Tag: The Apostle Paul

Saved By Grace, Not of Works

The Blessing of Salvation

Book of Ephesians 2:1-10

What is a blessing?

The average person equates blessings to this physical world as material gain. Nothing is wrong with these blessings if they are obtained legally and according to the Word of God.

In truth the greatest blessings are not physical but spiritual!

The greatest blessing of all is to become a citizen of Heaven!

There are so many today who threaten to forsake their USA citizenship and move to another nation when they need to be forsaking sin and gaining a citizenship in Heaven.

The child of God is a stranger visiting this world, just a pilgrim passing through.

1Pe_2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

There is no greater blessing than salvation!

*****Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The first thing we should notice is that Paul is speaking to the Church.

The Church consists of those “Born Again” Christians saved by the same almighty power whereby God raised Christ Jesus from the dead!

We, who were dead, “void of all spiritual life”, now have life and life eternal by the same power that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from His physical death!

How can there be a blessing as great as this one?

**We were dead because of sin.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

**We were in the family of Satan.

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.

**We walked according to the course of this world.

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.

**We did not know our true enemy.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

**We did not understand just how cruel the Devil truly is!

Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

God did not cause this but, Satan did.

Job 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Satan holds not only his “limited” power of the air but also a “limited” power of the airwaves. What are your children listening to and watching?

1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Just as we did not know all these things, “those who are lost are unaware of all these things today”, just as they were in the day of the Apostle Paul.

**There can be no doubt that we all will face death!

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

There is also “Spiritual Death”. A separation from God’s presence forever!

The Scriptures call this the “second death”. The eternal state of being dead to God!

But we can defeat this spiritual death by the salvation that comes by “Faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

**To be saved is to repent, bringing a complete change in the whole human character!

The lost do not realize that everything that occupies their time, is sin!

Mar_10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good “but one”, that is, God.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Spiritual death is the separation of any human being from God while they are still living and walking upon this earth and then after a physical death, forever!

The truth:

**A person who walks in life without God and rejecting Jesus Christ, this person is already dead in the eyes of God!

**A person may walk in this life as a religious person, worshipping his own god, of his own thoughts, or his own notions and rejecting Jesus Christ and this person is also dead in the eyes of God!

1Ti 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

**All persons who reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the work He has done for salvation, are dead in the eyes of God!

1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1Jn 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

**Remember Satan is the father of all liars even if this is your pastor or your teacher!

*****Eph 2:3 “Among whom” also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, “even as others”.

What is the real truth? All humans by nature are just alike! We all have a sin nature! Even as babies we are sinners!

It is only by the “Grace” of God that the Christian differs from those who reject Christ!

As Christians we must never be ashamed to confess ourselves to be sinners with the worst!

This is the first step toward salvation, knowing we are sinners by nature.

We are not sinners because we sin.
We sin because we are sinners. (We are born separated from God)

There is no one upon the face of this earth that does not have a sin nature! Everyone lives to fulfill the desires of the flesh!

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Does anyone teach the baby to lie?

Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Jesus Christ is the only perfect One to walk upon this earth and it is because He was God in the flesh and not born into sin!

It is only Jesus Christ who can restore us to be in harmony with God!

Before our conversion, (our salvation), we lived a life with those who are the disobedient of this world. (among whom)

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The “children of disobedience” are all those who have rejected the Word of God and the works of His Son, Jesus Christ. (Jesus the Messiah)

We live in world that is self-centered and not God-centered!

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.

Before our conversion we all lived under the wrath of God!

And as sinners we will reap what we have sown!

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

As sinners, we will die the second death unless we receive a pardon from God.

There is absolutely no fellowship with God without this pardon!

1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Death to the sinner means God requires his soul for the second death!

Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

We can spend all our lives providing for the flesh but, if we do not take the time to provide for the soul, we will certainly see the wrath of God!

Thank goodness for the God who is so full of mercy and love.

*****Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

We are born so full of sin that it spews out of our mouths even when we are babes, but God is so full of mercy because of His great love that He is willing to forgive us of our sin.

To doubt God’s mercy is to dishonor Him!

If we have received the mercy of God, then we are to show God’s mercy to all others. God is no respecter of persons and neither are we to be!

When we understand God’s love for all that is good, we will then understand God’s hatred of all that is bad including all immorality!

The Love of our Father is for His Son Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ has purchased and redeemed us by His death!

Every soul is a dear property to God and if we have not considered our soul and it is lost due to our rejection of Christ, God has lost something that is very dear to Him.

Be sure to remember, this is our choice and not God’s choice!

God will save all that come to Him in faith!

The mercy of God is our greatest need as sinners!

It is by the mercy of God we have an opportunity to know the “goodness” of God! In fact, the name God is derived from the word “good”!

It is instilled in us to long for power.
It is instilled in us to long for fame.
It is instilled in us to long for immortality.
It is instilled in us to long for riches.
It is instilled in us to long for glory, but we can get none of these things without the mercy and the love of God!

Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We might ask, just what does it take to get God to love us? Well this is really simple for God has always loved us!

1Jn_4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

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.

Even when we were dead in sins, God loved us enough to send us all a means to get back in harmony with Him.

Jesus Christ died to save His enemies!

Notice that we were already dead in sin before the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth. Had He not come, all the world would end up in the Burning Lake that was created for Lucifer and those angels that followed him.

The word Quicken means to make alive. To revive from that death!

How does God make this happen?

Rom 8:11 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 dwelleth in you.

It is by the “grace” of God through “faith”!

**The cause of salvation is God’s amazing “Grace”.

We all know a dead body cannot walk but, nor can a dead soul move of its own free will.

**The means of salvation is by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each sinner, by the “Grace” of God, transferring all their sin to the Lord Jesus Christ just before His death.

By faith, the sinner can transfer all his guilt, all his misery, and his curse, to Jesus Christ and therefore each sinner becomes “a use to be”, receiving all the riches of God by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

**The effects of salvation. God has raised all believers up together and made us to sit in heavenly places with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Every believer becomes a child of God!

*****Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

It is because of God’s mercy that we will sit together with Jesus Christ!

It was the power of God that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead and that same power will raise every believer up sit with Him!

God raised up Jesus Christ for many reasons:

**Jesus Christ led a sin free life upon this earth.

Mankind had already sinned from birth. Righteousness and perfection had already been lost from the time of Adam.

It is only those who are perfect who can stand before God!

**Jesus Christ secured righteousness for us all!

Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Since by the Lord Jesus Christ we are righteous, then even though we are still upon this earth, if we have the faith of Abraham, we have a place reserved for us in the heavenlies!

**The Lord Jesus Christ has already died and been raised from the dead, so God sees all believers as already been raised from the dead, exalted to live with Him forever in Jesus Christ.

When we do get to Heaven, we will not be a stranger who just got home, we will be as a son or a daughter who just left heaven to visit earth and are returning home!

*****Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Some say God was just talking to these Ephesians, but the truth is God is talking to all His Church!

We were all born without a purpose but after our salvation God extends His purpose to all His children.

God intends to show the true church the riches of His “Grace” toward through Jesus Christ!

God’s riches can only flow through the Lord Jesus Christ!

We could say that God will do so much for us by His Son Jesus, that it will take an eternity to see and live it all! Amen.

The Lord God is truly King of all Ages!

1Ti 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Many of us can sometimes think worldly about the wonders of Heaven and it is true that it will be lovely, but we sometimes forget the riches of God’s “Grace” He has given us and will continue to give us by and through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Without God’s amazing “Grace” we could never know the salvation plan of God!

*****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.

This may be one of the most quoted Scriptures in all the Bible.

The one thing that stands out in this Scripture is that, “salvation comes by faith”!

By definition the meaning of faith is: the settling of the mind to the truth.

So those who are lost have faith in a lie and do not know God’s truth!

What is God’s unchanging truth?

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the truth?

1) Only Jehovah God can save and He alone!

It is the gift of God!

2) Faith in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, is necessary for God to be willing to save!

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

3) All who have faith will be saved. But remember, faith is not a mere assent to or a profession of the truth; but such a belief as purifies the heart and governs the life.

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

Faith is firmly setting the mind on the truth of God!

For those who refuse to believe, God says this: Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

There is no amount of works we can do before salvation by which we can be saved!

There is no amount of works after salvation that can keep us saved!

But after salvation we will be known by our works because we will begin to look more and more like Jesus Christ, becoming Christians, becoming the Saints of God.

1Pe_2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Our salvation flows by the “”grace” of God!
Our salvation is obtained by faith and by faith only!
Our salvation is a very precious “gift” from God!

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

This thing is so simple that many just cannot fathom such a great gift of God to be so simple.

This salvation means we are saved from the coming wrath of God.

So how can these things be so true?

*****Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

To be saved means we were first born of our parents but we are now born of God. We are God’s workmanship, not our parents workmanship!

We had a natural birth but salvation is by a spiritual birth.

Our own spirit which was once dead to God, has been quickened (made alive by God the Holy Spirit) and made alive to God!

Remember verse 1:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

We have been “born again” to new life!

Jesus said:

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

We have been made a totally new creation in the eyes of God! (let that sink in)

The saving of the soul is a creation event!

In fact the only new creations since the time of Genesis are those newly born children of the God of creation!

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

God has made each Christian to be new, by the Holy Spirit!

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

**Our new creation could not come about by works or any goodness.
**Our new creation could not be sustained by any works or goodness.
**Our new creation was created to be known by our good works after being made new.

These good works are an evidence of our salvation not a reason for our salvation!

God builds a masterpiece with every “Born Again” child of God but, this is a continuous work till the day He takes us home to be with Him!

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

The strength to fulfill the purpose God has for His church, must come from Him and not from the world!

1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Amen

Understanding the Plan of God

Understanding God’s Plan

Book of Ephesians 1:13-23

We could ask ourselves what is God’s plan for humanity? God’s plan first starts with salvation.

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

We must first know who God is.

Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

We can understand from this passage that our God is Jehovah and He is also Elohim, the One True God!

The Jews considered God’s name so Holy they would pronounce His name Adonai meaning the unchanging, eternal, self-existing God.

The “I Am”, the covenant keeping God.

It is a shame we do not have that kind of reverence for our Savior today! “Praise His Holy Name”

Let’s begin:

We finished last week with verse 12 but let’s include it again today.

*****Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom “ye” (you) also trusted, after that “ye” (you) heard the word of truth, the gospel of “your” salvation: in whom also after that “ye” (you) believed, “ye” (you) were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Remember God wants this entire world to know His truth!

The Word of Truth, it is the “Gospel” of our salvation!

Once we believe the “Gospel”, then and only then can we be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise!

What is the “Gospel”?

Let’s look at the short version by the Apostle Paul:

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures”;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

It is very important that we hear the truth of our existence!

Without hearing the truth of our existence, we will never understand the salvation plan of God.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

God’s plan revolves around someone (The Preacher, The Missionary) presenting the “Gospel” to someone who has not heard it (the Lost).

It is not just the job of the preacher but “the job of every believer” to tell others about the truth of the “Gospel” and the truth of God’s plan!

There is a great importance in hearing the Word of God.

The reading of the Scriptures was a great part of worship in the Jewish synagogues and still is.

Many so-called churches today make very little reference to the Scriptures but teach man-made lessons.

But the hearing must be constant, it must be attentive, it must be with reverence, it must be in faith, and we must try our best to retain what we hear and apply it to our daily lifestyle.

What we do not understand can be learned through much prayer, also in faith.

One advantage of hearing the Word of God is that it brings Holy Ghost conviction.

The Holy Ghost will work in each and every individual who hears the Word of God until they make a choice, so He can also choose to stay or leave.

The Holy Ghost will also work on individuals before they have heard the Word of God as God prepares a place to send His missionaries!

Therefore, the world is trying to silence the Word of God today.

Holy Spirit conviction that can also bring conversion!

Conversion brings commitment and commitment brings the sealing of the Holy Spirit of promise. (sealed in Jesus Christ)

2Co 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

The Holy Spirit sealed within us, is just a down payment for our redemption!

*****Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Earnest means a pledge between us and our God. A down payment with a promise, (a guarantee) of full payment.

In the day of Jesus Christ, it was used as the bridegroom’s betrothal gift to the bride.

Some would say it was the money used to strike a bargain which is false.

In this Scripture it means the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to the saints of God as a part payment of our future glory!

By accepting the gifts of God, we are rescued from condemnation and adopted in the family of God and knowing what our future holds.

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

As Christians we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ and we belong to God.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

That word “peculiar” means that we are God’s “personal property”, being set aside for God’s purpose!

Without hearing the truth of the Gospel and believing, (having “faith in its truth”), we can be gloriously saved and adopted into the household of God, by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Eph 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

As Christians we must grow in the Lord and God gives us this opportunity by getting up close and personal with all His adopted children.

Faith and love are the first signs of the “Babe in Christ” and it should be obvious to others.

No one will know about our faith until we have persevered by the “Grace” of God and actually increased our faith!

No one will know about our love until they have seen it in action. “Love is an action word, not a passive word and certainly not lust”.

That word “wherefore” is another word that teaches us how to study the Bible.

Wherefore means, because of what we have learned from the previous Scriptures (verses 3-14), because as believers, we abide in Christ and we are sealed by His Holy Spirit.

This Church had a strong testimony and the evidence of this truth had reached the apostle Paul.

Being in Christ means we accept all the Doctrine of the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ and that salvation, being restored in harmony with God, can come only Him.

Our faith must be based upon the Word of God and the truth of His promises, “taking God at His literal Word”!

When we understand what faith is, then we can understand what God says about love.

Luk_10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

God’s love toward us must produce a corresponding love toward Him and all others!

We are members of the same family, redeemed by the same blood and filled with the same Holy Spirit!

As Christians we have the same friends but also the same enemies!

We have the same hope and the same fears.

We also have the same promises of the precious things to come! Amen

We will all go to the same New Heaven!

The one thing we all must do is to grow. Standing still is the same as going backwards.

Paul had just explained the blessings of God and these Ephesians were encouraged to grow in the Lord.

2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Sometimes we fail as Christians when we see the bad things of each other before we see the good things we all have as Christians.

Our faith in Christ Jesus is not only to know Him and worship Him, and we can certainly rely on Him!

Faith in Jesus Christ justifies and saves but it is also by His hand we receive God’s pardon and God’s “Amazing Grace”.

It is these things that should bring us to our knees in prayer and it should be obvious that we should first offer thanksgivings to the God of our salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we never ask of God, then how will we ever receive!

Mat_21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

We get foolish most times when we pray for we ask of material things when we should first ask for wisdom.

We should remember the prayer of Solomon.

1Ki 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
1Ki 3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

Solomon prayed for wisdom and it pleased the Lord.

So, what did Paul teach these Ephesians?

*****Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

We must understand as young believers, these things are much more important than any other thing.

We need a clearer and deeper knowledge of the things that brought us to salvation. We need to grow in the knowledge of God, so we will not be misled by those who would cause us to fall from God’s favor.

Faith grows by using faith to reach out to the things of God!

The God we know is the same God that the Lord Jesus Christ worshiped when He walked upon this earth.

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

We have this access to Divine knowledge, why would we not take advantage of it. The unbeliever will never get this opportunity!

God wants us to know Him in a very personal way if not He would never fill us with His Holy Spirit!

As unperfect as we are, we have something perfect living within us!

We serve a God so loving and so wonderful that He wants to hold our hand as we go through this life, so we can be free!

We can never know too much about Jehovah God and He will teach us all that we can handle for there are many things far beyond our comprehension as long as we live in these bodies of flesh.

We can be nothing without God’s wisdom in us!

*****Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

The eye might be the most elegant organ in our human bodies.

If we will undertake to know the wisdom of God, we will begin to see His image in our own eyes!

In reality the eye has direct contact with the soul and it is the soul that needs to be enlightened to the wisdom and understanding of God.

God our Creator is calling out to that eternal soul to take control of that body of flesh.

The eyes of our understanding must first be opened and then God will enlighten them.

Enlighten is to illuminate. God wants us to have a clear picture, to be able to understand the truth of salvation.

That light is the glorious love of Jesus Christ.

1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

God has called each believer to stand before Him in righteousness, but that righteousness can only be in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God and God expects that same perfection which we will never reach without knowing His Son.

The day is coming when we will be perfect. This is the hope of His returning that then we will be made perfect and acceptable to our Holy God.

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.

As Christians we are God’s inheritance provided to Him by His Son. We are God’s very own possession!

And as Christians we will share in the inheritance of His Dear Son!

We have a very big God who is also a most powerful God!

*****Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

If we think that there is anything out of the reach of Jehovah God, then we are simply fools.

God cannot sin because He would be less than perfect, and our God is not only powerful, but He is Perfect!

Powerful and Perfect are two of His many names!

It is a fool who rejects the power of God in their lives every day!

To be a Christian is to know and understand the power of God, at least as much as we can understand.

God’s power is far exceeding any power of humanity.
God’s power is far greater than any power of humanity.

That enormous, exceeding, great power is extended to each believer, through the Lord Jesus Christ. This thing we will realize when we join our Lord in Heaven, but we also have part of that power while we yet live on this earth.

Because of what Jehovah God did for Jesus Christ, by raising Him from death, He will through Jesus Christ do the same for each believer!

Yes, by faith we are saved, and our soul will never see death but in the coming of the Lord, He will then raise that old body of flesh to a new body such as He did to the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This is the power of God that comes only through and by the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can see that God will extend His power to each and every believer.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

God intends for us to know life, not death!

What do we give up? Nothing but our death!

**When Jehovah God raised Jesus from the dead, He demonstrated that it is He who holds the power of life!
As God held the power of our old life, God holds the power of our New Life!

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.

**When God raised the Lord Jesus into Heaven, He demonstrates that He holds the power to raise us up into Heaven.

Mar 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

**God has transferred that same power to His Dear Son who will raise all believers into Heaven!

Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Where the Lord is at, this is the same place we will be one day soon!

*****Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

It is only by the power of God that these things can happen.

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.

Heb_7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

God has given The Lord Jesus Christ the power to rule over all the things in creation old and new.

The truth is, God will give the believer the power to rule with Him!

The truth is, all the kingdom of God has He given to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

As believers we first experience the power of God at salvation.

We then become members of the “Body of Christ”, the Church.

The Lord Jesus Christ paid the supreme price in order for the Church to have life. Therefore, the Church cannot die!

The Head cannot function without the body and the body cannot survive without the Head!

The Church needs Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ needs the Church to deliver them to His Father.

If God has the power to create the church and it is through creation that God makes a new life, then God certainly has the power to work in our lives!

It is God that has opened our eyes to the gross sin of this world and has given us the tools to combat evil, and witness for the good of Christ, the Good News, the Gospel!

The Church is the Body on this earth that God uses to combat evil!

We fail when we do not use the power God has given us to take His Word to the world, every way we can possibly do this.

Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church gives guidance, life, influence on every member.

To make things right He adopts us into His own family, so we can draw our strength from Him.

It is the family where the strength comes for each single individual to go out in faith with the Sword of the Lord (the Word of God).

We must remember we are at war with evil and God provides the things we need!

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

We are no good to Christ until we get into this war with evil.

God has a plan and every Christian is a major part of that plan!

Amen

God’s Plan is to Bless His Children

God’s Plan for Blessing His Children

Book of Ephesians Chapter 1:1-12

The Apostle Paul always reminds us that he was living and acting under the control of a power from on high. The Divine will of God!
In fact, to share Paul’s beliefs is the means of a strong and effective Christian life!

We will notice also that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul knew, these letters, these epistles, were not just intended for these Churches of his day but, to all Christians everywhere and in all the ages until the return of Jesus Christ.

In fact, the Apostle Paul was part of God’s plan for blessing His children!

Paul was writing to the faithful in Christ Jesus, all the Saints of God in all ages!

This will not change in this epistle to the Ephesians.

The Book of Ephesians reveals to us a deeper knowledge into the “grace” of God!

The Book of Ephesians will also give us another look at God’s plan for this world.

Let’s begin:

*****Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not only to be “saints”, which is clearly misunderstood in our world, but also the “faithful”. We are to be faithful saints!

To be faithful is to obey the truth of Jehovah God. This means all the Word of God and not bits and pieces that we choose to obey!

Isa 25:1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

Who then are the faithful?

First there is Jehovah God.

Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Deu 7:10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

God is faithful in His love and He will be just as faithful in His wrath.

Next there is the Lord.

Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

So, then we as the saints of God are also to be faithful.

1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

We cannot be in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, without being faithful to the things of our Father in Heaven!

No one can live in God without being a channel for God, by Jesus Christ!

The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s “Grace” poured out onto this world we live in!

2Co 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
2Co 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
2Co 2:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

If you need a blessing from God, then you better know His Son in a personal way! Amen and Amen!

*****Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

What is God’s greatest blessing? It is when God can bestow His blessings upon His children!

God will allow some earthly blessings to those who know His Son, but God’s greatest blessings are spiritual and heavenly and not of this world!

Before we go any further we need to know the word “Grace”.

What is “Grace” in the Word of God?

1) The “Gospel” is the “Grace of God.

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.

2) The application of the “Gospel” and it’s saving power to our lives is also the “Grace” of God.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

3) Everything that comes by Jesus Christ is the “Grace” of God!

1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

4) Grace then is certainly the unmerited favor of God!

Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

“God’s Riches at Christ Expense”.

Before Jesus Christ came into this world, God did bless His people with material things. Abraham received land, wealth, and fame.

These are still the same things all the world seeks after today!

We know that as Israel first grew it misused and hoarded up these things refusing to share even amongst themselves and certainly not with any other nations.

These things always go against the will of God and Israel was warned many times and then punished many times.

The great change when the Lord Jesus Christ came, is that God deals with mankind in spiritual things with spiritual blessings.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

It should be obvious that spiritual blessings can only come by the Holy Spirit!

It is the Holy Spirit who is the major force in our world against evil!

It is also the Holy Spirit who brings forth the act of salvation to the believer! (We call this Holy Ghost conviction)

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 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 dwelleth in you.

So, let’s look at this word “chosen”.

*****Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

We can only come to one conclusion as we read this Scripture. God chooses only those who are in Jesus Christ!

Without Jesus Christ you cannot be the “chosen” of God! (let this sink in)

Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Joh 14:20 “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you”.
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

God wants us to be with Him. God has wanted us to be with Him since before He laid the foundations of this universe!

Why did God create mankind, the answer is right here in His words?

We can only be holy and without blame, by embracing the righteousness of Christ, because we have no righteousness of our ourselves and then we must be endowed with the Holy Spirit.

This is our only means of being blameless! Amen

Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

When God first created all things, we should notice though things were good and some even very good, not one of them was perfect.

In the end, when the Lord returns to claim His church, when we meet Him in the clouds, we will have finally reached perfection!

Our perfection can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

Because we are chosen to be made perfect through Jesus Christ we are hated by this imperfect world!

Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

So, let’s look at that word “predestinate”.

*****Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

According to Calvinism, God calls only those He has predestined to eternal life ( our own choice is not involved). He renews their spirit (Not the Holy Spirit moves into, not sealed with the Holy Spirit) and then draws only those to Jesus Christ, so in this way salvation is entirely by “grace”.
A free gift to only those God has selected Himself as He created them. This is a false belief and therefore a false doctrine!

They believe, God then justifies just these believers, declares them righteous (not the righteousness of the Lord Jesus) and adopts them into His family and sanctifies them. (this is a false belief)

They believe, saving faith, is a gift of Christ Jesus. Repentance is a doctrine to preached along with faith. Good works are the fruit of true faith. (this is a false belief)

What then is the truth?

The truth is, God has not determined that just certain ones will be saved and the remaining will abandoned to the Lake of Fire!

God has determined that only those who have(chosen) and (accepted), “by faith”, in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will be saved and all those who reject the work of the Lord Jesus Christ will be destroyed!

God would not be God if He specifically chose certain ones for salvation and certain ones for damnation!

God has given this choice to us to make freely only after knowing the truth!

The truth is, God calls, and we are the ones who must make the choice!

Therefore, the church is the “Elect”, those who have elected to place their faith in the work and the promises of Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures say, we are predestined but only by Jesus Christ to Himself!

The Scriptures say, we have no righteousness of our own,(our righteousness is as filthy rags) we must be seen as having the righteousness of Jesus Christ by accepting Him as our Savior!

It is Jesus Christ who will present His “bride” to His Father in Heaven.

It was not God who prearranged this marriage contract with those that He chose!

Jesus Christ did not just die for the few believers, Jesus Christ died for all the sin in all the world, past, present and future!

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.

None of these Scriptures in this passage of John point toward Calvinism, in fact these Scriptures destroy Calvinism!

God has only chosen those who have accepted “His” Son and are filled with “His” Spirit!

It is only these who are adopted in the family of God, having been removed from the family of Satan, that are the “Bride of Christ”.

Being adopted, we then have direct access to the throne room of God.

It is only the believer who will become an adopted brother or sister to Jesus Christ with freedom to enter in the Heavenly Mansion of God!

God is so full of “Grace” that it is over flowing, but it is only by Jesus Christ that this “Grace” can be applied to the believer!

Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

God’s “Grace” is in fact His glorious free love for His Son and those of His Son.
God has accepted each believer who is washed in the blood of His Dear Son, He loves so much!

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

*****Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Those that cringe when they hear the word blood, should not forget that it is through the death of Jesus Christ, who shed all His blood, just so we who believe could be saved. It is the beloved who are saved!

We were slaves in bondage to Satan who directed us according to his will.

We were unable to redeem ourselves to buy our freedom from him because it would lead to eternal separation from God, our Creator.

In the time of the Scriptures, a kinsman could redeem a member of his family if he was able to pay the debt that was owed.

We know the wages of sin is death. The Lord Jesus Christ claimed the right of the kinsman redeemer and paid the debt, which was His own death that we all can be free from the bondage of Satan.

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Heb 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

We are redeemed from the guilt and the power of sin through the blood of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

We have been forgiven all the sin we have ever had in our lives and forgiven from all future sin until the day God calls us home!

Psa 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Psa 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
Psa 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

We can see that the only thing that may exceed or at least match the “Grace” of God is the “Mercy” of God!

*****Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

We must understand that we cannot be saved unless we are called. (Holy Ghost conviction)

This the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then freely gives us enough wisdom and prudence to understand God’s process of salvation.

It is only at this time when we have enough knowledge to make a right choice!

Prudence is the ability of judging what is the best choice.
Prudence is conforming to the rules of reason, truth and morality.
Prudence says, being blessed of God can come only by faith in the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

Those who have Spiritual wisdom are in the habit of being prudent!
Those who have worldly wisdom will usually make the wrong choice.

Therefore, it is so important to openly show or teach the word of the “Gospel” to those under Holy Ghost conviction!

God will give us enough understanding to know what to do.

Rom_12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

If not for this measure of faith we would never understand the mystery of God’s will!

What is God’s will? (It is certainly not what the Calvinist teach)

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

God will make this little mystery known before we make our choice.

*****Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

We should understand when we see the word mystery in the Scriptures, it will not be something mysterious and difficult to understand.

A mystery in the Scriptures is just something God did not show to the Old Testament Saints.

1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

We already know that God is always on time, when the time came to unlock the truth that He was ready to reveal to humanity.

We know that Israel had rejected the idea that Jehovah would also be the God of Gentiles, so God put Israel aside until the fulness of the Gentiles would come to Him in what we call the “Church Age”.

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

After the rapture of the Church God will return to deal with the salvation of Israel.

Israel had missed the first opportunity to know the redemption of Christ and we should be aware, that the cause of this was the false ministry of the leaders of Judaism of that day.

It is God’s will that everyone will be saved! This has not been the case of the past and will not be the case in the future.

There will always be those who reject the truth of God!

Jehovah God has an eternal purpose and plan for this world and it is His good pleasure to bring it about.

Why do we have so many that teach the Scriptures by dispensation? Verse 10

*****Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Some say the method according to which God carries out His purpose towards man is called a dispensation.

Others say God’s method of carrying His purpose is by His covenants.

The key to dispensation is maintaining a consistency in literal interpretation and maintaining a distinction between Israel and the Church.

The truth is, God has set seasons in which He will accomplish His will and His purpose!

Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

God has certainly appointed seasons of His will and purpose, just as He has appointed the Summer, the Winter, the Fall, and the Spring of each year.

God has an eternal purpose and plan for this world and He moves at His own pleasure and His own time.

God designs time as He sees fit to fulfill His purpose!

We are foolish to believe that God waits too long for certain things to take place!

We may totally understand the Word of God, but we will never know the seasons which He chooses to keep to Himself!

We must learn to be patient!

The truth is, there is coming a day when God will gather in one, all things in Christ Jesus!

Though “the rapture of the church” is a small part of this gathering, this is not speaking of the “Rapture” which will have already taken place.

Through the ”Gospel” we are first gathered individually and united with God through His Son.
God next gathers those individuals at His own pleasure, whether it be by age, or illness, or other means.
At the Rapture, God will gather all the “Body of Christ” that remain at His coming.
In the Millennial Kingdom, Christ will gather those who remain after the 7 years of Tribulation upon this earth.
At the end of this 1000 years, the fulness of time upon this earth, God will gather all things in Heaven and on this earth and place them in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

There will certainly be a climax to this world we live upon now!

Rev_21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

All these things will be gathered in Jesus Christ!

This world simply refuses to believe that world history lies in the hands of our Righteous God!

In this Scripture that word “dispensation” means stewardship, or better understood “house-management”.

We must realize that God has placed into the hands of Jesus Christ, the management of God’s Spiritual Household!

1Pe_2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Our entire Cosmos, God’s creation, is as a house under the management of God and God has placed all these things into the hands of Jesus Christ!

When death and Hell have been removed and evil will be no more, a new and perfect world will be established for the Lord Jesus Christ and all His followers!

It is the Lords “spiritual house”, the Holy Ghost filled children of God who will join with the angels who elected to stay with Christ who will move on into an entirely new creation!

Until this time we are to go about the work God has given us to do through Christ!

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We are all missionaries, if not one of these, for the work of the ministry!

*****Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

God lives in the eternal world, which we call Heaven and even Heaven will be made new.

God took only 6 days to create the heavens and the earth that now exist but what did Jesus say?

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

How wonderful will this new place be?

1Co_2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

We know that only God knows what we need for a life in eternity, so God foreordained what He would do, for those who had the faith to believe in His Son.

God has made each believer to be His own son or His own daughter and His own most cherished possession, (His jewels).

So, we must also realize that our everlasting joy is a free gift of God.

Certainly, God will always be God, but the New Heaven and the New Earth will be created for the pleasure of each believer.

Just as a father should for their own children, God has implied that He will protect, care for, improve and enjoy His inheritance as much as we will enjoy being with Him throughout eternity! Amen

The New Heaven and the New Earth will be perfect because a perfect God will have made all things perfect even the believer!

God does things as He pleases, and it has pleased God to do these things!

Who can we obtain such an inheritance?

Mar_12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Those who can love the Lord in this manner!

It’s called “faith”!

It is only by “faith” that we can believe!

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

Amen!

Walking in the Wisdom of God

Increasing in Knowledge by Walking in Wisdom

Book of Colossians Chapter 4

Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge according to the Webster dictionary.

It can also be said that Wisdom is the opposite of “philosophy”.

The absolute truth of wisdom is that wisdom is one of the names of Jesus Christ the Messiah!

1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, “Christ the power of God, and “the wisdom” of God”.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, “who of God is made unto us wisdom”, and “righteousness”, and “sanctification”, and “redemption”:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

In other words, who are those who are wise? Those who have chosen Jesus Christ!

If we are walking in the truth of the Lord, we are walking in wisdom!

If we lack any other wisdom, we need only to ask the Lord in a prayer of faith.

Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith,

We should always be growing in wisdom as we grow in the knowledge of the Lord!

Let’s begin:

*****Col 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

We must always remember, prayer can move the hand of God if it is a prayer of faith and in the will of God, but every prayer should begin with thanksgiving for what God has already done, and this only after acknowledging the Almighty God, our Heavenly Father.

We are also to keep watch and be aware of the times we are in, according to prophecy.

We are in the Church Age yes, but we must be aware of the times and the seasons!

Most important of all, we are to “continue” our walk with our Lord!

We must pray for our local church, but also for all the “Body of Christ”!

We should prayer for others, but we should also desire that others would pray for us. This is what the “Body of Christ” is all about!

We must also pray for the lost! The more we pray for the lost, we will realize they are in great danger of the wrath of God and are in need of salvation. We do not have the power to save them, but we do have the knowledge to lead them to Jesus who can save anyone at any time, and anywhere!

We should also pray for the missionaries, that God would provide their needs, provide fruit for their labor, but also that God would open new doors for the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

If the Holy Spirit is working prior to the arrival of the missionary, souls will be saved!

God will never send a missionary to a place, He has not already sent the Holy Spirit!!!!!!

We must certainly pray for our Pastors!

We should pray that they should always have liberty to preach the “Gospel”.
We should pray that our pastor has many opportunities to preach the Gospel.
We should pray that our pastor be filled with the Holy Spirit of power.
We should pray that our pastor is free to preach the whole counsel of God without rebuke.
We should pray that our pastor is on fire for God.
We should pray that God would keep them healthy!

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: “for they watch for your souls”, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

SO, it is only those who have moved on from “babes in Christ” to true disciples who can walk in the wisdom of the Lord!

*****Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Our greatest witnessing tool, is the way we live out our lives before others, not just other brothers and sisters in Christ but, also before the lost of this world.

Christianity is a daily walk!
Christianity is a life shaped and controlled by the Lord who is our true “Wisdom”!
Christianity is a life that by itself is instructive to those who are lost!

A lot of things could be said about “redeeming the time” but in a true sense, the Holy Spirit means to make the best use of our time after we know we are the redeemed of the Lord. (I know I fail in this things myself)

We are to walk wisely because the truth is, we are certainly in the army of God but, we are always walking in the enemies’ territory.

Our greatest attempt should be for us to be ambassadors for Christ. Remember ambassadors are sent from a foreign land to improve the relations beteen countries. We are only pilgrims in this world for our home is in Heaven!

We are certainly to be standfast for the Lord, and unmovable in the ways of Jesus Christ!

Our speech must always be with “grace”!

We know that “Grace” is the unmerited favor of God and this must be instilled in us so that when we speak to the lost, we are to understand that they also must see this unmerited favor of the Lord through our actions and speech toward them.

Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

We will always get better results if we do not first offend those we are seeking to lead to the Lord!

A good thought is this: “these we are witnessing to already know how to be lost, what they do not know is how to be saved”.

Our speech must be well seasoned with the same “grace” that Lord offered to each of us!

Pro_11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

We must remember that the key to be a good witness is to “walk wisely” in your own life!

We must also understand we do not seek to understand the sinful ways of the lost, we come to show them the godly ways of the Christian.

We must also realize that evil company can be infectious!

Psa 106:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.

We do not have to needlessly expose ourselves to ridicule!

Amo 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Remember as a Christian we are God’s “jewel” and we should always be radiant before the eyes of others!

If those who are lost do not see a difference in your life as compared to their own, they will never see a reason to seek the Lord!

And now Paul begins to close out this great epistle.

*****Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;

We will see as Paul closes out this epistle a great list of Christians who traveled with Paul at one time or another and who were all concerned about this church and the false teaching that had entered into this church.

This what we have to do with those who would teach a false doctrine. We must gather against them with the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul begins with Tychicus.

Some may say who is this Tychicus, but Tychicus traveled greatly with the Apostle Paul. He was a native of Asia and you can find his name in the Book of Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Titus and the Book of Acts.

Act 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

Tychicus was so full of Jesus Christ that he could go anywhere at any time and fill in for any pastor and be welcomed.

Tychicus actually delivered the epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and Philemon.

He would go on special missions for Paul. He even went to the island of Crete and gave Titus a much-needed rest.

He was not only a beloved brother in the ministry, not only a faithful minister of the Gospel, but Paul said he was a fellow-slave to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next was Onesimus:

*****Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

We know Onesimus as the escaped slave of Philemon who after meeting the Apostle Paul, realized after he was saved that he needed to return to his owner and face the consequences for the things he had done, and he did.

He also became a beloved brother in Christ to Paul and many others.

Onesimus became a brother to all the brothers in the church in Philemon’s house. We should point out that there are never to be any social distinctions in the church.

A slave can sit on the same pew as the king!

We should also note that, it is very possible that there were others in this church that owned slaves and who also witnessed these things.

The poorest person is to be just as welcome and loved as the richest person.

And we should never forget how the Lord measures the tithe!

Luk 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
Luk 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
Luk 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
Luk 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

You might say well we would have a better building program with the rich, but the truth is, we can have a better blessing program with those like this poor woman this day observed by Jesus Christ, but the church must remain open to both, so we can learn all these lessons that Christ Jesus points out to us.

I will say it again, every step Jesus took, and every word Jesus spoke are great lessons for us all to learn!

Next was Aristarchus.

*****Col 4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

Aristarchus was a Macedonian of Thessalonica.

He was one of the Christians attacked by that mob of Ephesus.

Remember these Christians were not so much attacked for preaching the Word of God as they were attacked because a union of silversmiths and metalworkers who had stirred up the city because they were losing the business of supplying idols made for the worship of the goddess Diana.

Aristarchus was a fellow prisoner of Paul while he was in Rome.

This man stood by his beliefs even if it cost him his life. He also stood side by side with all other Christians and he would never desert his brothers and sisters in Christ.

We need more such men as Aristarchus today.

Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Almost everyone remembers John Mark (Marcus) in this Scripture.

Everyone remembers how Mark got off to a bad start.

Act 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Mark was a Jew and the son of one of the many Marys that had followed Jesus.

Act 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

This was the house that was praying for Peter and it was Peter who led Mark to the Lord for his salvation.

Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but it seems he may have been just too young to step out into this evil world.

Act 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Act 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

Notice it was just after this event that Mark went back to Jerusalem.

There are many things in this world that would scare a “Babe in Christ” where the mature Christian would withstand.

Act 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

We should also understand if you have not been called of God to the missionary field then, it is very hard to be of much use.

The Holy Spirit had called Barnabas and Paul, but Mark needed to grow stronger in the Lord, so his faith would not fade, and he did.

Mark later joined Barnabas when He and Paul felt they could cover more ground if they split up.

Mark had rebuilt his reputation and had become very useful not only to Paul but also to the Lord in the ministry.

2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Paul wanted these Colossians to know this thing. Marcus was to be received as a child of God and a very valuable member of Paul’s team of missionaries.

Paul even had a man named Jesus, who was called Justus so there would be no confusion!

*****Col 4:11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

The name Jesus was a popular name but as a missionary it would cause confusion because the Lord Jesus had certainly raised from the dead.

Justus was another Jew from Rome who had turned to Jesus Christ.

The Jews in Rome were strict religionist so not many of them were saved.

Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

This was the final turning point for Paul to spend his time and effort on the Gentiles and the epistles began to flow from his hand and others, all inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I believe this is also why wrote the Book of Romans, also inspired by the Holy Spirit, but a place so full of the world and of evil and immorality!

Justice had remained with Paul in Rome until the very last.

It is time to note that the Jewish people are so full of religion that they struggle just as these Roman Jews had done.

Religion is not a manner of salvation!

Religion cannot make anyone acceptable to God, because only Jesus Christ can do this thing!

Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The Pharisees were the most religious of all Jews!

Paul wrote of these Jews so full of religion in the Book of Romans:

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

We see much of this still around today, not only the Jews but in many others who say they are religious.

We can also see many Christian churches so full of religion they have forgotten the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul moves on to Epaphras.

*****Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Col 4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

So far, all the names mentioned have all been Jews who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul had this phrase he used that he always adhered to.

Rom_1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom_2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Epaphras was the pastor to this church at Colossae and he had gone to Rome to get Paul’s advice on how best to handle the false teaching that was going on in his church.

Epaphras was a faithful minister, a faithful servant, and a fellow servant of all these things to Jesus Christ.

Epaphras was so committed and so dedicated to take the Gospel to the Gentiles that Paul called him his fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus!

This pastor reminds me of our own pastor, he did everything he could, even toiling in prayer for the members of his church.

Of course, the church belongs to Jesus Christ and Epaphras knew this also.

Epaphras prayed that above all, this church would come to know the complete will of God and then do it perfectly!

This should also be a prayer for our own church! We already know the revealed will of God, so this prayer is for something special!

Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Epaphras worked hard, not only for his own church but for all the surrounding churches. (Laodicea, Hierapolis)

And everyone loved Luke.

*****Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Luke was also a Gentile Christian and he was not one of the apostles as many think.

Most everyone knows that the Apostle Paul has more books of the New Testament accredited to him, the next being the Apostle John.

Luke is accredited with the Book of Acts and the Book of Luke and Luke wrote more words that the apostle Paul, though it is the message that is most important and not the number of words and Luke has a great message.

The thing we must always remember is that the Lord says all Scripture is profitable for us!

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.

No one’s writings are of anymore importance than the next because we need the to complete Word of God to have the greatest understanding of our Father in Heaven, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Luke was a missionary and evangelist himself and very valuable to Paul but maybe his greatest act to Paul, was that as a physician, he kept the apostle Paul going all those years.

I also personally believe that it was Luke who penned the words to the Book of Hebrews as Paul dictated them to him.

Luke was not an eye witness to the gospel events, but he did investigate these events from those who were eyewitnesses. so, we can see how accurate the Gospel’s really are when we compare them.

Then we have Demas:

Demas traveled with Paul for some period of time and was dedicated to the Lord for that period of time but what is remembered of this man is that he later turns his back on the Lord.

This is a life of tragedy because our walk with the Lord is to be daily walk.

He was a fellow laborer of Paul at one time:

Phm 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

Here in this Scripture, Paul has nothing to say of him. (and Demas, greet you)

Now he is just known as someone who quit on God.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Demas forsook the apostle Paul and Paul said the reason was that he loved this present world more than the work of the Lord.

This is the same reason, so many quit on the Lord today!

And Paul continues:

*****Col 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

We know that the church in the city Laodicea has been made famous for the Scriptures written in the Book of Revelation:

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

What we see that this church also had a humble beginning in the home of Nymphas.

The thing we should understand is, that even this church had the opportunity to read and study the Scriptures of the apostle Paul.

*****Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

We must understand the books of the New Testament were all written to the Church and not to the pastor of those churches.

His job was to read and teach the Word of God given to him that had been prepared by the Holy Spirit.

1Th 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

And the church is expected to obey these words as all the Word of God!

2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

We should also understand that just because an epistle is mentioned here from Laodicea does not mean that Paul wrote an epistle that is missing because all his epistles were passed from church to church.

And Archippus:

*****Col 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

Archippus, the son of Philemon had begun his own ministry and was now teaching and preaching at this church in Colossae.

Every young preacher needs to be encouraged.

*****Col 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

When we see these things in Paul’s epistles we can know that though Paul did not actually write all the words in his epistles, he would normally take the pen in the end and write the last few words.

There were many reasons for this, but the main thing was that all these Christians knew that these were the words of the apostle Paul as given to him by the Holy Spirit.

Remember the church in Corinth had been given some bad writings that were claimed to be from Paul because Paul’s hands were mostly crippled.

Paul would not allow this to happen again!

Paul adds for the Church to remember his bonds as he had previously asked.

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

As Christians, if we cannot be encouraged by the character of the apostle Paul then we should feel ashamed.

With all the things that happened to the apostle Paul and he remained true to the Gospel, our little petty tribulations do not mean very much.

Next week the Book of Ephesians.

Amen

Knowledge of the Peace of God

Increasing in the Knowledge of the Peace of God

Book of Colossians 3:12-4:1

Last week we saw that the Christian Life is not very easy. If we live in these bodies of flesh we will find it very hard to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

This should still be our goal!

The Lord knows that this is impossible for us to do every day because in our heart we would be like Christ, but we find that our flesh is weak and cause us to give in to temptation. We need watch out for things that are not good for us and pray for the strength to overcome our weaknesses!

Mat_26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, “but the flesh is weak”.

We must base our faith on the knowledge that once we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a new life and we are to hate all the things of our old life.

Rev_2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

It was these Nicolaitans the Lord hates and we are to hate this doctrine also.

We see this in our world today more than ever before.

These were professing Christians who brought a false freedom to sin into the Church.

They brought licentiousness into the church which is, an excessive indulgence of Christian liberty!

The modern-day church has become this way and licentiousness is the god of fools!

If we have removed the old man and put on the new man, then we know we do not have the freedom to sin in any case!

If we are at peace with God, then we have become the elect of God and this should be noticeable to all the world!

*****Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

We could say, what are the essentials of Christian character?

Those who are the elect, are those who have chosen to follow in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ. God knows we will not be perfect and God knows in fact, we will make many mistakes, but God will always defend His Church.

Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

It is also a fact that when the Lord returns, He will have already called the church out of this world and He will not find any of faith but those who see Him will certainly realize everything they have said of the church was wrong and some of them may then become believers but for most who have already rejected the truth, it will be too late!

It is mainly the Jews and the strangers that help them, whose eyes will be opened.

Rom_11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

We may not realize it but there are also elect angels who have stood by Christ rather than follow Satan!

1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

When we get to Heaven, we will be surrounded by just those who have chosen Jesus Christ and rejected the world and all the angels who have also rejected Satan (Lucifer)!

So, while we are still here on earth to serve the Lord, let us be blameless!

Let us be the moral standards for this immoral world!

Let us show true affection to all our brothers and sister in Christ!

Let us pity the lost enough to still love them and witness Jesus to them if the opportunity arises.

Let us express gentleness in our way of life.

Let us be modest in all our life style.

Let us be meek in our demeanor.

Let us be patient Christians, busy for the Lord, knowing He will be returning soon, or at any time!

Let us bear with and endure one another in a loving way! As the Lord commands!

Let us forgive just as the Lord has forgiven us, because there are consequences to all these things but to this one especially.

Mar_11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

The Lord says even if we are in a quarrel with someone and we are the ones who are right, we must still forgive that other person.

Christ said to forgive!

Peter asked: Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Jesus said we are to forgive every time, period! Another sin is in holding a grudge!

All these things are covered by the “garment of mercy” which resembles the mercy of God.

Even with all these things, there is still something of greater importance in the way we are to treat all others.

*****Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

How does the Bible explain Charity?

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth:

How does the dictionary explain charity?

The dictionary says charity is love that compares to the supreme love of God. A giving, affectionate love.

It is easy to see that the English dictionary just does not have enough words to explain charity as well as God does.

The only perfect One that we know of is the Lord Jesus Christ, charity is the bond of perfectness, when we love others the way that the Lord loves us and gave Himself for us!

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.

Charity can resemble God’s “grace”!

When we wear the “garments of mercy” and put on the cloak of “Grace” and these things rule our heart, then we can say we are at peace with God.

A tall order for any of us but the Lord will help us be these things and more, if we will just follow His example and get up close and personal with Him!

*****Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

When we are saved we have become at peace with God.

Rom_5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Only as we grow in Christ, are no longer babes in Christ but, mature Christians will the peace of God rule in our hearts.

The truth is, those who are at peace with God and have the peace of God are the same ones who will show the love of God, not only in their own heart but toward all others!

The peace of God may be the greatest blessings we can receive from the Lord!

True peace comes only to those who know Jesus Christ personally and as their Savior!

If we notice that word “rule” in this passage, this means that this is a commandment.

Notice this is a commandment for each saint of God but also for the body of the Church!

And above all we are to be thankful for the great benefits for serving the Lord.

Psa_68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

We must make a choice as the elect of God, are we going to be obedient to all the Word of God or not?

If God has allowed us to be in harmony with Him and in true peace, then surely, we can give these pitiful temporary bodies to Him for His use!

These are things we are called to do and if each one of us including myself, would be obedient in these things we could alter the course of this world.

We can blame the world for many things, but we cannot blame the world for the laziness of the church!

God has only one body of true believers and they are scattered in all denominations and it is time for us to unite on the truth of God!

It’s time to leave those who reject the truth of the Scriptures behind, they made their choice!

There will be no strife’s and no divisions where the peace of God rules in the heart of the believer!

*****Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

What is the Word of Christ?

The entire Old Testament will lead us to Jesus Christ our Savior.
The entire New Testament was written from the words of Jesus Christ as given to the apostles.
All Scripture is given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

2Ti_3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

So, all these are the Words of Christ!

Jesus Christ is the Author of salvation!

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.

Jesus Christ is the “subject matter” of the entire Bible!

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

We are to dwell in the Word of Christ!

We are to live in it as a home, we are never to be a stranger or a visitor, or as an acquaintance.

We are to allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us!

It is not enough that it is our home, but it must be our heart, it must become our spiritual nature.

It must control our life and our conduct in this life!

Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

To dwell richly means we are to have an intimate knowledge of the Words of Christ.

We must seek to understand all that God has to say to us!

We must teach and admonish one another!

God has chosen the church to be the greatest place for this but, there must also be some personal study time.

We must be joyful enough to sing the Words of Christ.

We must be engrossed with Jesus Christ!

Act_17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

What so ever we do in deed, we must do it in the name of Christ Jesus!

*****Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

We see that in all these things we have a choice we can be a Christian or we can be part of the world. There is no in between!

As Christians, we are responsible for all the things we do, we cannot blame others!

As Christians, we know that the name of Jesus Christ is the only name God will accept in His presence.

We are to do all things in His name!

We cannot approach God without Jesus Christ!

The world hates us, and the world hates us for this one thing, they hate the Lord Jesus Christ!

God will only accept a life that comes to Him in the name of Jesus Christ, all others will find death!

When we speak we should speak Jesus, this is our new language!

1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

So far, we have seen what the Lord commands each individual Christian and now let’s see what Jesus speaks of the family.

*****Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

We must understand that the Christian home is the first place we are to practice all the commands of God.

We know that God is a God of order!

Wives are to submit themselves to the Lord because God created man first and woman second. The wife was created as a helpmeet to the man.

She is the weaker vessel physically in most instances.

The woman is to never to submit in such a way to a husband who thinks he is a king.

The husband is honor his wife as his helpmeet or their prayer life will suffer greatly!

1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

This husband and wife union is to be as two Christians submitting to one another but as the wife submits to her own husband and the husband to his own wife.

Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

1Co 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

The Husband to wife relationship is to be as the relationship as the Lord Jesus Christ is to the church!

Eph_5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

As Christians this obligation of these two Christians should be until the death of one or the other.

1Co 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

And now the husband.

*****Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Husbands also are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and remember Christ gave His life for the church, we should not be afraid to give our lives for our wives.

The husband is not to have dominion over his wife. Dominion is not about love.

The husband is not to be a tyrant!

The love of the husband for the wife is to be as the “agape” love of God toward His children.

This is a love that is selfless and unselfish.
This is a giving and sacrificial love, remember the word “Charity”.
This is a love of the will as much as a love from the heart.
This a love of commitment. The husband must be committed to this relationship as well as the wife.
And get this husbands, this is a love that works for the highest good of the wife! Besides the Lord she is to be the most important person in the life of the husband.

The truth is, the husband does not seek a wife to fulfill his needs but just the opposite, the husbands desire is to meet, nourish and nurture his wife, all their days.

A husband is to love sacrificially, regardless if his wife is not perfect in her commitment.

The example here is the Lord and the church. The Lord is perfect, but the church, (the bride) is less than perfect!

The Lord does not give us commandments He is not true to, Himself!

Above all these things, both the husband and the wife are to obey Christ Jesus regardless, this is the will of Jesus Christ and the Father!

And next the children:

*****Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Col 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

We know we have been using the Christian family as our example and all these things of the families that do not know Jesus Christ struggle the most with their children.

In the Christian family that has the Christian father and the Christian mother then the children should obey their parents in all things.

God is well pleased with all these things!

In fact, Christian children who obey their parents can even extend their years of happiness.

Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

That word obey means for the children to respect the authority of their parents because their parents have respected the authority of our Father who is in Heaven.

When the children disrespect the parents, they have disrespected God!

There is only one, “only one” limitation for the children in these things.

Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

If both parents or either parent go against the Word of God, then the children are certainly not to follow!

The child must be very careful in this thing but anything that causes the child to renounce the Lord “should not be observed”!

The most important task of the parents is to follow the Lord and give this example to the children.

The next most important task is to raise the children in a godly manner according to the Word of God.

The child must understand that though the parent is not always right, he or she must still have an opportunity to observe discipline and order.

A good rule of thumb for all children is in a passage from the Book of Ephesians.

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Being obedient to parents is just the right thing to do and God loves righteousness!

As a Christian father the bulk of responsibility will always aimed at him but raising children is the equal responsibility of both parents.

1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

The children must never be provoked to do ungodly things.

The children must be prepared to serve the Lord first!

The children must next be prepared to be godly parents themselves.

If we as parents anger our children, then teaching will stop until that anger passes.

Children should never be pampered but it at all possible parents should meet the needs of the children.

Children on the other hand must realize that both parents have duties and they must be given the time to do these things.

Children must realize the world we live in and accept that the parent has more knowledge than they might have.

The children should submit to the parents but again not as tyrants but as loving parents trying to do the right thing.

We all still live in these bodies of flesh, so problems will arise but as it is in all our lives, Jesus Christ is still the answer, even when dealing with children!

The parents must observe that there is a proper way to discipline children and the worldly way for the most part should be ignored, and the Word of God followed!

Even when parents have made mistakes, the Scriptures still say to honor the parents!

Deu 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

God is very strict because we all as the children of God have a Father in Heaven that always knows what’s best for us even when we disagree!

There is a great Scripture that meets the standards God has set for us all!

Pro_22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

In the times of the Bible many families had servants. Remember it was illegal for the Jews to have slaves.

We can also relate this next today in our jobs and other places.

*****Col 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

We know these Scriptures were written in Bible times. These Scriptures deal as much with today and the work place of today as they did in the day of Paul.

In the day of Paul, if a master of men embraced Christianity then what was he to do with his slaves. God provides him the answers.

A Christian master, in Paul’s time or today is place in a precious position.

As Christian workman we are to put forth our best effort no matter our circumstances.

If the work we do conflicts with the Word of God, we should find a new profession if possible, but this may not always be the case.

A Christian worker should never be just an average worker but always better than average.

This means we must be obedient workers no matter who our master or what they believe.

The Christian Master is to be no different from the Christian worker because he or she knows they also have a Master!

Eph 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

The Christian worker to has an obligation to be a witness for the Lord as best he or she can.

The Christian master and the Christian worker are to consider themselves working for the Lord!

Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Keeping in mind that the Christian will still have to obey the unjust commands of their masters.

1Pe 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

It is the reverence for the Lord that should be the mark of the Christian worker.

As Christians we are not to be disappointed with the service we give to an unjust master because our aim is to please the Lord in everything we do!

Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

We sometimes get confused when we talk about the “Judgment Seat of Christ”.

Certainly, our salvation will not be in questioned.

Many think we will only be judged for the work we have done for the Lord and we will.

We will also be judged for how we served in our workplace. We will be judged for all our activities while being a Christian.

It is very important that we shine bright as Christians and not as any part of this world in all we do!

Masters and Management certainly will face a harsher judgment than the servant or the employee!

*****Col 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

As Christian Masters we are to treat all those under us, no matter if they are Christian, equally and just.

We know the Lord provides for the saved and the just!

That word “knowing” is very important because the Christian masters should know according to the Word how to perform his or her job, knowing the Lord is observing as He sees all things everywhere!

We can only serve one Master in all the things we do, and we must serve knowing that He has His eyes upon us always.

Again, not so He can just beat us down for our failures but, so He can reward us for our goodness!

One of the first steps in righteousness is to respect the relationship!

It does not hurt to know somethings about the people you work with but demanding such knowledge is also wrong.

Pro 27:23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

All in all, a friendly relationship works out to be the best!

Pro_18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

We can see that the Lord had a lot to say about our economy of today!

Amen

The Knowledge of Christian Behavior

Increasing in the Knowledge of Christian Behavior

Book of Colossians 3:1-11

Behavior simply is our manner of behaving. How are we to behave as Christians?

In our hearts, most of us know how we are supposed to behave but the truth is, only when we are right with God will we know how to behave!

When we see the word “if” then there is a condition that must be met. This is another word that teaches us how to study the Scriptures.

We need to watch out for the “therefores” and the “wherefores” and the “ifs” and the “buts” and other words where the Bible itself will teach us how to study it.

The word “if” also sometimes ask the question “whether or not”.

One of the questions we should always ask is, who is the speaker and who is the speaker, speaking to.

So, let’s begin:

*****Col 3:1 “If” ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

We would be rude here and we would ask; are you saved? To be risen with Christ is to be saved!

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.

This means we are not to walk like we use to walk before me met Jesus Christ!

If we have been baptized by the Holy Spirit, then our old flesh is dead, just as Jesus Christ was raised by the Holy Spirit, we are also raised by the Holy Spirit to new life, and we should walk in newness of life!

When the Lord Jesus Christ was raised in that glorified body, after 40 days He ascended back into Heaven, where He is sitting on the right hand of God, because He is the right hand of God.

Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

So, to answer the question, “IF” we are now Christians we need to seek those things from above and not seek any of the things of this world!

In a “new life” in Jesus Christ we are to be dead to this world and it should show in our behavior.

We should remember Paul is dealing with some false teaching that has entered into this church at Colossae.

The answer always for the Christian can be found in Jesus Christ, who is always just rejected or set aside as a prophet or an angel or some other lower class and not the Creator who is God, by those who know no better!

To walk in newness of life is to follow in the ways of Jesus Christ!

So, everyone who can say they are a believer should ask themselves, “am I risen with Jesus Christ”?

If so then we are to look toward Heaven with our prayers and help with our Bible study.

*****Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, “not” on things on the earth.

Paul reminds us all the commandment of the Lord.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Lord Jesus Christ said you could throw away all the 613 laws to the Jews and all the laws of mankind, if we would only obey these two laws.

We see these two laws are not hard to understand.

Our affection should be that of love and not just any love, but the love that Jesus Christ has shown to us.

We should also know that all the things that remain in Heaven are perfect!

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

In other words, we must think like Christ thinks.

Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

We sometimes just forget the marvelous miracle of our salvation and it is a miracle!

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

How can we ever think that the things of this world can compare to Heavenly things?

*****Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

We may ask, how can this be?

First, we must realize the wages of our sin:

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is “eternal life” through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next, since the Lord Jesus Christ has already paid these wages with His own life then we are alive forever but still dead to sin according to this Scripture.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, then we are joined to Him in such a way that we are separated from our former self and dead to the world!

In one way it is dead to the world and in another way, it is a resurrection to a new life (born again) that cannot die!

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

It was the death of Christ that paid the debt of our own sin!

It was the resurrection of Christ that raises all believers up to new life!

It was by the ascension of Christ that we received the gift of the Holy Spirit!

**The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us the power to live victorious lives.

Rom 8:11 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 dwelleth in you.
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

**The resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees our own resurrection.

Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

**The resurrection of Christ, gives us the assurance that God will judge this world by His Son, Jesus Christ.

Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

**The resurrection of Christ gives us a “living hope”, the hope of glory.

*****Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Since we are dead to this world and no longer condemned to the wages of sin, then we are to look up and seek the things of Christ and of Heaven.

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 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Since we are hid in Christ, then God can only see the life of His Son when He looks upon us!

Without these things we can never know the Living God!

Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

There can be no doubt that God and the Lord and the Savior are all one and the same person!

Since the Lord is already in the presence of God, and when God looks upon us He sees that we are hid in Christ, “then God has already accepted the fact that we will one day be in His presence!

All these things are true so, when we are still left upon this earth it is to tell the world “How Great Is Our God”!

We know that God takes many of us home whenever He decides it is more important for them to be in Heaven, but when God takes the Church home as a group it will happen very quickly!

1Co_15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

This change takes place if we go by the rapture or if God takes us home one at a time!

What does the Lord Jesus Christ promise to us all that believe upon Him?

Joh 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

But notice again that word “If”, which is a conditional word. “If” we keep the sayings of Jesus Christ.

We this does not just mean the red letters in our New Testament.

But this kind of blows all religions out of the water who reject Jesus Christ as the God of the Bible!

As believers, God says just wrap your mind around these things and live like you believe it to be true, because it is!

Those that go to Heaven one at a time will simply return with the Lord when He returns to get His Church!

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, “even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him”.

To sleep in Jesus only means that old body of flesh that went to the grave when the soul returned to the Heaven!

All other graves are full of old men’s bones that will not rise until the “white throne judgment”.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

This day will be so sad because each and every one of these had made a personal choice to reject the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible!

So, what does God tell us to do until He returns?

*****Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

Notice that word mortify, this word is the thought behind the word “Mortuary”. A mortuary is a place to make plans for your own funeral and view those dead bodies of flesh.

God says to go ahead and treat that body of flesh like it is dead to this world and dead to sin.

Our bodies of flesh are to be dead to fornication. Fornication is all sort of sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage.
This term can also be used symbolically in forsaking God and following after idols.

Our bodies of flesh are to be dead to uncleanness. Uncleanness can be said to be anything that defiles us in the eyes of God.
This would include all manner of immorality!

Our bodies of flesh are to be dead to inordinate affection. Inordinate affection could be an inordinate affection for the things of this world. An inordinate passion, or a zealous attachment to this world.
It can also be a desire for fame, but it can also mean vile affections for others.

Our bodies of flesh are to be dead to evil concupiscence. This is to covet after, lust after, desire the things of this world, but it can also include an irregular desire for sexual pleasure.
Coveting carnal things rather than moral things. That word evil makes these things even worse.
A person who already has bad qualities has also become concupiscent.
These are those who have specifically chosen to live a life of evilness!

Our bodies of flesh are to be dead to covetousness which is “idolatry” and an extreme desire to obtain something that belongs to someone else and placing these things above the Word of God, which says do not covet!

God is very specific about these things and all we see today is a world dominated by these things!

We can see that God has high demands for the Christian.

God has already told us what this world consists of: 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.

God has now told us that these are those who are disobedient! Ignoring the Word of God and rejecting the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

The Church will not see the wrath of God, so these are those who will be left on this earth after the Rapture of the Church!

What a world to live in. Satan, the coward, will finally come out into the open as the Antichrist to rule these who are left behind!

He did not want these people to see him flee for the steadfast Christian!

Then the Lord says look back at what you once were and how you have grown to distance yourself from all these things!

To be a Christian does not make us any better than anyone else, but by the “Grace” of God!

*****Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

We certainly should be able to describe a sinner because each of us are still sinners but now saved by the “Grace” of God.

As Christians we must never see sin as pleasure but only as deadly poison because this is a better description and yes this means your own little pet sin, no matter what it is!

This includes sins of the heart!

Some of us do not see anger as a sin but it can be if you allow it to simmer.

Eph_4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

When anger becomes wrath or malice, it is certainly sin.
When we are angry, our wisdom is lost.
When we angry, we just do not think right.
When we are angry, we will quench the Holy Spirit, who lives within us.

There are also all sorts of sins of the mouth.
Evil speaking such as slander is also sin.
Blasphemy is any words we say that can cause injury to someone else.
Certainly, filthy communications and lying are sin

Perfect love will cast away all these things! The love as Jesus Christ loves, and the love like the love of God for this evil world.

The Bible says: for God “so loved” this world He sent His Son

*****Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

We tend to always go back to the Ten Commandments which is great, but we also seem to forget how the Lord has simplified all the commandments in the Word of God and all man-made laws.

Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Lord has taken great pains to ensure that we have the truth and it is a slap to His face, when we tell lies to anyone, but especially our brothers and sisters.

We must never forget these words of Jesus as He describes His enemies.

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.

Having put off the old man of sin and having put on the new man, why would we still lie and do the things we have vowed to Jesus that we would not do?

When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts, we are to accept His character, His ways and His words!

Remember, The Lord Jesus Christ is the “express image” of His Father in Heaven and as Christians, we are “Born Again”, renewed in knowledge after the image of him, that created him!

Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

We cannot yet be perfect, but we can be in a mode of continuous renewal.

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

That old outward man that we went to the mortuary to make plans for his burial should not now interfere with what we do daily. he should have no influence on our new life!

We must remember what God said when He made man.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
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.

When we experience the new birth just like the Lord Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit then we are “Born Again” by the Holy Spirit.

Christians are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

The Son of God has given life to all believers!

Joh 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

So, then the Holy Spirit regenerates God’s people!

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We should understand that all the prophecies of the Messiah had a purpose in our own renewal.
We must understand that every step that the Lord Jesus took when He was upon this earth had a profound purpose in restoring us to be in harmony with God.

Therefore, the truest statement to the unbeliever is still these words:

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It is all these things that being “Born Again” is all about. Christians returning to the original plan of God!

Before the tower of Babel there was only one people. When they rejected the Lord, God caused them to be many separate people in order for them to learn from the mistakes they had made.

As Christians we again all become one people!

*****Col 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

As Christians it matters not what we used to be!
It matters not what we are external!
Circumcision matters not, uncircumcision matters not, because the Laws of Moses have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

The circumcised were the Jews.
The uncircumcised were the Gentiles.
The Greeks were the Greeks. (philosophers) 1Co_1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom
The Barbarians were those Gentiles, who were not Greeks.
The Scythian were the most barbarous of all Gentile barbarians.
Those in bondage were slaves to anyone.

You see the ground is level at the cross because Jesus Christ is all we need and because when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts we are all one people in God!

1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

When we have come to this point in our new lives, it is then that we can be of the most use to God!

Amen

Knowing the Limits of Man-made Laws (Jesus Christ vs False Religion)

Increasing in Knowledge of the Limitations of the Law

Christ versus False Religion

Book of Colossians Chapter 2

When we see the word “law” in the Scriptures it usually means only one thing which is the “law of Moses”.

Let’s consider some of the laws:

1) Let’s consider that the law of nature is the will of God as to human conduct.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

2) The ceremonial law prescribes the rites and ceremonies of Judaism, Jewish worship.

Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

3) There was the Judicial Law, the law that directed the civil policies of the Jewish nation.

4) The “moral” law is also the revealed will of God as to human conduct, which are binding all of us till the end of time.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

4) There are positive laws which precepts are founded only on the will of God. These are manmade laws that coincide with the truth of God’s Word!

We must always remember when we must choose between human philosophies and divine revelation, there is truly not any choice at all. We must always choose the Word of God!

Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

This Scripture will always hold true till the end of time!

Let’s begin:

*****Col 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Col 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Col 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

The one thing we should understand about the Apostle Paul while he was imprisoned, he was like a soldier bound by chains craving to get into the battle of furthering and protecting the truth of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

It is all the books of the Apostle Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) that teach the saint of God how to grow in the Lord.

For any church to grow then there must be some mature Christians!

Many count church growth only by numbers and that is great but church growth must first be about God’s people growing in the knowledge of the Lord!

We simply cannot remain “babes in Christ” all our Christian days!

Our failure to help one another in our burdens and fervent prayer for one another, is the major reason believers and churches remain “babes in Christ”.

It is a prayer of faith that says to God that He has the ability and the willingness to intercede on our behalf.
It is a prayer of faith that says to God that it is He that has complete control of all things, of all His creatures, and all their actions.

Prayer is our primary channel to communicate with God! This channel was provided by the Lord Jesus Christ!

You know, it is also ok to just talk to God without asking Him for a thing. God loves to just hear us talk to Him.

Regardless what others say, God has His way of talking back or showing us that He hears us!

The strength of any church lies in the prayers of its membership but we must also have Bible study!

A true Church will remain consistent in the Word of God and grow into maturity being unchangeable in the things of God.

Paul struggled in prayer and concern for this church he had never visited, and our Pastors today must do the same.

False doctrine had been introduced into this young church and this church had become confused because most of them were only “babes in Christ”.

The stronger the pastor is in the Word of God, the stronger the church.

It is also important for every pastor to pray for all the church to remain in the Word of God.

If they instill this into their congregations, then all Christians would be praying for the universal church that belongs to Jesus Christ!

The prayer of faith is still our most important weapon in this world today!

The prayer of faith can move the hand of God or He would not say so!

We should all be fervent prayer warriors for the church!

The immature church cannot stand against the Devil and it is obvious in our world that the church is becoming more and more immature.

People just refuse to study the Word of God and the perversions of the Word of God are gaining ground and souls are being lost!

Once someone realizes what they have been taught is a lie, then they believe there is no truth in any church!

The Lord will reveal Himself even to the babe in Christ if they pray in faith!

Faith in the truth of Jesus Christ is the strength of every Church and the universal Church.

As maturing in the Word of God grows in the church, then hearts will become strong, confident, and assured!

A strong church can beat back error with the knowledge of God, but a church full of “babes” is ignorant of the ways of Satan and the church will many times split, or struggle will arise within the parties involved.

The only answer to error is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Apostles Doctrine!

The Apostle Paul was in bondage, so he could not help this church physically to defend against false doctrine but by sending them this epistle which could lead them to defend the “Gospel”!

A strong church is filled with a blend of mature Christians and babes who are growing and whose hearts are strong for the Lord.

Mature Christians proved stability, and babes in Christ provide the energy and the fire.

A cold church is truly miserable!

Strong hearts come from the love of God and a fervent love for each other!

When false doctrine enters a church, it is like a cloud that hangs over the church, that requires strength in the truth of God to resist!

When a church is divided, it will lower its standards and become more liberal.

This is what we see in our world today!

Our standard must always be Jesus Christ and it is His standard we must reach for and not some man-made standard!

Strong hearts are made from the love of God and each other, not from religion, ceremony, rituals, or laws and regulations!

We must be sure we know that God exist!
We must know that God looks after our welfare!
We must know God in a personal way!
We must know there is life after death!

There is no mystery of God, God explains Himself very well in His Scriptures!
There are no secrets that God is hiding from us, God has revealed everything that we need to know!

To the Jews, the mystery of God is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father in relation to His Son!

It is only Jesus Christ that reveals God to mankind.
It is only Jesus Christ who can mediate between God and mankind.
It is only Jesus Christ who can intercede between God and mankind.

If there was a mystery to the Jews, then this is it!

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

It is in Jesus Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!

There will be no growth in the church until we can understand the truth of the “Gospel” and acknowledge Jesus Christ as the God of the Bible!

1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

The Scriptures are very blunt about these things so, how can we question the truth of God and His Son Jesus, the Messiah, who has already come and who will return to save His church from the Wrath of God!

Wisdom in fact is the ability to use the truth, there can be no wisdom in a lie!

1Jn_2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Paul explains that we need to know all these things so that when false doctrine arises, and it will, we will not be deceived by its lies!

Paul was absent because of his bondage, but this great epistle has stood the test of the truth down through the centuries.

*****Col 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

Paul was never far from this church in his mind and in his prayers. Paul could say these things because the Lord is as near to us as a prayer and because He goes where we go!

When we can do nothing else to help our church, we can pray!

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

We must realize that when our minds are wavering, we are not being steadfast and unmovable in the Doctrine of Christ!

Religion and Christianity are two different things. True Christians are steadfast in the Doctrine of Christ!

Religionist are always wavering and movable in the things they believe or what they do not believe.

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

When we know the Lord Jesus Christ, we must walk unwavering in the Lord!

*****Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Walking in the Lord, means this:

1) We received the Lord by “faith”, so we must walk in the Lord by “Faith”!

We trust that our sins have been blotted out and our names are written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and we need to act like this is true because it is!

2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

2) When we received Christ Jesus, we received Him as Lord of this Universe and the Messiah.

Then we need to walk as if we serve the Almighty God, and our Creator!

We need to reverence our God as Almighty and our commitment be a lifetime commitment!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

God expects us to be rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ!
God expects us to be rooted and grounded in a Gospel believing Church!
God expects us to be as a branch drawing its nourishment from the vine, that vine being the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we do not have that strong attachment to Christ, then we need to get someone to lead us through the Scriptures, so we will know the truth!

We need to walk as we have been taught by the Lord, by His example!

We must be established in the Word of God!

2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

We must be aware of the many deceivers in this world.

*****Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Philosophy in fact is, the love of wisdom and wisdom is supposed to be the proper use of that knowledge of truth.

Today like so many other things, philosophy is used “as an attempt to explain the reason of things”, or “to investigate the many causes of things”.

These things go against the true definition of Philosophy!

Philosophy has become worldly! There are some true philosophers just as there are some true scientist who acknowledge the truth but no one can hear them!

The noisy today are all those who when faced with the truth, search for any means to dispel the truth which is impossible!

The truth will always be the truth!

What we see is another of Satan’s nick-names, which is the “spoiler”.

What we see in this passage is Christ Jesus versus false teaching!

False teachers had made this newly founded church in Colossae a target for destruction!

We must always realize that as Christians, we are targets for destruction to these spoilers of Satan.

A spoiler is much like the robber, these men came to this church to steal the truth!

The saints here had been rescued from bondage, their eyes had been opened to the Light of Jesus Christ, they understood they were just pilgrims passing through this land called earth, but because of these spoilers they were now in danger.

As believers we must always beware and guard against worldly philosophy!

We will never have a perfect relationship with Jesus Christ when we search for answers in this world!

The answers to life cannot be found in the things of this world.
The answers to the truth cannot be found in the things of this world.

These things are meaningless and will be destroyed when the Lord returns to this world!

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Human knowledge cannot solve the problems of this world!

The very best worldly science and worldly philosophy can do is, maybe make life more comfortable, maybe safer, and maybe add a few years of good health.

If we understand these things, then this should be the goal of these people and they need to stay away from trying to change the truth of God!

In fact, it makes no sense, that if we can make the world a better place then, why is so much effort and so much money used to destroy the church. (this certainly makes no sense)

The answer lies in being the children of Satan who is also the father of the spoiler!

1Co 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1Co 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

If these spoilers would realize they are only fools, they might wake up and do some good!

We should also realize that the rudiments mentioned here include the heavens, the stars and planets.

So, those of Astrology who have the gall to proclaim that the answers to mankind are determined by the stars is utter foolishness!

These things are just inanimate objects that have no life themselves so how can they give answers to life. Shame on the people who fall into this trap of Satan.

Those that depend on a material world and the rudiments of this world, will never be a part of the “Spiritual World”, and they will never know Jesus Christ!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who possesses complete power over this world and all the Cosmos!

*****Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In Him, inside Jesus Christ, in the 100%-human side of Jesus, dwelt all the power of God, which is rejected by most all Jews and most of this world!

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

We are complete in Him, because He is the Head of all principality and power!

The Jews had developed a plan to substitute philosophy for Christianity not by denying it, but trying to explain it with worldly objects.

Christianity has never been an offshoot of Judaism!

Christianity stands alone as those who seek a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Christianity is based on “Faith” and not “knowledge”!

The object of our “faith” is based upon the historical and doctrinal statements of the Bible!

The object of “knowledge” was to take philosophy and prove those statements.

Philosophy is void of the truth.
Philosophy is void of reality.
Philosophy is void of power.
Philosophy is worthless.
Philosophy is deceit!

We live in a world created by God where foolish people cannot believe that an all-powerful God could pour Himself into a body of flesh and live among us for a while.

How can we be so foolish to think we can place limits on the power of God to do anything He wishes to do!

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

We cannot be Christians unless we receive the fulness of Christ’s nature! (Born Again)

There was also a big discussion about circumcision so again Paul explains.

*****Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, “in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ”:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

It is easy to get caught up with religion. Religion is simply an oath or a vow to your god. Anything can be a god, just ask those who are Hindu.
We have even made sports stars and (forgive them Lord) but even celebrities to be gods.

Some have made riches and even automobiles their gods.

Christianity is making a personal oath to Jesus Christ!

Manual circumcision is the cutting off a small piece of flesh, while “Spiritual circumcision” is cutting off the whole body of flesh, which is our corrupt sin nature.

Only Jesus Christ can do this thing through “faith”!

The circumcision of the Christian is “Divine”, without hands but by the inward power of the Holy Spirit!

Being saved is committing ourselves to Jesus Christ our Savior, allowing Him to cut away the body of sins out of our flesh!

This true circumcision is realized only when we are in union with Christ. When we begin to develop our personal relationship with our Savior!

We follow this up with Believers Baptism to show other believers we are in union with our Savior.

Is this some sort of ritual? No, this is following the commandment of the Lord!

We are baptized by the Holy Spirit for our salvation, not with water!

Gal_3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

We are then baptized in water, only to symbolize, the death, burial, and the resurrection of our Savior!

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Next is training to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

This is where the church is failing most today!

The new believer must realize through discipleship, that they are dead to their sins and to do their best to sin no more.

Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Since we remain in this body of flesh, we are not perfect, and we are just sinners saved by the Grace of God and will remain that way until we meet the Lord. We must do our best not to sin but when we do we will be forgiven if we ask.

1Jn_2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

We must realize when we are baptized in water this only represents our spiritual death to sin.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus Christ paid that death for us and has given to the believer the precious gift of God, “eternal life through the work of Jesus Christ our Lord!

*****Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Once we realize our spiritual death, we are made a living soul and are dead to trespasses and sin!

We must also realize, we only differ from others by the “Grace” of God!

We must realize, that sin is anything that goes against the Word of God and being dead to sin we must do our best to avoid sin!

We must keep in mind that even when we are biblically sound we still must approach God just as He says and not as the world says.

We cannot take away from God’s Word and we cannot add anything to God’s Word.

We see so many so-called new Bibles today that do this very thing, to keep their own sin and say it is approved of God which is foolishness when God has already said not to do such things.

There is only one plan of salvation and it is the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ would never have come into this world, if sin according to the Word of God was not real and the death of sins wages were not real.

The world may say we live and then we die, but that is just part of the story. The truth of death it is eternal, and the place of this eternal death is truly devastation.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The truth of salvation is eternal life!

Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

We need to take this thing called “death” very seriously!

Many today seek another way to live eternally in the body of flesh they now have and that is foolishness for these bodies of flesh were never designed to live forever.

Why are remedies for the skin so popular? People just have such a great fear of even the appearance of growing old or death.

Men can search this earth until time runs out and a way to live forever will never be found! God has the only plan for eternal life!

Mankind will never conquer death!

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Rom 8:11 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 dwelleth in you.

How foolish is this world we live in?

Jesus Christ took all sin from the past and all sin from the future and took it out of our way by nailing that sin to His cross!

Many people will tell you that sin does not bother them, but the truth is, most people live defeated lives because of their sin!
They are depressed, they feel unworthy and they feel unacceptable to this world and this is what sin will do to anyone it takes full control of.

These are those who are in bondage to Satan and know it!

2Ti_2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

There are still the many who are in that same bondage and just deny it or do not realize it, because they have been brainwashed by the teaching of this world.

1Ti_4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

They just do not realize that God loves them, their sin was nailed to the cross that Jesus bore for us all, and they need only believe, (to have faith in the work of Jesus Christ) to have those sins blotted out and their names written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

The reality of life is, mankind has always recognized that there are forces, and powers and even principalities at work with this universe.

The Bible declares that these other forces exist and that there is a spiritual world that surrounds this physical world of God’s creation.

What we see is that even these things are under the power of our Almighty God!

Though these things have never held any power over God, they have had power over mankind and by Jesus Christ, Satan has been defeated from any hold over mankind.

He only has the control you allow him to have, if you are a Christian!

Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Sins evil work is seen everywhere in this world and we must avoid it.

In fact, we must hate sin without hating the sinner, just as the Lord had done just before His physical death.

Luk_23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

When the Lord raised up from the dead after those three days as He said He would, the powers of evil were defeated!

God is a God of life, and death has never had a purpose in God’s creation!!!!!!!!

God has judged each believer and has justified each believer, we are not open to judgment by this world!

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

*****Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

We have been given Christian liberty but that does not mean we can freely sin!

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
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.

The truth is, God will honor anyone who honors His Son!

We tend to approach God trying to follow rules and regulations and even rituals in worship and this is wrong.

Many of the church have forgotten that the only way to approach God is through His Son Jesus Christ. There is simply no other way!!!!!

Rules and regulation are forms of religion, but they cannot give eternal life!
Rituals are forms of religion, but no ritual can offer eternal life!

These things were only shadows of things to come, but the Church body is of Jesus Christ!

The Church is the “Body of Christ” because Jesus Christ lives in each believer!

Jesus Christ rose from that grave to life and life eternal, so the Church is alive and cannot die!!!!!

The truth is when we follow Christ we should also live as Christ!

We should eat as Christ ate. Eating what is needed each day and eat things that are good for the body.

We must worship faithfully as Jesus Christ worshiped, which required much prayer!

We must live, soberly, righteously, and godly just as Christ lived!

Jesus Christ is to be our example in all things!

We must not be led astray by this world nor the works of Satan!

*****Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

That word beguile means to rob, or to cheat, or to defraud. To goal of false teachers is to cheat you out of your heavenly rewards.

They intend to make you irrelevant in the army of God!

The biggest lie told today is, that there are other ways to get to Heaven, or that every religion has its on way to please God and get to Heaven.

This is an absolute lie and purely false teaching just to appease the followers of these sects!

There are those who say they had a new revelation of the Lord. Do not believe such nonsense. God says we have His complete Word and it is a fact there will never be a new revelation that goes against what God has already revealed!

Any false approach to God is called “spiritism”.

Here is the definition of spiritism that I got off an official site for spiritism:

Spiritism is, at once, a science, a philosophy, and a religion.

**The science of Spiritism studies the existence and nature of spirits, which are nothing more than the immortal souls of men, created by God.

**The philosophy, which was derived from a serious study of information received in communications with discarnate spirits, deals with the details of spirit life and the journey of evolution through the process reincarnation. A natural consequence of that that philosophy is the understanding of the role we play in our own spiritual evolution, which is ultimately achieved through the efforts we make to grow, both morally and intellectually.
**Spiritism helps us to understand the natural laws that govern that process of evolution. From a moral perspective, we follow the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ, as our model and guide.
**The religious aspect stems from the moral ties between ourselves, and others, and the direction that Spiritism leads us, toward God, our creator, by helping us to understand life and by teaching us, ultimately, how to develop the ability to love, in the greatest sense of the word.

Nonsense!

Notice the phrase “the role we play in our own spiritual evolution through the process of reincarnation”

Notice the phrase “the philosophy which is derived from a SERIOUS study of information received by discarnate spirits.

Notice the phrase “Spiritism helps us understand the natural laws that govern that process of evolution”.

We cannot worship God through Angels, or spirits, and/or visions.

This was the same teaching that had influenced this church in Colossae.

What was the attraction? “To develop the ability to love, in the greatest sense of the word”.

The Apostle Paul wrote (by the Holy Spirit) against these things in most all his epistles.

Remember heresy is any doctrine of salvation that cannot be found in the Word of God!

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

One of the biggest problems of the church is, that we feel ashamed to approach God, so we feel the need of some intermediary to stand between us and God and this opens the door to “false teaching”!

We already have our intermediator and it is the Lord Jesus Christ and He cannot be replaced by some man!!!!!!!!

We cannot pray for the angels to help, they already fulfill their purpose given to them by God and in fact the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of the host of angels just as He is our Lord and Savior!

As Christians we have no contact with the spirit world, other than the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

Anyone who can actually talk to the spirit world is a disciple of Satan who has that power.

We will never contact a departed Saint of God until we reach the same place they are and that is the glory world of Heaven.

What is the one fact that we should realize?

The death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, removed the veil of the Temple, symbolizing that we now can go directly into the throne room of God!

Those who seek an intermediator other than Jesus Christ, are saying that they are to unworthy to approach God themselves, so their prayer life is non-existing and irrelevant.

Spiritism only takes your eyes off God and focuses on angels and spirits who can do nothing to help you make peace with God!

We have no business in intruding into the unseen world other than our “faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can never approach God without the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church and that will never change. Any teaching that tries to change this fact is false and is heresy!

The church can only be nourished by Jesus Christ and then will increase as God sees fit!

The only Spirit we need to worry about is the Holy Spirit and it is He who we need to feed!

If we have taken up our yoke and followed the Lord, we then are dead to the rudiments of this world!

*****Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

It seems we can only equate death when one of our loved ones or some close friend’s life comes to an end but if the Lord Jesus Christ lives in your heart, you need to also equate death with your own flesh, because we have been “Born Again” and that old sinful flesh is just dead flesh waiting to be rid of.

If we then are dead in Christ Jesus, we are not subject to any man-made ordinance that are commandments or doctrines of men that try to add to the salvation plan of God!

The Jews had many rules of food to eat.

The Church is not subject to those things or any other ordinance involved with Judaism.

Many denominations have doctrines and rituals that try to add to or take away from the Word of God, the Church is not subject to them!

There are many sects in Spiritism and that teaching but the Church is far above such teaching already, because we are already in the Hand of God and no one man, or Satan can remove us from the hand of God!

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

We must clearly understand, there is no man-made approach to God that will ever succeed!

Man will always come up with a system of works that will always fail!

God is not interested in our works until after we have obtained the salvation that the Lord has provided!

There is no amount works before salvation that can save us and there is no amount of works after salvation that can keep us saved!

Jesus Christ did all the works necessary to save us and all the works necessary to keep us saved!

No one can work hard enough, No one can be made good enough, No one is righteous enough to impress God!

Only His only begotten Son could do this thing!

Religion can only fail you and send you to Hell.

Christianity, following the example of Jesus Christ, is the only way to make peace with God!

2Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

If we are risen with Christ Jesus, then we are fools if we do not seek things from above, according to the Word of God, that He has given to us!

It is Jesus Christ who sits on the right hand of God, not some angel, not some spirit, and certainly not Lucifer!

Amen