I just came back from Church and the Pastor said something interesting from Acts.: Paul went  to Athens before the others and discovered dismay when walking about. Most of my info comes from researching the New King James  Study Bible¹, E-Sword², and Abingdon’s Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance  of the Bible³

¹© 1997,2007 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. ; ²e-Sword ©Rick Meyers 2017 ; ³1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ

 

Acts 17:13-21 these were a portrait of the philosophers that Paul encountered, lest we not forget that Paul was an academic himself. See what he said to these leaders:

How different this intense earnestness from the trifling of the so-called philosophers of Athens! The Epicurean made the pursuit of pleasure the main object of life. The Stoic, on the other hand, believed in the stern repression of nature. All Greece was absorbed in the cultivation of art, architecture, eloquence, and intellectual brilliance. But here, as everywhere, Paul had but one message-Jesus and the Resurrection. Oh, to be pressed in spirit, as he was, till our earnestness should compel our opponents to give us a serious hearing!

“And standing in the middle of the Areopagus, Paul said, Men, Athenians, I see that you are fearful of gods in everything.”  (Act 17:22 MKJV)

“For as I passed by and saw the things you worship, I also found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Not knowing then whom you worship, I make Him known to you.”  (Act 17:23 MKJV)

“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands,”  (Act 17:24 MKJV)

“nor is served with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives life and breath and all things to all.”  (Act 17:25 MKJV)

“And He has made all nations of men of one blood to dwell on all the face of the earth, ordaining fore-appointed seasons and boundaries of their dwelling, ” (Act 17:26 MKJV)

“to seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and find Him, though indeed He is not far from each one of us.” (Act 17:27 MKJV)

“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.”  (Act 17:28 MKJV)

“Then being offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like gold or silver or stone, engraved by art and man’s imagination.”  (Act 17:29 MKJV)

“Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to repent, ” (Act 17:30 MKJV)

‘because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead.”  (Act 17:31 MKJV)

 

“We are free. The Son has made us free, and we are free indeed, though not free to disobey the dictates and promptings of our new nature. We are set free from minute instructions, from priestly rules and requisitions, from all that would cramp and hinder our spiritual development; but we are still under the law of Christ, who will see to it that the essential righteousness of the Mosaic law is fulfilled in us, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,”

Rom. 8:1:There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  (Rom 8:1 MKJV)

THE ORIGINAL TEXTS THAT WERE LATER TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH AND MANY OTHER LANGUAGES IS THE BEST WAY TO SEE WHAT GOD REALLY SAID.

Paul is the apostle who takes “grace” to a whole new level. Through his letters we can feel his zeal and that is because as he said it-“Grace from God,” many times we have emotions that hinder our Joy, so I would like to tackle “Freedom from Guilt.”

Freedom from Guilt

These are the chains that bind us to this earth and its ruler. Sometimes we do not realize that is what is holding us back from being a Christian. The Devil whispers that we are not good enough, or we as fallen humans do not deserve it or that God is simply lying. It sounds like our own voice, but WATCH OUT! It is mimicked.

Guilt arrives much like an unwelcome guest, and it usually shows up at the worst possible moment. And does not depart no matter how much you demand it to leave.

Yet, the truth of it is that we need guilt. It is the only proper response to any offense to our conscience. From a selfish thought to a premeditated murder. Guilt exposes the truth that we wish to avoid. Think of something in your life that has been a monkey on your back because a mistake you made many years ago. We carry that guilt because we have know where to put it. It becomes a terrible burden. 

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (1Jn 1:8 MKJV)

Even a non-believer wants a burglar to feel regret for his actions. Why? Because he should. But does he, for that matter where is the guilt that is suppose to be felt by an unbelieving willful sinner. No conscience, there are some who have no compunction whatsoever. However, do not point the finger at them, guilt exposes the truth that we wish to avoid. 

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (1Jn 1:8 MKJV)

John does not leave us with this depressing picture of ourselves. On the contrary, John goes on to paint a glorious portrait of a forgiving God. This is our only hope. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1Jn 1:9 MKJV)

Guilt does more than just deliver the distressing news. It unlocks the door to forgiveness. Isn’t that what we secretly want. I, personally, had a ton of guilt before I was saved. However, it became easier when I asked the Lord to take it. That is what my book is about. My blogs on this site are for instruction, God’s instruction.

If you have read my book, Heaven by Attrition,” tell me that I wrote it alone in three months, no way. It’s on amazon with 4 1/2 stars. I was just a vessel. That is all God needed to give the information out. Just like my blogs. I research and enjoy it. One is “Let it Go.” Check it out.  Now everything starts with confession to the Lord. Our guilt and shame are exposed, but salvation is a wonderful thing.

Confession works against the worst part of human nature, the part that imagines itself to be better than it really is. What person has not felt, “I am not perfect, but I am not as bad as so-in-so.” This mindset always stops short of confessing; it would rather ignore or ease feelings of guilt than admit them. This is a big mistake because you are missing out on all the joy that comes with God’s forgiveness.

There is no fear, no worries, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  (Mat 10:28 MKJV)

With God watching our backs, who can harm us? Can you fight it when God wants to take you home? Everything is in God’s hands and plan.  Only when we admit that we are sinners, “unworthy” of God’s grace, can we make a fresh start.

Grace is salvation. It means living forever with our Lord and God. The thing that makes this so resplendent is it is freely given because Christ freely gave us life, by giving His life. There is so much to say about “The Grace of God.” I would need to write a book on it.

Meditate on that! Are there any questions?

 

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