Steps of Worship

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In the salvation of man’s soul there are two necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is extremely significant, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation. Though God’s part is extremely significant, man’s part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man’s part can clearly set forth in the following steps:

  • Hear the Gospel. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? “Romans 10:14).
  • Believe. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Repent of past sins. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent” Acts 17:30).
  • Confess Jesus as Lord. “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:36-37).
  • Be baptized for the remission of sins. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”(Acts 2:38).
  • Live a Christian Life. “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).

To Christ Belongs Our Love And Devotion

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Our Lord paid a serious price for our redemption from sin.  When we think of the extreme suffering He endured to purchase our freedom from sin’s penalty, our hearts should overflow with love for Him. When we realize that He did it all for us and not for himself, it should be easy to come to worship, to participate in ministry, to not gossip, to turn the other cheek, to put others first and to give according to how we’ve been blessed financially.

There are many voices in the world calling for our attention, but the only voice that should dominate our hearing is the voice of Christ.  Our jobs, hobbies and even our families should never have priority over the things of the kingdom.

I heard a story about an orphaned boy who was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the boy’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.

Lake Ida, many voices are calling for our attention. Your friends want your attention, you family wants your attention, your activities want your attention, your job also wants your attention.  But also among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion.

All That We Need To Grow

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When one comes to Christ and becomes a member of the Christian family through water baptism, that individual receives all that he or she needs to grow toward spiritual maturity.

So many of us fail to realize “you are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10). You do not have to look for something else, something new, something different, and something in addition to Christ.

What is needed in the Christian life is to continue to grow in what we received when we were baptized into  Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote, “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to sharer in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:9-12).

There were false teachers telling these Christians they had to have some additional experience in the Christian life. They were suggesting that Christ is not enough. The apostle Paul writes this letter to refute that nonsense. Christ is all-sufficient for every believer in everything that we need.

Where do we find this “spiritual wisdom and understanding?” We discover it “in Christ.” The false teachers were saying you find it in their exclusive possession of their kind of knowledge. The apostle Paul said, “No, you find it in an intimate personal knowledge of the Son of God.” This knowledge is not a hidden secret to be whispered in the ear of an initiate. It is open to all and it is to be broadcast to the world. Paul’s prayer is that every Christian be filled with this knowledge. The end result of such knowledge is to “walk worthy of the Lord.” What we know will affect the way we live. Right thinking leads to right conduct.

Paul says that you will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual, wisdom, and understanding so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. That comes from the study of the Word of God under the illumination of the Holy Spirit. We can please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Spiritual growth is not automatic, but we have been equipped us by  the Word and the Spirit.

The (so-called) best person in any church knows well that he is unable to come into the presence of God on the basis of his own self-merit. No one can receive anything from God on the grounds of his or her own goodness. However, on the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ even the worst sinner who turns from his sin and accepts Christ as his Savior can come with boldness and be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might.” That “strength with all power, according to His glorious might” comes from God. It is what God gives us “in Christ.” It is possible only on the basis of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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