Sunday, July 24, 2016

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness

James 2:23
and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;" and he was called the friend of God.

Amen! Amen! Amen!

If you are a believer, God sees you as righteous and you are his friend. Let's all sing a song!

We can fill stadiums with screaming believers, planting seeds in the millions, supposedly having all the power of God behind us, but cannot impact a society! (Just look at this godless society). How is that possible? What do believers believe?

2 Timothy 3:5 tells us that some will be "holding a form of godliness, but denying its power."

Can church people be hypnotized/bewitched by people who are deemed to be ministers of God because they are media-friendly and have made a name for themselves? (Some are deceitful workers... Do you have enough word/truth in you to spot them? - 2 Corinthians 11:13-14) The believers in Galatia certainly were not immune to bewitching by some wicked men (Galatians 3:1). Do people today have more power to hijack their followers' minds and plant in them seeds of death? Are people today more likely to study the scriptures to find what is truth (Acts 17:11)? Be on your guard as the scriptures warn repeatedly. Can you recall having ever been cautious with the messages you are receiving, as "from the Lord", through people you may have idolized? Either towards TV preacher or your pastor dad, idolatry in any form is sin and a snare. Trust in man is perilous (Jeremiah 17:5). You can't afford to follow a blind man if you have some seed of light in you (Matthew 15:14). A man who calls himself a man of God is to be your servant, and the word/truth that gives you light leads you to know who is who around you that is ready to minister to you. You shall know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). But you must study the word, meditate upon it, be hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 2:15
Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth.


Let's go back to this word:
James 2:23
and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;" and he was called the friend of God.

Now let's learn to study in context. We will take a handful of verses to situate what James is saying:

James 2:20-24
20. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? 21. Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22. You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 23. and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;" and he was called the friend of God. 24. You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not by faith alone.

Ok, some will see the word "works" in there and will be gnashing their teeth like those who killed Stephen (Acts 7:54). They will throw in this:

Ephesians: 2. 8. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9. not by works, so that no one can boast.

And by doing this, the James passage is to them as though they had never read it. They cannot study it. They are full of fear with the word "works" in the way it's used. All the work they care about is the "finished work on the cross". Indeed, they are bewitched and put to sleep. They do not have a sound mind. No one can do the work that Jesus has done. Do trust that it is done, but being called a "follower" or "disciple" requires you to do something: the works of obedience that go with your faith!

Acts 26:19-20
19. "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20. but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

What? Doing "works" worthy of repentance? I thought you only needed to say the sinner's prayer to be saved... Who is the liar? Who is a false prophet/teacher in this day? You study and you decide.

This is the link you may be missing even after decades sitting in church under false teachings:
Abraham obeyed God. His works were his acts of obedience to God. Faith implies the trust to follow God's voice and the love to obey his will. Sin is disobedience. You cannot have that in a loving relationship with God. And if you were in such relationship with the Father, your sin is unfaithfulness. A sinner's mindset is not a believer's mindset. An obedient servant's mindset, that of one who is in submission to and conformed to his Master's will, is what should be the mindset of one who is said to believe in Jesus, and even has obeyed Him to be filled with his Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Acts 5:32), the only way a person can be said to belong to Christ (Romans 8:9).

John 3:36
The one who believes in the Son has eternal life: and the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God remains on him.

Some did not enter the promised land because of unbelief:
Hebrews 3:19
We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.

What do you think that means? These people saw God's hand and power more than any other on the face of the earth, so we are not talking about atheists here. They were disobedient!

Are you a believer? What do you believe? Must you obey God or just "believe"? Again, what do you believe or what is "believing" to you? Has the good news reached you? (serious question)

Let's read this again:
James 2:19-24
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Luke 6:46-49
46. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say? 47. Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and does them, I will show you who he is like. 48. He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock. 49. But he who hears, and doesn't do, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."

1 Peter 4:17-18
17. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don't obey the Good News of God? 18. "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?"

You'd better don't call yourself a sinner if you are in a loving relationship with God (e.g. Galatians 2:17; Romans 5:6-9), if you are "in Christ", and that'd better be true too, not just taking a label.

Make sure you obey God and respond to his John 3:16 sacrificial love demonstrated towards you.

John 14:15
If you love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:14
You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.

There is no faith to speak of, no "believing" without a heart to obey God. If Jesus is your Lord, you have repented and you are done doing your own thing. You don't honor God with your lips (Matthew 15:8); you mean what you say when you say "Your kingdom come! Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!" The walk as a follower of Jesus (John 8:12; Luke 9:23 - read those) is not about claiming that you are "covered by the blood", and that nobody can judge you (the word judges you - John 12:48 - don't kill the messenger - Galatians 4:16), while continuing with life of sin. There is no good news in that. The first part of Romans 6:23 tells you:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have you been born again?

1 John 5:18
We know that whoever is born of God doesn't sin, but he who was born of God keeps himself, and the evil one doesn't touch him.


2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 


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