Beware of ‘Revelations’!

“Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication? Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special Revelation and am I to order my life by voices, dreams and impressions?

Brothers and Sisters, fall not into this common delusion! God’s Word to us is in Holy Scripture. All the Truth that sanctifies men is in God’s Word! Do not listen to those who cry, “Lo here!” and, “Lo there!”

I am plucked by the sleeve almost every day by crazy persons and pretenders who think that they have Revelations from God. One man tells me that God has sent a message to me by him—and I reply, “No, Sir, the Lord knows where I dwell and He is so near to me that He would not need to send to me by you.”

Another man announces, in God’s name, a dogma which, on the face of it, is a lie against the Holy Spirit. He says the Spirit of God told him so-and-so, but we know that the Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself. If your imaginary Revelation is not according to this Word of God, it has no weight with us! And if it is according to this Word, it is no new thing!

Brothers and Sisters, this Bible is enough if the Lord does but use it and quicken it by His Spirit in our hearts. Truth is neither your opinion, nor mine—your message, nor mine! Jesus says, “Your Word is truth.” That which sanctifies men is not only truth, but it is the particular Truth of God which is revealed in God’s Word—“Your Word is truth.” What a blessing it is that all the Truth that is necessary to sanctify us is revealed in the Word of God, so that we have not to expend our energies upon discovering the Truth of God, but may, to our far greater profit, use Revealed Truth for its Divine ends and purposes!

There will be no more Revelations—no more are needed! The Canon is fixed and complete—and he that adds to it shall have added to him the plagues that are written in this Book! What need of more when here is enough for every practical purpose? “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your Word is truth.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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Work Out Your Salvation

Philippians 2:12, 13 reads:  “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed… work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and work for his good pleasure.”

Do these verses teach that salvation is by works? Not at all! Salvation means more than just regeneration (being born-again) because salvation includes being declared righteous before God on the basis of Christ’s righteousness (justification) and being conformed to the character of Christ (sanctification).

These verses are referring to sanctification.  In sanctification God plays his role and we pray our role too. God gives us the grace to will and work for his good pleasure but it takes us to obey and act.

Consider an example of a drunkard who gets converted. God will give him the grace and power of not going back to getting drunk but it will literary take this person not to touch the bottle and put it on his mouth. It’s absurd to think that because this person is saved whenever he is tempted to get drunk, an invisible hand of God will always push his hand away from the bottle.

This is what it means to work out our salvation. God gives us the grace and power to reject sin but it takes us to take action to avoid or overcome sin in our lives.


My Reflections on Holy Living

We all need Him as we pursue Holiness

There are times when it feels so good to be a Christian, especially, when you walk in the life of obedience to the will of God. It is that time when joy overflows every chamber of life and heaven feels closer than ever before. Then there are times when the flesh takes over and it’s nasty. You fight but you feel like punching the wind. The once higher graph of obedience nose-dives and you see no sign of progress. It hurts. It really hurts!

In times like these, I have found comfort in the assurance that God never loosen his grip on me and he never let me go. He still holds me as strong as always while the Holy Spirit convicts and leads me back to the path of obedience. It is comforting, really comforting! Of course, His discipline, in such cases, is inevitable (Hebrews 12:5-11)  but the thought that he still holds me stronger in his hand is soothing and assuring.

I would have loved that the moment Christ takes full control of ones life, they would never be tempted to go to the old ways or wander away from the path of obedience. But the truth is otherwise.  In this world, I am prone to let the fresh rule sometimes. It sad, really sad! However, I pray that the Holy Spirit will rule more.  I can’t agree more with R.C. Sproul:

“We all begin the Christian life with the intention of living in such a way as to please God. But we encounter obstacles along the way. We meet conflicts between what pleases us and what pleases God.

We need help in overcoming these obstacles. In a real way the Christian life is often a struggle. We gain ground and then slip backwards. There is such a thing as backsliding. Sometimes the slide seems as if is greased with the slickest substance the Devil can use. But as children who totter at the top of sliding board, fearful to move, we have a heavenly Father who guards the edge of the board and who waits at the bottom of the slide to catch us in His arms” (Pleasing God, Tyndale House Publishers ©1988)

Lord, I fall on your feet seeking more of your mercy and grace. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I will myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I will serve the law of sin” (Romans 8:24, 25).

Saints, lets always pray for one another no matter how rosy and beautiful our Christian lives might look. We all need more of His grace and mercy! I really need it. Pray for me as I pray for you.

It’s by Grace throughout but…

Last week, I posted on this blog an article entitled, “It’s by Grace Throughout” in which we discussed that we do not only need God’s grace for us to be saved (justified) but also for us to be transformed and become more like Christ (sanctification).

However, although it is true that sanctification also is by grace, there is a need to highlight that we need to cooperate with God for him to make us more and more like Christ. In other words, in justification God, single handedly, declares us righteous basing on the righteousness of Christ while in sanctification, God through the Holy Spirit works hand in hand with us so that we become like Christ.

For instance, one of the things we need to do to be more like Christ is to study God’s Word frequently and live it. So, God will give us the desire to study the Bible but it will take us to really study the Word.  God will never open the Bible and force us to read it. We have to play our role of reading.

Now, one might ask that if we are to cooperate with God in sanctification, where is grace then? Philippians 2:12  has the answer: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

For us to obey God, it is God, himself, who enables to do so. God knows that on our own, we can’t obey him  hence he works in us that we should obey him. This is grace, is it not?

It’s by Grace Throughout

Is it only I or you have also noticed it? There is a temptation to believe that we only need God’s grace for us to be saved (justified) but after that we are tempted to think that we need to rely on our personal efforts to grow spiritually (sanctification). Others even go an extreme of believing that after Christ has saved us, he then leaves us on our own to make it to heaven.

This is not only a fallacy but also one of the great deceptions of the evil one. We all need God’s grace to become God’s children. We all also need God’s grace to remain God’s Children. There is no room for personal effort.

Apostle Paul rebuked the Galatians for falling into similar temptation in Galatians 3:2, 3: “Did you receive the Spirit by works (personal effort)? Or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit (grace) are you now being perfected by the flesh (personal effort)? (Words in parentheses added).

Scripture here reminds us that salvation is by grace throughout. John Newton realized this truth very well when he composed that famous hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’

Through many dangers, toils and snares

 I have already come

T’was grace that brought me safe thus far

And grace will lead me home.

So, by grace Christ has saved us and by the same grace he will welcome us in heaven. Oh, what a beautiful and amazing grace.