DIG for Tuesday the 21st of February…..want to know how to sin less…..1 Corinthians 15 v 34

My Bible quite often seems to have a mind of its own, opening up at my favourite passages!

This happened today; when I opened the Word it was in 1 Corinthians 15 and my eye was drawn straight to 1 Corinthians 15 v 34.

You may be thinking that I’ve written about this verse before; I would say that is true, but I would suggest that you go and read yesterday’s DIG!

This is a wonderfully clear verse, giving us a model to follow if we want to see less sin in our life.

We do not need to try and stop sinning.

We do not need to stop this and stop that; we do not need to strive for change.

We simply need to understand that we are righteous, or as the Word says awake to righteousness.

As we understand that we are righteous (made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus) we are more likely to behave in a righteous manner.

As we understand that we are holy and a saint, we are more likely to behave like a saint and do holy actions.

We are not defined by our actions; our actions are defined by our identity.

So as we understand more about our identity (that we have been made righteous) we will see positive change in our life.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus”.

1 Corinthians 15 v 34…..Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame

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DIG for Monday the 20th of February…..it is good to be reminded again and again…..Titus 3 v 8

When my granddaughter Lydia was smaller she had a routine that involved watching the same TV programs every evening and singing the same bedtime song every night.

She loved this and it was reassuring for her and gave her some routine; repetition was good for her.

Repetition in terms of looking at the same passages of Scripture is good for the born again believer.

It is an understanding of the Word that leads to lasting and permanent change in the life of a Christian.

Paul wrote to Titus saying he should “affirm constantly” the faithful sayings he had been taught about his righteousness through Jesus.

Even though we think we know a Biblical principle (such as righteousness or forgiveness) we should affirm these truths constantly and remind ourselves about them again and again.

As a pastor and teacher I have taken this advice from Paul to Titus (also a pastor) to heart, just ask my fellowship.

But it is not wrong to teach the same truths again and again; this is what Paul is telling us to do.

So if pastors are being told to teach the same truths constantly surely we as believers reading the Word should remind our selves of the same truths again and again as well.

What is your favourite truth about who you are in Christ?

Whatever it is, why not go and study up about it again right now!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for your Word Lord and thank you that it is the agent for lasting and permanent change in my life”.

Titus 3 v 8…..This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men

DIG for Sunday the 19th of February…..adoption was main part of the mission…..Galatians 4 v 4 and 5

I wrote about adoption yesterday, but it is a concept and idea that I’ve not been able to get out of my head today.

It is just marvellous that I have been adopted into the family of the Living God, and I am so thankful for the blessings I receive as a result.

Paul also wrote to the Galatian church about adoption; he says something wonderful in chapter 4.

There are a couple of verses that talk about the mission of Jesus, verses that talk about why He came.

He came to redeem us so that we could be adopted as son (Galatians 4 v 4 and 5).

This was one of the main reasons Jesus came, so that you and I could be adopted.

My adoption and your adoption were on the agenda before the creation of time and this was part of the mission of Jesus.

That makes me feel very special; I wonder how it makes you feel?

Adoption was not a side issue that came along later; adoption was always on the mind of the Father as He planned the redemption of mankind.

When we were saved we were made righteous and holy and adopted at the same time.

This is one of the amazing transformations that occur at our point of salvation, as the old things pass away and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5 v 17).

We are no longer lost but we are now in the family of the Living God and living (or we should be) as sons.

Ponder on that this evening.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been adopted into your family as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus”.

Galatians 4 v 4 and 5…..But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons

DIG for Saturday the 18th of February…..quite a concept this type of adoption…..Ephesians 1 v 5

The picture of adoption that Paul uses a number of times is a very powerful picture.

When a boy was adopted as a son under Roman law they left behind their old identify and obligations and was given a new one.

They left behind all the old debts and were given a new inheritance, coming into part ownership with his father.

They were given new clothes.

They were taken into the family and were given the rights of sonship i.e. they were highly favoured and given all that they needed.

This is a picture of our adoption by God through Jesus once we come into faith.

The second we are born again we are adopted into the family of God the Father (Ephesians 1 v 5).

We receive a new identity and are clothed in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5 v 21 and Ephesians 4 v 24).

We are made sons of the Living God (Galatians 4 v 5).

We receive the inheritance of sons and are given all we need for life and godliness, all we need for life in abundance; we are given all spiritual blessings in other words (2 Peter 1 v 3, John 10 v 10, Ephesians 1 v 3).

And God planned all this before the creation of time.

He would put in place, through the finished work of Jesus, all that we would need in order to be adopted as son.

This was provided by His grace, and we receive it all by faith (Ephesian 2 v 8).

What a wonderful adoption we have entered into!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been adopted into your faith as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus”.

Ephesians 1 v 5…..Having predestinated us unto the adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

DIG for Thursday the 16th of February…..need some joy; I know one place to look…..Psalm 16 v 11

I was asked recently to write DIG about, now I may not be answering that question but I have been thinking about joy today.

Many people are missing this in their life especially when times are tough.

However we can always have joy in our life if you want it.

You may be thinking, OK Vic, how can you say I can have joy in my life right now and you don’t know my circumstances?

That is true, I do not know your circumstances but I know the Word of God!

The Psalmist wrote that we would find joy in the presence of the Lord, indeed it is written that we would find the fullness of joy there.

And how do we get into the presence of the Lord?

Well that Psalmist gives us a clue here as well.

In Psalm 22 v 2 we read that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people, so one way we can come into His presence is through praise.

As I write this DIG I have been listening to a couple of praise and worship songs from Bethel Worship, and I can feel the joy bubbling up in me already.

Before this I had been focussing on some secular consultancy work, and not thinking on the Lord.

As soon as I started on the worship songs I could feel a difference.

Praise is one way to see joy manifest in your life; go on, give it a try right now!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that in your presence there is fullness of joy”.

Psalm 16 v 11…..Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in they presence is the fullness of the Lord; at the right hand there are pleasures for evermore

DIG for Wednesday the 15th of February…..”in Christ” must be an important concept…..2 Corinthians 5 v 21

I did a word search just now on my computer and from Romans to 1 Peter (inclusive) there are 76 instances of the phrase “in Christ”.

This makes me think that what we are “in Christ’ must be quite important, and indeed it is.

The phrases that use “in Christ” tell us about our true identity, who we are in Christ and what we have been made in Christ.

An understanding of these truths is essential for the born again believer.

We have been justified and redeemed in Christ (Romans 3 v 24).

There is no condemnation for us if we are in Christ (Romans 8 v 1).

We have been made wise, made righteous, sanctified and redeemed if we are in Christ (1 Corinthians 1 v 30).

There is only hope in this world if we are in Christ (1 Corinthians 15 v 19).

We have life if we are in Christ (1 Corinthians 15 v 22).

And the list goes on and on.

There are many truths about who we are and what we have been made as a gift of grace when we are in Christ.

But what do we have to do to be in Christ you may ask?

Simple, have faith in Jesus and His finished work.

Once you have been born again you are in Christ, and all the truths spoken about in Romans to 1 Peter belong to you!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for the finished work of Jesus and thank you for the opportunity to be in Christ”.

2 Corinthians 5 v 17…..Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new

DIG for Tuesday the 14th of February…..what would tomorrow be like without Him…..John 10 v 10

I saw the Facebook page of a friend today and it had a picture on it with the words, “Because He lives I can face the tomorrow”.

I’ve sung these words before, not for a while, but it was a song we used in a past church.

As I thought about it I realised how true these words were for me!

Although I really love my family and always love spending time with them I just cannot see a future in this life without Jesus.

Life would seem pointless and worthless.

What would my aims and goals be if I were not in a walk of faith with the Living God?

What would life be like if I did not believe in a risen Jesus?

To be honest the answers to these questions are unthinkable.

My faith has changed my goals, my ambitions; it has changed my life.

I believe my faith, and an understating of Jesus and what He has done for me, has made me a ‘better’ person.

There is no way I would want to go back to how I was before I took my walk with Jesus seriously.

Life with Jesus is abundant (John 10 v 10).

Life without Jesus is not life; it is just an existence.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for the life and hope that I have through my walk with Jesus”.

John 10 v 10…..The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly

DIG for Monday the 13th of February…..what do grace and faith mean…..Ephesians 2 v 8

We had some great teaching at the Bible School tonight; even though I’m not a student the material is still blessing me.

The lecturer was teaching on salvation and had used Ephesians 2 v 8, talking about how we are saved by grace through faith.

He gave a wonderful definition that I would like to share with you (so thanks and credit to Lawson Perdue for this).

He said, “Grace is what God did for us through the person of Jesus Christ, and faith is our positive response to it”.

I really like that definition!

Through the finished work of Jesus God has provided the possibility of salvation for every man.

Through the finished work of Jesus God has provided the means for every man to be made righteous.

This is a truth as because of the shed blood of Jesus every man has been reconciled and forgiven (Ephesians 1 v 7 and 2 Corinthians 5 v 18 and 19).

However every man must operate in faith and believe in Jesus and in His work.

Once a man believes and trusts he is saved.

It really is that simple!

God wants every man to be saved and has made provision for this, but each individual man (using his free will) needs to choose to trust Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you for the provision you have made for every man to be saved”.

Ephesians 2 v 8…..For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

DIG for Sunday the 12th of February…..changed by the Word…..2 Corinthians 5 v 21

Yesterday I put a post on my Facebook page asking for suggestion for my future DIGs.

My wife commented asking for something on 2 Corinthians 5 v 21; she was joking as I quite often write about this verse.

The comment has however made me meditate on that verse this morning.

The understanding of this verse changed my walk with the Lord and as a result changed my life.

I hope that you have similar verses with regards to having a major impact on your life.

The Word of God was designed to change us; this is its role.

As we understand and believe the truths in His Word we will be transformed (Romans 12 v 2).

As I understood that I was made righteous I changed.

As I understood that this righteousness was the righteousness of God I was changed.

As I understood what Jesus had done for me I was changed.

As we understand about Jesus through his word we manifest all we need for this life (2 Peter 1 v 3).

As we understand the Word (renew our minds) we are changed for the better (transformed) (Romans 12 v 2).

If you want to see positive change in your life and want to see life and abundance manifest you must get into His Word.

Speak this out today…..Thank you for your Word Lord and thank you that it is the agent for permanent change in my life”.

2 Corinthians 5 v 21…..For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him

DIG for Saturday the 11th of February…..why grace? Because grace is Jesus…..Titus 2 v 11

“Why do you teach grace?” is something I’ve been asked a few times now.

I pastor at Moray Grace Fellowship and people here me talking about grace, so they want to know why grace is so important to me.

Well there is an easy answer for that; grace is about Jesus.

In fact grace is Jesus!

When Paul wrote to Titus he wrote about Jesus.

In Titus 2 v 13 and 14 he speaks of Jesus and about what He has done through the cross.

But first in verse 11 he writes about the grace of God appearing to all men; the verses following show us clearly that this is talking about Jesus.

Jesus has indeed appeared and has brought the possibility for salvation for all men.

So there it is in black and white in the Bible, grace is Jesus.

Grace is not a doctrine and grace is not a teaching style.

Grace is a person and He is Jesus Christ.

If you are preaching about Jesus and His finished work then you are preaching about grace, so hopefully most of the preachers in the body of Christ today should be grace preachers just like me!

I love Jesus so I love grace, and I am happy to be labelled as one of those “grace preachers”.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that He came to bring the possibility for salvation for all men”.

Titus 2 v 11…..For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men