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Daily Bread - April 25, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 07:19
1 John 3:1 - Look at what amazing love the Father has given to us that we
should be called the children of God. The world does not know us because it
did not know Him.

It is one thing when men call themselves the sons of God; it is altogether
a different thing to be called a son of God by God Himself. Our
relationship with God cannot be better expressed than that which was spoken
by Jesus when He said, "But go to my brethren, and say to them: 'I ascend
to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God'" (John 20:17).
Although the word for 'children' (tekna) is used here instead of 'sons'
(uios) as in Galatians 4:6, the same meaning is implied. Although Jesus
Christ is the eternal God, He became the only begotten Son of God, and
without Him no man or woman can become a child of God. Through Jesus, the
Spirit of God comes upon us and changes us, and we become begotten of God,
and are made family members to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2:12-14).
Whether we are male or female, we find our place in God through Christ
Jesus, the Son of God.

God has made us members of His family (Ephesians 3:14-15). We are not
children of God because we were born into the world; but we are children of
God because we were born into the Kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit. It is
essential to the New Testament doctrine and faith in Christ Jesus that we
know we have been born of God (John 3:5-8; 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 5:1, 4,
18; 1 Peter 1:3, 23). More than anything else, God has purposed that we
take on the identity of His Son - and that of His family (Ephesians 3:15; 2
Corinthians 6:18). As the children of God, we are not only privileged to be
heirs and co-inheritors with Jesus Christ, but also empowered to be
conformed to His image, Who is the first born among many brethren (Romans
8:17; 29, John 1:12).
 
Daily Bread - April 24, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 24 April 2017 08:53
1 John 2:29 - If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone
that does righteousness is begotten of Him.

The message of walking in the light as He is in the light is reiterated as
righteousness. The test of being begotten of God is doing righteousness on
the scale of His righteousness. We are the people of God that are created
in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24), as well as those who
have been given the righteousness of God (Romans 3:22), and who are made
the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Therefore, as the test of
those who truly had fellowship with God was witnessed by walking in the
light as He is in the light, so also walking in righteousness just as He
walked in righteousness is proof. If we know God, we are going to do
righteousness, which will be repeated and expounded upon in the verses
following in Chapter 3 - "let no one deceive you, he that does
righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous" (1 John 3:7).
 
Daily Bread - April 22, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 22 April 2017 10:04
John 5:14 - After this Jesus found him in the temple, and he said to him,
See now! You have become well; sin no more, so that a worse thing does not
come upon you.

Jesus told two people, in no uncertain terms, that they were to "sin no
more." The first person that He said this to was this crippled man who He
had healed. The second person Jesus told to "sin no more" was the woman
taken in the act of adultery (John 8:11). Jesus was so insistent about sin
being totally removed that He said, "If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away; for it is better for you to lose one of your
members, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29).
Although the man in this passage of scripture had been a paralytic for 38
years, a far worse thing could happen to him if he allowed sin to continue
in his life. More than likely, Jesus was referring to hell rather than just
another sickness. Jesus was as much interested in this man's soul as He was
in his physical body; and if this man was going to make the Kingdom of God,
then sin would have to come to an end.

The arms of the Lord Jesus were wide open to forgive the woman who was
taken in the act of adultery, but He demanded that she "sin no more." Under
the law, the woman should have been stoned so that sin could be crushed out
of the heart of Israel (Leviticus 20:10). However, Jesus would crush sin
out of her heart, and everyone else who would receive, through His death
burial and resurrection. He, through His death, destroyed the power of the
devil, so that sin should no longer reign over the heart of man (Hebrews
2:14; Romans 6:11-13; 2 Timothy 1:10). He made provision for anyone who
would call upon his Name to have their lives transformed by the Holy
Spirit. Through the Name of Jesus and the power of His blood, we are
transformed from darkness to light, from death to life, and from sin to
righteousness (Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1
Peter 2:24; Romans 6).

One of the great tragedies among many ministries today is that they have
embraced sin as a continuous and inevitable part of their lives. They have
left off the good fight of faith and surrendered to the influence of sin,
supposedly equipping their people to better deal with their failure.
Unfortunately, what these ministries do not understand is that the wages of
sin is death (Romans 6:23). They fail to realize that Jesus came and set us
free from sin so that we could live unto righteousness (1 Peter 2:24; 2
Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 6:13, 18). They have adopted a similar belief
to those who opposed Paul when he wrote, "Shall we continue in sin that
grace might abound? By no means! How can we who are dead (separated) to sin
live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2, 15-16). Paul said, "All who have
sinned without the law will perish without the law; and all who have sinned
under the law will be judged by the law," which also demanded death (Romans
2:12). Paul was so radical against sin that he said if anyone sins rebuke
them in front of the whole church so that everyone will fear (1 Timothy
5:20). Peter makes the argument that if God did not spare the angels who
sinned, nor the ancient cities in the days of Noah and who also overthrew
Sodom and Gomorrah, what do you think will happen to sinners today who have
an insatiable desire for sin? In conclusion, Peter expresses how God feels
about sin when he says they are, "accursed children" (2 Peter 2:4-6, 14).
 
Daily Bread - April 21, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 21 April 2017 09:30
1 John 2:1 - My little children, I write these things to you so that you do
not sin. But if anyone sins, we have a Paraclete at the Father's side,
Jesus Christ the righteous.

The words used for sin are found 267 times (hamartia-173; hamartema- 4;
hamartano-43; hamartolos-47) in the New Testament. In not one single
instance does God describe sin as something that belongs in the lives of
His people. Rather, God has condemned sin and demands that it have no place
in the lives of His people. Could there be an example of a more damning
heresy and deception in the church than to teach people that God excuses
sin?

The good news, that should cause every heart to rejoice, is that
righteousness has now come to everyone through Christ Jesus! As sin came
into everyone's heart through Adam's transgression, righteousness has now
been given through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12, 17). Now, after being filled
with the life and goodness of God, if we sin, God will forgive us if we
confess our sins (1 John 1:9, 2:1). Once again, if sin were something that
God's people were to accept as an everyday expectation of God's will, then
there would have been an excellent opportunity to suggest such a doctrine
in 1 John 2:1. Instead of saying, "If you sin", John would have said, "When
you sin." Certainly, there was no one more radical against sin in the life
of the believer than John (1 John 1, 3:4-9, 5:18).

Could there be any greater shame placed upon our lives than to be a part of
robbing others of godly sorrow and stealing from them the knowledge of God
(2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 10:5)? What a great
injustice we would have done to others if we taught them that they have no
power or dominion over sin -that the deceitfulness of sin is somehow
stronger, or more to be desired, than the life that is in Christ Jesus. We
would be responsible for their inability to resist the devil, and would be
to blame for having set them up to develop a hard heart against the
convictions of the Holy Spirit. The judgment upon those who would
participate in such wickedness will indeed be great. It would have been
better to have never been born than to cause one of God's little children
to be defenseless against a raging enemy like Satan.

The doctrine of sin is not an insignificant doctrinal issue, but the focus
of why Jesus died! The subject of the elimination of sin is a central
concern in the New Testament. Please listen, if we willingly persist in sin
after having received the knowledge of the truth there remains no more
sacrifice for sin, but rather a fearful prospect of judgment and a fury of
fire that will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26-27).
 
Daily Bread - April 20, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 20 April 2017 09:57
1 John 2:27-28 - And the anointing that you have received from Him abides
in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but just as the
anointing teaches you about everything, and is no lie, and just as it has
taught you, you shall abide in Him. And now little children, abide in Him;
so that when He shall appear, you will have confidence, and not be ashamed
before Him at His coming.

The Anointing and Abiding in Him - Part 3

The Holy Spirit's instruction and guidance is all focused on us living our
lives in Christ Jesus. Abiding in Christ means we live His life. The terms
of the covenant that Jesus made with us are that we abide in Him and He
abides in us (John 15:4a). It is essential that we recognize that our whole
lives consist by Him, and we accept this great grace that has been given to
us to live our our lives and have our whole identity in Christ Jesus. We
are given a continual supply of His love, His joy, His peace, and His
relationship with the Father; but we must learn to obey and yield ourselves
to Him! This life is not even possible until we are willing to be who He
has called us to be and view our only reason for living as to do the will
of the Father. All these spiritual blessings and divine riches are ours,
but we must choose to always have them by choosing to live our lives in
Christ. We must not live for ourselves, but for Him. Truly, if we loose our
life, we can have His. When we accept and surrender to the life that was
purchased for us in Christ Jesus, we will not live unto ourselves, but unto
Him who died and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15). We are His living
epistles, and we carry the responsibility to allow Him to be manifested
through us (2 Corinthians 3:3).

In the Old Testament only a select and special group of men were anointed
to be either a priest, a king, or a prophet (Exodus 28:41, 40:13; 1 Samuel
9:16, 10:1, 16:13; 1 Kings 1:39, 19:16; Psalm 105:15). But now, something
far greater has been made available. Today, anyone who is willing is given
the opportunity to be anointed to be a child of God and baptized in the
fullness of His glory and presence -an anointing to dwell in Christ Jesus!
Just as in the Old Testament, the Spirit of the Lord came upon us; but
instead of receiving a special ability to be a priest, king, or prophet, we
are born of God and empowered to be the sons of God. When we are born of
God, we become a new creation, and are called the children of God (John
1:12; 3:3-6). This is a special gift belonging only to us now in Christ,
for no such authority belonged to those of Old Testament times.

When we are born of God, we are given a special anointing to walk as the
sons and daughters of the Most High. The anointing that we have received
abides in us, and gives us the insight and understanding to know how to
abide in Jesus. Jesus told us that without Him, we could do nothing; and
therefore, it is essential that we know how to abide in Him, so that our
whole life consists of those things that belong to God (John 15:5). The
anointing that we have received causes us to understand how to be led by
the Holy Spirit, who has come to lead us into all of the truth and to
reveal all that the Lord Jesus has freely given us (John 16:13-15; Romans
8:14).

The prophet Jeremiah also revealed that those of the New Covenant would be
taught by God (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:11; John 6:45; 1 Thessalonians
4:9). The prophet Ezekiel declared that we would receive a new heart and a
new spirit, and that God would put His Spirit within us, so that we would
be able to walk in His degrees and keep His judgments (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
Simply believe what God has said, and give yourself to walk in the nature
of Christ: to love like He loves, rejoice in His joy, and walk in His
peace. Let His Word abide in you by filling yourself with the things that
are written in the Bible. Recognize that His words are the instructions of
life. Whatever He says, do it; and the same kind of miracle that turned the
water into wine will be revealed to you so that you can walk in the
heavenly realm. There is no greater life than the life of God, so choose to
walk with God and to dwell in the life of Christ Jesus, and God's manifest
presence will be revealed in you!
 
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