Sunday, November 20, 2016

A MATTER OF FAITH: SAVED!

When I first started writing this book I called it DON'T PRAY FOR ME!  There are some people whose prayers I don't want answered but God is merciful and He wanted me to be merciful.  After over thirty years of praying and seeing the miraculous and the disastruous I believe there are some fundamental concepts everyone needs to understand before they go before the Father. NO, it is not about your tithe or your church attendance record. 

The following is the first chapter in my book BEFORE YOU PRAY FOR ME  PART I.  This book as does the complete edition which will be available in print sometime in 2017 contains the elements of praying. I do not believe there is one 'real' way to pray however there are some concepts that everyone should be aware of. 
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And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?””  Acts 16:30 NKJV

The Apostle Paul and Silas had been beaten with “many stripes” prior to having their feet bound by stocks and placed in prison. Scripture reveals that despite their unjust incarceration, their pain and discomfort the Apostles prayed and worshiped God. As they lived according to their faith the prisoners as well as the guards listened. (Acts:16:22-23).

So faith proceeds from hearing, as we listen to the message about God’s Anointed.” Romans 10:17 The Voice

In the midst of the praise and worship, around midnight, “there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed” (Acts 16:26 NKJV). The men could have easily left but everyone stayed; had they departed it would have led to the execution of the guard.
The once sleeping guard saw the effects of an earthquake that was strong enough to loose chains, knock the bars off bolted doors but not destroy the building. Believing that everyone had escaped the guard was ready to kill himself but Paul quickly intervened- assuring him that everyone was still there. (Acts 16:23-28) What he heard and saw led the Keeper of the Prison to ask: “What do I have to do to be saved?” They answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

QUESTION: What do people see you do and hear you speak?

How do you “Believe on the Lord Jesus the Son of God?” The Apostles demonstrated an unyielding trust in God through Jesus despite their circumstances that led to the deliverance of many including the Prison Guard and his family.
Before you can fully grasp the power and authority you have to pray successfully you must understand that believing is more than a  “Confessions of faith.”

THINK ABOUT: How much you depend on and trust in God.

That same night Paul and Silas shared the good news regarding the saving grace of God through Jesus. They shared the gospel in the home of the Prison Guard who listened along with his family. This knowledge, which was preceded by the praise and worship of two people, led to the changing of minds and the transformation of a household.

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” Romans 12:2 The Voice
This new way of thinking led the guard to clean the wounds of both Paul and Silas; an act of repentance as well as a demonstration of mercy and love. This was followed by the water baptism of he and his family, a public demonstration of belief in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. And then he, his family and the Apostles ate together in fellowship. (Acts 16:31-34)
These events did not occur over a period of days, weeks, or months. The confession of faith, Baptism and communion occurred without fanfare.

But someone will say, “You have faith ;I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18 NIV

Some religions require specific activities as a demonstration of faith and proving an individual is saved. Paul and Silas did not go into the prison and begin witnessing to the other prisoners. (I find it interesting that they were able to lead people to faith not with great material things but how they endured pain and suffering.) What you consistently “do” daily reveals what you believe and who you believe in.

QUESTION: Do you know what it means to be saved?

Followers of Jesus believe:
He is God- part of the Trinity (1 John 5:7);
He was in the beginning -the Word (John 1:1);
He entered the natural world through the womb of a virgin- Mary (Matthew 1:18-25) and became flesh (John 1:14).
We believe Jesus lived as the son of man - through the lineage of David (Matthew 1) but without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We believe Jesus died through crucifixion and then arose from the dead and is now seated on the right hand of God the Father (Book of Hebrews).
We Believe the Bible is the infallible word of God used to teach us how to live on earth (2 Timothy 3:16).
It is through Him, Jesus, that we have victory here on earth (1 Corinthians 15:57) while we wait for His return (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
These truths may not be fully understood by a new Believer however to reject part is to reject all which could lead to unanswered prayer.

THINK ABOUT: Are there parts of the Bible that you believe no longer relevant today?

We use the terms saved and salvation interchangeably but what does this mean? And is there a difference? It is difficult to believe prayers can be answered if you do not understand, or fully appreciate, the definitions of these words.
Sozo is the Greek word from which we get the translated word ‘saved’, it is a verb. Verbs ‘do’; there is action associated with being saved which involves what has been done by Jesus. Jesus sozo you, you do not sozo Him; Jesus saved you, you do not save Jesus.

QUESTION: How can you believe Jesus saved you if you do not know what you are being saved from?


The New Testament Greek Lexicon defines Sozo as follows:“to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literal or figurative) :- heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

When we ask a person do you want to be saved we are asking: Do you want to be delivered, rescued from, the consequences you now face because of sin? Many people today do not think they have sinned, particularly since many churches have allowed certain behaviors to be justified based on man’s thinking. (Romans 3:4)
God’s word has not changed because the calendar has. The consequences sin in the world is an inability to live as God created us to exist. Through Jesus we are delivered from those consequences which include: poor health; relationship difficulties; financial problems; lack of purpose which leads to a destructive life style; as well as an eternity in hell. No individual born to man has the ability to pay the full price required to eliminate the debt accumulated by sin (see Deuteronomy and Leviticus). Jesus, son of man- Son of God, paid the full price.To be saved is to be delivered from the consequences of sin.

Soteria is the Greek word from which we get the translated word ‘salvation.” Soteria is a noun, a noun is a person place or thing not a behavior.  Salvation is the all inclusive gift from God, through Jesus, that contains everything we need for life and godliness. Jesus saves us from a life of condemnation and gives to us everything we need.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,” 2 Peter 1:2-3 NKJV

Soteria is a gift from God that must be received by the believer. According to Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary Soteria means: rescue or safety (physical or morally):- deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
When we pray we understand: Jesus sozo(ed) us so that we could receive soteria. In believing that Jesus died for you which rescued you from the penalties of sin, you can be confident that when you pray you have what you are asking for (soteria) as long as it agrees with the Word.

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV

We have what we pray for when we receive soteria and discount what people say. Unfortunately, many people believe doctors, lawyers, financial experts and other opinions and ignore the gift of salvation. Who do you depend on to help you? xxx exert from BEFORE YOU PRAY FOR ME by Marsha L F Randolph all rights reserved.