Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God… (Heb 12:14-15a);
Characteristics of Salvation – These verses have been quoted to me many times in fifty years by men who have been taught they had to live holy enough to be saved. At that point, they turned away from any hope of ever being saved because they knew they could not live holy enough to be saved by it.
After several years of this, I began to study these verses again. The Bible teaches that when one repents of sin and turns by faith toward the blood of Christ’s death on the cross, something happens to that person. There is a new birth and a new nature!
A new nature, a new attitude, a new life settles in upon that person. He/she begins to follow after peace with all men and following after holiness. The key words are: “follow after.” Not having achieved perfection, but following in the direction of peace and holiness.
It cannot be faked. Following after peace and holiness are characteristics of the new birth and this endures for life. A backsliding Christian will be judged in this life by the Lord, even if it results in chastisement or is counted as “a sin unto death” (1 Jn 5:16).
The Bible gives several characteristics that are true of everyone who is saved. Following after peace and holiness is one of them. Others include accepting Christ with the humble faith of a child and not being ashamed of Him. Below are five passages of Scripture that we should be familiar with:
●Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 18:3-4)
●The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psa 34:18)
●And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. (Luk 18:13-15)
●But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:8-10)
●Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mar 8:38)
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
FEBRUARY 17, 2017 – FRIDAY
A.M. Leviticus 24-25 P.M. Mark 1:23-45
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MEMORY VERSE THIS MONTH: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hos 4:6-7)
SONG FOR TODAY: Solo & Group (3:28): I’m Free (Gaither Group)
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HEALTH TIP: Eating raw nuts. Unless your stomach or your doctor has told you not to eat nuts, this may be a good habit to get into. The oil of English walnuts is superior and the price is about 75% of the price of pecans. Pecans contain a good oil. Almonds have less oil but are higher in protein.
Almonds are harder to chew and may be easier to eat if you soak a single handful in water overnight. Use a juice glass or one of your smaller glasses. Discard the water. You may want to pour on a paper towel, cover and let it sprout all day. Rinse at night and return to towel all night. Next morning there may be a small sprout at the sharp end of the almond. I prefer to eat 6-8 almonds this way.
For walk-by snacking, keep a jar of walnuts on the counter top and pour out a single handful. Chew all nuts well into a paste. (There are no teeth in the stomach.) Nuts will abate hunger for a while, making them a good snack. We need fat in all of our meals to slow down digestion and help to provide a steady stream of sugar into the blood stream. We run on sugar but we need to be using up all the sugar as it goes into the blood stream. Unused sugar is converted into fat and stored in the body.