Sunday, April 11, 2010

Through The Fire

1st Peter 4:12-19

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”

Question: Do we as professing Christians really know what it means to be tried by fire? To be purified? To be sanctified? And partake in the sufferings of Christ? Do we understand what it means to be judged by God?

Thought: When we are tried by fire the one thing we all need to realize is that fire burns, fire hurts, and the process of purifying the inner man is not always pleasant. But it is a necessary work of God through the Holy Spirit that He places within the vessel of His choice. Scripture tells us that Jesus is returning for a bride (church) that is spotless, without blemish or wrinkle. This means that every individual believer with the Holy Spirit indwelling them will undergo trials, tests of faith, scourging, chastening, cleansing, refining, and purification. If we are not experiencing any of these spiritual works within us we should examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith.

Hebrews 12:3-11

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

These scriptures in Hebrews tell us plainly that those whom the Lord loves He chastens, rebukes, and scourges. This is an ongoing process, because we do not receive an all new spirit, mind, soul, or heart when we are born again, but we do receive the Spirit of God who comes to live inside our bodies. What He finds inside of us is years of stains from sin and strongholds from our service to Satan and the gratification of the flesh. Our vessels are unclean and we all need to go through a purification process and it’s different for each saint of God. The scripture tells us that if we don’t go through this chastening and purifying process then we are not sons of God. Even the twelve disciples had to go through it, when Jesus called them they were not chastened, and cleansed, but through the discipleship training and the acceptance of the word of God their vessels were made clean.

John 15:1-3

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

Revelation 3:19

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

The trials and tests of our faith that we all must go through are for our profit that will make us able to partake of the Lord’s Holiness. Our bodies are the temple of God in which He lives by the Holy Spirit, and it must be cleansed so that the Spirit will be able to fill the whole temple. Have we ever gone inside of a physical temple and saw garbage on the floor, dirt, and stains on the wall? I haven’t! The physical temples are swept clean and beautiful on the inside, and it should be the same for our temple (body).

1st Peter 1:3-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”

James 1:2-3,12

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The Lord told Daniel the prophet that in the last days many would go through the fire to be purified and made white.

Daniel 12:10

“Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”

1st Corinthians 6:9-11

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Ephesians 5:25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”

To God be the glory,
Tyrone, a servant and apostle of Jesus