Living Well

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Maayos na Pamumuhay ayon sa Pagtuturo ng Biblia” for July 23,2015)

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Though the first two people sinned and were taken away from the Garden of Eden, God did not actually let them live a miserable life. In fact, when God created them in His image, they were given the authority to rule over the fish and the birds. They were given seed bearing fruits for food. Basically, they will still have food as long as they work for it (Genesis 3:19). Having food and shelter, which is a major need of mankind is enough to live well and decently.

Speaking of living well, there is no other character in the Bible that experiences a very abundant life than Solomon. Actually, he was the richest and the most popular king in his time among the kings of the lands. There is no other character in the Bible that can explain well about living a prosperous life than him. The Bible tells us how he accomplished many things in order to find pleasure and happiness in life.

The Bible tells us, “I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-10 NIV)

No one in his time ever accomplished what he has done. However, he learned that everything that gives pleasure in life is nothing, because all things in life will come to an end. One more thing, he learned that we may have everything in life, but the absence of power to enjoy them is another thing. People will never be satisfied with his food and drinks. He learned also that without God in life, nobody could eat or find enjoyment. (Ecclesiastes 2:25)

It is God who gives the ability to enjoy everything we have in life. We may be prosperous or abundant in life, but if we cannot enjoy them, what good does it do to us? The Bible says “God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil. (Ecclesiastes 6:2 NIV)”

Therefore, it is from God whom we can find happiness and the ability to enjoy everything in life. However, we need to understand that life is not about food and drinks; it is not about living a wealthy life. Life is all about fulfilling the purpose of our Creator so that we may attain true happiness and wellness in life. If we serve God wholeheartedly and truthfully, He will never allow us to live a miserable life. David says from youth until he grew old, he did not see a righteous person beg for his foods and needs. God will never allow that to happen. God will provide everything specially if we work for it.

In matters of spirituality, God promises to provide His children the wealth of faith through His words and teachings. In fact, He built His church to be the foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15), which means all truth and all sound doctrines can be found in His church.

He elected preachers, Apostles and Prophets to guide and lead His people towards the truth (Jeremiah 3:15). Christ even gave the analogy of being the lead shepherd of His flock and all His sheep knew Him and His words, and they followed Him because they recognize His voice and His commands (John 10:16).

Christ even laid His life for His church. He purchased His church with His holy blood to prove His love and His purpose for them. Those who received His mercy and love and became part of His church were sanctified and became righteous heirs of His kingdom.

However, the Bible warns us that the wellness of life offered by Christ can only be realized if we follow Him and make sacrifices by serving Him. Those who turn away from God will never have a true wellness of life. They may find themselves wealthy here on earth, but it is only temporal. It will soon come to an end. They may have everything in life, but what good does it do to them if they would lose their soul and the chance of salvation?

Indeed, life will always be a matter of choice. We can either choose to become holy or unholy before the sight of God. However, if we are wise enough, then we would choose to be obedient to His will. The Bible tells us of this, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)

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One Request

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Isang Bagay na Dapat Hingin ng Bawat Lingkod sa ating Panginoong Dios” for July 19, 2015)

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As servants of God, we learned that God is benevolent in all His ways. He can provide us with all that we need, especially those that are according to His will and not ours. In fact, no one can say that God had neglected us in the past days. Everyday, we see how much God had shown us with His mercy and love towards us.

Oftentimes, we ask and God answers us quietly, providing all our requests, small or big. We also learned that we receive what we ask in accorded time, in God’s time. Sometimes, we may not receive according to what we ask of Him, but He mercifully gives us what’s best for us. Some requests may have not come yet because God is still preparing for something better.

However, a true servant of God doesn’t always ask for things that are material. A true servant knows how to ask and what to ask of the Lord. David tells us of this, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4) 

David prayed for dwelling in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. Does anyone of us ask about this? Does anyone of us pray and just simply ask about dwelling in His house? Why did David pray of dwelling in the house of the Lord all the days of his life? What is it with the house of the Lord that makes it special?

David tells us the answer in Psalms 93:5, “holiness befits the house of the Lord.” The word befits means applies. It is in the house of the Lord that we can perform holiness and pleasurable things to God. This means that the only way we can create holy deeds is through the house of the Lord. Prophet Ezra tells us, “Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the God of heaven.” (Ezra 7:23)

The house of God described in the New Testament is no longer the physical temple built for God. This time, the temple or house of God is a spiritual temple, comprising the Apostles, teachers, members who are called unto holiness (1 Corinthians 1:1-2). It is the house of God, which is the church of God, the pillar and the foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Dwelling in the house of God brings us closer to Him. We get to see His beauty. His beauty encompasses all His doctrines and teachings that lead us closer to Him and the promised eternal life. As long as we are dwelling in His house, we can avoid what happened to those who turn their backs from Him. They now have a life worse than what they have before. Some of them came back to their former lives, which are abominations to the Lord.

The Proverbs tell us about this, “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true:“A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:21-22)

Turning away from God is a sign of failure and defeat. No one who surrenders would triumph. The Bible tells us that a servant shall live by faith (Hebrews 10:38-39). And the punishment of those who surrendered, and turned against God is also eternal, that is, everlasting torment in eternal fire (Revelations 21:8).

The logic of the Bible is simple. If the church is the body of Christ, and Christ will save His own church, then anyone who were called to be a servant in His church are bound for salvation. However, the Apostle Paul tells us the assurance of salvation is by keeping the faith. He tells us, “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel, I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

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The Good and the Bad Side of Money

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Masama at Mabuting Paggugol ng Salapi” for July 16, 2015)

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When money talks, everyone listens. Who doesn’t? Money is an essential thing.

The Bible tells us that money is the answer for everything (Ecclesiastes 10:19). In other translations, it is the answer for all things. In another verse, it is a shelter (Ecclesiastes 7:12). However, we know for a fact that money can only answer about material things. Money is material and it can only provide solutions for things that are quantifiable or measurable. It cannot answer beyond that. It cannot solve the problems of happiness, heartbreaks, emotional or spiritual problems and the likes.

Having plenty of money is advantageous. Life can be luxurious and comfortable if we have money. King Solomon says that money attracts many friends. Actually, having money makes a popular person. (Proverbs 19:4)

Money is only a utility tool. Like any other utility tools, it can be used both in good and bad ways. It always depends on the person using it. When the motive of the person is good, money can be a powerful tool to do good deeds and can help a lot of people in many ways. However, when the person’s intentions are wicked, money can also be a powerful instrument to do wicked things, like ruining lives, fulfilling earthly desires or material addictions and the likes.

When money is used to cover the truth (bribe), then it is wicked (Micah 3:11).

People who have money become super proud and boast of their great riches (Psalms 49:6). They trust their wealth more than God and failed to serve the Lord (Luke 12:19-20). Some people went to far away places to find good fortune, sacrificing everything for the sake of money. Just to clear things out, there is nothing wrong with going abroad to find a mean of livelihood. However, some of them failed to serve God. They forgot that God is not only a God of their native land, but also a God whom we can serve wherever we are.

The love of money is the worst thing that a person can do. It is truly the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Money itself is good, but the love of it can change a person’s perception in life completely. Judas Iscariot sold Christ for just thirty pieces of silver. Ananias and Zafira in the book of the acts of the Apostle hid their wealth and sinned against the Holy Spirit. The bachelor failed to sacrifice all his wealth and failed to follow Christ.

Apostle Paul tells us, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

From these verses, we notice that there are two kinds of wealth. There is wealth that can provide us with everything for our enjoyment and the other one that can lay up treasures and a firm foundation for the world to come.

Having money or wealth is also a responsibility. Anything that comes from God is always coupled with accountability. Wealth and money are not given to us for the sake of enjoyment only and having a comfortable life. It should be used to create good deeds and provide for the needs of one’s family. We can also use money for helping others who are in need.

The most beautiful thing that money can do for us is to be able to use it in great ways, which are pleasurable to the Lord. Despite their poverty, the brethren in Macedonia shared more than what they have. Even with little wealth, we can show what sacrifice is all about. The old widow donated everything she got without thinking if she still has something to eat or spend.

Opening our hearts to the church is a great way to maximize the power of money. Money can be a tool of wickedness, but it can also be a sacred tool for showing how we are thankful to the Lord. By bringing our personal offerings, we are definitely earning the pleasure of the Lord. The Bible tells us of this, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)

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Spiritual Renewal

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Pagdating ng mga Panahon ng Kaginhawang Mula sa Harapan ng Panginoong Dios” for July 12, 2015)

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God promises spiritual renewal for those who seek His name and repented from their sins. This was the battle cry of the Apostles (Acts 3:19) to ancient Israelites whom they invited to get back to the Lord. Being guilty of turning back from the Lord is the usual sin of these people and have given them tiredness and weariness in life.

The Apostles encouraged them to get back to the Lord, because it is the only way to get rid of their weariness. God will grant them time of refreshing, a period where they will experience God’s grace and renew their spirits and lift them up from their apathy. However, this would only happen if they would receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which they would at the time of baptism (Acts 2:38).

This is the grace that all members of the church of God receive when they were called to be faithful. God first called the Apostles, the teachers and the rest of them; and He placed them all in His church, which is the church of God (1 Corinthians 12:28; 1:1-2). Among the primary duties of the Apostles is to bring back those who wander from the truth and bring them back to the Lord. Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20)

How will God bring renewal of the spirit? The gift of the Holy Spirit will enlighten the heart of those who will receive God’s mercy. They will receive the comfort of their soul from His words and teachings. They will see things clearly and will prosper in everything they do (Deuteronomy 29:9).

They will be likened to a tree planted near the bank of the river.  The book of Psalms 1:3 tells us of this, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”

They will receive strength from God. They will be trustful in God and hope is always seen in them even in difficult situations. They will never be afraid, “does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green, It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8) They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalms 112:7)

They will always have the courage and will not fear anything. Proverbs 1:33 tells us, “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” These will all be given to those who seek God and turn away from their sins. Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

At the time a member received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it will create him a burning desire to do the will of God. However, there is a moment of complacency in some members. Being complacent means no actions, no movements, no good deeds, no fruits and this is not good at all. Suddenly the desire to do the will of God fades. This can happen to anyone and this can be very dangerous to us.

We need to keep the flames of faith burning. How? The only way to keep our faith being passionate is to always keep on going and doing the right things. Apostle Paul tells us, “Do not put out the light of the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) This is a simple advice. Putting out the light means will result to darkness. At any given situation, darkness is the absence of light. The absence of the light will create in us darkness. The only way to keep it always on is not to cease from doing good deeds and continue doing the will of God.

The book of Revelations 2:5 warns us that God will certainly take the light from us if we do not change, “So keep in mind where you were at first, and be changed in heart and do the first works; or I will come to you, and will take away your light from its place, if your hearts are not changed.” This means that we need to make changes in our lives. We need to make a complete turn around from being a very sinful person to being a person of God.

Remember the blessings that a person receives when he enters God grace. Psalms 128:1-4 tells us of this, “Happy is the worshipper of the Lord, who is walking in his ways. You will have the fruit of the work of your hands: happy will you be, and all will be well for you. Your wife will be like a fertile vine in the inmost parts of your house: your children will be like olive plants round your table. See! this is the blessing of the worshipper of the Lord” 

Indeed, God is merciful and full of love for us. His love is unending and He wants us to experience His love and compassion. However, this could only happen if we follow His will and commands. Only His followers will receive better ending. The ending would be profound and immeasurable because God will give His greatest promise, to be with Him forever, in heaven.

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Good Works onto Perfection

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Mabuting Gawa ayon sa Biblia” for July 9, 2015)

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Christ commanded His followers to become a light shining before others. By doing this, the name of the Father will be glorified. But, how can we be a light of this world? In Matthew 5:16, we can read that through good deeds we will be able to glorify the name of God.

Apostle Peter mentioned this in his letter, which says, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12 NIV) This is a very important commandment from God that we should follow. In fact, the purpose of our existence is to do good deeds, which was planned by God before we were even born. This was explained by Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

However, the Bible needs to be clear on what is doing good deeds means. Doing good deeds according to the Bible is not the typical way of doing good things as we often do. We need to examine how the Bible defines it. The Bible tells us that it is the obedience to the will of God, which is the fulfillment of the law, is the only good deed that God considers. Apostle Paul tells us about this in Romans 7:12, “So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” (Romans 7:12 NIV)

King Solomon testified about this. He mentioned that the whole duty of mankind is to fear the Lord and fulfill God’s commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13) And from this principle, we will be judged by God when the right time comes (verse 12:14). The Bible also tells us that we have to follow every detail of God’s commands. The fulfillment of the law requires us to follow God’s commands into His house. The house of God is where we ought to fulfill His law. Ancient Israel performed their holy obligations in the house of God, which is the Temple of God. In the New Testament, the house of God is referred to as the church of God, which was purchased by the blood of Christ. This is where we ought to fulfill every good deed or command of God. The services we do outside the house of God can only be considered as memorial offering.

The same calling was told to Cornelius in Acts chapter 10. Cornelius was God fearing and devout, as well as his family. They pray to God regularly and were a generous giver. However, to God, it was not enough. His deeds were only considered as a memorial offering to Him. At the end of this chapter, we can read how God sent a messenger to preach to Him and his family. They were all converted into the church of God. Thus, good deeds are not enough. We need to do it inside the house of God.

This is the reason why every Apostle, including Apostle Paul was placed in the church of God when they were called. 1 Corinthians 1:1-2 tells us, “Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:” (1 Corinthians 1:1-2 NIV)

Apostle Paul advised the members of the church to be always prepared in doing good deeds. He tells us, “equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21 NIV) By doing this, we will not only benefit in this life, but as well as to the life to come. The reason is because every good deed we perform is building up a foundation

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:18-19 NIV)

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Leaders of Knowledge and Understanding

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Isa sa Katungkulan ng mga Mangangaral na Dapat Maunawaan ng mga Kapatid” for July 5, 2015)

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The Bible tells us that we need to contend for the faith (Jude 1:3) because of the many hardships, tests and sufferings that we have as servants of God. If we cannot overcome the things the world, salvation can be far from us. However, Apostle Paul tells us, “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

The way to salvation is not that easy. There is no rosy road to heaven. It is not instant. We need to hold firmly to the words of God, which was preached to us and in which, we are commanded to walk upon. Only then, we can assure of the promised salvation. Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12). So, everyone must work for his or her salvation. Our friends or families cannot give salvation, and we cannot guarantee their salvation too. This was explained in Ezekiel 14:14, “even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job —were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.”  

Since the only way to salvation is through the words of God, we need leaders and mentors who will lead us towards knowledge and understanding. This is the purpose why we have preachers, ministers and elders. They were called by God to lead us with the proper knowledge and wisdom of God’s words. Without them, we cannot serve God fully. Everyone needs a mentor, who will guide and direct us and not lean on our own understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)

When Christ first called the Apostles, they were called to be fishers of men. They were Christ’s companions to call out those who are willing to serve God, and leave all their sins behind them. However, the role of the Apostles was not defined only to be fishers of men, eventually, they learned that they would have to be shepherds of God’s flock (1 Peter 5:2-3 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.)  

Being shepherds of God’s flock would mean that they would need to watch over them and feed them with God’s teachings and commands. Christ commanded this because He knew what would happen to them in the near future. He knew that savage wolves will come in among them and will not spare the flock. He knew that men would arise and distort the truth in order (Acts 20:29). The flock under their care should be strong enough to overcome these people, and through the words of God, they can overcome anything.

The direction is clear for all leaders of the church. When they guide the flock, they need to do it according to God’s will, that is, they need to be like parents to their own children, caring for them all the time (1 Timothy 5:2-3 – “Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.”

The goal of the leaders is to guide and direct all members of the church until they reach the perfectness of faith. This was emphasized by Apostle Paul in his letter, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Thus, we all need to learn that leaders were given to us so we can be strong in faith and reach its fullness. Our duties as ordinary members are also clear. We need to respect our leaders and obey them because they are doing their very best to perform their holy obligations to everyone. Apostle Paul tells us, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

 Sometimes, it is unavoidable that their words are strong and hard for us to accept. However, those words are not meant to hurt us, but to correct when we are making mistakes. Apostle Paul asks the members before, “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16) Telling us the truth may be wounded, but its goal is to lead us towards the right directions, and that is towards the truth.

Most importantly, it is our duty to pray for them always so they can perform well and uphold their holy obligations before God and us. If we see their mistakes, which are also inevitable, we can approach them with kindness and make them know about their errors. Overall, they act as our models in faith. Many church leaders died with honor and dignity, holding to the faith that we all received from God. Leaders will be glad if we all finish our races holding on to our faith.

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Controlling One’s Self

(From the sermon entitled “Ang Isa sa Dapat Taglayin ng mga Kapatid sa IDKH” for July 2, 2015)

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Although blessed with one spirit and one faith, each member of the church remains different from one another when it comes to personal choices and traits. Each of us has its own likes or hates. What may be good to you may not be good to another, or the other way around.

This is the reason why we have different levels of faith and belief. Some are deeply rooted in the doctrines and teachings. Others are trying to get there, while some are having a hard time coping up. The Bible says there are some who keep the law, yet they still stumble (James 2:10).

The words of God may have little effect on some. Instead of being strong and firm, some have gotten too sensitive in many ways. They get easily irritated. Can that be stress related? Can that be because of the hardships they experience in life? Or, can that be lack of trust on what God can do with our lives? Jesus tells us not to worry about life, and yet many of us worry as if we have no God. Some of us do not live according to what we have heard, and much worse, we do not practice what we preach. We claim to be Christians and followers of Christ, yet it is like Christ does not dwell in us.

Are all of these traits shown by some fulfill what is mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-5? In the end days, people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self- control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.

These traits are not of God, nor they came from heaven. They are from this world, from the devil. Unknowingly, the wickedness of this world may have infected some of us. Apostle Peter tells us of this, “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true:“A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:20-22)  

Was this evident in the early Christian times? Yes it was. In fact, Apostle Paul wrote about some of the brethren of the church of God, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” (Titus 1:16) They were members of the church, but they behaved without discipline. They have gotten totally out of control.

This is the reason why we need to be different from them. We need to be firm and strong, following the teachings of Christ; learn how to control one’s self. By standing firm, Christ tells us that we will win this life (Luke 21:19). And we should practice it in all the moments of our lives. We should behave not only when we are attending holy services. Being holy is not only during worship time, but holiness is due at all times.

Thus, we need to follow God’s will, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4) Controlling one’s body means controlling our personal desires, which can be a ticket to hell. Without control, we can get lost and be doomed.

To be able to control one’s self, we need to be sober and alert, like Apostle Peter has written, “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” (1 Peter 1:13) We need to be focused on the grace given to us by Christ, which will culminate at His coming. We need to be strong and overcome our weaknesses. Remember, we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). And, we can overcome the devil by fighting it with faith (1 Peter 5:8).

Apostle Paul reminded us, “This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” (Titus 3:8)  

Our actions speak louder than our words. Our actions manifest our faith and beliefs. We are measured not by what we say who we are, but on how we are seen by others and most of all, by God. Rejoice in the Lord and be different! Apostle Paul mentions this, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

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