The Power of Grace Ministries

February 21

The death of Jesus tore down the veil of separation between man and God, but it also tore down the veil of separation between brothers in Christ be it Jews or Gentiles. We should love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of the denomination we choose to worship in.

Hebrews 3:13-14
13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

 

                These two verses are pivotal points for a Christians walk, the first is straight forward, but sometimes hard to do and the second often becomes misunderstood and is used by the Devil to keep people stuck in works for salvation. Christians need to remember that we are sojourners here on earth, 1 Peter 2:9-11. As such we need to consider the difficulties of living in a foreign land with different morays, customs, and even language. If you notice how people from other countries tend to gravitate to areas in the US or areas within a city where other people like themselves are already living; you will see verse 13 in living action. There is much comfort in community especially when trying to rebuild a life in a foreign land. Christians are not much different than foreigners. Sure we speak the same language after we become born again, but we begin to use it in a different manner. Instead of taking God’s name in vane we say “praise God”, instead of “I am catching a cold”, we should be saying “I am not receiving this cold from the enemy”.  Instead of saying “These colds seem to hang on forever”, we can learn from others how to begin saying “by His stripes I am healed from this cold”. See the difference; you are still using the same basic language, just using it differently. 1 Peter 5:5 tells us “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."

I have heard some pastors and even elders use the first half of this verse to hold people, under them in a humbled state, but that is not what Peter is talking about. We are to be submissive to one another, all alike. To be submissive is not to be a slave to a person’s every wish, but Peter is telling us to have a servant’s heart toward each other and to show a special reverence to your brother or sister in the Lord. To exhort a person you are lifting them up and it is always easier naturally to get your center of gravity under that of the person you are trying to lift instead of towering offer the top of them and just using your arm strength to pull them up. The same principle applies in the spiritual in that when you exhort someone you are attempting to support them to the next level through Godly lifting. There was an insurance TV add the showed random acts of kindness and the effects it has on the recipients lives. Being kind is easy, but once you try to openly encourage someone you may not know well in the name of Jesus, you will find that more difficult. The reason is you are using a new language, a Godly language and it needs to be exercised. I guarantee you that if you change your communication patterns to people around you and begin practicing your new Godly way of communication, especially with likeminded believers; you will find yourself in fewer battles with your sinful flesh. Jesus told us that in Matthew 15:11 that it is what comes out of a man that defiles a man; flip that verse around and you will see that if Godly communication comes out of a man so will Godly actions.

                There should be no doubt that we have become partakers with Christ when we become born again and almost everyone that has a true touch from God will say this. There is often a difference in enthusiasm between a new believer and one that has been born again for a long time. A new believer feels they can conquer the world and many “old” believers act like the world is on their shoulders. Our walk with Jesus should be just the opposite. The more faith you exercise the spiritually stronger you will be. It is not the sin that pulls us down because all of our sin has been forgiven. Verse 14 and Hebrews 3:6 are encouraging the continuance of faith for our salvation. It is not our sin after we become born again that will cost us our salvation, if that were the case the best thing that could happen to a brand new convert would be to drop dead right where they stand once they make their confession for Jesus. James 2:10 tells us that if we fail even in one point of the law we are guilty of ALL of the law, so sin is not what will defeat us, it is unbelief and doubt.

Moses lead several million Jews out of Egypt and performed numerous signs during the process, but only two men from the original men that came out of Egypt made it to the promise land. There were only three people that believed God would do what He said He would do. Moses believed God would deliver them into the promise land full of giants, but he did not believe that only speaking to the rock the second time in the wilderness would produce water. Since he struck the rock the first time and it worked as God said, he struck it the second time in disbelief and it cost him the ability to enter in. Sin can and will harden your heart and the hardening of your heart can cause you to denounce your salvation, but the sin in itself will not keep you out of heaven. In fact only a mature Christian can denounce their salvation because you have to fully understand what you have to throw it away. You can’t throw away what you do not own. Hebrews 6:4-6 is describing a mature Christian that denounces their salvation and once that is done there is no other means for salvation. A baby does not know they have even messed in their diaper and once you get older you can still have an accident, but to make a conscience decision without some kind of external force to soil your britches is a person that has lost their mind. Sin left unchecked will cause even a mature Christian to lose their mind, the mind of Christ, that Paul tells us we have in 1 Corinthians 2:16.

                A person will strengthen their faith and their walk through exhortation of others in Christ. In doing so you will be stirring up in your spirit, what Jesus has done for you, Philippians 4:8. Anytime we ignore a sin in our life it can cause a hardening of our heart, but unbelief in what God has said He did on the cross through His Son Jesus is spiritual suicide. Falling into works through following man’s rules; over living in grace is the same as unbelief.