Friday, September 4, 2015

Jesus Drank to Relieve You and Me of Sorrow

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." (Proverbs 31: 6-7)

When I read this passage, I think of Jesus drinking vinegar on the Cross before He delivered His Spirit:

"When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." (John 19 :30)

Notice that Jesus took that strong drink for us and signaled to the world and all eternity that He had finished the work which He came to do.

He put aside our sins forever (Hebrews 1: 3; 10: 14) and rendered inoperative the ordinances against us (Colossians 2: 13-15).

He took us from dead in our trespasses to alive and seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2: 1-6)

We do not have heavy hearts, but a  new heart:

"When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. " (Hebrews 10: 16)

We do not have to forget our poverty, for Jesus became poor and through His poverty we are made rich (2 Corinthians 8: 9)

We have no sorrow or misery, because in Christ we are more than conquerors (Romans 8: 37) and in Christ we reign in life (Romans 5: 17)

While the Proverbs were written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through men under law, we can see the work of Jesus and His grace in our lives.

He drank the bitter cup, and relieved us of all sorrow!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

We Lament No More, for We Have a Comforter

"Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself." (Lamentations 1: 9)

Reading the Old Testament can be depressing, discouraging, and even fearful.

If we "rightly divide the Word of Truth", we can see not just the grace of God superabounding in the midst of man's sin, but what God's grace has done and is doing for us today compared to what the Israelites had to endure under law.

In the above passage, Jeremiah views the desolation of Israel, following God's repeated attempts to warn them and invite His people to repentance.

Jeremiah speaks about "filthiness". Today, we are cleansed from all sin, and the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us (1 John 1: 7)

While the Israelites had nothing but bad memories, because of the loss, death, and destruction visited upon them from the invading Babylonians, today, we are called to remember all the good which God our Father has done for us through His Son Jesus:

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22: 19)

Paul explained to the First Church and thus to all of us the importance of the Holy Communion, remembering all that Jesus has done for us:

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." (1 Corinthians 11: 23-26)

Peter would write to fellow believers to stir them to remembrance, too:

"Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;" (2 Peter 1:13)

Above all, while the Israelites had no comforter in the midst of great desolation, today we have The Comforter!

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14: 26)

and

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" (John 15: 26)

and also

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16: 13)

Under the New Covenant, we do not lament, but we rejoice, freed from all sin, remembering all the Good which Jesus has done for us, comforted by His Holy Spirit.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Bible is About Belief and Life

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20: 31)

The Bible is not a manual on how to life.

The Bible is about life, a Person named Jesus!

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5: 39)

And then

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6: 63)

Then

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)

and finally

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14: 6)

Let us not forget that Jesus is the Word:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

and then

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1: 14)


The Bible is the Word, and the Word speaks of Christ Jesus, who is our Life (Colossians 3: 4)

We read the Bible to see more of Jesus, and because we believe on Him. we have life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Don't Frustrate His Grace

"0I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

Thank God once again for allowing the Holy Spirit to minister through Paul, and permit his mistakes to remain in the New Testament, in that they are not mistakes, but rather minister how the grace of God transforms us from glory to glory to be more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3: 18).

Paul writes to the Galatians, who had been seduced by Judaizers trying to bring back the law, that he does not frustrate or set aside the grace of God.

How does this happen?

When we try to be obedient or gain standing before God through the law:

"Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Galatians 5: 2-4)

When we sin, we do not fall from grace. Where sin increased, grace superabounded and then some (Romans 5: 20)

So what causes us to fall from God's grace? When we go back under law, when we try to justify ourselves through our own efforts, when we try to generate obedience or works through our own efforts.

We have to accept a startling truth, one which many church people still have not resolved to accept:

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7: 18)

and

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen,yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence" (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

and

"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Philippians 3: 3)

We are no longer under law, no longer under sin, but under grace, Let us stop trying to live His life in our efforts, but rather let His life live in and through us. Let go and let Jesus' supply flow, for we do all things through His grace (1 Corinthians 15: 10)

Monday, August 31, 2015

He Lives, And We Need to Remember That

"0I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

Let us all praise God for His infinite wisdom and goodness for us. He infuses our daily walk with good things and makes all things ready for us to receive evermore.

Throughout many of his writings to the Body of Christ, Paul deliberately corrects himself, indicating what growth in grace is all about.

Here, in the above passage, Paul declares that he has died with Christ, as have all of us who believe in Him.

Then he declares: "Nevertheless I live, yet not I."

Wow! What is going on here?

Paul makes it abundantly clear to us: Jesus is our life and lives in us today.

We do not have to bring ourselves to life, nor do our efforts produce the living, lively results we desire.

Paul did not speak about "Our efforts through the Spirit" or "Our works with the Spirit's help."

Paul wrote:

" 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5: 22-24)

Notice that Paul writes "the fruit of the Spirit".

This passages makes little sense to many Christians who still think that they must live "the Christian life".

He lives, and He lives in us, and Christ in us (Colossians 1: 27) lives the Christian life.

Just like Paul. we deliberately have to remind ourselves that He is very much alive and taking care of all things, including both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crucified Once and For All With Christ

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comeby the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

There are some teachings out there which contend that we have to die daily, that we have to crucify our flesh over and over again.

That is patently untrue, and unscriptural to boot.

How many times did Jesus die?

ONCE!

"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:" (1 Peter 3: 18)

and

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1: 3)

and also

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10: 14)

Jesus was crucified once. So were we.

"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" (Romans 5: 10)

"Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:" (Romans 6:8)

How many times can anyone of us die? Once.

Now, we have His Life, and this life is eternal.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Redeemed, Therefore Protected

"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." (Isaiah 43: 1)

This verse records the promise of the Lord when He sent His Son to die for us, even though the passage appears in the Old Testament. Let us never forget that our Daddy God is in the business of declaring all things, the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46: 10)

In this verse, we see the mention of Jacob, the Israel.

God created man, which speaks of Jacob, and when God sent His Son to die for man, made dead in trespasses, received a new standing in Christ Jesus, Israel (which means prince with God).

The reason that we know that God protects us, is that we are redeemed.

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3: 24)

and

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

and

"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" (Colossians 1: 13-14)

This redemption speaks to the full and forever truth that all our sins are forgiven:

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1: 3)

and also

"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" (Hebrews 10:12)

Because of this full redemption granted to us in Christ Jesus through His blood, the New Covenant is enacted in our lives:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

There you find the perfect protection we have in Christ.

We are redeemed because of Jesus, and thus we know and believe that He protects us.