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A Devotion for Mother’s Day – The Virtuous Woman

SIH STSTA ICONShort of salvation, one of the greatest blessings a man can receive from God is a virtuous wife.   I can say from my life’s experiences, that a virtuous wife is in dispensable in the service of Christ.  What a blessing it is to have Eva as my wife. She is a wife that loves the Lord, and is willing to use her talents and abilities to further the cause of Christ.

I can honestly say that I do not know what I would ever do without my wife.  I shudder to think what my life would be like without her encouragement, care, understanding, advice and sacrifice on my behalf.  I have become a far better and more effective servant of Christ since Eva has entered my life.  I give the Lord all the thanksgiving, praise and honor for raising up a wonderful lady and allowing me to be blessed with her presence in my life.  To God be the glory.

I know that there are many other men who feel the same way about their wives.

Lemuel, the writer of Proverbs 31:, is one of those men who had a great appreciation and understanding of the value of a virtuous woman.  Let’s take a moment to study what Lemuel had to say about the value and characteristics of a virtuous woman…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Proverbs 31:10-31

THE STUDY:

Before we begin our study, let’s try to define what is meant by a “virtuous” woman.  The word “virtuous” in Proverbs 31 is a word that carries the ideas of:

“influential” – others follow her example and the advice she gives to them.

“precious” – she is highly valued in the eyes of others

“resourceful” – she is able to accomplish her goals through her labors and ingenuity

“morally good” – she keeps the moral commands of God for her life

When we say a woman is “virtuous”, we are saying that the woman is resourceful and morally upright causing her to be influential in the eyes of others.  Because of all these qualities, she is looked upon as a woman of great value.

King Lemuel’s writings about a virtuous woman begins in Prov 31:10 …

The Value of a Virtuous Woman…

10) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.

Lemuel attempts to get our attention to the subject of virtuous women by first describing their great value.  So what is the value of a virtuous woman in our world?  God reveals to us through Lemuel that the a virtuous woman’s value cannot be adequately described.  In the days of the Old Testament writings, a ruby was of very high value.  When Lemuel states that a godly woman’s value is HIGH ABOVE rubies, he is stating that she must be included with the most valuable treasures on earth.

What would our lives be without virtuous women in our families, churches and society as a whole?  It is through the influence of virtuous, godly mothers that our children have been brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The idea of rubies reflecting value is also used to describe the value of wisdom and knowledge (Pro 3:15. 8:11, 20:15).  The gifts that a Godly mother bestows upon her children, through her example and teachings give them the tools necessary to deal with the many, varied situations they will face in life.  So too, wisdom and knowledge are greatly needed to give us guidance for the world in which we live.

The Characteristics of a Virtuous Woman…

#1 – Trustworthiness

11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

A virtuous woman can be counted upon to always work for the benefit and advancement of her husband throughout his worldly endeavors.  She can be trusted to be a faithful mate, and one that is always there for support, godly advice and counsel.

#2 – She recognizes the physical, and spiritual, needs of her family and works tirelessly to supply those needs

13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14) She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18) She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

For those who have the privilege of having a virtuous mother caring for them… there is one thing they can count on… their needs will be met.  Their mother will “go to the ends of the earth” for them, to meet their needs and make sure that they have what is best for them in life.

Sometimes, meeting the needs of their children, requires a Godly mother to say “No” to her own desires.  She is glad to do this for her children and husband.  Her number one goal is to put her family first and put herself second.

Why does she do this?  She knows that her treasure is awaiting her in heaven for serving her Lord by taking care of her family on earth.

#3 – She is compassionate to others in need

20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

A virtuous woman’s compassion is not confined to her family.  She also is compassionate towards neighbors and strangers in need.  She is very welcoming and loving to those who are in need of that which she can give.

#4 – She is productive.

21) She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet.

22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing [is] silk and purple.

23) Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24) She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25) Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

A virtuous woman is very creative producing items that are needed by her family.  She enhances the testimony and reputation of her husband.  She makes much needed, high quality items of great great value. Her labor is not wasteful.  She shares in the responsibilities of meeting the needs of her household.

She is repaid by having an outstanding reputation among others and she awaits the receipt of heavenly rewards for living a life pleasing to the Lord.

#5 – She possesses the truth and shares it with others.

26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness.

27) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

The virtuous woman not only meets the physical needs of her family and other acquaintances, but she also works to meet the spiritual needs of those around her as well.  She keeps busy actively working for the good of others.

#6 – Her actions demand praise, honor and respect from all that crosses her path

28)  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.

29)  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30)  Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

31)  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

A virtuous woman DESERVES the respect, honor, praise and appreciation of her family and acquaintances.  After making sacrifice upon sacrifice for others, she deserves to receive others care and appreciation while yet on this earth.

Nevertheless, ultimately, the virtuous woman will receive the praise that she deserves as she stands before her Lord.  All of her works of charity and self-sacrifice will not go unrewarded.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

As adults, we need to stop and consider the influence our mother had on our developing lives as children.  We need to take time to honor them, thank them and  care for them as they grow older.  (Exo 20:12)

As children, we need to love and appreciate our mothers.  We need to be sure they know of our love by obeying them, making their lives more pleasant for them.  We should respect the other Godly women the Lord has placed in our lives.  We should appreciate them and honor them, knowing they are working for our physical and spiritual benefit. (Eph 6:1-3, Exo 20:12)

As husbands, we need to notice and appreciate all that our wives do for us and our families.  We need to love them and cherish them and strive to care for them as Christ cares for His church. (Eph 5:25-31)

But especially, all of us need to thank our Lord for these Godly influences in our lives.  If it was not for the Lord, we would not have these Godly women helping us through life.

For those of us who have received salvation from our sins, probably a Godly mother, SS teacher, or friend had shared the gospel with us.   We need to especially appreciate them for taking the time and concern to share the wonderful gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with us.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you have any questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvaiton with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 2-Repentance

SIH STSTA ICONTHE most important question that anyone can ask is the question posed by the keeper of the prison in Acts 16:30… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”.

 The answer to this question is more valuable than gold, silver and all the wealth this world has to offer.  This answer will reveal to us the path that leads to the forgiveness of our sins, the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Only True and Living Creator, and eternity in paradise with God Himself.  Our very spiritual life and  eternal destiny rely upon finding the answer to this question.

 This question is of such importance we will be taking several blog entries to carefully  answer this question…

 Blog Entry #1 Salvation  

Blog Entry #2 Repentance

Blog Entry #3 Faith / Belief

Blog Entry #4 What about good works?

Blog Entry #5 What about baptism?

Blog Entry #6 What about the Lord’s Supper?

Blog Entry #7 What about church membership?

 We now begin our study with blog entry #2…. Repentance….

 THE SCRIPTURES: 

Luke 13:1-5 (KJV)  There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in JerusalemI tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 Luke 24:45-48 (KJV)  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

 Acts 3:17-21 (KJV)  And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers.  But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

 Matt 9:10-13 (KJV)  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 Acts 17:29-31 (KJV)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

 Acts 26:20 (KJV) But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

 Acts 3:26 (KJV)  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 THE STUDY:

 What does the Bible mean by the term “repentance”?  Repentance carries with it the idea “to turn from” or “to change your mind”, “to reverse”, or “to reconsider”. 

 Biblically, repentance refers to an inward change of mind and desires that result in an outward change of action…

Acts 26:20 (KJV) – But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

 Here in our Acts 26:20 text, we see that the term repentance is describing an inward change.  In the context, we have those who had not come to believe in Jesus being told they must “repent”  .  This repentance would lead them to “turn to God” and then “do works meet for repentance”.  (“works meet for repentance” refers to works that are suitable or fitting for repentance.)

 When we are told to repent the Bible is saying that we must change our minds about….

 God’s Word – the message of the Bible, what it says about our sin, Christ, salvation, service and the eternal things of God.  The first step in our coming to Christ, is acceptance of the Word and what it says as being the very Words of God.  (John 6:63-64, John 17:17-19)

 Our Sin – the presence of sin in our lives, the guilt we have upon us because of that sin, and the judgment of God that will fall upon us due to our sin. We must come to an acceptance of all of these truths, as a part of our salvation experience. ( Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12, Rom 1:16-18)

 The Person of Jesus – Jesus, the very Son of God the Father, and God Himself, coming in obedience to His Father’s desires.  Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, or in other words, the One   Anointed by God to secure the salvation of His people.   Acceptance of the true person of Christ is of utmost importance.  (John 10:30, John 1:1-14, John 14:9)

 The Work of Jesus – Although it is true that Jesus was “a prophet”, and “a wonderful example for us to follow”, His work goes far beyond these things.  Christ, when He came to the earth was the One chosen by God the Father to live an absolutely perfect, sinless life.  When Christ was crucified, He was “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”  When He died on the cross, He was paying the price for sin.  His death satisfied the demands of His Heavenly Father against our sin.  It is through His shed blood that we can find forgiveness for our sins.  Coming to a belief in these things is a part of true repentance. (1 John 3:4-5, 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 8:1-4, Gal 3:13-14, Eph 5:1-2, 1 Pet 1:18-23)

 Our Goals in Life – Where before our repentance we were living according to the goals and desires of this world and our flesh, at repentance, we now desire to seek to please Him as Lord of our lives.  This change in our goals for living is also a part of Godly repentance that works salvation in our lives. (Gal 6:14-15, 2 Cor 5:14-21)

 Repentance is for Jew and Gentile alike

 Acts 17:29-31 (KJV)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

 Repentance, or a change of attitude and beliefs about our Lord, is a responsibility handed to all men everywhere. Both Jew and Gentile have been given this responsibility.  Based on our above text, we can see that repentance is a command handed down to all men, from their Creator, Jehovah God.  Our God will hold all men responsible to fulfill this command, by establishing a future time of judgment for all.

 Repentance is for those who recognize their sinfulness

 Matt 9:10-13 (KJV)  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 For an individual to come to repentance they must recognize their sinful condition.  No one can say, “Well, I know I’m a good person who is not in need of forgiveness but I will go to Christ for communion without seeing a need for my life to change.” 

 Remember repentance involves CHANGING what we believe about ourselves and our condition.  If we have never seen our sinfulness, and we continue to believe in our innocence, as we come to Christ, no change has taken place.  Therefore, no repentance has occurred in the life of the individual.

 Repentance leads to salvation

 Luke 13:1-5 (KJV)  There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 Acts 3:17-21 (KJV)  And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

 A sincere change in our beliefs (resulting in an acknowlegement of the truth concerning:

1. our sinful condition;  2. our coming judgment; 3. and the basis and source of Divine forgiveness) will result on an individual coming to Christ for salvation.   A sincere, true type of repentance will lead a man to Christ and His gracious salvation.

 Therefore, repentance is a part of the great commission (the proclamation of the gospel message)

Luke 24:45-48 (KJV)  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

 Based upon our study so far, we can easily see the necessity of repentance in the process of salvation.  This is reaffirmed to us in the above passage, that makes it plain that repentance is a part of the great commission.  What is the great commission?  It is the responsibility to tell others about Christ and His work of salvation on behalf of sinful mankind.  We can see this clearly when Christ says “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:”

 In the context, of telling others about Him and His work, Christ declares “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.”

 Repentance is a gift of God.  It is the result of God working in the heart of sinful mankind.

Acts 11:18 (KJV)  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Acts 3:26 (KJV)  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 What great grace!  Our Lord, saw fit to work in the heart of sinful mankind, convicting of sin, convincing of His work, and bringing that sinful man to Himself.  Why did He have to work in this way?  Because lost mankind cannot come to Christ apart from the Lord’s intervention…

 John 5:39-40 (KJV)  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

 John 6:44-51 (KJV)  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.   This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

In this blog entry we have seen the very basic principle of the necessity of repentance in the salvation experience… In the following blog entries we will continue to study, in detail, the answer to the question “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 

If you have any questions about your condition or the salvation that the Lord so graciously offers,  you can look to several sources for further information:  A local Bible-teaching church in your area, or you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com, or you can refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” for more teachings on the subject of salvation. 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth. 

————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com 

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com 

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven 

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both. 

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com 

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace 

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.” 

What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 1-Salvation Defined

SIH STSTA ICONTHE most important question that anyone can ask is the question posed by the keeper of the prison in Acts 16:30… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”.

The answer to this question is more valuable than gold, silver and all the wealth this world has to offer.  This answer will reveal to us the path that leads to the forgiveness of our sins, the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Only True and Living Creator, and eternity in paradise with God Himself.  Our very spiritual life and  eternal destiny rely upon finding the answer to this question.

This question is of such importance we will be taking several blog entries to carefully  answer this question…

Blog Entry #1 Salvation  

Blog Entry #2 Repentance

Blog Entry #3 Faith / Belief

Blog Entry #4 What about good works?

Blog Entry #5 What about baptism?

Blog Entry #6 What about the Lord’s Supper?

Blog Entry #7 What about church membership?

We now begin our study with blog entry #1…. Salvation….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV)

11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Acts 4:12 (KJV)

12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

John 4:21-24 (KJV)

21) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

22) Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

23) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24) God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

Acts 28:28 (KJV)

28) Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.

THE STUDY:

The Biblical concept of “salvation” carries with it the ideas of deliverance, wholeness, safety and security.  When we talk about a person’s “salvation” we are talking about that person being delivered from sin, being made whole and safe in Christ, all the while being made eternally secure…

We are all a part of fallen mankind…

Rom 3:23 (KJV)  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

 The Bible is filled with references that declare the fallen, sinful nature that is found in all men… (Gen 8:21, Eccl 7:20, Rom 3:9, Rom 5:12, etc etc etc)

As fallen mankind, we are found guilty by God for the sin in our lives…

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

Just as the sinfulness of man is clearly declared within the Scriptures, so too, the guilt and condemnation of man is made plain as well… (Roms 2:1-2, Gal 3:10, Gal 3:22, etc etc etc)

Because of our sin and guilt we are separated from God and facing eternal punishment for our sins…

Isa 59:1-3 (KJV) Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Our sin has separated us from God in this world, and will separate us from God in the world to come. (Prov 15:29, Isa 1:15, John 3:19-21)  Our sin has placed us under the judgment of our Almighty God.  It is this judgment that we will face throughout eternity. (Jer 5:25, John 3:36, Rom 1:18, Rom 2:3-5, Rev 20:12-15)

This is the most important aspect of our need of salvation… it is deliverance from our sins and their results.

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Here, in our Titus passage, we find the three fold salvation that the Lord freely offers to us…

Firstly, deliverance from the punishment of our sin, by Christ making the payment which satisfied the just demands of His Father…

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity:”  (John 10:15, Gals 1:3-5, Gals 3:13, Eph 5:2, etc etc etc)

Secondly, deliverance from the power of sin in this world…

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”  &  “purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Rom 6:4-19, 1 Cor 6:9-11, Eph 1:4, 1 Thess 4:7 etc etc etc)

Thirdly, secure an eternity with Him, separated from the presence of sin…

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Rom 8:30-39, John 6:37-40, Hebs 10:14-18, etc)  This principle is clearly seen by the terms “everlasting life” and “eternal life” … it is a type of life that cannot be lost nor come to an end. (1 Tim:1-16, John 3:15-16, John 10:27-29, etc etc etc)

Just as the Bible is clear about the importance and universal need of salvation by all mankind, so too, the Bible declares the only way of salvation. 

The way of salvation is only through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ….

This is why in the Titus passage He is given the title“Our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ”

This principle is emphasized in Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (1 Cor 3:11, 1 Tim 2:4-6, Heb 7:25-28, 1 John 5:11, etc)

So who can receive this salvation?  Both Jew and Gentile have access to this grace of God…

John 4:21-24 (KJV) – “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

Acts 28:28 (KJV) – Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.

As demonstrated in the above verses, the salvation that God graciously offers to man is not limited to Jew nor Gentile.  ANYONE can receive salvation from the hands of Almighty God. (John 3:16, 2 Cor 5:19-21, 1 Tim 1:15-16)

In this blog entry we have seen the very basic principles of the importance and mankind’s need of salvation… In the following blog entries we will be studying, in detail, the answer to the question “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

If you have any questions about your condition or the salvation that the Lord so graciously offers,  you can look to several sources for further information:  A local Bible-teaching church in your area, or you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com, or you can refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” for more teachings on the subject of salvation.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.” 

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance of the Resurrection

SIH STSTA ICONThe resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of many miraculous aspects to our Lord’s life on earth during His first coming. From His virgin birth to His ascension following His crucifixion, death and resurrection; the life of Christ was filled with miraculous events indeed.

The life of Christ on earth is undoubtedly the most important series of events to ever take place in world history. Among the many events that took place during His first coming, the resurrection of Christ is of utmost importance.

Why is the resurrection so important? The Word of God gives us a clear answer to this question…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Cor 15:12-23 (KJV)

12) Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

14) And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.

15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21) For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

THE STUDY:

In 1Cor 15:12-20, we read of the importance of the resurrection. The Apostle Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gave us several reasons why the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ took place and what it should mean to those of us who have trusted in Christ as our Savior…

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

12) Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

There were some professing believers in the Church at Corinth who believed the resurrection of the dead was impossible. Paul here, is arguing that is there was no such thing as resurrection then Christ’s resurrection must be a fallacy as well.

Paul then begins to explain to them the horrible results of a denial of Christ’s resurrection.

14) And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.

Result #1 – The preaching of the gospel of Christ is empty and worthless.

Result #2 – Placing our trust in Christ as our Savior is empty and worthless as well

15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

Result #3 – It makes those who proclaimed the gospel of Christ liars

16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Result #4 – Everyone is still in their sin. In other words, they owe the penalty of their sin, they are still dominated by their sin, and have no promise of future deliverance from the presence of sin.

18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

Result #5 – Believers who had passed away, were not enjoying eternity with the Lord, but instead were brought to ruin, just as those who were non believers.

19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Result #6 – If Christ is not risen (and therefore all the above 5 results are true) then believers are the most miserable of all mankind. We had hope that Christ would deliver us from sin’s punishment eternally. However, when eternity comes we will be enter into eternal damnation and ruin.

20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Paul then assures the Corinth Church, and all of us, that the resurrection of Christ did take place. His resurrection is the first fruits. (The first fruits of a harvest were the first portion of the crop that was harvested and given back to God; then the remaining harvest of the field was taken).

In other words, the resurrection of Christ was the first resurrection of the dead resulting in a glorified body. Christ’s resurrection will be followed by the resurrection of the saved at His coming. In this sense, Christ was the first fruits of all believers who have passed away.

21) For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

Paul now explains the 2 great impacts of the resurrection for Christ, His work, and His followers.

Impact #1 – The resurrection proves that Christ has gotten the victory over sin and death.

Sin entered the world at the hands of Adam… as sin was passed to all mankind through Adam, so too, the passage of death. Sin’s result, both spiritual and physical death, is now a part of all mankind.

Christ, based upon the payment that He made on the cross, has defeated both sin and death. What proof do we have that this is so? It is His resurrection. When Christ walked out of the tomb it was absolute proof He had obtained victory over death. The only possible way death could be rendered powerless was by rendering sin powerless as well.

22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Impact #2 – Because Christ arose from the dead, believers can rest assured they, too, have spiritual life and an assurance of a physical resurrection and glorified body (at His second coming).

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

For those of us who are saved… His resurrection is our assurance of our salvation and eternal future with Him… let us praise and honor our Lord for the display of His defeat over sin and death.

For those who have yet to be saved…

This account as written in God’s Word is the only trustworthy and reliable account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This resurrection is absolute proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be, The Savior of the World who has brought salvation to His people….

Matt 1:21 (KJV) – And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Such a miraculous event is bound to work up doubts in any of our minds. As we have seen, even His followers, in the early hours of that Sunday morning had many doubts about what had actually taken place. But thanks be to our Lord for He had allowed MANY witnesses to see Him following His resurrection. Many witnesses saw Him to prove beyond doubt that He had arisen and His work of redemption on the cross has been brought to completion…

1Cor 15:4-8 (KJV)

4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

5) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7) After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

8) And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Christ’s resurrection is the assurance He gives us that He is victor over sin and death. Do you recognize you have sinned against Almighty God? Do you see that you owe Him a debt of sin that you can never pay? Are you willing to forsake your sin and turn to Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, you can share in His victory over sin and death.

Turn from your sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come before Him realizing that He alone can save you from your sins. Believe that He died upon the cross bearing your sin. And then rest in the knowledge that He arose from the dead, to prove all of this is true.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Otherwise, you can contact a Biblke based church, they will be glad to answer any of your questions about salvation that you may have. Or, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email, it will be my privilege to answer any questions you may have about salvation and the work of Christ.

May the Lord bless you with His salvation.

——————————————————————————————————————————

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

SIH STSTA ICONThe resurrection of Christ and the witnesses to that resurrection hold a key place within the Word of God. Both of these subjects are a part of the gospel message, the good news of Jesus and what He has done for His people…

1Cor 15:1-8 (KJV) –

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, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

In this study we will be looking at the details of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the witnesses to that resurrection.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matt 28:1-8 (KJV)

In the end of the sabbath, … And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Mark 16:1-8 (KJV)

And when the sabbath was past… And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid.

Luke 24:1-12 (KJV)

Now upon the first [day] of the week,… Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

John 20:1-10 (KJV)

The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early,… Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

THE STUDY:

The resurrection account in chronological order…

The Stone Rolled From The Door By An Angel of the Lord

Matt 28: 2-4 – And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men].

Mary Magdalene and “the other” Mary and Salome come to the sepulchre, look in and find it empty

Matt 28:1- In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre

Mark 16:1-3 – And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first [day] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Luke 24:1-3 – Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

John 20:1- The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

At seeing the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene runs to tell other disciples leaving the other Mary and Salome behind.

John 20:2- Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

The Angel of the Lord appears to the remaining women, after they enter the tomb, and give them instructions.

Matt 28:4-6- And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Mark 16:4-7- And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Luke 24:4-8 – And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down [their] faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words,

Peter and John leave Mary Magdalene and leave for the tomb.

John 20:3- Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple,

Before Peter and John’s arrival, the women (the other Mary and Salome) obey the angel and find the Peter and John and the other disciples telling them what had taken place.

Matt 28:8- And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Mark 16:8- And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid.

Luke 24:9-11- And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Peter and John arrive at the tomb

Luke 24:12- Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

John 20:6-9- So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, [and looking in], saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Peter and John leave the tomb

John 20:10 – Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

What a confusing, joyful, and terrifying morning this must have been for the followers of Christ… so many questions and so few answers. There are a few very significant verses that help us to understand in the state of mind of the followers of Christ following all the excitement of this blessed Sunday morning…

Matt 28:8, Mark 16:8 – The Women: “fear”, “afraid”

Matt 28:8 – The Women: “great joy”

Mark 16:8 – The Women: “trembled”

Mark 16:8 – The Women: “amazed”

Luke 24:12 – Peter: “wondering”

John 20:8 – John: “believed”

Please take special note of John’s reaction… in the midst of such an exciting, extraordinary joyous and fearful event… the Bible simply says that John “and he saw, and believed”. What faith! Oh that we all could be as the Apostle John!

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

As we look at this account of that wondrous Sunday morning let us all, on a dialy basis, be thankful for the resurrection of our Lord. It is by this resurrection we can rest assured that His Word is true, His Work of redemption is complete, and that He is truly the Son of God, King of King and Lord of Lords!

For those who have yet to be saved…

This account as written in God’s Word is the only trustworthy and reliable account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This resurrection is absolute proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be, The Savior of the World who has brought salvation to His people….

Matt 1:21 (KJV) – And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Such a miraculous event is bound to work up doubts in any of our minds. As we have seen, even His followers, in the early hours of that Sunday morning had many doubts about what had actually taken place. But thanks be to our Lord for He had allowed MANY witnesses to see Him following His resurrection. Many witnesses saw Him to prove beyond doubt that He had arisen and His work of redemption on the cross has been brought to completion…

1Cor 15:4-8 (KJV) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Turn from your sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come before Him realizing that He alone can save you from your sins. Believe that He died upon the cross bearing your sin. And then rest in the knowledge that He arose from the dead, to prove all of this is true.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Otherwise, you can contact a Biblke based church, they will be glad to answer any of your questions about salvation that you may have. Or, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email, it will be my privilege to answer any questions you may have about salvation and the work of Christ.

May the Lord bless you with His salvation.

———————————————————————–

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

———————————————————————————-


Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings of Christ On The Cross

SIH STSTA ICONAs we think about the glorious resurrection of Christ, it is very important that we also recall His suffering and His death that led to His burial and later resurrection. The gospel message is a message that includes all three His death, burial, resurrection and its proofs. (1 Cor 15:1-9).


As our Lord was being crucified, He uttered 7 sayings that teach us a summary of His accomplishments while on the cross. These seven sayings, when taken in the context of His crucifixion, reveal to us a loving, sinless, sovereign God who was willing to give all for the sake of those He loved…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 23:34 (KJV)

34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Luke 23:43 (KJV)

43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

John 19:26-27 (KJV)

26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

Matt 27:46 (KJV)

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

John 19:28 (KJV)

28) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 19:30 (KJV)

30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Luke 23:46 (KJV)

46) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Matt 27:50 (KJV)

50) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

THE STUDY:

The Voice Of Forgiveness…. Luke 23:34 (KJV)Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Here, we find our Lord making a plea motivated by His love for those who were mocking, physically abusing and murdering Him.

Not only was His love on display as He uttered these words, but also the purpose of His death on the cross is being revealed as well. One of the great motives that drove the Son of God to submission to the sufferings of the cross was FORGIVENESS. You see, without a substitutionary sacrifice being made on the cross, God cannot forgive the sins of His people. Christ was issuing his plea for forgiveness in view of His coming death on the cross. He was determined to finish the work that His Father had given Him to do.

The Voice Of Promise …. Luke 23:43 (KJV) – 43)And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Here, we see the Lord’s promise to one of the thieves that was being crucified with Him. His promise was that very soon both He and the thief would be together in heaven. Following the death of Christ, His spirit would ascend to heaven while His body would remain in the grave for three days and three nights. Because the thief had placed His faith in Jesus as the sinless Messiah (Luke 23:39-42) he, too, would experience heaven with Jesus.

The Voice of Responsibility – John 19:26-27 (KJV)When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

In New Testament times, following the death of the father, the oldest male son was normally given the responsibility to care and provide for his widowed mother. Following the death of Joseph, Mary’s care had become the responsibility of Christ. As Christ was hanging on the cross, with death only hours away, Christ made sure that His mother would be taken care of. He looked to His closest friend, John, to take that responsibility upon himself.

Not only was Christ faithful in His responsibility to His mother, Mary. He was also faithful to the responsibility that His Heavenly Father had placed upon Him. In John 17:1-10, we find Christ praying to the Father before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. In this prayer, Christ makes the statement… “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Christ, by making this statement, was proclaiming His determination to follow the will of His Father even to His death on the cross.

The Voice of Separation – Matt 27:46 (KJV)And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The phrase “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” – is a Hebrew phrase quoted from Psalm 22:1. This phrase in the Psalm was uttered by King David during a time of great distress in his life. As he was praying to God for aid, there appeared to be no response. This does not break David’s faith, but by the end of the Psalm, David recognizes God’s ability to intervene and deliver him IF it is God’s will for David’s life.

Likewise with Christ, as He is hanging on the cross it seemed as if God the Father was refusing to come to His aid. But just as with David, Christ is determined to follow His Father’s will for his life even to the death.

Also, it is very important to recognize when Christ uttered these words. According to the Matthew account, Christ uttered these words immediately after a three hour period of darkness (Matt 27:45). This period of darkness is thought, by many, to be the time frame when Christ had the sins of His people placed upon Him as He paid the price for these sins.

If this is the case, then as Christ proclaimed “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me”, He is perhaps, speaking of the loss of communion with the Father as He bare the sins of His people upon Himself. Our sins, when placed upon Christ, would have caused a rupture of communion that Christ had experienced with the Father. The Father cannot look upon sin, nor can he have communion with those who have sin in their life.

The Voice of Humanity – John 19:28 (KJV) - After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

As Christ hung on the cross, He experienced the human fleshly desire of thirst. This helps us to understand that, although Christ was God, He was also truly of human flesh and would suffer as any human would suffer. I have heard of those who try to minimize the sufferings of Christ on the cross by saying that “Because Jesus was God, He did not feel the pain and distress a human being would feel.” THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. He, as a human being with a fleshly body experienced the need for water, food, rest and while on the cross most certainly felt pain and suffering just as any other human being.

The Voice of Completion – John 19:30 (KJV) – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The word for “finish” here in Greek means to “to complete. To fulfill, to execute a command” In other words, as His death was drawing near, so to was the fulfill of His Father’s will for His life. He had fulfilled God’s will perfectly by paying the sin debt for His Father’s people. Out of a heart of love for His Father and His people, He had perfectly followed His Father’s will for His life. (Philp 2:5-11)

The Voice of Security – Luke 23:46 (KJV) - And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Commend” in Greek means “to deposit to another’s trust”. As the Lord took His final breaths, He handed His spirit over to His Father knowing that His Father would secure His entrance into heaven.

Also, please note the Jesus was in control of His own death. He handed over His spirit to the Father, He was the one that gave up His own spirit (ghost). He had the power to lay down His life and to raise it again. (John 10:17-18)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been given the Lord’s saving grace…

We are told in Philippians 2:5-11- “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“

We, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, are to strive to think as He thought. We are to share the same mindset as He displayed in His seven sayings. Our goal should be to possess a mindset that has a…

  1. Willingness to forgive and pray for the salvation of those who have wronged us.

  2. Willingness to speak to others about our Lord and share with them the gospel message.
  3. Willingness to accept the responsibility for service in the areas to which we are called of God to serve.

  4. Willingness to be honest about the sin that is in our life; the communion we are lacking because of that sin; and deal with that sin through confession and repentance.
  5. Willingness to recognize the weakness of our sinful flesh, and seek to guard against Satan working in those areas of our life.

  6. Willingness to follow the Lord to completion of our appointed ministry. Motivated by a recognition of all He has done for us…even if we are called upon to give our life for Him.
  7. Willingness to trust the Lord with our future eternity. We can do this by keeping our eyes on His promises of heaven and future rewards, using these precious promises as a motivation to continue to serve Him.

For those who have yet to be given His saving grace…

After reading of the Lord’s attitude towards those who abused and mistreated Him to the ultimate degree, you can rest assured that the Lord will accept anyone who turns from their sin and comes to Him in faith…

John 6:37-38All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

By turning from sin to submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find forgiveness, peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. May the Lord use His Word to bring you to a saving knowledge of Him.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Also, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email for any further questions you may have.

May the Lord bless you.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings of Christ

SIH STSTA ICONChrist, and His sufferings on the cross, is a core theme of the Bible (John 1:45, John 5:39, Rev 19:10) .

Throughout the Old Testament the sufferings and death of Christ are presented through the sacrifices of the ceremonial law (Heb 10:10-18), as well as many Messianic prophecies looking ahead to His death (Isa 53:1-9, Luke 24:44 Acts 26:22-23).

In the New Testament, all four books of the gospels (Matthew – John) present the teachings of Christ concerning His upcoming sufferings (John 2:18-21, Matt 16:21, Matt 20:17-19 etc). These same books, then, present the historical account of His arrest, sufferings and death (Matt 26:-27:, Mark 14:-15:, Luke 22:-23:, John 18:-19:). In other New Testament writings, Christ’s sufferings are further explained, emphasized and recounted as the basis of salvation from mankind’s sin (1 Cor 15:1-11, Rom 4:24-25, 1 Pet 3:18 etc).


Let’s see, in detail, what the sufferings of Christ entailed…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Heb 2:9-10 (KJV)

9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

10) For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

THE STUDY:

The sufferings of Christ can be categorized as three basic types: Psychological, Physical and Spiritual:

The Psychological Sufferings of Christ (the mocking and humiliation that He experienced)

1 The robe placed upon Him the reed in His hand, bowing to Him… all of this was mocking His Kingship (Matt        27:28-29)

2 Spiting upon Him … mocking His choosing to not defend Himself (Matt 27:30)

3 Putting Him on public display and allowing the public to decide His fate, thus exercising authority              over Him… mocking Him as Creator and Authority Holder over all mankind (John 19:5-16)

4 He was forced to carry His own cross… humiliating Him in the eyes of all the citizens watching (John         19:17)

5 He was crucified with two thieves, one on either side… the sinless Son of God publically being                      displayed as a heinous criminal. (Mark 15:27-28)

6 The plaque placed above Him on the cross… mocking His Kingship (John 19:19-22)

7 While on the cross …the mocking of His claim to be God (Matt 27:39-44, Luke 23:35- 37)

8 The casting of lots for His garments… humiliating Him by taking His possessions and then publically, selfishly profiting from them. The attitude of the soldiers (selfishness at the expense of others) was in direct contradiction to Christ’s attitude of self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. (Mark 15:24)

The Physical Sufferings of Christ (the abuse upon His physical body)

1 Sweating great drops of blood, extreme physical agony (Luke 22:44)

2 Placing upon Him the crown of thorns (Mark 15:17)

3 Striking Him with the reed (Matt 27:30)

4 Scourging Him (a whip with bones and metal bits tied to its ends. These would tear out chunks of flesh        with each strike. Many times, scourging would result in physical death.) (John 19:1)

5 His beard was plucked according to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa 50:6)

6 He was struck by soldier’s hands (John 19:3)

7 The crucifixion (Mark 15:25) –

Nailed to cross through the wrists and feet to cross (causing burning pain and paralysis of hands and bleeding in both wrists and feet) During the course of hanging on the cross the shoulders, elbows and wrists become dislocated. The breathing becomes difficult and as time progresses almost impossible.  His CO2 blood levels increase and the heart beats faster to rid the CO2 from the blood. Due to increased difficulty in breathing the heart races faster and faster resulting in heart failure and filling of the lungs with liquid. Eventually a gradual suffocation takes the life of the victim.

(For a much more detailed information on the physical effects of crucifixion please see this article written by Dr Mark Eastman http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/113/)

The Spiritual Sufferings of Christ (His separation from God the Father)

My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me” (Matt 27:46)

As Christ bore the sin of His people upon Himself, He was placed in a state of separation from His Father who can not look upon, nor stand in the presence of, sin (Isa 59:1-2, Prov 15:29, Ezek 39:24, 1 John 1:5-7).

This is the reason for the preceding period of darkness (symbolizing mankind’s wickedness and separation from God)… and Christ’s declaration that God had “forsaken” Him. (Isa 53:5-6,10-11, Gal 3:13, 1 Pet 2:21-25)

I believe this was the greatest suffering that Christ experienced on the cross.

The sufferings of Christ can never be fully described nor understood; they are beyond human mental conception. His sufferings go beyond anything ever experienced by man.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been given God’s gracious salvation from sin …

1Sam 12:24 – “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great [things] he hath done for you.”

By remembering His great sacrifice on our behalf it should also remind us of the great privilege we have to “love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” Deut 11:13.

For those who have yet to be given His saving grace…

What Christ has done for His people is a sacrifice that cannot be duplicated by man. Christ, the very Creator of the world, came to the earth, humbled Himself and became obedient unto the death of the cross. (Phil 2:5-11) Why did He do this? So that He could save His people from the penalty, power and presence of sin. (Matt 1:21)

He willingly took the punishment of His people’s sins upon Himself, so that they would be delivered from the dominion of sin in their lives. (2 Cor 5:16-21, Gal 3:13) By willfully forsaking your sin and turning to Christ (“repentance”) and trusting Him as your Savior and your Lord, you too, can experience His forgiveness, His abiding presence and His eternal security for your life. (Acts 20:21, Mark 1:15, John 3:15-18)

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Also, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email for any further questions you may have.

May the Lord bless you.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Death

SIH STSTA ICONThe scientific study of death (Thanatology) centers its attention on the physical aspects of death while failing to take into account the more important spiritual aspect of death.  This coupled with a misunderstanding of “near death experiences” has led to much misinformation concerning death and its eternal affects on man.

To make matters worse… the subject of death is reluctantly spoken of by a majority of people.  I have found that bringing up the subject of death brings out a variety of responses from fascination and anticipation to dread and even the denial of its very existence.

One thing that we all can agree on, apart from the miracle of Christ’s second coming, we all will experience death someday.  For some of us, death will not touch our lives for many years… for others death will be just around the corner.

It is because of this universality of death that we must be willing come to an understanding of what it is and how it will affect us.    In this study, we will try to find out what the Bible means when it speaks of “death”.  The Bible teaches us about the “event” of death and the “results” of death as well.

THE SCRIPTURE:

2Tim 1:10 (KJV)

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

THE STUDY:

WHAT IS DEATH ?

The easiest way to understand the Bible definition of “death” is to think of death as a separation.   Biblically, death has two aspects to it… a physical aspect and a spiritual aspect.   Both aspects can be thought of as a separation that takes place.

The physical aspect of death…

Physically, death is defined Biblically as the separation of the spirit from the body, in Philippians we have this type of death being spoken of:

Phil 1:20-24

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not. For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

(Here, we find Paul speaking of physical death as a departure of his spirit from the earth to his heavenly Father; while his body remains testifying to his death.  However, he believed that it was better for the believers in Philippi that his spirit would continue to abide in his fleshly body.)

The spiritual aspect of death…

Spiritually, death is the separation of man from God.

Ps 5:4-5 (KJV)

For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.  The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Isa 59:1-2

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.

In Isa 59: we can see that due to the sin that is in our lives results in separation from the Lord.  Due to our sinful nature we all are living in a state of spiritual separation from the Lord.  This spiritual separation is described as death in 1 John 3:14-15…

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

WHY DO WE ALL DIE?

In both cases, physical and spiritual death come upon us due to our sinful natures which we have inherited through our descent from Adam.  We are all fallen creatures, therefore we all must face death someday.

Rom 5:12-21 (KJV)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:… Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come… For if through the offence of one many be dead, … And not as [it was] by one that sinned,… For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; … Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; … For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, … That as sin hath reigned unto death,…

Repeatedly in Romans 5:, we find the principle of death coming upon us due to our sinful condition.  This sinful, fallen nature was received by man as the physical descendents of Adam.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER INPORTANT PRINCIPLES THE BIBLE TEACHES US ABOUT DEATH?

Because we are spiritually dead, we cannot, of our own ability, give ourselves life.

A dead body cannot revive itself using CPR.  Likewise, a person who is spiritually dead can do nothing to give their self life.

Eph 2:1-3 (KJV)

And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

In the above verses, we find that the Lord is the One that gives life (quickens) to those who cannot help themselves due to their sinful, dead condition.  Notice in verse three, the Bible clearly says that those who are in the spiritually dead condition are “by nature the children of wrath”.  This brings us to our next point…

The sinful condition of those who are spiritually dead results in God’s wrath.

This wrath filled separation from God takes place following physical death.

Rev 20:11-15 (KJV)

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Please notice that this final consignment to the lake of fire is called “the second death”.  Why is this? Again, the principle of separation is brought forth.  At the second death, sinful mankind will be placed in a state of eternal separation from God.

After looking at death, it’s definition, it’s aspects, and it’s effects…. We now have one more question to answer…. Is there anyway that we can escape death and it’s results?…

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Physical death is a certainty for all of us…. apart from the Lord Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming to this earth all mankind must face death someday.

But just as deliverance from physical death can only come at the hands of Christ, so too, those who are spiritually dead can only receive life through the intervention of Christ on the cross….

Rom 5:6-11 (KJV)

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  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.

For those who have never come to a life changing belief in an Existing God…

It is only through repentance and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and his work on the cross that sinful mankind will receive spiritual life and the assurance of an eternity with God.   Although all mankind is conceived in a state of spiritual death, our great Lord can bestow life to a sinful fallen man….

2Tim 1:10 (KJV)

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

For those who have experienced God’s grace in their lives…

You have nothing to fear when face death… if you know that you have received God’s forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ on the cross, you can rest assured that following your death, you will enter into a glorious eternity with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

Rev 21:1-7 (KJV)

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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My 100th Blog Posting…A Celebration (Wheeee!)

SIH STSTA ICONAfter about a year of blogging, on the occasion of my 100th blog posting, I would like to throw a gigantic “blogging” celebration for all to enjoy!  You, the readers and followers of my blog, have played a major role in this blog continuing on.  Your encouraging words and patience have kept me going, even when I didn’t “feel” like continuing.  I sincerely, thank the Lord for all of you. I truly believe, if you had not shown interest in my blog, this ministry would have suffered, and perhaps even failed.  Whatever eternal results come from this blog you will share in them, and you will be blessed. Thank you so much.

But here is my problem… when I think about it, the only reason why you have been so good to me is because of our Lord.  You see, your kind heart, your interest in His Word, and your faithfulness to read and comment, these are all gifts that were given to you by our Lord.

Oh, by the way, this principle applies to me as well.  You see, EVERYTHING involved in writing this blog goes back to Him.  My physical life, my salvation, my mind, my hands, my feeble understanding of His Word, my weak faith… the list goes on and on.  John 9:33 a verse describing our Lord, also applies to me as well. “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.”

So here is my dilemma, the One who deserves the celebration is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the One who deserves all the praise, honor and glory for this blog (and everything good in our lives).  So how can I throw a party for the Lord?   Come to think of it, would He even want a party to be thrown for Him.  I’m really not sure, but one thing I know is that a party certainly would not be high on His list of priorities for my life. What would He desire for me to do above all other things?  To glorify and honor Him by revealing Him to others.  So here goes…. let’s have a celebration for the only One that deserves it … our Lord… in this blog entry number 100, let’s look at our Lord revealed to Moses (and to all of us!).

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Exod 34:5-8 (KJV)

And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation]. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

 

THE STUDY:

Exod 34:5-8

 

And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

Here, we find that the Lord is revealing His name and attributes to Moses during their second meeting on Mount Sinai.

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

The Lord now introduces Himself to Moses using six names for Himself:

  1. The LORD – The Self-existent One – The Only Genuine God who exists of His own attributes not from the workings of others.
  2. The LORD God – The Self-existent Almighty One –  The One who deserves our worship due to His power and existence
  3. Merciful – The Loving, Kind One –  The One who withholds harm from those who deserve His wrath.
  4. Gracious – The One Who Gives Good to the Undeserving – He bends down to aid those who are beneath Him and are undeserving of His aid.
  5. Longsuffering – The One Who Is Slow to Anger – The One who waits to send judgment, the One who does not act hurriedly nor without thought.
  6. Abundant in Goodness – The One that Overflows In Beauty and Kindness – The One that is never unable to forgive, to who grace and to show mercy.
  7. Abundant in Truth – The Genuine and Accurate One – The One who is truthful in His claims about Himself, His claims about His Heavenly Father, and His promises He makes to us.

As we see His attributes clearly on display, we can summarize His being as follows…. Our Lord is the genuine and truthful, unique, self-existing God who is overflowing in patience, goodness, kindness and forgiveness to those who do not deserve His favors.

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation].

 

Now, the Lord continues to reveal Himself using through a description of His workings to mankind.  What are the specific works the Lord performs on mankind’s behalf?

  1. Keeps mercy – guards the mercy He bestows upon sinners.  Our Lord saves eternally.  The grace and mercy He gives to the sinner will never be taken away.
  2. Forgives iniquity – lifts and releases the moral evil that is in the life of the fallen individual
  3. Forgives transgression – lifts and releases the acts of lawbreaking committed by the fallen individual
  4. Forgives sin – lifts and releases the acts that offend Him done by the fallen individual
  5. By no means clears the guilty –  does not discharge the punishment of those condemned by His law
  6. Visits iniquity of the fathers upon their descendents – As the descendents follow the sinful examples of their forefathers, the Lord continues to be just and holy as He maintains the generational punishment of sin.   The Lord does not exonerate those who pass blame for their sins to their fathers.

 

To summarize the above workings of the Lord…

Our Lord works on behalf of fallen mankind to grant eternal forgiveness for the many who have disobeyed and rebelled against Him.  Although He works to eternally save those for whom Christ died; He shows His perfect justice by punishing those who are unrepentant, whose personal sins remain upon them.

 

And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

 

Moses response to this glimpse of His greatness, kindness and justice … He worships the Lord, bowing his head in humility and submission and appreciation realizing his sinfulness and his pitiful, undeserving condition did not stand in the way of His Holy God’s forgiveness and grace.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved…

As we remember our Lord’s greatness and His grace shown to us, let us all respond like Moses.  He allowed this message to produce a new appreciation and submission to the will and ways of the Lord.

Ps 95:6-7 (KJV)

6) O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

7) For he [is] our God; and we [are] the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

 

For those who have not been forgiven of their sin debt.

You can see from the above text, that the Lord is a very patient, kind and loving Lord, who will save anyone who sincerely regrets the sin they have committed and comes to Him humbly seeking His forgiveness and grace.   Perhaps this is why the Lord has led you to this blog entry… so that you would come to a better understanding of the greatness and graciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ…

Jer 6:16 (KJV)

16) Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

For more information about coming to Christ please see my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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