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by Henry Miranda
7/16/2016 / Salvation
God's original plan for us was a paradise, a perfect, exquisite and lush garden filled with all manner of God's special treats. Every tree was unique in its shape, vibrant in color, and each with its own distinctive and delectable fruit. If we read the bible's first book, Genesis chapters 1-3 we learn of a perfect universe created by God giving mankind dominion over all the earth. Eden was a garden specifically planted by God. It was a place God made to be a perfect habitation. It must have been a breathtaking wonderland for Adam to wander through and visually take in the magnificence, smell all the fragrances, and taste the sweetness of all the different fruits, each in their original uncontaminated state.
God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and forbid them to eat fruit from the "tree of knowledge" good and evil. When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden they were both innocent and pure. Everything was good until Satan the fallen angel came into the picture. After they sinned in Genesis 3, God sentenced them to die as per Genesis 2:17 (Genesis 3:19), and this was in part why they were forbidden to take from the Tree of Life. But consider God's statement
here: "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)
That is why they were removed from the Garden of Eden. After the rebellion of Adam and Eve the world was in a fallen state and suffered the degrading and deadly spiritual, moral, and social consequences of sinfulness. From friendship with God to proud estrangement from Him and enmity with Him leaves us diseased and dying in every part of our bodies.
Our destiny we hope is to be with God in heaven like Adam and Eve were in the garden. When I speak of a person's destiny, I'm talking about what happens to us in the end. Where are we headed? What is going to happen to us when we finish life's journey? "Destination" is a similar word. A destination is the place to which a person is going. There is one fact about man's destiny that is undisputed and unquestioned. We are all marching to the grave! Every person must know and understand that death is at the end of life's road. The funeral homes prove this statement. The cemeteries prove this statement. All men are headed for that final day of death.
God created this world and He created man to have fellowship with Him. Man, instead, chose to go his own way when he disobeyed God's instructions in the garden, and true fellowship with God was broken. This self- will, which is still evident today, is exhibited by an attitude of active rejection or passive indifference. This behavior is an evidence of what God's Word calls sin.
Adam had the privilege of purity and perfection. God had given him dominion over all creation. Adam was the appointed caretaker over all living creatures and all the garden was under his management as well. Adam had a job that kept him busy. All the planting was already
finished. The weather was mild, the river irrigated the garden sufficiently, and everything was producing perfectly.
God would visit them in the cool of the day. This time, instead of going out to meet God, they hid themselves from the presence of God. What a sad change because before they sinned, if they had heard the voice of God coming, they probably would have run out to meet Him
in a humble joyous welcome for His gracious visits.
But now God had become a terror to them. They hid themselves from God because their intimate fellowship with Him was broken.
Shame leads to fear and alienation. They wanted the knowledge of good and evil, which they were inclined to believe, would make them divine. They only got the knowledge of evil. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had uninterrupted fellowship with God, but after they sinned the
relationship was vastly changed.
When Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, he was supposed to subdue the earth. This would mean warfare in that it means to tread down, and to subjugate. This implied an existence of an enemy that Adam was to conquer. The only enemy around at that time and still with us today was Lucifer also known as Satan the devil. By conquering Satan it would have made the whole world like a part of the Garden of Eden.
Jesus taught that there is a real heaven and a real hell. Every person is either bound for heaven or bound for hell. Every person is headed for a destination that is permanent and eternal. Where a person will spend eternity depends on whether that person receives Jesus Christ or rejects Him. Once a person dies, his eternal destiny remains unchanged.
We must remember that as Christians we live by faith and every word that proceeds from our Father God. Who are we to question how or where or when things were done. We do know that Adam sinned and mankind became sinners ruled by Satan, who is the Prince of this world.
The only way man could be reconciled back to God, would be if he were bought back with a price. The debt was paid. Jesus paid our debt with the shedding of His blood on the cross.
Here we have a picture of Satan's rebellion and Adams rebellion. Everybody has a choice to use their free will to either follow Gods purpose or his own purpose. The big picture is that man in his own strengths cannot follow the commandments of God. We need help because we are weak and our desires take us away from God. God with His infinite mercies provided that help with his Son Jesus Christ, who gave His life so that we can be reconciled with God if we so choose.
Contrary to different beliefs, there is only one road that leads to God and that is Jesus Christ. Satan does not want to allow us to walk that road. He will do whatever it takes to convince you that you are wasting your time and there is no God.
Satan hates God and will use us to hurt God. We must remember that Satan has already been defeated and the only power that he has over us is what we allow him to have. "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world".
Christianity is not like other religions, it is based on the death of Jesus Christ, whereas all other religions base their claim to greatness on the life and teaching of those who founded them. The
gospel of Jesus Christ centers on the person of Jesus Christ, including especially his death at Calvary. Because of his death the price was paid for our redemption. Through the death of the Son of God himself, Jesus Christ, we have forgiveness from our sins and the promise of eternal life.
The devil comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. Satan is not your friend, but he pretends that he is, and he will do whatever it takes to keep you from God. We once were of this world and a friend with the devil. But now we belong to God and are a friend of God. The devil does not like losing his own and will try every trick he knows to turn you away from God. That's where spiritual warfare comes in.
Satan will do whatever it takes to keep this world in darkness. He is totally against anything that God has planned for us. He is a great imitator of what God does, but always pulls us in the opposite direction away from God.
Jesus who lived and dined among sinners gave us a very good example of how we should live. We are not to isolate ourselves from the world but we are to live here among the ungodly people.
Therefore, as Christians our outward life should reflect our inward life. The work that the Holy Spirit has done in us should come out for the world to see and glorify our heavenly Father.
We live among sinful people, though we don't have sinful partnership or fellowship with them. We do not partake in their unfruitful deeds of darkness for God has delivered us from the power darkness.
We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith
see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something different about us.
Being in the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world such as the beautiful creation God has given us. But we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures.
Worldly pleasures are no longer our calling in life as they once were but we must pursue Godly pleasures. As Christians we still have wants and needs God wants to bless us and provide for us allowing us to live an abundant life.
If you were like the world, vain, earthly, sensual, given to pleasure, wealth, ambition, then the world would not oppose you. But because you are influenced by different principles, then the world hates you. You are different from them, therefore the world is not your friend. You are motivated by the love of God and holiness. The world is motivated by the love of sin.
When you were in the world you did things as the world does things. And as long as you kept doing the things of the world, Satan had no need to interfere in your life, because you already belonged to him and you were an enemy of God. It was not until you decided to leave the things of the world and follow Christ that Satan started coming around to try to turn you back to the things of the world.
Satan tries to make life difficult for Christians because he is always trying to separate them from God. Satan is not your friend, he only pretends to be your friend so that he can distract you from the things of God.
Remember that Satan is already spiritually dead and will never be reconciled with God. He has nothing to lose since he already lost his place with God. Just as he deceived one third of the angels, he is trying to deceive you into believing that there is no God.
As Christians, we must be deeply rooted in our faith. And we must walk only by faith and not by sight. Does Satan exist? The answer is yes. He has been around since he was thrown out of heaven. He stays out of sight, but not out of your mind or your life. If you allow him, he will wreak havoc in your life.
We live in a fallen world. As a result of Adam's sin, the world has to contend with sickness, sorrow, evil and death. Everyone born into this world has the sin nature already in him or her. Therefore, nobody is born truly innocent and pure, but has the internal desire to sin.
Spiritual growth is a continuous growing process throughout our Christianity and depends on studying God's word, the applying God' word and walking in the spirit. Spiritual growth begins at the moment when the transformation of our salvation took place.
Salvation is a one-time experience, but spiritual growth is continuous. When we are born again we are spiritually immature and need to go through a growing process to develop a strong foundation in Christ.
Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. Spiritual growth has been described in second Peter 1: 3-8 which tells us that by the power of the Holy Spirit we have everything we need to live a life of godliness. Spiritual growth is identified by the evidence of the fruits of the spirit in our lives. We should pray and ask God for wisdom concerning the areas of growth He wants to see in us.
We must die to our old self forget the things of the past to continue to grow even though we may struggle with trials and tribulations. When you accepted Christ as your personal Savior the
Holy Spirit came into your life and sealed you forever as a child of God. God wants to use and bless you to your maximum potential, but you must be willing to step out and trust God in faith.
God desires us to grow spiritually and He equips us with all we need to experience spiritual growth. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome sin and become more like Jesus. When we place our faith
in Christ, the Holy Spirit begins the process of making us more like Him and He begins conforming us to His image.
Sadly, not all Christians grow spiritually. Many have been Christians for years with little or no change. They are no more useful to the Lord than when they first became Christians. Failing to grow they become stagnant like a pool of water.
We must obey God for that is the core of our spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is not an option reserved for a few select Christians. The word of God commands us to grow. We should also
remember that growth is a choice. Spiritual growth in some respects is a slow process and your spiritual growth will not be automatic. It takes time, work, effort, and patience. Spiritual growth occurs in the realm of obedience and trust.
A difficult thing for Christians is to simply say," this matter is in God's hands "because our human nature likes to retain control. We want a grip on difficult situations. Spiritual growth is something we need to work on every single day. We need to learn to put Christ first in
situations of our lives. Obedience, perseverance, faith, submission, patience, bible study, walking in the spirit, daily bible reading, fellowship, and prayer are all a must for our spiritual growth.
When you are in a fight you must put up a good defense in order to prevent the opponent from overtaking you. A good defense is the only way to win a fight so we must learn to put up a good defense when dealing with our adversary the devil. We can learn to do this with the scriptures, which are God's words of wisdom and knowledge. .
In the constant battle between Christians and the devil, you must remember that in order to be successful in dealing with the devil the most important thing to do is to first submit to God. As Christians, we will constantly be in spiritual warfare throughout our Christian walk whether we like it or not. And the best way to fight the enemy is with a good battle plan. God has laid out all our weapons we need to fight and to win the battle. The way we learn to use the weapons is
through the scriptures. The bible is the inspired Word of God. It is His written instructions and it answers every important question we have to make a strong defense against the enemy. There are actually specific verses of scripture that deal with that exact topic.
That is why you should study the Bible daily to keep yourself fit and ready for anything the enemy throws your way. The bible is a living book, but some Christians have no interest in studying it, and wonder why the enemy is always coming against them. You must understand the value of bible study. It is good to establish a good steady routine. Satan loves to make Christians doubt and struggle with reality which keeps their minds off God.
Because, of our old sinful nature, our flesh will still try to find gratification. Evil is always disguised very cleverly. The devil knows and does his job well! It does not always look as if we are up to evil. We get carried away with lives tide of events. We must be careful
to guard ourselves and look to Christ.
Once the devil takes hold of our hand, he does not want to ever let go. Satan will always lead us in the wrong direction, away from God. He's a liar and a cheat! Satan would rather kill us then surrender us to Jesus
We may not choose to sin, but we might fall into sin. The bible says the result of sin in our lives is death spiritual separation from God. We can't be fooling around with God. Either we will serve Him because we choose to or we will indulge in our sins. We can't do both; we cannot serve two masters. There is no neutrality with God. If you side with God you must stand your ground by putting on the full armor of Christ. Being a Christian may be a difficult road at times, but ultimately it will be well worth it.
We must constantly be on guard because Satan will always try to tempt us to sin. He may do it through your flesh, or the world. He may do it with his demons. Satan seeks to exploit the minds of men and women through our flesh. A lost person (one that does not know Jesus) has
only their own resources within them to resist Satan which is never enough.
We must overcome the temptations that the devil throws our way in this world. This is spiritual warfare! While we are resisting the temptations of the devil on the outside we must be drawling nearer to God on the inside. For only through the strength that God provides us can we overcome any temptation.
Our greatest enemy is sin. It is the sting of death, and separation from God. We need to get sin and Satan under our feet! Our enemy Satan seeks your to destroy us and our lives. He is the enemy of our souls and he is out to devour us. You are given the authority to tread the enemy down. You are not to walk with the enemy or talk with the enemy or allow him into your life. You are to tread the enemy down under your feet. You are to conquer that which seeks to destroy and devour you. You have been given authority by God in your spiritual warfare
What is the chief plan of Satan? It's to keep us ignorant about God, himself if he can. His main strategy is to deceive us. We must constantly be asking God in prayer to give us the necessary
strength to fight the battle of faith. That is the only way to overcome Satan. Reading the scriptures and praying daily can help us gain knowledge of the powers of darkness and how to combat them.
As long as the devil can hide in darkness and convince us to unknowingly follow him, he will be eternally grateful to us. Emotional problems, addictions, passive Christians, and quarreling Christians, are bound by the powers of Satan through his deceptions. Our pride, and our wants and lusts are the things that Satan hides behind to deceive us. He uses the power of the unseen to destroy us. When we are focusing own wants and needs his strategy is to plan the next step in deceiving you.
God has given us all the protection and weapons we need to meet any attack of the devil. The devil is able to attack us, but he cannot defeat us, we belong to Christ. We must never forget that we are covered and protected by the blood that Jesus gave when He died on the cross. Greater is He that is in us than he that us in the world.
The hardest thing about being a Christian is keeping your eyes on God. We get so easily distracted in this fallen world. We need to have our mind set on the things that will glorify God. But it's hard when you're so involved in your own life and whatever makes you happy. We
need to remember where we were before we came to Christ. It's hard at times, but Jesus is always there with his strength to carry us through.
Sometimes life can be so hard that we feel like giving up. But giving up is something that shouldn't be in our vocabulary as Christians. Many of us have worldly attachments that keep us from serving Christ. We need to learn to forget them. Because It's important that we get rid ourselves of whatever it is that is holding us back from serving God 100%. We need to have our minds set on Christ In order to keep pressing on and moving forward towards our goal.
It is best to forget what is behind us so that it has no opportunity to overtake us again. Paul pressed forward for a prize. To him there was something greater to be gained by moving ahead and not lingering in the past. That is true for us as well. There is simply nothing to be gained
by looking back.
Preparation is essential to every endeavor. We prepare for retirement, vacation, our children's college, a job, and much more. But we don't seem to see the need for making preparation for the greatest of all events that of life after death. We will meet God, prepared or not! So, don't let your life slip away without making the proper preparation to meet God in judgment. Then you can plan to live with Him throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity
We can't do anything to earn our way into heaven, but the good news is that is not necessary. God sent Jesus into the world, and Jesus lived the way we were always meant to live. Jesus came to provide the only way by which we could be reunited with God. His innocent death took the punishment we deserve because of our rejection of God. Because Jesus has paid the price for us, He offers us salvation and eternal life. Make a decision to accept Jesus into your lives now and share eternity with Him forever.
Would you like to get saved and born again? You can by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Just Pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Let heaven be your destiny
Henry Miranda earned a Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree @ Christian Leadership University. Henry Miranda is an Evangelist, Bible Teacher, Author, and Guest Speaker and with the help of the Holy Spirit has written seven life-changing books. You can contact Henry Miranda through his website: http://www.evangelize-for-jesus-ministries.com/
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