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Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real? Forum : Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
Subject Topic: Staying Pure in a Fornication Nation Post Reply Post New Topic
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Posted: 02/20/2009 at 12:08pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

You don't have to compromise with our sex-saturated culture. By God's grace you can stay in the sexual safety zone.

There were some raised eyebrows last week on the campus of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., when I hosted a special meeting—the day before Valentine's Day—on the subject of fornication. That's not a word you normally associate with a lecture topic, but hey, I had to get attention. And since the hormones on most college campuses are as dense as Florida humidity, I figured the kids would be all ears when I attacked the subject.

I was right. At times you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium, especially when I talked about how most American young people aren't even sure how to define sexual activity anymore. (Today's college seniors were nine years old when President Clinton tried to redefine sex during the Lewinsky scandal.) At other times the students burst into nervous laughter, especially when I told how I gave my son-in-law a lecture about sexual boundaries in front of 700 of his classmates when he was dating my oldest daughter.

"Losing one's virginity used to be a serious issue, but today fornication is just a standard sitcom plot device."

I thought it might be helpful to share these key points with a wider audience, since many of the readers of this column are single. And even if you are married, it would be good to take a quick refresher course in self-control—since we live in a nation that is losing all moral restraint. Here's what I told the group at Southeastern:

1. Don't redefine your morality. I've seen Christian young people roll their eyes when I say the word "fornication" because it sounds so much like King James English—sort of like "sodomy," another word we avoid in our PC culture. But we need to be careful how we bend the meaning of words. Terms that are in the Bible should not vanish from our modern vocabulary just because they offend some of the hosts of The View.

When "fornication" is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 ("For this is the will of God ... that ye should abstain from fornication" KJV), the Greek word is porneia. It's the root word for pornography, but it means a lot more than sexually explicit material. It includes sex between unmarried people, homosexuality, bestiality, prostitution, incest and adultery.

According to the apostle Paul, sex as God intended is limited to marriage between one man and one woman. Period. The Episcopal Church has no right to broaden the definition. Neither do Bill Clinton, Newsweek, Oprah or HBO. Don't let moral relativism infect your brain.

2. Don't sell your birthright. Losing one's virginity used to be a serious issue, but today fornication is just a standard sitcom plot device. It's considered normal. People are considered weird if they didn't have sex by age 14; and if anybody dares to teach abstinence in a public school he is labeled a Neanderthal.

In TV shows like Desperate Housewives, Nip/Tuck or Grey's Anatomy, life revolves around who's in bed with whom. There's even a TV series on Showtime called Californication that follows the life of a sex addict. What TV producers don't usually explore are the consequences of immorality. Audiences probably wouldn't laugh if the couples hooking up on these shows had to deal with genital warts, gonorrhea, AIDS, abortions, post-abortion trauma or clinical depression—all real fallout from illicit sexual behavior.

If you are a single person today—whether you have lost your virginity or not—it's time to reclaim your purity and save sex for marriage. We've forgotten the story of Esau, who forfeited his birthright through one stupid act. He traded his inheritance for a bowl of stew. You really can throw your life away through one act of fornication.

3. Get ruthless with your weaknesses. Jesus sounded stricter than a Catholic school principal when He talked to His disciples about self-discipline. He told them: "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matt. 5:29, NASB).

Jesus was not advocating self-mutilation. He was using sarcasm to emphasize how serious sin is—and He urged His followers to take radical steps to avoid the snares of temptation. In our sex-soaked society, it is more imperative than ever that we draw boundaries.

Got a problem with pornography? If you can't discipline yourself to avoid offending Web sites, get rid of your computer. Do you end up engaging in heavy petting or intercourse with your girlfriend or boyfriend after a few minutes of kissing? Draw lines and stick to them. And if you can't stick to the rules, ask for intervention. If you don't you are headed for spiritual shipwreck.

4. Live a transparent life. The Bible never advocates that we battle sin alone. We need each other. James 5:16 says: "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed." In some cases you will never get victory over temptation until you share your struggle with another Christian and seek counsel and prayer.

So many believers today are living with secrets. Many women (and men too) were molested as children by a relative or friend—yet they have never shared their pain. Many young guys are trapped in a dark world of pornography and masturbation but are too ashamed to admit it. Many Christians struggle with same-sex attraction yet they fear that if they confess their thoughts they will be rejected.

You will never discover the abundant life Christ promised until you clean out your spiritual closets and deal with all your dirty laundry. Total forgiveness and cleansing is available, but confession and repentance must come first.

5. Develop the fear of God. Paul had sober words for the Thessalonians who ignored his admonitions about sexual sin. He told them: "He who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you" (1 Thess. 4:8). It couldn't be clearer: If you disregard sexual boundaries, you are on thin ice.

What we desperately need in the church today is a conscience awakening. Too many Christians have warped judgment—and they don't even feel godly remorse when they break God's law. If you have any form of sexual sin in your life, flee it immediately and make a 180-degree turn. He will grant you the grace to live a life of purity.


J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

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richard gilman
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Posted: 02/26/2009 at 12:51pm | IP Logged Quote richard gilman


Even so Come LORD JESUS, restore the heart fo the father to the son and the son to the father, bring biblical unity in holiness to your wonderful bride
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Posted: 06/01/2009 at 7:03pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Dear brethren,
There’s a wide spread heresy today worldwide that says we must be continuously dying to self. This subtle but destructive doctrine promotes an attitude that we’ll always just be “sinners” and not the saints of God.
Both Jesus and Paul were in unison when they taught that we as saints are dead to sin and alive to God after the new birth. It’s a completed act, a done deal. Jesus did it all, and He paid the price, one sacrifice, once for all.
The holy word proclaims:
John 5:14
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "Behold, you have become well; DO NOT SIN ANYMORE, SO THAT NOTHING WORSE HAPPENS TO YOU."
John 8:10-11
Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. FROM NOW ON SIN NO MORE."
Was Jesus being unrealistic? No, we think not. Do you believe by faith that you can walk pure, in full holiness? If you don’t, you won’t, for your faith is lacking to walk worthy.
Once a once close brother from past ministry joint ventures came to visit us in the country for some counsel on a matter that Sandy and I could speak about effectively. He and I had drifted apart for our chosen paths were divergent. He took the American Christian path of success (meaning lots of money stored up), amusement as a main past time, patriotism (God bless American and also blow up Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Vietnam, etc., etc., etc. and any other possible threat to American earthly success), associating with the lofty (vs. lowly in Rom. 12.16), institutional church culture, clergy vs. laity separation following the head buffalo leader, program mania (vs. a simple intimacy with Jesus), pre-trib rapture, once saved always saved. I’m sure you get the picture.
So, anything I proclaimed to him was suspect from the get go. But I had recently been the recipient of God’s grace in that my walk with Him has taken a new turn since I really believed the old Marc was dead…really dead. Dead people don’t sin.
As I joyfully and zealously related this and the new fruit experienced, he had a coy smile on his face. “So, Marc,” he stated somewhat condescendingly, “is this like the power of positive thinking?”
Obviously, he wasn’t persuaded in the least.
We weren’t physically far apart at our kitchen table after we had had a famous “Sandy meal.” But his words, facial expression, and body language has made his point.
I leaned in a bit and smiled back asking, “Brother, do you believe you can go and sin no more?” He response was immediate and final. “No,” he declared, “we’re just sinners.”
“Well,” I bemoaned, “if you don’t think you can, then you can’t. Over and over, Paul actually calls us saints. We have to believe in faith. Be it done to you according to your faith.”
Our brother Paul writes:
Romans 6:5-7
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self WAS crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for HE WHO HAS DIED IS FREED FROM SIN.
Romans 6:11
Even so consider yourselves to be DEAD TO SIN, BUT ALIVE TO GOD (the Father) IN CHRIST JESUS.
Romans 8:13
for IF you are living according to the flesh, YOU MUST DIE; but IF by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, YOU WILL LIVE.
There’s much more to say, and we pray to have that opportunity as the Spirit leads…
Many years ago, I received a piece that at its heart was wonderful, but still embraced this “dying” doctrine vs. being already dead. The source of the piece, unfortunately, was credited as unknown. But in re-writing it to reflect this truth of being already dead to self, I offer it for our edification.
Dead to Self – author unknown
When you are forgotten or neglected or purposely set at naught, and your flesh begins to sting and hurt with the insult of the oversight…
…but you overcome this test by the power of the Holy Spirit, and your heart becomes joyful, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ - that is being dead to self.
When your good is evil spoken of, your holy preaching of God’s word ridiculed, and you refuse to let unrighteous anger rise in your heart…
…but instead you continue to boldly defend the name of our wonderful heavenly Father, and His Jesus - that is being dead to self.
When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, or any annoyance, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility…
…and still rebuke but endure it just as Jesus endured it - that is being dead to self.
When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any attitude, any interruption by the will of God…
…and still give the great sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him - that is being dead to self.
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown…
…and instead are yearning for your Home in heaven - that is being dead to self.
When you see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances…
…and still continue to give sacrificially like your poor brethren the Macedonians - that is being dead to self.
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart…
…and even see the loving hand of the Father behind this help to walk more closely with Him - that is being dead to self.
Don’t be fooled by any scheme of the devil. Walk worthy of our Savior, dear ones. Believe it, and you will. It’s one of His precious promises. We can please Him in all respects.
Every grace today, beloved….
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
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Posted: 03/11/2011 at 1:52pm | IP Logged Quote News Room

Data Show Increased Abstinence Among Teens and Young Adults

Despite the prevalence of TV shows detailing the tawdry lifestyles and nonchalant hook-up scene of the supposedly typical American teenager, more young people are choosing to remain abstinent. According to a recent report from the National Survey of Family Growth, more than a quarter of young men and women between 15 and 24 years old report never having had sexual contact. Likewise, as shown in the new charts on, more than half of all U.S. high school students report remaining abstinent, an 18 percent increase since the 1990s.

The increase in purity’s popularity may be credited to strong families. Teens from intact, married families are less likely to be sexually active and also less likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol, exhibit poor social behaviors, or participate in violent crimes. Consistent parental involvement, especially from fathers, is also related to decreased likelihood of teen pregnancy.

These and other social benefits of intact families are at risk in future generations, however. While teen pregnancy rates are on the decline, the number of unwed births continues to increase. Of the four in 10 children born outside of marriage today, over 60 percent are to mothers in their 20s. With more women putting childbearing before marriage, a greater number of children will be left without the economic advantages or social guidance that tends to come from married families.

Policymakers can help avoid some of the consequences of unwed childbearing, however, by encouraging marriage and promoting policies that recognize the integral role of healthy, intact families on the social and economic well-being of children and adolescents.

Read more about abstinence trends among teens and emerging adults.

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Posted: 06/13/2011 at 7:22am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Tim Laughlin
   Samson was more than likely the strongest man that ever lived in all of history. Dedicated to God from birth as a Nazirite and destined to judge Israel and defeat her enemies, Samson was a formidable force to be reckoned with. His great strength came from a powerful anointing given from the Almighty Himself to defeat the enemies of Israel. Today, Samson would represent a born again Spirit filled Christian, empowered and equipped for battle against the enemies of God.
   The vow of a Nazirite in which Samson was dedicated involved abstaining from wine and strong drink as well as not touching anything that had died. The Nazirite could not make himself unclean before his parents and could not cut his hair, as it was the symbol of his God given strength. Samson was a strongman that had absolutely no godly character developed in his life. He was like a born again Christian that has taken a vow to follow Jesus and yet won't repent of having an evil lifestyle.
   From the time of Samson's youth he was rebellious and deceptive toward his parents and although his great strength was God given just as our spiritual strength is, his heart was hell bent on rebellion. God's gifts and empowerment are irrevocable but when used in an unclean manner they can cause death, as was the case with Samson. When rebellion and lust are left unchecked and not dealt with they become strongholds that allow the enemy to gain access into our lives.
   Samson's first act of disobedience was to have his parents obtain a women he had seen from the enemies camp, a young Philistine girl. His parents pleaded with him not to marry someone that was a pagan but he pressed them until he got his way. The bible explicitly says that light has no fellowship with darkness and believers have nothing in common with unbelievers. For a Christian to marry an unbeliever it always means a conflict of interest will arise.
   Although set aside for the purposes of God, Samson had many character flaws that needed to be dealt with in order for him to close the doors left open for the powers of darkness to enter. It is a dangerous thing to go into spiritual warfare with an unclean heart, or with a stronghold of sin that will always lead to compromise. Samson is a type of New Testament believer showing us the pitfalls of having sin in our heart and allowing it to become a stronghold.
   A stronghold is a sin in a believers heart that is not repented of or dealt with. When left unchecked it becomes stronger and ultimately becomes a fortress in one's heart that will eventually rule his life. Lust, rebellion, unforgiveness or any other fleshly sin can become a monster that will eventually lead to one's demise if not repented of. Samson obviously had a problem with lust because of his choice of women and his frequent visits to prostitutes to try and quench his insatiable desire. This one stronghold in his life allowed the enemy to gain an advantage that would later prove fatal.
   For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. II Corinthians 10:3-5
   Lust usually begins with a thought brought about by a visual experience and when allowed to stay in the mind it can take root and grow. For instance a man can look at a pretty woman and for a second he can admire her beauty, but when that thought begins to lead him to have lustful thoughts about her, that's when it needs to be put out of the mind. The mind is the ultimate battle ground and it is said that Satan cannot read it, but he can surely read one's body language. Over the years I have ministered to hundreds of men and women addicted to pornography and  many were seduced at a very young age or were even molested by friends or family members.
   Lust is like a drug, the more you take the more you want. To free yourself from a stronghold one must cut off the food supply and shut all the doors that have been opened. Everyone has been effected by this demonic scheme and in this day of mass media it has only gotten worse. Every where you look there are visual images of men and women, some to seduce your mind and some to seduce your pocket book by luring you to buy their product. Lust dominates the media and fuels the advertising industry, lets face it, sex sells and millions are seduced every day by a pretty face or body trying to draw them into a sale.
   Samson had lust and rebellion hidden deep in his heart, not to mention the fact of his disobedience to his parents. He not only ignored their warnings about marrying a pagan women, but defiled them by giving them honey from a dead lion's carcass that he had previously killed. He was also carrying a deep scar from having his wife given to his best man, and the pain caused him to retaliate in rage against his adversaries. Wounded and betrayed Samson was a ripe target for the schemes of the devil to take him down and kill him.
   But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire (Lust)  has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:14,15
   Another one of Samson's downfalls was the fact that he was always in the enemies camp and at the same time he would taunt them with riddles and subterfuge. You can't run with the enemy and run with God. Even though God was ultimately using him to defeat the enemy, at the same time Samson was a "Lone Ranger." He never seemed to be with his family or with God's people and for a believer that is dangerous! The influence of a pagan society was constantly surrounding him and the temptation that it provided opened the door to Satan's final scheme.
   Samson was truly a strongman with a stronghold and because he never dealt with the lust in his heart, it led him right into the arms of the enemy. It's like trying to charm a Cobra and believe he's your pet, as soon as you let your guard down, he will strike and kill you. Sin is just as deadly, if you allow it to remain in your heart it will ultimately destroy your life. Samson loved pagan women and he fell in love with a woman named Delilah who was about to turn his life upside down.
   The very name Delilah in Hebrew means to oppress, to dry up, to make empty, or to impoverish. Samson was deceived into thinking he could handle anything that came along, but as the saying goes, love is blind. There was an old song,"When a Man Loves a Woman" and one of the verses said that he will sit out in the rain. Well, Samson was about to get wet and the devil was about to rain on his parade.
   And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him. Judges 16:5
   The enemies of God were about to defeat the strongest man on the planet without drawing a sword. All it was going to take was a desire out of control and a man that gave his heart to the enemy. The devil has the patience to wear you down, and he is not in a hurry, he studies his opponents very carefully. We would do well to take this story to heart and learn from Samson's mistakes in order to defeat the enemy in our life. Remember its not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.
   Delilah was very direct and to the point when she said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you." At that point Samson should have gotten up and fled the scene as the word of God says, "Flee youthful lusts." but when love and passion are involved there is a point of no return. That's why its so important not to give the enemy an open door into your life. If you have a weakness or struggle with lust, you don't hang out at a topless bar or watch Internet porn, sooner or later you will give in. If you feed the beast, he will grow larger.
   In the seventies I experimented with drugs and one night I was offered some cocaine. At first it produced a very euphoric feeling, giving one a clear mind and a high that nothing could compare with. My senses weren't dulled, they seemed to get sharper and everything was clear or so I thought, but the one thing that stood out was the fact that my conscience was deadened to the point of no return, in other words, I could do anything I pleased. No conscience, no boundaries, what a diabolical scheme from the pit of hell!
   Passion can produce that same euphoric feeling and when left unchecked as in Samson's case it can cause you to believe that you can handle anything that comes your way. After all, his own strength had never failed him, and he was confident that it would deliver him time and time again. That's a fatal mistake for one to be so over confident that he leaves God out of the equation and trusts in himself. Many a man has fallen, including myself, by thinking that you can overcome even if you have reached the point of no return. You cannot take fire into you bosom without being burned!
   For the lips of an immoral women drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death, and her steps lay hold of hell. Proverbs 5:3-5
   Samson had finally met his match by falling for Delilah and she had a deadly scheme awaiting him. The Philistines had made a deal with her to find out the secret to his great strength and she was bound and determined to extract the information that they were willing to pay for. God has given us the ability to discern right from wrong and all of us have to make choices, including the choice to sin. Delilah took full advantage of Samson's love for her that was blinding him to the truth, and it didn't take her long to get what she wanted.
   Delilah used her seductive skills to entice Samson to give up the secret of his strength. Three times she asked him what it would take to make him like any other man and three times Samson lied to her. She then pulled out the clincher that would bring this powerful Nazarite down. She said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me?" That's all it took, the bible says that she pestered him daily so that his soul was vexed, or made impatient until death, and the big man spilled his guts and told her the secret of his strength.
  Samson told Delilah that if his hair was cut, representing his covering and powerful anointing from God, that he would become weak just like other men. Seeing that he had told her all that was in his heart, she called for his enemies to come and shave his head as she lulled him to sleep on her lap. Sound asleep in the enemies camp on the lap of the devil and never suspecting anything to be wrong, Samson was swarmed by the Philistines, who took him and gouged out his eyes and then bound him with bronze chains and made him a common grinder in their prison.
   Blinded, bound and made a forced laborer for the enemies of God, what a sad testimony for the strongest man on earth, but that is what happens when we give in to temptation. The first thing to go when we fall into sin is that our spiritual sight and discernment is taken away, secondly we are bound by a stronghold of judgment, bronze being the symbol of judgment in the Old Testament. The Philistines represent the powers of darkness and the forced labor represents our imprisonment by the devil. Since the beginning of time, man has been deceived by the devil into choosing sin and disobedience rather than obeying the commandments of God.
   At the end of his life, Samson, the mighty warrior has been made into a laughing stock before the enemies of God. Blind and defeated Samson repents of his sin and cries out for God to avenge the loss of his sight. Brought into the temple of Dagon to be made sport of Samson asks the young lad leading him to position him between the pillars that supported the temple. The enemy was unaware that Samson's hair had begun to grow and that because of his confession to God his strength was returning. In one last cry of desperation, Samson called on his God to strengthen him this one last time to destroy his enemies.
   With all of his might Samson braced himself against the pillars of the temple and cried out to God to let him die with his enemies and the entire structure collapsed onto the unsuspecting crowds celebrating their short lived victory over their enemy. Sadly, Samson like so many other strongmen of God have succumbed to the ravages of sin and have destroyed, not only their spiritual life and testimony but have allowed the enemy access to kill them as well.
   Samson's death could represent dying to the flesh or perhaps it could mean a sin committed unto death, never the less, it would do us well to take this story to heart and flee youthful lusts and resist the schemes of the devil. Samson could have been one of the greatest warriors of God in history, but by not dealing with the strongholds of sin that were hidden away in his heart he chose to ignore it and gave the enemy of his soul the advantage he needed to kill him.
   Now therefore, listen to Me, My children; pay attention to the words of My mouth: do not let you heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:24-27
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
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    To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among you: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
    Without the Lord Jesus Christ residing in your heart and life there is absolutely no hope for your future and no eternal glory! The mystery of salvation is the new birth of the divine seed being planted in one's heart and growing up into a vineyard of the sons of God.
    After thirty years of ministry I have come to the conclusion that no one can be changed by human means, only by the transformation of the mind and heart of man by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus can the world truly be made a new creation. One cannot change a people politically, by voting. The issues of abortion, homosexuality, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, pornography and the like can only be changed by the washing of the blood of Jesus Christ and the anointing of His Spirit.
    The world is sin-sick, lost and sinking into a deep depravity, a literal cesspool of filth caused by a defecting from their Creator. Prideful arrogance and selfish ambition and religious ritual have polluted mankind leaving him totally ignorant of the things of God! Science, medical miracles, and the electronic age have further caused man to move farther away from his only hope for redemption.
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. II Corinthians 5:17
    "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
    When one experiences being born again by the Spirit he begins to live a life outside the confines of the natural world and a spiritual being is created within his soul. Just as an earthly child is born and immediately wants to be fed, so also the spiritual child longs for the pure milk of the Word.
    Praying a prayer without conviction, being baptized, joining the church or going to Sunday school or even taking mass or communion does not make a Christian. Only by the "Divine seed" being planted in one's heart can he become a new creation in Christ. One of the signs of one experiencing the new birth is old things begin to pass away. As Jesus begins to set up house cleaning in His new temple He begins to throw out the old and replace it with all new furnishings.
    If the Lord Jesus Christ resides within you, your desires will change, your old habits will begin to disappear and you will instinctively want to do the things that Christ does. The true Christian does not live by rules and regulations anymore such as "Thou shall not" because the laws of God have become fulfilled in Christ and they are now written on your heart.
    If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have repented of your sins and iniquities and received His cleansing through the blood He shed for you, then you are a brand new born again spiritual being and the Spirit of God now resides within you. You are the temple of God, you no longer go to church because you are the church. You have become a priest of the most high God, anointed with His Holy Spirit and given divine revelation of His word.
    Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:4,5
    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. I Peter 2:9
    You are no longer a mere mortal barely existing to survive, you have been transformed by the regeneration of His Spirit and His word to become a supernatural generation of priests who are anointed with the Holy Spirit to minister to the Father of lights. Invited to come into the very throne room of God, we as His holy priesthood have been given access to His divine presence.
    As spiritual sons and daughters we can come before the Father at any time to receive His mercy and grace, or to speak to Him about our circumstances just as we would with our earthly fathers. In the old testament the priests would offer sacrifices of animals for the people and the high priest would enter the Holy of hollies into the presence of God. Today we have a High Priest who has gone before us to become the sacrifice for us and to reign forever, interceding for His holy priests on earth.
    Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
    I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
    Our sacrifice to God is our life, given freely to the One who died and was raised for us. As Jesus was the sacrifice for our sin, we in turn give our life in godly service back to Him. The laying down of one's life is a great sacrifice to make, but in light of what He has done for us, well worth the loss of any worldly gain.
    To become a born again Christian is to become Christlike in every aspect of our lives as the Spirit transforms us into His very image. The body of Christ is His presence in the earth, the representation of Jesus alive doing the same things He did when He was in bodily form, setting the captives free! As His ambassadors we have the responsibility to continue His kingdom here on earth until He returns.
    Heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the gospel (the good news of His saving grace) to the poor is our mission in life, we no longer are bound to this earthly realm. Our commission as soldiers of Christ is to make disciples of all nations, exact replicas of the Lord Jesus Christ. Freely you have received, freely give!
    As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6,7
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
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