Tag: The Apostle Paul

Coming to Know Our Heavenly Father

Increasing in the Knowledge of the Father

Book of Colossians 1:1-16

Heresy is a departure from the truth of the Word of God!
Heresy is a departure from practices suitable to the purity of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

What is another sign of the last days?

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

The Church at Colossae was not planted by the Apostle Paul and Paul probably never visited this church. It is probable that this church was planted by Epaphras.

In the Book of Philemon, Paul says Epaphras was his fellow prisoner.
In the Book of Colossians, Paul says Epaphras was his fellow servant.
In the Book of Philippians, Paul says Epaphras was his fellow soldier.

Though some may dispute it, the Apostle Paul wrote this Holy Ghost inspired epistle to the church in Colossae!

*****Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to remind ourselves sometimes that an Apostle was a man who was handpicked by the Lord Jesus Christ to carry on the work of establishing the New Testament Church. There were 12 and there can never be any more than these 12 men.

How did Paul put this truth forward?

1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

2Co 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

No one else can claim to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ because it is impossible to see Jesus Christ again until you get to Heaven or He comes in the “Rapture” to take His church out of this world to miss out on the wrath of God, a promise that He made to the church.

These 12 men were chosen according to the perfect will of God.

These 12 men were vessels of choice by our perfect God!

Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: “for he is a chosen vessel unto me”, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

This same thing could be said of the other 11 Apostles. We may not read much about them except for Peter and John but we can be sure they were all busy about the work the Lord had given them to do!

The thing is, we know there will never be any more apostles.

If we cannot listen, understand, and believe, what these men who were chosen by the Lord God that we worship then how can we ever say we are Christians.

Of course, we must follow the words of Jesus Christ but we will find that these Apostles will never go against what the Lord has said and they will never go against any part of the entire Word of God, all 66 books of the Bible.

There is no modern-day book of the Bible. God will never change and God chose these men to give us the truth, including the Apostle Paul!

Who is Paul writing to?

1) To the saints. A saint is a person, male or female, who has separated themselves from the world and consecrated to God by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way to reach sainthood.

2) To the “faithful” “brethren”.

The “faithful”, are those who have taken up their own cross and are following the Lord and are known as Christians.

The “brethren”, are those Christians who have accepted the Apostles Doctrine and after salvation had followed the Lord in Believers Baptism and also partaken in the Lord’s Supper and are complete members of the church of Jesus Christ. In many places they are called the elect of God.

Paul is writing to the Church, which is the “Body of Christ”.

It is only the “Body of Christ” who have come to know the peace of God but through the Lord Jesus Christ.

And all these things come only by the “Grace” of God, that we have been called to be the holy children 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;
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

If we have not thanked God for His marvelous “Grace” then we need to stop what we are doing and thank Him now!

Notice also that Timothy, is still traveling with Paul to learn all he could about the church.

*****Col 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Col 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Notice Paul gives thanks to God.

The true God, is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Two parts of the triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

These are the pillars of the church not three Gods but one God in three persons!

It is important that we offer thanks to the true God but it is more important that we pray to the true God but that prayer will not be accepted unless it is in the name of Jesus Christ.

Joh_15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father “in my name”, he may give it you.

If God has given you a ministry, God will make you get the things you need to complete that ministry!

Sure, He was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob but He is also the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Reject this if you so choose but it does not change the truth!

Notice also that it is not so important that God supply good health, fame and riches to His saints as it is for Him to supply “faith” and “love”.

It is faith and love that will bring growth to the church in the proper manner and cause Christians to remain steadfast in the Word of God!

The Kingdom of God is based upon “faith” and “love”!

This church in Colossae was built upon “faith” and love”!

Faith and love must the pillars of the Christian Life!

1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

What was the commandment?

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.

These two things remain the foundation of the Church or there is no church!

That “faith” must be in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ or it is meaningless! (all thy heart, all thy soul, all thy mind!)

It is “only” by Jesus Christ that we can be in harmony with God and it is just that simple, no matter what the world says!

It is our “faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ that opens the way into the throne room of God!

We must govern our lives by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Christian must live and die by this belief!

The “love” spoken of here is not the natural love of man that we should already have for one another!

We forget that race divisions are not Biblical!

We are all part of the human race and citizens of the same world and we should already love one another, with our natural love, for our own survival.

The “love” spoken of in this passage is the “love” that each believer must have for one another! This is the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

We are to have “faith” in Christ Jesus and love the way that He “loved”!

It is impossible to live upon this earth and have a successful life without Jesus Christ!

Without these basic things then we will have no hope to reach God’s Heaven!

*****Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Those that have “faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ and share His “love” with one another will then have the believer’s “Hope”!

It is only by the “Grace” of God that we can have “hope” for eternal life in God’s Heaven!

It is the “hope” that God offers that we will surrender our lives to Jesus Christ!

How can we best describe that “hope”?

1) It is the hope of being raised from the dead and being given a new but perfect glorious body that we will live throughout eternity!

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.

2) It is the “hope” that the Lord will return to take us home.

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.

3) It is the “hope” of dwelling in the throne room of God.

Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

4) It is the glorious inheritance that will belong to all God’s children!

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

Our “hope’ lies in the reality of all these things and much, much more!

Even in our darkest days we must never lose our “hope” in the promises of God!

We should notice that our “hope” has one great source and that is the “gospel”, the “good news” of Jesus Christ!

The Gospel is the Word of Truth. There is not one false word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no false teaching in all the Word of God!

We do not have to wish!
We do not have to desire!
We do not have to guess!

We can know, that we know, that we know, the truth of our salvation.

1Jn_5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We must certainly remember that the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be a God amongst gods. There is only one God and it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

Even in Rome with a pantheon of gods, Jesus would have been welcomed to be a part of those others false gods.

Today the world has not changed, the Lord Jesus Christ would be welcomed amongst all the gods of this world but Jesus Christ will never be a part of such a religious system.

Here is where the problem comes!

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.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

The world cannot stand this truth!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

The “Gospel” is intended for every individual upon this earth but there will always be those who reject the truth to their own demise!

Most of our world continue to reject the “Grace” of God and they will receive the “Wrath” of God in its place!

This is also the truth!

Even in all these things the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ will continue to produce fruit.

Everywhere the “Gospel” is preached and taught, there will be those will believe and become new members of God’s family!

1) There is first the fruit of the Holy Spirit

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

2) There is the fruit of new converts.

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

3) There is the fruit of sanctification.

Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

The Church at Colossae understood and practiced all these things.

All these come by hearing the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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

These Colossians had heard the Word of truth from Epaphras.

*****Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

Epaphras was the fellowservant of Paul and Timothy at this time but is probable that is Epaphras alone who had planted the church in Colossae.

We know now that this young church in Colossae that had begun with the truth of Jesus Christ, was now being bombarded buy false doctrine from false teachers but as Paul says Epaphras was not one of those!

He was a faithful minister for Jesus Christ!

He had also brought this knowledge back to the Apostle Paul who had responded with this epistle to these Colossians.

Epaphras had come to Paul seeking advice on how to handle the false teaching that was infiltrating his church.

It is obvious that Paul could not go to this church himself as he remained in bondage to Rome.

Paul had never been to this church so they had never met Paul face to face but they knew enough about Paul that they knew they could trust whatever he said.

Paul’s answer to them was this epistle and his promise of prayers.

*****Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

What did Paul pray for? A great desire that this church would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will and in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

We should clearly understand that nothing happens upon this earth that goes against the will of God!

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.

And it is the Church that will be the praise of His Glory. Therefore the “Church Age” is truly important!

This plan of the Church Age was developed by God before the foundation of this earth.

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:
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.

Now this is not as the Calvinist say but only those who are made the children of God by accepting the work of Jesus Christ for salvation!

This is God’s Plan and it is not to be questioned by any man!

Psa 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Pro 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

To those of the world that believe that God adapts to a changing world should study the Scriptures and learn the truth.

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Psa 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who died because of the predetermined plan of God and it is our part to have faith in the work of the Lord

Another thing we should understand is that God may allow men to manifest evil but God is never the author of evil.

It is our job to walk worthy of the Lord which pleases God.

*****Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Questions we should ask ourselves:

1) Are we walking worthy of the Lord?
2) Are we pleasing the Lord in the things we do?
3) Is our work producing fruit?
4) Are we increasing in the knowledge of God.

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

We must understand that knowing something and having the ability to do something is very different!

We are to live our lives just as worthy as the life of Christ and we cannot do this thing unless we can make application of the Word of God in everything we do!

Everything that God says must be understood as applying to us.

We cannot please God by just applying the Word of God in bits and pieces!

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Christian conduct must meet a high standard for we must seek the knowledge of God’s will and apply it to our lives every day!

We will be in this thing of being a Christian, alone.

*****Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Without a doubt we must admit to ourselves, that we are weak physically and morally but by Jesus Christ we are endowed with a Power from on High.

Our power is the glorious power of God and is made known by God’s act of “creation” as we are “Born Again” into a new life.

We live in the patience of God that does not give up in dire circumstances.
We live by the longsuffering of God when we do not retaliate for being treated wrongly.
We do both these things in the “joy” of God knowing that we are pleasing our Lord and Savior.
We offer our prayers of thanks to the Lord for being seen as Christians and for providing the power for us to keep going in the name of the Lord.

We cannot survive without the power of God in our lives!

Think about some of the things we must endure:

We will face disease, if not in ourselves but surely in others.
We will face accidents, if not ourselves but others.
We may face poverty, if not in ourselves surely, we will see it in others.
We may face loss, if not ourselves but maybe in others.
We may face death, ourselves but surely in others.

This is just a short list but there will be even much greater things we will face as Christians but God has the power to give us understanding and piece as we go through these things.

God has the power to strengthen us and settle us during these things.
God has the power to give us hope and security during these times.

We can secure God’s Power through prayer and notice a fervent prayer should begin with giving thanks to God for what He has already done but also for what God is about to do in response to our request!

We should also know that there is no limit to our increase to the knowledge of God except for our own capacity to absorb it, our diligence to study it, and our faith. Much faith, much knowledge, Little faith, little knowledge.

When we feed the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit will not just set back and let us go through the trials of life alone but through Him we will have the power to overcome them and to conquer them.

God expects us to learn from the trials of life and be stronger through them!

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

What did Jesus say:

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

It is only by the Holy Spirit, God within us, that we can endure the troubles and trials of this world and this only by a close and very personal relationship with the Lord!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the light of all Spiritual Knowledge.

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:

We live in the present “Grace” of God but we will soon live in the coming “Glory” of God!

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.

The Word of God is never confusing, we just make it confusing because it is so simple!

It is by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us that we have been delivered from the power of darkness!

*****Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

We may still live in this world of darkness and in this body of sinful flesh, the truth is, once we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we have already been delivered or we could say rescued from the power of darkness!

Darkness is the symbol of misery and adversity:

Psa 107:10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Psa 107:11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Psa 107:12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
Psa 107:13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.

The child of God should have no fear of this dark world nor should we fear physical death because we have already been delivered from these things!

We are redeemed if we know Christ as our Savior!

*****Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Redemption speaks of being rescued by paying a ransom.

Redemption is buying back those things had had been lost. This is why we use the phrase saved or lost!

Being saved is made to have peace with God!

Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Notice these things take place only by the “precious Blood of Jesus Christ”.

The sin of all people requires the blood of our Savior before it could be eliminated from all people. The only thing lacking was that this thing must be believed on by those who are seeking salvation!

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

And who is this Savior?

*****Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

This Savior is also our Creator!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the express image of His Father.

Note this is not in appearance but in actions! It is only the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ who has the divine nature of God, because they are one and the same person!

He is the first begotten of all creatures because He existed before the Cosmos was created.

Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

It was totally necessary for our Redeemer to be 100% God and 100% man that He could mediate between God and mankind!
It was necessary for God to fulfill all His prophecies.
It was necessary to redeem us from all sin.
It was necessary to conquer Satan’s pride.
It was necessary to reconcile all humans to God and God to all humans.

It would simply require “faith” in all these things to become a reality!

Why did Paul choose his words so carefully here? The truth of Jesus Christ will destroy all false teaching about Christ and God.

As believers we get to see what God is like and God gets to know all actions of the human through personal experience!

In false religion there can be multiple mediators between God and man but , there is only one and that One is Jesus Christ.

God is not some unconcerned and distant God who has moved on into outer space after His creation.
God is not out of touch with this world!
God is a God who is always close at hand.

God has not made it difficult to reach Him and God has even shown us all how to reach Him!

It is by Jesus Christ that we know we have a loving God who cares for us in a personal way!

We also need not be confused when Paul says Jesus was the firstborn of all creatures.

The Son of God is not a created being it means that He existed before all creation.

All creation is the heritage of Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of the Father!

AND, God did not create Himself!

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

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.

Creation owes its praise and honor, worship and service to the Lord Jesus Christ because this earth and all creation exists for its Creator!

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;

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Thank God for this wonderful book we call the Bible, which contains all the Word of God we need to completely know our God who never changes!

Amen

Joy In a Personal Relationship With God

Joy in Right Personal Relationships

Book of Philippians Chapter 4

Having a personal relationship with God is not only a wonderful thing but God requires us to get up close and personal with Him. We sometimes forget that God made His plan of salvation even before He created this earth. There is no secret formula in obtaining this relationship. Just as soon as we realize that we are a sinner in need of a Savior, we are one step away from a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.

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,

Tit_1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

We must take that next step to begin knowing the truth of God and that next step is “Faith”!

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.
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.

As we close out our study in the Book of Philippians we have seen that the main topic has been “Joy” in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ in a very personal way!

*****Php 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

Notice that whenever we are in agreement with the salvation plan of God, we are in agreement with each other and therefore brothers and sisters in the same family of Christ.

The spiritual condition of our church, which is in the Lord, brings comfort when we gather together.

God does not ask to stand fast in anything of this world. All the things of this world are either partial, or they are limited, and they are all certainly temporary.

The only thing permanent is the Lord and the things He has accomplished for our salvation. So, we must persevere in the “Gospel”!

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

It should be obvious that it is only the believer who can be at peace with God and it is only the believer who can have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit!

Anyone who denies the work of the Lord Jesus Christ can never be at peace with God!

The very first step to peace and a growing personal relationship with the Lord is to stand firm in the Word of God.

1Co_15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Obviously putting our tail between our legs and running to hide every time we are confronted about the truth of God is not being stedfast!

Stedfast means to be firmly fixed and established in the truth of God!

God wants us to show peace but God does not want a bunch of wimps!

We must overcome the temptation to surrender to the world. We do this by knowing where our strength will come from. We are to be steadfast “in the Lord”!

When we walk and talk in the Lord our armor will be thick!

Then Paul commends some who made the ministry of Paul such a success.

*****Php 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

It seems that Euodias and Syntyche were to ladies in the church in Philippi that would argue at the drop of a hat and drop their own hat. They had help the Apostle Paul but they had also listened to some false teachers and it had messed them up.

It only takes one false teacher to get into the church to cause problems that can take much time to repair!

Just as with the Lord Jesus Christ, many women of the church had contributed not only financing but time and labor to see that the church was established and the Word of God flowed freely.

Even today it is the godly women of the church who sometimes carry the heaviest of burdens, especially with the children of the church!

We all must be true yokefellow in the work of the church.

The yokefellow is the person who pulls and works and cooperates with those of the church who are also doing the same!

As we have that personal relationship with the Lord that grows, then that personal relationship with all those true yokefellows will grow!

It is these same people of the church who should step up when quarrels begin in the church.

The absolute greatest one event in our life time is to have our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

The next event in our life is to be obedient to all the Word of God!

When we all agree that we live by the Word of truth then there is no arguing and there is no dispute at what God has said.

Minor differences that have nothing to do with salvation and can be solved with sincere and earnest Bible study, should be dismissed for the sake of arguing.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

The greatest method of a personal relationship in the church is to always rejoice in the Lord!

*****Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

When we cannot rejoice in the fact that the Lord has blotted out all our sin and sin no longer exist to be counted against us, then we are surely a sad bunch of people.

When the Lord rejoices over every sinner who is saved and we cannot rejoice ourselves it does not speak well for the Christian!

Joy cannot be defined it must be felt to be known!

Sin brings doom and gloom once it is realized.

To a Christian, doom and gloom should never exist.

In fact, the Lord says we have no reason not to always rejoice in fact, if we listen to the Lord and obey what He says, then we will rejoice and when we are finished we will rejoice again!

If we had one duty to perform in our Christian life, then it would be the duty to “rejoice” over our salvation!

The Lord Jesus Christ was anointed with the “oil of gladness”. To get up close and personal with the Lord is to share in that anointing!

Psa_45:7 Thou lowest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

We are to even to rejoice in our tribulations!

1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The change from our old sinful life and our new “Born Again” should be noticeable to all those who knew us in are old life!

*****Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

There is a song that mentions a “sweet, sweet spirit”. Well the world should look at the Christian and see the “sweet spirit” that rules our lives!

The Christian should have a noticeable gentleness about them but still retain a boldness for the Word of God.

We should not be fooled by predictions of the Lord’s return because the Lord will certainly return but no one can know the day or the hour!

Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

The truth is, most all remaining prophecy deals with the Nation of Israel and the only event that can come before that time that remains is the “Rapture” of the Church.

It is obvious that all signs lead to the soon coming of the Lord and we are fools if we do not believe that the world is ignoring the Word of God and is just going about their sinful ways as if God does not exist, just as it was in the days of Noah who had warned the world of that day for 120 years.

The Lord is certainly at hand.

We must therefore be gentle in our actions but bold in the truth of God as we deal with those who have not heard the Word of God.
We must be gentle in our actions and bold in the truth of God to all those who have heard the Word of God and yet have not come to a decision.
We must be bold in the Word of God to those who continuously reject the Word of God but still retain our Christian gladness when dealing with these.

Remember those who scream the loudest are in the minority, most all others are just confused, not knowing the truth!

We must reach out to the world in obedience to the Lord!

The “Gospel” is the “Good news” and it always will be.

It is “Good News” to know that your sin debt has been paid for!

It is better news to know you name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

We must never worry at what is going on in this world!

*****Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We must never be careless in our actions but we must also be free from anxiety about the things this world will throw at us to distract us from our task which is to be obedient to the Lord’s great commission.

This world continuously does things to distract the Christian including but not limited to persecution!

No matter how great our obstacles and no matter how small our obstacles we need to take them to the Lord in prayer.

The only workable answer to the trials and the temptations of this world is having the peace of God.

Supplication means to humble yourself before the Living God.

Let’s remember King Hezekiah:

2Ch_34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.

There are many ways to go the Lord but to be humble is the absolute best and not only thank the Lord for what He has already done but we need to thank the Lord for what He is about to do.

If you do not have “faith” that God will answer your prayer then why pray and to thank the Lord for that answer even before you get that answer is a great show of “faith”!

The answer to every question that we have is the Lord Jesus Christ. The only answer to worry and anxiety is to receive an injection of “Supernatural Power” from above!

We must always remember worry and anxiety show a distrust in the Lord. It’s like saying the promises of God are not real.

We must clearly understand that without “faith” we simply cannot please God.

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

When we do all these things right then we will be at peace and nothing in this world can rob us of that peace!

We must first have peace with God!

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

We can then have the peace of God!

1Th_5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the peace that will keep our hearts and minds but it can only come by the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must let the peace of God rule in our hearts to avoid the pitfalls of this world that cause us and keep unity in the Church.

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.
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.
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.

So many places of worship have lost the power of God just because the peace of God no longer rule in their hearts and has been replaced by the cares of this world!

We must cling to the truth of God with both hands and with all our heart, our mind and our soul!

*****Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The truth is peace of mind can only come through positive thinking!

1) We must be free from lying. Lying is an attempt to deceive. Lying is contrary to the nature of God because God is truth Himself!

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.

Lying is also contrary to our new nature!

Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Our integrity as a Christian must be protected in all our actions!

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;

2) We must be honest in all our transactions!

2Co 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

3) To be just is to do right not only before God but before mankind. To be just in the eyes of God is to do our little part to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a mind of good and righteous thoughts.

Isa 26:7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.

4) To be pure, is to be free from the pollutions of this world and moral in every thought. After all our goal is to be like Christ Jesus!

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

5) To be lovely, is to build people up and not ever to tear them down. It also showing loving kindness to all people.

1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

6) Things of good report are those things that are according to the Word of God. Anything that goes against the Word of God is then evil.

1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

7) Virtue is moral goodness. Abstaining from even the appearance of doing evil. Virtue has the meaning of excellence.

2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

8) The truth of all these things is, that we are not to do these things for the opportunity of seeking praise from others but it is right to praise things that are done according to the Word of God!

We can have peace with God when we understand we are to act according to His principles and the goal of all these things is to reach a higher end.

Paul is saying that these are the things that have kept him going all his years since coming to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and His God.

We must clearly understand that as we absorb the Word of God we must make application of God’s Word to our lives, again not for praise but just because we love the Lord.

We must take self totally out of this picture and it will be replaced with the peace of God that defies understanding by those who reject the Lord.

The God of Peace becomes the Lord of our soul!

Paul then changes the subject, having made his point to the Church!

*****Php 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

What happens when a Church thinks right, acts right, and loves right? They become a mission minded Church!

We can see that there was a time when this church was not thinking right.

Today the modern-day church is not as mission minded because they are too busy becoming political correct. They do not think right, nor act right nor love right and the support of missions has ceased.

Can you just imagine the results if the mega churches of this world would tithe a tenth of their donations to the mission field today? This would encourage the members to also give.

This church in Philippi who had first supported the Apostle Paul had ceased but now had been revived and began again to support this missionary and church planter.

Notice also that during that time when this church had dropped their support of Paul, the Lord had still met his needs.

Paul rejoiced in the Lord not because he was receiving that support but because they had reach this point of thinking the right way again. They had taken their eyes back off the world and focused on the Lord Jesus Christ!

What was important for Paul should also be important for each believer. We must learn that no matter what state we are in we must be content with what the Lord has provided!

God promised to meet our needs. God did not promise to make us rich.

When we are thinking right we will be content with what the Lord has provided!

1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

We should also remember that God will sometimes give us an abundance, to see if we will take that opportunity to further the Gospel.

What is still the most important gift that the Lord has given us?

Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

We have the Holy Spirit who lives within us to seal us from evil.

We have the Spirit of Jesus who lives within us to guide us in the ways of the Church.

God is Spirit and He also lives within us to teach us all things.

Paul knew all these things!

*****Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

One of the most important things that we need to know as Christians is, how to be abased. Abased means to be humble. If we cannot humble ourselves before Jesus Christ, then we will never know salvation.

In Paul’s case, it also meant humiliation. As we live in this world today we can see that this world is trying its best to cause humiliation to all Christians by pointing out the acts of so-called Christians!

The next important lesson for us in this world is to learn how to abound. To abound, is expressing contentment and confidence in our Savior and our God!

The Word of God has instructions for us when we are full but more important we can find the tools we need for our hunger.
The Word of God will teach us how to abound but the Lord will never leave us in our time of need!

There is nothing we cannot overcome through the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is only after we learn these valuable lessons that we can be of help to others!

Do you realize when Jesus Christ is our strength we can even fulfill all the will of God but without Him be will only fail.

Jesus Christ is not only our strength but He is our durability!

Jesus Christ is our strength to do all things but He is also our strength to suffer all things!

Having the strength of Christ will not make us gods or make us any better than anyone else.

We will never be anything on this earth but sinners saved by the “Grace” of God.

We must always be conscious of our own weakness before the Lord will share His strength with us!

If the Lord calls us into His work, He will provide the means for His work to be accomplished!

Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

The truth is when we understand the will of God for our own lives we will certainly not forget others who are fulfilling the will of God with their own lives!

*****Php 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
Php 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Php 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Php 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

When we have fellowship with each other we can also have fellowship with the afflictions of each other!

The truth is, God expects us to conquer to all our difficulties through the strength of Jesus Christ.

It is a fact though some Pastors are taken care of by their Church, the biggest part of the churches of today do not meet the needs of their Pastor.

It is also a fact that most all missionaries never have all the things they need for the work of the Lord but God has taught them to be content with the things that they do have.

The greatest gift of the Christian is the fact that we have the Lord living within us!

It is this personal relationship with the Lord that allows us to accomplish the work that we are able to accomplish!

We should also be aware that Paul had great concern for the poverty of these wonderful children of God in this church at Philippi.

We see a Pastor must always be aware of all the people of his flock.

It is wrong to expect people to give and neglect their own needs and the needs of their families. God has set the standard for giving and that is between them and God.

An offering comes from our abundance. When there is an abundance it will because God has blessed with extra.

This church had done well that they had communicated with the afflictions of the Apostle Paul!

We should have no problem seeing that God will bless those who support the furthering of the “Gospel”.
We should have no problem seeing that God will bless those who have that close personal relationship with the Lord!

This does not mean that Paul teaches a prosperity Gospel!

This little church had a heart for missions!

When we make a commitment to support a missionary then we should continue that support. It hurt Paul than none of the other churches had such a heart for missions as did the church in Philippi.

God can do the job without our support but He will certainly bless those that give, even sometimes when it hurts a little!

Even when Paul was trying to establish a church in another foreign land, the church at Philippi continued to support the Apostle Paul.

Paul was moving forward but he did have a lack to meet his personal need.

Notice what Paul says here.

The fruit that came from the Church at Thessalonica was not only fruit added to the heavenly account of the Apostle Paul but also to the account of the church in Philippi.

Heavenly rewards are given to all those who support the furthering of the “Gospel”!

If we have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ we will still be supporting the missions of the Apostle Paul today!

*****Php 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Php 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The truth of sacrificial giving is that it is a sacrifice to the Lord. When we support our missionaries and even our Pastor we are actually giving directly to the Lord.

God will certainly repay with rewards in Heaven but each of have needs that only the Lord knows and He will meet those needs also.

The Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to meet our need of being reconciled to God surely, we can sacrifice some things to further the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

These people had more than met the needs of the Apostle Paul and these things are pleasing to God.

Heb 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

What is one of the great promises God makes to each believer? God will supply “all” our need by Jesus Christ and our greatest need was salvation!

Notice that the need is not specific because we all have different needs.

These needs do not just refer to physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter but also to emotional, mental, social, spiritual needs!

Any need that arises is the need that the Lord can and will provide!

God has unlimited resource in all things!

2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

2Co 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

And Paul says goodbye.

*****Php 4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
Php 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
Php 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

You know maybe the worst thing we do to each brother and sister in Christ, we do not show them how much we appreciate them.

The very people we will spend eternity with we sometimes ignore. I must preach to myself on this one especially.

I don’t know what life will be like in the New Heaven but I already know we will still know each other.

1Co_13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The greatest thing of Heaven will of course be the Lord.

The next may be that there will be no sin at all.

But surely ranking high will be that we will truly know each other without the obstacles that cause so many problems in this world.

We all be perfect just as our Savior!

1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Heaven will be more than wonderful!

But we need to wrap our minds around the fact that we had to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ upon this earth before we could have that personal relationship with all the Saints of God in the New Heaven!

There will be no discrimination nor favoritism in Heaven so why do we allow these things to interfere with our relationship now?

The government of Rome was hated by most the nations where they dominated and Paul made these Philippian saints aware that there would be some saints from that government. They had become the children of God.

Even these who had ruled and had exalted themselves above the other nations had humbled themselves in the sight of God and been saved.

Now even the lowest of saints was equal to the highest of saints.

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

As by the “Grace” of the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved we need to show that same “Grace” to all our brothers and sisters in Christ and use that same “Grace” to open the doors of conversation to those who are lost!

Php 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember, Grace is the unmerited favor of God!

Amen

The High Calling of God

Joy in the High Calling of God

Book of Philippians 3:1-21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scriptures put it like this:

1Jn_2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

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

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

This describes those who dividing our nation today!

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

It is always good to review the facts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus was just repeating what this woman clearly understood.

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

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

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

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

Remember what else Jesus said?

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

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

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

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

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

So, Paul adds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadly, the Jews have never accepted this truth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most of our world suffers from self-righteousness!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should clearly understand there should be a change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To gain is to obtain an increase in anything.

What does God say?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did Jesus describe the Kingdom of Heaven?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does the Bible describe faith?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord Jesus Christ is a complete Savior!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who are these that have been justified?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was Paul’s example?

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

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

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

Jesus Christ must remain as our example of perfection!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The result is that they will be destroyed!

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

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

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

Who are the enemies of the Cross?

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

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

We were all the enemies of Christ at one time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9) Their god is the god of their belly!

The truth is they will glory in their own shame!

Their conversations are never about Heaven!

The true believer is just the opposite!

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

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

Heaven is our home. Our citizenship is in Heaven!

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

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

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

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

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

What did Jesus say to the Apostles?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen!

Holding the Word of Life

Joy in Holding Forth the Word of Life

Book of Philippians 2:14-30

We finished up in our last lesson understanding that to be saved, is to have God come to live within us!

2Co_6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

We are to understand that as believers we must work out our own salvation with the Lord. We must get up close and personal with our Savior.

What the lost world does not understand is that God takes great pleasure in this relationship!

Last week we ended with this Scripture:

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We all have something we can do for the Lord and if we listen to Him, He will point this thing out to us.

We are always to do our best to follow the Word of God in everything we do and this same Word already gives us plenty of things to do to keep is busy.

The very first thing that we need to concentrate on after the Lord saves us, is obedience!

When the Body of Christ refuse to obey even the basics of the Scriptures, then they will break fellowship with the Holy Spirit!

Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

If we grieve the Holy Spirit enough we will certainly “quench” the work He will do within us!

1Th_5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

When we ignore and reject any part of the Word of God, we will live a life full of problems. Too much God to be satisfied in the world and too little God to be of use in the Church!

So, let’s continue:

*****Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Obeying the Word of God must be willful and cheerful! To murmur is questioning the truth of God and doubting God’s conclusions!

When we ask the Lord Jesus to come into our hearts and save us, we are saying, “I trust the Word of God to be true and my salvation to be real”

The next step is “repentance”. Which means we turn away from the things of this world and turn toward the truth of God!

To turn around and reject that truth is then to question your salvation! The Lord is very patient and He will go with us in every step but we must freely choose to go with Him!

Psa 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

These are some of the most important words in all the Scriptures!

It is the Word of God that will light our pathway until the Lord returns to take us home!

So many today are turning away from the Word of God, or rewriting it to suit their own lifestyles, that disputings have entered into the Body of Christ and denominations are even dividing amongst themselves, debating who is right and they have forgotten that God is always right!

Disputings are outright arguments over the truth of the Scriptures!

We must be clear, God said what He meant and God meant what He said! God does not change from one season to the next, He is always the same!

To allow the world to freely take over the Church and dispute the Word of God, has made the Church powerless in our day and time!

When we accept that all Scripture is the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God, then who are we to question what God has said?

As the Body of Christ, God says to not allow these things to go on when we gather together!
These that do such things must be quiet or leave and there will be no disputing the Word of God!

God is not the author of confusion, so murmurings and disputes are not of God!

1Co_14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

No one has the right to further interpret what God says!

2Pe_1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

When we obey God in this thing, God will hold us blameless and harmless when the Lord returns to take us home.

If you remain a slave to sin, it will cause you to murmur but a true son or daughter of God will not question the Heavenly Father in anything!

All those who are working for the Father, are actually working for themselves and not for this crooked world!

Murmur and disputing usually comes when pride makes one feel more superior than another and this is another thing that has blanketed our world today.

The vile disease of these things spring from an evil and jealous mind and it usually instigated by things outside the Church.

God said we are farmers to plant the seed of God and only some will make it to the good soil but every farmer will weed where he plants his crop.

We must weed out corruption in our Churches!

A body of believers who are not peculiar to this world, will certainly not shine in this world because to act like the world is to be seen just like the world!

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:

We must hold forth the Word of Life!

*****Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

There is nothing burdensome in the Word of God! There are only Heaven’s rewards for being obedient to God!

Do not get caught up in the foolishness of who the God of the Bible is. The God of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

We need to understand that so-called Christians who are inconsistent in the Scriptures have caused more damage to Christianity than anything else in the world and all those who do such things will suffer the “judgment” of God!

Most of those sitting in the pews today, think that only the pastor or a few elders of the Church have a ministry but the truth is we all have a ministry!

We are all to “hold forth the word of life”!

We are to offer it in hope of acceptance by all that hear the Word of Life.

How can we be content Christians if we are not willing to tell others about the wonderful words of life provided by the Lord Jesus Christ and His Father and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The lost of this world have nowhere else to go to find the truth! When we refuse to witness for Jesus how will they ever know God called them? Not all or maybe not even many will respond but that is between them and God but some will!

Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Joh 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Joh 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

The Apostle Paul knew that the Lord would recognize him for what he had accomplished but we are no different. God will recognize all His children for what they have accomplished (after) they came to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.

That recognition will come when the Lord comes to take us home. This day is known as the “Judgment Seat of Christ”. Only Christians will be there this day and it is a judgment for rewards and not for salvation!

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

So how can we hold onto the Word of Life and not tell others?

God simply wants us to know that our labor for Him will not be in vain. If we look back on our past and do not see rewards ahead, as long as we are living and breathing God will provide opportunities for those rewards.

God wants to give us His rewards!

I believe this is God’s favorite pastime, putting up rewards for us in Heaven.

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

The Lord Jesus would not say this if it were not true!

When Paul says “run” here, he is referring to “effort”. We must put forth the effort to get into the army of God, while still remembering we are also to be “fishers of men”!

If we reach just one, that will be more than none and that one could go forth to tell others but our goal should be to reach out to more than one!

No labor for the Lord will go unnoticed in Heaven!

The “Gospel” message is the Word of Life!

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:

There are great differences in life and death and there are great differences in eternal life and eternal death!

*****Php 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
Php 2:18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

Paul continues to show the differences in true life and true death.

To the Apostle Paul, this gathering of believers in Philippi were his offering acceptable to God. It had been Paul who had planted this Church.

In the days of the Levitical Priesthood once a sacrifice was placed on the alter, then “grape juice”(wine), a drink offering was poured around the alter.

Wine and blood were made for heathen gods and Jehovah would never had done the same!

Psa 16:4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

Paul was expressing the fact that he looked forward to being a martyr for the Lord. He knew he would suffer and die for the cause of Christ but we are saved by the blood of Jesus and not by the blood of Paul.

As these of the Church at Philippi were a sacrifice of “faith” to the Lord, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, Paul could be as that drink-offering that was pour out around the alter.

Rom 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Rom 15:17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

It is the things that pertain to God that must hold the most importance in our lives!

Paul’s death would not be a shedding of blood but a sacrifice for the cause of Christ and a furtherance of the Gospel.

It’s not so important to remember where we came from, though to look back on occasion is not always a bad thing, but is real important to know where we are going.

When you know, that you know, that you know, you can have personal joy and rejoice with all the Church. Paul knew this was true for him and he also knew this was true for this body of believers. They had proved their faith!

When we know that Heaven is our eternal home, we can rejoice with all those who know the same.

When we give ourselves into the service of the Lord, then it could mean that we may even have to give our life of this body of flesh but this flesh is going to die at some time.

Heb_9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

But as the “Born Again” children of God the death of this flesh can have only one meaning.

2Co_5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Remember how we began:

Php_2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

When we have worked out our salvation and have that personal relationship with the Lord, we will have that desire to be with Him and this desire will increase as we get older but the Lord has a real need for us to remain here until He takes us home!

Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

As long as our Lord is so full of compassion for the lost, we must share with Him in His compassion, making it our own compassion for the lost.

We must hold forth the joy of our Christian life and our “faith” in Jesus Christ is the key to Christian fellowship.

*****Php 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

This Timotheus is the same Timothy we are familiar with. Still a young preacher boy at this time but approaching the time when he will take a church.

We know that Timothy was later ordained to become a Pastor and Church planter.

1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

We also know that Timothy also spent some time in the Roman jail, just for preaching the Word of God.

Heb 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.

It is believed that Timothy finished in Ephesus and became a martyr in the cause of Jesus Christ.

Why did Paul send Timothy to Philippi?

1) To carry the “good news” from the Apostle Paul.
2) That he could preach and be a “Spiritual” blessing to them.
3) Then bring the “good news” of their “faith” back to the Apostle Paul.

Timothy may have suffered along with the Apostle Paul and he could tell so many things and so many stories of how God had shown His “Grace” and “Mercy” to the missionaries that he was certainly a blessing to hear!

We must forget, nothing could stop the Apostle Paul from his calling except the Lord but sometimes it is truly a comfort to know who is standing with you!

We also know that we are to work out our own salvation but it certainly can help to have some young fired up man of God such as Timothy to help us with these things.

This is what we have here at Gethsemane.

As we work out our own personal relationship with the Lord we have a fired-up Pastor who preaches the truth and it makes things so much better, even easier to know what is expected from our Christian life!

3Jn 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

What was the greatest truth of Timothy? He was for real!

*****Php 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
Php 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
Php 2:22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

When you cannot see things with your own eyes, then it is best to send someone who thinks in the same ways as you do.

Many say that Timothy was so much like Paul that except for appearance, you could not tell them apart.

We also notice that Timothy willingly served in second place to Paul!

Paul was a church planter but He had the heart of a Pastor. Timothy also had the heart of a Pastor.

The greatest difference of the Pastor and the Evangelist and the missionary is, that the Pastor knows God has given him a certain flock to take care of until He returns.

Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors “according to mine heart”, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

We are all to be missionaries in our own place and then there are those God has called to leave their homes and be missionaries to the world.

Evangelist carry the same “Gospel” to the Church but have not been given the responsibilities of the Pastor.

Sometimes these things can change according to the leading of Holy Spirit.

As Paul’s thoughts were caught up in a bit of sorrow, he had a great desire to know about the churches he had planted and how they were growing in the “Gospel”.

Paul had always traveled with many godly men and had much help with him at all times but most of those did now have the heart of a Pastor.

This young Pastor Timothy not only had the heart of a Pastor, he had the heart of Paul. He had become Paul’s most trusted friend and this was certainly not to say those others with Paul were not good men as they were.

Think about if you had a task that you thought only you could do but you were in bondage, how hard would it be to look out amongst those of your Christian friends and choose the one who do the same as you in every situation. It could get very hard to choose the right person.

Timothy was that person for Paul.

We should remember that when the Lord was in His passion, He also craved to have such a friend but He had been abandoned by all His friends.

We must all understand that in our calling from the Lord we are all not suited for every mission. Timothy was the one that met what Paul thought to have the qualifications for this special mission.

What is it to care? Timothy was not without carefulness. He was vigilant in guarding against evil and providing for the safety of the church. Things he had learned from Paul. It also seems that this young man had a fear of the Lord much greater that the fear of men!

The thing Paul was most assured of is that Timothy would do the task Paul had given to him and he would then return with what Paul was seeking, whatever it was. If this church was lacking in anything of the Lord. Timothy would provide that also!

1Co 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

Timothy was willing to lay down his own life for the Church of Jesus Christ!

*****Php 2:23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
Php 2:24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

It is probable that Paul had defended himself before the high court of Rome at this time and was waiting on the outcome of the Roman legal process. We already know that Paul was an innocent man have only been locked up for false charges of Judaizers.

It was easy for Paul to prove his Roman citizenship so this was not an issue.

Paul was a mighty man of God but he could not foresee his own future.

Paul’s thoughts were not on these things because his thoughts were always on the “Church” the “Body of Christ”.

Since it is evident that Paul did not travel with Timothy we can be certain of only two things.

1) Paul found that he would not be released at this time.
2) Or, Paul found that he was scheduled for execution.

Paul’s faith did not allow him to linger on these things.

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.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Paul and Timothy were bound together in all these things as Paul was in bondage to Rome but also to his circumstances that only God had total control over!

Paul also knew that there is never a good time to quit on God!

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

We see that Paul was certainly not alone at this time.

*****Php 2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
Php 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
Php 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Epaphroditus was an elder of the Church in Philippi who had traveled to Rome to assist the Apostle Paul in any way that he could. In fact, he had work so hard at this, that it had affected his health and this thing had been heard back in his home church.

Notice again the powers of an Apostle were never to be used for private matters but only for public matters in connection with the “Gospel”.

It is a fact that those who preach the Cross of our Lord must also bear the cross of our Lord.

Luk_9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

The words of the Lord do not ever change!

Once Epaphroditus knew his brothers and sisters in Christ had heard of his sickness, he knew they would also be more worried about him then they needed to be.

Once we place our life in the hands of God we are certainly at the “Mercy” of God. We should keep this thought in mind, “God does not begin a work and then suddenly quit until His will has been accomplished.

We should understand the thoughts of Paul.

Epaphroditus was of a great value to Paul. He had been a complete man of God and Paul did not want to harm his Christian testimony in any way.

Paul did not want this brother to be seen as a quitter. He was a fellow soldier. We have many problems in Christianity and one of those is we will leave our fellow soldiers on the battlefield without our help.

Paul, even not knowing his own outcome, was still concerned for the Body of Christ!

The Church in Philippi would not be the same until they could see the face of their brother Epaphroditus!

He would never forsake Paul.
He would never forsake his own church.
He would never forsake the Lord Jesus Christ

*****Php 2:28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
Php 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
Php 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

Many of us serve in the cause of Christ but not everyone is a true “fellow laborer” or “fellow soldier”!

What is the truth of a soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ? We know who the true enemy is and we concentrate on his demise!

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 must endure some things to continue in this battle.

2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldiers.

These are the thoughts of Paul and Epaphroditus was such a soldier and these Philippians should treat him as such.

We must honor those who survive the battles with evil and go on to serve another day! We honor them when we accept them for who they are in the work of the Lord.

We are all in the battle but the battle is the Lord’s!

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1Th 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

There is great joy in holding forth the Word of Life but we stay in the battle till the Lord comes!

When Paul was on the road these Philippians had supplied the needs of Paul so that he could be in places like Corinth where Paul refused any help.

Epaphroditus had not only ministered to Paul in spiritual needs but he had worked and anything else that he could do to supply Paul’s physical needs.

We already know of human necessities but the supplies of writing material and other things probably came by this brother soldier.

Paul expressed that he had been completely satisfied with what this brother had been able to do.

We should never tear down our brothers and sister in Christ but rather build them up!

We should always remember these words of Jesus as we deal with one another in Christ:

Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Sometimes we are more concerned for our own welfare rather than the welfare of the Church!

Amen

Having the Mind of Christ

Joy in Having the Mind of Christ

Book of Philippians 2:1-13

We must understand that before we met the Lord Jesus Christ our minds were depraved.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Our minds were blinded by the lies of Satan.

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Our minds were dark and actually worthless and ignorant.

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Finding the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ has changed these things for each and every believer!

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is this change that allows us to know the truth of God and show Him the love that He deserves from us!

It is this change that allows us to love ourselves and show that love to others!

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.

There is truly a great love within the renewed mind of the Christian!

*****Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Unity is the state of being one!

The modern-day Church is stumbling along like a feeble old man because the Church has forgotten why the Lord Jesus Christ established the Church!

The Lord Jesus Christ has removed the penalty of sin from all believers and many act like they can now do as they please making them no different from this world who live by doing what they please!

What is wrong with our world today, especially that young generation who are misled by fools?

Pro_30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

We live in that generation today!

God is not pleased with this generation at all!

Isa_5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

These are hard things to say but the truth can be harsh to those who can see no further than their own nose and who listen to those who are trying to make them irrelevant to society and pretty much have done this now!

Whenever young minds are corrupted, there will be a corresponding outward show of corruption and this is a fact!

We cannot judge the evilness of those who are lost but when it reflects in the Church we can certainly see the outcome!

A nation divided will cause the church to be divided, when it is the job of the Church to cause unity!

If we truly love Christ, if are comforted by His love, if we have fellowship in the Holy Spirit, and love abounds, then why do we allow this world to divide our congregations? There is too much of the world getting inside the Church!

The strength of the Church is in unity! We are not to condone those who are unruly!
We are to warn them and then cast them out if they cannot change their ways! We are never to accept their doctrine!

1Th_5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, “warn them that are unruly”, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1Co_5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The dividing of the Church must cease!

The church does not exist to impress the world!
The church exists to lead lost souls to Christ Jesus and be a force of good to hold back the evil of this world!

We fulfill the will of the Lord God Jehovah, when we are likeminded toward the truth of God and not the false lies of this world.

This Philippian church was a strong church. A strong church has a vision to carry forth the Gospel.

There should never be a vision of adapting to this world!

The Lord Jesus Christ never condemned anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ truly pointed out the only way to get to Heaven!

Everyone can live as they wish but they must understand there are consequences for doing so!

It is the fool who expects God to bend His own rules to accommodate those who go their own way ignoring the truth of God!

God has never allowed sin to remain in His house. God has never changed the rules to be there!

Jesus Christ wants no murmuring, no grumbling, no disturbance and no disunity in the church that bears His name.

All other places of so-called worship, are just gatherings of people who do as they wish and give the title “church” a bad name!

We can grow close together only when we let the comfort of Jesus Christ dwell within us! The comforter is the Holy Spirit, not some imaginary world view!

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.

How did the church begin? The church separated itself from the world!

Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Today the church has allowed the world to enter into the church and so goes the power of the church! Weak, and feeble, and for the most part irrelevant in today’s world!

The Church can only be strong when we are all in unity but that unity must be in the unchangeable Word of God.

Unity can only begin when we are in harmony with God! (this unity comes only by Jesus Christ)

Anything else will cause strife in the church!

*****Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. It is only by Jesus Christ we can be at harmony with God!
Those that say differently have rejected the Word of God or rewritten the Word of God to suit themselves!
When the words of Jesus have been rejected then that group is no longer a church!

If we see that anything is causing strife in the church, then we must get rid of it at all cost! The church must remain in unity!

We of the church must do nothing that will cause contention! When we see contention, we must stop it or remove it, even if it means removing that person or persons!

If we see those who seek their own vain glory then we need to remove that person.
Jesus Christ is the God of the Church and there is no glory beyond the “Glory of God”, all else is certainly vain!

We attend church first to praise God and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
The Lord does not share His glory in the worship service, He only allows us to witness it!

We all know our own evil so it only makes sense to esteem all others better than we are!

Lowliness of mind is the freedom from “pride”!

Those so full of pride are not seeking God at all, they are seeking acceptance of their own evil!

Psa_10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psa_59:12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

Today we have the gay community seeking vainglory for themselves in the church and they have no intention of being obedient to the Word of God. There plan to deny being “Born Again” making the new birth irrelevent!

Vain glory is the exact opposite of the “Love of God”!

Many so-called churches have forgotten these things. They have rejected Jesus Christ. They have rejected the Word of God. They have rejected the only way to Heaven and they are leading their congregation to the doorway of Hell and they will shove them through that door, laughing all the way. (Which is Satan’s intent)

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The Lord has saved us as servants not His servants but servants to each other!

*****Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

We that know the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way, are only a cog in the wheel of the “Gospel” and in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Those lost souls are too valuable to God for anyone to concentrate on their own selves.

Every believer is needed, which means that the main requirement is to be a “believer” in all the Word of God!

To be a believer means we must give the credit of our salvation to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we cannot submit ourselves to the Lord and walk in humility and lowliness, we will be of no use to the Lord!

The Lord does not teach us to seek anything from this world. We are to seek rest for our souls!

Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

That yoke of the Lord, is the Word of God and the work that Christ has given us to do!

It is a fact that self-centeredness weakens relationships and also achievements. Humility requires courage to overcome our self-centeredness!

We must forget ourselves and look toward Jesus!

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.

The church is faltering because our minds are on satisfying the world and not satisfying the Lord!

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

Why do we falter and fail every day? We do not allow the example that Christ set upon this earth to be our example in the building up of the Church!

We simply cannot separate the mysteries of the Lord’s Person and His work from the greatness of His example for us to follow!

Jesus Christ was the very picture of humility.

The world may still try to reject it, but God humbled Himself and became a man just so He could be the substitute for our death!

Jesus Christ died for each and every sinner.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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:

This is not the action God requires of each of us but it is the “mind”. In a sense, the mind is the “spiritual part of man’s nature”.

The mind that cannot see the works of Christ for salvation, will never be at rest.

Isa_26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Rom_8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

You see it was in the mind of God who designed His salvation plan. He placed this plan in the mind if Jesus, who has placed this plan in the mind of each believer!

God did not place this plan “among us”, He placed this plan “within us” when He seals each believer with the Holy Spirit!

Eph_1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Those that reject any part of the plan of God, or His Son cannot have the mind of Christ!

Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The “mind” of Christ is centered on the “will” of God and the fulfillment of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation!

All the Scriptures were written for and about the Lord Jesus Christ!

Psa 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Psa 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

We must accept what God is saying here to have any part of the Church and why not, the truth will always be the truth!

*****Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We should settle this one thing in our mind! Jesus Christ was not a Theophany such described as in the Old Testament!

A Theophany is a visible manifestation of God or the visible manifestation of Second person of the Holy Trinity who appears in human form.

1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

God only truly revealed Himself in Christ Jesus!

Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

When it came to the New Covenant, God exercised His divine attributes of the Father, The Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)!

1) God has revealed Himself through the Scriptures:

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.

2) God has revealed Himself through and by, the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Son of God is truly the visible form of God!

He is as glorious as His Father.
He is equal to His Father in every way.
He is the Creator.
He is the upholder of the universe.

Being equal with God did not hinder Christ setting aside His power, His majesty, His praise, His accomplishments but not His divine nature, not His divine person, not His purity, nor His holiness.

In turn, the Lord Jesus Christ has introduced all the world to our Heavenly Father, our Abba Father

Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

This Scripture is not about the “Glory” of God!
This Scripture is about the humbleness of our God!
It brought no shame to our God to set some things aside and come to us to be our substitute in the payment of our own sin debt.

This is the thought behind these Scriptures!

Jesus Christ is the very nature of God!

He was not like God, He is God!
He did not just achieve righteousness, He is the embodiment of righteousness!
He did not just walk more perfect than any man, He is the picture of perfection!
He did not just become God when He was on this earth, He has been God throughout all eternity and He will continue to always be God!

As these Scriptures teach us humility, God set aside His sovereign state and His praise to live amongst His enemies!

We have no means to measure just what God gave up to live as a human but when we read the things that happened to Him in His “passion”, where He was beat on, whipped, spat on, the crown of thorns, the plucking of the beard, the nails, the cross, it puts things in perspective.

God cannot cease to be who He is, so to be so humble to these things shows more power that we can ever know or realize!

God the Son became a man, without ceasing to be God!

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

What was the great mystery of the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

There are no more mysteries of Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father and the salvation plan of God!

There are no more mysteries in all the Scriptures! We have the complete package and the complete truth!

God’s humility did not stop at being a man, God humbled Himself all the way to the cross!

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.

To say the God humbled Himself to endure the cross is a giant statement.
To say that God despised the shame of the cross is even a greater statement showing His great love for us all!

We can only ask ourselves, why are we so special to our Father in Heaven!

The Lord Jesus Christ, the manifestation of God in the flesh, willing gave His life so that we can live eternally with Him in the New Heaven.

Jesus Christ humbled Himself to be a servant to mankind and suffered the ultimate degree of humiliation!

It was not just a man that was hung of that cross, “it was ugly nasty sin”!
With outstretched arms Jesus Christ gathered all the sin of the world, from the past and from the future, my sin and your sin and took it to Hell where it belongs and left it there to rot!

So we can only be a Christian when we allow the humility of Jesus flow in and through us!

This is the “Mind of Christ” (the humbleness of Christ), that we must possess as we serve our brothers and sisters and reach out to the lost of this world.

***All those that reject the Lord Jesus and this truth will see the wrath of God because they have rejected the humility of God!

Why is Christ so exalted in this world and yet so hated by those who reject Him?

*****Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Because the Lord Jesus Christ volunteered for this humiliation and because He was in total obedience to His Father in Heaven, He has been exalted above any human upon this earth now, has ever been and will ever be!

God emptied Himself of His glory to gain even more glory so He could come with comfort to a world full of suffering!

God emptied Himself of divine dignity and this points to our duty to overcome our pride and give in to humility.

Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

BUT, as the Father cannot be without the Son, the Son cannot be without the Father. (Son of God and Son of Man)

The name Jesus means “Savior”!

We need to be saved from sin’s penalty.(the wages of sin are death, eternal separation from our Creator)
We need to be saved from sin’s guilt. (in the conscience, the threat of punishment can be worse than the punishment)
We need to be saved from sin’ power. (Cleansed from the past and protected from the future!)

Jesus Christ came to save!

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

To we as Christians, Christ Jesus is loved and reverenced.
To much of this world, Christ Jesus is admired and wondered at.
To most of this world, Christ Jesus is despised and hated.

In the end, every knee will bow just at the name of Jesus, which will still be “Savior”!

1) All the things in Heaven! Everything in Heaven know that Jesus is the Messiah, God in the flesh.
2) All the things in Earth! When the Lord returns everyone on earth will know that Jesus is the Messiah, God in the flesh.
3) All the things under the earth! Everyone in Hell now know the Jesus is the Messiah, God in the flesh.

I do not believe anyone is left out here.

When the name “Savior” is mentioned the entire world knows who this refers to!

When the phrase “The Book” is mentioned around this world everyone knows what this refers to!

Here the Unitarian Church are in error.
Here the Catholic Church are in error with the Virgin Mary who was the chosen vessel of God but still not Divine as the Son.

The greatness of the name of Jesus is that He stands alone in the salvation plan of God!

There is not a human being, including Mary the mother of Christ, that is not in need of our Saviors work!

There is still coming the day when all the world, all denominations, and all false religion, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus Christ is God in His fleshy state! Jesus Christ is the meaning of Light, Life, and Love above all humans and above all angels!

For all the doubters of that day, Jesus Christ rose from the dead to prove He was God!
For all believers witnessed the fact that the Lord ascended back to Heaven where the Savior has become the Intercessor for those who love Him.
For all those who trust in the promises of God are now filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ sent from above.

It is Jesus Himself that teaches us not to be troubled about any of these things because they are all true, Jesus Christ is God!

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

We are not to be ashamed of the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are not to fear what this world can do to us; this world cannot take away our salvation!

And Paul adds even more assurance.

*****Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

To work out our own salvation means to work until the finish, to work until completion, to work until perfection.

There is no half-way plan of salvation, we must be personally active, remembering this activity is centered on our own salvation!

We cannot take bits and pieces from the Word of God we must accept the whole counsel of God!

We must do the work of God when we are with other Christians but we must also do the same when we are out on our own!

We are never to quit being a Christian in any given situation!

Salvation is the free, “yes I said the FREE” gift of God but a gift must be accepted to be gift!

We have a Savior who is self-existing and it is impossible for Him to come under the control of anything foreign to His existence!

When accept the “free gift of salvation” from our Living God it becomes our own salvation plan! No one else can work out our plan for us but us!

Once God has saved us, we must first get busy obeying God! (This does not mean works after salvation to keep salvation)(This simply means we must get busy obeying the Word of God!)

This is not works. Works are never involved in the salvation plan of God, we cannot do enough work to be saved and there is no work required after salvation.

Obedience will come because of love and a desire to be like our Savior!

We will remain in this sinful flesh but we are to have new goals and a new purpose and always be in pursuit of the “will of God”!

God does not interfere with the freedom He has given to us! We will always have that freedom of choice!
God does give us example after example of people who have made the wrong choice and suffered the consequences of those choices.

God gives us the standard of Jesus Christ as our mark of excellence to reach for!

We must still understand that even the Christian life will not be a bed of roses but Christian life can still be beautiful and fulfilling and only in the Christian life can we be at peace with God!

We should understand that our flesh is weak but our strength will remain in the Lord.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

It is God alone who goes with us through this Christian life.
It is God alone who works out things for His own good pleasure!

God will never supersede our thoughts but God will always encourage our own efforts.

It is our duty to work out our own salvation. It is God’s duty to see that we get all the help we need!

We certainly need to maintain a certain fear and reverence of the Lord but it will be the trials and temptations of this life that we be our greatest fears!

When we reject the help of the Lord, we will make things hard on our own selves and then hard on those who are around us.

Without the Holy Spirit, these things could cripple our testimony and cause us to be an unreliable witness for the Lord!

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Understanding these things will bring God’s peace to us!

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Joh 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Joh 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

When we feel the Holy Spirit, we need to go with Him at all times!

When we do not feel the presence of the Holy Spirit we need to pray for forgiveness!

Amen

Submitting to Jesus Christ

Joy in Complete Submission to Christ

Book of Philippians 1:18-30

My pastor recently preached a sermon on “Doing My Little Part”. Some examples were:

1) The brick walls. A wall of bricks of any size begins with just one brick. If I do what the Lord has called me today then I can be one of those bricks in the salvation plan of God. That would be my ministry!

2) The Bible. The Bible is the most important Book on the face of this earth but the Bible consist of 66 books and each one of those books has in it the Word of God and the same message from start to finish. We need all 66 books to have the complete message of God. Not bits and pieces.

3) The United States is a great nation. Within the United States there are 50 states. Without every state doing its part how can we say we are united but being united is what makes us a great nation. America is more divided now than at any other time in its history. Most people know what truly caused that division (not slavery), yet those lessons are forgotten. It is a fact that a handful of people cannot dictate the actions of the many without division and then failure. Which is the goal of those who finance this division!

Even the Christian Church is divided because some handful of so-called Christian leaders have chosen to say God has become a liberal and abandoned His truth, when God is neither liberal nor conservative, God is just God and He never changes nor will He ever change from the completed Words He has given us. If God changed every season, how could we trust Him. Which again is the goal of those who push this agenda.

As Christians, all have our little part to do in the salvation plan of God!

It is also a fact that no one can face the wiles of the Devil on their own!

As we ended last week’s lesson the Apostle Paul gave us these words:

Php 1:17 But the other of love, “knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel”.

Paul joined the other 11 Apostles and said, we must defend the “Gospel”, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the “Gospel”?

1) The Gospel is in fact all 66 Books of the Bible.
2) The “Gospels” are in fact the first 4 Books of the New Testament. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
3) The “Gospel” is the history of the birth, the life, the works, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, and the doctrines of Jesus Christ!
4) The “Gospel” is the revelation of the “Grace of God”!
5) The “Gospel” is the salvation plan of God, presented from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21

It is called the Gospel of God. Rom 1:1 (all 66 books)

Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, “separated unto the gospel of God”.

It is called the Gospel of Christ. Rom 1:16 (the four Gospels)

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.

It is called the Gospel of salvation. Eph 1:13 (The works of Jesus Christ and the promises of God)

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, “the gospel of your salvation” in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The truth is we must never allow the circumstances of this world to come into our lives and prevent us from serving the Lord!

Let’s begin:

*****Php 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Paul was in bondage in Rome and he would remain that way for at least two years.

Much of that time was spent chained to a Roman soldier, so Paul could only witness to one man at a time.

We can just imagine that not many Roman guards were easily impressed by anyone such as Paul.

They had one duty and that was to make sure Paul did not escape or it would cause their own death.

We can just imagine how Paul took advantage of this truth because death is a reality for every soldier!

Later Paul was placed under house arrest in his own hired house with no freedom to leave.

Yet even in all these circumstances the “Gospel” was spreading in Rome.

In fact, the talk of the town was the Lord Jesus Christ.

John Bunyan, also in bondage for preaching the “Gospel” said: “I never had in all my life so great an inlet into the Word of God as now. Those Scriptures that I saw nothing in before are made in this place and state to shine upon me. I have seen that here which I am persuaded I shall never in this world be able to express”

In Paul’s case, we know that many who had stayed behind closed doors became bold enough to preach the truth of the “Gospel” more openly.

Paul also expressed a great desire to study all the Scriptures again even after all his years as a missionary.

2Ti_4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

We also know that there were many who were envious of Paul and used this same boldness for evil saying that Paul was locked up for things other than the “Gospel”.

And of course, just as today, there were also many who rose up in dispute of the “Gospel”!

Paul said whether in pretense or the truth, Jesus Christ was the talk of Rome and Paul could rejoice knowing that even under these circumstances he had continued to do the best he could to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, allowing Paul great joy under dire circumstances!

One of the greatest acts of God is to take something that was intended for evil and make something good come out of it.

While in Jerusalem, and many other nations, including Rome, there were many trying to stop the spread of the Gospel, God had a better plan!

The only thing that can stop the “Gospel” is when we quit being witnesses for the Lord, when we rebel against the “Great Commission”!

This brings to mind the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis.

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

God has His way of doing these things!

We also know that Paul, by the Holy Spirit gave us most of his epistles while in bondage in Rome.

It is always our job to speak out the “Grace” of God no matter our circumstances.

We must always rely on the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” because it is the only truth that will lead to salvation, which is reconciling ourselves with our Holy God!

We must refuse to be envious of anyone else, as we all have our own part and God rewards according to how we do our own part and God never compares our work with what others do.

The Lord does not require big ministries but they are ok.
The Lord does not require big names.
The Lord does not require a great following or large numbers.
The Lord only requires faithfulness and effort, effort being the greatest key to rewards and not any other thing!

As our world deviates from the Gospel we need to remember the words of the Apostle John:

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2Jn 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

None of these things are open for dispute nor even discussion. The Word of God is just the truth!

Another thing that happened was that the more the Christians heard of Paul in bondage, the more the prayers for his release.

*****Php 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Paul had great joy in knowing, that the Lord Jesus Christ was the talk of all Rome.

Paul had great joy in knowing, if deliverance did not come while he was in bondage, it would certainly come when the Lord called him home!

Paul had great joy in knowing, that salvation had come to Rome. It was time for those who heard the Gospel to make that choice that we all must make.

2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2Co 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:

What is the truth of Paul that should also be true to every “Born Again” child of God?

2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

If we cannot love the lost, we will never try hard enough for their salvation! We cannot save them but we can lead them to the One who can!

We always seem to concentrate on those who speak the loudest against the Word of God, when we need to concentrate on those who have never heard the Word of God and those who need another opportunity.

We can also realize what Paul realized, God will save us and deliver us even from criticism and opposition.

1) Because of the prayers of those who support the truth of God. (This Philippian Church would begin to pray just as soon as they received this epistle)
2) Because it is the job of the Holy Spirit to delivers us from all evil or supply all our needs as we go through such things!

Mat_6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Luk_11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

We seem to forget these things.

By the way for those nay-sayers, the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the same Holy Spirit, who is the Same Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit of God!

Many of God’s children shudder in fright at the Holy Ghost but He has the same love of God, because He is God!

It is the Holy Ghost who was given to us “to share with us the deep things of God”

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.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

We seem to forget these things.

What should be the goal of every believer? To be like Christ! “This is being a Christian”

To be saved is one thing.
To be Christian is to be saved with Jesus Christ magnified in our own bodies!

*****Php 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

To be Christian is to allow Jesus Christ to be magnified in our own bodies!

When will the rapture take place and we join our Savior while we live?

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature “waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God”.

When will we join our Savior if we die before the rapture of the Church?

2Co_5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

We can only be bold in Christ when we are filled the Holy Spirit!

Joh_14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Once saved we are endowed with the Holy Spirit who will never leave us for any reason.

BUT: 1) We can grieve the Holy Spirit. (We can offend the Holy Spirit)

Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

2) We can “Quench” the Holy Spirit. (Put out His flame for the work of the Lord)

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

3) We can resist the Holy Spirit. (Stand against, or oppose Him and the ways of the Lord)(Normally before salvation)

Act 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Just as a gas tank that needs a refill, though the Holy Spirit will never leave us, we need to pray for a refilling of the Holy Spirit at least every day but maybe before each and every decision we make!

The 12 Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ (includes Paul) all had great powers but none of those powers could be used on themselves.

They had great knowledge of many, many things of God, but they did not know all things, especially things concerning themselves!

They had to rely on the Holy Spirit and so it is with each and every Christian! (this will not ever change)

We would be fools to ever be ashamed of the “Gospel”!

We are fools if we do not follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in our lives and be available to the Lord always!

Paul had to exercise his “faith” and patience just as much as any of us do!

What is hope? The desire of some good with a great expectation of obtaining it!

We can have hope in the promises of God because we have God’s guarantee that we will obtain all His promises!

Paul was a natural born leader trained to rule in Judaism and the Supreme Court of Israel, yet the Lord made Paul a humble servant of the Word of God to the people of God.

Paul was nothing until the Lord Jesus Christ was magnified in his body and guess what neither are we!

We are nothings until the Lord makes a something out of a nothing! It’s called the act of “Creation”. The Lord Jesus said we must be “Born Again” to be able to see the New Heaven!

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.

We must live Christ and when this is true, then death brings eternal riches beyond our imagination! (this does not mean money)

*****Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

The Apostle lived and breathed the Lord Jesus Christ. (a great example for us all)

When we can travel in peace on this earth, we can cross over to the other side realizing things will actually be much, much better! (Joy)

When we can experience never ending life today and recognize that we actually have no clue of just how wonderful life with the Lord can be, we can certainly have that desire to be with the Lord. (Joy)

Death to the Christian is just saying good bye cruel world and hello to the never-ending day of glory! (Joy)

When we present our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord, the Lord will present each Christian to His Father as a new husband would present his perfect wife to his own farther. (Joy)

When we yield our bodies, it means all our bodies.

Jesus said:

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.

We must give our whole body.
We must give all our mind.
We must give all our heart.
We must give all our soul.

Our Christian life can be good but our Heavenly life will be much more better!

Jesus Christ is our source of existence and our source of life!

Whatever death brings to the Christian we still know that Jesus Christ will be the Lord of it!

1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Jesus Christ gave every breathing moment of His life to the Church surely, we can give Him all we have of our own bodies!

We cannot base our life on the things of this earth that are aging and will one day pass away, as if they had never existed!

It is only though our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be a part of that world where nothing can ever age and nothing can ever pass away.

It would be easy to say well Lord just take me on home and He would have done that when He saved us but there still some things that need to be done before we go home to Heaven.

*****Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Life in the glory world with the Lord Jesus Christ will be so much better that it is certainly hard to concentrate on this world but if we are part of the army of God and have lost family and friends and neighbors it could be much better for them if we stay here on this earth for a while longer!

We cannot save any of them but we certainly be available to tell them about the Lord when that opportunity presents itself!

Remember Stephen, that even while he was being stoned to death and realizing that he would die, he was still bold to deliver the message of God because he knew his death “would really be life”.

Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

We should also notice, his flesh was not dead when his breath left his body, “his flesh was dead when his spirit left his body”. (this why people can be revived)

Paul’s desire to be a soul winner was greater than his desire to die so that he could be with the Lord but only because we need to always leave death in the hands of the Lord!

Personally, I am so glad that Paul chose to give more time to the Church and the “Gospel”.

Paul was very confident that this was the right choice! This must be the choice that we make!

*****Php 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
Php 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Confidence comes from our “Faith”!

The chosen Apostles of God were given many powers to use in their ministry but they could not use them on themselves!

The Apostles could not see their own future no better than we can ourselves!

Act 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

As Christians if we are involved in a ministry that God has called us into, we can be sure that we are safe in the arms of God until our part of that ministry is complete. God may take us home after that. God may give us another ministry after that. God may use us in some other way. Only we can put ourselves on a shelf!

We should never desire to be put on a shelf awaiting the outcome of things that we know are coming, according to the Word of God!

Paul had a desire to be with the Lord, I do too and I am sure that would include most of us that know the Lord but we have a purpose and now is the time for that purpose!

It is all our job to take the “Gospel” as far as we can!

There is no greater joy than being involved in the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can depart this world and be with Christ. This is His promise!

We can remain in this world and be with Christ which is not as good but, Christ will still be with us always!

We must love the Lord and desire to be with Him, absolutely.

We must also love the Lord enough to do what He has ask us to do, not out of duty but out of love! (holding forth the Word of God)

Christ was willing to lay all things aside in Heaven, including His Majesty to put of the flesh of a human to die in place of our sin.

Surely, we can be willing enough to lay things aside long enough to take His message to the world beginning in our own home and our own family.

We can tell that Paul loved to see and be around other Christians.

When you are around a bunch of Christians, you may hear about families, you may hear about this evil world but the one thing that is always consistent you will hear that the answer to every problem is Jesus Christ!

*****Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

The best way to start a conversation with another Christian is the way we lead our lives.

Are we living like we are a citizen of Heaven? We are just pilgrims passing through this world but while we are here we are to be “ambassadors” for Jesus Christ!

While we remain in this earth we will remain in the view of the public, especially those who have never heard of Christ Jesus and even those who have rejected Him.

We owe it to our Lord to be noticed as a Christian. To be a Christian is never to be a secret lifestyle!

We must remain in a group and stand fast in the Lord! Our King is coming soon to put things in the right place instead of this upside-down world we live in now!

What is wrong with the Church today? There are so many unethical doctrines that have been substituted for the Word of God, people no longer know the truth.

Our young people are enticed into the place of worship but they are then never given the truth and they soon believe the “Gospel” is just a lie.

Until foolish people begin to consider the Word of God themselves, they will always allow those who would twist the truth into some false thing!

We need to hear of the affairs of every house of worship to see if they follow the ways of Christ Jesus.

Today the name Jesus Christ is not mentioned in some places of so-called worship because it may offend someone. (You got to be kidding me)

Those that are offended by Jesus Christ in this “Day of “Grace” have already rejected the only means of salvation!

Sad but also true!

When we live according to the Word of God (rightly divided) we will easily stand out in this evil world!

When we strive to make this world a better place, we will meet with opposition from every side but that means we try harder and never give up.

After all who can stop the Lord when He refuses to be stopped!

As far as the laws of this land, we are to serve the Lord and the laws of Heaven. If the laws of this land survive the test of the Word of God, then we must abide, if they do not, we must adhere to the law of God!

We must do everything we can to remain at peace with this world that will never know true peace.

Our job is to grow in “Grace” in our daily walk with the Lord.

This is the job of the individual but also the entire congregation of the Church.

We must remain in oneness in the love and the service of Jesus Christ.

People may see us to be strange and that is great because we are never to resemble this world!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

When we do this, we will:

1) talk right
2) dress right
3) live and conduct ourselves right
4) we will proudly declare to be a Christian
5) we will carry out the affairs of Heaven without hesitation
6) we will separate ourselves from those who call this world their true home

And we must never be terrified by the evil things we see or hear in this world!

*****Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

We must never be ashamed of the “Gospel”!

To be honest to be timid in the work of the Lord shows a lack of “faith”!

It means we may not trust the Lord enough.

When we do not trust the Lord, we will become the prey of those in this world!

Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

We must remember if we are reproached for the work of the Lord then we are doing something right!

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

When we have the fear of the Lord, there is nothing upon this earth that can bring a greater fear.

When we honor the “Gospel” and the one who holds the “Gospel” then we will strive to worthy of the “Gospel”!

When we are timid it is possible we are dishonoring the “Gospel”!

When we are timid we find it hard to stand firm in the “Gospel”!

When we are timid, the only safe place is within a body of believers who are not timid!

It is only as a team that we can overcome the evil of this world and we simply cannot quit and walk off the field!

Courage and fearlessness should be the traits of the Christian.

Many display Christ as a wimp. Jesus Christ was the adopted son of a carpenter and if you noticed the homes of that day, not many were not made from wood. Jesus Christ was a real man!

The truth of all those who persecute Christians is that they are sealing their own doom!

Christian persecution is a sign that the Christian way is real and true!

Christian persecution is to be a privilege and not a terror!

It should be a privilege to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ!

We are never to deny our Lord under any circumstance!

We are to face the same conflict as Paul.

We know it would be far better to be with the Lord but for those in our own family and those we love it may be better if we remain here a while longer.

*****Php 1:30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

We must remember Paul is teaching the Church by the Holy Spirit.

The Power of the Church lies in the Holy Spirit and the strength of the Church lies in the unity of the actions of the Church.

Satan has been at his job for a long time and no one has ever come up with a plan to defeat him except Jesus Christ, who got this plan from His Father in Heaven.

There is nothing that anyone can do that can add to the destruction of Satan beyond the Word of God.

We must surely contend for the faith!

Jud_1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

To contend is to fight, to strive, to use great effort in defense of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

We can take this to mean a lot of things but it is best to accept it as it is written!

The Apostle Paul never backed down from his defense of the “Gospel” and he suffered greatly for it because in many cases he stood alone.

No matter what the rest of the world is doing to stop their own persecution and giving in to the terror and the government, the safe side is still the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

After all, the only one I have ever known to rise from the dead and enter the glory land is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is best to see what He did and follow Him all the way to “Glory”!

Remember our strength is not in numbers, our strength is in unity, one mind for Christ Jesus!

Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

To submit is to yield to the power and the authority of our Savior and our Redeemer!

Amen

Furthering The Gospel

Joy in the Furtherance of the Gospel

Book of Philippians Chapter 1:1-17

The Church at Philippi had been established by the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey and it was the first Christian church established in Europe.

We should not forget it was from Europe that the “Gospel” found its way to these United States to form a nation where the people could freely worship the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible!

We offer the freedom to worship but, the Constitution declares the freedom to worship the Lord Jesus Christ which at that time was being denied to those in Europe.

This is the Church that was established in the house of Lydia. This was a place of great poverty yet, this was first New Testament church to provide financial aid to Paul for the furtherance of the “Gospel” wherever he was.

So, as we study these epistles, we should consider that Paul was writing first to the Church itself (the Body of Christ) and secondarily to the Pastors and the church leaders.

*****Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Paul did not introduce himself as an Apostle to this church, they already understood this to be true. The greatest title any Christian can have is “Servant”!

God did not save us to be His servants, God saved us to be an integral part of His family. As part of the family of God we are to be servants to and of the Church and each other.

This is the task our Savior chose for us all to follow!

Luk 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
Luk 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
Luk 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

To be a Holy Ghost filled servant to the Church in the ways of Jesus Christ, is the only way to Sainthood. All other ways are fake!

It is the Saint that is eternal, the offices of bishop and deacon are only temporary and of this earth!

The Word of God never uses the word “Saint” to refer to just a select group of people!

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

BUT, a “Saint” can only be sanctified by holding to the truth of God’s Word!

Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

The term “Bishop” is used throughout Paul’s epistles an elder of the church. This is a person that in some way has oversight in the functioning of the church and it is the entire Body of Christ that is to appoint such persons.

In fact, Jesus Christ said He was the Bishop of our souls, because it is only Jesus that has oversight over our souls and is the Chief Shepherd of the Church!

1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Also, a fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures:

Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

The Deacon is the servant inside the Church to help meet the needs of the Body of Christ. They can also be messengers, or even runners.

What did Peter say? Act_6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, “and serve tables”.

This is the reason that the first deacons were elected and again they were elected by the “Body of Christ”, not the apostles, for a specific purpose and it was never to try to dictate the ways of the Church.

Peter said to “wait on tables” a servant to the Body of Christ.

It is the Pastor who is to lead the Church in the ways of Christ Jesus and it is the “Body of Christ” that is to approve all church leaders and deacons”. Of course, the Pastor must be involved in all these things!

1Co_14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

It is by God’s Grace that the Church has been given this opportunity or better said, “the privilege” to take on the work that the Lord Jesus Christ has given us to do, until He returns.

It should clear to us all, we live in the time of God’s “Grace”!

*****Php 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church has three main functions:

1) Assemble as the Holy Ghost filled Body of Christ to worship our Father in Heaven, Jehovah God, in spirit and truth.
2) To instruct, “born again” believers in the truth of the Word of God. Makes “babes in Christ” to be “mature Christians”.
3) Make disciples of the mature Christians, to take the Word of God and the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” out into the highways and byways and the uttermost parts of this earth!

There is no doubt that Paul had Timothy with him to instruct a young preacher boy in the ways of the Church.

After all these things are working as directed, then and only then can the Church be a real help to the communities and to our nation!

All these things come by the “Grace of God”!

It is only the “Born Again” child of God that can be at peace with God, our Father, and that peace only through and by the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is because of God’s “Grace” that we have been given this privilege!

*****Php 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

The true Church has delight in all things that the “Gospel” brings. This cannot happen in any place where the Word of God is not accepted for the complete truth.

God is a loving God but he is also very serious about the words He has given to us!

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

How can anyone ignore what God says at the risk of their name being removed from the Book of Life?

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

It is only because they are servants of Satan!

If the entire body of Christ would quit giving in to society and politicians and this lost world, then there could truly still be a furtherance of the Gospel even in our time which is fast coming to an end!

We must remain steadfast to the truth of the Scriptures, no matter what others say!

We are already on the winning side, it is the enemy that must change their ways!

God being who He is, simply cannot fail and He certainly cannot be defeated!

We as Christians sometimes get downhearted and weary in well doing but we must never think we are the only ones in the battle.

Paul thanked God because Paul knew that this Church in Philippi was in this battle with Him!

I hope the missionaries supported by our Church always feel that we will be with them and supportive of them!

When we cannot help them financially we can certainly help them with our prayers of “faith”!

*****Php 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

We are wrong if we do not pray for our church every day! Not just our local church but for all the “Bride of Christ”!

If you love the Lord Jesus Christ enough to trust Him with your soul, then we are all in the family of God, living for Christ and sharing Christ with those that cross our path and if none cross our path then we need to seek them out.

Remember Christ died for His enemies!

We sometimes make Christianity to be a burden when Christianity is all about the Joy of the Lord!

We are to pray for those that we know and even for those we do not know!

The “fruit of the Spirit is joy”

Gal_5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Eph_5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

The Holy Spirit does not give one-person Joy and another “truth”

When the Holy Spirit moves in, He brings all His fruit with Him and shares all that fruit with us.

It is a privilege to be filled with the Holy Spirit and He will never leave us but we still need a refilling every day.

It is also a great and sometimes misunderstood privilege to go into the throne room of God with our request!

When prayer becomes a duty rather than a privilege how can we ever expect an answer to our request?

A prayer of duty is a prayer that lacks “faith” and without “faith”, we simply cannot please God!

If we cannot please our Father in Heaven, then we have wasted the blood of Jesus that has washed us from our sin!

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

We simply cannot allow our mood to interfere with our relationship with the Lord! The Lord is always the same, He never changes, a great example for each child of God!

The Apostle Paul was in fellowship with all the churches that he had planted. We should still be in fellowship with all these apostles and we do that when we follow the Apostles Doctrine and not something altered by some other human.

Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Why the Apostles Doctrine? The Lord chose these men to start the New Testament church!

Anyone who teaches you that we are to depart from the Apostles Doctrine is telling you a lie!

We need to accept the Apostles Doctrine in the Church and accept the Prophets of God as the voice of God!

What are the doctrines of the Church? (The Church, all those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior)

The entire Word of God rightly divided and in context!

These are the true things of the Church in the days of the Apostles and these things are still the truth today!

These things bring joy to the Church and a joyful church will hold a people who are in complete fellowship with one another!

*****Php 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The mark of fellowship is a partnership. We are all (the Body of Christ) in this thing together!

Denominations are a man-made obstacle to decrease the strength of the Church!

What is the key to our fellowship?

The “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ! The salvation plan of the Lord!

There are so many places that have rejected the truth of God that there is very little fellowship in the Church of today.

The one thing that brought the church together to begin with was the work of Jesus Christ!

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:

The Church must never be ashamed of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ! (It seems that the modern-day Church has become ashamed of the only Savior of this evil world) They have forgotten that our Savior, is also our Redeemer, the One who has “Justified” us before our Father in Heaven!

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 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

You cannot be a true Church and be ashamed of any part of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

There is no justification to those who reject the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Christian fellowship begins with a Spiritual bond with our Father in Heaven and His Dear Son!

All these things must hold true to be called “The Church”!

If we cannot commit our faith and our lives to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ there will never be fellowship in the Church!

The Church is in fellowship when we all live the same kind of life, doing the same kind of things, living, serving, bearing witness to the truth of the “Gospel”!

Why is the Church so weak in this world today? We have lost fellowship with the Holy Spirit because we have lost fellowship with each other!

The modern-day church has rejected the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ and teach some other man-made doctrine of humanity!

God says the only New Age Movement that will bring salvation, is the Old Age Movement of Jesus Christ!

Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Jer 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
Jer 6:18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
Jer 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Why do so many think God has changed, when it is impossible for God to change.

Mal_3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;

It is also impossible for God to lie!

Heb_6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

How can any so-called body of believers, believe that God has some new salvation plan that will include those who refuse to give up their sin?

It has never been this way.

This is the lie of all false religion which all such things.

Not happening!

As believers, we must be confident in the truth of the Scriptures!

Once saved, God fills and seals us with His Holy Spirit!

2Co_1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Eph_1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit will never leave us and He will remain in us, even when the Lord Jesus returns to take us all home.

The Lord Jesus causes us to be “justified” and the Holy Spirit will begin to “sanctify” us and that work will not be complete until the Lord returns to “Glorify” us!

This the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who once begins His work in us, will perform it until He returns!

We should clearly understand God will never begin a work within us and then quit because some of us, (as I am), hard to work with!

It is always we that quit on God and not God that quits on us!

Therefore, it is called “Grace”! God’s Riches At Christ Expense.

*****Php 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

We must remember what the Lord has said!

2Co_12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

As the Saints of God, we must persevere under all conditions! We must persevere in the truth of God’s Word, there is no other way!

What had God said of the Apostle Paul?

Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

Was it our God that caused the pain and affliction of the Apostle Paul? That answer is no. It was this world that hates the truth that caused Paul to suffer so very much.

The Lord just knew this would be true!

The entire church will share in the afflictions of the Apostle Paul when we share the truth of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

So many so-called places of worship are giving in to the world and refuse to believe that the “Grace” of God is still sufficient to meet the needs of the Church.

Any body of believers who cannot or refuse to persevere in the truth of the “Gospel” are set for doom and failure and they will be held accountable for those, they take with them!

The same Saints who can persevere in these times, are the same Saints who are sealed in victory!

The entire “Body of Christ” must be closely bound to the Word of God and the Doctrines of the Apostles, including the Apostle Paul.

We must remain in “harmony” with the truth of God!

God does not change and neither should we. “We are to always hate sin”! Every “Born Again” child of God must repent of their old lifestyle!

A drunk cannot remain a drunk.
A murderer cannot kill.
A gay person must adhere to the Word of God.
The gender those were born in will remain their gender until the day they die.

No doubt those who cling to the truth will suffer in this world but if we suffer together, we can bear one another’s burdens.

Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Yes, the law of Christ is love but salvation cannot come to those who refuse to repent their personal sins!

We cannot love someone into Heaven, they each have to deal with God in a personal manner and then obey what God has said!

We must remain partners in the “Gospel” and not some altered version or some perversion of the Word of God!

When our Church leaders are imprisoned and mistreated, it is not time to abandon the “Gospel”!

It’s pass the time to buckle on the “armor of God” and go to war!

God says this:

Rom_12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

This means that it may not always be possible!

If we cannot defend the Lord Jesus Christ, then how can we say we love Him?

We must take the “great commission” of the Lord seriously!

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is those who refuse to believe they are damned, who will be the true enemy of the Christian Soldier!

We must remain partners in Christ!
We must remain partners in “Grace”.
We must remain partners in the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!
We must remain partners in the Love of God!

*****Php 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
Php 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

We must clearly understand the love of God.

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.

There is no salvation to anyone who rejects the Lord Jesus Christ!

To accept the Lord Jesus Christ is to accept that He is certainly God in the flesh!

This “faith” will bring this same love that we are to show to one another.

We must also clearly understand that “love” in the Scriptures is never about feelings!

Love in the Scriptures is about acknowledging the Love of Christ!

Love in the Scriptures is about the knowledge of one another.

Those we love are those we want to know in a personal relationship.

God has intended, from the time of Adam and Eve to work toward a personal relationship with each of His created human beings.

That work was completed by the Lord Jesus Christ and those who believe in the “work that the Lord has accomplished” (for our personal relationship with our Creator) will spend eternity with Him!

Those that reject the work of Jesus Christ will spend eternity in the only other place that exists and that is the “burning Lake of Fire”, for this world we live in now, will not exist forever!

If we strive for that personal relationship with our Creator, then we would be very foolish not to try to please Him!

The more we love the Lord, the more we will try to please Him!

The more we love each other, the more we will encourage each other in the Lord.

It is only by that love that we can become pure and pure means: cleansed from sin, unstained by the ways of this world, with our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ!

Another way to remain close to each other is to pray for one another!

Love grows in prayer!

God’s love, embraced with “faith” is the power behind the Christian life and the power behind our prayers!

This is the love that will be evident to the world!

Many will accept what they see but many will reject this love as a fallacy, and nothingness, but we must never be discouraged.

True “faith” cannot exist without love!

The Scriptures are our pathway to the knowledge of the truth, doctrinal and even practical.

Judgment in this verse means perception. We must be able to discern good from evil.

We must understand the sin of immorality and that it has no place in society and certainly not in the Church.

Judgment here is discernment! Discernment is the act of distinguishing the truth from those things that are false, according to the Word of God.

It is love, based upon our “faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we can obtain the knowledge and the judgment of the Christian life!

*****Php 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Php 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Discernment is the power within us to perceive the differences of things and ideas and their relationship to our daily walk with the Lord.

Some ideas may seem worthy of our time, until we test them and find they are not worthy of the Lord.

Things that are excellent are the things that go beyond our own thoughts of good.
Things that are of great value can be used in our own mission for the Lord.
Things that are complete are without the aid of other things in the sense of being Christ like.

Anything that could become a stumbling block to another brother or sister in Christ must be avoided!

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

True discernment means we will choose only those things that are acceptable to the Lord!

Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

There are no fruits of righteousness that do not come through the Lord Jesus Christ!

What is expected of the Christian life?

1) The Christian must bear fruit.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

2) We must bear the fruits of righteousness.

Jas_3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

3) We must bear inward and outward holiness.

Eph_4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Heb_12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

We must also understand that not every bad thing that happens to Christians is a hindrance to the Gospel!

*****Php 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
Php 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
Php 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

We should understand it was the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ who had led Paul to go to Rome.

Act_19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Act_23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

God will never begin a mission just to end it suddenly!

All God ask is we lead the Christian life and discern good from evil!

The imprisonment of Paul which first seemed to defend his Roman citizenship had become known as connected to Jesus Christ because it was!

Paul was no ordinary prisoner; his own captivity was a witness for Jesus Christ!

Sometimes our circumstance can overwhelm us when the Lord’s intent was for these things be for His benefit!

We cannot allow ourselves to be defeated! A defeated Christian is useless to the Lord and a banner to display for our enemy.

The Apostle Paul could not claim to be innocent as was Christ Jesus but Paul was certainly imprisoned without having committed a crime!

His crime was preaching the salvation plan of the Lord!

Can you just imagine being a soldier chained to the Apostle Paul with each soldier being constantly relieved and another to take his place? The ones the Paul witnessed to, could not escape to get away from him.

It was not very long before the work of Christ to die for our sins was broadcast throughout the military of Rome.

Paul was then housed in his own house under guard and could receive all those who would hear the “Gospel”.

It would not be long before Paul would stand before the supreme court of Rome and teach them the “Gospel”.

Paul spent 2 years under these conditions.

Paul did never grumble or complain.
Paul did never question God and wonder why.
Paul did not become defeated and fall to pieces.
Paul did not ever curse God nor give up his “faith” in Christ.
Paul remained confident even in bondage.
Paul took this opportunity to spread the “Gospel”!

These things even encouraged the many who came to visit Paul to boldly preach the Gospel.

The truth is Christian persecution has never been able to stop the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

When we allow our circumstances to interfere with the spread of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ, we are causing our own selves harm along with those who have not had the opportunity to meet and know the Lord!

The name of Jesus, the Messiah, was being mentioned in all of Rome.

*****Php 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

What is the truth? The motives of all those who preached and taught the Word of God were not all pure!

Some preached about Jesus Christ only because they are envious of those who preached the truth.

Some were even envious of those who twisted the Word of God and tickled the ears and had a massive following.

Even in bondage the Apostle Paul was preaching in places that reached even into the government of Rome and envy ruled some of the other preachers, even for this thing.

Many of those preached to undermine the influence of the Apostle Paul on the Christian Church!

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

But there were also those who became bold enough to come out of their closet and preach because of the love of Christ!

*****Php 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
Php 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

There are still those today who preach the Word of God only out of concern for their own pocketbooks. They have no love for Christ and they have no love for those lost souls.

Some still refuse to deliver the sincere milk of the Word of God and still deliver the baby’s formula!

1Pe_2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Many of them may preached the truth, but not with a pure heart!

The Word of God preached with anything other than a pure heart has evil intentions!

It was because Paul was in bondage that these men were bold enough to come out in the open, yet they would twist these things around to say that Paul must be in bondage for some reason other than preaching the “Gospel”.

They made Paul out to be the leader of some new sect that went against the truth of God!

Without a doubt, the true Christian of today is seen as some religious sect that go against the reality of a peaceful society.

What is the truth of God? We have the ministry of truth!

2Co 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2Co 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

What is the truth of preaching the “Gospel” out of envy? The “Gospel” is never to be about earthly riches.

(We must always support the truth)

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
1Co 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
1Co 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

We must preach and the teach the truth of the “Gospel” without ever feeling ashamed at what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for each of us!

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 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Anything other than “faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ will not satisfy our Holy God!

Amen