25&26, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.” Jesus was referring back to the famine spoken of regarding Elijah in 1 Kings 17:8-16.

Psalm 37:18&19, “The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Psalm 37:25&26, “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.

The Great Tribulation is the Greatest Famine of All Time

And as for this world, God refers to it as “the Great Babylon” at the end of time in the Book of Revelation (at the end of the Bible), in Revelation 18:23), “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” The Bridegroom is Jesus and the bride is the eternal church of God, and at the end of time, during the Great Tribulation (when the devil is loosed for “a little season” Revelation 20:3), the Word of God will essentially be silenced. The witnesses of God’s Truth will have been silenced and effectively killed, literally and/or figuratively. The Light of the World is Jesus, and without Him and the hearing of Him, the world will go completely dark. The lack of “hearing” of “The Word” (which is the “True” Jesus) means that the world will be starved for the lack of hearing of God’s Word and suffer the consequences of a spiritual famine.

Conclusion: Jesus is the Bread of Life!

John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:48, “I am that bread of life.”

John 6:57&8, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

The Lord’s Prayer

We should also keep in mind what the Lord’s Prayer is really saying. It refers not just to physical bread, but more importantly, it refers to the “spiritual bread”…the bread of life! Who Is Jesus!

Matthew 6:9-13, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Only Jesus, as contained in the Bible in its entirely, Is The Word of God and the Bread of Life, Who can sustain the believers through this Great Tribulation and help us to endure until the end, Judgment Day, when Jesus returns on the clouds of Glory to judge the world and to retrieve His Church for eternity with Him in Heaven.

Postscript: Joseph was a “Type” of Jesus Christ during the Great Famine in Genesis 41-47

Remember how, back in Genesis chapters 41-47, when there was a great physical famine, we learned the following:

Genesis 41:55-57, “And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Josephwhat he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy [corn]; because that the famine was [so] sore in all lands.

But then, in Chapter 42 we see that Joseph’s brothers came to him from the land of Canaan to buy sustenance, Genesis 42:5&6, “And the sons of Israel came to buy [corn] among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. And Joseph [was] the governor over the land, [and] he [it was] that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him [with] their faces to the earth.

Then later in Chapter 43, Genesis 43:1 ¶ “And the famine [was] sore in the land.”

However, later in Genesis 45:11 we read that Joseph, after having revealed himself to his brethren, told them that he had prepared a place for them during the famine, in the the land of Goshen (the “best of the land” in Egypt Genesis 47:6), “And there will I nourish thee; for yet [there are] five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.” and finally in Chapter 47, we read in Genesis 47:12And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to [their] families.

Please also note that these were the same brothers that threw Joseph into the pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Nonetheless, Joseph, like Jesus, was merciful to them and said to them first in Genesis 45:5, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” and second in Genesis 50:19 ¶ “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for [am] I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” Jesus was put to death for the sins of all of God’s elect, His brethren, but God meant it for good that all those who would believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

An Exposition of Nehemiah Chapter 8

December 19, 2022

Nehemiah Chapter 8 takes place in Jerusalem after the restoration of the Temple and the rebuilding of the walls of the city following the Great Captivity in Babylon roughly 450 years BC. In Nehemiah chapter 8, we read where the long forgotten word of God, the “book of the law of Moses” was brought before the people by Ezra (meaning help in time of trouble), the priest and scribe who stood before the people on a pulpit (or tower) made of wood for the purpose.

Note to the Reader: This study should be viewed in conjunction with another study of Nehemiah focusing on the role of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem as an allegorical “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ building His Church, the New Jerusalem.

Ezra “read therein” and in verse 4, beside him stood 13 men, six at his right hand and seven at his left hand (13 total, which together with Ezra, made a total of 14). Nehemiah 8:4 ¶And Ezra the scribstood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and HashbadanaZechariah, [andMeshullam.” Their names provide us insights on their spiritual significance.

These 13 men and the meaning of their names are as follows:

Ezra (“Help”) is the Priest in the middle

On Ezra’s Right Hand: The God Man Is in View…The Prophet

  1. Mattithiah (“Gift of God“) Romans 5:15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man,Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
  2. Shema (“Hear” or announcement (report)) John 12:38That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled,which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report?and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
  3. Anaiah (“God Has Answered”, and that which is humble, lowly, meek, and poor or afflicted) Isaiah 53:4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
  4. Uriah (“God is My Light”) John 8:12Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
  5. Hilkiah (“God is My Portion“) Psa 142:5 “I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou [art] my refuge [and] my portion in the land of the living.
  6. Maaseiah (“Work of God”) John 6:29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

On Ezra’s Left Hand: The Son of God Is in View…The King

  1. Pedaiah (God Has Redeemed), rescued, ransomed) Job 19:25, “For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:
  2. Mishael (Who is What God Is?) Psalm 18:31For who [is] God save the LORD? or who is a rock saveour God?
  3. Malchiah (God is My King)  Psalm 47:7For God [is] the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.”
  4. Hashum (Of great wealth, rich) Psalm 50:10For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills.
  5. Hashbadanak (Considerate Judge) Hebrews 10:30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
  6. Zechariah (God Remembers) Psalm 105:7-10, “He [is] the LORD our God: his judgments [are] in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations.Which [covenant] he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant:
  7. Meshullam (Friend) John 15:13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

From this analysis it would not be inconsistent with scripture to conclude that at Ezra’s right hand were those who God wanted to portray Jesus Christ as the man (featured by the number six, for mankind of humble birth who would be the Savior and Sacrifice and Prophet of God). On the Left hand were those who God wanted to portray as Jesus Christ as Divine (featured by the number seven, perfection) at His second coming who would return as both King and Judge. It can also be said that from the people’s point of view they had Jesus Christ portrayed in front of them as Prophet (the six at Ezra’s right hand), Priest (Ezra in the middle), and King (the seven at Ezra’s left hand) We should also remember that Ezra stood on a “pulpit” (or tower) of wood made for the purpose. Does that not bring to mind that Jesus was erected on a cross, made of wood “for the purpose”, on which Jesus was both the sacrificial Lamb of God and the High Priest Who offered the Sacrifice.

13 More Men

In Nehemiah 8:5, we read “And Ezra (representing God as our Help) opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood up:” and also in verse 7 that there were 13 more men (evidently tribal elders) and the Levites who”caused the people to understand the law:” In verse 8 we read, “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense (meaning), and caused them to understand the reading.”

  1. They read the Word “distinctly
  2. They gave the “sense
  3. They caused the people to “understand”

Those men were:

  1. Jeshua (Salvation/Savior). The same as Joshua given what we read in Nehemiah 8:17 “Jeshua the son of NunPsalm 37:39But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.” 2 Peter 3:18But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”
  2. Bani (My Building) “1 Corinthians 3:9-11. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, [ye are] God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilderI have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 
  3. Sherebiah (God has scorched, parched, set free) Isaiah 61:1The Spirit of the Lord GOD [Is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
  4. Jamin (Right Hand) Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
  5. Akkub (Supplant/usurp) We are all Jacobs, Genesis 27:36And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
  6. Shabbethai (My Sabbaths, hence “Rest”) Mark 2:27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
  7. Hodijah (God is Majesty)  Hebrews 1:3Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
  8. Maaseiah (Work of God) Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
  9. Kelita (Crippled, lacking, Assembly). Sam as Kelaiah (dishonored of God, voice of God?). Ezra 10:23 We are all by nature lacking like Mephibosheth
  10. Azariah (God has Helped) Hebrews13:6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
  11. Jozabad (God has Endowed) Hosea 2:19-20 “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
  12. Hanan (Gracious/Merciful Giver) Hebrews 4:16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
  13. Pelaiah (God does Wonders) Hebrews 2:4God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

It would seem that these 13 men represent all of the believers throughout time, who are viewed by God as His Eternal Church and Bride and are a viewed as a living reflection of Jesus and His attributes. Moreover all believers are commanded by Jesus in the Great Commission to go into the world and preach the gospel as we read in Mark 16:15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” And, based on what we have learned in Nehemiah chapter 8, the believers should preach the Gospel/the Word “distinctly“, and give the “sense“, and make it to be “understood“.

NOTE: Jesus makes all believers “kings” and “priests”, as we read in Revelation 1:5&6 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  This is reiterated in Revelation 5:10, where we see from the preceding verses that Jesus, as the Lamb of God, has redeemed the believers by His shed blood, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

And in 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”

Jesus Opens the Book, Jesus Closes the Book

December 5, 2022

Jesus Fulfilled the First Half of Isaiah 6:2 in Nazareth in Luke 4

In Luke 4:16&17 we read where Jesus came to Nazareth, Jesus’s home town, and on the sabbath day He stood up and opened the book of Isaiah (Esaias in Greek) as we read here, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the bookhe found the place where it was written,

Jesus then began reading from Isaiah 61:12 as is recounted in Luke 4:1821, said, “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. 

And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”  It is clear that after Jesus spoke the Word, that the eyes all the people were locked on Jesus (Jesus is the “Word made flesh” John 1:14) and Jesus spoke into their ears.

Jesus Closed the Book Half Way Through Isaiah 6:2

Very interestingly, what was not read by Jesus in the Luke account, but which is recorded in the second part of the verse of Isaiah 61:2, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) of our God; to comfort (Nahum נָחַם) all that mourn;”  Jesus stopped before making reference to the day of God’s “vengeance” (Naqam נָקָם), which will be Judgment Day…and it most certainly was not fulfilled on when Jesus was reading in the synagogue. That Day of Vengeance (Judgment Day) is still to come…albeit shortly.

We should all pay close attention to these three points… 

1) In the Luke account, It was Jesus Who “opened the book” of Isaiah in verse 17, because it is really only Jesus, as the Son of God, Who can “open” “the book” (as we also read in Revelation, chapter 5); 

2) and it was Jesus Who “closed the book” half way through the second verse of Isaiah 61:2, after which Jesus said “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”; and 

3) The reason that Jesus “closed the book” at that point is because the rest of the verse is pointing directly to Judgment Day, at which time Jesus will bring vengeance for God’s enemies and comfort to the believers.  Jesus had to “close the book” if He was going to say the prophesy was “fulfilled” in their ears that day! 

Jesus could not go any further in the text, and had to stop mid-verse, because Judgment Day is only going to be fulfilled at when Jesus comes back from Heaven the “end of the world”!  That is pretty amazing if anyone stops to think about it! 

Remember also that in Revelation 3:7 we read that only Jesus has the “key of David” and only Jesus Is The One Who “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” and in Revelation 5:5, that Only Jesus “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book“. And regarding God’s sovereignty, these two verses are both consistent with Job 11:10, “If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

What is also a comfort for the believer, is that Jesus said that He would send the “Comforter” the “Spirit of Truth” Who would lead His sheep into “all Truth” and He would speak of Jesus (John 15:26, and John 16:13). Believers are given the promise that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, would open the book (the Bible) for us to see Jesus.  In Luke 4, Jesus specifically said that He would open the eyes of the blind…”recovering of sight to the blind.” See also: Proverbs 25:2Proverbs 20:12Psalms 119:18. Similarly

Finally, it is most interesting that, in Isaiah 34:16, God tells us directly to read “the book” (the Bible),

Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

Note to the reader: This post is excerpted from the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/

The Hallmarks of a True Christian

December 4, 2022

Introduction

In our world today, there are many people who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, sadly, they exhibit sufficient faults in their personalities and daily life conduct, such that they can lead others to denounce and attack them for any real or perceived hypocrisy.  The end result is that it can lead many to question Christianity itself.

First we must understand some realities.  No one, no matter how devout and committed a Christian that a person might be, is ever without sin.  To begin, we need to understand that all humans are by nature sinners, as we read in Romans 3:10-20: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” 

However, the true believer in Jesus Christ is nonetheless cleansed from all sin (along with freedom from the penalty for it) because Jesus paid the full price of that penalty by sacrificing Himself as we read in Romans 3:21-26,

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God [which] is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The Conflict of Two Natures

Does this mean that a true believing Christian is no longer a “sinner”?

No! 1John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

And according to Romans 7:14-25,

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

The Difference Between Spiritual Life and Spiritual Death

Every human being is by nature a sinner, being descended from Adam, who committed the original sin of disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. And while physically alive, every human being is by nature “spiritually” dead.  The transition from naturally existing in spiritual death to eternal spiritual life in Jesus Christ requires the eternal life-giving empowerment of God the Holy Spirit  (which is commonly referred to as being “Born Again”).

This is why we read in Ephesians 2:1-10 whereof Paul is writing to the believers in the church of Ephesus, “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. ¶But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

So, a true believing Christian differs from everyone else as being someone who, by the grace of God alone, responds to the call to repent and cries out to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and to whom God shows that mercy by granting eternal life in Jesus through Jesus’s atoning sacrifice to pay for that person’s sins. The Christian remains in a physical, natural, body, which remains under the curse of physical death. That body remains at odds, or as Paul wrote, at war, with the Holy Spirit, Who is the Gift of God, Who instills that person upon regeneration. The Christian becomes embroiled in a battle to subdue his natural inclinations that lead to sin and death.  That battle is determined to continue until physical death, or the end of the world, whichever comes first.

Christian Fruits of the Spirit

Moreover, a true Christian does not want anything to do with sin in the inward being, but rather desires to obey God, fear God, and keep His commandments.  That means the Christian will approach life differently than the unsaved of the world (those who are not true Christians) because the unsaved are not engaged in an internal war.   They are spiritually dead and therefore cannot be in opposition to the body of sin and death.

The Christian is led by the Holy Spirit of God unto good works, bearing good fruit by manifesting the following attributes and by leading others to eternal salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

Ephesians 5:9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapesof thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Some Hallmarks of the Christian Life

“Charity” or Brotherly Love

There are a number of instructive hallmarks for any true believing Christian. 

First and foremost, all Christians must love the Lord our God, then others as themselves. 

Matthew 22:37 ¶”Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Among them, 1Peter 4:7-11,“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, [even so]  minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;”

And regarding “charity”, it is more correctly translated in our day as meaning true brotherly “love”, 1Corinthian 13:13 ¶And now abideth faithhopecharity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

Romans 14:13, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in [his] brother’s way.

Romans 15:1-2, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification.

1Co 14:20 “¶ Brethren, be not children in understandinghowbeit in malice be ye childrenbut in understanding be men.

Even in the Old Testament there are similar directives for a child of God. Zechariah 8:17 , “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oathfor all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.”

Lowliness and Meekness

In Ephesians 4:1-4, we are instructed by Paul, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Paul writing to Titus with instructions for the establishment of churches and admonitions for the believers Titus 3:1 , “¶Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every goodwork, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

The Christian’s Walk

Unchecked Copy Box Ephesians 4:25-32, “Wherefore putting away lyingspeak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin notlet not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour,working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 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. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Other Admonitions

A true believing Christian will be a student of the Bible to know what it contains because we know, according to 2 Timothy 3:16&17,  that, “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

A Christian will strive to follow this direction as found in 2 Timothy 2:22-26, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

A Christian is a follower of God, having child-like faith as we read in Ephesians 5:1-4, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. ¶But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

A Christian must exhibit brotherly love (“Charity”) because as Paul scribed in 1 Corinthians 13:1, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

A Christian must have reverential awe (“fear”) of the Omnipotent Holy God of creation as we read in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.”

1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

Ephesians 5:11-14, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Profitable Attributes

A long list of key Christian attributes can be found in Romans 12:9-21,

[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly lovein honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. ¶Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. [Be] of the same mind one toward anotherMind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. [Be] not wise in your own conceits. ¶Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all menIf it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed himif he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

All of Romans Chapter 13, Romans 13:1– being subject to earthly government and showing love to others. The last two verses read, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

1Thessalonians 5:22Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Psalms 34:13-16, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The Christian should be willing to lay the life down in worship and obedience to The Mighty and Powerful God of all creation. 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

And then, in 2 Peter 3:12, we see that the believer must continue in the faith and in the work of sharing the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ Alone until Jesus comes back on Judgement Day, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

For more on what it is to be a Christian in this earthly existence, please see:A Good Employee: A Christian Credo

POSTSCRIPT

From another author…describing sincere/unfeigned faith and love from a pure heart that should exemplify the life of every believer:

Deep sincerity — tear-filled sincerity — is an essential marker of spiritual health and the aliveness of our affections, and critical to our gospel mission. The apostle Paul’s ministry is exemplified by his sincere love 2 Corinthians 6:4: “But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

He calls us to an earnest trust in God as he celebrates Timothy’s “sincere faith” (2 Timothy 1:5). It is in this sincere faith that we all must express sincere love for others: “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:” (1Timothy 1:5; see also Romans 12:9; 1 Peter 1:22).

And even if ridiculers turn out to hate knowledge, we live under the authority of divine truth in sincerity, as James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.