For some time now I’ve had a desire to launch a blog such as this one but hesitated due to lack of knowledge how to do so. I was able to obtain free help online and hence my very own blog! My desire is to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with the end view of leading others to find “Love-Joy-Peace” that comes with knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
My testimony of how I became a Christian is simple and short. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord at the age of 11 years. I say “Saviour and Lord” as He can’t be Saviour without being Lord in one’s life. I was raised in a godly Christian home and sat under the preaching of the gospel (good news) of Christ and His death on the cross for me from my infant days. I heard how that I was a sinner by birth (Psalm 51:5) and by practice (Romans 3:23) and that I needed to “born again” (John 3:3, 7; Acts 4:12). The fear of the Rapture (the second coming of Christ for His saints – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) caused me to be concerned as to being left behind. One Sunday morning while my father was praying, as he did each day with the family, I acknowledged that I was a sinner and deserved God’s punishment in Hell but that Jesus died for me on the cross. I believed that He died for me and rose again (John 3:16). Now I know that my sins – past, present and future – are all forgiven. The love (God’s divine love), joy (Christ’s joy) and peace (peace with God) is my portion in this life and in the life to come, which is throughout all eternity.
The title of this Blog is Love-Joy-Peace because as I have observed over the years (now a senior) that many people don’t have true love or joy or peace. Many people through circumstances of life experience anger and/or bitterness instead of God’s love; sadness and loneliness instead of God’s joy; turmoil, insecurity and uncertainty instead of God’s peace.
I realize that some reading this will take exception to the word “God” and may have some pretty strong feelings about this God of the bible but my prayer to God is that if you are not satisfied with life as you are experiencing it today, that you will take time to consider not only what God has done for you through Christ but that He loves you and wants you for Himself. To know about God and His Son Jesus Christ is one thing; to experience and enjoy God’s salvation is another thing altogether. That’s what I want this Blog to be about – God’s Salvation! How anyone can have – love, joy and peace – today and through the rest of your life into eternity (after life).
Interested? Read on….
I should first define the words – love, joy, peace – as used in the bible. These words are found in the epistle to the Galatians chapter 5 and verse 22 and 23 which the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian believers: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (The KJV bible)
There are nine fruit of the Spirit, three are inward – love, joy, peace meaning that we experience divine love, divine joy, and divine peace; three are toward our fellow man – longsuffering, gentleness, goodness meaning that we show these traits toward others around us as we live out the life of Christ (Galatians 2:20); and three are toward God – faith, meekness, temperance, meaning that God alone can see these characteristics within the Christian. This fruit of the Spirit is developed by the Holy Spirit of God who indwells the child of God.
I want to focus on the first three – love, joy, peace; the “love” spoken of here is divine love, that is, it is the love that comes from God. It is not the love that the world talks about – here today and gone tomorrow. It is the love of God that comes with receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. In Romans 5: 5 it says “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.”
Next we have the word “joy”; this is the joy of the Lord that comes from knowing Christ as Saviour. There is a difference between happiness and joy although the words are used interchangeable. Happiness depends on circumstances, happenings, like winning a lottery or the birth of a child to first time parents. The joy that comes from the Lord is a joy that circumstances no matter what they are, good or bad, can’t remove. Again, this joy can only come through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.
“Peace” is something that the world is looking for but seems to elude them. People are longing for peace of mind, peace of conscience, peace within themselves. The problem is that they want true peace and lasting peace without receiving the Prince of Peace who is Jesus Christ our Lord. The Lord Jesus said to His own disciples, those who loved Him and believed in Him, John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
What is a Christian, you may ask? A Christian is not one living in a so-called Christian land. A Christian is a person who has a time in their life when they accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They were born into God’s family (John 3:3, 7). Salvation (deliverance from a life of sin and eternal death) is not by works, good deeds, keeping the law, being baptized, or purchased with money. Salvation is “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). Ephesians 2:8-9 also says “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is found alone in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross nearly 2000 years ago. The bible (KJV) teaches us that God, “the Father sent the Son (Jesus Christ) to be the Saviour of the world”. (1 John 4:14). God gave His only begotten Son to the world, not just to be a good example but to die for our sins. The Bible teaches clearly that we are sinners in God’s sight “For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of (glorifying) God.” (Romans 3:23). What I saw as a boy was that the Lord Jesus was dying in my place on the cross. It was my sins that caused Him to suffer the awful wrath of God due to me because of my sins. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6). In this verse I learn that I was the ungodly sinner deserving hell and eventually the “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15) but Christ died for me the sinner. But I also learned something else, “But God commendeth (demonstrated) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” I learnt that even though I was a sinner in God’s sight deserving eternal death – to be eternally separated from God – yet God demonstrated His love toward me. John 3:16 teaches me that “God so loved the world (world of mankind) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” I could never enter Heaven the way I was, I was born a sinner, with a sinful nature inherited from my parents, passed on down from our first parents Adam and Eve. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)
There was something else that I found out about the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians he says “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” Not only was I not fit for Heaven the way I was born into this world but I had committed many sins against God and others. All sin is first against God but often it is against our fellow man. I found out that I needed to have my sins forgiven. So I learnt that the Lord Jesus died to put away my sins, forever. The Bible tells us “But He was wounded for our transgressions (violation of a law), He was bruised for our iniquities (wickedness): the chastisement (punishment) for our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes were are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) The Lord Jesus, of whom Isaiah 53:5 speaks, died not only for the sinner but for the sinner’s sins. God the Father punished the Lord Jesus Christ for my sins on the cross during the three dark hours when He suffered agony all alone. All of God’s wrath and judgment fell upon the Lord Jesus as He sunk in the depths of pain and suffering. He was willing to bear that terrible punishment so that you and I could be forgiven of our sins and be in Heaven with Him. All of our sins, which were all future when Christ died, were laid upon Him and He became the sinless sacrifice on our behalf. The Lord Jesus had no sins of His own; it was our sins that He was bearing “in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). For me to enter into Heaven when the Lord returns (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) or should I die a natural death, I need my sins forgiven if I ever expect to be in Heaven. I need a new nature that will enjoy Heaven. Now that the Lord has died and risen again and ascended to Heaven, God can offer free salvation to anyone and everyone who will come to Christ admitting they are sinners and placing faith in Him as their Saviour. Salvation is a personal thing. It is a spiritual experience.
This isn’t a matter of giving your heart to the Lord Jesus. Your heart is sinful the way it is now. (Jeremiah 17:9-10a) says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart…” It is a matter of acknowledging sincerely in the presence of God that you are a sinner and realizing that Jesus Christ died in your place on the cross and took the punishment for your sins and accepting Him as your Saviour. Yes, He will change your heart and your life. A person who accepts the Lord Jesus as their Saviour undergoes a miraculous change. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul again, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (creature); old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have new desires, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word (of God), that ye may grow thereby:” (KJV 1Peter 2:2)
This is what God’s salvation is all about. This is what the world needs. Unfortunately, most in the world have no use for God or His word or His Son Jesus Christ. It interferes with their life of sin, selfishness and pleasure. Yet there is no real lasting Love – Joy – Peace without Christ in your life. Christ is the answer to the world’s problem but more importantly, Christ is the answer for you. He is the only way to Heaven. Listen to the words of the Lord Himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
It is my sincere prayer that this Blog relating how I come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour will help someone who is truly sick and tired of being sick and tired of this life and all its emptiness. If you will come to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness of sins and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour; I can guarantee you upon the authority of God’s Word, a God “that cannot lie” (Titus 1:2) you will enjoy the Love – Joy – Peace that comes from God through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.
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