Tag: Trusting God’s Plan

Understanding the Plan of God

Understanding God’s Plan

Book of Ephesians 1:13-23

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

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

We must first know who God is.

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

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

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

The “I Am”, the covenant keeping God.

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

Let’s begin:

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

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

Remember God wants this entire world to know His truth!

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

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

What is the “Gospel”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Spirit conviction that can also bring conversion!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have the same hope and the same fears.

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

We will all go to the same New Heaven!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should remember the prayer of Solomon.

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

Solomon prayed for wisdom and it pleased the Lord.

So, what did Paul teach these Ephesians?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That light is the glorious love of Jesus Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Powerful and Perfect are two of His many names!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God intends for us to know life, not death!

What do we give up? Nothing but our death!

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

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Php_3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

God’s Plan is to Bless His Children

God’s Plan for Blessing His Children

Book of Ephesians Chapter 1:1-12

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

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

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

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

This will not change in this epistle to the Ephesians.

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

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

Let’s begin:

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

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

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

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

Who then are the faithful?

First there is Jehovah God.

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

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

Next there is the Lord.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is “Grace” in the Word of God?

1) The “Gospel” is the “Grace of God.

Act_20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“God’s Riches at Christ Expense”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

So, let’s look at this word “chosen”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is our only means of being blameless! Amen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What then is the truth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We must learn to be patient!

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

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

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

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

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

All these things will be gathered in Jesus Christ!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How wonderful will this new place be?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who can we obtain such an inheritance?

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

Those who can love the Lord in this manner!

It’s called “faith”!

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

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

Amen!

God Blesses Those Who Give

The Blessing Of Giving

Book of 2 Corinthians Chapter 9

Why does God call on us to give?

We can give God nothing that we did not first get from Him!

God can just have a thought and it will materialize.

Let’s think of it this way at first:

We already know that the love of money is behind all the evil in this world with Satan pushing this thought.

1Ti 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

So the root of evil is selfishness, God expects us to be the opposite of that, the secret to defeating selfishness is giving!

Let’s look at nature:

The Sun exists to give light, and heat, and even life itself.

The Seas give life along with many other things.

The Earth gives life and is always giving.

Why should we defy what God has created?

God has given us a purpose in life and God measures us according to that purpose!

2Co 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 

This is the theme of our lesson today.

We must never forget “receiving” is truly a blessing when we have a need for sure, but the “giver” gets an even greater blessing!

Act 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. 

Jesus would not have said this so many times if it were no true!

When we hate to give then we can see our own selfishness, which goes back to the root of all evil!

Let’s begin:

*****2Co 9:1  For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 
2Co 9:2  For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
2Co 9:3  Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: 
2Co 9:4  Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 
2Co 9:5  Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.  

It should be very plain, God expects His people to be givers!

At my place of worship, we call these things love offerings. These Scriptures are not referring to the “tithe” which God expects from every child of God who has an income.

We must always to willing to give to needy saints but by no means exclusively to them we are to still help the lost and needy too if we are able!

If the church only helped Christians we would not be following in the will of God!

If we helped only the lost we would not be showing love for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Give it to Jesus and let Him put it where He knows it needs to go!

**After all God “gave” His Son in payment for “our” sin for He had none Himself!

**Christ came to this earth to “give” of Himself!

**Those who give to please God should never be caught unprepared “to give”!

These people of Corinth understood these things but it was now time to show proof of their love and to make the collections.

“Being unprepared to give” to a giver can be embarrassing to him and cause him shame!

In today’s world almost no one carries much money on them at all for many reasons and we need to be aware of the time of collection so we can be prepared.

Paul had plans to return to Corinth when the Macedonians arrived at his location.

We can be sure that none of those who traveled with Titus where of Macedonia!

And we should understand from these words of Paul that he had never had negative things to say about this church at Corinth and had in fact boasted of their zeal to do right by the Word of God, including the zeal to give to those who had great needs.

Heb 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 

Jesus Christ gave everything He had, including His life that we could be saved if we only believed. The name of Christ and the name Christian then means “sacrificial giving”!

So being prepared shows the love of Christ and does not show covetousness.

Sadly we if we are honest, most of us “including myself” rarely give all that we are able to give!

But in reverse we many times spend more than we are able “including myself” for things that we really do not even need!

As long as people are homeless and people starving in this world we need to consider ways to help, if possible.

As long as there are diseases that could wipe out an entire population we need to consider ways to help, if possible.

As long as there are disasters in this world such as tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, and any the many other such things, we need to consider ways we can help, if possible.

When the Church shows covetousness we are showing cold-hearted worldliness!

We sometimes forget this basic rule of thumb in the Word of God.

*****2Co 9:6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 
2Co 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 

God gives us the example to two different Christians:

1) One who sows sparingly.

2) The other who sows bountifully.

First: the seed that is sown, has been selected and stored from a previous bounty that God had already provided, just for the purpose of sowing. All his needs had been met and he is prepared to sow again when the proper time comes.

Second: Not many farmers cast seed one at a time or “sparingly” but usually with an open handful “bountifully”. They are hopeful for a fruitful harvest every time they sow!

Third: the seed is sown on an empty field, a bare field in want of growth. (Those in want, especially those of faith)

Fourth: then the seed is covered where the sower has faith, hope, and patience that the harvest will be bountiful. (He sows these things in private and his good deeds may not be noticed till some time passes.

What does God say to each individual?

Pro 3:9  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 

And why should we do this?

Pro 3:10  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 

We must first give “the tithe” which are the first fruits of what God has already provided. God will then bless this giving and our barns will be full and our vineyards blessed. “By the way new wine, is the freshest of fresh grape juice”, which relates to continuously providing, even though our barns are already full.

It is from this plenty, that is far above our needs, that giving to others in need comes from but God also says to give till it hurts a little from time to time and what does God say about these things?

God loves a cheerful giver!

We can see these are two different things!

The giver who pleases God deliberately is a reflection of God’s love.

The Lord Jesus Christ hated the shame of the cross but He cheerfully gave Himself for our sin, because He has no sin.

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 be a Christian says “I want to be like Christ”. Jesus Christ was a “Cheerful Giver” of all He had.

God does not give us a fixed sum to give for charity.
God does look at the quality or the nature of our giving.

1) Is it of our own free will.
2) Does it cause an uneasiness in our mind.(grudgingly)(out of sorrow)(reluctance)
3) Did we give out of necessity. (Were we coaxed into giving by outside means)
4) God must actually see a “Cheerful giver” for God to be pleased!

And what is God reward?

*****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 9:9  (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

There is no greater blessing than this in the days we have on this earth before our physical death!

Salvation is the free “grace” of God. It cannot be bought, earned, or won!
When we are not “cheerful givers” we are out of the order of God’s “system of grace” which revolves around the Cross of Jesus Christ!
God loves what makes people happy and the spirit of love shown to others is one the sources of His happiness.

Those who live just for themselves first become wretched and then they become poor in many things of this life.

If we do not believe that God is able then we are saying the God is no longer the Creator who spoke and all things became reality!

After we have shown “faith”, God shows us His grace.
After we know “hope” God shows us His peace.
After we know “charity” God makes all His “grace” abound towards us!

All three are required but which is the greatest after salvation?

1Co 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 

Any other thoughts of the “Hope” of God are just childish reactions!

1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

So who provides that seed for the sower to begin with?

*****2Co 9:10  Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 
2Co 9:11  Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

Isaiah said it this way:

Isa 55:10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

It is the Lord provides the seed for the sower!
It is the Lord who blesses the seed from the sower!
It is the Lord who provides all our needs!

So the first motive for being a “cheerful giver” is to obtain the “grace” and the “blessings of God”, not out of duty, but out of love.

We should understand that word “ministereth” as a “promise” of God.
God will provide bread for our own food!
God will multiply our own seed so we can sow!
God will increase the fruit of our own righteousness!
And these things will be continuous!

Notice, these are not only spiritual blessings(that will last forever) but also material blessings(to use in this life).

God encourages us all to be “cheerful givers” with these promises!
God will more than return what the giver gives!

The truth is that each believer will receive so that he can give so leaves no excuse for hoarding the gifts of God!
The truth is each and every believer becomes “a channel” through which God sends His blessings!

Again this is God’s plan and He only asks us all to be a part of His plan and not make our own plans!

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 
Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

Simply put, “we cannot out-give God”!

Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 
Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 

What is the truth of the “Gospel”?

*****2Co 9:12  For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 

Being a”cheerful giver” not only makes up the deficiencies of those in need, it relieves their needs and furnishes them with hope under sorrowful circumstances!

But that is not all:

**It means that we all can enter into the throne room of God to give thanks to God for His “Grace”!
**It also means we are fools to think God will not look harshly upon selfishness!

In fact Jesus said these words to a rich young man one day:

Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 

The point being, Jesus was perfect because He gave every thing He had, including His life for each and everyone of us!

None of us can be perfect in this life but this rich young man was foolish and it led to his many sorrows:

Mat 19:22  But when the young man heard that saying, “he went away sorrowful”: for he had great possessions. 

We should all clearly understand God knows we are nothing but dirt and He had great pity upon us all but a “cheerful giver” will still receive the “praise of God”!

There are still other reasons for being a “cheerful giver”.

*****2Co 9:13  Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; 

What is the truth of salvation?

The salvation of the Lord is then:
1) Full
2) Finished
3) Free
4) Cannot Fail
5) And is Forever

We will never understand the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” until we become subjected to the “Gospel”!

We must willingly submit ourselves to the entire “Gospel” and not in bits and pieces!

***So then a “cheerful giver” proves his loyalty to the “Gospel”!

A “cheerful giver” will give and give and keep on giving until the Lord returns!

***And yet another object of “giving” is for the world to “glorify God”!

The “Gospel” is the truth and comes with a binding authority higher than any of this earth.
The “Gospel” reveals the only method of salvation, one which man could never even have conceived.
The “Gospel” prescribes the only rule for practical living.
The “Gospel” is God’s love letter to His greatest creation, mankind!
The “Gospel” makes us aware that the gifts of God, our resources, are to be used to carry this “Gospel” throughout this world!

***This includes our time, our influence, and our money!

But there is still more:

*****2Co 9:14  And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. 

**Being a “cheerful giver” will enhance our prayer life!

Giving stirs up great prayers, great love, and great fellowship among all God’s people!

No other results can be greater than these as we all serve the Lord

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

In fact how can we not be “cheerful givers’?

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

***The greatest gift ever given to this world is the gift of God’s only begotten Son!

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. 

How can we not give back things “that are not required” but things that we can “cheerfully give” to make sure that this world has the opportunity to hear this wonderful message of God?

I assure you that these Scriptures are as much for me as they are for anyone else!

I have felt ashamed in my own selfishness!

Questions?

Let’s Pray that we all can become “cheerful givers” for the cause of Christ!

The Gospel Promises

The Gospel Promises

Book of Galatians 3:10-18

What does God ask of us?

God simply ask us to believe!

This has always been what God has asked since the beginning of time!

If we will only believe what God says, God has made some special promises to us all.

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
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.

What is the truth?

It is by the promises of God that we can partake of God’s divine nature.

It is by the promises of God that we can escape the corruption that is in this world we live in.

These promises of God are unconditional except for the one thing, that we believe what God says.

God promised that He would be our God.

God promised that mankind, His creation, would be His people.

God promised that He would one day dwell amongst His people.

God promised that He had a plan to make all these things happen!

God has made available to us all, His plan in His Written Word, and God’s plan cannot fail!

God has asked us all to teach those we come in contact with, the Word of God, but God made a promise that one day even this would no longer be necessary.

Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: “for they shall all know me”, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

God’s promises are being fulfilled before our eyes and He will soon be with us and we with Him!

God’s plan requires us only to believe, “to have Faith” because there is no other means by which we can be a part of God’s plan!

There never was, there is not now, and there never will be another way to spend eternity with Our God!

All those that think they can work their way into God’s Heaven will remain under the “Curse of Sin”!

Let’s pickup where we left off last week.

*****Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

We must not be confused, to be “Cursed” is to be condemned and doomed to the wrath of God!

We must also not be confused about sin, Sin Has Consequences!

What God told Adam?

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

What were the results of Adam’s sin?

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

1) All mankind was sentenced to earn a livelihood from a cursed ground. This would mean toil and sweat.

2) The women are sentenced to suffering in childbirth and we know that this is still true.

3) The women are sentenced to be subjects of their husbands.

4) Then at the end of life, all mankind would return to the dust that we are all made of.

It is not work that is the curse because God will always expect some sort work from us.

It is the fact that work will not be a pleasant thing. There will always be sorrow, toil, frustration, sweat, and weariness that are connected with work here on this Earth.

Even though this curse fell on Adam because he had allowed the words of his wife to take precedence over the Word of God.

On this Earth we live on, the dust, the elements from which all life has been made are included in this curse.

Under this curse, all God’s creation would begin to die and decay and return to that dust from which all life on this Earth came.

It should be obvious that any failure to obey the Word of God brings a curse!

Then if the Law carries a curse, then it could not then bring salvation for it is impossible to keep all the Word of God, all the time, because we can never eliminate, that desire, or that lust that is in us all.

A person either keeps all the Law or that person is cursed!

Cursed then means we will stand before our Righteous Creator and bear the punishment for our sin!

It is that same Word of God that presents that punishment for sin, which is “Death”!

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

But by God’s Grace, He has provided a means to escape this “Death”.

This death is not just the death of the body as we all will one day die.

This death is the eternal separation from the Living God!

For those that think they have lived free of sin and are still able to do so, are just deceiving themselves.

Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Rom 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
Rom 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

The same Word of God that contains the Law that some people brag that they can keep all their lives, also says that no one can be justified by that Law.

*****Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

All those that think they can approach God by keeping some laws or doing some works will fall under the curse because these are impossible things to do!

God has said from the beginning, if you want to depend on obedience of all the law for salvation then that’s fine, but you must live all your life by that law knowing there is no room for failure!

Lev 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: “which if a man do, he shall live in them”: I am the LORD.

The Word of God says that there is a righteousness that can come by the Law.

Rom 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Note the Jews had 613 laws, not including the laws of government, and not one individual was able to keep all those laws all the days of their lives.

Every honest human being knows that they cannot keep even the Law of God in every single detail.

Every honest human being knows that they cannot even keep all the laws of man in every single detail.

Trying to obey some laws is seeking to be justified by works.

Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

God says that it is only by “Faith” that we can be justified!

If we trust the Word of God then we would be fools to ignore God’s chosen way to approach Him!

No man can be justified by any law in the sight of God!

Only God is perfect!

Only God can be perfectly righteous!

There is no man that can achieve perfection on his own!

Therefore no man can become righteous on his own!

The Law carries with it a curse!

Faith carries with it life!

SO, why is this such a hard choice?

*****Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

It is a fact that the law requires no faith.

The law only requires total and absolute obedience!

This does not mean that a legalist cannot have faith but it does mean that the law requires no faith!

When you decide to trust in the law for your salvation, then God says you must be perfect in your obedience to the law.

There is no room for error!

God gives us the laws that are required to meet justification, in written form. We call it the Bible. Some people just say The Book!

God also says there is a curse attached to those laws.

God says those that trust in their own obedience to those laws must be perfect in that obedience!

This is the stumbling block of the law!

Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

What is the greatest commandment in the Bible?

Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The Law then had only one purpose!

The law was given to show all mankind their sin and to cause within them, a personal guilt for being disobedient to God and to God’s Law!

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

The law then is inferior to the “Grace of God”!

When we study the Bible we will see that the law was given to Moses by angels and from Moses to mankind and Moses was the mediator of the law as long as he lived.

But is was God Himself who gave the promise of “Grace” and “Righteousness” to Abraham!

The Law comes with certain conditions that must be met.

The “Grace” of God is unconditional requiring only “Faith”.

That’s why Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law!

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The Lord Jesus Christ, The Messiah, came to reveal the full depth of the law.

The Messiah came to this Earth to redeem us all from the terrible curse of the law!

*****Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

What are the facts of Scripture?

Christ Jesus has bought us all back and paid the ransom to free us all from the “Curse” of the law with His own blood!

Jesus Christ took our condemnation, our doom, our death, and our punishment upon His own self by becoming a curse for us and He took our place.

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.

The Apostle Paul illustrates these things for us by quoting from the Old Testament:

Deu 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
Deu 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

This “does not” mean that a man is cursed because he is executed on a tree or as we know a cross.

This “does” mean that any man who is executed upon a tree, a cross, is there because he fell under the curse of the law!

The cross portrays the death of the lawbreaker and not true life that can only be obtained by ‘Faith” and God’s law of Grace”!

It is “Grace” that fulfills the Law of God!

Jesus Christ bore the curse of the law in order to open the door of blessing to all mankind!

Jesus Christ bore the curse of the law in order to fulfill the promises made to Abraham and to be a blessing to “all nations”!

*****Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Every human being that believes upon Jesus Christ, that Christ Jesus bore our own curse, is accepted by God and are all given the blessings of the true “Promised Land”.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

1) There is the promise of a divine nature:

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.

2) There is the promise of a new birth:

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

3) There is the promise of becoming a new creation:

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

4) There is the promise of becoming a new man:

Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

It is the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit that causes all these promises to be fulfilled.

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

It is the fulfillment of these promises that allow us into God’s New Heaven!

These promises cannot be broken!

*****Gal 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

We should not ever forget that the Bible teaches us that true life is a life in the presence of God. In this teaching the Bible teaches that though this body of flesh, ages with time and will one day die, true life can only begin at that time.

In the O.T.

Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

In the N.T.

Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Notice there is a place of everlasting shame but also a place of everlasting life.

It is during this life we now live that we can make a choice of our eternal destination!

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.)

Paul says, let’s look at this and just take God and eternal salvation out of the picture for a moment.

1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, “if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die”.

This is living in the world of the Atheist!

It is estimated that less than 3% of the population of this world say they are Atheists and most of those will call on a god before their death.

This means that 97% of the world’s population believe in some sort of supernatural being.

97% of our world of over 7 billion people believe in an after life and this many people cannot be wrong, it is just that the Atheist make the most noise!

97% of the world believe that the basis for eternal security does not rest with man, but with God!

The Bible teaches us that the eternal security of each believer is based on the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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.

It is the Father who has the power to keep us secure in our salvation.

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.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

And the Father will not lose any of those to eternal death, that trust Him!

Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
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.

Now knowing all these things, do we really believe that God will keep His promises or not?

As we have seen God took full responsibility for Abraham’s destiny, because Abraham believed God!

The Apostle Paul says that even when men make a covenant with themselves, that covenant is expected to stand!

In the old days, a covenant was sealed with a hand shake.

In our day covenants are seal by legal binding documents.

By law, the promises of a covenant are sealed and both parties are bound by the words of that covenant!

No one outside the existing parties of that covenant can add to or change the wording of that covenant!

And now Paul describes the covenant made with Abraham.

*****Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

First, we see that the covenant made to Abraham also included his “seed”.

Second, the important question is “Who” is meant by the seed of Abraham?

Since the word “Seed” is singular and not plural then we can expect this “Seed” to be only one person.

The same Bible that teaches us all the wonderful things of God says that this “Seed” was Jesus Christ.

The entire Old Testament leads us to this “Seed” of Abraham!

What this means is, that the promises made to Abraham have been passed down to Jesus Christ.

Now if we just think like a man, then this is what the Word of God teaches!

**It is Jesus Christ who will inherit all the promised land, which includes the land of Canaan, the entire world, and the new world that is to come!

**It is all those that “believe” that shall inherit the world of Jesus Christ and reign with Christ throughout all eternity.

Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

**It means that only by “Faith” can the believer become justified and acceptable to God!

Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Abraham’s part in the covenant with God, was to believe!

Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

God’s part in this same covenant, was to keep and to fulfill all His promises!

The Apostle Paul says, that if you just think according to the way most men think of man-made laws you would still come to this same conclusion, when you look at the details of the covenant God made with Abraham.

And the pure fact is, that God made this covenant with Abraham some 430 years before the Laws of Moses were even written.

*****Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

When the Law was given to Moses, the covenant given to Abraham had not yet been fulfilled!

Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

And Jesus said not only had He come to fulfill the covenant given to Abraham, but He had also come to fulfill the Laws of Moses which had a totally different purpose.

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus was not just speaking of the Laws of Moses but all the Word of God.

When we come face to face with God, we will be judged by the Word of God!

The point of this sermon by the Apostle Paul remains that no man is justified by the law and neither can they be!

God’s covenant, God’s inheritance, and God’s eternal security come by “Promise” and “Not By Law”!

*****Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

What did Abraham inherit?

The most important thing that Abraham inherited was his own righteousness!

Gen 15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

And Abraham’s righteousness came by “Faith” and not by any law!

It was only after being accepted before God that Abraham was given the privilege, by Grace, of living forever in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

What did Jesus promise to all those that have Faith?

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

Thank God, He is more about His promise than He is about some Law.

God has never changed from the promises He has made and He never will!

Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;

What was the highest priority of the Apostles?

Luk 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

We should also pray to God to increase our “Faith”!

This should also be our priority as we grow in the Grace and Knowledge of the Lord!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Trusting God’s Plan Of Salvation—Rahab

Trusting God’s Salvation

Rahab

Text: Book of Joshua Chapter 2

Our Focus 2:1-15, 18

Trusting in God’s Salvation.

That word “trusting” spiritually speaking means “to rely on”. We must rely on God for our “salvation”. The only thing we provide to Him is a sinner in need of salvation.

That word “trusting” is used only 1 time in the Bible:

Psa 112:7  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, [trusting in the LORD].

When our hearts are fixed and we trust in the Lord(Jehovah) we can be saved!

The Hebrew word “batach” that was translated to the word “trusting” in this verse of Psalms, is used 120 times in the Bible, but not again as the word “trusting”.

“Batach” means we must have “confidence” in the Word of God.

We have just finished a study in the Book of Hebrews and we saw this same Rahab in Chapter 11 in what is called the Wall of Faith.

Heb 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab [perished not with them that believed not], when she had received the spies with peace.

Rahab had faith in the Word of God. Rahab trusted in the Word of God!

There were only two women that were mentioned in Hebrews 11.

Sarah, who was a godly woman.

And, Rahab who had been an ungodly woman.

The fact remains that we are all sinners saved by the “Grace of God”!

Rahab had worshipped pagan gods and sold her own body for money.

Rahab had absolutely nothing in common with Sarah except her “faith”.

James,  when he was inspired to write by the Holy Ghost, even compares the “faith” of the Harlot Rahab, to that of Abraham:

Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
 
Jas 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
 
Jas 2:25  [Likewise] also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, [so faith without works is dead also].

These are the works that follow the “faith” of the believer!

A true saving “faith” always proves itself by good works!

[Rahab was saved by her faith and not by her works] but she also made it into the ancestry of the Messiah, the Son of God in the flesh, Jesus!

Mat 1:5  [And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab]; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

This same Boaz married Ruth in another chapter in God’s Word.

So we see that God can use anyone and from any walk in life.
 
Jehovah God is truly no respecter of persons!

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. [But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:]
Rom 5:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, [even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.]
 
The Bible proves to us that God will choose the most unlikely people to have a part in His Work by His “Grace”!

So let’s begin:

*****Jos 2:1  And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. [And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there].

Moses had sent out 12 spies and they were unfaithful at least all but two. This same Joshua, and Caleb.

Jericho was about 7 or 8 miles from the river of Jordan.

There is no telling what goes through the minds of the reader when they see this passage and read where these two men went straight to the house of a harlot.

But we should consider, if these two spies had gone to a regular inn they would have been more noticeable as strangers in the land, and they were trying to avoid this at all cost.

But what we should concentrate on is the fact that God had already prepared this Rahab to receive His people!

We will see that she received, lodged, sheltered, and protected the messengers of God.

What did Jesus tell his disciples that He sent out  as messengers to the people?

Mat 10:11  And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Mat 10:12  And when ye come into an house, salute it.

God prepares the hearts of those that will receive His messengers!

We need to realize that not one Missionary would accomplish anything unless God has prepared some to receive them.

This is the very reason no one can have their own plan for missions but “we must be obedient to God’s call” and to the place God has called.

These spies may have been led to this house because it was situated on the wall itself but there can be no doubt that they had been directed there by God Himself!

*****Jos 2:2  And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.

Even though these two spies had entered Jericho in the evening just before the gates were closed they had not gone unnoticed.

As this passage unfolds we will see that these men of Jericho have themselves been watching Israel for all the 40 years that they were in the wilderness.

They were very aware of their presence near the river Jordan!

They were also very aware that Israel had been promised this land known as Canaan Land.

*****Jos 2:3  And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

Rahab had to take her life into her own hands when she had welcomed God’s people into her home.

Since these two men represented God’s people, and she was not afraid to offer her help, she was not about to give them to this king.

If the king discovered her deception it could have meant her death.

*****Jos 2:4  And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, [There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: ]

When is a lie a real lie?

When situations arise that go against the teachings of God, which is this case,  what would the words of Jesus be?

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.

We must obey the Word of God even over those of our own governments at times!

Rahab had demonstrated her “faith” by being obedient to the Word of God. How could she now just give up those she had taken in?

It is never OK to go against the Word of God even if it means we have to go against the laws of man!

“We never have the right to cause the death of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, just to protect ourselves”!

We must remember who we serve!

Rahab’s “faith” was not hidden. She took her stand for the Lord God Almighty. Those two spies could readily tell she was a “believer”.
 
*****Jos 2:5  And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.

We can see the Rahab willingly took part in the work and the safety of the spies. We can also see that Rahab was well known to these men sent of the king because he had no problem in believing what she had said.

The question is always asked, Did God sanction Rahab’s lie? I believe He did.
 
We might also ask, Did God sanction those who hid the Jews during World War II? I believe He did.

We support a missionary who smuggles Bibles into China.

Does God sanction the deceit of Bible smugglers who are lying to the Chinese government officials in order to get the Word of God into the hands of Chinese Christians? I believe He does.

The Apostle Peter and the Apostle John broke the law of the land.

Did God sanction the breaking of those laws?

Act 4:18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20  [For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.]
 
Does God sanction the telling of lies? NO

Does God place His Word above all manmade law? That answer is YES!

This called taking a stand on the Word of God!

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.]
 
*****Jos 2:6  But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
 
Flax is the plant that is processed to make linen.

The Canaanites were familiar with the use of linen, as evidenced in our scripture. BUT, We can see that this Rahab also worked to make a living in an honest way by making linen cloth.

The ancient method of processing flax into linen included soaking the flax and then laying it out to dry.

The flat roofs of these homes made it the ideal place dry this flax and Rahab had a large stack of these plants drying on her roof.

It also made it the ideal place to hide these spies at this time.

*****Jos 2:7  And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.

Rahab had been so convincing that these men of the king left in hot pursuit of the spies. But we can see they shut the gate of the city and probably posted guards to make sure they could not return.

We can also see that these men of Jericho searched all the way back to the river Jordan to a place (the fords) where they knew it was the easiest place to cross the river especially during the flooding season. (The time of the barley harvest).

We should know that the harvest of the barley and the flax happened at the same time!

*****Jos 2:8  And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
Jos 2:9  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

Before these two spies had a chance to sleep Rahab came and explained her faith to them.

We should immediately notice that Rahab showed more faith in the Lord than the ten of the spies that were sent out by Moses.

We have just spent some time in the Book of Hebrews but it said of Rahab:

Heb 11:31  “By faith” [the harlot Rahab] perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

We can see the truth of that scripture as we read the Book of Joshua!

Her “faith” was based on facts!

To the church God says:

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

So what had Rahab heard about Israel?

*****Jos 2:10  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

It had been 40 years since God had parted the Red Sea for the escape of Israel but it was still believed as a fact in Jericho.

The defeat of the two kings, Sihon and Og were things that had happened more recently and Jericho was well aware of army of God.

We should also notice that God had allowed 40 more years for the Canaanites to change their ways but they had not.

Remember what God had told Abraham:

Gen 15:16  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

God had revealed Himself, not only to Israel but also to the known world and given them time to repent AND,  It did not happen!

God has made it very clear to all the world, in the New Testament:

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

How long will God wait before He comes in judgment?

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

*****Jos 2:11  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

What is the power of conviction that brings “faith”?

Rahab was living in a pagan culture and had never heard the Word of God.

Rahab had not seen the first miracle.

Rahab had “only heard” how the mightiest nation on Earth at that time Egypt, had been humbled by Jehovah God, the I Am, of the Bible.

Rahab had “only heard” how Egypt had been humbled because Pharaoh refused the demands of Jehovah.

Rahab had “only heard” how Jehovah had redeemed poor, slaves from bondage.

Rahab had “only heard” how Jehovah had parted the Red Sea.

Rahab had “only heard” how the most mighty army in the world of that time had been destroyed.

Rahab had “only heard” how these slaves had wandered in the wilderness until they also were humbled by this Jehovah.

Rahab had “only heard” how these redeemed slaves had somehow conquered Sihon and Og of the Amorites.

Now Rahab could see that this bunch of redeemed people were camped near the river Jordan and were poised to conquer Canaan Land.

Rahab knew that she had never witnessed any things like these of her pagan gods!

SO, Rahab believed the things she had heard and Rahab stood alone against all her countrymen!

Do we wonder why Rahab was mentioned in the New Testament?

Those words the LORD your God mean “Jehovah the Holy Trinity”.

He is the God of Heaven above and also the God of the Earth beneath that Heaven!

This is why it is called “faith”!

What did the Apostle Paul write to the Romans?

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, [Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed].

How could we ever question the salvation of Rahab?

You know it is past time that Christians should stand against our own government!

Maybe not in the act of war but surely in the truth of the Word of God!

*****Jos 2:12  Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, [since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house,] and give me a true token:

Rahab prayed to be a part of God’s chosen people!

Rahab had realized the “Grace and Mercy” of this Holy God and she wanted to be a part of Him and also her family.

Once we know the Lord as our Savior, we need to do all we can to help our families know the same.

Rahab realized that Jehovah had a personal relationship with Israel and He was no respecter of persons for He cared even for the poor and for slaves.

Rahab realized that God also loved the stranger!

*****Jos 2:13  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
Jos 2:14  And the men answered her, Our life for yours, [if ye utter not this our business]. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.
 
Rahab wanted a guarantee.

These two men of Israel:

1.) They pledged their word.

2.) They pledged their lives that they would not break their word.

This was being like Christ before Christ came into the world.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has pledged Himself as the “guarantor of a better covenant”.

Heb 7:22  By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Jesus Christ died for us all and that included Rahab and her family but more important “He lives”, so our salvation is secure!

Heb 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Rahab also had to make a promise.

Rahab had to promise not to tell of their agreement.

All of Jericho already knew why the spies were sent. Rahab would have jeopardized her own safety if she told anyone else what had happened and also that of her family if she did not bring them into her house.

*****Jos 2:15  Then she let them down by a cord through the window: [for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall].

We can be sure that it was not that cord that is our lesson here but it is the color of that cord which is a “type” of the “Blood” of Jesus.

Jos 2:16  And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.
Jos 2:17  And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
Jos 2:18  Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

Rahab made sure that these two men of Israel understood the directions she had given to their pursuers and gave them different instructions.

Jas 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Jas 2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James gives us this example of good works “after faith”, which brought salvation.

BUT, This thin scarlet line was Rahab’s only hope of deliverance for her and her family.

We can be sure that the color of this line is given to us of the New Testament to remind us of the blood of Jesus.

To Israel it would be a reminder of the blood sprinkled post of their homes in Egypt the day of the passover, when the death angel was to pass over.

We need to be clear. Rahab and her family would be saved by her “faith in God” to deliver her and not faith in some red rope.

The fact that she hung the rope was a sign of her “faith”!

Rahab was a woman of great courage. She would have to tell her family of the coming destruction and the promised salvation.

Jehovah God had put His fear all over Canaan Land.

This was good news and a great assurance for Joshua!

*****Jos 2:24  And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.

Rahab found her place in Israel. She was married to Salmon and their son was Boaz, whom we will study when we get to the Book of Ruth.

Their son was Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David the most loved king of Israel.

It is the line of David that leads us the Mary and Joseph the God selected parents of the Holy Ghost delivered Son of God who we call the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rahab’s name will live forever as an ancestor of Jesus Christ!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!