This is my story: at 8 years old I first heard God’s voice. At the age of 12, I was saved by Jesus, at Oasis of Hope church.
At the age of 14, I turned my back and walked away from everything thing I knew, everything I had been taught, and anything to do with God.
At the age of twenty, when everyone else had given up on me, Jesus hadn’t. I will never again turn away from Him.
“For example, in 1987 Mrs. Baker James Cauthen taught English at a Chinese university. Born in China of missionary parents, she was a former missionary in China and wife of the late, longtime president of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. However, she served not under the auspices of a mission board, but as an individual on a mission.”
I like that she chose to work, not just rely on handouts, like Paul who continued to work as a tent maker, supporting himself while he traveled and preached.
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
If the Lord is leading us, and we are following where He leads, if we are following His commands, then we are assured of success. Where He gives the vision, He will also give the provision.
We are not to turn away from the word, and not to listen to fables– or psychology– to put it in modern terms. Christians are to meditate on the word– then the Holy Spirit will reveal the source of victory– the Cross–which is spoken of throughout the bible. Only when we understand that the victory is in what Jesus has done–only then will we be able to do what the bible says to do. Only then will we have good success and be prosperous. The bible is not referring to worldly goods, but victory over sin, the world, and the devil, who constantly opposes us.
People often ask why God allows bad things:
But they don’t look at it from both sides. God gave us doctors to treat disease, God gave them the intelligence and wisdom they have. He causes all manner of food to grow from the earth to keep us healthy and free from disease. Many diseases are caused by a poor diet. God gave us government to regulate society: police, judges, government officials. Because of the evil hearts of men, these institutions don’t always work as they should, but those are flaws in man, not God.
Too often, the people who want to blame God don’t want the truth–in their heart, they really hate God–they will attack God’s people for standing on the truth, and they refuse to be reasoned with. It comes down to choice, and it is a moral issue–a matter of an evil heart and a reprobate mind.
1 Corinthians 12:1
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”
Since all of the bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and written down by men, this passage, like every other passage of the bible, is very important, and as we go through this chapter, we must realize it is the Holy Spirit speaking, and not men–the Apostle Paul was just the vessel through whom the words of the Holy Spirit flowed, So the Holy Spirit is here saying that He does not want us to be ignorant about what the gifts are, and what is involved with their proper function, and what benefit they have to the body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:2
“You know that you were Gentiles carried away unto these dumb idols, even as you were led.”
A dead religion sets up men as idols, men who do not understand the word properly, as they should understand it. In this passage, the word “dumb” does not mean unintelligent–in this scripture that word means “unable to speak” This applies to these idol leaders, they are unable to properly convey the Word of God because they do not understand the Word of God. This is for one of these reasons: 1–they are not saved, or 2–if they are saved, they do not understand, or outright reject the work of the Holy Spirit, and as a result, the people who listen to them are led into error, and make idols out of men; this happens every time that God the Holy Spirit is rejected.
Many of the people who follow these dumb idol leaders are unsaved themselves, because they are not being fed the Word of God by these leaders, and the Holy Spirit has no opportunity to work in their lives.
1 Corinthians 12:3
“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.”
This is speaking of more than just words: it refers to accepting the gospel once it is heard, thereby declaring Jesus Lord, or rejecting the Gospel, and in your heart declaring Jesus “accursed.”
It is the Holy Spirit who points people to Christ, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts the sinner of their sin, and makes them aware of their true condition, and of their need for a Savior, it is the Holy Spirit that takes a sinner who was dead in their sins, spiritually dead, that is, and makes them alive spiritually.
An unsaved person has no knowledge of who God truly is, no desire for the true God, and no clue about their true condition, until the Holy Spirit shows them. It is the Holy Spirit who takes that spiritually dead sinner, and makes them alive. The word for this is “quickening”
There are several scriptures in bible where the word “quicken” or “quickening” is used in this way–with the meaning “to make alive.”
“And you has He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins:”
When we look back to Ephesians 1:15-23, it becomes clear that the “He” spoken of is Jesus Christ, because He is our Savior, and it is in Him that we are made spiritually alive, as He was crucified, and then made physically alive, after three days and nights. But it is still the Holy Spirit who quickens our dead hearts to come to Christ in first place, accepting Jesus as Savior, at which point we become alive in Christ Jesus.
“But God (God the Father), who is rich in Mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together in Christ (by Grace you are Saved:) 6 and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus:”
God the Father decreed the Cross, God the Son became a man and died on the Cross, and the Holy Spirit orchestrated all events, carrying out the will of both the Father and the Son. Here we also see that all the members of Godhead are all equally, 100% God and all are involved in our salvation.
I need to write it again:
God the Father decreed the Cross, God the Son went to the Cross, and God the Holy Spirit carries out the decrees of both the Father and the Son, and quickens us to faith in the Cross. God’s greatest work was the Cross. Jesus came for that purpose, and that purpose alone.
” And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened together with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses; 14 blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it our of the way, nailing it to His Cross; 15 and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it..
The place of Jesus’ victory, and in Him, our victory, was, and is, the Cross, and no where else!!
Scriptures concerning our quickening:
“As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations, before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.”
Once we were not the children of God, but by placing our faith in what Jesus accomplished, we become the children of God.
“For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them, even so the Son quickens whom He will.”
“It is the Spirit who quickens the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
The Cross is the Well in the Wilderness. Jesus said: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:8
To truly believe in Jesus means to believe that He accomplished everything on the Cross: victory over sin, the flesh, and the devil. Those who come to Christ and accept this finished work will have their spiritual thirst satisfied.
This truth was given in the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well:
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
1When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4And he must needs go through Samaria. 5Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
The Disciples Return and Marvel
27And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
31In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
Many Samaritans Believe
39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41And many more believed because of his own word; 42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
There is such a wealth of teaching in these passages. Jesus said “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” That finished work is what Jesus accomplished on the Cross, that was His mission. He did heal the sick, raise the dead, and he did many miracles, but His primary mission was to go to the Cross. Our primary mission needs to be to preach the Cross, because “behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”