Category: Walking by the Spirit

Take every thought captive

Ephesians 4:11 So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 

12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 

13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

  • [The Lord’s sheep know His voice and will not follow another. In the very near future men of God will lay aside their false beliefs and cling to the truth, and in turn teach it to others. The church will reach maturity after which…]

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. 

16 From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

  • [Rest assured this day is coming. The Lord has sent forth apostles of Christ with instructions…] 

…to destroy speculations and every lofty opinion raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5.

  • [The wheat and tares will continue to grow together until the Lord and His angels come to separate them.]

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Freed from the Law

Having fulfilled the Law before He died, Jesus rose from the dead a new creation, that is, the risen body of Christ, the church. And all who are a part of His body are set free from the commandments of the Law.

The church is a spiritual body that lives and walks in the Spirit of Christ, the new creation (first the natural, then the spiritual). All who walk by the flesh of the old creation are still subject to the Law, and those who walk by the Spirit of the new creation are not subject to the Law, for the Law is fulfilled in them.

All who believe in Jesus were crucified with Him and are therefore also dead to the Law. Having been buried with Him through baptism, they were raised up with Him into newness of life in the Spirit, and are subject to a new law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:2. The old Law is now fulfilled in them, even though they are no longer subject to it.

In fulfilling the Law and dying to it, Jesus broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, for because of Israel’s rejection of Jesus, Gentiles are now invited to become partakers of the promises of God, by being grafted into Israel’s olive tree, and partake of its rich root.

Jesus has broken down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles by His life of total obedience to God and His sacrifice on the cross, bringing an end to the Law through His death, and subsequently inviting peoples of all nations to the newness of life in His risen body, the church.

Thus, all who walk by the flesh are still subject to the Law, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; all who walk by the Spirit are set free from the Law, because the Law is fulfilled in them.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Pursuing Sanctification

Hebrews 12:4-13,

4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 

5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. 

6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 

8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 

9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 

10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 

11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 

13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 

14 Pursue for peace with everyone, and for the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled… 

Throughout these verses we see that we are in a struggle against sin (4), and that our heavenly Father is using this struggle to teach us discipline (7). The end result of this struggle and discipline is for us to share our Father’s holiness (10). Verse 11 says, For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Verses 14 & 15 sum up the entire passage— in order to obtain and not come short of the grace of God, we must pursue peace and sanctification.

Many people have referred to this process as progressive sanctification which God provides for us as we grow, and some have said it is a second work of grace,but neither of these is true. Sanctification is both the setting apart to God, and the conduct of one who is separated to Him. 

Take note that the writer of Hebrews, in his explanation of our struggle against sin and our learning obedience through that struggle, said in verse 10, For they [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He [our heavenly Father] disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. The words holiness and sanctification are interchangeable in different versions of the Bible. They mean the same thing.

From verse 14 we know the burden of peace and sanctification is on us, for it says we are to pursue it. How do we do this? We pursue peace and sanctification daily by submitting to, and obeying, our heavenly Father; for He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. We resist sin, trusting in Him to provide a way of escape from every temptation. We will never share His holiness unless we learn obedience through the things which we suffer, as did Jesus, our example! 1 Peter 2:21, For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…

Dear friends, sanctification is no magic wand as some have taught. It is a hard path, a narrow path. It is not easy; it requires obedience to all authority. It means we cannot do whatever we want, whenever we want; we answer to a higher calling.

Having been crucified with Jesus and raised up with Him into newness of life, we must now consider ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God; for through Jesus He has set us free to live a life of righteousness before God, a life worthy of our calling. 

There are many thorns along this narrow path, and they will scratch and tear at our flesh; at times they will draw blood. But it is a path of the most beautiful roses one can ever see, and, by God’s grace, their fragrance always overshadows their thorns.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons, Hebrews 12:8. 

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of GodHebrews 12:15a.

One Reason for Sin

There is one biblical reason, and one reason only, that Adam and Eve sinned. Anything beyond this reason is pure conjecture and adding to God’s word. That reason is ignorance, not only of good and evil, but of obedience as well.

The word of God says obedience is learned through suffering, Hebrews 5:8, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered,”; hence, the disciplining of our children, and the disciplining of God’s children, Hebrews 12:6, “FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

“This is the difference in the first Adam and the last Adam—- the first Adam was created as an adult and placed in a garden of Paradise, wherein there was no suffering. He had no occasion to learn obedience, and therefore sinned against God. 

The last Adam came as an infant into a world of suffering and pain. He was trained up in the way He should go, that when He grew up He wouldn’t depart from it, Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Throughout His entire life on earth He learned obedience from the things which He suffered, Hebrews 5:8, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered,”; and therefore obeyed God.

The first Man, Adam, was not taught obedience and fell into transgression. The last Adam, Jesus, was born an infant, disciplined as a child, and learned obedience through the things He suffered.  As a result of His obedience, the first creation was reconciled back to God, holy and without blemish.

Then came a brand new creation, the body of the risen Christ, the church, which is being trained up in the way it should go, and learning obedience through the things it suffers. It endures those sufferings with the help of Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us. Having been tempted in all things just as we are tempted, He is able to come to our aid and show us a way of escape for every temptation; and, learning obedience as we grow, we are able to make a choice to obey; that is, if we abide in Him, in His Spirit which fills the body.

This is Christianity; this is the mystery of God, which is, Christ in us.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Bordering on Hypocrisy

Romans 7:1-6,

1 Or do you not know, brothers–for I am speaking to those who know the Law–that the Law is binding on a person only as long as he lives

2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage

3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 

5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the Law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 

6 But now we are released from the Law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Colossians 2:16-23,

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 

17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 

19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 

20 Ifwith Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the worldwhy, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations– 

21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 

22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)–according to human precepts and teachings

23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

A true Christian, that is, a follower of Jesus Christ, lives as the above Scriptures describe. He does this by walking by the Spirit, not the flesh. For the flesh was crucified with Christ, and the true  Christian no longer walks by the flesh, but by the Spirit.

Anything less is double-mindedness, and bordering on hypocrisy.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Abide in Jesus

  • Romans 11:26 ESV

and this will be My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

  • Hebrews 10:4 ESV

For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

  • Hebrews 10:11 ESV

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can NEVER take away sins.

  • 1 John 3:5 ESV

You know that He [Jesus] appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.

  • 1 John 3:6 ESV

No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him.

If we abide in Jesus, we will not sin, for there is no sin in Him. It is impossible to abide in Him and continue in sin. 

Are your prayers being answered? If you are abiding in Jesus and His words abide in you, they are being answered. If they are not being answered, you are most probably not abiding in Jesus, and you are living in sin.

Go ahead, all of you back seat preachers and teachers, argue with this

Or, if you dare, do as Peter said in his first letter, chapter 5,

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, 

casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Be Willing to Give

Once when I was very poor I was seeking the Lord about supplying my needs. He told me as plain as day, “If you would trust Me to supply your needs, you must be willing to give away even that which you need.” Not long after that He told me to give away all our money to others more needy than ourselves.

I told my wife and son about it and we gave our money away. We had no savings, no income, and no assets, other than clothing and second-hand furniture. We kept all that. Within days the battery on our car went dead. I jumped started it and drove to Sear’s Auto. They checked it and said it would no longer hold a charge and was pretty much worthless.

The man attending me tried to sell me a battery. I told him it would have to wait because I had no money at the time. And without my asking, he spoke to his supervisor and asked if he could give me a battery on my word alone that I would pay for it when I had the money. I was standing outside the door and heard what they were saying. The supervisor said no and the worker said, “Come on, it’s the right thing to do.” The supervisor gave in and I left with a brand new battery. This was in a huge city in Florida where people move in and out constantly and these gentlemen didn’t have any idea who I was. Still they gave me a battery on my word.

A few days after that we ran out of food. My wife told me our son was hungry and we needed to get something right away. I excused myself and went into the bedroom to pray. The Lord told me to take my wife and son to Pizza Hut, and specified which Pizza Hut we were to got to. We had never gone to a Pizza Hut the whole time we lived there.

We arrived and we were the only customers in the place. A waitress asked what we wanted and my wife said, “Just a second, please.” She looked in her purse and found some change she had forgotten about when we gave our money away. There was just enough for three drinks, so we ordered three drinks.

The waitress returned with our drinks and asked again if we were sure we didn’t want something to eat. I said, “No thank you, ma’am.” She said, “If you change your mind, there are several pizzas we’re just going to throw away. Our noon buffet just ended and we don’t need them anymore. If you like, you can take them all home.” 

There were at least five or six whole pizzas left over. We thanked her and we ate pizza for lunch. We didn’t take any home because the Lord had just sent us there for one meal. 

That same day, or the following day, not sure, we received a hundred dollar bill anonymously in the mail and bought food with it. (We told no one about our needs.)

There were many other things the Lord did during that time, and I learned the lesson He wanted to teach me, that if I would trust Him to supply my needs, I must be willing to give away even that which I need.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Is God Faithful, or Not?

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

This is a statement written by Paul, an apostle of Christ. Is he a liar? Is God not faithful? According to some of you Paul is a liar, and God is not faithful. For you maintain that Christians will sin until they die, and then they will be delivered from sin, when they are glorified in heaven. You say that until that time it is impossible to stop sinning, for we are human beings who have inherited sin from Adam.

How dare you to be so arrogant, as to belittle God, by insinuating that He is not faithful to provide a way of escape from every temptation you encounter, so that you may endure it! How dare you? How dare you?

What makes you think your inheritance of sin nullifies the faithfulness of God? What makes you think it nullifies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?

Thank God that opinions mean nothing to God. He remains faithful, whether anyone believes it or not. He remains faithful, in spite of the teaching that He is not faithful.

This false doctrine that we will never overcome sin while we are still in the flesh is of the spirit of antichrist. It was formed to give people an excuse to not learn obedience through suffering. No one likes to suffer, but those who love Jesus embrace it, for, through it, they become obedient, 1 Peter 4:1, 2.

They were bought with a price and they appreciate that price, and follow the One who paid it. They deny themselves, take up their cross and follow the One who bought them. They no longer belong to themselves; they belong to Him who paid the price for them.

Those who peddle their own opinion that sin is inevitable are deceiving the weak and insecure for whom Jesus died. “By our words we will be justified, and by our words we will be condemned,” Matthew 12:37.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Faith in the Working of God

In Him [Jesus] all the fulness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. In Him we have been made complete. We were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ. We were buried with Him in baptism, in which we were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead, Colossians 2:9-12. 

In saying the removal of the body of flesh,Paul was referring to the fact that Jesus was the last Adam, or the old creation. This is why he said, “I have been crucified with Christ,” Galatians 2:20. When Jesus rose from the dead a new creation was formed through a new covenant —“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord. “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people,” Jeremiah 31:33.

God has fulfilled the promise of His new covenant by pouring forth His Spirit on all who believe in, and follow, Jesus. This pouring forth of His Spirit has formed a new creation, the spiritual body of Christ, the church; two creations — first the body of Adam; then the body of Christ.

We, who now walk by the Spirit, consider ourselves dead to sin (the old creation) and alive to God in Christ Jesus (the new creation), Romans 6:11. Although we still inhabit the body of the old creation, our Lord, through the new creation, provides a way of escape from every temptation known to the old creation, that is, the flesh, 1 Corinthians 10:13. Therefore, in this walk we find that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has, by the grace of God, set us free from the law of sin and of death, Romans 8:2. 

For this reason Paul said, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh,” Galatians 5:16. This is all accomplished through faith in the working of God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. AmenEphesians 3:20, 21 (see first paragraph).

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the word of God.

The Folly of Fools

1 Timothy 1:18-20,

18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 

19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 

20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

2 Timothy 2:16-18,

 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 

17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 

18 men who have gone astray from the truth, claiming that the resurrection has already taken place; and they are jeopardizing the faith of some.

2 Timothy 4:14, 15,

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 

15 Be on guard against him yourself too, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.
———————————

Notice in each of these instances Paul called out by name men who were opposed to the truth and spreading false doctrines. They were speaking of things they knew nothing about; novices, setting themselves up to be teachers, and flaunting their own speculations and theories.

Paul, having received mercy and salvation through a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, confronted them with the truth. They ignored him, and continued in their folly. In so doing, they added the dismissal of a servant of God to their blasphemy of the word of God.

Our God is a consuming fire, and He will not perpetually tolerate folly, as evidenced by His dealings with the three friends of Job:

Job 42:7, 8.

7 And it came about after He spoke these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.

8 “Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”

It is for this reason that James said, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment,” James 3:1.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Repent and Overcome

Sin is a stain on the image of God that man was created in. It is an unbreakable force that causes mankind to go against their own conscience and do what they know is wrong; thus preventing them from living lives of godliness and righteousness. Sin is the direct result of the first man’s disobeying God. It is, as Paul said, the principle that evil is present in us; sin dwells in each of us. 

That is why Jesus told the church in Ephesus to repent, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent, Revelation 2:5” 

Then in verse 7 Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.”

From these verses we know that those who say our future sins are forgiven are greatly mistaken, for Jesus said that those who don’t repent and overcome their sin, will not eat of the tree of life; that is, eternal life.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

The Last Adam — The Second Creation

There is no such thing as a sinful nature. I am speaking biblically now. The terms nature of sin and sinful nature are not found in the Scriptures. We don’t have a nature to sin, we have sin in our being inherited from Adam. It is not a nature to sin, it is sin itself. God looks at man and He sees sin within him. Man was created in the image of God, so God sees His own image tainted with sin. 

Just as Paul wrote, “But if I am doing the very thing I I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good,” Romans 7:20, 21.

One might feel like he, or she, has a sinful nature when he, or she, is tempted; but that feeling is there because sin is actually in us. We were brought forth in iniquity, and in sin our mothers conceived us, Psalm 51:5. Hence, evil is within us.

God also sees and knows that we are unable to overcome and rid ourselves of that sin. So He sent the last Adam who was tempted in all things, as we are, and by learning obedience from the things in which He suffered, He lived a life in total obedience to the Father, and thereby without sin.

The writer of Hebrews explains in chapter 2, verses 17, 18, “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

Was Jesus capable of sin? Yes, just as the first Adam, for they both were flesh and blood, and they both were the image of the invisible God. Yes, Jesus was God incarnate, but God cannot be tempted, James 1:13. However, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, Matthew 4:1. Although He was God incarnate, He was in a body of flesh and blood, and, therefore, was able to be tempted like the first Adam. And, being able to be tempted, He could have sinned, but He chose not to, Matthew 4:3-10.

Jesus came to earth in the likeness of sinful flesh. Does this mean Jesus was sinful? No. Does it mean Jesus had sin in Him, as do all of Adam’s descendants? No, Jesus came to earth as the last Adam, and therefore came in the image of the first Adam before sin was accomplished. Having been born of a virgin impregnated by the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the last Adam, came in the likeness of sinful flesh, but without the sin of the first Adam.

There were two Adam’s, the first and the last. The first Adam was created as an adult, so he was not trained up in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6); nor did he endure suffering, and, therefore, never learned obedience since obedience is learned from suffering (Hebrews 5:8); and when given a command, he disobeyed; and the entire human race was affected by it. 

The last Adam came as a new-born child, was trained up in the way He should go (Proverbs 22:6), and learned obedience from the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8); and when given commands, He obeyed; when tempted, He overcame. 

There are two creations: the first creation is Adam. The second creation is the risen body of Christ. “The first man [Adam] is from the earth, earthy; the second man [the risen Christ] is from heaven,” 1 Corinthians 15:47. Jesus came to earth as the last Adam, that is, He brought an end to the first creation, Adam.

This was accomplished by His obedience throughout His entire life, the shedding of His blood, and His becoming sin for us, which He did when placed on the cross—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” Galatians 3:13. 

And now all who will may be a part of the new creation and leave the old behind. This is done by repentance, rebirth, and denying one’s self and taking up one’s cross and following the risen Christ. And these are all done by faith in what Jesus accomplished as the last Adam and faith in His resurrection, which resulted in the new creation, the body of Christ, the church of the living God.

But there were two things to overcome, sin and death. Thus, “But we do see Him, who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings,” Hebrews 2:9, 10.

“Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives,”  Hebrews 2:14, 15.

So each and every Christian is obligated to “walk by the Spirit, in order to not carry out the desire of the flesh,” Galatians 5:16. And, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit [our lives are hidden with Christ in God}, let us also walk by the Spirit,” Galatians 5:24, 25. 

We have been crucified, buried and raised up into newness of life, members of the body of the risen Christ.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Weigh everything I say on the scales of God’s holy word.

God accepts all who call upon Him

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord JesusChrist, and in the Spirit of God, 1Corinthians 6:9-11.

And such were some of you —— fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers,— but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of God.

From these Scriptures we know that God accepts every one from fornicators to homosexuals to swindlers, etc. He accepts all these, forgives all these, and because they cannot enter the kingdom of God as they are, He washes them with the word, and sanctifies them with the Spirit, and justifies them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of God, making them new creatures, A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that they too may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Those who say God doesn’t accept homosexuals are not telling the truth; for He does accept them. And after He accepts them and washes them and sanctifies them and justifies them, they, through the Spirit of Christ within them, change their ways and become godly saints, just as all who believe in Jesus.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

P.S. Whether one is a thief, or a drunkard, or a swindler, or a fornicator when he comes to Christ, it is important to know that the old self with its sinful nature was crucified with Christ, buried with Him through baptism, and a new self, a new creation, rises with Christ. It is the same for homosexuals. Their old self with its sinful nature is done away with, having been nailed to the cross with Jesus, and a new being arises from the dead through the resurrection of Christ, holy and without blemish. 

Please weigh everything I say on the scales of God’s word.

The Holy Spirit

In speaking of the gifts of the Spirit, Paul says, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills,” 1 Corinthians 12:11. From this verse we know the Holy Spirit has a free will, for He distributes gifts as He wills. However, though He has a free will, He submits to the Father. We know this because Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come,” John 16:13.

“And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God,” Romans 8:26, 27. The Holy Spirit is aware of the Father’s love and concern for His children, and knows of our needs, and, therefore, intercedes for us in accordance with the Father’s will. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” verse 28.

Dear ones, the Holy Spirit is not only our comforter, He is also our helper, helping us in ways we don’t even comprehend; ways that only the Father and Son know. Oh what a magnificent God we serve. He knew we wouldn’t have the ability to pray as we should, nor the ability to overcome sin, nor overcome death; and, because of His great love and mercy and grace, He prepared beforehand everything we would need to overcome. 

We were crucified with Christ, buried with Him through baptism, raised up with Him into newness of life, still having our sinful nature while in the body of flesh, but able to overcome it and live a life without sin because of what Jesus has done. We do this by faith, considering ourselves dead to sin (having been crucified with Christ) and alive to God (having been raised up with Christ), and the Father kindly sent the Holy Spirit in His Son’s name, to not only guide us into the truth, but to also intercede for us with groanings too deep for words, in order that the will of God might be done in us and through us. We have another Advocate who also intercedes for us, Jesus Christ, the righteous, who is at the right hand of God.

Are we not the most fortunate people on the planet? If God is for us, who is against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? In all things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

© 2021 Jon David Banks

Allow the Holy Spirit to Lead

There are several connotations of specific words (especially Greek and Hebrew). As an example, the word “spirit” doesn’t always mean a spiritual being; it also means attitudes and perceptions, qualities, etc. This is true of many other words also. A single word often has several different meanings. Therefore it is imperative that we view each word in its context.

Not viewing words in their proper context often results in false beliefs and false doctrines. Consider what the King James Version of the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Some preachers have latched onto that verse and claimed that fear is a demonic spirit and can be cast out. However, according to ‘An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words’ by W.E.Vine, the word “spirit” denotes the “wind,” and “to breathe, or “blow.” It is used in many different ways in the Bible, and may be analyzed approximately as follows:  the wind; the breath; the immaterial, invisible part of man; the disembodied man; the sentiment element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires; purpose, aim; moral qualities and activities; the inward man; unclean spirits, demons; and the Holy Spirit. 

And, according to that same Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E.Vine, The word “fear,” in this instance, denotes cowardice and timidity. In most recent translations the word “fear” is rendered “cowardice” or “timidity” or “fearfulness.” Thus, rather than having a demon of fear, Timothy had a feeling of timidity.

Some might be surprised to know that the word used for “soul,” also according to ‘An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words’ by W.E. Vine, has a meaning very similar to the word “spirit.” “Soul” denotes the breath, the breath of life, then the soul in its various meanings. It may be analyzed approximately as follows:  the natural life of the body; the immaterial, invisible part of man; the disembodied man; the seat of personality; the sentiment element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires; the seat of will and purpose; the seat of appetite; persons, individuals; and self.

So, it is very important that we be careful to view biblical words in their proper context. Dear ones, we are in a time of history when many use Scriptures to prove a point, or to sound spiritual, rather than to learn of the mystery of Christ; and, in so doing, they deliberately take words out of context in order to use them in ways that produce the results they themselves want. We must be careful to be open minded and allow the Holy Spirit to lead when we are reading Scriptures. 

Always weigh everything I say on the scales of the Holy Scriptures.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant  

© 2021 Jon David Banks