All AUTHORITY is in Christ

The

MANIFOLD wisdom of God pt 2

All AUTHORITY is in Christ, and His commands are written in the New Testament.

[Mat 28:18; Luke 6:46; 1Cor 14:37].

This single subject is actually the KEY subject on how to answer every question, objection and error you will face. A firm understanding of how to determine Scriptural Authority will arm you against all the fiery darts of the devil. [Eph 6:10-17]

There are two fundamental differences that separate truth from error.

ERROR: “We are at liberty to do anything not specifically forbidden.” This is the approach liberals and modernists use towards the Bible that leads to death.

TRUTH: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” [Deut 4:2; 12:32; Jos 1:7; Pr 30:6; Ec 12:13; Re 22:18-19]

As you can see, God limits our actions to what is contained in the scriptures. We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord. This is easily understood in our everyday communication. The easiest example is seen when one places an ORDER for a pizza.

We communicate our wishes when we place an ORDER, by Telling, Showing or Implying. If you can communicate your wishes without Telling, Showing or Implying, please explain it to me without Telling, Showing or Implying. [Luke 6:46; Col 3:17]

It is understood by our specific request that no REPLACEMENTS or alterations are allowed. If one orders a pizza, chicken wings would not be acceptable. If you wanted wings you would have Ordered them. [1Sam 15:22-23; Acts 15]

The person receiving our order understands they may only DELIVER what is Specifically requested, Shown or Implied. To add or remove any item is to go beyond the permission (authority) given. To say, “you didn’t say I couldn’t add black olives;” would be unacceptable to any logical thinking person. [2Sam 7:7; Heb 7:11-17]

It matters not what the server ENJOYS, likes, or otherwise wants. It’s not about them, it’s about the one placing the Order. They may say “But I really ENJOY black olives on my pizza,” or, “The majority of people ENJOY smoked oysters and pineapple.” None of these are legitimate reasons to alter the order. They are limited to the specific request.

The following words from Jesus should make it plain.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:21-23]

Any alteration to the given command under specific authority is to be REJECTED regardless of how good it may feel, what good we think it may do, or how popular it may be.

[Matt 7:13-14; Luke 13:24; Acts 26:9]

How do we use this? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” [Col 3:16; Eph 5:19] Instrumental music is an addition because it is not commanded nor is it necessary to complete the command. Song books (or other scriptural source material) are accepted under GENERIC AUTHORITY because we need something from which we could all sing. Generic authority is the liberty given to us to choose the means by which we complete a specific command. ie. Noah was commanded to build an ark, under generic authority he had liberty to choose the necessary tools. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” [1Cor 14:40]

To say that instrumental music makes things better, or more enjoyable is irrelevant. It’s not in the command. To say David used instruments is also irrelevant because he lived under the Law of Moses (more about that in Lesson 6). David also used incense and sacrificed bulls; would you suggest we do those too? [Gal 5:1-4]

The COMFORT of the scriptures

Romans 15:4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach  us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently  for God's promises to be fulfilled. |
…through COMFORT of the scriptures we might have hope.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.[Romans 15:4]

Read that again; “…through the comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.” Did you catch it? Paul was referring to the Old Testament scriptures, and that those scriptures can give us comfort and hope.

I know many that find the Old Testament unpalatable, being too disgusting and violent. While it’s true that the OT is full of those things, the Holy Spirit has revealed that through them we may have COMFORT and HOPE.

The new year is upon us. Let’s renew our efforts to read for COMFORT and HOPE.  

7 ways we may find…

COMFORT and hope in the OT Scriptures.

The first thing we can notice is that CHRIST is in the Old Testament. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Jesus taught of Himself to those on the road to Emmaus, and they said, “Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?” [John 5:39; Luke 24:13-27,32]

Paul wrote in two of his letters saying the scriptures were written for OUR Learning and OUR admonition upon whom the end of the age are come. We have a huge advantage in that we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ. [Rom 15:4; 1Cor 10:11]

In the letter to the Corinthians he wrote about those God brought out of Egypt, “Howbeit with MOST of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. We always learn by others example or experiences. The Old Testament scriptures reveal both good and negative examples. It is foolish to try to learn from just your own mistakes. You may never recover! [1Cor 10:1-13]

A major lesson the entire world needed from the very first day of man in the Garden until now is to learn the FEAR of the Lord. Every generation, every person must learn this. The Old Testament teaches this lesson over and over through the example of those that disobeyed God. “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.” Some dislike this idea of the FEAR of the Lord, but they misunderstand. If you’re in Christ through faithful baptism, you will have a reverential fear. But if not, you ought to have a terror type fear. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” [Job 28:28; 2Cor 5:11; cr Prov 1:7; Ecc 12:13; Mat 10:28]

Another lesson is that the OLD Covenant was hard, really hard. By reading Leviticus & Deuteronomy (reading through Romans & Hebrews also) we can see that the Law of Moses went well beyond the 10 Commandments. The Jewish traditions teach that there are about 613 commandments. But now we are under the Liberty of Christ. “A better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises.” We are no longer under the bondage of the OLD testament system that couldn’t remove sins, but left a reminder of sin year by year. “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” [Heb 8:6; Gal 2:4; 4:3, 9, 24, 25; 5:1]

The Law of Moses has been REMOVED & REPLACED by the Love and Blood of Christ on that cross. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments. We now live under grace through the doctrine of Christ. [Col 2:12-14; Eph 2:15; 2John 1:9]

Finally, we can use both the Old and the New Testament scriptures to TEST the spirits. The Bereans were “more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” Who’s teaching where they testing? It was the Apostle Paul’s delivered to him through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, AND THEY ARE CALLED MORE NOBLE! [Acts 17:11; Eph 3:3-4; cr. 1Thess 5:21; 1John 4:1-4; Deut 13:1-11; 18:20-22]

We need not abhor the OT scriptures for in them is COMFORT and HOPE.

Seven Musts of Salvation #1, HEAR

Conversions in Acts

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

These are the words of the Philippian Jailer in Acts 8. Going against today’s popular opinion, the Jailer recognized that there was something one must do to be saved.

If you asked your pastor this question, would he take the same steps that Peter takes with the Jailer? Before you answer, compare all the conversion stories in Acts and then answer.

  • Jews @ Pentecost. Acts 2:38
  • Samaritans. Acts 8:5-13
  • The Eunuch. Acts 8:36-41
  • Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:1-9
    • 22:16; 26:12-19
  • Cornelius. Acts 10:33-48
  • Lydia. Acts 16:13-16
  • The Corinthians. Acts 18:8
  • The 12 men from Ephesus. Acts 19:1-5

Would your pastor teach all these things?

#1, we must HEAR:

Hearing is the first MUST of salvation. Without hearing and understanding you cannot move any further. To LISTEN to the word of God, or to hear, is to understand and goes beyond the physical sense of hearing.

To hear you must LET the word of Christ get through. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;” [Colossians 3:16] Most people cannot hear because they’re talking over the message or the messenger. “But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord;” [Acts 7:57]

A good hearer INVESTIGATES the message to see if it is so. “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” [Acts 17:11]

A good listener will SEEK clarity by asking questions. The good evangelist encourages people to seek for clarity and loves getting questions, even if they challenge the message. “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him.” [Acts 8:30-31]

The same word you must hear also encourages you to TEST or prove for accuracy by the word, what is being said. “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” [1Thess 5:21; 1John 4:1]

Another way you can tell if you have heard & understood is by EXPLAINING back to the speaker what you have heard. This is a great practice for anyone trying to learn something new. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” [Acts 8:35-36]

Lastly, we must understand by the verses at the beginning of this article that hearing is NECESSARY to salvation. This disqualifies babies (they are safe; Matt 19:14). Salvation will not be separate or apart from the revealed word of God. God is expecting us to study, to read, to learn.

–Spencer

1. All quotation are from the ASV

Who is MELCHISEDEC?

Who was Melchizedek according to the Bible and what is its meaning?

 

MELCHISEDEC [Melchizedek]

Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

All the verses about Melchisedec; Gen 14:18-20; Psalm 110:4; Heb 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:1-21

 

WHO WAS MELCHISEDEC?

Melchisedec was a high priest of the MOST High God. [Gen 14:18]

Heb 7:4 Now consider how (EXCELLENT) great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. This same Abraham is the Patriarch of the nation of Israel, the one to whom the promise that the whole world would be blessed. [Ge 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Ge 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 27:29; Ps 72:17; Ac 3:25; Ga 3:8]

Even the LEVITES paid him tithes [Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.  10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.]

He was not of the Levitical Priesthood, Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being CHANGED, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. Jesus is not from Levi, but from Judah. [Heb 7:14]

Melchisedec had no written HERITAGE, Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

The role of a High Priest is to INTERCEDE for man in the offering of gifts and sacrifices unto God. Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

This other High Priest after the order of Melchizedek is SEPARATE from sinners. 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. 26 For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, SEPARATE from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

The ENDLESS life of Jesus is a testimony that He is this High Priest. Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

We have no record of the death of Melchisedec, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; [7:3] But the Levites died, And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: [7:23] Jesus conquered DEATH [Acts 2:24]. Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

As our High Priest, Jesus is making intercession, having ENTERED heaven itself. Heb 9:24 For Christ is not ENTERED into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

CHOSEN by God, Jesus is our HIGH PRIEST, Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. [Psalm 2:7] 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. [Psalm 110:4]

Jesus…

with strong crying and tears v7

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; v8

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; v9

CALLED of God a high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Heb 5:10

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus is that ‘daysman’ Arbiter between God and man that Job longed to for. Job 9:33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.

1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

What Think Ye of Christ?

 

“Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” Matthew 22:42

 

What’s our ATTITUDE toward CHRIST?

For Some

  • My Lord & my God. John 20:28.
  • Fell down to worship Him. Mat 2:11 Wise men; Mat 8:2 leper; Mat 15:25 a woman of Canaan; John 9:38 the blind man; Luke 24:52 Men on road to Emmaus; Mark 5:6 Legion of demons; Mat 28:9 His disciples. Mat 14:33 after walking on water. Mat 9:18 a ruler.
  • He is POWERFUL. Mark 5:25-28; Mark 4:41 storm;
  • Marveled at His words. Luke 4:22; 7:9; 20:26
  • Saw Him as having authority, Mat 7:29; Mark 1:22
  • Thou art the Christ. Peter in Mat 16:16.
  • As a King. John 6:15; 12:13 Triumphal entry; John 18:37 Jesus said.

 

EVEN DEMONS said…

  • Holy One of God. Mark 1:24 I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. Luke 4:34
  • You are the Christ, the Son of God. Luke 4:41; Mat 8:29
  • Thou art the Son of God. Mark 3:11 unclean spirits, Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28;
  • Demons believe & tremble. Jas 2:19
    • Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

 

Others said

  • He has a devil. John 10:20; Mark 3:22;
  • He was a law breaker. John 5:18
  • He was mad. Mark 3:21 his Relatives;
  • He was a food pantry. John 6:25-26;
  • He was a blasphemer. John 10:33 Jews sought to stone Him. Luke 5:21 forgiving sins.
  • He was a court jester. Luke 23:8 Herod to see a miracle.
  • Some didn’t think much of Him at all. Luke 7:39 A Pharisee.
    • The Weeping Woman; v37-38. What did she think of Him?

7 Titles of Jesus in John 1 pt2

Image result for titles of jesus

 

The first chapter of John’s gospel is powerful in that it delivers 7 titles of Jesus. Last week we noted 4 of the 7 (THE WORD, GOD, LIFE, & LIGHT). This week we continue with three more titles of Jesus in John chapter 1.

7 Titles of Jesus in John chapter 1:

CHRIST: (v17)

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

This title, “the Christ,” carries great significance.

Stong’s definition; anointed, i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus:–Christ.

 

It is used over 300 times in the New Testament and means “the anointed one.”

Andrew, the brother of Peter, went to him telling him that he had found the MESSIAH. [v41]

By divine revelation Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ [Mat 16:16]. Prophets foretold of His coming as the Messiah.

From “Christ” comes the name Christian,” and “Christianity.” By calling ourselves Christ-ones we are seeking to do His will by keeping His commandments.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [John 14:15]

What a sham it is when people call themselves ‘Christian’ without obeying & serving him.

 

LORD: (v23)

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”

Lord is a name expressing His sovereignty. [cr. 1Tim 6:15] Is it any wonder then that Jesus asked; “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” [Luke 6:46]

I can’t tell exactly how Jesus is asking this. Is He saying it as if they’re acknowledging Him as King? Or, is He indicating that they’re calling on Him with much pleading for help? The context indicates the latter as He is discussing those lost in the final judgment. [cr. Matt 7:21-23].

In either case He is indicating how ridiculous it is to call on Him in your time of need after living a life rejecting His authority & position as the Son of God and the creator! [John 1:1]

 

LAMB OF GOD: (v29)

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

This last one drives home the point about who Jesus is to us.

He is the only worthy sacrifice, sent by God, to take away the sins of the world, you and I.

The Hebrew writer reminds us, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” [Heb 9:22].

He also reminds us that there are no worthy sacrifices found on the earth, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” [Heb 10:4]

Paul wrote that no human is worthy either, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” [Rom 3:10].

All of this being true, there was no hope for mankind because of their sin. What is impossible with men is possible with God.

And so, the only remedy for our disobedience is the LAMB of GOD.

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”       [Heb 9:12]

God’s love is so great for us that He gave Himself for us.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [Rom 5:8-10]

TRULY AMAZING! Let us consider these Titles of Jesus and walk worthy of wearing His Glorious Name.

—Spencer

7 Titles of Jesus in John 1

Image result for titles of jesus in John

 

We know that the central theme throughout scripture is Christ Jesus. He can be seen on nearly every page. Some chapters stand out among the rest. The chapters of Isaiah 53 & Exodus 12 to name a few.

John one is remarkable for the titles it tells us that our Lord and savior wears. This article attempts to describe the meaning of those titles. For the sake of room, we will study the first 4 titles, then next week we’ll finish with the other 3.

7 Titles of Jesus in John chapter 1:

THE WORD: (v1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,”

Jesus is called the Word because His life, death, burial & resurrection will become the GOSPEL, the good news. It will be the message all must hear and obey. It is this word by which mankind can be saved.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved,” [1Cor 15:1-2a]

———————

GOD: (v1) “…the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

This verse clearly states that Jesus is God. Some may deny it, but scripture supports it.

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.:”

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” [Col 2:9]

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” [1Tim 3:16]

[Jno 5:18; cr. Col 1:15; Phil 2:6]

———————

LIFE: (v4) “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Jesus would go on to say later,

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

[John 14:6]

Eternal Life can only be found through Jesus.

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” [Col 3:4]

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 this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” [1John 5:11]

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 6:23]

———————

LIGHT: (v7) “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.”

God is often described as light. So too His ways. The Light that is Christ is pure & holy. Several passages use light to describe God.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

[1John 1:5]

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” [Rev 21:23]

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” [John 3:19]

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” [John 12:46]

———————

Next week we’ll examine the next 3 titles of Jesus in John 1.

—Spencer

Jesus, the Way

The Hebrew writer speaks about Jesus as bringing better things for us:

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”

[Heb 6:9]

Jesus tells us about a few of these better things when He said that He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.

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]

We’ll study about more of these ‘BETTER THINGS’ as we delve into the story of Jesus, His ministry, His teachings & His sacrifice.

It’s important for us to study, as far too many have a misunderstanding about Jesus. They make Jesus into a genie. The struggles of life cause many to look to Jesus, but they often encounter erroneous & contradictory teachings. These false teachings won’t take away the struggles, rather they will turn them into despair.

  • Do you have problems? Are you confused about the answers? Do you know that Jesus has revealed to us all things pertaining to life & godliness [2Pet 1:3]? Through the guidance of His word we can smooth out many of life’s problems. When we study His word, we will discover how profitable it is to our life on this earth.

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

[2Tim 3:16-17]

  • Do you feel lost with a feeling of despair? That can be overwhelming. You’re not alone. Jesus felt all of the same things you feel, yet without sin.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”     [Isaiah 53:3]

  • Are you afraid? “HAVE NO FEAR” is an idea found hundreds of times throughout scripture, and is one of those better things found in Christ. [1John 4:17-18]
  • Are you confused about the Bible? A confusion caused by the 1,000’s of denominations in our world. You don’t have to be, because Jesus is the way to a better truth. He is the truth.

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” [John 1:17]

  • Are you confused about the church? It’s easy to see why by the many denominations proclaiming to be the Lord’s church. All the while as they preach another Jesus, another Gospel and another spirit [2Cor 11:4]. Jesus spoke of better things about the church. Jesus made a promise to build A church. Just ONE, [Eph 4:4; 1:22-23]. The church that He would build would be paid for with His own shed blood [Acts 20:28]. The church that Christ built has Himself as the chief cornerstone [Eph 2:20]. And you cannot join His church. No sir, you cannot join the church of Christ. You must be ADDED TO IT by the Lord through obedience to His instructions, “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” [Acts 2:38, 41, 47]

I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matt 16:18b]

These are just a few of the ‘better things’ found in Christ. Everything will be better in Christ, in His WAY, in His TRUTH and in His LIFE. Please, I beg you, get in that WAY, that bright & shining WAY.

—Spencer

OBEDIENT FROM THE HEART

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THERE IS AN OLD STORY THAT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

An old man, going on a journey, left instructions for his 3 sons to take care of the farm and to build a barn by the field to the west, a house on the hill toward the north, to plant an orchard toward on the east side and dig a well on the southern part of the property. He then departed on his journey.

After the old man had left, the 3 sons went to the west where the barn was to be built. They conferred and said,

Father has made an excellent choice for the barn.” So, they built the barn according to their father’s instructions.

Next they surveyed the hill to the north for the building of the house. They conferred once again and said to one another:

Father has chosen an excellent spot for the house.” So, they built the house according to what their father had said.

After this they went toward the east side of the property and examined the area for the orchard. Upon inspection they said to one another,

This is indeed a fine spot for the orchard.” So, they planted the orchard in the instructed location.

When they had completed the barn, the house and the orchard their attention then turned to the digging of the well. They went over to the southern side to inspect the spot their father had chosen for the well. They counselled with one another and said,

“Father has truly made fine choices for the locations of the other things, but his choice for the well is not good. It’s not in a convenient location. There’s already a nearby stream, let’s forgo digging and use the stream for our water.” They then ceased their work from the father.

The question then is this, in how many areas were the sons obedient to their father? Four? Three?

The correct answer is NONE!

We can easily see that they disobeyed in one area, but they had actually disobeyed in all four. Regarding the 3 areas in which they followed the father’s instructions, they only followed their father’s instructions in the areas after they agreed with his choices.

Obedience requires following instructions whether one agrees with them or not.

OBEDIENCE, IF ONLY IN AGREEMENT = DISOBEDIENCE.

This is exactly what we see regarding our Heavenly Father’s instructions. God has given instructions regarding salvation:

  • God said that one must believe in Jesus as the Christ [Acts 10:43; John 3:16]. This makes sense to many, so they agree to believe in Jesus.
  • God said that each person must repent of their sins. [Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30). To many this also makes sense, so they agree to repent.
  • God said that everyone must confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus [Rom 10:9, 10]. This is seen as a reasonable command, so they gladly oblige.

God has also clearly commanded the believer to be Baptized in water for salvation. [Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1Peter 3:21] Unfortunately, some stop at this point because they don’t agree with the Lord. They don’t see the need for baptism. Naaman had this problem, he thought waving hands was better. [2King 5:11]

So, they refuse to be baptized to have their sins washed away. [Acts 22:16].

The question is repeated here; In how many ways have those who have faith alone obeyed God? The answer is the same, NONE. They’ve only acted on the instructions with which they agreed. Obedience requires submitting to God’s will whether you agree or not. Submission implies some disagreement.

Jesus asked it this way, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” [Luke 6:46]

GOD GAVE US

Every good and perfect gift comes from above – James 1:17 ...

 

AS WE LEARN ABOUT GIVING in our study of 2 Corinthians 9, we have come to a point where Paul is writing to encourage us to give BOUNTIFULLY.

He uses the illustration of sowing & reaping. This is still good imagery for today. Paul specifies 4 out of the 9 basic principles of the Law of Sowing & Reaping.

  • We expect to reap so much MORE than we sow.
    • If you plant a few seeds, you’ll get a smaller return.
    • If you plant a lot of seeds, you should expect a much greater return.
  • You will reap in a different season than when you sow.
  • If you don’t sow, you won’t reap.
  • You WILL reap what you sow.

Paul then goes on to emphasize the necessity of giving by pointing out the giving done by our Creator.

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: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 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;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” [2Cor 9:8-11]

Upon reading this, along with a few additional passages on the subject, we glean 5 incredible gifts given to us by God.

SEED to SOW: v10. Everything we have was created by God. Isaiah 55:10 states, “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::”

SEASON: God has given us the seasons, as Paul spoke in Acts 14:17, “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” These seasons provide for the growth cycles as well as for us to see God’s might & power [Le 26:4; De 11:14; 28:12; Job 5:10; Ps 65:10; 68:9; 147:8; Jer 14:22]

SPROUTING with fruit: v10; What a comfort it is to know that God continues to provide for us the things need for life. David concluded, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” [Psa 37:25] cr 1Cor 3:6.

SUN: When God was displaying His power to Pharaoh, He darkened the sun for 3 days. It was a darkness so dark that it could be felt. [Ex 10:21]. Every time the sun rises, take a moment to thank God for the marvelous light. [cr. Jas 1:17; 1Cor 15:41]

SIGNS: God doesn’t leave us in darkness of His will, He also gave us signs that we can read about in the Bible. “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” [Heb 2:4] These signs are sufficient for our faith, if we’ll just read His word. [Acts 14:3; John 20:30-31]

HIS SON: v15; No listing of God’s blessings is complete if we fail to include Christ Jesus. All other blessings pale in comparison. God’s love is demonstrated toward us through the giving of His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of man.

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. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” [1John 4:9-10]

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.” [John 3:16]

It’s a shame that people continue to reject the Grace of God given to us through Jesus, the Christ. It’s also a shame that those who have obeyed the gospel become stingy with their Time, Talents & their Treasures in service to the Almighty.

Let that not be one of us.