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Holding Air - Ecclesiastes 12:13

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In my Physical Life

As many know, I have been commuting on my bike all summer.  I would like to start tonight by telling you about a ride I took from downtown out to the building earlier this summer, when I had a flat tire.

Purpose of the tube

Tube has failed in it's purpose and will not hold air.I think that we can all agree that the tube is supposed to hold air to make the bike able to be ridden.  In this case, the tube began the ride performing its purpose, but failed when it went flat.  


How to return to fulfilling the purpose (or how to fix the flat)

There are several simple steps to follow:  

  1. Take the tire off the bike.  
  2. Patch the tube.
  3. Put the tube back in the tire.
  4. Put air in the tube.
  5. Put the tire back on the bike.

Needless to say, these steps must be done in order.  For example, it would do no good to put air in the tire before putting on the patch.


What happened

Don't skip a step!  Carry the patch kit!In any event, on this Wednesday night, I got to step 3, patch the tube, and found that I did not have a patch kit with me!  I had skipped step 0 (computer guys always start counting with 0), get all the needed materials and carry them with you!


So how does this relate to my spiritual life?  Let’s take a look.

In my Spiritual Life

As with the tube, my life has a purpose, namely to be pleasing to God.


I started my life sinless, so I was pleasing to God, but at some point, all of us sin and no longer fulfill our purpose.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.


How to return to fulfilling the purpose 
(or how to be pleasing to God)

So what steps do I need to follow to “patch” my life so that I am again fulfilling my purpose and being pleasing to God?  I do as he has instructed me.

  1. I hear his word for several reasons.  To:
    1. Learn what God expects of me
    2. Realize I have failed to meet expectations
    3. Understand that I need a savior
    4. Know that his Son, who came to earth, lived perfectly, died for me, and was resurrected, is that savior
    5. Come to believe through hearing:  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 (KJV)
  2. I believe what God has said, and that Jesus Christ is his son.  "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24 (KJV)  If I don’t believe, why go any further?
  3. I repent of my sins.  "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3 (KJV)  If I refuse to give up my sinful ways and turn back to God, why go any further?
  4. I confess Jesus as the Christ before men.  "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10 (KJV)  Do I profess him or deny him?  If I deny him, why go any further?
  5. I am Baptized for the remission of my sins.  I follow the example of Saul, who was told, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Acts 22:16 (KJV)
  6. I live a faithful life.  I do my best to walk with Jesus in the light. (I John 1:7)  When I sin, I repent and pray for forgiveness. (Acts 8:22)

In Conclusion

As the patch must be put on the tire before the air is put back in, I must also fix my spiritual life in the proper order.

  1. Hearing must come first, or what would I believe?  
  2. Belief must come before repentance, or what am I repenting of?  
  3. Repentance must come before confession, or my confession is empty.  
  4. Confession must come before baptism, for it is Christ I am baptized into.  
  5. Baptism must come before I can live a faithful life, for baptism removes my sins and puts me into Christ, where I have salvation.

Can we help you with any of these steps?


My Purpose (and yours!)

Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 


In Matt 22:36-37 we are told “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”


In I John 5:2-4, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”


-- Zachary Van Tassel, November 2000 --


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