Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh.
SELF CONFIDENCE is the problem!
CONFIDENCE: G3982, peithō, pi'-tho
A primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): - agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
If you attend any Church, nearly all sermons, teachings, or counsellings will deal with our sin, or our sin problem(s). I am going to say something really radical right now…SIN IS NOT OUR PROBLEM! I know the thought is popping into your head right now, “But I have a problem with this, or with that, or with some other thing. Isn’t the root of all our sickness, pain, and our every immoral action sin?”
The short answer is no, no, and NO!
SIN is simply the fruit of our real problem. The ROOT of our all our real problems is SELF CONFIDENCE.
The world will tell you that all you need is to build up your self-confidence and you will be well on your way to wealth, power, and success. Unfortunately, self-confidence may actually help you achieve “worldly” success, but worldly success is not a good measurement of “Godly” success. God measures our success by whether we are fruitful or not!
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be FRUITFUL, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Now many people have concluded that being fruitful means God wants people to have a lot of babies, and they are not necessarily wrong, but we know from both the Old and the New Testament that God wants us to produce “spiritual” fruits. Your character (and the character of your children) is what is most important to God, but we cannot produce character, only God can produce a Godly character!
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
ONLY the Holy Spirit can produce the good and holy fruit of the Spirit!
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Legalism, confidence in our flesh, or the works of the flesh, will prevent the Holy Spirit from producing spiritual fruit. Producing the fruit of the Spirit is an organic process. All through the Bible men are compared to trees…We can water our tree by MEDITATING (see my book: Speak, Hear, and Believe) on the Word of God, but God provides the increase. God can only provide the increase if we TRUST HIM!
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
We can see from the Bible, and we can also see from our own experience, that most people spend the lion’s share of their time and resources producing just the opposite of the SPIRITUAL fruit that God wants from us:
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The WORKS OF THE FLESH receive all of our time and attention, and our spiritual fruits die on the vine because we do not highly esteem our spiritual life...the whole reason we plant an orchard is to produce fruit…producing the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is the whole reason we are here!
Nearly everybody in the world is spending all of their time and energy striving for a nice house, a nice car in the garage, money in the bank, and an ample retirement fund. Jesus specifically told us NOT to strive for “things”.
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
None of us have a very long time on this earth. Even if we lived to be a hundred years old, it is not a lot of time in the grand scheme of things. It seems that all of the world’s resources and power is directly aimed at taking our minds and our energy away from obtaining a SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST! What is a “Saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?”
Have you ever wondered whether you are really saved? I know I have sometimes doubted whether I am really saved…mainly because of that pesky sin problem. When we are unsaved, we can commit some of the grossest sin without it bothering our conscience very much. However, after our “salvation”, as we draw closer to Jesus Christ, when we commit what many would consider a minor infraction, we are caused a great deal of grief. Therefore, we all eventually arrive at the same state of perplexity as Paul the Apostle:
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Now I am going to tell you how YOU can KNOW THAT YOU ARE SAVED!
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Our ETERNAL SALVATION is not about doing…our eternal salvation is about TRUSTING.
In order to KNOW that we have eternal salvation, we only need to TRUST in two things: 1) We must TRUST that Jesus Christ was who He said He was. 2) We must TRUST that He did what He said He would do…JESUS is our eternal salvation!
- WHO IS JESUS?
After His resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples and told them plainly who He was.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Joh 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
If that is not plain enough, let’s find some scripture that is a little simpler to understand:
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Looking - With eager desire. For that glorious appearing - Which we hope for. Of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ - So that, if there be (according to the Arian scheme) a great God and a little God, Christ is not the little God, but the great one. John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes.
If that is not plain enough, perhaps the following scripture will further enlighten us:
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Perhaps one more scripture verse will nail down the identity of Jesus Christ for good:
Joh 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Therefore, the Apostle John recorded that Thomas called Jesus LORD and GOD. I doubt that John was recording this encounter between Thomas and Jesus to cause confusion or heresy. There is no doubt that the Apostle John also believed that Jesus was LORD and GOD. Also, the Apostle Paul confirmed that he believed that Jesus was the GREAT GOD and the IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD.
Let me make it crystal clear: JESUS CHRIST WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE LORD AND GOD!
- What did Jesus do?
Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Although Jesus did many mighty miracles during His ministry on earth, His main mission was to die for our sins.
1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Jesus Christ, our LORD and GOD, has accomplished the mission that He set out to do:
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
We do not have to DO anything in order to be saved… we must simply TRUST THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS ALREADY SAVED US!
As we focus more and more on WHO Jesus Christ is, and WHAT He has done, we can TRUST that the Holy Spirit will transform us from glory to glory!
2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Psa_125:1 A Song of degrees. They that TRUST in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.