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!

Concerning Grace

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Question: Does grace mean giving less because man does not deserve it?

Answer: Grace is NOT a matter of giving less because man does NOT deserve it. God has NOT overlooked the problem of man’s sin. In dealing sin, God is very strict, definite, and thorough. Through His Son, He has thoroughly deal with this problem. Therefore, how can any questions related to man’s worthiness or the degree of his worthiness remains? God’s grace is NOT concerned with man’s unworthiness. Since ALL men can obtain God’s grace.

God does NOT withhold His grace because of man’s unworthiness; instead, He bestows grace because of his unworthiness. God does NOT DIFFERENTIATE among the unworthy according to who is more unworthy and is less unworthy. God does NOT enable the less unworthy to receive more grace and the more unworthy to receive less grace.

God cannot bestow less grace to those who have greater sins and more grace to those who have less sins. Grace is never used by God to patch up sinner’s flaws. The condition of the sinner, his works, and his merits (both great and small) are completely put aside.

Since grace is grace, it is NOT related to the recipient’s condition at all. The recipient does NOT need to have any qualification to receive grace, since grace is given to those who do NOT deserve it and is NOT related to the recipient’s condition. Therefore, grace is NOT giving less to those who are less deserving. Otherwise, man’s condition once again becomes the prerequisite of receiving grace. The bestowing of grace in neither according to a person’s condition nor the result of comparing one person to another. God’s grace is vast, expansive, and intended for all kinds of sinners. Those who think they are all right need God’s grace as much as those who regard themselves as great sinners.

Some may think that a better person deserves more grace. But from God’s viewpoint, everyone is the same. Suppose several plates fall to the ground. Some may break in half, some into five pieces and others into fragments. Although they may break in different ways, they are all broken. Whether you are a “better” sinner or a “worse” sinner, you are still a sinner. The Bible says that all men are sinners. God sent the Lord Jesus to die for sinners, thereby affording every sinner an opportunity to be saved. If only one sinner in the world needed to be saved, God would have still sent His Son to die for him. In the parable of shepherd seeking the lost sheep, the shepherd left the ninety-nine sheep to seek the one lost sheep (Luke 15:3-4). Whether you are a great sinner or small sinner, as long as you are a lost sheep, you need the Lord Jesus to die for you.

Questions On The Gospel (Watchman Nee)

 

What’s the meaning of “Oh Lord Jesus”?

ImageOH – used to express a strong emotional reaction such as surprise, shock, pain, or EXTREME PLEASURE.LORD – our Lord Jesus became “Lord” after His ascension, is for the exercising of AUTHORITY (Acts 2:36), a matter which concerns His HEADSHIP.

JESUS – means Jehovah the Savior. He is not only a man but Jehovah, and not only Jehovah but Jehovah becoming our salvation. He is our Savior, the One who brings us into rest (Heb. 4:8; Matt. 11:28-29), which is Himself as the good land to us.

“In oneness, we need to take the “Lord” as our Head and Authority”Eph. 4:5 – ONE LORD, one FAITH, one baptism;

Eph. 4:6 – One God and Father of all, who is OVER all and through all and in all.

“ONE LORD” – This verse does NOT say “one Son,” but “one Lord.” In the Gospel of John it is Son into whom we believe (John 3:16), but in the Acts it is the LORD into whom we believe (Acts 16:31). In the Epistles of John, the SON is for the imparting of LIFE (1 John 5:12), whereas in the Acts, the LORD, after His ascension, is for the exercising of AUTHORITY (Acts 2:36), a matter which concerns His HEADSHIP. Hence, our BELIEVING in Him is related to both LIFE and AUTHORITY, for He is both our LIFE and our HEAD.

As the Head of the Body, He is the Lord. Christians are DIVIDED because they NEGLECT the Head; that is, they NEGLECT the Lord’s headship and authority.

“FAITH” – Through faith we BELIEVE into the Lord (John 3:36), and through BAPTISM we are baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27) and terminated in Adam (Rom. 6:4). Through faith and baptism we have been TRANSFERRED out of Adam INTO Christ, thereby being JOINED to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). Immediately after believing in Christ, we should be BAPTIZED to COMPLETE the transfer.

“OVER” – The Trinity is implied even here. ‘OVER ALL’ refers mainly to the Father, ‘THROUGH ALL’ to the Son, an ‘IN ALL’ to the Spirit. The Triune God eventually enters into us ALL by REACHING us as the SPIRIT. The oneness of the Body of Christ is constituted of the Trinity of the Godhead – the Father as the source and origin being the ORIGINATOR, the Son as the Lord and the Head being the ACCOMPLISHER, and the Spirit as the life-giving Spirit being the EXECUTOR. The Triune God Himself, when realized and experienced by us in our daily living, is the fundamental basis and very foundation of our oneness.

 

PRAYER AND DESIRE

ImagePrayer is an EXPRESSION of our DESIRE before God. The Bible records that many people HAD their prayers ANSWERED. EVERY ONE of them prayed with a DESIRE. Without a DESIRE, there is NO NEED for prayer. If what we pray for TRULY COMES from the BOTTOM of our heart, SURELY the ANSWERS to our prayers will NOT be so FEW. It is because our DESIRE is NOT SINGLE that our prayers become SOUNDING BRASS and CLANGING CYMBALS. The GREATEST DANGER to prayer is attempt to be ORNATE and to pray according to FORMAL RULES. There is MORE danger in PUBLIC prayer than in private prayer. Actually, nine times out of ten the LONG PRAYERS of a “thousand words” are EMPTY prayers. I am afraid such prayers are DIRECTED more toward MEN than towards God. Many times, the CONTENT of a prayer is VERY PLEASANT, the VOICE VERY DESPERATE, and the TONE VERY HARMONIOUS. Yet EVERYTHING is directed toward MAN. God will NOT hear nor answer such a prayer. Prayer that are WITHOUT any DESIRE are MOCKERY to God. In God’s eyes these prayers are DETESTABLE. Even when a person PRAYS alone, is it NOT true that many TERM he uses are FAMILIAR terms that are UTTERED without much thought? Because the words have become familiar, the SAME words may be uttered WITHOUT any RESPONSE from the heart. Such prayers are really a WASTE of time. They are WORSE than USELESS.Those who TRULY understand God and His holiness and majesty will NEVER DO such things. If we come to God with a PURE HEART and realize who He is with whom we have come FACE to FACE, would we ever DARE to be HYPOCRITICAL? Actually, we should NEVER pray BEYOND what the HOLY SPIRIT has PROMPTED us TO PRAY. If we do this, surely it is COUNTERFEIT. Hence, it is BEST to ALLOW the Holy Spirit to PLACE in our spirit the THINGS that we should pray FOR, so that we will NOT OFFEND God. We should LEARN to be HONEST before God. It is BETTER to have SHORT prayers than FALSE prayers. We should PAY ALL the more ATTENTION when we pray for OTHERS. Many SUPPLICATIONS are but a kind of PAYMENT of debts! Thus, there is NO sense of DESIRE, and the whole things is a MERE ROUTINE. Therefore, those who do NOT have a REAL love for OTHERS CANNOT pray for OTHERS. When we FEEL others’ NEED to be OUR OWN, we will pray SINCERELY for them. When we FEEL others’ NEED in the same way they FEEL it themselves, we will make SUPPLICATIONS for them FAITHFULLY. It is because there is NO love for OTHERS that prayers have become mere EMPTY voices. We should SYMPATHIZE with others MORE and should IDENTIFY ourselves with others MORE. May we henceforth pray with our MOUTH and also with our HEART. May our prayers REACH the presence of God like FRAGRANCE.

Based on the book “Twelve Baskets Full” by  Watchman Nee

 

P.A.P.S Time With Him

Lord, recover our Personal, Affectionate, Private, and Spiritual time with You!

Lord, recover our Personal, Affectionate, Private, and Spiritual time with You!

People who are in love says that if you love someone, you always love to spend time with him or her. They then added that distance and time is not an issue as long as you can see and talk with your beloved. A brother once said that when he was so much in love with her wife before they got married, 5 or 10 minutes talk with her was not enough. The moment that he can hear the voice of his beloved, he cannot help but be with her and talk to her even if it takes how many hours, even for the entire day.

This is what the Lord wants from us; He wants us to spend more time with Him.  As we love Him, we need to have an appointed time to talk to Him in a PERSONAL, AFFECTIONATE, PRIVATE and SPIRITUAL way. Every early morning, before we are going to pursue our Morning Revival material, we need to have a PAPS time with the Lord first. As we spontaneously talk with Him and have fellowship with Him, 15 minutes is no longer enough for us. Moreover, the moment we come to the Lord’s presence, we cannot help but be with Him and have fellowship with him an a very intimate and personal way even if it takes the whole day. Then, as we pursue Him more in the Morning Revival material, we will be supplied and satisfied. This is the real revival. If we sense that although we have read the material, but still feels dry and dissatisfied, then, that is an indication that we have not really revived.

A brother once said that there are two ways on how to minister: ministering to the Lord and ministering to His house. So often, we only see the latter one and tend to forget the ministering to the Lord. Ministering to the Lord is to have time with Him first; to be one with His presence; to have a talk with Him; and to consider Him as the preeminent One. we need to see that before we can minster His house, that is the church, we need to minister to Him first; to have PAPS time with Him before anything and anyone.

As co-workers of our Lord, we want others to be touched by the Lord through us, but how can the Lord touch them if we have not been touched first by the Lord? Bro. Nee once said that we cannot touch others unless we have been touched first. May we see the need to be touched by the Lord first by simply touching Him and by having PAPS time with Him.

Psalms 66:18 says, “If I regarded inequity in my heart, the Lord did not hear”. This means that if we still have unconfessed sins in our hearts before Him, then our PAPS time with Him is not that effective and intimate. This is also a related in the matter of exercising our spirit. To exercise our spirit is to use the functions of our spirit. The bible reveals that our spirit has three functions: fellowship, intuition and conscience. Fellowship is to contact God; to have communion with Him; to have a talk with Him; and to be one with Him. Intuition is to have a direct speaking from God and a direct knowledge from Him beyond any human reason. Conscience then is to recognize good from evil; and to justify things according to righteousness. To use these functions is to exercise our spirit. In our PAPS time with Him, our spirit needs to be exercised. Otherwise we cannot have a real PAPS time with Him. Hence, there is a need to for us to confess our sins no matter how small it is, and to repent to the Lord by turning our hearts to Him.

May the Lord continue to recover our PAPS time with Him that it may become a habit for us every early morning!

 

Psalms 25

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A psalm of David

A Psalm of David

To You, O Jehovah, I lift up my soul.

2  O my God, I trust in You; Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.

3  Indeed may all who wait on You not be ashamed; May those who deal treacherously without cause be ashamed.

4  Make Your ways known to me, O Jehovah; Teach me Your paths.

5  Guide me in Your truth, and teach me; For You are the God of my salvation; I wait on You all the day long.

Remember Your compassions, O Jehovah, And Your acts of kindness, for they are from of old.

The sins of my youth and my transgressions, do not remember; According to Your lovingkindness, remember me, For the sake of Your goodness, O Jehovah.

8  Jehovah is good and upright; Therefore He instructs sinners concerning the way.

9  He guides the lowly in justice And teaches the lowly His way.

10  All the paths of Jehovah are lovingkindness and truth To those who observe His covenant and His testimonies.

11  For the sake of Your name, O Jehovah, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

12  Who then is the man who fears Jehovah? Him will He instruct concerning the way that he should choose.

13 His soul will dwell in prosperity, And his seed will possess the land.

14  The intimate counsel of Jehovah is to those who fear Him, And His covenant will He make known to them.

15  My eyes are continually turned to Jehovah, For He will bring my feet out of the net.

16  Turn toward me, and be gracious to me, For I am alone and afflicted.

17  Relieve the troubles of my heart, And bring me out of my distresses.

18  Look on my affliction and my suffering, And forgive all my sins.

19  Look on my enemies, for they are many; Indeed they hate me with a violent hatred.

20  Keep my soul, and deliver me; Do not let me be put to shame, For I take refuge in You.

21  May integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait on You.

22  Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles.

Source: http://online.recoveryversion.org