Christians, Holy?

sad lady
“When was the last time you felt you were holy, set apart and faithful?”

 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:”
~Ephesians 1:1 NKJV~

In verse one we find that Paul (formerly Saul) is laying out his testimony to the Ephesians. He is reminding them who he is and how he was called by God. This establishes his authority as an Apostle (Find out more in Acts 9).

He tells us he was called not by man or by anyone else other than the will of God. It is not by our will that we become ministers of God. God is the one who calls and prepares His people to do the work of ministry, whether that is vocational ministry or lay ministry (ministry coming from christians who are not called by God to vocational ministry).

Paul then uses the word that we translate as “saints.” There is much misunderstanding about what saints are in our culture today. Saints are not the people the Catholic Church calls saints. The word in Greek means the Holy ones, those set apart to God. That means all Christians. But some would say that they don’t feel holy or set apart. To make matters worse Paul also describes them as faithful. When was the last time you felt you were holy, set apart and faithful? If you are honest your answer should be in the negative category. But the key to this verse comes with the words “in Christ Jesus”.

Jesus is God made flesh. It is only in his taking of our sins upon himself (imputation) at the cross that we can be seen as holy (Penal Substitutionary Work).He paid your debt to that He did not owe, so that you may be seen as holy, set apart and faithful. A saint before God. Only in/through Jesus and his work are you seen this way. You can’t work to gain or keep your salvation. It is by Christ alone, in faith alone.

Through Jesus we can rejoice that we are His separated ones. This verse should not be taken negative, but joyous! We are saved and set free from sin and alive, set apart, holy and faithful due to the work of Jesus at the cross!

What Are We To Do in Times of Joy and Despair?

What Are We To Do in Times of Joy and Despair?
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

 

Luke 5:16 (KJV)

16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

 

Luke 22:39–46 (KJV)

39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

 

 

 

In Luke 5 we find that Jesus is teaching and He is becoming wildly popular with the crowds, but in the middle of all the frenzy and fervor over Him we find an interesting scenario. Verse sixteen states that He withdrew for prayer.

Today if we are becoming popular (whether it be in ministry, work, or whatever the case may be) we tend to stay right in the thick of it, lapping it up and being changed because of the fervor and frenzy.

Now look at Luke 22:39-46. We see another scenario in which Jesus withdrew for prayer. He was physically, mentally, and spiritually tormented by what was about to happen and we find that He withdrew from everyone to seek the Father in prayer.

So what is the principle we can learn here? No matter what the issues of life, we need to withdraw sometimes and pray. We can let seemingly good situations puff us up in pride and ego and we can let bad situations destroy us, but we have a choice in both situations. If we withdraw and pray we will find that we can become better only in God’s power.

The key to life no matter what the situation is to realize that WE ARE NOTHING! Once we come to terms with this we can start our journey to become better. The problem is that far too often, unlike Christ, we don’t stop to do an inventory of our lives before God, and because of this way we tend to fall into self-deception and think we are alright, whether good time or bad, and this is a dangerous place find yourself! Where are you today? Have you done this inventory in your life? If not, start now. I guarantee God will show up and you won’t fall into the trap of pride or the trap of despair. Before you brush this off let me remind you of the nature of self-deception. The problem with being deceived is that you don’t know you’re deceived until it is revealed to you. Draw close to God now. James 4:8 promises that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.