Bible Study based on an article from Philadelphia Church of God webpage named, I Need to Change This! (Hilliker, 2007)
God follows through with His plans but we often do not, yet we are to become perfect like Him according to the gospel of Matthew 5:48.
|… The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall
it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand …
Hilliker cites: Herbert W. Armstrong explained the essence of God’s righteousness this way: “Why is it impossible for God to sin? No greater power exists that will prevent Him—but God has simply by His own power—supreme and above all power—set Himself that He will not!” (The Incredible Human Potential, emphasis added throughout).
We can trust God to keep his word because of this truth.I need to change this!
God is the potter we are the clay says the bible. When God is moulding us do we stay where he puts us?
Do we determine to know what is right and do what is right no matter what the outcome?
Do we surrender to Gods’ perfect way according to His Word?
Hilliker quotes Romans 7:22-23 and translates it as, what God decides to do, He does; what He decides not to do, He doesn’t. What we decide to do, we don’t; what we decide not to do, we end up doing anyway! And the degree to which we fail to overcome that weakness of will is the degree to which we continue to suffer the curses and troubles associated with sin.
We need to set our wills as God does His will. We need to let out Yes be yes and our No be no.
How are we to do this as we are not of course God but human vessels made of clay with a need to understand what is right and what is wrong and then to make the choice to do right and set our wills to do it and follow it through even under pressure?
The Apostle Paul thanked God for he knew God could help him. He wrote:
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.a 2For the law of the Spirit of life has set youb free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,c he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
How can this be explained? The Spirit of life is God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Jesus took our punishment for sin when He was sent by God His Father to earth in human flesh to become sin for us. He did this by choosing to be obedient to God and die a horrible death on a wooden cross, which was the practice of the Romans at the time. The religious people of His day may have hung him there but He came once for us all throughout the ages. Being fully man yet fully God as well He could have took himself off the cross or not even gone there in the first place. However the bible tells us:
16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
It was His choice to obey God and take all the sins of the whole world throughout time upon His own human form. Can you imagine what it must have been like to experience every human emotion, thought, regret, feeling of guilt and pain that we ourselves suffer when we do wrong or others wrong us? Even our own individual sin can bring us to the depths of despair.
The good news is that’s not the end of the story. God caused Jesus Christ to rise from the dead, speak with His disciples, and as it tells us in the book of Mark his disciple 19so then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
Romans 10: 9-11 tells us 9…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture say, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
When we recognise that we have all sinned in one way or another even when we don’t mean to at times, and realise we don’t have to go it alone through this difficult life but can receive forgiveness and strength from Him, the creator of all things seen and unseen throughout the ages, we can have a new start, a new beginning.
God promises us He will send His Holy Spirit to help us. All we have to do is call on the name of Jesus and we can receive His wisdom and His strength . We can hold on to His promises in the bible because He is faithful and keeps His word. We can believe what He says about us in His word over and above what anyone else says or even over the negative beliefs we’ve held in the past. It’s His truth that sets us free to be the people of God He created us to be and it’s through Him that we can reach out full potential.
We will always have free will as God will never take that away from us. We are made in His image and just as He has free will so do we. Once we have a true relationship with the living God through Jesus we can call on Him to help us set out will to do right and do it in His strength rather than our own human efforts and trust Him with the outcome. Why do I say this? Because it has been my experience that He loves me and wants me to live a full and blessed life but the only way I can do this is to put my trust in Him and His word. He promises to never leave me and whatever I’ve gone through He has always been there with me showing me the way. I have learnt and continue to learn to trust Him rather than myself or circumstances. He has always brought good out of everything I go through even if I have not recognised it until after the event, even when I’ve been angry and unfaithful myself.
When you pray ask God to help you recognise temptation to sin and to help you stand in his strength to do what is right. If you don’t get it right first time don’t berate your humanness. Take it to God who forgives all our sin. He will give you another chance, trust me I know. It will come about in life again and again until you do get it right, and you will know you got it right.
I could not go back to the life I had and would never want to. I know that even when times are tough I am living the blessed life because Jesus is my firm foundation.
6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.