Being Saved – Gets You Through the Door

door

I had to write on this topic because I heard yet another comment questioning whether people are saved because of their sin.

It is a myth that once we become saved we will no longer sin.  Even Apostle Paul said, “..For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…sin lives in me…” (Romans 7:15-20) This journey we are on is a  Work in Progress.

Getting Saved got us through the door ONLY!  Now we have to work this thing out.  We must come to terms with the fact that we are all at different levels in our spiritual journey.

It is important to note when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord, the Holy Spirit came into us. That same Power that literally raised Jesus from the dead entered into us.

We are now made up of 3-parts: BODY, SOUL & SPIRIT

The Soul is the place where our ‘will’, emotions, intellect and feelings reside.  The Soul area is where Paul tells us to RENEW our minds.

The Body is where we have our five senses are located.  They give us the ability to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste.  It’s important to note that when we got saved our body did NOT get saved. Apostle Ron Carpenter gave this analogy “the same fingers that could roll a joint before salvation, can roll a joint after salvation.”

The only way we can control our behaviors is to RENEW our mind.  This is done through a steady diet of the Word of God.  The more we get into the Word, the more we allow the Spirit to dictate over the Body.

I’ve heard people say, “Getting people SAVED is the most important thing.”  True salvation is VERY important, securing ones eternity is right up there with oxygen.  However, we need to also teach people how to live.  We often get people through the door and then we drop the ball.

We need to teach that it is important to get your fuel by regularly hearing the Word of God and  getting a ‘refueling’ through the  week in order to live out the life Jesus died to provide us.

I come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.  (John 10:10) There are a lot of Saved Christians living substandard lives – broke, busted and disgusted.  The Word deals with every area in our lives.

Is everyone Saved that says they are Saved? The simple answer to this question is NO.  There are people who claim to be saved that sin without conscience. God knows the heart of each man.  I don’t believe it is our job to second guess who is saved or not.  But it is important for us to teach how Christians ought to live and that is to live our lives in obedience to the Lord.

The Bible tells us that God has written His laws on the hearts of the Christian. Sin traps ‘saved’ people too.  This happens because we are not continually renewing mind our mind with the Word so sin holds us captive.  “..For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…sin lives in me.

Don’t you wish that after you were saved you would never sin again? 

Sounds like Heaven to me.

Criticism, the Great Teaching Tool

constructive_criticismPastors, pastors, pastors… we all like for everyone to say, “How Great Thou Art,” but let’s face it we are not always so great.  This blog speaks to those individuals that I believe God has placed in our lives to help us do our job better.

If God could use a ‘donkey’ to warn a man, then God can also use the least likely person to get a message to us.

I read an article about “5 Wrong Ways to Respond to Criticism” by Ron Edmond. I want to address his number one and that was finding fault with the critic.  Let’s face it, some people are just a ‘thorn’ in our side.  Their delivery can be insensitive or even demeaning.

Before we blow them off however, we need to ask ourselves if there is any validity to the criticism.

PERSONAL TRUE STORY.

We were once at a meeting various ministry leaders were seated around the table.  Someone asked my daughter, (the youngest in the meeting of 17) what she thought about the service.  She blurted out, “It SUCKS!”

You could have bought me for a dime as I was humiliated as I knew what people were thinking – hmm she hasn’t received any home training.

She then proceeded to tell the group why she felt the way she did. Her frustration was that the group already knew what the problem was and failed to do anything about for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.

Later she confessed to me that . . .

1) she really did not want to be at the meeting because most of the meetings were a waste of time.

2) if she was going to participate she was going to express her feelings in a way everyone would understand.

3) she was tired of sitting in meetings where everyone was superficial and were always trying to suck up to the pastor.

4) she was in school and her time was limited. She did not have time to mince words, be politically correct in hoping one could put together context clues to figure out what she was saying.

Although I agreed with her in principle, it is clear her approach was not the best.  However, her criticism was not only heard, but understood.

I believe we all need to run all criticisms through the Holy Spirit filter and ask Him if there is any truth to the criticism and ask Him to give us to courage to do the “HARD” things for the sake of the Kingdom.

This may be easier when it comes to dealing with issues relative to other people, but we need to keep in mind that the problem can also be with us.

It really makes no difference how long we have been in ministry, been preaching, how credentialed we are or what Ivy League seminary we graduated from because the culture changes.  And because of these changes, we may find ourselves in a position of having to change.

Yes the Message stays the same, but the method may need to be tweaked!

We will never have this thing down pat. We all need to be learning continually; we need more exposure and we need to continually strive to do things ‘better.’

And lastly, we need to listen to what people are saying to see if there is any validity to their statements even if they blurt out that “It SUCKS!” This criticism could be your greatest teaching tool.