Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Seal of approval

Welcome again to my blog. Thank you for visiting. 
We recently began discussing the results of personal salvation in Christ and why it might be associated with enhanced wellbeing as found through Teleios research. This blog series is describing what happens, as taught in the Bible, at the time of salvation resulting in a steadfast new and wonderful position of a believer. We have covered already several wonderful promises accompanying salvation. This week let us discuss the Spirit sealing, another fantastic biblical promise!
The Holy Spirit is often misunderstood, but He is a key component in our salvation, resulting position before God and subsequent Christian walk. At Salvation the Holy Spirit is given to us. This is a great promise and is a part of the results of our belief to salvation by faith alone in Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). These are the main points to review about the Spirit at salvation. Read and enjoy!
  • Spiritual baptism - We discussed this great promise two weeks ago; that the Holy Spirit regenerates us to a new life in Christ, identifying us with His death and resurrection upon the cross. We are a new creature in Christ (Romans 6:2-9; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).
  • Entry into the church - The Spirit places us in the church universal through which serve Christ.
  • The Spirit sealing - This week we learn that the Holy Spirit at salvation is given to us as a seal unto the day of our redemption, the second coming of Christ, when we will live with him eternally (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Corinthians 5:5).
Fortunately, this seal is not talking about a cute aquatic mammal, but it is speaking of a secure seal to bind us to Christ. Seals were used in the ancient world as a legal means to close a document. If a king had created a new law or order, molten wax might be poured on the document to seal it and the king's signet ring pressed into the wax. The king’s symbol in the wax would tell the carrier or the recipient that the contents of the document were the king’s will and breaking the seal inappropriately or ignoring the order was done at a person's own peril. 
We are sealed by our King and it reflects the same legal and unbreakable character as ancient law. Further, the Spirit seals us throughout our whole life on earth until we go home to heaven. Importantly, all those who believed by grace in Christ's forgiveness on the cross are Christians and have the Spirit and the seal (Ephesians 2:8-9). 
What great promises we possess as believers in Christ with a position so eternally secure with a great hope for the future and a steadfast anchor our souls while we are on Earth (Hebrews 6:19; 1 Peter 1:4-5).
Thank you for joining me on this fascinating Journey of who we are as a Christian before God. Please join us again next week to learn more.
For questions or to view more of our research…

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

All praise for Christ's church

Welcome again to my blog. Thank you for visiting. 
This blog series is describing what happens, as taught in the Bible, to individuals at the time of their salvation. We started last week with the fantastic promise of spiritual baptism, resulting in a steadfast new and wonderful position of a believer. This week let us overview our membership in Christ’s church.
At salvation the Holy Spirit places each of us into the church of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). This is a great promise and is a part of the results of our belief in salvation by faith alone in Christ. 
The form of the church into which we are placed by the Spirit can be called, in theological terms, the church universal. This form of the church roughly can be described as the following:
The practical outworking of the church universal is multiple organized bodies of believers often called the local church, but in our current age might be virtual (online) as well. Para-church organizations (e.g. independent missions or college ministries) function within the church universal, but similarly to the local church. Scripture gives broad definition to how churches are organized which allows great flexibility to serve Christ in various times and cultures.
These concepts of the church I've tried to base on scripture without cultural overlays of expectations and definitions. Regardless, the concept of the universal church is controversial. For example, some denominations may not accept the concept of a ‘universal church’. However, as the Apostle Paul states, we do what we do in faith using what we need to serve God, filtered by prayer and God's word (1 Timothy 4:4-5; Romans 14:23).
In this series so far, we have covered that at our salvation through faith in Christ’s death on the cross we have a spiritual baptism that identifies us as resurrected to a new life and places by the Spirit in Christ’s church.
Praise be to God for such wonderful promises and positions resulting from such a great salvation. Stay tuned next week as we continue our discussion of the results of salvation. Thank you for joining me today.

For questions or to view more of our research…

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Baptism, it is not just for dunking anymore!


Welcome again to my blog. Thank you for visiting. 
Last week we began discussing the effects of personal salvation and why it might be associated with enhanced wellbeing as found through Teleios’ research. Let's discover the biblical reasons why. This is a fantastic journey!
The next several blogs will talk about what happens, as described in the Bible, at the time of salvation resulting in a steadfast new and wonderful position of a believer. The blogs are based on the list presented last week.
Let's start with spiritual baptism. This important biblical truth is vital in understanding who we are as Christians. Our knowledge about baptism will transform the way we think!
First, let's consider the word itself. Although controversial, in the Epistles when baptism is mentioned it speaks generally of spiritual baptism.  It does not mean dunking or sprinkling primarily; water baptism might be considered as an external ritual to signify the internal event. The word is βαπτιζω (baptizoo) in the Greek (this is the language in which the New Testament originally was written), and was an old term borrowed from the dye trade. It meant that a piece of cloth immersed in the dye became identified with the new color.
Secondly then, what does being identified with Christ have to do with us as Christians? Fortunately, a lot!  
When we become a Christian we are identified with Christ’s gracious death and His resurrection. Otherwise, at salvation our old self died and was buried with Christ. We are raised now to new life with Him and we sit with Him on the right hand of God the Father (Romans 6:2-12; Ephesians 2:4-7; Colossians 2:12-13).
Why is this concept so important? Similar concepts in Scripture that also appear to speak probably to spiritual baptism are: regeneration (Titus 3:5), born again (John 3: 5) and a new man (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10):
  • Believer’s sin - Although every believer sins we can say ‘no’ to sin because as a new person in Christ we have the power to live a victorious life. 
  • The reason for the resurrection - Baptism teaches us the importance of the resurrection because we are raised with Christ to new life without which we would still be dead in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).
  • Eternal security - Baptism helps prove we cannot lose our salvation. because scripture does not indicate that if we commit sin that our new self can be killed and the old dead self re-resurrected like some bad re-make of the ‘Night of the Living Dead’!  
In other words, you are transformed permanently to a new life, resurrected with Christ and sitting with Him in heaven. These changes cannot be reversed. What a great comfort we have in truth of scripture.
Therefore, as a new person, we are liberated from sin and are free to serve Christ. We cannot be defeated by the misdeeds of our old self.
Christ is a fantastic and true Savior! The nature of our salvation is so important that we will continue to address each of the individual promises overviewed last week.  We’ll see how they will enhance our wellbeing. Come back next week as we continue this exciting journey about the nature of our great salvation.
For questions or to view more of our research…

Friday, September 28, 2018

Wow, what a great salvation!

Welcome again to my blog. Thank you for visiting. We've been discussing in recent weeks the church, God's chosen method of administration for our time before Christ returns, and that all members should be productive believers, born again through faith alone. This is important so the church may advance the Gospel and positively affect its community. However, it is also important for the individual believer. Why is this?
This question is multi-leveled, complicated, but wonderful. As understanding our salvation is transformative. Let's spend the next few blogs discussing it.
Teleios Research has found that knowledge of salvation and eternal security enhances our wellbeing. What are the biblical reasons why? Today’s blog will talk about what happens, as described in the Bible, at the time of our salvation which results in a new and wonderful position for the believer.
We know from scripture that our merciful God chose us (Ephesians 1:4,5,11; Romans 8:29-30), convicted us by his Spirit (John 16:8), and dragged us to Himself (John 6:44) that we might believe in Christ’s forgiveness.  All this by grace through the Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to grant us salvation by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Indeed, God is worthy of praise for such a great salvation!
However, it is vital for us to know exactly what happens at salvation as it enhances our wellbeing and confidence, and certainly our praise to God.
At salvation we receive:
  • Spiritual baptism - We are regenerated by the Spirit into a new person and our old self dies (Romans 6:2-9). We become identified (the meaning of the word ‘baptism’) with Christ's death and resurrection. This marvelous spiritual truth speaks to the importance of the resurrection because it is the vehicle for our new life in Christ and eternity (Romans 6:9; 10:9-10). Indeed, we are a new person and the old sinful self is gone forever.
  • Membership in the church (1 Corinthians 12:13) - The Spirit places each believer in the church universal (the fellowship of all believers under the headship of Christ [Colossians 1:17-18]).  We serve others, and God, typically through a local church assembly.
  • The Holy Spirit - He is given in part as a down payment to our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:21) that we cannot lose (Romans 8:28-39; 1 Peter 1:4-5). He maintains us until the day of our redemption when Christ comes again (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:10).
  • Adoption - Each believer is a child of God, adopted into his family. As generally in first world cultures today, when a child was adopted in the ancient Greek and Roman world, it was a legal right that could not be overturned. In other words, the adopted child received all the rights and privileges of a natural-born child; so with a believer as a child of God (Ephesians 1:5).
  • Justification - Before we believed we were guilty of sin for which Christ died on the cross to provide his forgiveness and to declare us innocent (Romans 3:24-25). The word for justified in Greek (δικαιος, dikaios) means legally found innocent as in court of law. In other words, there is no double jeopardy: οnce found innocent no one can bring a charge against us (Romans 8:33).
  • Possession- We are the possession of Christ and God (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:10). No one can take us out of their hand (John 10:27-30). 
Christ is a fantastic and true Savior! The nature of our salvation is so important we will speak to each of these topics individually and how they might enhance a believer's wellbeing. Come back again next week as we start this exciting journey to discover the nature of our great salvation.
For questions or to view more of our research…