"Building Lives: Rewards and Losses in Christian Ministry"

In 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, Paul employs the metaphor of building to convey the importance of sharing the true gospel. He lays the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, and urges fellow believers to be careful in how they build upon it. Building correctly entails sharing the gospel of faith in Christ alone for salvation, without adding religious rules or requirements. This is crucial, as the foundation can only be Jesus Christ, nothing else.

In verses 12-13, Paul explains that the work mentioned is sharing the gospel with others. If it's done correctly, like building with gold, silver, or precious stones, it will withstand the test of fire on judgment day, and the individual will receive the reward – eternal salvation. However, if the gospel is distorted, represented by building with wood, hay, or straw, it will not endure the fire, resulting in a loss for that individual.

The reward here is not heavenly jewelry but someone receiving the greatest reward: eternal life through faith in Jesus. This context centers on gospel sharing, not earning heavenly gifts through works. As believers, our role is to trust in Jesus and live out our new identity.

Now, when we consider 1 Corinthians 4:15, Paul introduces a different analogy, that of childbirth. He sees the believers as the reward of his ministry. This perspective emphasizes the importance of nurturing and guiding new believers in the true gospel, ensuring they grow in faith.

Regarding the loss, 1 Corinthians 3:15 clarifies that it's not a loss of salvation. Instead, it's the loss of the fruitfulness and impact of one's ministry due to incorrect gospel presentation. Salvation remains secure for the believer, but there is a loss in terms of the effectiveness of their work.

To sum up, the Christian ministry is akin to building and nurturing, with the people being the focus. The loss isn't about salvation, but rather the diminished impact of one's ministry when the gospel message is distorted. The message is clear: share the true gospel of Jesus and God's grace, for anything else won't withstand the refining fire of judgment

 

Eternal Security Texts. 

An incomplete list of New Testament scriptures guaranteeing the believer’s eternal security:

  1. Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! God’s gifts are good and he never takes them back (Rom 11:29).
  2. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. End of discussion.
  3. Luke 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! God’s “how much more” gifts are good. They don’t come with expiry dates.
  4. Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. If Jesus is able to save lost sinners, he is surely able to save straying Christians.
  5. John 1:12-13 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. A born again child of God cannot be unborn. God does not unchild his children.
  6. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. His life is eternal, not sporadic. His future is your future (see 1 John 4:17).
  7. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Eternal life is not a distant reward for those who pass the test, but a present reality for those who believe and know the Lord.
  8. John 4:14 Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit (see John 7:38-38). If you have the Spirit you have eternal life. And the Spirit abides with us forever (John 14:16-19).
  9. John 5:24 I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. And it’s a one-way trip!
  10. John 6:28-29 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” There is no deed that qualifies or disqualifies you. You are qualified by Christ.
  11. John 6:37 All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (ASV) Not now, not ever. God doesn’t make mistakes
  12. John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. The shepherd keeps his sheep.
  13. John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Eternal life is something to experience now. It’s not a carrot on the end of a religious stick.
  14. John 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. (ESV)
  15. John 6:53-54 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Again and again Jesus says the believer has eternal life now and here he repeats the promise of v.40: “I will raise him up.”
  16. John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the chief sign that we know we are saved. The Holy Spirit abides with us forever (John 14:16).
  17. John 8:35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. For-ev-er!
  18. John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. The responsibility for keeping the sheep lies with the shepherd (sheep aren’t smart enough to keep themselves), and Jesus knows his sheep.
  19. John 10:27-28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. No one means no one.
  20. John 10:29-30 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. Jesus holds you (v.28) and so does the Father!
  21. John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
  22. John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. The Holy Spirit is your never-leaving, never-gonna-give-you-up, guarantee.
  23. John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” When God moves in it’s permanent.
  24. John 15:16 It was not you who chose me; it was I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain. You have been chosen by God. God doesn’t choose poorly.
  25. John 17:9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. You belong to God.
  26. John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. You are divinely protected.
  27. John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. God makes us eternally holy.
  28. John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Everything that needed to be done has been done. The work of saving and sanctifying you was finished at the cross.
  29. Romans 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Righteousness is a gift from God. Even the faith with which we receive it is a gift (Eph 2:8). There was no righteous act that made us righteous; there is no unrighteous act that can make us unrighteous. We stand on Christ Jesus and his righteousness.
  30. Romans 4:6-7 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Your sins – all forgiven – cannot undo what Christ did.
  31. Romans 4:20-21 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. It’s easy to be fully persuaded when you know how powerful and reliable God is.
  32. Romans 5:9-10 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
  33. Romans 5:11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Reconciliation is a done deal. You are wedded to the Lord and he doesn’t believe in divorce.
  34. Romans 5:20-21 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. When we sin his grace superabounds. Nothing we do can undo what God has done.
  35. Romans 6:6-7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Sin cannot affect the saint’s destiny.
  36. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eternal life is a gift, not a wage, and in Christ you have it.
  37. Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. End of story. Those who seek to condemn the Christian run afoul of God’s glorious promise.
  38. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (ASV) The Holy Spirit is your eternal guarantee. See also 2 Cor 1:22, 5:5.
  39. Romans 8:15-16 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Your Father will never unadopt you or reject you.
  40. Romans 8:28-30 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. God did it all.
  41. Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? The greatest rhetorical question of all.
  42. Romans 8:33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Yet another definitive promise you can bank on.
  43. Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. When you sin, the devil may condemn you, and sour-faced preachers may condemn you. You may even condemn yourself. But Jesus defends you (2 John 2:1)!
  44. Romans 8:35,37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Religion says you’re a failure, doomed to stumble, but God says you are more than a conquerer in Christ.
  45. Romans 8:38-9 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Truly nothing can separate me from the eternal grip of God’s love.
  46. Romans 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
  47. Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Salvation is now not later, and in Christ you have it.
  48. Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. You are saved and kept by grace.
  49. Romans 11:18 Consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You are rooted in Jesus and the root sustains you. Such good news!
  50. Romans 11:29 God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. This includes the gift of salvation. He’ll never take it back.
  51. 1 Corinthians 1:8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus saves and keeps you.
  52. 1 Corinthians 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. You might not be a pillar of faithfulness, but he who called you can be trusted. He is always faithful.
  53. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. God’s promises are “Yes in Christ.” They do not hinge on you.
  54. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Boomfah! We can’t trust our own guarantees, but surely we can trust his. (See also Rom 8:9, 2 Cor 5:5).
  55. 2 Corinthians 3:9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
  56. 2 Corinthians 5:5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. More guarantees.
  57. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! And the new will never become the old again.
  58. 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. We are as righteous as God! How can we improve on that?
  59. 2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. Salvation is now, not tomorrow.
  60. 2 Corinthians 10:7 If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. You are not your own. You cannot lose what belongs to Jesus.
  61. Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Paul is not saying we can undo the Spirit’s work, but trying to complete what he has promised to complete and will complete is a waste of time.
  62. Galatians 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. God’s kids are secure.
  63. Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
  64. Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. What God has made (you, into an heir) no one can unmake.
  65. Galatians 6:14-15 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.
  66. Ephesians 1:4-5 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
  67. Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. There are no limits to his forgiveness.
  68. Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. (NKJV)
  69. Ephesians 1:13 in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (ASV). Sealed = securely saved. See also Eph 4:30.
  70. Ephesians 2:4-6 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. You are seated with Jesus.
  71. Ephesians 2:7-9 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Everything that saves us is from God and his gifts are good.
  72. Ephesians 2:18-19 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. We have already arrived. Not only are we new creatures, we are new citizens, with all the rights and privileges therein. See also Php 3:20.
  73. Ephesians 3:17-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Love without limit.
  74. Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Sealed = securely saved. See also Eph 1:13.
  75. Ephesians 5:29-30 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. A wonderful affirmation of our secure position in Christ. Jesus doesn’t do amputations.
  76. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Jesus will finish what he began.
  77. Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are heavenly citizens and will never be deported. See also Eph 2:19.
  78. Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This promise includes your need for salvation, overcoming, conquering, continuing, etc.
  79. Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. What God has qualified, you can’t unqualify.
  80. Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (NKJV). And he will never convey you back to darkness. He will never cast you into darkness.
  81. Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
  82. Colossians 2:9-10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
  83. Colossians 2:11-13 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ… When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. Christ made you alive and nothing can undo that.
  84. Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Your life is hidden and secure.
  85. Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. That’s a promise!
  86. Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people… God chose you and he did not make a mistake.
  87. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. God keeps his appointments.
  88. 1 Thessalonians 5:10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
  89. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. He will do it.
  90. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. God chose you.
  91. 2 Thessalonians 2:14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. You have been called by God.
  92. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. It’s not a temporary hope, but an eternal hope.
  93. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Jesus’ word is the only word that counts. See also Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24.
  94. 2 Timothy 1:9 God has saved us and called us to a holy life not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. “Has saved” means it’s a done deal and not the result of something you did.
  95. 2 Timothy 1:12 I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. We can trust in God’s awesome ability to guard our lives.
  96. 2 Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  97. Titus 1:2 A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. Our hope of eternal life rests on the promises of a God who never lies.
  98. Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. The believer is not saved by what he does, but by what Christ has done for him.
  99. Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. Jesus our representative will never let you down.
  100. Hebrews 5:2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. Unlike insecurity preachers who minister hellfire and condemnation to those who stray, our high priest is gentle and compassionate.
  101. Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (NKJV) Jesus is authoring his salvation story in your life. His salvation is eternal, not temporary or probationary.
  102. Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It is an “unbreakable spiritual lifeline” to quote the Message Bible.
  103. Hebrews 7:21-22 God said to Jesus: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever.’” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. (Heb 7:21-22). Not only is the Holy Spirit our guarantee (Rom 8:9), so is Jesus! And it’s his oath on which we stand.
  104. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (ASV) Jesus doesn’t do partial, temporary salvations.
  105. Hebrews 8:6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. See 1 Tim 2:5 above.
  106. Hebrews 8:10-12 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” When God says he will, he will. God the righteous judge looks on that perfect sacrifice and chooses not to remember our sins.
  107. Hebrews 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. Our redemption is eternal and secure. (If you could lose it, it wouldn’t be eternal.)
  108. Hebrews 9:14-15 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. An eternal inheritance to go with eternal redemption and eternal forgiveness. For other scriptures showing Christ is our mediator, see 1 Tim 2:5, Heb 8:6, 12:24.
  109. Hebrews 10:12,14 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (ASV) Our status before God is perfect forever, not perfect every time we confess, overcome, repent, do good deeds.
  110. Hebrews 10:17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” God is not keeping books. Your future sins have no bearing on his grace.
  111. Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. We are kept secure by his faithful promises, not ours.
  112. Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Jesus completes what he starts.
  113. Hebrews 12:24 Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. For other scriptures showing Christ is our mediator, see 1 Tim 2:5, Heb 8:6, 9:15.
  114. Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” A golden promise!
  115. Hebrews 13:6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
  116. Hebrews 13:20-21 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 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. You cannot break the eternal covenant between God and Jesus, the great Shepherd.
  117. 1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. We are kept by the power of God!
  118. 1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Our deeds may prove perishable, but we are not saved by perishable deeds.
  119. 1 Peter 1:23 You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God. [AMP] There is no new birth without a new seed and this seed is imperishable. The seed is not something to possess and possibly lose – it is the basis of our new life.
  120. 1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. What a wonderful affirmation of what God has done for us!
  121. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Having been united with the Lord through faith-based confession, we are eternally purified. As he is so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
  122. 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. What happens when we stumble? Our Righteous Advocate intercedes for us!
  123. 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. The promised future for God’s kids.
  124. 1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (ESV)
  125. 1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
  126. 1 John 4:17 We may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. (AMP) His future is your future.
  127. 1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. Some poo-poo this idea that we are born again, saying it is barely mentioned in the Bible. Nevertheless, here is it. Jesus said it and so did John because being born again is everything. Once we were not his people, now we are. Everything has changed!
  128. 1 John 5:10-11 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. And this new life is eternal.
  129. 1 John 5:13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. This is not something to wonder or worry about. John writes so that you may know with certainty that you have eternal life.
  130. 1 John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. Jesus keeps us!
  131. 2 John 1:2 …because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever. John echoing Jesus in John 14:16
  132. Jude 1:24-25 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jesus keeps me. See also 1 Cor 1:8, Php 1:6, 1Th 5:23-24.
  133. Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. In Christ, you are an overcomer and Jesus promises to never blot out your name

List compiled by Dr Paul Ellis. A Grace Gospel Teacher.

 

 

 

Don't Argue With Fools!

When People believe their own lies especially around the Gospel, it's difficult to reason with the such a person.

Grace and peace be with you all. Today, I wish to share with you a profound insight that resonates deeply with the teachings of our faith. It is a lesson in wisdom and authenticity, a guiding light in Jesus as we journey through a world where his truth often stands in stark contrast to the deceptive webs some may weave throughout a works based plus conditions to ones blessings or curses in life.

In this life, we encounter individuals who firmly believe their own lies, philosophy or that which has been prescribed by religious leaders and influencers, akin to a chess match where the knight claims to be a rook, and the bishop insists upon being a queen. But let us remember, dear friends, that our purpose is not to engage in futile debates or risk a major backlash or personal attack as anyone coming in the name of Jesus isn't received by some.

In Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." 

There's a warning , the deception is real, so if we engage, may our conversations be marked by the essence of Christ, grounded in the unshakeable truth of His word. Talking about other Jesus's or Jehovahs can become a burden if one agrees and accepts or adopts a distorted message other than the Grace of God message. 

Drawing inspiration from sacred scripture, let us recall with our Savior Jesus who illustrates the importance of choosing our battles wisely. Just as Jesus often chose not to engage in fruitless arguments, we are called to focus on sharing our teachings, displaying our authenticity, and radiating the light of God's truth.

In the book of Proverbs, we find this advice, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes." These words encourage us to navigate the delicate balance between engaging with discernment and recognizing when to step back, for we must avoid casting pearls before swine. Instead, let our interactions be marked by gentleness, respect, and the embodiment of Christ's love.

Therefore, let us meditate on the words of the apostle Paul to Timothy: "Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." In these moments of discord, let our voices rise not in contention, but in harmony with Jesus Thoughts of truth and grace. John 1:17.

May our conversations be enlightening, guided by the exhortation of Ephesians 4:15: "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Let our true self shine as we walk the path of faith, embodying the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

In closing, I offer you a heartfelt blessing. May your days be infused with the joy of the Lord, your conversations be filled with the wisdom of His word, and your authenticity be a radiant beacon amidst the fog of deception. As you encounter those who believe their own "tales" or another works based gospel remember to share a knowing smile and continue your journey, upheld by the wind of the indwelling Spirit and warmed by the light of Christ.

Yours in Christ's love.

New Testament:

In the interactions between Jesus and the Pharisees, there were instances where Jesus chose not to engage in futile arguments. Instead, he often focused on sharing his teachings and displaying his authenticity.

Key Bible Texts to Meditate On:

Proverbs 26:4-5 - "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."

2 Timothy 2:23-24 - "Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful."

Matthew 7:6 - "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

1 Peter 3:15 - "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

Ephesians 4:15 - "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."

Meditating on these texts can provide guidance on how to approach conversations with those who believe their own lies while staying true to one's own beliefs and values.



My notes From Werribee Baptist Church sermon. Simplified Version on Gratitude and Giving.

I missed the theme, so let me create one for a point of reference.

Embracing Generosity, Love, and Grace: A Journey Through Bread and Wine, Dining With Jesus.

Introduction:


As I was listening to a church service today, the profound connection between gratitude, love for the Lord, and the symbolism of breaking bread and drinking wine was explored. The concept of unity with Jesus through these elements served as a powerful reminder of the principles that guide our lives. Let's delve into the key takeaways from this enlightening discourse:

Key Points:

Generosity Generates Generosity: 2 Corinthians 9:11 highlights the transformative power of giving. True generosity extends beyond material wealth, prompting us to become stewards of various gifts, whether riches or talents.

Grace Precedes Giving: Reflecting on Luke 6:38, we realize that the act of giving is intrinsically tied to the grace we've received. Just as grace precedes giving, our willingness to extend kindness and help others flows from the grace we've experienced.

Treasure the Future: Drawing inspiration from 1 Timothy 6:17-19, the emphasis shifts from fleeting pursuits to eternal treasures. This perspective encourages us to invest in what truly matters and transcend the allure of momentary pleasures.

Sacrificial Praise Through Jesus: Hebrews 13:15-16 underscores the concept of sacrificial praise, urging us to set ourselves apart from the world. This involves offering praise even to those who may not seemingly deserve it, echoing Christ's example.

Putting on Love: Colossians 3:12-14 guides us to clothe ourselves with love, a virtue that unifies and transcends differences. Loving ourselves as chosen, holy, and dearly loved, as Scriptures affirm, empowers us to extend the same love to others.

Examples of Humility: Drawing from Luke 7, Luke 11, Luke 17, Matthew 9, and John 11, we find powerful illustrations of humility and devotion at the feet of Jesus. These examples inspire us to humbly seek Christ's presence and cultivate an attitude of reverence.

Bread of Life and Spiritual Nourishment: Echoing the symbolism of bread and wine, we're reminded of Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Our spiritual appetite is satisfied by His blessings, and partaking in this symbolism enhances our spiritual experience.

Embracing Grace and Love: Emulating the humility of Paul, who referred to himself as the chief of sinners, teaches us to appreciate grace and acknowledge our own imperfections. Recognizing Christ's unwavering love encourages us to love ourselves and others more deeply.

Conclusion:

In closing, these reflections remind us that gratitude, love, and grace are the cornerstones of a meaningful and purposeful life. As we internalize the lessons learned, may we be moved to give generously, love unconditionally, and embrace grace wholeheartedly. Just as Jesus loves us unconditionally, we should learn to love ourselves and others with the same fervor, ultimately enriching our lives and the lives of those around us.

Thank You Lord 🙏 I was refreshed as the Pastor explored the blessings we've received and the joy of giving.