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Living Saved – Past, Present & Future

GalaxyIn my last post I talked about how the work of salvation was started in your life.  But that’s not the end of it.  The Word has a greater job to do in you.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
James 1:21

James is writing to the church in this passage of Scripture.  As I’ve stated before, I believe that the book of James was the first New Testament Scripture to be written.  If that’s true, then the Word he refers to could not be the Bible, since that was unknown at this point in church history.

What James is telling us is that the Word has been planted in us and is continuing to grow in us.  It’s there to change us.  Actually, what he says in the original Greek, is that this seed has the power (dunamis) to save your soul.  James is telling us to allow the seed of the Word to do its job, the saving of our souls.

Wait a minute!  I thought that if I accepted Christ, then I’m saved already.  The answer to that is an important one.  Yes, you were saved from sin and hell.  If you died right now you would go to heaven to be with the Lord.

However, in the broadest sense, salvation is not a one time thing.  It’s ongoing.  I’m saved (from sin and hell), I’m being saved (from the effects of sin in me), and I will be saved (from my flesh).  It’s this ongoing process of salvation that James is writing about.

Salvation itself is a package deal.  It includes everything that Christ paid for on the cross.  That same Word that brought me over from death to life also works God’s health and provision in me.  But for this to work, it has to start in my soul and work its way out.

That’s why the Word is called a seed.  Much of its work is done in the unseen places, below the surface.  Then, as it continues its work, it bursts out into the sunlight to bring the work in my life to completion – the bearing of fruit.

The question may arise – where does the seed come from?  The answer is simple.  It comes from the processes of the Spirit.  The seed grows, produces the plant and then the fruit.  The fruit itself contains more seed.  That seed is then planted in new ground to produce even more – and the cycle continues.

So, in reality, the seed comes from those who at one time received the Word, allowed it to grow, and then brought forth fruit.  The seed comes from someone who accepted the Word.  According to the parables of Christ, there can be 30, 60, or even 100 times what was originally sown.  God wants an abundant harvest.  The greater the harvest, the greater the next planting will be.

Question: How much has your life changed since you first made Christ Lord of your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Word of God

 

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The Call to Fruitfulness

Isaiah 5:1-2
I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.  He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.

God wants His people to produce fruit.  If we are to truly be fruitful, then we need to see the production of fruit from God’s perspective.  To make this clear to us, I want to take a little trip back in history.  So, ask yourself what God’s ultimate purpose was in choosing Israel.  According to this section of Scripture, God made a great investment in Israel.  He took a lot of care in it’s development.

Only the choicest vine stock was used.  Men of faith and courage who were not afraid to believe God and step out on His Word alone.  Men like Abraham, Moses, and David were used to plant the roots of faith deep in the soil of God’s promises.

The Lord cleared the field for them.  He brought them to the land of promise and caused their enemies to melt before them.  He gave them cities they didn’t build, crops they didn’t plant and wealth that was merely placed in their hands.  He did more then they could have ever asked or imagined.

It was the winepress, however, that spoke of Israel’s purpose.  All of the above blessings came with an expectation on God’s part.  The only reason for a winepress is the pressing of grapes.  God expected Israel to yield a crop of good fruit.  He wanted them not only to walk in His blessings but to show forth the ways of God.  The only logical reason for planting a vineyard is in the expectation of a harvest.

This is where both Israel and the church often miss it.  Many seem to be under the impression that bearing fruit is optional.  “I’d like to see some fruit in my life”, is their lament, but to God that’s the main reason of redemption.  We need to learn the lesson that Israel missed.

God wants the world to see the result of His work in our lives.  That is what the fruit of the Spirit is all about.  We need to let them shine forth from us.  That is what will attract people to God more than all of our fine sounding arguments.

Allow the Holy Spirit to produce in you, the evidence of a changed life.  Be fruitful for the Lord.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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