#Children of God

Roots and Fruits – Children of God

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Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chains are preventing you from soaring.  

You were designed to fly according to your new birth in Christ.

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Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 3:7-10

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One of the most difficult sections of the Bible to interpret is 1 John. This is the second look at the purpose of right living. We already looked at right living (1 John 1:5−2:2) and we learned that known sin in the life of a believer is a barrier to a close walk with God, but through genuine confession of that sin, the barrier is removed. 

In this further development of right living (1 John 2:29−3:10) we can see that when a Christian knowingly sins, he is acting out of character. He is living contrary to God’s design for him. He’s a golden eagle living like a prairie chicken, chained to the earth. 

So, if a Christian who knowingly sins is acting out of character and does not enjoy fellowship with our Lord, our question should be, “What does a child of God do, then? What is the sign or fruit of his or her actions?” The answer is found in verse 7: “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7). Just as God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all, because it is His nature, in the same way, if you see someone doing divine righteousness you can know it is coming from God’s divine nature in that person. In other words, the person doing divine righteousness is born again, he has God’s divine nature. John goes from the deeds to the character, from the fruit to the root. 

Divine roots produce divine fruits.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22
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Having God’s divine nature does not mean that we are exactly like God. We have some of His nature which was given to us when we were born again. He shares some of His nature and through us He can produce the fruits of the Spirit in us.

As children of God, we were designed to soar in the sky, to display God’s essence all around us. God is love, His Spirit in us produces love. God is holy, that is why He wants us to be holy, just as He is holy. God living in us produces divine fruit. It is natural, it is not mechanic, it is not something that we can produce out of our own strength. It comes from God.

Be who you were designed to be, do not allow sin to hinder you from experiencing maximum joy.

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Holy Spirit Fruit

Advertisements The Greek word for fruit is καρπός, (or figuratively) everything done in true partnership with Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is used to describe to us the produce or product of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in each of us. We cannot produce this fruit ourselves, only the Holy Spirit can produce this fruit.Continue reading →

The greatest of these

Advertisements 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.Continue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments

Prayer for Healing from Hurt and Betrayal

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But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:6-15

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Heavenly Father, I confess that I tried to control my life and dud not give You full reign. God, I confess that I tried to handle things that You told me to release to You.

But, God, I thank You for redemption. I thank You for always holding me up. I thank You for purifying my mind, body, and Spirit to do what You would have me to do. Thank You for giving me joy in sorrow. Thank You for protecting me. Thank You for salvation and for discipline.

God, I ask that You help me to forgive those who betray me. I bind, rebuke, and destroy every curse and problem that keeps me from loving people in the way Your Word has called me to love them. I pray, Lord God, that You teach me to be selfless. Teach me how to walk in discernment and to exercise it with wisdom. I thank You for all these things. It is so by faith, and by faith so it is. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 0 comments

Forgiveness – Everything in it’s time

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Most of us are naturally impatient and do not like waiting for anything. Forgiveness does not come easily to most.

Expectations and reality – forgiveness

In this world, in these uncertain times, we face many dangers. Trials unstable economies; war, diseases and starvation. Relationship problems are somewhere high on the list. Not to financial distress, the list goes on. However, our expectations are seldom met, often changed by things completely out of our control, and so, we are often forced to spend time reflecting on what might have been.

I pray this post will help you discover the joy of waiting for everything to come in it’s right season.

Ecclesiates 3:1-8

Previous posts in this series:

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Have you ever been in a situation that you felt you could never forgive the person for who wronged what they did to you or to one of your loved ones? I have. More than once actually. Or, perhaps it’s the other way around, something you’ve done to someone else that you believe could never be forgiven, you messed up so badly that God couldn’t possibly forgive you, that He now has no further time for you and maybe even your salvation is lost? I’ve been there too.

Forgiving others for how they may have wronged you, is simple, but difficult at the same time. It’ simple, because if we truly grasp Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we realise that we have no right to withhold forgiveness from others. Unfortunately, our human, fallible emotions don’t always line up with what we mentally agree with, and while we see that forgiveness is central to God’s plan for us, it is far from easy.

Forgiveness does not remove the pain you feeling; sometimes we push the pain into the deepest darkest pits of our own souls, lock it up, and try, although unsuccessfully, deny its existence. Or we may choose to hold onto the pain so tightly that we wallow and bathe in the pains very existence. Both are wrong and contrary to the way Jesus teaches us to deal with the wrongs committed against us, so if we are wise, we battle for freedom even when the path is treacherous.

The book of Acts tells us the story of Stephen, well known as “Stephen the martyr”. He was sentenced to death for proclaiming his faith, while they were stoning him, he cried out to the Lord to forgive them – “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:59-60). His pain was real, severe, and it would cost him everything.

It is far harder to forgive if the offender is someone close to us or a fellow believer. David laments about exactly this

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,

    my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
as we walked about
    among the worshipers.
(Psalm 55:12-14)

The enemy uses these memories as a foothold in us that can create so much bitterness. An important thing to remember is this – while we are mentally fighting and arguing with those who have hurt us, they probably aren’t even thinking about us. So is it really worth it?

“Jesus’ approval is better than life. We need to ask ourselves; do we want Jesus’ approval or is our desire for vengeance stronger and keeping us from seeing our Saviour? We must choose, to love as Christ loves, to take those thoughts captive, and choose not to dwell in the pain. In those moments, we must remind ourselves,

“I can forgive, because I am forgiven.”

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Resentment is like poison. We allow these hurtful experiences to define us, we cannot allow our wounds to define who we are, to define our identity. By nurturing an identity that we are victims, we’ll never escape it. We live in a fallen world and painful situations are bound to find us, but we must not use it to justify ungodly behaviour. Holding on to un-forgiveness, the pain of it, we find ourselves in a loop of jumping from one dreadful situation to another and keep asking ourselves “why does this keep happening to me?” When life feels out of control, we retreat back into this familiar state, because it feels safer than hoping for something more.

We can accept that our pain is a part of our story, but it is not the climax of our story. We are dearly loved, which allows us to be clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. (Colossians 3:12), we are accepted by Christ and should therefore accept one another (Romans 15:7) and children of God (John 1:12). Jesus has much more for us than this. When we forgive, we are offering something that may not have even been asked for. It is not just for their sake that we forgive, it is for our own peace that we forgive. When we forgive, we take the chain of un-forgiveness that binds us to the offenders off of our own hands and place it in Jesus’s hands.

Jesus still bore His scars after sin and death had been conquered through His death and resurrection, but He didn’t let the scars define Him. Do not fear your scars, use them to share with others that they are not alone, just as Jesus does. We can use our scars for the good God intends, allowing ourselves to be led into forgiveness because the Good Shepherd we follow leads us there to set us free.

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Jesus teaches us and the disciples how to pray and in that teaching He tells us to ask 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12).

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

I am so grateful, beyond measure that God didn’t leave me to wallow in such misery of un-forgiveness. God loves us with an everlasting love, all our sins are forgiven and forgotten, past, present and future, covered by the blood and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be assured of the forgiveness God so freely gives.

God forgives and He restores; it is the very heart of the Gospel message, the cry of Jesus from the cross—“Father, forgive them… (Luke 23:34).

And we must forgive ourselves, too.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Gospel of John, 3 comments