If indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. (Colossians 1:23 NASB)
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land." (Exodus 6:1 NASB)
There are 3 possibilities for the salvation of mankind. God could save everybody, God could save nobody, or God could save somebody. Only in one of those 3 possibilities can God truly display all of His attributes and receive the most glory.
The word reconcile means to restore a relationship or cause to coexist in harmony. Reconciliation is needed for mankind because of sin. Reconciliation is provided for mankind on the basis of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. In the 1st chapter of Colossians, we learn some things about this reconciliation that is made possible on the basis of Christ's death on the cross.
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:19-20 NASB)
In this series on spiritual gifts, I have noted that there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit, there are varieties of ministries but the same Lord, there are varieties of effects but the same God who works all things in all persons.
Every Christian has a unique combination of spiritual gifts that combined with their talents and abilities helps them to serve Christ’s church in submission and obedience to God’s Word and to the benefit and needs of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
I submit and subject everything that I am and everything that I do to the Word of God. That is what Christianity is. We are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is through His Word that He exercises His authority over His church during this period of time we call the "Church age."
In continuing the spiritual gifts series, I want to discuss why the need for God to grow our faith is so vital to our removing of "Self" from our Christian life. I have already established that self is one of the greatest barriers to a healthy church. It is also one of the greatest barriers to properly using spiritual gifts in the church.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
This will take us way back to the infancy of my website and ministry. One of the first blog posts I had done back in 2016 when I got started in the website and blogging world was related to the different "KJV Only Groups" and how they differ in their viewpoints and the way in which they operate.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1 NASB)
When we think of barriers we obviously think of something that either blocks or limits something. Usually, this is the blocking of a pathway we are attempting to do down or a blocking off of a section or a room that someone does not intend for us to go into. A barrier can also be a limitation on someone or something that prevents it from growing or developing past a certain point.
It is vitally important that when it comes to our spiritual growth both as individuals and as a church, that we do not add any barriers to the pathway to spiritual maturity and unity. The Christian life is hard enough with the spiritual warfare that we already have to engage in each and every day with Satan that we don't need to add any barriers of our own to the equation.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NASB)
Nobody likes a micro-manager. Especially someone who is a leader by nature. Even someone who is a natural follower has their limits with micro-managing. I would imagine there are certainly those out there that want every single last decision made for them and like to be given full, 100% direction as if they were a mindless robot. However, I think that the vast majority of people in this world want some level of what I commonly call, "Creative Control."
You have no doubt heard the expression, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Not only is this historically and literally true but it provides an object lesson for us all in leadership.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now l live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
#3. We must abandon the entitlement mentality. Your church is not a country club where you pay dues to get your perks and privileges. It is a gospel outpost where you are to put yourself last. Don’t seek to get your way with the music, temperature, and length of sermons. Here is a simple guideline: Be willing to die for the sake of the gospel. That’s the opposite of the entitlement mentality.
Before He could die for us, He had to be born for us. The hope of Christmas can be found in a manger in Bethlehem.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:15-16 NASB)
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NASB)
Man has a sin problem. Man has a righteousness problem in that we don't have it. This poses a serious problem because one day we will stand before the Creator of the universe and we will be judged by God for our life that He has given us.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 NASB)