THE KEEPING POWER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
THE KEEPING POWER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
(Taught by: Carolyn Sissom at Women’s Jail, Richmond, Texas)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Jude 1:24: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceeding joy.”
This is a testimony of one of my spiritual struggles. It is the struggle with the intellect and the Holy Ghost to accept by Faith our salvation and unconditional acceptance through the Blood of Jesus. I believe the first time I taught this was in the home of Ann Wright in the late 80’s. I am teaching it tonight to ladies in jail who I know are struggling with their own salvation.
I was saved as a child, rededicated my life as a teenager, lived a conservative and moral life as much as I knew how within the teaching of our home and church. Actually I lived a very sheltered childhood. Love and approval were conditional on my being a good girl.
When I was thirty-two, I set a goal of reading the Bible all the way through. I had my have-to-do's, want-to-do's and need to do's. Reading the Bible through was a want-to-do. I soon realized I was not living in the victory and joy promised to the Christian by Jesus.
I was trying to work out my salvation by being good. Of course, I always came up short. My nerves were beginning to become very frayed under the pressure of trying to be “perfect” and “please” everyone. I could never get the assurance of my salvation and acceptance because I was never good enough. The religious-pharisaical spirit in my life had a good thing going by keeping me “working”. Religious devils like all over devils are never satisfied.
God sent a young woman into my life at this time with the patience to beat it into my head that salvation is a free gift. This gift is contingent only on my acceptance of Jesus’ blood, grace and His finished work on the Cross. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”
God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Christ Jesus who in his kindness freely takes away our sins. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (21)
Later I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by the same act of Faith. But, this religious spirit of not being accepted or acceptable, continued to be a weakness in my life. It was hard to break the old mind sets that I had to do something to earn or justify so great a gift. I still felt love was conditional on my “pleasing” people. So, since I couldn’t measure up to be worthy of being loved by people, how could the Lord love me.
I had the head knowledge, but the reality had not fallen into my Spirit. I continued to struggle and duke it out with the Lord. I knew that I was supposed to have this peace of God that passes all understanding and I would not be denied. I was struggling for the victory and "full reward" of the Overcoming life.
When my youngest daughter was around five or six, I was driving home from a small town in Louisiana on my way back to Baton Rouge. It was summer and even with the air conditioning in the car, it was still hot. Kelly was fussy and satan had been sitting on my shoulder for two-weeks telling me I wasn’t saved. If he finds a weakness, he will hammer away at that same spot. I kept resisting him and throwing scriptures at him, but he was persistent with his accusations.
I stopped at a vegetable stand where two young black children were selling vegetables. They had been left in this terrible heat for several hours with nothing to drink. The oldest child asked me to drive back three miles toward the town I had just came from to get some water. Remember, I am cross, in a bad mood, and wanting to get home. My flesh thought, “Oh No”, but Jesus in me drove back. I gave the cold drinks to the children. She said, “Thank you ma’m”. I replied, “This drink is not from me. It is from Jesus.”
I drove on home – satan still accusing me.
The next day I went to my Bible Study. An awesome saint of God, June Ferrell, was teaching on Psalms. She stopped in the middle of her point – stood in front of me – pointed her finger at me and said, “Do you want to know how you will know you are saved? You will give a cold drink of water to a child.” She continued on with her teaching.
My battle was over forever that day. Satan was defeated as the accuser of the brethren. The truth hit my Spirit.
All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. (Romans 8) “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin the flesh…And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit of life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you…If God be fore us, who can be against us.”
Jesus never points his finger and accuses us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren.
No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what the law commands – His laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners saved by Grace.
God’s blessings are given to us by Faith as a free gift.
Jesus died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God filling us with God’s goodness.
Who then can accuse? “Who is he that condemns? (Rom. 8:34) Will Christ? No – He is the one who died for us. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
When we have trouble or calamity, when were are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore – No – overwhelming victory is ours through Christ.
Nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. the angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
Scripture quotes from KJV