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Monday: The Challenge to Become — 15 Comments

  1. I wonder if there is a christian living in our time who has the confidence of Paul that if people followed their way of life or became like them these people would be saved. Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, is confident of how he has walked his life. I do not come close. Lord have mercy upon my soul. I am but a sinner.

    • We were all born in sin and shapen in iniquity (Psa 51:5), and therefore we are all sinners. However, 1 Cor 6:10,11 reminds us that we have been WASHED, we have been SANCTIFIED, we have been JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

      If we have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on behalf and His salvation, when God looks at us, He does not see us as sinners, He sins Christ who stands in our place – the Righteous Lord.

      Rom 6:17,18 - But God be thanked that though you WERE slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been SET FREE from sin, you BECAME slaves of righteousness.

      If we look at ourselves, we will see our unworthiness, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, (Heb 12:1,2), if we keep beholding Him 2 Cor 3:18 - beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being TRANSFORMED into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

  2. The gospel we preach should be the gospel we live, it should be in fact our lifestyle. we are not to be as though we are politicians in Christianity who promise one thing and does the opposite. we say should be equalled to how we live and we live should be equalled to the truth that we have received. there must not be any neutrality in Christianity and let non compromise but let this mind that was in Christ Jesus be also in you. Remember that it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his or her conscience but it is more deadly to live your life different from what you have received from God. therefore the question I leave here is, is your life worthy sending to the dying world as true example of a true follower of Jesus? will many be saved or be lost because of your character?

    • "will many be saved or be lost because of your character?"

      I don't believe anyone will be saved or lost because of my character. Else, I would be their savior. Only Jesus saves.

      Is my character a reflection of my own spiritual condition? Yes.

      Can my character and behavior draw others to the saving grace of Christ? Yes, but only by God's will and only by His power (not mine).

      No one who is lost will have the excuse that I caused them to be lost. Christ meets everyone exactly where they have fallen or been pushed and, by His loving grace, offers them redemption.

      Only those who reject Christ's pardon and His gift of eternal life will be lost. As Christ's disciple, I am to lead others to Him because only Jesus can save them.

  3. The Gospel we preach should be about Jesus and him crucified for all. It never should be about how we live. Look at psalm 40:12, King David said there: "For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me." this was king David's life. This is my life. I need Jesus. King David needed Jesus too. The gospel is about taking Jesus to others to feel and fill their need of him just like I feel and get my need filled of him. Yes, the life that results should reflect a better life, but that should never be the focus at all.

    • I think that we need to make a distinction between being saved and communicating the Gospel to others. The Gospel is indeed about Jesus, but we are asked to preach the Gospel to others when we are saved. The best way of doing that is by living the Gospel. The world is tired of "Jesus talk", but is hungry for "Jesus Living". By this shall all men know you are my disciples if you love one another.

  4. I would like one day to be confident like Paul to have lived a life Jesus lived, may the Lord help me today because my sins are many and so heavy upon me. May God give me the faith I need to change and be born again. I really need to be saved. I trust God will help me. Please brothers and sisters pray for me.

    • ZPG Ngwane

      You said:

      my sins are many and so heavy upon me...
      May God give me the faith I need to change and be born again...
      I really need to be saved...
      I trust God will help me...
      Please brothers and sisters pray for me...

      My heart goes out to you. I was touched by your post, and I immediately started
      praying for you. I want to share some promises and assurances straight from the
      word of God. I did not just want to give you the references so I have laid out the entire passages.

      I am praying that the Lord touches you even now as you read this, draws you to Himself, gives you the desires of your heart to be saved, and forgives, cleanses, washes and sanctifies you wholly in Himself.

      I am praying that you believe that He can and will do it, if you believe it with your whole heart, throw yourself at His feet, and soak up His forgiveness, mercy, grace, renewing, and the power He gives to live a holy life.

      I am praying that you rise up in newness of life that Christ can give you along with the assurance that you ARE saved by His blood.

      If you have never accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, do so right now, and He will give you eternal life RIGHT NOW.

      He will forgive, save, cleanse, and KEEP you until the day of His appearing.

      Despite the weight of your sin, our Lord invites us to “Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isa 1:18.

      1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive
      us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

      Eph 2:8,9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
      yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

      Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13 - And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name
      of the LORD Shall be saved.’

      Acts 16:31 - So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

      1 Cor 1:2 - To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are SANCTIFIED in Christ Jesus, CALLED TO BE SAINTS, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

      1 Cor 6:9 – 11 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you. But you were WASHED, but you were SANCTIFIED, but you were JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

      2 Tim 1:12 - For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not
      ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to
      keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

      May the peace of our Everlasting God, rest on you, draw you to Himself, give you peace, and seal you in the decision you have now made to trust and dwell in Him.

      May God richly bless you. I am adding you to my prayer list.

      • Fred, if I could be what you said, I would do it. If I could copy your post to Facebook for all to see it. I would. That was an awesome post. Thank you. I try so hard to be an example of a good person at work, at home, to my children, to my grandchildren. I pray that people see God in me everyday b4 I walk I into work. Excellence is what I try to be so that one day I want to see Jesus. I am a sinner though, and perfect I am not. But I wanted you to know that the post touched me.

  5. I have a question brethren: Paul himself says in Philippians:3.12
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
    Why does Paul advice the Galatians to follow his example because he's emulating Christ? Is it possible for we Christians/human beings to arrive at a point where we can judge ourselves to be a perfect example of Christ and confidently beseech our Bible students to follow emulate us like Paul is doing? This I ask with all humility.

    • I do not think Paul is considering himself to be perfect, but after all the things he has done – he was a “murderer,” a persecutor of the saints, arrogant, and probably much more, he has what we may call a “long record” of being a “terrible person.”

      He is speaking to individuals who may not have done many of the terrible things he had done. He is saying if God can turn him around – a base sinner like him – and give him salvation and grace, God can do the same for them.

      He is encouraging them to follow his example of forsaking all that this world can offer, taking punishment when it was not deserved, allowing himself to mistreated by his “brothers in Christ” for the cause of Christ, giving total surrender to Christ, and trusting completely in His salvation.

      He could have held a high position in the church’s society ladder, or the Pharisaical community, but he forsook it all that he may preach Christ and Him crucified.

    • I take Paul's counsel to mean that just like he looked to Jesus and did all in his power to be like him and also to follow him; that is what he wanted all believers to do. That did not and does not mean that Paul actually expected himself and others to reach a sinless and flawless and perfectly righteous perfection this side of Jesus' second coming. EGW herself wrote and said that: "The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes, for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to his perfect nature." this side of Jesus' second coming we will never reach a flawlessly sinless perfection. That will not happen until Jesus gives us an eternal and incorruptible body at his second coming.

      • Pete, what does the Bible say concerning the condition of God's remnant before Jesus comes to receive them?
        Jude 24
        Eph 5:25-27
        Zeph 3:12, 13
        Rev 12:17, 14:12

        We are living in the Day of Atonement, and one sin remaining in the life when probation closes will leave that soul without a Remedy for sin and it's wages. God banned Adam and Eve from the tree of life for a small sin, and will not allow any of their seed into the pureness of heaven for eternity while even one sin remains harbored by them. Sin will not be found in the presence of God(Ps 15, etc), and we must put it away in this life by God's grace. It is through His "exceeding great and precious promises" that we may become "partakers of the Divine Nature", for this is the will of God, even our sanctification.(2 Peter 1:4, 1 Thess 4:3) Notice also that all the promises of Jesus to the 7 churches are "to him that overcomes", and John wrote that "this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith". And never forget that "with God, all things are possible".

        I would suggest reading also "Early Writings" pg 71, since you mentioned Ellen's comment on becoming near to Jesus. There is a purpose for the drawing near, so we might confess and repent of all that we would never notice while being far from Him. The angel said His name would be Jesus, "for He shall save His people from their sins". He didn't say "most of their sins" or "some of their sins" did he? Don't look to anyone for perfection, look to Jesus, who alone can save any from their sins. How exceeding great and precious is this promise to any sinner who would be saved?!

        No one will feel spotless or even be focused on that, by faith they will be yoked with Jesus and follow wherever He leads them. This is the perfection He looks for so He can come to bring such people to where He is, with our Heavenly Father.

  6. Karen

    Feel free to copy the post.

    My answer to you in two words - stop "trying."

    I understand exactly how you feel. I have been an Adventist all my life and only in the last 3 years or so have I gained an understanding of the what God's grace and mighty power on behalf of His children means.

    The problem was I "tried" to do everything. I "tried" to keep the Sabbath, "tried" to keep the Ten Commandments, "tried" not to sin, and so on.

    I learned that my focus was on the "I". It was similar to the children of Israel, who said "All the words which the LORD has said WE will do.” Exod 24:3, 7; Deut 5:27, Jer 42:20. Their problem was "WE" will do it, similar to me "trying" to do it.

    I was seeking to do the work of not sinning. I was too focused on not sinning and not enough on the pure nature and intercession of Jesus the Righteous.

    Then somewhere in a writing I came across the thought that Jesus is not expecting me to "try" to do anything.

    Nowhere in Scripture has He said to "try" to keep the Sabbath, or the Ten Commandments, or even "try" not to sin.

    Instead, He offered me an invitation - Matt 11:28-30 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

    I found that if I "rest" in Him and take on His yoke, He accomplishes the work in me. It is interesting that Jesus said that, then immediately followed up that point on "rest" with His trip through the grainfields on Sabbath. (But that's another subject.)

    The key lesson for me was that God expects me to "rest" in Him, trust in Him - Psa 18:2, believe in Him - John 6:29, commit my way to Him - Psa 34:5, and I found that it is God who does the work in me both to will and to do for His good pleasure - Phil 2:13. He will "keep" the Sabbath and "keep" the Ten Commandments through me. He puts the hedge around me - Psa 139:5 and provides a way around temptation for me - 1 Cor 10:13. I still miss the mark more than I would want to admit, but I immediately throw myself on Him, and He instantly forgives me and restores me to a relationship in Him.

    The Lord was saying to me, cease "trying," cease from my own works, and bask in the rest He offers. Heb 4:9-10 - There certainly remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered God's true rest has himself also CEASED FROM HIS WORKS as God did from His.

    I have added you to my prayer list.

    May God bless, guide, and lead you into His path of and righteousness, and give you the peace that passes all understanding.

  7. I feel that Paul was telling the Galatians (as well as us, who have been in the church for a long time) that they are ready to move for feeding on spiritual milk, to receiving spiritual strong meat, which would mean to rely on God's Holy Spirit more than on the law. Because of their spiritual condition, the Corinthians could not handle strong meat, Paul had to feed them on milk, "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 1 Corinthians 3:2".

    However, the Galatians were at a point in their spiritual life that they could handle more than just milk. Paul wanted them to desire to fed on strong meat; however, they were content with the milk and did not want to advance beyond that. He warns that failing to advance our spiritual life into stronger meat in Hebrews 5:2, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." The Galatians were at a crossroad in their spiritual journey in Christ; either to continue to grow in Christ by being led by God's Holy Spirit (as Paul and the other disciples were), or to continue on spiritual milk and "have the form of godliness but denying the power thereof".

    The Galatians were supposed to be at the level of disciple (or teacher), instead of new covents (students). It's like a baby who is able to walk, but refused to walk; she would prefer to have someone continue to carry her around. However, what the baby doesn't realize is that her body will continue to grow, to be point that she will be a burden on others because she will become too heavy to carry. Likewise, we, present-day christians (little c) refuse to grow over into full discipleship. We have worn out many pastors and other leaders because they have had to cover us around.

    We all have to decide, as the Galatians, that we will accept our full Discipleship in Christ, and we will follow the Holy Spirit leading. Just think of what God could do for our churches, communities, and in our own families (so many of our families are not in the church today), if only we would accept our full Discipleship.

    God's blessing to all. And may God have mercy on us. Remember that Sister White said somewhere in her writings (paraphrasing), "what we fail to do in times of peace, we will have to do in the time of trouble", which is why I say - God, please have mercy on us, and show us the way to full Discipleship.


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