Three Stages of Salvation

Three Stages of Salvation
Hebrews 2:3 says “How shall we escape¹ª if we have neglected so great a salvation,¹ª which, having had its beginning in being spoken by the Lord, has been confirmed to us by those who heard”.
Salvation here refers back to what is mentioned in 1:14. It is God’s full salvation, from the forgiveness of sins to the sharing of the coming kingdom with glory. It refers not only to what Christ has done and will do for us but also to Himself, the One who is able to save us to the uttermost (7:25). As the Son of God —as God —and as the Son of Man —as man —He is our salvation. His wonderful person plus His splendid work constitute so great a salvation, a salvation that none of us should neglect. Our negligence will cause us to miss this great salvation’s (1) most precious part —the enjoying of Christ as our saving life and rest in this age; and (2) most glorious part —the inheriting of Christ’s kingdom with glory in the coming age.

Man is of three parts: spirit, soul and body. God’s salvation is of three stages to fully save this three-part man.

The first stage of salvation is the initial stage. This stage saves our spirit. God has done this firstly by His death on the cross to take care of our objective problem before God. Second, as the life-giving Spirit, He has regenerated us in our spirit. This stage includes redemption, forgiveness of sins, cleansing of sins, justification and reconciliation. The result is regeneration. This is the beginning of the Christian life.
The second stage is the progressing stage. This stage saves us in our soul. Although God is now in our human spirit through regeneration, our soul is still full of Satan’s nature. We think evil thoughts. We lie and hate others. We are jealous and full of our own opinions. We love what God hates and hate what God loves. We are evil, we are sin, and even in a certain sense, we are Satan. But, we are also Christians who have received the divine life into us. In this stage, God deals with our evil soul. Regeneration only puts Christ into our spirit. We need to allow Christ to spread into our soul day by day. This will take our entire lifetime. By opening to Him, by praying and by confessing our sins, we allow Him to spread in us. This spreading is our sanctification. In this way, He deposits His holy nature into our soul from our spirit. At the same time He transforms us from an old man to a new man, from being full of the satanic life to being full of God.
The third stage is the completing stage. In this stage our body is saved and God’s full salvation reaches its climax. It is the result of the second stage. Leaving the starting block in the race is the initial stage. Running the course is the progressing stage. Crossing the finish line is the completing stage. You cannot cross the finish line unless you have started and progressed in the course of the race. The faster you progress, the earlier you will complete the race.

This stage is glorious. It finally solves all our problems and consummates God’s eternal purpose. In this stage, our body is conformed to the body of the Lord’s glory. Our body is transfigured, glorified. We inherit God’s kingdom to reign with Christ as co-kings and obtain the topmost enjoyment of the Lord. By this stage, our spirit will be full of life due to regeneration. Our soul will be full of Christ due to sanctification and transformation. We will think the way God thinks. We will love what God loves and hate what He hates. Our will will always choose what God would choose, and our body will be full of the glory of the Lord. Then we will fully be sons of God, full of God’s life, expressing God and representing Him eternally. Through all of this process, we will be built together as the glorious church, the New Jerusalem. Hallelujah! God will be fully satisfied and we will be fully saved!
We can only arrive at this stage by being initially saved and then by being sanctified and transformed. Brothers and sisters, don’t you want to arrive at the third stage? If you do, then go on to enjoy Him as the Spirit and the Word. Then, cooperate with Him daily. Allow Him to spread in you by always following His leading within you and by confessing your sins and shortcomings to Him. In these ways, you will go on from the initial stage of your salvation through the progressive stage, and you will enter into the full enjoyment of your salvation in the completing stage.

Further References:
See Compendium of God’s Full Salvation (LSM),
Chapter 20 and 26;
Holy Bible- Recovery Version with foot notes

or
1.    Life-study of Matthew (Lee/LSM), p. 587.
2.    Life-study of Romans (Lee/LSM), pp. 13, 252-254, 273-275, 453-454, 494-495, 556, 565-566.
3.    Life-study of Colossians (Lee/LSM), pp. 245-246, 525-526.
4.    Life-study of Second Corinthians (Lee/LSM), pp. 33-34, 105-106, 524, 526-529.
5.    Life-study of Genesis (Lee/LSM), pp. 124-125.
6.    The Kingdom (Lee/LSM), p. 390.
7.    Life-study of Hebrews (Lee/LSM), pp. 104-105, 136-137, 230-231, 263-264, 422-423.
8.    Life-study of Ephesians (Lee/LSM), pp. 168, 314-315, 434, 480-481, 551-552.
9.    Life-study of John (Lee/LSM), pp. 67-68, 218, 383, 407-409, 458, 491, 565-567.
10.  The Divine Dispensing of the Divine Trinity (Lee/LSM), pp. 223, 234.
11.  The Spirit and Body (Lee/LSM), p. 25.
12.  Life-study of Philippians (Lee/LSM), pp. 86, 97-98, 328, 338, 340-342, 356-357, 364, 383.
13.  Life-study of Revelation (Lee/LSM), p. 428.
14.  Young People’s Training (Lee/LSM), pp. 179-180.
15.  Life-study of First Peter (Lee/LSM), pp. 92, 129, 134, 303-305.
16.  Life-study of Exodus (Lee/LSM), pp. 407, 550, 888-889.
17.  The Kernel of the Bible (Lee/LSM), p. 17.
18.  Life-study of First Corinthians (Lee/LSM), pp. 418, 523-524.
19.  Experiencing Christ as the Offerings for the Church Meetings (Lee/LSM), pp. 25-26, 52.
20.  Life Messages, vol. 1 (Lee/LSM), p. 256.
21.  Concerning the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Lee/LSM), pp. 1-5.
22.  The Stream (Lee/LSM), vol. 4, no. 2, p. 13.
23.  Truth Messages (Lee/LSM), pp. 9-10, 16-18.
24.  Perfecting Training (Lee/LSM), pp. 341-343, 347-350.
25.  Experience of Christ (Lee/LSM), pp. 45-46.
26.  The Experience of Life (Lee/LSM), pp. 151-152, 244.
27.  The Economy of God (Lee/LSM), pp. 73, 90-93.
28.  The Parts of Man (Lee/LSM), pp. 21-22, 33.
29.  Life-study of Galatians (Lee/LSM), pp. 242, 251-252.
30.  Life-study of Second Peter (Lee/LSM), pp. 27-28, 45.

Photo credits:

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=salvation&client=ms-android-om-lge&biw=320&bih=440&tbm=isch&prmd=ivmn&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXtfyxoPDMAhWHjJQKHdvxBpIQ_AUIBigB

 

 

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The Pagan Practice Of Valentine’s Day Versus The Divine Revelation In The Word

The pagan practice of Valentine's Day

The pagan practice of Valentine’s Day

World’s celebration for Valentine’s Day is coming, so I guess it’s an opportunity for me to share something about it based on history and how it contradicts to God’s divine revelation in the Word.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

Some also believe that Valentine’s day is celebrated to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial- which probably occurred around 270 AD while others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “christianize” celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival.

Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. The Roman “lottery” system for romantic pairing was deemed unchristian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of bird’s mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February -Valentine’s Day- should be a day of romance.

The Romans called the festival the Lupercalia. The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus- the deified hero-hunter of Rome – was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers “going steady”. It usually led to fornication. Today, the custom of teenagers dating only one person on a regular basis a thought very modern.

Nimrod – the original St. Valentine– was also known as Saturn, the Roman-Babylonian god who hid from his pursuers in a secret place. The Latin word Saturn is derived from the Semitic-speaking Babylonians. It means “be hid”, “hide self”, “secret” and “conceal”. The ancient name of Rome before it was rebuilt in 753 B>C was Saturnia – the site of Saturn’s (Nimrod’s) hiding place. There he was found and slain for his crimes. Later, professing Christians in Constantine’s day made Nimrod – the St. Valentine of the heathen – a saint of the Church and continued to honor him under the name of a Christian martyr.

Myths or muthos refers to words, speeches, and conversations concerning such things as rumors, reports, (true or false) stories, and fictions; these are profane and old-womanish myths. (Life-study of 1 Timothy, msg. 1) Cupid in mythology (Roman) is the god of love. It is derived from Latin “cupido” meaning “desire”. Almost and always, he is depicted with two arrows – gold-headed and lead-heade; gold for falling in love and lead for falling hatred.

Practices in Valentine’s Day such as giving flowers, cards and especially dating are empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ; therefore it must be condemn from among God’s children (Col. 2:8; 2 Cor. 6:17, 7:1)

The divine revelation in the bible is Christ as the reality and everything to the believers (Col. 2:17; 3:11). God in Christ is the reality of our love; if we have Christ we have the real love, apart from Christ our love is not love (1 John 4:8-9). Only God is the source of love because God Himself is love (1 John 4:8). 

Pagan practices are empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ (Col. 2:8). Nothing is real in it and it does not depend on the revealed writings of God, but on the traditional practices of men. Although practices of this are not according to the Bible, Christianity followed them because of tradition. The principle we should follow is that of testing everything with the Bible; we should care only for God’s direct revelation in the Holy Word, not for anything that is according to the tradition of men.

As believers and children of God, we must purge out the old leaven of Christianity (1 Cor. 5:7); we must come out of their midst and e separated and must not touch what is unclean.. (2 Cor. 5:7). 2 Corinthians says “Therefore since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and of spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We must hate what the Lord hates (Rev. 2:6). By fleeing youthful lusts to preserve our vessels from fornication (2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Thes. 4:3). We must guard ourselves from idols because He is a jealous God (1 John 5: 21; Deut. 4:24).

May all the young people in the Lord’s recovery will make a great resolutions of heart and great searching of heart!

(Enjoyed from the Lanao Young People’s Meeting)

As the chorus of the hymn says:

Lord, refine our hearts,

Never to be apart,

Fully trusting in your love,

Single and true.

Lord, refine our hearts,

Spread Yourself in every part,

All Your life divine impart,

Until we will be filled with You!

Churching is the Way!!

Actually, I am not supposed to write this because I know that it was quite a long time since the churching, but still, I want to share it to other saints. Please bear with me if my sentence construction is poor. sorry for that!. 😦

Last summer, we were so blessed by the Lord that the young people saints (the collegians) in our locality were given the privilege to visit the saints in the northern part region  of Philippines (National Capital Region or NCR, Laguna, Cavite). It was so full of enjoyment and full of the Lord’s speaking. Up to these days, whenever I tried myself to reminisce to those days, my heart is always filled with joy.  Although we have once visited the churches in Taiwan when I was in first year college (and it was so fun too!), my heart still declares that last summer was indeed, the best churching in my life. I am not trying to say that Taiwan is not good and the saints there were not accommodating. No, it’s absolutely not about that. To be honest, Taiwan is really a nice place to live and the saints there were so accommodating and caring. They are burning in spirit in loving and serving the Lord. However, because of the language barrier (we speak Cebuano and they speak Chinese language, and only few of them can speak and understand English), many times, the fellowship were hindered. But still, the Lord spoke in our midst and we enjoyed the times that we were with them. We have visited almost all the local churches in Taiwan and I am really thankful to the Lord for that. The price that we paid (because you know, our country is not that progressive, and that we are still studying, we really saved for quite a long time to have enough money) was truly worth it. Hence, it was not wasted because we gained Christ. But don’t get me wrong if I did not consider that as the best churching I had. It’s just that, for me, I was really gained by the Lord in the last churching. I can describe my experience in one word: bittersweet. Now, you may wonder why? It’s because the Lord really dealt with in my natural life at that time (although until now, He keeps on dealing my natural man and I’m thankful for that). There were some circumstances that I was really expose, especially in my consideration to other young people saints who were with me in my group.

On the other hand, one of the things that I really love in that churching was that, we were able to visit the full-time training center in Malabon ( FTTM) and attended the college-age conference for one day. We have also witnessed the culmination of the trainees and heard their speaking based on their rich experiences in the training. It all added to my enthusiasm to be trained someday for the Lord’s testimony. I was also happy to be with the saints in Bacoor, Cavite because in that locality, I received the Lord’s fresh speaking concerning His move to Asia. Praise the Lord that our Lord is now moving to Asia! I was refreshed and touched by the testimonies of some brothers who were able to participate. Deep within me, there was the earnest desire that someday, if the Lord wills, I will go to other countries to participate in  the Lord’s move for the Lord’s testimony on earth. May the Lord continue to bless His move and aspire more saints to participate in His move today!

I am looking forward to experience more blending and more churching in the coming days. I can’t help myself to get excited for the next churching this coming summer and this time our destination will be Davao and we will go there via land trip.  I am excited to see the saints and to gain the Lord more.

Thank You Lord for the Body. thank You that blending is the way!

Here are some of the pictures taken during those days.

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During arrival at Ninoy Aquino Interantional Airport (NAIA)

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Picture taking at the entrance in FTTM.. 😀

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At last Lord, FTTM, even though I’m not yet a trainee. hehe

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Food is served.. yum! yum!

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Time to enjoy the Lord with the saints. (be serious Mercy! hehe)

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stopping by to eat lunch at Jolibee with Grace and Veca. 😀

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during visitation  at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in UPLB

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Still at IRRi, watching the world population watch.. the population all over the world is rapidly increasing.. The Lord needs more preachers to more people.. 😀

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during college-age conference at FTTM.

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with Loudy Grace, my lovely sister in the Lord.

Fact, Faith and Experience

In the present age of grace, everything is “by grace” (Eph. 2:8). Everything being by grace means that everything is done by God. Man does not have to do anything to be saved because “to the one who works, his wages are not accounted according to grace, but according to what is due” (Rom. 4:4). Because God deals with man according to grace, there are certain facts.

ImageFacts are God’s promises, His redemption, His works, and His free gifts and that God has accomplished everything for man. Since everything has been accomplished, certain “facts” exist. And since they are existing “facts,” man does not have to accomplish what has already been accomplished. All of God’s works are complete.

However, God’s grace is a righteous grace. This is why, with the “facts,” there is still the need for human cooperation. What kind of cooperation is this? It is not to add anything to what He has finished, but to have man acknowledge that what God has done is real. This is faith.

ImageFaith denotes the way man believes in God, trusts in His work and redemption, and claims His promises. It is a kind of working and attitude through which God’s facts are transformed into man’s experience. It is to acknowledge that what God has said and done is true. Faith is to accept the facts, that is, to acknowledge them as facts.

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Experience is the proper living of the believers, which they secure through believing in God. It is the expression of the life of Christ practiced in the believers’ living. Experience is the realization of all Christ’s accomplishments and victories. It is the practical application, manifestation, and living out of God’s facts. The histories of all the saints recorded in the Bible belong to this category.

“Not only those who are teachers but all believers should know the interrelationship of these three: fact, faith, and experience. Otherwise, they will be confused in their living and in their teachings. Furthermore, they will find many contradictions and apparent disagreements in their reading of the Bible. ” – Bro.Watchman Nee

To experience God’s grace is to claim by faith the facts that God has accomplished for man. These facts are accomplished by God. What man needs is faith. The facts belong to God, and the experience belongs to man. Thus, faith is God’s facts becoming man’s experience. What the Bible shows us is simply “fact, faith, and experience.” 

Based from the book: Fact, Faith and Experience by Watchman Nee and The Meaning of Human Life and Proper Consecration by Witness Lee. Available at http://www.lsm.org

Sonship in the Book of Romans

ImageLast night, we enjoyed the Word concerning Sonship found in the book of Romans. It is found in the life-study of Romans message 53.

You can read it by following this link: http://www.ministrybooks.org

After reading, one of the brothers asked: So, how can we serve in the gospel of His Son (based on Romans 1:9)? Such an interesting question for us. We were then tried to answer based on what we’ve got from our reading of the Word. I then shared, for us to serve in the gospel of His Son, first we need to know what gospel is.  The gospel does not simply involve matters such as redemption, forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, cleansing, and regeneration. All these are aspects of God’s salvation. But God’s salvation has a goal, and that goal is sonship. This means that redemption, forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, cleansing, and regeneration are all for the fulfillment of God’s desire to have many sons to be His expression. A sister then added, that to serve in the gospel of His Son, we need to be in the Son (that is, to be in our mingled spirit) and to be one of  the many sons. For the gospel of God is concerned with this producing of many sons conformed to the image of Christ.

Now, how the many sons are brought into being? The book of Romans is a record of sinners in the flesh becoming sons of God in power and by resurrection. In 3:20 we read that “by the works of law no flesh shall be justified before Him.” This indicates that the flesh, the fallen man, is hopeless. Chapter seven reveals how ugly and troublesome the flesh is. Chapter eight then describes the utter inability of the flesh to keep the law of God. Before we were saved, we were just flesh; we were hopeless, troublesome, and weak. But Christ was made in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and in His crucifixion He brought this flesh to the cross and terminated it. According to the flesh, we cannot be designated sons of God. We can only become sons of God according to the Spirit of holiness. As believers in Christ, we have both the flesh, which we received of our natural parents, and the Spirit of holiness, who has been given to us by God. Like the Lord Jesus, we also have two natures, the human nature and the divine nature. Now we can boldly say, “Lord Jesus, You have two natures, and we have two natures also. You were made flesh, and we also are flesh. Within You there was the Spirit of holiness, and within us there is the Spirit of holiness.” Oh, within us we have the Spirit of holiness, who is actually the wonderful Person of Christ Himself! Holiness is the substance, the essence, the element, the nature, of God. This holy nature of God is absolutely different from all other things and separate from them. The Spirit of holiness refers to God’s very essence. Thus, by having the Spirit of holiness, we have God’s substance within us. According to this Spirit, we are being designated the sons of God.

ImageWhat is then the process of sonship? Transformation is for conformation. According to 8:29, we all shall be conformed to the image of Christ. By conformation, we are brought into the reality of sonship. When we were born again, we had just a small portion of the sonship. Now the sonship needs to spread within us until it saturates our whole being. Eventually, at the time of the Lord’s coming back, even our physical body will be saturated with the sonship. Thus, the saturation of our body with the sonship is the redemption of our body.But today our spirit is in the sonship, but our body is not. According to the spirit we are sons of God, but according to our physical body, we are not yet in the sonship. The transfiguration, the redemption, of our body at the Lord’s coming back will be the last step of the sonship. At that time, we shall be brought wholly and thoroughly into sonship. In every part of our being—spirit, soul, and body—we shall be the real sons of God. Then we shall be glorified. Praise the Lord that today we are undergoing the process of sonship, the process of becoming sons of God. Also, within us we have the Spirit of sonship as a foretaste. When we cry, “Abba, Father,” we have a sweet enjoyment of the Holy Spirit as a foretaste. This Spirit of sonship is now resurrecting us, sanctifying us, transforming us, and conforming us to the image of Christ. (Taken form life-study of Romans msg.53)

Turn, Turn; Why Will You Die?

ImageMan is on the pathway of death. The fall of the first ancestor of the mankind brought man to the way of death. Since that time, the entire human race has been on the pathway of death. as soon as a man is born, he is on the way of death. Hence, man’s life, from beginning to end, is on the pathway of death.

Death means: to depart from God, turn your back on God, be inclined to sin and evildoing  and yet have no feeling. Even if there is some feeling, it will be too feeble to stop you from what you are doing. This is the meaning of death, and these are also the conditions of death.

 Ezekiel 18:23

Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord Jehovah; therefore turn and live.”

The result of walking on the way of death. Death comes from sin. Death also leads to judgement and hell. If a man is walking on the pathway of death, he will eventually be led to judgement and hell.Image

“There is a death waiting for everyone who is walking on the pathway of death, and this death will be a final verdict, forever.”

The call of God’s love. Although man is not thinking about God, God is thinking of man. Man forgets God, but God remembers man. God’s love causes Him to call those who are walking on the pathway of death. You have totally forgotten about God, but today He is calling you: “Turn, turn; why will you die?”. When you are in darkness, doing evil things, dancing, playing cards, or even trying to commit suicide, He will be calling you again and again: “Turn, turn; why will you die?”

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This calling will continue throughout your lifetime, until you receive Him. Maybe at that time you are about to die, He will be still calling you:  “Turn, turn; why will you die?”

How to turn? To turn is to receive God’s call of love. To repent and confess your sins. And to pray and receive Jesus as your Savior.

 2 Peter 3:9

“The Lord does not delay regarding the promise, as some count delay, but is long suffering toward you, not intending that any perish but that fall advance to repentance.”

Take note: It is easier for those who are hearing the gospel for the first time to be saved.