Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
We have all heard it said, concerning our salvation, that Jesus Christ did for us what we could not have done for ourselves. He died and paid the penalty for our sins. He purchased [redeemed] us out of the slave market of sin so completely that we are guaranteed that we will never be subject to the bondage and eternal penalty of sin again. And now that we are saved we must not forget that the same Lord who did for us at salvation what we could not do for ourselves, is the same Lord who still does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
“Much more then, being now justified (aorist passive participle), that is, we have been declared righteous, once and for all, by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Rom.5:9-10.
Paul looks at the complete position of the believer in Christ as being forever settled. He sees the starting point of our salvation and he sees the final result of our safe and secure reconciliation with God.
And now that we have this security, and this legal peace with God we must continue on in God’s will. We must allow the Lord to continue to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We are all still helpless in some situations, and we are always helpless, in and of ourselves, when it comes to fulfilling the will of God. We must rely on his indwelling Holy Spirit for leadership and his Word for instruction. The Lord did not leave his Church without specific instructions as to his will for the Church individually or collectively.
Jesus Christ has left us his will for structure in Christian growth and it involves several aspects. Some of these points are being observed today, and some are blatantly being ignored.
1. After salvation we must all learn the word of God, Matt.4:4; Rom.10:17; I Pet.2:2;
II Pet.3:18; Heb.5:11-6:2. If we do not feed on the word regularly we will spiritually dry up, and become defeated by the details of life, and by the influence of a worldly system that is opposed to God’s divine viewpoint.
2. We must learn how to recognize and biblically confess our sins to God, I Jn.1:6-10. If you are consistently out of fellowship with the Lord then you are under the full influence of your old sinful nature. Spiritually and carnality are absolutes and you cannot be both of these at the same time, Gal.5:16-17; Eph.4:17-21.
3. We must learn how to pray, Matt.6:9-15; Phil.4:6; James 5:16. Our prayer life is important, and yet our prayers must be mixed with faith, and faith comes by hearing and adhering to the word of God. Otherwise we are praying in ignorance to God, and to our God whom we do not understand.
4. We must personally participate and support the spreading of the true Gospel throughout the world, Matt.28:18-20. It is a Gospel that involves evangelism toward the unsaved and edification toward the saved. Your attendance, participation and offerings in the local church help support this vital ministry to the kingdom of God.
5. We must get into a strong Bible teaching local church and sit under the teaching authority which the Lord has given to his under-shepherds; the pastor-teachers; men of whom he has divinely called and commissioned to teach the word.
The first ecclesiastical act of Jesus Christ after his resurrection was to commission men to His spiritual work for this age, Eph.4:9-16. Read this passage carefully. Read I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus; Heb.13:7,17, I Peter 5:1-5 for starters.
We have too many misguided 21st century believers. Some say ‘I do not need these men. I can study for myself and my family. If I have a question I can look it up for myself, or I can Google it.’
To be fair, there is some rational sense to this avenue for knowing the will of God and serving God, but it is not according to the will of the Lord.
God has questions and he has his answers to those questions; many of which they have never considered. Many misguided believers think they have a justifiable reason for not going to a biblically structured local church today. They see so much hypocrisy, but unfortunately they are even bigger hypocrites than the ones they judge in the church. Many were not brought up in a Bible teaching church. Many only participated in juvenile activities, and when they grew up and left home they had no more use for a juvenile Christianity. The only preaching they heard week after week was directed toward the unsaved rather than instructions for the saved.
Unfortunately they are missing out on God’s answers to their spiritual needs.
Ps.44:21 “Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.” Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants, the prophets.” The Old Testament prophets were the preachers of that day. The prophets not only foretold of events to unfold, as God had given them command to tell, but they also told the people what God wanted them to hear for their present day needs.
During the Church Age era God has his pastors to reveal his secrets to His people today. These secrets are not additions or subtractions from his completed canon of Scripture, but they are God’s insight; his wisdom, and his instructions for encouraging, directing, and protecting the lives of the people called to learn from His pastors in their own local church.
God knows better than anyone as to what is going on in our lives. He knows the things that we are keeping from him. He knows the things that bother us the most. He knows us through and through and He knows what it takes to open up a stronger sweeter fellowship with Him. The pastor cannot read someone’s mind, but God does, and God sends many of his anonymous divine e-mails to your soul by way of his under-shepherds. This aspect of God’s genius for the local-church has been neglected for so long and it has hurt the body of Christ immensely.
If we want to experience the daily fullness of Jesus Christ we all must be obedient to His commands. We must trust that He knows what is best for His people, both individually as the universal church, and collectively as a local church.