The Fruit of the Spirit

Tags

, , , ,

The Apostle Paul, in writing the epistle to the churches in Galatia, was doing so to correct several areas, one of which was the false teaching that the Law of Moses was still to be followed (particularly circumcision) in the life of the Gentile believers. In the 5th chapter, Paul focuses in on what it means to have a life dedicated to the Lord, by the work of Jesus on the cross and the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer

In chapter 5:19-21, Paul compares the lust of the flesh, as “works”, (ἐργα [erga]). In Galatians 5:22-23, he parallels the result of the work Holy Spirit in the believer’s life and “fruit.”  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Fruit is often used as a metaphor for a “good.” In the New Testament, and specifically in this passage, fruit is associated with a good outcome (Matt. 3:8; 7:16; John 4:36; 15:8; Rom. 1:13; 6:21). Paul’s writing conveys several uses for fruit: Fruit of light (Ephesians 5:9), fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11), fruit of labour (Philippians 1:22), fruit of the lips (Hebrews 13:15). According to Paul, fruit is normally result of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer. Paul looks at the believer as a beautiful, fruit producing tree, with gorgeous, beautiful and satisfying fruit upon it.

It is important to note that Paul refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer as “fruit” and not “fruits.” Therefore, when the believer dies to himself (Galatians 2:20), the Holy Spirit exhibits all nine of these traits. It is not a best of 9 traits, but a culmination of each of these.

Paul declares that the result of the work of the Spirit in the heart of a Christian is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Therefore, if the Christian would exhibit these fruit, he would be imitating the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God.
 God is love – Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13
 God is joy – 1 Timothy 1:6; Nehemiah 8:10; Matthew 25:21
 God is peace – Isaiah 9:6; John 16:33
 God is longsuffering – Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Romans 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:16
 God is gentle – Luke 6:35; 2 Timothy 2:24
 God is goodness – Psalm 25:8; 33:5
 God is faith – Psalm 89:1; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 6:23
 God is meekness – Psalm 18:35; Matthew 11:29; 2 Corinthians 10:1
 God is Temperance – Galatians 5:23

Therefore, the believer is to walk in the Spirit, in the very nature of God. There is a battle within, between the lust of the flesh and the work of the Holy Spirit in our life. We are to be clean before the Lord, not falling for the desires of the wicked heart. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer will keep them clean and acceptable unto the LORD.

Let us live our live that it will be pleasing unto Him!

If you have some verses to add to the attributes of God as used in the listing of the Fruit of the Spirit, let me know what verses or passages you have found as showing the nature of God.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Teen Study Bible NKJV

Tags

,

9780310752752_jpg_5

The Teen Study Bible NKJV, Hardback edition, Zondervan. 2015, (1626 pages).
Book Review
I do not own a single Teen Study Bible. Usually I find them simplistic and the market is filled with NIV translations. This one caught my eye as it is a New King James Version of the bestselling teen study Bible published by Zondervan. The NKJV is a trusted, word-for-word translation and as a parent, I would willingly give one to my teenagers.
The one I am reviewing is a hard cover edition printed in color. It is a very handy size of 5.5”x8.5” x 1.75” to fit most teens hands. The cover is “splashy” in design and the back of the Bible says; “This Bible keeps up with you, to help you keep up with God.”
As the title says, this is a study Bible dedicated to teenagers, incorporating helps that speak their language and age group. It is packed with many great features as outlined on the back:
Features Include:
• We Believe—Unpacks the Apostles’ Creed to reveal the biblical foundation of faith
• Panorama—Keeps the big picture of each book of the Bible in view
• 4 full-color pages—Presentation page and information about the Apostles’ Creed
• Key indexes—Helps with in-depth Bible Study
• To the Point—Reveals what the Bible says about pressing issues
• Dear Jordan—Offers biblical advice for teens
• Instant Access—Tells what God says to you personally
• Q&A—Tests your knowledge of Bible trivia
• Bible Promises—Highlights Bible verses worth remembering
• Book Introductions—Provides and overview for each book of the Bible
• 8 page, full-color map section
• Complete text of the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible
In my opinion, there is a heavy dose of the Apostles Creed. The opening pages lists the Apostles Creed and its history. Throughout the Bible there are references to the Apostles Creed titled “We Believe.” There is a very good explanation of how to use the Bible that any teen could comprehend. These are found throughout the Bible, using a “blue” print to identify the reader of the help.
My biggest surprise of this Bible was the inclusion of the “Preface to the NKJV.” For those teens wanting to know how this version came into being, this is a gold mine. It is written with great detail but is very easy to read and understand. Well done!
In my opinion, the “Teen Study Bible, NKJV”, is a very valuable resource for the teens of today to help keep them in the Word of God. I believe the editors and publisher are successful in their design.
The format of the Bible is “paragraph” style as many of the newer Bibles today are going. It keeps the flow of the verses in a readable format. The type is small, but readable.
This study Bible will answer many of the questions concerning, backgrounds, personal biographies, comparisons and references.
My further review:
First of all, the translation used is the New King James Version which is a trusted, word-for-word translation. It has the beauty of the KJV without the “thee’s” and “thou’s” that are antiquated from the 1600’s. Of course that is an over simplification of the differences, but you get the idea.
There are very simple, yet well written introductions to each book of the Bible. It is the 30,000 foot view of the book, which is perfect for the “get it, got it, good” crowd.
The Bible has 8 pages of full color maps.
My overall opinion is that I would gladly endorse the “Teen Study Bible, NKJV” by zondervan to any teen. I would also recommend this Bible to new believers of any age without hesitation, if they are looking for a NKJV.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being highly recommended, I would give this Bible a rating: of 4+
BoLin949
Disclosure. I am a blogger for BookLook Bloggers and received this Book free from Zondervan and BookLook Bloggers Review Program. My receipt of this book was in order to review the product. I am not required to give a positive review, only my personal opinion. All opinions are mine.

Questions from Youth Camp

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Falls Creek Youth Camp, 2016

13438921_10157036324660693_5826177072707523061_n13438894_10157036324475693_3368577753193133029_n13516251_10157036275560693_2646459570835635512_n13509124_10157036276305693_5047270050303927968_n

Another Youth Camp is in the rear view mirror. Every camp takes on a different feel and this year’s camp was no different. We had many first time campers, some previous campers were now counselors and we had several new counselors to our group.

For the past four years, our church, Keys Valley Baptist Church in Belton, Texas, has joined with Grace Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. We go to Falls Creek Youth Camp, located in the Arbuckle mountains. The responsibilities are somewhat shared and we have it down to an organized chaos.

The temperature was in the mid 90’s in southern Oklahoma each day, but that doesn’t stop our 70 campers. They participate in volleyball, soft ball, skate boarding, swimming, canoeing, zip line or many other activities. Memories are made whether it be in the rain and flood of the previous year or the heat this year.

Note: If you decide to read this list of questions, I would ask you to not only look at the question, but think about the reason for the question. I believe you will see some real struggles in the lives of these teenagers (however, there is no way of know if any of the cooks or counselors also placed questions into the box). Many come from broken homes, some abusive. Many parents are not supportive of taking their kids to church. Each year my heart is broken for these teenagers that I get to teach and love for a week. 

  • What do you do to comfort somebody with Jesus?
  • If God has always been there, were the angels always there as well?
  • What do you do if you feel like God is calling you and you don’t listen and you feel like you sinned?
  • I have been having hard thought’s? What do you do if you’re in a church and you feel like God is calling you and you don’t listen?
  • How do you get baptized faster if the other church you go to gives you a 50 question test that you have to pass to get baptized? What do you do?
  • What do you do if you want to get baptized and your pastor immediately says you’re not ready to do this?
  • What do you do if you have problems getting to church?
  • If you commit suicide, can you still go to heaven?
  • What do you do if you’re having bad thoughts and are questioning if God loves you or not?
  • How do you deal with guilt from sin?
  • How did anyone know about God before Jesus came down?
  • What is Christianity? What is God doing when good people die or have bad times?
  • What if someone dies and they have never heard the Gospel?
  • How should we pray?
  • Do you HAVE to confess with your mouth to be saved or just believe in your heart?
  • What verses can you read if you’re going through a tough time?
  • Is it good to only want to read one verse in the Bible?
  • Will I still be able to get into heaven if I believe in things the Bible doesn’t support it? For example, supporting gay marriage.
  • Is it wrong to be transgender, bisexual or gay? Will God hate me if I am? If it is wrong, I’m sorry.
  • Are gay’s allowed to be in heaven?
  • Do you love God? (question for the Apologetic’s Forum panel). Why?
  • How do we help homosexual people?
  • What do you do if when you’re reading a verse in the Bible and don’t get it?
  • Am I saved if I can’t remember when I accepted Christ, but I still believe in him? I just can’t remember the actual date.
  • How do you know the Lord is with you?
  • Is it OK if you want to get closer to God and get resaved?
  • Is it true they took things out of the Bible they didn’t want us to know about?
  • What is the difference between God the Lord & the Holy Spirit? And if none, why not call all of them one name?
  • How do you talk to people that think God is fake?
  • What do you do when you encounter an atheist that argues about your faith? What are some arguments I can use?
  • How do you overcome doubt of God?
  • Why does God love me? Is it OK to have doubts?
  • If God created earth, who created God?
  • Is God going to make us live again?
  • Did the dinosaurs exist?
  • Why is theism involved in Christianity?
  • What does God’s love mean?
  • How do we begin understanding God’s love?
  • How do we know/feel when God is speaking to you?
  • Why is evolution not in harmony with creation?
  • If you aren’t saved, can you still be saved?
  • In Revelation, it says that someone who “adds to” the Bible will have their name “blotted out of the book of life”, but as Baptists we believe no one can be separated from God after they’re saved. Can a Christian lose their salvation by adding to the Bible? Or, does getting your name removed from the book of life mean losing your salvation?

We ended up the Friday evening Apologetics Forum well after midnight. I am sure that there were many questions that were never put on paper.

Our greatest resource in America are our youth. Would you agree to pray with me for this next generation as they search for answers? Thank You.

Book Review: the NKJV “Apply the Word Study Bible (eBook version)

Tags

, , ,

hcp-nkjvapplywordstbib-cover

NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible, Red Letter Edition: Live in His Steps, eBook version. Thomas-Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 2016, (1632 pages).

Book Review 

I currently own over thirty study Bibles. I have stopped purchasing them because most just regurgitate the same commentaries from the same group of commentators with the same set of references. It is refreshing when I can pick up a study Bible and it peaks my interest right away. And the “NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible” did just that.

In my opinion, the “Apply the Word Study Bible”, is directed toward the new believer to intermediate reader. The type is crisp, the layout is refreshing and easy to follow.

This study Bible will answer many of the questions concerning, backgrounds, personal biographies, comparisons and references.

My further review:

First of all, the translation used is the New King James Version which is a trusted, word-for-word translation. It has the beauty of the KJV without the “thee’s” and “thou’s” that are antiquated from the 1600’s. Of course that is an over simplification of the differences, but you get the idea.

Secondly, the section titled “How to use this eBible” is clear and concise, and should be easy to navigate for anyone experienced in using and reading ebooks. It is worth spending some time in getting used to using the links within the eBible.

Thirdly, there are plenty of great notes to help explain sections of the Scriptures. For example, the Study Bible includes an in-depth review of “Monies, Weights and Measures” that help the reader to understand the difference between a “mite” and a “Talent”

Fourthly, there are well written introductions to each book of the Bible.

Lastly, the Bible has a large section of full color maps.

My overall opinion is that I would gladly add the “Apply the Word Study Bible” to my library, and to recommend it to new believers without hesitation, if they are looking for a NKJV.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being highly recommended, I would give this eBilbe a rating: of 4

BoLin949

Disclosure. I am a blogger for BookLook Bloggers and received this eBook free from Thomas-Nelson and BookLook Bloggers Review Program. My receipt of this book was in order to review the product. I am not required to give a positive review, only my personal opinion. All opinions are mine.

The DVR of Life

Tags

, , , ,

My wife Linda and I drove three hours to have dinner with some very dear friends.  It was like many of our long drives, we were silent at times and other times we had light or serious discussions. On this particular trip, my wife asked me the most interesting question.  “Looking back through our lives is there anything that you regret or would change?”  I would have to say that this question caught me unaware and it took me several minutes of reviewing my life before I could give an answer.

th2KZ7Z5R9As I thought back through my life I realized there were several areas of my life that I regretted.  Number one on that list were the years that I was out of fellowship with God.  I will not know how many people we did not reach for Jesus until I stand before Him.

I believe that we all have things we would change in our lives or regrets?  Would you agree to that statement?  Well would you be shocked to know that God had regrets about creating man?  In the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis states exactly that: “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

I remember when the JVC and Sony were battling for supremacy in the home video recording market.  JVC brought out the VHS (Video Home System) and Sony introduced the Beta format.  The VHS format eventually won over the market.  How exciting it would be to be able to record a television program and then later watch it at your own leisure. You could record a football game that started at noon when the preacher went long, then you could just watch it when he got home. Recent technology has brought us the “DVR” (digital video recorder).  The DVR has taken video recording to a new level. You can record any program at any time, watch one program while you’re recording another, replay any recording, which is especially good when viewing sporting events.  You can even delete certain programs or scenes.

When Linda asked me if I had any regrets, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a DVR for our life?”  Wouldn’t it would be great to sit down with a glass of tea and watch our lives again as they actually happened, and not the way we remember them?  Imagine fast-forwarding over those scenes in our lives that we would just as soon forget?  You wouldn’t necessarily have to watch those times that were too painful to watch again.  You could even delete some events from your life like they didn’t even happen?  You would create a “This is your life”, the high-lights, so to speak.

Let’s pretend that just for a moment that we are here on April 30, 2016 and we are reviewing all the events of 2016 through our DVR.  Would your life be seen in exactly the same scenes as the previous year?  Will there be areas you would fast-forward through?  We can’t answer that question because it hasn’t happened yet.

What do you hope to accomplish in this year, 2016?  New Year’s day is typically when people come up with a list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” However, we normally find that within months, and sometimes weeks the resolution is broken.  So the question I pose to you today is “what do you want to see on your ‘DVR’ when you review it in one year?”

As with all video’s taken of families and outings, there are some scenes that are beautiful and crystal clear.  But other scenes are out of focus or the picture isn’t framed correctly as people’s heads are cut out of the video.  I would suggest that there will be portions that you would want to cut out of the video (taking pictures of the ground when you thought you had the camera turned off, etc.).

To review 2016 with our DVR on May 1, 2017, you will have to watch the good and bad.  Even if you fast-forward, the scenes are still there.  What if you could not delete any portion of the video?  What if the whole world was going to watch the life you lived in 2016?  I am sure that in my life there would be events that I would want to fast-forward or delete so that others could not see.  But what if you couldn’t fast forward or delete, but had to sit on the front row as others watched your life unfold?

While we certainly can’t project the events of the coming year, we certainly can take the steps to make 2016 the best year of our lives. We can begin making decisions today and every day they would ensure one year from now we will be very happy with the recording of our life that took place in 2016.

We have control. We make the decisions that affect how our lives will play out in the next year.

Happy viewing.

Passion Week

Tags

, , ,

For most of the Christian denominations, the week leading up to Easter is called “Passion Week.” Passion means “suffering”, so Passion week is the week leading to the suffering, including the crucifixion of Jesus.

The Holy Bible, includes the events, works and teachings of Jesus’ ministry leading up to His death and resurrection. The events are well documented in the four Gospels of the New Testament. Most Bibles will identify the Gospels as, “The Gospel of Saint Matthew, The Gospel of Saint Mark, The Gospel of Saint Luke and The Gospel of Saint John.” Some translations or publishing houses may make a slight change such as, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew.

The first three Gospels; Matthew, Mark and Luke contain approximately 80% of the same events in the life of Christ (Matthew and Luke give us the birth record of Jesus, while Mark and John are silent concerning those events). These are referred to as “synoptic” Gospels, meaning that each of them contain many of the same events and chronology. There is a strong parallelism among them, and yet they are not just “carbon copies” of each other. However, the Gospel of John only reveals about 20% of the events covered in the Synoptic Gospels. That means that most of the Gospel of John includes material not mentioned in the other Gospels.

Think of the Gospel writers as standing on a different corner of a busy street and they all see the same accident in the intersection. When the police officers interview them as witnesses, they each tell the same story, but with different visual points, education levels, life events, and preferences.

The four Gospel writers were so different. Two of them were Apostles; Matthew (Levi) and John (Brother to James the Apostle). Mark and Luke were not selected as Apostles but were disciples and followers of Jesus. Matthew was a tax collector. Luke was a physician. Mark was a follower and John wrote five books of the New Testament; The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and the Book of the Revelation.

My point is each of these four writers gave us great detail of the life and teachings of Jesus the Christ. However, their work is more topical than chronological. For the writers, the “content” was far more important to each of them and chronology was general in nature. The accounts are slightly different, from each of their perspectives.

Each of the Gospels included the events of passion week, but they do not focus on the timeline of those events. For example, we are not told which events took place on Monday or Tuesday. And that would follow for the remaining days of the week as well. It is as if God instructed each writer to focus on Jesus message and teaching.

To complicate matters further, many traditions have been accepted and treated as common knowledge, outside of the written word. For example, the Bible does not call the Friday the week before His crucifixion as “Good Friday.” Another tradition explains that Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday, but that would be hard to support using just the Scriptures. That position has some weaknesses as that timeframe is clearly not “three days and three nights.”

It is my purpose to then to present the critical events taking place during Passion week, following the ministry of Jesus during His last days. (I have not included every incident, just those in my opinion were the major ones.)

  • Jesus, the Apostles and many disciples are making their way to Jerusalem to participate in the Passover.
  • The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowds are chanting Hosanna, casting palm branches or their own cloaks on the ground as Jesus enters riding on a colt of an ass.
  • Jesus clears the Temple mount of money changers and sellers of doves.
  • Jesus teaches in the Temple mount each day and answers questions of the people and the religious leaders. He predicts that Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed.
  • The plot by the Jewish leaders draws closer as Judas agrees to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
  • Jesus teaches His followers about the “end times” including persecutions, the desolation in the Temple, false Christ’s and false prophets, and a warning to be always look toward the coming of the Son of Man.
  • Jesus has a final meal and teaching to His closest disciples. He washes their feet, speaks of His betrayal, and gives them a new commandment of love. Jesus predicts and warns Peter of his denial of Christ. He tells all the disciples that they will flee from His presence.
  • Jesus promises that He would send a “Comforter” to them in His place.
  • Jesus and the disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prays for strength to endure the events of the next few hours.
  • Jesus is arrested when Judas identifies him to the Jewish Temple guards.
  • Jesus is tried by Annas the High Priest, Caiaphas High Priest, and the Sanhedrin. During these trials, Peter denies Jesus three times before the rooster crows.
  • Jesus is taken before Pilate in order to get the death penalty. As the Jews were under the rule of Rome, they could not take a life.
  • Jesus is taken before Herod and then back to Pilate. Pilate declares Jesus is innocent of all charges.
  • Barabbas is released instead of Jesus
  • Pilate, under pressure of the people and the religious rulers, condemns Jesus and sentences Him to crucifixion.
  • Jesus is mocked and beaten by the Roman guard.
  • Jesus carries His cross towards Golgotha. However, He is beaten so badly that a man from the crowd, Simon of Cyrene carries the cross the rest of the way.
  • Jesus is crucified between two others. One ridicules Jesus while the other accepts Jesus as the Messiah.
  • Jesus makes seven statements from the cross.
    • Father forgive them
    • Tells the repentant criminal that he would be in Paradise that day
    • Gives His mother into the care of John
    • Cry’s out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
    • I thirst
    • Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit
    • It is finished
  • The crowd jeers Him during the final hours.
  • The world becomes dark from noon to 3 PM.
  • Upon His death, there is a great earthquake
  • The inner curtain of the Temple is torn in two, from top to bottom
  • Jesus body is claimed by Joseph of Arimathea and placed into a tomb
  • Pilate grants a Roman guard to be placed at the tomb by the High Priest and the tomb is sealed.
  • Jesus is resurrected and seen by many: the women who came to finish preparing His body. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus. To the Apostles and to hundreds
  • Jesus appears to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee
  • Jesus gives His last words of encouragement and command.

For those of the Christian faith, Easter is the most important event each year. It is on Easter, that we focus on what Jesus the Christ accomplished. For Christians, He is the Savior of the world and this is the day we celebrate the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah coming to earth, dying and rising again.

For the Christian, we look forward to His return. “Maranatha!” is Aramaic for “Our Lord is coming.”

 

The Person and Nature of Christ

Tags

, , , , ,

Recently I was asked, “Who is this Jesus Christ and what was his mission? Is he God? What was the purpose of His life on earth?” I will attempt to discuss the person and nature of Christ, considering His deity, humanity, preexistence and ministry as the incarnate Jesus. While the answer can be made in just a few paragraphs, it would be impossible to fully describe Christ. The Apostle John puts it this way: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25)
With that thought in mind, let us look at Christ’s Person and Nature.

Christ’s Deity

Jesus Christ is God. Four simple words. I don’t speak them lightly, but with conviction. Over and over again the Bible declares this truth. God declares it. Jesus declares it and those closest to Jesus while he lived on the earth declare it.
The attributes of Christ can only be ascribed to God. For example; Jesus is everywhere, He is omnipresence (Matthew 18:20). He is all knowing, omniscient (Mark 11:2-6, John 4:14). Jesus is all powerful, omnipotent (2 Corinthians 12:9; Matthew 28:18; Mark 1:33-34) Jesus is immutable, He is the same yesterday, today and forever immutable (Hebrews 13:8). All of these attributes are attributed to God the Father. Therefore, since they are ascribed to God the Father and Jesus the Son, Christ must be God.
In the creation of the heavens and the earth, Genesis chapter one, proclaims that it is God, Elohim, that is the creator. Jesus is called Elohim in Hebrews 1:8, John 20:27-28; Titus 2:13.
When Moses met God on the mountain, the Lord identified Himself as “I AM”, the all sufficient, eternal God. This name is given to Jesus as He calls himself “I Am” in John 8:58.

Christ’s Preexistence

Since Christ is God and Creator, He is therefore pre-existent to creation. While there are many passages that speak of this truth, none are clearer than the first chapter of the Gospel of John. John makes statements of fact as they relate to Christ and everything else that follows in the book is given to support those facts.
We can see His preexistence through His relationship through eternity, and His equality with the Father. Jesus has always existed and that can be seen in His relationship through eternity. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
In the Revelation, Jesus is identified as “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). These phrases identify Christ as the “I Am”. I Am being He who is and was and is to come. This is the description of Jesus the Christ; He preexisted all things including time.

Christ’s Humanity

Jesus the Christ had two natures in His incarnate state; He was all God and He was all man. His humanity can be found in several ways. He had human parentage; he was born of a woman. He took the form of a human body in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. That is, he was to be “seed” of the woman, He was to come from the seed of Abraham and be of the seed of David.
His human birth is well documented in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. While He had a human mother, he was not born with a sinful nature.
We know little of His childhood until He was twelve years old and the Gospels captured the dialog between Jesus and His parents. We are told that He grew in stature and wisdom and that His parents taught Him the Law. He was raised as a son of Israel and attended the Feasts of Israel in Jerusalem with His earthly father and family.
Throughout His earthly ministry we see evidences of His humanity as He had compassion on the multitudes, He grew weary, hungered, thirsted and wept. While hanging on the cross, Jesus had compassion on His mother and gave her to the Apostle John. He had the appearance of a man (John 4:9; Luke 24; John 20:15, 21:4-5). 80 times in the New Testament, Jesus took upon Himself the human title, the “Son of Man”.
Jesus required a human body in order to fulfil the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Hebrews 2:9-17; Jesus was to “taste death for every man in order to bring many sons unto glory, and to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:9-10)

Christ’s Ministry

The scriptures are silent concerning the activities of the God-head in eternity past. However, Christ was present before the creation as the redemptive plan for mankind and creation were established before the creative acts found in Genesis 1:1.
The reason for the incarnation is to redeem mankind. He came to die for our sins (Hebrews 2; Romans 8:32), become the believers High Priest and be our example for life (1 John 2:6; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Peter 2:24).
His earthly ministry included proclaiming the “Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”, teaching the masses, performing miracles, and confronting false teaching.
Jesus earthly ministry included His crucifixion. Through His death on the cross as the substitute for man, He fulfilled the Old Testament scriptures (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22) concerning the Messiah. With His sacrifice, atonement, reconciliation, propitiation, redemption and substitution of the Law, became manifest in Christ. The purpose of Christ’s crucifixion is that He might justify fallen man (Romans 4:23-25).
The final chapter in Christ’s earthly ministry was in His resurrection and ascension. It was necessary that Christ rise from the dead: 1) to fulfill prophecy, even His own; 2) His resurrection is the everlasting guarantee of the forgiveness of our sins; and 3) His resurrection was also the guarantee of the believer’s resurrection. He was raised for our justification according to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 12-17.
By His ascension we see the completed ministry of Jesus Christ. His work continues today as our great High Priest. John 17:1 ff. John 6:62. Recorded in Acts 1:9-11. His ascension marked the end of His humility. Ephesians 1:20-23.

In summary,Matthew sums up the works of Christ:
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Can Jesus be found in Every Book of the Bible?

Tags

, , ,

Jesus was crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, He was resurrected and showed Himself to His disciples and many others. The Gospel of Luke lets us in on a conversation of two of Jesus’ disciples and Himself. Jesus took some time with two men on the road to Emmaus that were discouraged and forlorn. In their minds, their great teacher and rabbi had been killed and lost to them. And like sheep that are lost without their shepherd, they needed to be tended. Jesus took the opportunity to teach them that Christ could be found in all the scriptures.

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

The scriptures that Luke refers to are the Law and the Prophets. The following list can be found on many websites (I don’t know the original author) but I have taken the liberty to edit and add to the original list. It is a very interesting look in finding Jesus in every book of the Bible.

Enjoy

Old Testament

Genesis – Creator, Seed of Woman, and Promised Redeemer

Exodus – the Passover Lamb; the Smitten Rock

Leviticus – High Priest, the Altar and the Lamb of Sacrifice

Numbers – The pillar of Cloud by day and the pillar of Fire at night and water in the desert; The Brazen Serpent

Deuteronomy – A Prophet like unto Moses, He becomes the curse for us

Joshua – Commander of the Lord’s host, the Captain of our Salvation

Judges – The Judge and Lawgiver, He delivers us from injustice

Ruth – our Kinsman-Redeemer

1 & 2 Samuel –Prophesied Son of David; Prophet/Priest/King, King of grace & love

1 Kings – The Reigning King and a Ruler greater than Solomon

2 Kings – the powerful prophet

1 Chronicles – Son of David that is coming to rule

2 Chronicles – the King who reigns eternally

Ezra – Priest proclaiming freedom and the Faithful Scribe; He is One with the good hand

Nehemiah – the One who restores what is broken down

Esther – Advocate, Protector of his people; the Unseen Hand

Job – The Ever Living Redeemer, Dayspring from on High, Mediator between God and man

Psalms – The Shepherd and our Song in the morning and in the night; the Coming Messiah

Proverbs – The Wisdom of God

Ecclesiastes – He is the Hope of our resurrection, and our meaning for life; He is the Truth above the Sun

Song of Solomon – Author of faithful love, Lover and Bridegroom; the Rose of Sharon

Isaiah – Suffering Servant; Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father

Jeremiah – the weeping Prophet, Messiah; He is the Lord our Righteousness

Lamentations – He assumes God’s wrath for us; our Weeping Prophet

Ezekiel – Son of Man; the One with the Right to Rule; He is the Prince who enters the Eastern Gate

Daniel – He is in the fire with us, The Son of Man coming in the clouds; the Ancient of Days

Hosea – Faithful Husband, the Bridegroom

Joel – He is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit; He is the One roaring out of Zion

Amos – Restorer of Justice, the Burden Bearer; He is the One standing upon the Altar

Obadiah – Judge of those who do evil, the Mighty to Save

Jonah – the Great Missionary, God of Forgiveness

Micah – He casts our sin into the sea of forgetfulness, the Messenger with beautiful feet; the Ruler of Israel

Nahum – Stronghold in the day of trouble, the Avenger of God’s Elect

Habakkuk – The Lord in His Holy Temple; The Great Evangelist, He crushes injustice

Zephaniah – the Warrior who saves, the Restorer of the Remnant; He is the Lord in the midst

Haggai – He is the desire of all nations; Restorer of worship, He has the Signet Ring, He is the Cleansing Fountain

Zechariah – the Humble Messiah pierced for us riding on a colt

Malachi – He is the Sun of Righteousness who brings healing

New Testament

Matthew – the Messiah who is King, Immanuel, God with us; King of the Jews

Mark – the Messiah who is a Servant, the Miracle Worker

Luke – the Son of Man, Messiah who is a Deliverer

John – the Son of God, Messiah who is a God in the flesh, the Bread of Life

Acts – the Ascended Lord, the Builder of the Church; the Spirit who dwells in His people

Romans – the Righteousness of God

1 Corinthians – the Last Adam, power and love of God, the Resurrection; the First-fruits from among the dead.

2 Corinthians – He is the down payment of what’s to come, He is the God of all comfort; He is the Unspeakable Gift

Galatians – He is the Seed of Abraham; He is our very life, the One Who sets us free

Ephesians – the Christ of Riches and Head of the church

Philippians – the Joy of our life, the One who meets our every need

Colossians – The fullness of the Godhead, He holds the supreme position in all things; He is the preeminent One

1 Thessalonians – our Comfort in the last days, our Hope

2 Thessalonians – our soon coming King

1 Timothy – the Mediator between God and man, Savior of the worst sinners, Faith; He is God manifest in the flesh

2 Timothy – Leader of the leaders, Stability in life

Titus – the Blessed Hope, the Foundation of truth

Philemon – Savior of Slaves; our Mediator, the Friend that sticks closer than a brother, our Benefactor

Hebrews – our High Priest He is Superior in all ways

James – He matures our faith, the Great Physician; He is the Judge standing before the door

1 Peter – our Chief Shepherd, the hope in times of suffering and our Example

2 Peter – He is the Day Star; the One who guards us from false teaching

1 John – He is our Advocate; the source of all fellowship, our Life

2 John – God in the flesh; the Confession of One Who is True

3 John – source of all truth

Jude – protects us from stumbling, the God our Savior

Revelation – Soon coming King, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, The Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and the End, Who was and is and is to come; He makes all things new.

 

The Trials of Jesus before the Crucifixion

Tags

, , , , ,

GodProvide800Before Jesus was crucified, He was put under trial several times in front of several different groups. There were religious and civic charges brought against him. The following is a sketch of the different trials.
Judas left the upper room and notified the chief priests that this night he would lead them to Jesus. Soldiers from the Temple, along with Judas go to the garden and Judas betrays Jesus.
Under the cover of night,, Jesus was arrested and taken to the house of Annas, who was the father in law to Caiaphas the high priest (John 18:12-14). Annas questioned Jesus concerning his disciples and his doctrine. Not happy with Jesus response, He sends Jesus to the house of Caiaphas where the chief priests, scribes and elders were all assembled (Mark 14:53). There were many false witnesses against Jesus, but their stories did not match up. Caiaphas questions Jesus “…tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus finally responds to Caiaphas with “Thou has said.” Caiaphas rends his garments and charges Jesus with blasphemy in the presence of the Council. They wanted Jesus dead, but being under the rule of Rome, they had no authority to carry out the judgment. In the morning, they deliver Jesus to the Governor, Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:2) for judgment and execution.
Jesus was taken to the palace of Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea, serving under Emperor Tiberius, with the idea that they would charge Jesus with the civil act of sedition and turn him over to Rome to carry out their desire for His death (Matthew 27:1-2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-32, 33-38). Pilate interrogated Jesus, but could find no evidence of sedition, nothing worthy of condemning Jesus to death. When Pilate discovered that Jesus was from Galilee, he quickly sent him to King Herod. Herod gladly received Jesus wanting him to perform miracles before his men and himself. Tiring from questions Jesus refused to answer, Herod returned him to Pilate. For the third time, Pilate stated to the crowd that he could find no fault with him, however, being in fear of the reprisals of the religious Jews, Pilate charged Jesus with sedition and commanded that Jesus be crucified.

Are You a Naomi or Job?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

On Sunday nights, our church has been studying the Old Testament book of Ruth. Last night as I was getting ready to leave, a lady in our congregation came up to me and suggested that I compare Ruth 1:21 and Job 1:21. This intrigued me.  After I got home I eagerly looked at both passages.  Wow.

What we see in these two verses are Naomi’s and Job’s response to the events in their lives. In each case, they had experienced great loss, but there is a dramatic difference in how each one perceived those losses.

Naomi lost her husband and two sons, which led to the loss of her living as there was no man to take care of her. She was in a foreign land (Moab) and decided to return to her home of Bethlehem because the famine was now over in Bethlehem.

As she entered her home town, the townsfolk and family happily turned out to meet her. We pick up the narrative in the first chapter.

Ruth 1:20-21 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi [pleasant], call me Mara [bitter]: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

As we can see, she is very bitter at her current situation and is convinced that the “Almighty” is against her and brought on all the calamities of life upon her. Naomi is “Naomi centered.” Her view of life is one of hurt, bitterness and depression.

This was fresh on my mind as we just finished the first chapter.  I eagerly turned to the book of Job. In his case we know that God allowed Satan to interfere with Job’s life, up to the point of death. The incidents that took place included 1) his livestock, oxen, sheep, and camels were stolen and those that were watching over them were slain. 2) all of his 10 children died in a horrible accident (Job 1:13-19).

Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job did not blame God. He also was hurt, but his outlook on life was God centered. He was in deep mourning at such a loss, but he fell down and worshipped God. In all this he did not charge “God foolishly.”

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you do not get a “free pass” of bad things happening to you in this life on earth.

In Jesus’ great teaching called the Sermon on the Mount, He gave the listeners this truth:

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Bad situations will happen to us, that is a fact. It is how we respond to them that will show the intent of the heart to those around you. When life crumbles all around you, will you respond like Naomi or Job?