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The Reason For Scripture

The Reason For Scripture

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The Season of Light

                                                       The Season of Light

Many, upon reading the title of this article may think this is in regard to the festive decorations that grace many homes and communities during the holiday season.     While these are often beautiful displays, there is a light offered from the source of light which all men need to see and follow.

We know that God is the source of light.   In Genesis 1:3 we are told God spoke light into existence. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” From that time forward man has sought to “capture” that light and use it in whatever way that best suited his purpose.

Some of the things Christ said while on earth about light were things man had discovered for himself over the years. One such thing is found in Matthew 5:15.   Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. It did not take man long to figure out that things evil were best done in dimness and darkness so that they could remain hidden and avoid the rebuke and admonition of those who sought to do that which was good and proper to do.     Jesus spoke of this also and we have it recorded for us in John 3:20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

However, there is by far a much more important light offered to mankind by the same source of that light which warms our planet, promotes growth, and without which we would all die. That light is He who is identified for us in John 1:1-4 and provides the spiritual light which can save man from an eternity separated from God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.      We find in the book of Luke, the record of the prophecy of Zaharias the father of John the baptizer, as he was filled with the Holy Ghost regarding John and his purpose on earth.   Luke 1:79 tells us that John’s function in life was to introduce that spiritual light sent from God to man.   To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

As we return to the Words of Jesus, we find in John 12:46 that Christ Himself proclaimed that He came to give light to man. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.   And, when our Lord appeared to Saul, He told Saul who was later known as Paul (the apostle) in Acts 26:15-18 how that Paul would be a minister to direct them to that light. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

While the bright decoration of holiday lights are enjoyable to see, they are only available for a brief period of time.   Interestingly, the light sent from God, was also here in the flesh for but a brief period of time as He told us in John 9:5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. But, the plan of God is set so that His light could shine among men forever through those who are the sons of God, born through obedience to the gospel. That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15)  We are to shine as lights to help guide those who are lost in darkness.   In fact, our Christian life is to be a “season of light”. Let us shine brightly by reflecting the Word of God so that all can see to come to God in accordance to His Word.                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Dennis Strickland - Mooresville

Conversion

 

Conversion

Conversion is a part of religion that is as misunderstood as religion itself.   Perhaps this is because many of those in manmade religions have determined that they will be the ones to decide what conversion is and how one is to be converted.

While it is true that one must be converted to be in a proper relationship with God, it is not man who decides what one must do to be converted . . .but God.   Therefore, if we wish to fully understand conversion and participate in it so that we might be in a covenant relationship with God, we must look to God's Word to see what God says about the subject.

We understand that according to Mark 4:12 "true conversion" (conversion which is taught in the Word of God) is that which results in faithfulness to God.    However, during the earthly ministry of Christ, (before the establishment of the church) the mystery of the kingdom was not revealed to all.   This mystery was revealed to the apostles by Christ as they would spread the Word of the kingdom shortly after Christ purchased the kingdom (the church) by His death on the cross.  Mark 4:11-12  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

We must also be aware that some even today will not be converted because they refuse to hear God's Word, see the benefit of it, or understand the great change the Word of God can produce in their lives.

In Acts 28:25-27 the Spirit had Paul recount to the chief Jews then dwelling at Rome what the Spirit already had Isaiah say to the Jews many years before.  This applies to folks today as well and explains why they refuse to hear what God says in His Word.  And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is
waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their
eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.   This healing, (conversion) of which the Spirit directed Isaiah and Paul to speak, is a spiritual healing which is known in the New Testament as the forgiveness of sins.

If you look up the word "convert" you will find that one of the synonyms of the word is transform. In Romans 12:2 we see the word transform, and it is interesting that the Bible shows here that the conversion that takes place begins in the mind, and is to be carried out or completed in our actions and lives.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and cceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Conversion is a transformation that is controlled by the individual.    When reading the conversion accounts in Acts and throughout the New Testament, one cannot find a single instance in which the one being converted is not a willing and active participant in his or her own conversion.    In Psalm 19:7 we see the Psalmist, as guided by the Spirit, tell us it is the Law of the Lord which converts the soul.   The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.   So which is it, the Law of the Lord or the individual?  It is quite simple.   It is the individual
that applies the Law
of the Lord and makes the changes in their lives starting with how they think, which then is manifested in what they do.

In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 we see one of the actions required from the Word of God to those who will be the children of God.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Remember, "true conversion" is that which results in faithfulness to God.    Can one be involved in the world, manmade religions, or with those who teach and preach a perverted doctrine, and still rightly claim to be converted?    Can they truly lay claim to being the children of God?    Do you wish to be a child of God?   If so, you must be converted, and to be converted you have to be separate from the world.     That which separates you from the world is obedience to God's Word – the gospel.

God's Word directs one that wishes to be converted to: Hear – Romans 10:17; Believe – John 8:24; Repent – Acts 17:30;  Confess that Jesus is the Son of God – Matthew 10:32-33 and Be Baptized into Christ – Galatians 3:26-27.    Following this, one is a child of God – they have been converted.  Then they must remain faithful to God in continual obedience and growth so they can eventually spend eternity with Him in heaven.  We are told this in 2 Peter 2:20-21.

Won't you be converted today?   If so, you too according to Colossians 1:12-13, can be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints and will be translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

                                                            Dennis Strickland - Mooresville

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