Being Christian is far from someone saying that they are Christian, for being Christian is living as Jesus taught us to live.
Being Christian is living in the heavenly will of God.
It also means that we love God with every part of our being, and if we do that, then we will also love the whole of His creation and do everything in our power to protect and free creation from its present corruption.
And as Jesus taught us, if we live this way we are also fulfilling the whole of the Bible, but this can never be a passive position; it can only be an active position, for just as Jesus was not lazy, neither can we be.
We need to peacefully help end the violence in this world that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year, and in the process, it pollutes our environment.
We can and must make a positive difference.
This world is full of corruption, violence and deceit, and in Genesis 3:1-7 we are told about how it began, or at least when it was presented openly…
1. Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the
LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You
shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"
There is nothing in the Bible prior to the Fall of humans from grace that even hints at any other animal being crafty or deceitful; this serpent seems to be the first, so by comparison the serpent’s craftiness must have been obvious, even if the serpent’s (Satan’s) intent was not as obvious.
The serpent (the devil’s agent) was trying to deceive the woman, just like other people and the ways of this corrupt world are seeking to deceive and corrupt us every day of our lives.
As long as we are committed to being Christian, and hold fast to the
Lord, the devil and his minion cannot harm us; we just need to be prepared.
2. And the woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
This part of her answer is correct…
3. but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said,' You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.' "
God did not say that Adam and Eve couldn’t touch the fruit; He just told them that they were not permitted to eat of the fruit.
We need to be careful not to change God’s word, because that is when the devil gets an inroad.
4. And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die!
We are not told, but perhaps the serpent was holding the fruit to show that he was not dying, as a way to convince Eve that he was correct and the Lord was wrong.
We also need to remember that at this stage in her life, Eve was innocent, and knew nothing of good and evil.
5. "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Eve was not going to be like God, but if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would definitely know about it and no longer be innocent.
At this point, we should reflect upon what God actually told Adam: (Genesis 2:16-17) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."
Note that we are not told what was on the tree; there is no mention of actual fruit; it may not have even been plant food.
6. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
The term “fruit” used here may just be something that was growing on this special tree; we are just not told what it was or anything about this tree.
7. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they
were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin
This tells us that they lost their innocence.
We are no longer innocent either, but we can be tempted in the same or similar ways, even by some clergy, so we must stay alert.
In Matthew 4:1-11, we are told about how Jesus was also tempted, and how He countered the temptation…
1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
The way that this is worded or translated, it says that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit, which means that God wanted Him to be tempted by the devil in order to teach the devil that he cannot tempt Jesus away from God.
And since all truly born again Christians should have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, they also should be able to block all attempts of the devil to move them away from the heavenly will of God.
2. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
The term forty days and forty nights means a long time, but not necessarily an actual forty days, but after any long period of time it not only makes us hungry, but also somewhat weaker in our ability to ward off the slings and arrows of the devil, but not weak enough to actually allow the devil to win as was the case with Jesus.
3. And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
The tempter [the devil] understood the abilities of Jesus and tried to exploit them, but He did not fall for this trick, which is something that we all need to learn, because the devil tries to use the same kinds of tricks on us.
4. But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"
Note how Jesus uses scripture to counter the devil’s attempt to tempt Him away from the heavenly will of God.
But the devil doesn’t give up that quickly, and neither do the people of this world who follow the corrupt and evil ways of the devil, so we always must remain on guard.
5. Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,
The devil seemed to have gotten frustrated and made the mistake of bringing Him to the most religious site in the country…
6. and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for
it is written,
'He will give His angels charge concerning You';
'On their hands they will bear You up,
Lest You strike Your foot against a stone.'"
Many worldly people also use Bible verses to falsely try to prove that God wants them to eat animal flesh and byproducts, which causes the animals immense pain and suffering, which we should all know is against the heavenly will of God.
This is why it is so important for everyone truly being Christian to know and understand the Bible so we don’t fall for these kinds of lies and temptations.
7. Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
If we are really familiar with the Bible, then just like Jesus, we should be able to counter the twisting of Bible verses by the devil and the people of the world who follow his deceit and lies.
8. Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory;
There isn’t anyone who can show us more than the Lord can show us, and if anyone says they can, it is a clear sign that they are not of God, but of this corrupt world.
9. and he said to Him, "All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me."
Furthermore, no one can give us any more than the Lord can, and in addition, He is the only one who can give us eternal life.
10. Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"
Are we prepared to counter Satan in the same way?
If we are truly being Christian, then we should be able to.
11. Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to
minister to Him.
And the devil will leave us in the same way, if we are truly being Christian and living in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
We just have to hold our ground and speak the truth in Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we look at Romans 5:12-19, our final Bible passage for today, think about how truly being Christian applies to what Paul wrote nearly 2000 years ago.
12. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned —
While this is true, we need to remember that those of us who completely love the Lord our God and the whole of His creation and live in His heavenly will have fulfilled the whole Law and the Prophets (the Bible); thus we should be able to anticipate the sins around us and avoid them.
13. for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Paul is saying that without the Law we wouldn’t recognize sin, but I disagree, for the Holy Spirit prompts us about what is in the heavenly will of God and those things that are of the corruption of this world.
14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Moses was a type of Jesus in that he was the Lawgiver, but there is a great difference in the type of Law; Moses presented the letter of the written Law here on earth, while Jesus gave us the heavenly spiritual law of Love which fulfills all the written Laws in the Bible.
With the Law of Love in our hearts and souls coupled with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we become, or should become, living heavenly examples of the Law of Love, and only live the way that the Lord wants us to live, but we need to keep focused upon the Lord.
This is what being Christian means.
15. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Moses’ written Law was to guide us away from the corrupt and evil ways of the world around the people, which differs greatly from the Love of Jesus Christ which fulfills the Law and sets us in heaven.
The challenge for us today is to live in the heavenly will of God at all times.
16. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
The transgression resulting in condemnation refers to the original sin of Adam and Eve, and those who followed in their transgressions whom God does not permit into heaven, in addition to this everyone now dies a physical death here on earth.
The free gift is the gift of eternal life in heaven with God that Jesus offers to us, which we believe is mainly for those who live in the heavenly will of God, and perhaps a few others, because only God sees the intent of the heart and soul.
17. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
This is why we keep encouraging everyone to cease contributing to the corruption of this earth with all its violence that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
Instead, people should live in the heavenly will of God as the peacemaking children of God, and do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption and end all human caused pain, suffering, and death for all living beings whether human or animal.
18. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
The condemnation is that all die a physical death, while the others enjoy everlasting life in heaven with the Lord.
19. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners,
even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
The first refers to Adam, and the second refers to Jesus.
Again if we are truly being Christian by living in the heavenly will of God where there is no pain, suffering, or death here on earth, then we have the free gift of eternal life in heaven.
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