Quarterly Journals
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Fighting the Battle from a Place of Victory!

1 Peter 1:1-9 | Galatians 5:16
Satan takes us very seriously because he fears the One who lives inside us. Satan wants to keep us from interacting and having an intimate relationship with God. Satan has no problems with religion or tradition but he has a major problem with our relationship with Jesus Christ. He does not want us to have an active relationship with Jesus which is ignited by our prayers. Prayer creates an atmosphere that deepens our relationship with God. Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:1-9 about Salvation, Suffering and Satan. Peter explains that even though we suffer, we don’t suffer without hope. Peter begins explaining about suffering by talking about the Godhead first because before we even get to the suffering in our lives, God has already done the work to give us victory over suffering and our enemy, Satan. God’s work for us is so effective that no amount of suffering will ever separate us from Him.
One of the most powerful statements in the Holy Bible is found in 1 Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. Apostle Peter tells us that God’s election of us is rooted in His foreknowledge. Foreknowledge means that ‘God knows before’. Election means that God chose us. Therefore, God’s choice is rooted in what He knew before. God is omniscience. God knows everything and if He knows everything then that means that God knew us and knew what suffering we would experience before it actually happened. Although God knew beforehand what we would do in our lives, God still chose us to make sure that we would be under His protection. God demonstrated His love for us before we were even born on earth. While the Father was doing His work, the Holy Ghost was doing His part by making sure that we were set apart in the midst of our suffering through sanctification of the Spirit. Some say that Apostle Peter also implies by this passage that the way that we came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is because the Holy Ghost was at work on our behalf even before we were saved. The Holy Ghost preserved us and kept us even when we had no knowledge about God.
The obvious question then is if the Lord took care of us when we were not believers then how much will He do for us after adopting us as His children and as a result of our faith in Him? Apostle Peter went on to explain the contribution that Jesus makes to our victory in this battle. While God the Father chooses us, God the Holy Ghost preserves and protects us, God the son saves us by performing the act of salvation, “…and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ”, 1 Peter 1:2. Peter also tells us that this life is not all there is for us. Even if we have suffered loss in this life, the loss we have suffered cannot compare to the inheritance we have waiting for us in eternity, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”, 1 Peter 1:4. God has specific things in heaven for us and it has our name on it. God also uses our circumstances as evidence of His keeping power. God keeps us sane through the midst of confusion.  People look at us and wonder, how in the world are we surviving all that we go through? They don’t understand how we are making it in this wicked world. The reason why they don’t understand how we succeed while others fail is because they are not being kept by the power of God. God wants us to tell people the truth about our victory, “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”, 1 Peter 3:15.
God allows us to suffer in order to use us as examples to demonstrate His power. There’s no way we can overcome our sufferings and defeat Satan without Him. God allows our suffering to be public so that the world can see His power in action. It is by God’s grace that we have victory over our sufferings and victory over our circumstances.  As a result, we are fighting our battles from a place of victory!
“Remember, there is nothing too hard for God!!!”
Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley

I Want to Be Like Jesus

Jesus Christ is God’s Word in the flesh, “He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God”, Rev 19:13 CSB. The robe that Jesus wore was dipped in the blood that he sacrificed on the cross for our disobedience. Man’s solutions like religion, ideologies and doctrines not found in the Holy Bible are like fig leaves for disobedience which fall far short of what God requires for a restored relationship with Him. Fig leaves are not the answer to our disobedience, “Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked. So, they sewed fig leaves together and made garments for themselves”, Gen 3:7 CEB. God gave us a sign in the beginning that only a blood sacrifice would satisfy the Lord’s hatred for our disobedience. Only God’s answer is the right answer and Jesus Christ is that answer. The sacrificed needed for our disobedience was made by God first, “The Lord God made the man and his wife leather clothes and dressed them”, Gen 3:21 CEB. But God doesn’t want us to learn through disobedience, “…do not be children immature, childlike in your thinking; be infants in matters of evil completely innocent and inexperienced, but in your minds be mature adults”, 1 Cor 14:20 AMP.
When we disobey one of two things happens to us. We either hide from God like Adam & Eve because of shame or God allows us to do the things we want based on our own ideas about life which are corrupted by sin, People did not think it was important, consider it worthwhile or see fit to have a true knowledge of or acknowledge God. So, God abandoned them to allow them to pursue their own worthless thinking by a depraved and corrupted mind to do things they should not do”, Rom 1:28 EXB. Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten son and he was the Creator of everything in the universe (St. John 1:1-18). We are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ because God chose us to be His children before we were born, “And before the world was made, God decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. This was what God wanted, and it pleased him to do it”, Eph 1:5 ERV. In Christ we were chosen to be God’s people. God planned for us to be His people, because that is what He wanted. God is the one who makes everything agree with what He wants (Eph 1:11). As brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ and children of God we were given the Holy Spirit which allows us to discern God in our lives, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”, 1 Cor 2:14 KJV.
People who do not have God’s Spirit do not accept the things that come from his Spirit. They think these things are foolish. They cannot understand them, because they can only be understood with the Spirit’s help, “Since you are now God’s children, he has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts. The Spirit cries out, “Abba, Father.” Gal 4:6 ERV. We recognize God’s Spirit in others when they say, “I believe that Jesus is the Messiah who came to earth and became a man.” That Spirit is from God. The unbeliever, the heathen and those that have rejected the Lord’s doctrine refuse to say this about Jesus Christ. That spirit is not from God. This is the spirit of the enemy of Christ. The one who lives in us is greater than the one who is in the world. The unbelievers belong to the world, so what they say is from the world. The world listens to what the lost say because people prefer darkness rather than light (St. John 3:19).  But we are from God. So, people who know God listen to the doctrine of Jesus. But the people who are not from God reject the Lord’s doctrine. This is how we know the difference between the Spirit that is true and the spirit that is false (1 John 4:2-6). Also, God makes sure that those that belong to Him will understand His Word and those that belong to the Adversary Satan (the children of Belial) do not understand the truth about Jesus Christ, “Only you can know the secret truth about God’s kingdom. But to those other people I tell everything by using stories.  I do this so that ‘They will look and look but never really see; they will listen and listen but never understand. If they saw and understood, they might change and be forgiven.”, Mark 4:11-12 ERV.
The truth about Jesus was a secret from the very beginning until God decided the time was right to share the truth with His creation, “That secret truth has been hidden in him since the beginning of time. He is the one who created everything. His purpose was that all the rulers and powers in the heavenly places will now know the many different ways he shows his wisdom. They will know this because of the church. This agrees with the plan God had since the beginning of time. He did what he planned, and he did it through Christ Jesus our Lord. In Christ we come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this because of our faith in Christ”, Eph 3:9-12 ERV. At one time God overlooked the fact that people did not understand the truth but not anymore. Now God is telling everyone to change and turn to Him (Acts 17:30). The time for people to give their lives to Jesus Christ is right now! “Some of you say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.” Listen, think about this: You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Your life is like a fog. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away”, James 4:13-14 ERV. “If you hear God’s voice today, don’t be stubborn as in the past when you turned against God.” Heb 3:16 ERV. “So, the opportunity is still there for some to enter and enjoy God’s rest. But those who first heard the good news about it did not enter, because they did not obey.  So God planned another special day. It is called “today.” He spoke about that day through David a long time later using the words we quoted before: “If you hear God’s voice today, don’t be stubborn.” Heb 4:6-8 ERV.
Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley