Tag: Following the example of Jesus Christ

Jesus the Bread of Life

The Bread of Life

Book of John Chapter 6

We should understand that by the time we reach that age when we can determine right from wrong, we soon also find that our soul is craving for fulfillment and we cannot know the end of that craving until we meet the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Book of Genesis teaches us that Jehovah God, our Father in Heaven is the giver of all life.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Mankind in the image of God(not looks) separated from the animals but God gives life.

Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Keeping these things in mind we will better understand the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed, the “Bread of Life”!

As I have already said, as humans we have this hunger for life down deep in our soul!

*****Joh 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

On the previous day the Lord had miraculously fed many more than just those 5000 men. We already know there were some children among them and probably some women but to feed 5000 is still a great miracle.

This horde of people had decided that if Jesus was indeed the Messiah, then He should be King according to the Scriptures.

It was not time for this to take place because Jesus had first come to save.

Jesus had placed the 12 disciples in a boat and sent them back to Capernaum while He walked further up into mount.

We also know that this same night, Jesus had walked on the water and joined His disciples in the midst of the Lake Galilee.

Joh 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
Joh 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
Joh 6:17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
Joh 6:18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
Joh 6:19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.
Joh 6:20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
Joh 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

It is now, after these things, that we can pick up with our lesson.

This large group of men had determined that Jesus had joined His disciples even though they could not understand how, so they too went to Capernaum and yes, Jesus was there.

Their thoughts were not about life, they could only think of that next meal that they would not have to work for.

If Jesus was the Messiah, then surely He to, could rain down manna from Heaven as they had given credit to Moses rather than the Heavenly Father.

They had surmised that with Jesus as King, everyone would live not ever having to work because the Messiah would feed them.

God has this saying that stills true through today.

2Th_3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

Here again we see a comparison to the America of today where many who live have decided that everything should be free and given to them without them having to work for it! (It’s called Socialism)

We don’t need Socialism, we need a Theocracy where God is in control of all things concerning life.

We must understand that when we are to be witnesses for Jesus, we must also be willing to rebuke all those pretending to be Jesus or Christian.

These people were not committing to be disciples of Christ, they were hypocrites seeking only to fill their own bellies!

The truth is, we all have a great need of the Messiah.
To feel complete we must acknowledge this need.
We must realize that it is only Jesus Christ who can fill this need!

It is in all our best interest that we seek Jesus Christ until we find Him!

Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

It is time to quit trying to find out how Jesus did the things that He obviously did and just accept Him as our Messiah and our Savior, and our Redeemer!

*****Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Notice how Jesus sees right through their hypocrisy and tells them exactly what they are.

Very few churches are so direct to their flocks today because they might hurt someone’s feelings.

We must seek Jesus for the right reasons!

Let’s get real even when we get to God’s paradise, God’s Heaven, we can be sure there will be some work for us to do but much of our time will also be used to worship our Heavenly Father! I said time but time as we know will not exist!

Eternity is a place of no time or we could say, a never ending day!

We must understand that when we get the opportunity, we will all try to find the easy way to do things and the easy way very seldom contains “faith”!

Most all of us care to much about ourselves than to allow the Lord Jesus to work in our hearts!

The Lord Jesus Christ can certainly meet all our needs and He promises to do so, for those who believe upon His name.

We do not need miracles to convince us to follow the Lord. Our greatest miracle is when we are “Born Again” into the family of God!

The Lord our Savior is not some tool to be used but a person to be sought after and loved and worshiped!

Someone who can take 5 loaves and 2 small fishes and feed 5000 certainly has the power of God. This was not a fluke or some magic trick!

Everything in this world will pass away some day and the only thing that can be done to prolong this time is to give our lives to God right now!

Not even tomorrow is guaranteed!

There is not one thing upon this earth that will satisfy anyone forever not even all the riches that we can possess.

Eze 33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

All those people that think this world will last forever do not see with their own eyes that our world is aging, and it will not last!

Peole talk about global warming rather than a dieing world.

*****Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

I believe it could be said that God hates the hypocrite!

The truth is we must be sincere when we are seeking the Lord. If we seek the Lord just for the things that He can provide, then that certainly is the wrong reason.

There are many benefits in serving the Lord but only after we have invited Him into our heart, filled with the Holy Spirit and become a Temple of the Lord.

1Co_3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co_6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2Co_13:5 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?

We are not the children of God until we have been filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit!

We are fools to spend our lives trying to accumulate things that will perish, many of them in a very short time!

It is only “Faith”, “Grace”, and “Love” which will endure to everlasting life!

Our only work is to believe and then once “Faith” has guided us to the Lord, we need to work for life, as well as from life.

These things can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ because this is what Jehovah God sent Him to do!

You see it is God the Father who guarantees His Son is the Messiah.

It is God the Father who gives things that last forever. There is no other way to obtain the truth of God!

1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

Jesus Christ has a Heavenly appointment with each and every believer!

Jesus also has an appointment with each and every non-believer!

Jesus Christ is the answer to every question we may have about life but also death!

*****Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

As we have grown up in the baby boomer age, we have found that we can have nothing without working for it.

We have learned that salvation is the free gift of God and sometimes we think this wonderful gift cannot be free but it is. It is free with “Faith”!

Today we live in a nation where most everyone expects things to be free, but the free gifts of God are rejected more than ever. Who could figure that one out?

Those doing good works will not impress God one little bit and will not get you saved unless they come to Jesus!
Those doing all bad works is an abomination to God and these people cannot be saved until they accept the Lord and repent of their evil.
Those doing some good and some bad works also cannot be accepted.

You see doing any sort works to impress God will not work at all!

The problem being, we just cannot get our minds to think right!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The truth is, we must believe on the One who God sent, Jesus Christ!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We must understand that there no amount of works we can do to impress God if we do not believe that He is God!

There is only the “One Work” that we can do and that is to believe all the words God has written to us!

The “One Work” we can do to impress God is to believe Him!

There is no sustainable life in anyone until they meet and then trust in the Savior!

There is no sustainable life in anyone until they accept the truth of life in the Book of Genesis!

Our world had a beginning and it was not billions of years ago but just as God has said!

Without our “Faith” in the things of the Messiah, the things of our Creator, and the things of our Savior, we are simply living a life of death that will end in eternal death for ever separated from our Creator.

There are far greater things that come by the Messiah than ever came by Moses to the Jews.

The things Moses did for the Jews cannot compare to the things the Lord Jesus Christ has done for whosoever will believe Him!

When we acknowledge our Creator in Spirit and in Truth we are then pleasing to our God!!!!!

Do we need a sign from God for Him to prove Himself? There are signs all around us every day and we ignore them!

*****Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

We should remember that just one day before Jesus is asked to do this thing, He fed over 5000 people with the 5 small loaves and 2 small fish. The lunch that a loving mother had fixed for her child.

Jesus had also made some mighty claims.

The one thing we should understand about proof. Proof is useless unless it is accepted as the truth!

After Jesus had fed the 5000, He was gladly received as King by these same people but to be the Messiah, they wanted more proof!

The truth is we get so attached to the things around us in this world, the physical pleasures and the material goods we are blinded to the truth of God, yet none of these things are permanent as is all the things of God!

We become a very foolish people when we ask things of God that He simply will not do. Nothing is impossible for God, but God has no desire to prove Himself over and over again especially when the proof is in the promises He makes and the Word He has given to us!

It all boils down to “Faith”!

Things that we see with our eyes can truly be deceitful!

When we give credit to some man for the things God has done we are also doing wrong.

Moses was chosen by the Lord to be a great leader of these Jesus and He was, but it was not Moses who rained the manna from Heaven. These who faced the Lord this day did not have a clue about the manna other than what was said about it in the Word of God.

Just the word “manna” indicates it was a gift from God!

Deu 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
Deu 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
Deu 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

When we demand that we first see a miracles just, so we can approve of them we go against the truth of God.

The biggest gripe of this people was that the manna fell from Heaven every day and everyone got all they wanted to eat every day. They had witnessed Jesus feed the 5000 but it was just a one-time event and they were hungry again.

Sounds just like the world of today. “Give me, give me, give me, until I am satisfied”!

It would take much more than this for them to believe that Christ was the Messiah, which Christ did offer when He said it was He who was the true “Bread of Life”. They then became “religionist”!

The truth is man never has enough to quench their desires to have much more. This is why riches are so dangerous to our soul!

There is an emptiness within each of us, a vacuum, a lack of purpose that can only be filled with the Lord Jesus Christ!

You will not realize this until it happens!

Jesus Christ is the only source of “Spiritual Satisfaction”!

How did the Lord respond to these false beliefs?

*****Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

It is obvious that we can see a fault of mankind. Mankind just has this great craving for someone to continuously give to them. In America it is the theme behind hypocritical leaders and higher education gone a muck.

They exploit this fault, this craving in most all mankind that cannot be satisfied. The emptiness of man that can only be satisfied by the filling of the Holy Spirit.

As for the Lord, these people were foolishly trying to compare Moses to Him and there can be no such comparison.

1) We must not get confused. Moses did not lead this nation through the wilderness. They were led by a cloud by day and a fire by night. Moses was only the first follower.

Exo_13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
Exo_13:22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Exo_40:38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

2) These people were talking about the “Manna” that also came from the Lord.

Exo_16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

This “Manna” was of course for their nourishment and the proof is in the people who survived those 40 years in the wilderness but there was a lesson involved that was being taught by Jesus this day with these who had followed Him.
This “Manna” could only bring temporary life and the true “Bread of Heaven”, is indeed the Lord Jesus Christ who brings with Him eternal life!

It is only by Jesus Christ that all our cravings can be met!
It is only by Jesus Christ that our hunger can be satisfied!
It is only by Jesus Christ that we can be at peace with this world and at peace with God!

We must look beyond this life we have in this world, which is limited.
We must look beyond the things of this world which are only temporary.

The true “Bread of Life” is not physical but it is “Spiritual”.

God does promise to provide for our physical needs just as He did those Jews who traveled for 40 years in the wilderness and just as He does today.

We seem to forget that this body of flesh we live in will one day perish but the soul is eternal, and it is the soul that is so valuable to our Heavenly Father.

Psa_30:3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit

Psa_42:2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

As the soul is permanent, then the food for the soul must be permanent.

*****Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

We see that the “Bread of Life” is a person and not food.

We all as humans must have nourishment to survive this earth and it does not matter what part of life we come from.

Ecc 5:9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

Our Heavenly Father is the source of all things upon this earth because it is His rain and His sunshine and His seasons that allows this life to succeed but we also know our life span is just too short.

The “Bread of Life” is something else entirely!

Jesus Christ is that “Bread of God” that came down from Heaven and can preserve our soul from eternal death!

Jesus Christ is the Author of our salvation.
Jesus Christ is the Supporter of our salvation.
Jesus Christ is the Maintainer of our salvation.
Jesus Christ is the ‘Foundation” of our Salvation because it is He who is the Bread of God sent down for Heaven.

Heb_12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What was the initial response because Jesus had not yet claimed to be that “bread of God”!

*****Joh 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

The purpose of bread is to continue in a life that we already have.

Their request was for God to send them that “manna” from the time of Moses, for all their remaining days.

In other words they felt like they would be fine as long as they did not have to purchase their own food.

This life we now have will eventually lead us to death as our bodies age and we can no longer accept that nourishment into our bodies.

It is a fact that when we need the “Bread of God” we cannot obtain it except by the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can get nothing from God that is permanent until we can know His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord!

We must submit to our Savior!

When this takes place we find out the truth!

*****Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the giver of all life because there no life without the Lord there is only death! By coming to the Lord means believing that this true, and it will be true.

The Lord also supports and maintains the life that He gives to each of us, physically and Spiritually!

It is an absolute fact that life is meaningless without Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ is certainly the true “Bread of Life”.
Jesus Christ is truly the “Bread of God” come down from Heaven.
Jesus Christ is the true Manna from Heaven that meets every need of each individual and each family!

Our soul hungers for the truth. We have a craving to know what we are missing. Both these things are settled the very moment we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and our Redeemer.

We all crave life but at the same time many of us just do not understand life.

Every need of this life can be satisfied by Jesus Christ.
Every need of the next life is guaranteed by Jesus Christ.

Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

These that followed Jesus almost daily had rejected Him and had refused the great wonders that Jesus had done right before their eyes.

1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jn 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Christianity is so simple that many cannot take it into their heart because they expected much more.

*****Joh 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

If knowing the Lord Jesus Christ does not bring us to “faith” then we certainly cannot please God!

It is just not what we can get from the Lord. It is what the Lord promises us of our future plus what He provides until we get there!

If we need to see every little detail of the things that Jesus did, then where is our “faith”.

Even the soon be apostles had witnessed the feeding of the 5000 thousand, but they did not see how that bread and the two fishes had multiplied.

The one thing certain was that more than 5000 had been fed and there were 12 baskets of leftovers.

Where was their faith.

Faith is not seeing things, so we can believe!

Faith is believing so we can see Spiritual things!

Christian “faith” is an act of trust by which a sinner commits themselves to a Savior!

Was Jesus Christ exactly who He said He was, absolutely.
Does Christ do every day exactly what He said He would do, absolutely.
Will the Lord provide our needs in such abundance that we can live the easy life and never work, absolutely not!

The Lord will provide our needs, but the Lord came to provide a gift so precious that it overpasses anything that we could have upon this earth!

Joh 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The most important task we have is not so much to do good, though this is a small part of it.
The most important task we have is not even to lead souls to Christ, so they can be saved, but it is another part of it.

The most important task we have after salvation is to do the will of our Father in Heaven just as the Son of God has done!

Jesus Christ did everything according to the will of His Father!

Jesus has one more task to do for the church before He returns to deal with the Jews.

Jesus will raise up that old sack of bones we left behind and join it unto our glorified body.

These Jews only murmured in disbelief!

Jesus repeated Himself. A thing He only does to prove He is of the truth!

Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Simply put if we believe the work of the Lord for our salvation, right up to the end of our days we will be saved from a sinners Hell!

The Lord Jesus Christ is indeed God come down from Heaven to save every believer in this world!

We must believe that Christ came down from Heaven and is the true Messiah.
We must believe that Christ came to this earth to deliver us from a Spiritual death.
We must believe that Christ gave His own life so that we may be saved.
We must believe that Christ gave His life for all the world!

We must believe that Christ Jesus is the God of the Bible and there is no other!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The High Calling of God

Joy in the High Calling of God

Book of Philippians 3:1-21

We sometimes forget that God has never intended for His children to lead defeated lives and we are no good to God when we do!

Happiness is never about satisfying our flesh!
Happiness is never about having confidence in our flesh!
Happiness comes only when our hearts are right with God, through and by the Lord Jesus Christ!
Happiness can never come from climbing to some imagined spiritual plateau and then looking down on others!

The one thing we can all say about the Apostle Paul is that he was never afraid to show his true feelings about the Lord Jesus Christ nor to share his testimony with anyone who would listen!

The Apostle Paul is also a great example for us to follow but the Lord Jesus Christ is our Greatest example!

*****Php 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Finally, means we must consider what Paul has written in Chapters 1 and 2 to understand what Paul is about to say in the remaining words of this epistle.

The Lord did never say that to be a Christian would be easy, in fact the Lord Jesus said just the opposite!

First, no one escapes the trials of life that we all go through. We are confronted with the evils of this world everyday no matter who we are!

The Scriptures put it like this:

1Jn_2:16 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.

What do we see in our nation that is causing us to be so divided?

2Pe_2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

This describes those who dividing our nation today!

We must also understand, that as Christians we already have what the Jewish people have been seeking since the time of Abraham!
A close and very personal relationship with Jehovah God that cannot fade away!

It is always good to review the facts.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

These are unchangeable facts to all those who submit to the Lord Jesus Christ! There is great joy in knowing the truth of God no matter what we are going through!

Even knowing these things, we must always be aware of our surroundings.

*****Php 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

It is the Jews who said the Gentiles were dogs who did not know the true God Jehovah.

Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Jesus was just repeating what this woman clearly understood.

The Jews, while they boasted of being the children of God, gave the name of dogs to the heathen.

Paul writes the true dogs of society are those who have rejected the truth of God!

The Apostle John wrote that is those who have rejected the salvation plan of God:

Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Remember what else Jesus said?

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Joh 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

These are the same dogs, and the evil workers Paul was referring to.

The word concision used here refers to all those such as the Judaizers who insisted that the Gentiles be circumcised but not as intended when God gave this to Abraham.

Circumcision was to be a sign of a people separated to Jehovah God!

The Jewish circumcision had only become a flesh cutting just as the mutilation of those of false worship.

So, Paul adds.

*****Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Remember Paul is writing to the Church. Christianity has become the sign of that personal relationship with Jehovah!

Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

You cannot be a Christian if you cannot worship God in the Spirit.
You cannot be a Christian if you cannot rejoice in the truth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, (God in the flesh).
You cannot be a Christian if you still have confidence in your own flesh!

This is the circumcision that is approved of God and the intent of the sign given to Abraham!

Joh_4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him “must” worship him in spirit and in truth.

Sadly, the Jews have never accepted this truth.

God cannot be worshipped in form, God must be worshipped in truth!

If we cannot give up on our flesh and rest in the strength of the Lord we will never be that true child of God!

We can attend church regularly.
We can pray.
We can be charitable.
We can be baptized.
We can keep the ceremonies of the church.
We can pay our tithes and then make offerings.
We can join the church.
We can do all these things and even more “but this is not worship”!

All worship must be based upon the movement of the Holy Spirit and this will never happen unless the Holy Spirit lives within us!

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

This the place God in Spirit, abides until He returns “in person” to takes us home to Heaven!

If you cannot worship the Lord within yourself, it will never show up when you gather with others who are the same!

If we cannot rejoice in Jesus Christ we will never have any part of the Holy Spirit and we will never know Jehovah God!

We must clearly understand; our flesh is only physical and material and it can only handle physical and material things. God is Spirit!

Our confidence must be in the Lord Jesus Christ who was sent by Jehovah God to solve our flesh problem!

It is obvious that we will battle with this flesh as long as we are alive as Paul describes his own battle.

*****Php 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ was 100% God and while He was on this earth before He was crucified, He was also 100% human.

After we are “Born Again” into the family of God we are still 100% human but we are also now 100% saved by the power of God through the blood of Jesus Christ which is “spiritual”. We must abandon the flesh for what it is, and feed the spirit within us that lives forever!

Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Jesus Christ is the only sign of righteousness that is needed in this world but this world must accept this to be the truth!

Confidence is trusting in your own abilities to solve all your problems but we must clearly understand we have no power to deal with our own sin problem!

Most of our world suffers from self-righteousness!

Paul said he was circumcised one the 8th day according to the Jewish law and according to the sign given to Abraham.
Paul said he was a true Israelite and from the tribe of Benjamin which had remained with the tribe of Judah throughout all the years of Israel.
Paul said he was a descendant of Jacob who was a descendant of Eber a descendant of Shem, the son of Noah.
Paul went to the best schools of the law in Jerusalem and studied under Gamaliel and became a Pharisee at a young age.

Act 5:34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
Act 5:35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.

There were the Essenes, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees the 3 sects of Jewish law, the Pharisees being the most accurate and precise in all matters concerning the laws of Moses.

Paul had a zeal and was perfectly sincere in persecuting the church. According to the Jewish law he was innocent of any wrong doing as he murdered and killed Christians in a feeble attempt to stop the Church of Jesus Christ!

We should clearly understand that until we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way we all suffer from moral blindness as was Paul who then Saul.

1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
1Ti 1:14 And the “grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant” with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul became a prime example for us all in the power of God’s “Grace”.

Before Paul met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul, then Saul, was high up in the sect of the Pharisees, could possibly had a seat on the Sanhedrin Court and riches and prestige were certainly in his future!

Paul had strived all his life to be in this position of prestige in the Jewish society of that day and had made it!

But when you meet the Lord Jesus Christ your life can change for the better!

We should clearly understand there should be a change.

Like a wise black Pastor said, “if you are what you were, then you ain’t”.

Paul did not mean all the things of his Jewish life were evil. The things of the Jews were only evil when they were used as an excuse to destroy the Messiah and the work of the Church.

These things became not only worthless but in reality, they were a loss in the furtherance of the truth!

Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Why is this so true? There is nothing more excellent than the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

We should ask ourselves, what is the meaning of gain and loss in my life?

To gain is to obtain an increase in anything.

What does God say?

Mat_16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

A loss is best described as destruction, waste, ruin, defeat and even puzzled.

A gain list might read, good health, money, comfort and prosperity and such as these.

A loss list might read sickness, disappointment, sorrow, bereavement and such as these.

That word “count” being in the present tense means the Apostle Paul constantly counted these things each day.

To Paul there was only one gain and that was in the Jesus Christ. All other things were loss!

Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

How did Jesus describe the Kingdom of Heaven?

Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

There is nothing in this world that we can compare to the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The “knowledge” of Jesus Christ just overwhelms all the thoughts of gain in this world!

God says: Pro_8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

There are things in Heaven that we can only dream of because we have no knowledge except to know it will be far better than anything upon this earth.

Paul clearly understood what the Lord Jesus was saying and we should to!

Mat_6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat_6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

The greatest treasure we can find here on earth is righteousness and that righteousness can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The only means of this righteousness is “Faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

How does the Bible describe faith?

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the substance of our faith.

The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God!

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

God wants us to know all about Him. God has given us the Scriptures that explain everything we need to know about Him and it is from the Word of God where we will obtain enough faith to be set free from the burden of sin!

When we study the Scriptures, we will see all the wonderful things that the Lord has done for us.

*****Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

The Lord Jesus Christ is a complete Savior!

The Lord Jesus Christ showed the power of God when He raised Himself from the dead!

In His death, He buried all things that stopped our salvation, in His resurrection, He made all things new, including the new life.

If we are crucified with Christ, then the things of this world will be meaningless and just tools to carry us till the time we can go home.

Gal_2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

To be crucified with Christ is to dead to the things of this world and they will mean no more than “dung”.

The Lord Jesus Christ was perfect, yet He had the same desires of any man but He never allowed His desires to turn to lust!

The truth is, the more we know the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we will want to be like Him!

If we know the Lord, we will fellowship in His suffering because it was His suffering that gave us the victory in our own lives!

We will then understand that we will also be persecuted and this too is a victory because in the persecutors eyes, we are seen to be acting like Christ!

1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

To understand all these things is to realize that we also have a resurrection to look forward to one day.

Rom_6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Notice the resurrection Paul is referring to is the resurrection of the believer at the end of the “Church Age”.

We may struggle with our faith from time to time but the truth of Jesus Christ will never change!

Luk 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Who are these that have been justified?

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We that know the Lord Jesus Christ on a personal level and trust in His words, are “justified” but we have not yet reached perfection.

*****Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

We may have a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ, we may have a perfect knowledge of the power of His death, we may understand His sufferings and most of all His perfection but we will not reach this perfection until He comes to take us home or we go on to meet Him!

It is true that it is only those who have justified who can be made perfect.

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Knowing all these things then, our goal must be to reach perfection!

We cannot reach perfection as long as we live in these bodies of flesh but it must remain our goal!

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Our own perfection, until we meet Jesus can come only by studying the Word of God and applying it to our lives daily!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Apostle Paul knew he had not reached perfection but he knew he was not going to quit trying as long as he lived!

*****Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

If you are true Christian then you have called of God at some point.

Rom_8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Even out of those who are called most will never accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

Mat_22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Some will say, well why then is it so important to follow the Lord during the “Church Age”?

It is all those saved during the Church Age who will miss out on the wrath of God and those who were called and rejected the Lord will never get another opportunity after the Church Age”.

1Th_1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

2Th_2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

It is when the Lord returns to take us home that we will reach perfection, for then and only then will we be as righteous as the Lord has always been!

2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

We may not understand all these things but that is why it is called “Faith” and without “Faith” we simply cannot please God!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Paul said let’s just all have the same mind toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the work He has done for our salvation!

*****Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

We cannot be perfect until we meet Jesus face to face but the fact that this is true means that in this sense we are perfect now!

We are no longer “babes in Christ” we understand the true “milk of the Word of God”!
We worship God in Spirit and Truth and we know why.
We have no confidence in our flesh.
We are solidly established in the things of God.
We are in the “race”, running the course, the Lord has chosen for us.
We understand the “Mind of Christ” as it is written in the Word of God!
We understand that if we are lacking in anything according to God’s purpose for us, that God will provide that also!

We understand that we all have a ministry for God and God will provide all things necessary for our ministry to succeed!

*****Php 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

One of the most important things we must do as Christians is to not lose the ground we have already gained.

We must continue to walk in Christ all our days! It is the wisdom of the Lord and the wisdom He has passed on to the true men of God that will lead us the remaining days of our life.

It is not the wisdom of this world.
It is not the wisdom of the politicians of this world.
It is not the wisdom of the leaders of this world, including our own president.

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

We must be examples to each other and our wisdom must be the wisdom of God!

Jas_3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

When we strive to be examples for each other we can be a force in this world for good that this world has never seen.

As Christians, we do not want to dominate this world, we only know that Christ will one day dominate this world, which He already owns!

The strength of Christianity lies in the close fellowship of each believer!

If we follow good and always do good, we will encourage others to do good also.

If we follow bad and do bad, it sets a pattern of bad for all the world to see!

The life we live sets a pattern for those who are around us and if we look like the world then we have allowed the world to influence us more than should ever be allowed!

We must never forget, God has decided that our relationship to Him must be as a Father to His children. We must look up to Him not only for what He says but just as much for what He has already done!

We are not to “judge” anyone but at the same time God says to take a look at your brothers and sisters in Christ and get the closest to those you see walking in the ways of the Lord and be an example for those who don’t!

What was Paul’s example?

Paul had forgotten all the things of his past because he given them to God and they no longer hindered his ministry!
Paul had reached forth to all the promises of God that lay ahead!
Paul was pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ!

After meeting the Lord on the Damascus road, Paul never looked back on that old life but he also never forgot that he had persecuted the church that he was now trying to build for Jesus Christ, who remains the head of the Church.

The prize is not the rewards we may or may not receive. The prize is the “High Calling of Jesus Christ”!

Jesus Christ must remain as our example of perfection!

We must strive to get our whole congregations to seek the perfection of Jesus Christ!

As we look out over those who gather with us we will also find those who are still seeking their on righteousness!

*****Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Believe it or not, we will find those even in our own congregations who are the enemies of Christ.

They will be opposed to some doctrine of Christ. Whether it be the virgin birth, or the blood of Christ Jesus, or the death, the burial, or the Resurrection, or even the Ascension of Christ or what gets most of them is that “Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh”!

The “Doctrine of Jesus Christ” is an all or nothing truth!

Jesus Christ is indeed the second part of the Holy Trinity or better said, “the Triune God” consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Notice Paul did not write to condemn these unholy deceivers, Paul wrote to warn them.

Until we die, we will have that opportunity to know the Lord as long as we have not extended the Holy Spirit past His calling.

Paul even wept for those he saw doing these things. We must have an earnest desire for the lost to be saved!

Just as any other prayer we must have faith that God can save anybody at any time before their death.

We must realize that it is bad to be mistreated by your enemies but it is a disgrace to be mistreated by your friends!

As Paul looked over these people he wept “because he knew their doom”.

This is something we must also realize, they are doomed unless they change their ways. It is called repent!

The result is that they will be destroyed!

If we cannot weep for the lost, then we do not love them enough to try to get them to Jesus Christ to be saved!

It will be just awful to have spent so much time in the house of God and to have never accepted the truth of Jesus Christ!

Notice Paul does never say they will cease to exist because even the lost will live eternally but not in Heaven and there will be only one other place and that is the Burning Lake of Fire!

Who are the enemies of the Cross?

1) They reject the work of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to be reconciled to God!

2Co_5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

We were all the enemies of Christ at one time!

Rom_5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

2) They do not accept that the death of Jesus Christ paid for their sins.

3) They do not believe the Jesus Christ could have died because He was God.

4) They do not believe their penalty of sin was settled at the Cross.

5) They believe they can approach God in their own righteousness.

6) They claim that there are other ways to get to Heaven.

7) They consider the doctrine of Christ to be foolishness.

8) They intend to stamp out the truth of God.

9) Their god is the god of their belly!

The truth is they will glory in their own shame!

Their conversations are never about Heaven!

The true believer is just the opposite!

*****Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

It is not important to know all the things of this world because this place has never been our home.

Heaven is our home. Our citizenship is in Heaven!

There should never be a time that we will not talk about our home and the Savior who made the way for us to get back home!

We must deny the earth is our home.
We must deny ourselves and give our flesh to the Lord.
We must set our affections on things that are above not the things of this earth.

Our only obstacle in serving the Lord is the flesh that houses our eternal soul.

As nations have their heads, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of Heaven but also the Head of the Church.

If we cannot be loyal to our true home and our Savior who is our God then we do not deserve Him!

What did Jesus say to the Apostles?

Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; “but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven”.

It is these things that can bring peace to the Christian even as we face the problems of this world.

After salvation, the greatest thing we can look forward to is what will happen when we meet Jesus face to face!

This flesh has weighed us down all our lives but not when we meet Jesus!

If we focus on our salvation.
If we focus on our home in Heaven.
If we focus on our place in the Father’s house, which the Lord said had many mansions.
If we focus on our new glorified body.

If we focus on all these things, why in the world would we allow this world we live in to break us down?

The Lord will fashion each of our bodies not like His body while He was upon this earth but like His glorified body after His resurrection!

This will be a body that is permanent, constant, unchanging, and without sin of any sort, a body of perfection, a spiritual body.

1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

We must understand that the world hates us because we understand this truth and they reject this truth.

These things are only possible because our Savior is also our Creator!

Jesus Christ is God, who is sovereign over this world and all of creation.
He can control the world.
He can subdue the world.
He can recreate this world.

He can change my vile body into a body just a He has, and He will!

If we cannot realize the happiness and peace and then the benefits of the “High Calling of God” then what does that say about our “faith”!

Let’s quit talking about this evil world and talk about our true home of Heaven and the never-ending life with our precious Savior who is our God!

Amen!