Category Archives: Continual Grace towards Sanctification

Legalism or Grace?

The Saint’s White Raiment only obtained in Christ: is unspotted by works of our flesh.
In my estimation, we only have two choices in how to walk “in Christ” ; we either realize our utter dependency on “Christ’s work alone” within our lives, or we attempt and apply a type of legalism in achieving a superior walk toward perfection, while “using” the Holy Spirit’s assistance.

To the natural understanding within our souls, this may look to be a good option. Yet I firmly believe, this is like taking something blemished and stained of the flesh, and attaching it to an unblemished and unstained article yet expecting it to remain pure.

No place which I’m aware of in the Bible speaks of taking a filthy rag and then laundering it with an unstained garment.


 

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Perfection in Christ?

Perhaps I should have called this “Getting a Grip” in my understanding …
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,


Perfection in Christ? (Texted)

I have walked with the Lord for over 45 years and have had multiple exposures to different Biblical viewpoints. In all this time I have never met anyone who fully and completely comprehends God’s working of salvation for God’s elect.

However, I have met many who in their own conceits think that they understand the fulness of the scriptures; and even worse are some who think that they have become so sanctified – as to no longer make errors in judgment! The ladder types are the most conceited, proud, and arrogant of all type heretics, that they become dangerous to many!

In my view, the Apostle Paul understood and expressed better than anyone the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Yet the Lord gave him a “thorn in the flesh” (weakness) which tormented him and kept him dependent on the grace of God alone by faith!

I’m thinking to myself recently; that anyone who espouses a near perfect walk with the Lord; could not possibly even know Him, or perhaps at the very least has blinded themselves in prideful delusions within their relationship to the Lord. The mark of a mature follower of Christ, I have discovered is only found in human humility and love towards others, and not found in judgmentalism when using the scriptures!!!

I will not belabor this point, but I do encourage people to use Paul as an example of not being “puffed up” in his own understanding!



 

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Book of Life – NOT blotted!

Unfortunately, many people have misunderstood the scriptures throughout the centuries; yet there is a VAST difference between the Old Testament and the New. Revelation explains about those who are justified by faith.(Rev. 2:7) “To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God”. {Rev. 3:5) “He that overcomes “by the blood of Christ” is much different than “the wicket” in {Rev.22:19} who “purposely teach false doctrines”, and it is “they” who will pay the ultimate price!


 

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The Devil’s Wedge

In this video I speak about how to avoid being deceived by a cunning enemy, who seeks to create unity in wickedness; and division within sound Bible doctrines, given unto the Lord’s people. A lie is a “twisted-truth” and this is why we must learn to rightly divide the word of truth!


I have decided to make this video unlisted; as some of it deals with past personal disputes, and perhaps wishful thinking on my part, for reconciliation to those who will not be moved from error.


 

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Momentum testing in the spiritual life. Principles of testing. [link]

The purpose of “thorn in the flesh” suffering.


 

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Just like me…

Romans 2:1-3 God’s Righteous Judgment 

1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?


In all humility I wish to share with others what I have learned about “conceivably” being wronged or hurt and my natural reactions to this.

My perceived wrongs has caused me to react in sort of a defensive posture, I have at times aggressively lashed out at the perpetrator in thinking I was doing right; but what I didn’t see was actually that I had been wounded in my pride, and had even justified myself thinking I was correct to do this “in the Lord” even when applying Bible verse in shoring up my positions! This was due to years of hurt, but now I realize in humility just what Romans 2:1-3 is speaking about; namely my pride of life, and feeling I needed to defend myself!

Yet, what I have learned is that I needn’t have to defend myself, even if I have been wronged!

My Lord Jesus Christ was wronged by the worst, and sometimes by the best of humanity. He never lashed out in his human pride, but rather “took it on the chin” so to speak; and He was God incarnate! The Lord understood that all of us had no idea about what we are doing naturally – and asked for our forgiveness from the Father, even while hanging on the cross!

Pride will not allow us to love others as ourselves, as we justify ourselves in independence of what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us about our great need for Christ in our lives!  Pride allows us to become as the Religious Pharisees had become, and no amount of human dictating the truth, love and mercy of God to a fallen word, has any effect upon a hardened heart.

Therefore, if we are truly following Christ, we must practice this in (true) humility realizing that we are no more able than another to be totally devoid from our own fallen natures – no matter how pious we attempt to be! We cannot truly look past the faults of others and love them unconditionally like Christ did us; without first coming to the point of being broken, crushed, and even humiliated within the confines of our own soul!

If one is unwilling to yield to this type of correction of God, they can never truly forgive others nor even forgive themselves, and as a result, are unable to “love others as themselves”.

That’s what I have recently learned, (perhaps none too late) as my almost 90-year-old father sits in his hospital bed with fluid around his heart and battling pneumonia.

May the Lord forgive me in not understanding my great need to turn over all my pain and misgivings of a man who has always given of himself to the fullest measure; despite his own needs of his soul: which in some ways – are just like me!

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Hebrews 6:1 (Simplified)

Hebrews 6:1 (Simplified) Is really quite simple, Paul is speaking about the Redeemer, the only begotten from above, Son of the Living God: Jesus Christ. He is teaching on the same problems in understanding we often have even today. Our Salvation unto perfection, is all completed in Christ alone, by faith.


 

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What If All You Had Was the O.T.? [link]

Missionary Evangelist Robert Breaker asks the question: “What if all you had was only the Old Testament?”


{@ 50:35 we learn a very important principle }

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My Great Lesson

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

If we belong to Christ, the Lord will naturally move us in; deference, devoutness, devotion, dutifulness, duty, obedience, piousness, piety. If we attempt to do religiousness by ourselves, we are endangered of becoming like the Scribes and Pharisees of old: as the letter of the law kills, but the Spirit makes alive!


 

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Who do we love?

I’m simply jotting some thoughts down today about this subject, primarily to share with others what they need to understand about less then honorable motivations often used, (yet not often realized) by allot of people which would rather have you follow them, than the Holy Spirit of the Lord.

Today I am 61 years of age; and one thing I have learned over the years through experience is that even well-meaning people will often use the Lord and the Bible to win people over to a particular type of thinking and actions. Years ago, the late Pastor Gross, D.D. Th.D. PhD (in psychology) would always tell us that never to believe anything he said, without having the Lord confirm it to you first!

He also said to NEVER put God in a “Box” (a belief system about the Lord) as, he would never be able to show you anything! Outside of foundational Bible truths of our faith, we must learn not be swayed by other’s viewpoints which may stray outside of the Biblical texts.

It is fine to learn how to walk in the Holy Spirit by faith alone, and it is even a good thing to understand the cunningness of our enemy Satan, his demons, and his tricks. One important thing to know about the enemy, is that he normally attacks the mind and emotions first, and then the rest of the body only after he is unsuccessful (for the believer). Put on the full armor of God Ephesians 6 10 24 and also remember, the Lord will not give you more than you are able to “stand”, so this normally never becomes a problem for one who is attempting to live by faith in Jesus Christ! Praise God!

Matthew 24: 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Our understanding of the Bible in balance, both in teachings and contexts is very important so as not to become deceived by the enemy; even an ignorant but well meaning soul when espousing bad Bible doctrines may unwittingly fall into this trap. The Lord is well able to protect his people from heresies taught in the scriptures within the providence of our lives; yet it may take some time for our Lord to weed out false doctrines in our lives, even for the most committed believer.


Rather, it is mush better to be instructed in the faith, just who Christ is to us, and how he functions with his Disciples indwelt by his Holy Spirit.

A proper understanding of the Lord in accordance with the scriptures, is the first step in living a healthy spiritual life devoid of what I will call “superstitions”. Remember, Satan simply attacks the emotions and intellect first, so we must learn to “cast down imagination” to a more rational understanding of the God of the Bible. We must never allow our fears to cripple our balanced understanding of the scriptures and our Lord. In my opinion, this is critical to our understanding so that we don’t go off thinking everything we don’t understand or feel within our lives is demonic: as in most cases it simply is not, rather it is a result of poor understanding, and our emotionally charged thought life.

Often times people who are unbalanced in their understanding of the Bible have distorted to various degrees it’s contexts. It almost goes without saying that, this is how most “Cult” leaders (perhaps unwittingly) deceive others!

I for one have learned this the hard ways to various degrees, and is why the late Dr. Gross always told us to check out what he taught us with the Lord, and not to believe it on face value alone. The reason he said, was that anyone who was more convincing then himself, could lead you down a path that was deceptive. I think that is very sound advice, and it has served me well throughout my Christian life.

It is only natural for most people to have a love for themselves first, and then others. This is why we must not get prone to following men. I have met very well-meaning people who love to share with others their faith in Jesus Christ; and that is a wonderful attribute! Yet one of the principles for an Elder in the Bible is to run their own household well! This is very important for several reasons, but foremost is how they are in dealing with other people, besides themselves. The wisdom is in these texts: Titus 1:6-9 & 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

I have put Titus 1:6-9 first, as it focuses on not being self-willed, loving his wife, and faithful children. Verse 9 speaks about; knowing sound doctrine, as it is (properly) taught, encourage others and being able to refute (Bible) error by those who would oppose it.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 says much the same thing, but Titus 1:6-9 has fewer words; and I will emphasize verse 6, as it talks about not being filled with pride, and a good testimony with others so he won’t be disgraced or snared by Satan.

Those are some very tough standards for an Elder, yet all of them are present for very good reasons, not the least of which is our testimonial to Christ. We have all seen charlatans preach on T.V. a distorted and self-aggrandizing Gospel, which takes on a kind of carnival (Carnal) atmosphere. Most mature believers find this repulsive, and yet oftentimes these selfish preachers love taking pot shots at other ministers, even some who are sound in the faith because of their own pre-conceived beliefs; yet if they are unfounded by scripture it may be just a matter of different opinions.

We see this throughout the scriptures as well, and is why we must be careful that we build up the body of Christ (in love for God) – rather than simply propping up our own beliefs in the flesh. The best answer for not overstepping ourselves, is in accountability not only to the Lord, but to others brethren in humility, rather than a self-righteous pride which many may struggle with, even unknowingly.

How can I write these, things you may ask? That’s very simple to answer, I have done it myself!

If we truly love others more than ourselves, we must understand that we all struggle with similar “conditions of the soul” and be willing to make allowances for others shortfalls, with this we can grow and be of even more help to the Lord as well as edifying our own walks.

I am not speaking about allowing sinfulness in a fellowship at all; rather I am simply addressing that we do not become dogmatic in our Bible doctrines to the point that it destroys others!

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Profound Understanding

It is very important to understand one’s Bible as it is the basis of who God is, who fallen man is, and the provision given to all who would put their faith in Christ. Nowadays we have allot of spotty Bible understanding, presented via YouTube and other social media platforms. So, it is more important then ever before to have at least a solid foundaitional understanding of the Gospel; namely Jesus Christ, in relationship to the Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit, sinful humanity, and the Salvation Process. * In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. I would suggest instead of watching the rantings and ravings of many YouTube preachers, that you visit many other “Foundational Truths” which are ministered to us by men of the past. Who deeply understood our Lord, and their Bible.


 

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Sinner or Saint

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January 2, 2020 · 2:23 pm

Having a heart towards the Lord.

JESUS SAID, “I” AM THE WAY, “I” AM THE GATE, WHICH LEADS TO EVERLASTING LIFE…

The Bible does not say that some “Jester’s” teachings or influence about the Narrow Way or Gate leads to everlasting life! No, it is by having a humble and contrite heart towards the Lord himself in faith by which we enter; and not “once removed” doctrines about the broad road or even the narrow road – as it is Christ Himself  by which we are Saved “by Grace” for the day of redemption, and it is He alone we must learn to follow.


 

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Humility or Pride?


Romans 12:16 *Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

https://dailyverses.net/humility/kjv (41 verses in humility)

2 Timothy 1:9 * who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

I would suggest watching : Andrew Murray – Christ’s Humility Our Salvation (The Master’s Indwelling 7 of 13)

Also, https://blog.logos.com/2012/06/the-10-most-profound-andrew-murray-quotes/


The following verse is a foreshadowing of Christ to a “contrite people”…

Isaiah 63:7-9 (KJV) 7 I will mention the loving kindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses. 8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Savior. 9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity, he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.


 

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Hearing the Lord?

I made this video today to try and emphasize just how important it is to have a balanced understanding of the scriptures, and an effective relationship with the Lord, while “listening in obedience” as to not be deceived by false teachers which are so prevalent nowadays! Always remember we can’t teach people into Christ, as our walk is not just academic but spiritual, and that “we can do nothing” apart from Christ. So, we must learn to yield to the Holy Spirit as we learn and grow. It is important to be doers of the word, not just hearers; and is always dependency rather than independence of Christ which is the key.


 

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This or Dat!

I’ve lived on “both sides of the tracks” and in all that time it was very rare to find those who could function in the things of God, while understanding solid Bible teachings. It seems to be either one or the other is understood – instead of a balanced Biblical understanding of both.


 

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Spiritual Paradox

 

 

From the widow’s mite to the washing of feet; Jesus always alluded to the paradox between the world and the kingdom of God in this manner. Christian, why do you look down upon your brother or sister as being beneath you?  

  • “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” -Gandhi
  • “Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” -Albert Einstein
  • “I know one thing: that I know nothing.” -Socrates (via Plato)


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The Pretty People

Acts 10:34 34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: James 2:3 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Romans 2:9-13 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.


 

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CHRIST IS the Way

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


For a more in depth study about Salvation visit:

Misunderstood and misapplied passages. Can faith without works save? Part 5. 

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DEPENDENT ON THE CROSS

I had a little too much Coffee on this one – fidgeting around, but the TRUTH of the Gospel is Paramount to all of our growth in Christ!
The best example of the Gospel, is what the Apostle Paul said it was in 1 Corinthians: I’m using verses 6:12; 10:23 as described by Paul to what the basis of the Gospel actually are.


 

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The Pure Gospel

IS Christ, Christ, and ONLY Christ !!!

1 Corinthians 9 (Lordship Salvation Debunked) –

“link” https://youtu.be/MW75Hs03Z_I

Grace Christian Fellowship
Pastor John Ricci discusses 1 Corinthians Chapter 9 and the Heresy of Lordship Salvation
(Revelation 17:5) Mother of Harlots …

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1 Corinthians 9 (Lordship Salvation Debunked)

Pastor John Ricci discusses 1 Corinthians Chapter 9 and the Heresy of Lordship Salvation.


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The Ant Farm

The Lord told me years ago to simply follow Him, this little video shows how the Lord in his infinite mercy, has used his creation to speak to my heart.

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Hidden Flesh

I have found that hidden self righteous pride, is much more detrimental to ones spiritual growth, than being humble and honest enough to go to the Lord for help and forgiveness! To me, it is much more important to be a friend rather than just a rigid instructor of the faith.

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The Pitch Man.

For all real believers, it is imperative that you learn how to follow the Lord yourself, to listen and learn for yourselves, rather than just following “the pitch”!


 

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