1. CREATION is God expressing Himself in a PATTERN compatible to His PURPOSE, that in due season, He might ”… RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF; by him, I say, whether they be THINGS IN EARTH, OR IN HEAVEN” [Colossians 1:20] When, therefore, God said: “… Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS: …”, He set the PATTERN OF CONFORMITY for those who shall be RECONCILED to Him. He set the PATTERN in the “FIRSTBORN”, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN” [Romans 8:29] FIRSTBORN is Jesus Christ, “… the brightness of his glory, and the EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON, …” [Hebrews 1:3] If any man is not CONFORMED to the PATTERN of Jesus Christ, he is accounted as TARES and as “… TARES ARE GATHERED AND BURNED in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world” [Matthew 13:40] To who are you CONFORMED; the FIRSTBORN, your Pastor, denomination or the world?
2. If any man CONFESS there are three gods, he is deceived; “… the LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD” [Mark 12:29] If you BELIEVE there is one God, it is not enough, “THOU BELIEVEST THAT THERE IS ONE GOD; thou doest well: the DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE, and tremble” [James 2:19] The true IDENTITY of God is His NAME, and His NAME is Jesus Christ, “… a NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME: That at the NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of things IN HEAVEN, and things IN EARTH, and things UNDER THE EARTH” [Philippians 2:9-10] We are SAVED and CONFORM to the IMAGE OF THE SON when we accept Jesus Christ as true IDENTITY of God, “NEITHER IS THERE SALVATION IN ANY OTHER: for there is NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN given among men, whereby we must be saved” [Acts 4:12] His NAME is the same in all nations, by which our SINS are forgiven and we are BAPTIZED into the LIKENESS of the FIRSTBORN, as it is written: “… REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” [Acts 2:38] Concerning BAPTISM, it is written: “… BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” [Matthew 29:19] It is ONE NAME, not NAMES, for which reason Jesus said: “I AM COME IN FATHER’S NAME, …” [John 5:43]
3. Jesus Christ gave Himself a SACRIFICE for us, “By the which will WE ARE SANCTIFIED through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” [Hebrew 10:10] We are SANCTIFIED, set aside from the world, to LIVE as Jesus Christ did, “For ALL THAT IS IN THE WORLD, the LUST OF THE FLESH, and the LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, but is of the world” [1 John 2:16] Unbridled appetite for the things of this world is a SNARE, and must not be found in us “For WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD, and it is certain WE CAN CARRY NOTHING OUT” [1 Timothy 6:7] I warn you, beware of those who inflame LUST in you for excesses of the things of this world, “… men of corrupt minds, and DESTITUTE OF THE TRUTH, SUPPOSING THAT GAIN IS GODLINESS: FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF” [1 Timothy 6:5] Do not be distracted when those who have preeminence over you are celebrated and loved by the world; thus says the Lord: “… I HAVE CHOSEN YOU OUT OF THE WORLD, THEREFORE THE WORLD HATETH YOU” [John 15: 18-19] If the world HATES us, we are CONFORMED to Jesus Christ. If not, look around; how come the world loves our diverse brands of Christianity; “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? whosoever therefore will be A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD” [James 4:4]
4. There are many VOICES in the world, as there are denominations, each one professing CONFORMITY to Christ, but only ONE PATTERN approved of God [1Corinthians 14:10] It is your duty to “… WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling” [Philippians 2:12] I urge you to get it right, as did the Brethren in Berea, who “… RECEIVED THE WORD with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO” [Acts 17:11] Beloved your ETERNAL RELEVANCE is not tied to any man or local assembly but Jesus Christ; I charge you, therefore, to regularly “EXAMINE YOURSELVES, WHETHER YE BE IN THE FAITH; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” [2 Corinthians 13:3] Concerning your FAITH, listen closely, “… FAITH is the substance of THINGS HOPED FOR, the EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN” [Hebrews 11:1] We are CONFORMED to Christ by FAITH, in sure HOPE of His Coming, “And HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” [Romans 5:5] Those who have this HOPE, keep themselves unspotted from the world, labouring to be CONFORMED to the LIKENESS of the FIRSTBORN, and “… WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is” [1 John 3:2]
5. Friend, the appearance of the Lord is so close. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and be CONFORMED to the FIRSTBORN, amen.