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Will Our Testimony Live Long After Us?

Heb 11:4 (KJV)  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Coming Next Month to Settled In Heaven…

Departure

This lesson was intended to be read in several sittings. I have tried to make this study as readable and understandable as possible. But I am afraid I have not been able to accomplish this goal.  I realize due to this fact and the nature of this study it may not be of benefit to many who read it. Please accept my apologies.   It has been posted to specifically answer questions concerning the issue of marriage and divorce presented to me by my fellow teachers of the Word, as well as to clarify and respond to recent teachings on the Biblical use of “chorizo” with which I have been presented.  Tomorrow we will return to our TOTT studies which I trust will be much more readable by all.

A proper understanding of the meaning of the Greek term “chorizo” (“depart”, “put asunder”, “to separate”) helps us to understand some very importance Biblical concepts.  Among these are the ideas of the sinlessness of Christ, the eternal security of the believer, and divorce and remarriage.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matt 19:3-6 6) let not man put asunder.

Mark 10:2-129) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder

Acts 1:1-5 4) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem,…

Acts 18:1-6 1)  After these things Paul departed from Athens,… (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) …

Rom 8:31-39 35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…39)shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1Cor 7:10-16 10) Let not the wife depart from [her] husband:  … 11) But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried…15) But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart

Phlm 1:10-1615) For perhaps he therefore departed for a season…

Heb 7:22-2826) separate from sinners…

THE STUDY:

Let’s start our study of “chorizo” by looking at its definition and usage…

“chorizo” is defined as:
1. to place space between
2. to part
3. to divide
4. to go away
5. to separate

“chorizo” is translated by the phrases:
1. “put asunder” –  Mat 19:3-6; Mark 10:2-12
2. “to depart” – Act 1:4, Act 18:1-6, 1 Cor 7:10-16, Philemon 1:10-16
3. “shall separate” – Rom 8:31-39, Heb 7:22-28

(This word is NEVER  translated “divorce” nor “put away” in NT Scriptures.)

“chorizo” is used to describe:
1. Sunder a marriage – Mat 19:3-6; Mar 10:2-12
2. Departure from a physical location – Acts 1:4; Acts 18:1-6
3. Separation from love – Rom 8:31-39;
4. Departure from a marriage – 1 Cor 7:10-16
5. Depart from responsibilities / obligations– Philemon 1:10-16
6. Separation from sinners influences– Heb 7:22-28

To summarize  “chorizo” can clearly designate 4 types of separation….
1.  a physical separation of distance (Acts 1:4, 18:1-6, Philemon 1:10-16?)
2.  a separation of parties once united by a covenant, obligation, or responsibilities (Mat 19:3-6, Mar 10:2-12, 1 Cor 7:10-16, Philemon 1:10-16
3.  a separation of parties united by emotions (Rom 8:31-39)
4.  a separation from the influence of others (Heb 7:22-28)

(Therefore, chorizo can refer not only to a physical separation, but also to an emotional, influential or obligational separation.)

How does this understanding of the meaning of “chorizo” affect our understanding of:

 Our eternal security in Christ?  (Rom 8:31-39)

Here, we can see that we cannot be estranged from the love we experience when we are united with Christ… 

Rom 8:31-331) What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God who is the ultimate Judge of all mankind is willing to give all for His people.  How do we know this?  He sent His Son to die on the cross for their sins.

33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.34) Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who can be faultfinding of His people and change God’s mind about them?  No one.  You see, based upon the death of Christ the sin debt of His people has been paid and their guilt covered.

35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ has proven His unquenchable love for us by dying on the cross on our behalf.  Nothing can put a separation between us and Christ’s love.  No matter what difficulty and persecution we may face in life, we can rest assured that His love is still placed upon us.  We will be conquerors over the trials and death as we spend eternity with Him.

 The sinlessness of Christ? (Heb 7:22-28)

Heb 7:22-28 22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.23) And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:24) But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Here, Jesus as our High Priest is being compared to the OT priesthood.  His ministry is a much better ministry than the OT priests because His ministry is perfect, complete, and eternal.

26) For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Christ who came to the earth, placed Himself in the midst of sinners.  And yet, although in the midst of sinners He remained separate from them.  This was, obviously, not a physical separation but it was a separation of influence.  Sinners did not cause Him to sin, in other words, their sin did not “rub off” on Him.  He remained sinless (separate from them) although He was in the midst of them.

27) Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.  28) For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
Since Christ was perfect, unlike the OT priests, He was able to offer Himself as a permanent, complete, eternal sacrifice for the sins of His people.   This was only because He was able to remain “separate” from sinners while, yet, in their midst.

Finally, grounds for scriptural divorce?…

In both, the Matthew and Mark passages the phrase “put asunder” comes from “chorizo”.  In the 1 Corinthians verses the phrase “depart” is the term to focus on.

Matt 19:3-6  3) The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

 

Mark 10:2-12  2) And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away [his] wife? tempting him.3) And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?  4) And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put [her] away.  5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.  6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;  8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  9) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  10) And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same [matter].  11) And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  12) And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
In the beginning of the Lord’s teachings on divorce, we see Him responding to the Pharisees questions concerning the circumstances under which divorce is looked upon as “lawful” in the eyes of God.  The term used by the Pharisees “to put away” was the Grk term “apoluo” meaning to unloose. This is the common term used in the NT for divorce.
The Lord answers the Pharisees by explaining that marriage was meant to be permanent and man should not sunder (separate) the parties of the relationship for “every cause”.   In this case to “chorizo” is translated put asunder…  Please note chorizo does not refer to the act of divorce it refers to the result (or end state following divorce)… separation.  This separation, following the act of divorce has two aspects to it…
1.  Physical separation between the spouses
2. The separation from their spousal marital obligations and responsibilities.

The Lord emphasizes the end result of the divorce because He is showing how the results of the divorce are in direct opposition to the purpose and result of the initial marriage agreement… union, love, care and responsibility.

In this case, the “chorizo” does not refer to the act of divorcing… it simply describes the end result of a divorce… the marital couple is separated from each other, as well as separated from their responsibilities and obligations of the marital agreement. How does this separation take place? Through the act of divorce.  When a couple gets divorced, the action of divorce then results in them being separated from one anther and separated from their responsibilities and obligations to one another.

In other words, the Pharisees ask the Lord… is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause?.. . The Lord responds by saying, “What God has joined together let no man separate (through the use of a divorce.)

(This principle becomes very important in understanding the next series of verse on divorce and remarriage…)

1Cor 7:10-16 10) And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband:  11) But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to [her] husband: and let not the husband put away [his] wife.  12) But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.  13) And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  14) For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  15) But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such [cases]: but God hath called us to peace.  16) For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save [thy] husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save [thy] wife?
Here the Apostle Paul addresses the “departure” of an unbelieving spouse.  Here, the word “depart” (in vs 10, 11, 15) is the Grk word “chorizo”.   We have seen that this word does not refer to divorce.  What is meant by a spouse departing from their partner?  This phrase is referring to separation from the spouses’ marital obligations (vows, covenant, contract etc).  This can take place in one of two ways…
1. Either physical desertion by physically departing from their spouse and living in a separate location. (This is a clear meaning of “chorizo” in Acts 1:4; Acts 18:1-6)
2. Or consistent, unrepentant desertion from their marital obligations and responsibilities although continuing to live physically present in a household.

(see Philemon 1:10-16 where the issue is Onesimus failure to be faithful to his responsibilities to Philemon.  In this case, Onesimus had physically departed as well.  However, I do believe his physical absence was not as much the issue as was the fact he had run off to avoid keeping the responsibilities of his contract with Philemon.) (Also keep in mind Hebrews 7:22-28, where Christ was said to be separate from sinners while yet living among them.  In this case, “chorizo” CANNOT be describing physical separation.)

If we come to understand that “depart” is referring to a separation from the responsibilities of the marital covenant and not necessarily a physical “desertion” from the spouse.  It helps us to understand this crucial teaching on divorce.

One example will suffice…. In the case of a husband who is physically abusing his wife.  Although the husband is still physically present in the household and continues to dwell with the wife… BECAUSE HE HAS DESERTED THE RESPONSIBILITES OF THE MARITAL CONVENANT he has “departed” from the marital covenant placing his spouse in the postion that she is no longer obligated to him.  “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such [cases]: but God hath called us to peace.”

Any habitual, unrepentant desertion from the marital covenant is a Scriptural ground for divorce, although a divorce is not obligatory, and in some cases, not desirable based upon individual situations.

To summarize this word study in the context of divorce… we have seen that one of the Scriptural grounds for divorce is the departure of an unbelieving spouse.  This departure is not, necessarily, speaking of divorce, but it is speaking of the unbeliever unrepentantly separating themselves from their spouse OR unrepentantly, habitually abdicating their marital responsibilities.  This abdication can take place while present in the household.

But most importantly, we must remember….

1. We need to remember that our Lord’s desire for the marriage unit.  Above all else, our Lord desires for marriage to be permanent.  Even when a spouse is guilty of an offense allowing divorce, there should be room for forgiveness and reconciliation whenever true repentance is shown by the offending party.
2. In many cases, although a divorcable offense has taken place, a divorce is not obligatory.  The saved spouse can continue to live with the lost spouse realizing that the Lord can, through the testimony of the saved, work salvation in the heart of the one who is lost.
3. Also, we should keep in mind that for those who have been divorced (following a marriage to one who had consistently, stubbornly, unrepentantly broken the marital covenant) you are free to remarry and to go forward with your life with no guilt, knowing you have done what is required, and the divorce you have experienced has separated you from your responsibilities towards your former spouse.
4. If you have been a participant in a divorce that was not based upon legitimate grounds… keep in mind that there is forgiveness being offered from our great gracious God. There is no sin so great it cannot be forgiven by our Lord.

If you have any questions concerning the above study please feel free to to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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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.”

The Wondrous Jesus…

Acts 13:37-39 (KJV) …he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.  Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

The Innocent Among The Treacherous

Luke 10:3 (KJV)  Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Elijah That Is To Come

The Old Testament prophet Malachi spoke of the Lord’s promise to send Elijah before the day of the Lord.  Has this Old Testament prophecy been fulfilled?  If so when and by whom?

Let’s take a few moments to find out if we can expect the prophet Elijah to rise from the dead in the last days.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Malachi 4:5-6            Matthew 11:7-15                Luke 1:11-17           John 1:19-28

THE STUDY:

The Old Testament prophecy that we will be looking at is found in Malachi 4:5-6…

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

There are several things we can learn about this coming Elijah from the text of this prophecy:

First of all his coming is said to take place “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:”.    What is meant by this phrase?  There are two possible interpretations of this phrase.  It can be referring to the second coming of Christ when He will judge the world before our entrance into eternity (2 Peter 3:10).  Or it can be speaking of the first coming of Christ which was soon followed by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (Matt 24:15-22, Luke 19:41-44, Luke 21:20-24).

Secondly, we are told that “he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers At his coming, Elijah would proclaim the gospel message.  For family members who were at war with one another… when they accepted this message of grace, their lives would be changed and they will enter into a peaceful relationship with God and one another.  (Col 3:15)  However, for those who would not accept the gospel proclaimed by Elijah they would be facing the judgment of God for their sins… “lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”.

Malachi’s prophecy mentioned to John the Baptist in John 1:19-28…

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?  And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?  He said, I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.  And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.  And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.  These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Here, we find that the priests and Levites were sent to find out the identity of John the Baptist.  During the course of their questions the subject of Elijah came up…. “Who art thou?  And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias?”  After denying he was the Messiah, John then responded to their inquiry that he was Elijah.  His response… “And he saith, I am not.”.   Here we find that John the Baptist, clearly, without hesitation denied that he was Elijah.

To answer their question about his identity, John referred them to another OT prophecy.  This prophecy was given by Isaiah who said “I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3)

The entire prophecy from Isaiah  (Isa 40:3-5) states…

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:  And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see [it] together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

In other words, John the Baptist was to make clear and plain to all that Jesus was the Messiah, who was the very glory of God Himself shown to the eyes of all men.

Christ’s Teachings about Elijah that was to come in Matthew 17:9-13 and Matt 11:7-15…  

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.   And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?   And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.  (see also Mark 9:12-13)

Here, in Matt 17:, we find Christ being questioned about Malachi’s prophecy concering he coming Elijah.  Jesus answered them by saying “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.”  Christ now tells them something that is totally unexpected.  Christ claims that the prophecy about the coming of Elijah is a valid prophecy, but it has already taken place!  He goes further and says that Elijah was not recognized and because of their lack of identifying Elijah they have done with him as they pleased.

Christ goes further to explain how they abused this unknown Elijah… “Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them”.  In other words, the same type of abuse that Elijah had to withstand would be the same type that Christ Himself would have to endure (false accusations, imprisonment, painful suffering and death).

We are then told that the followers of Christ come to recognition that He is speaking about John the Baptist. “Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist

It is at this point we can begin to see a seeming difficulty in these verses.  Please keep in mind in our previous text, John 1:, we saw that John the Baptist clearly denied that he was Elijah.  And yet, here we see the disciples are thinking that it was John the Baptist that Christ was equating with Elijah.  The simple solution to this issue is to recognize that the disciples were making a wrong assumption.  Could it be that Christ was not speaking of John the Baptist in this teaching?

We will see that Christ clarifies of whom He is speaking in our next text from Matt 11…

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?  But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft [clothing] are in kings’ houses.  But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.  For this is [he], of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.   Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.  And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come.  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Here, in the context, Christ is clearly speaking of John the Baptist, “Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John.  In His discussion of John, Christ begins to describe John using an Old Testament prophecy that applied to John….

For this is [he], of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”  (Isa 40:3, Mal 3:1)  In other words, John was sent by God to prepare the way of Christ, declaring who He was and baptizing those who would eventually become followers of Christ.

He continues to describe John’s ministry, pointing to his importance, as well as describing the powerful effects upon mankind that John’s message would accomplish.  It would break the sin hardened heart of men (kingdom suffereth violence) causing them to run desperately seeking to receive the rule of God in their heart (the violent take it by force).  John’s message concerning the Messiah was supported by the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets.

But finally, Christ makes a statement that clarifies this entire issue concerning John the Baptist and the prophecy concerning Elijah…. “And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come.  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”     So now there is no misunderstanding.  The disciples had gotten it correct.  Christ was speaking of John in Matthew 17, and clearly stated the same here in Matthew 11.

So we are now faced with another difficulty…. Did John the Baptist lie when he denied that he was the promised Elijah?  Our last verse in this study will help us to understand this difficult issue…

The Angels’s testimony concerning the coming John The Baptist in Luke 1:11-17… 

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.  And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.   For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

As the angel spoke to Zacharias about the birth of his son John, we find him comparing John to the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament.  He makes the statement… “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

John the Baptist, during the course of his ministry would demonstrate the same Holy Spirit empowered ministry as that of Elijah.  Also, he would share the same motivations and attitudes of the heart as that of Elijah.  He would dress in a similar way and eat a similar diet to that of Elijah as well.  He would share the same office and title of “prophet;  and would share the position of forerunner with Elijah, John being the forerunner of Christ, while Elijah was the forerunner of Elisha.  In many ways, the ministries of these great men of faith were overlapping and similar.

Conclusion Of Our Study…

As we can now see that both Christ and John the Baptist were being truthful about John’s relationship to Elijah.   When John said that he was not Elijah he was telling the truth, he was not Elijah come back from the dead.   Christ made it plain that the prophecy concerning the coming Elijah was fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptist;  in other words, John coming in “the spirit and power of Elijah” was a fulfillment of the Malachi prophecy.

But we can take this one step further, if you notice the phrasing of the teaching of Christ we see that John was not simply “a” fulfillment of the prophecy but was actually “the” fulfillment of the prophecy…

And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come.  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Christ did not say this is one fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy.   He said plainly that “this is Elijah which was for to come.”   In other words, John the Baptist was the complete and total fulfillment of the Malachi prophecy.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

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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.”

The Gifts of His Goodness Enables Us To Be Saved…

Rom 2:4 (KJV)  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (1)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
42) And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49) For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50) Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

For this series we will use this very simple outline:
1.  vs 41-42 – Evidences of genuine salvation
2.  vs 43-48 – Importance of genuine salvation
3.  vs 49-50 – Absolute necessity of genuine salvation

By God’s grace as we begin our detailed study next week, let us all ask the Lord to bless our study and reveal to us the true condition of our heart.   For without His intervening grace, we can never clearly discern our heart’s condition before Him….
Jer 17:9-10  – The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

Heb 3:12-14 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

But also, let’s not misunderstand the importance of this study.  We may think that this series will be of no benefit to those who have made “their calling and election sure.”  However, during the course of this series, we will be looking at many very important Biblical teachings that will strengthen believers of any spiritual age:

1.  the need to live out our faith for Christ;
2.  the need to give special love, care and concern to the children around us (whether of young physical, or spiritual age);
3.  the existence of a literal Lake of Fire;
4.  the future aspect of Christ’s eternal Kingdom;
5.  some basic principles that we must share with those who need Christ around us.

By God’s grace we will begin our detail study Monday morning.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Does The Lord Bless Others Through Us?

Ruth 2:10-12 (KJV)  Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I [am] a stranger?  And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and [how] thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.  The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 2 Cor 5:1-4

2Cor 5:1-4 (KJV)  For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

“Our house which is from heaven”…. In this text, we have a wonderful promise that causes joy, hope and appreciation spring forth from any Christian’s heart.  The house being spoken of is not made with brick and mortar founded here on earth,  nor is it speaking our eternal home that awaits us as described in Rev 21:1-5… 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 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.” 

This wonderful promise is describing the glorified bodies that will be received at the resurrection of the Christian’s body…

1Cor 15:51-58 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?  The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.  But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

(see also 1 Cor 15:46-50, 1 John 3:2, 1 Thess 4:13-18, Phil 3:20-21)

In Rev 21: we find just a few of the many blessings that are linked to the receipt of glorified bodies…

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.” 

We will be able to be in the very presence of God because our bodies will no longer be touched by sin!  What a day that will be!  No more tears, death, sorrow, crying nor pain.  No wonder our text in 2 Cor. says … For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

What grace, love and kindness is on display as we receive all these blessings, not because we deserve them, but because He loved us with an eternal love.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Does Our Pride Deceive Us?

Obad 1:3 (KJV)  The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation [is] high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

SIH’s Think On These Things: 2 Pet 3:18

2Pet 3:18 (KJV)  18) But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 

“Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.  In this six word title we find several very important truths being presented to us….

1.  “Our” – This helps us to understand that a personal relationship with the Sovereign Creator of the universe can be had by man.  He is not “The Lord and Saviour…”, but “OUR Lord and Saviour…”

2.  “Lord” – This teaches us that He is the Master and Controller over all things.  He is the One that is King over all and, in recognition of that fact, we are to willingly submit to His Kingship.

3.  “Saviour” – He is the One that graces His people with deliverance from the wrath of God.  We have all sinned, and because of that sin, we are all deserving of the wrath and punishment of Holy, Almighty God.  It is this Jesus that supplied salvation for His people by taking the wrath of God upon Himself.

4.  “Jesus” – He is not only our Saviour but He is the One True God, Jehovah.  It is this same One True God that brought the world into existence, gave mankind their physical life and gave to His people spiritual life.  This is why He is given the title “Jehovah Is Salvation”.

5.  “Christ” – He is the One that was anointed with the Holy Spirit enabling Him to fulfill the roles of our infallible prophet, intercessory priest, and absolute sovereign King.

How can we enter into a personal relationship with this wonderful Sent One?  The Word of God helps us to understand this in a very simple way…

Jesus, Himself tells us that to obtain a relationship with Him and to enter eternally into His presence we must be born again… John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”

To be born again, He must work in our lives and bring us to a place that we recognize and acknowledge that we have sinned against God.  This means that we are separated from God which is proved by the acts of disobedience that we commit… Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”   Based upon these sins, we are spiritually separated from God and deserving of His punishment… Rom 6:23, “For the wages [payment] of sin is death” and  “ . . . it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

But God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin, shed His blood and die in your place. “ . . . He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “ . . . God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

By agreeing with God about our sin and turning from them we will find ourselves coming to Him with a sorrowful spirit and in submission to His desires for us.  This is called “repentance”… Acts 17:30, “God . . . commandeth all men everywhere to repent” 

In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “ . . . Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . . .”  We are to simply forsake our sins, turn to Him as our Lord and believe on Him as  the one who bore our sins, and died in our place, that He was buried and resurrected by God.  “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

This is God’s Word to each one of us, clearly declaring to us the path He has prepared to allow us to enter into an eternal relationship with Him.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Rev 2:10

Rev 2:10 (KJV)  10) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

“Be ye faithful unto death”

One of the most taught, and important, responsibilities given to a Christian in the pages of God’s Word is the need to be faithful.  For this morning, I would like us to ask the question… what does the Bible mean by being “faithful”?

The word “faithful” is translated from a Greek word that means “to be trusted”, “to have confidence” and “to believe in”.  The root word from which faithful is derived is a word that means “to be convinced”, “to be brought to one’s side”, “to yield to”.   By understanding these words we can more easily understand exactly what the Bible means by the term “faithful”.   Biblically, to be “faithful” means “to possess a confidence that causes us to be trustworthy”.  In other words, it is to be so totally convinced of a truth that we then consistently apply that truth to our life for the remainder of our days.

So to be “faithful” to our Lord means that we are so totally persuaded in the Bible’s teachings of Christ’s identity, work and teachings that our life becomes consistently, permanently aligned with His cause.  It is being “full of faith” in Christ which then allows Him to trust us to be in consistent submission to His desires for us.  It is saying that “I KNOW ABSOLUTELY that what the Bible says about Christ is true, therefore I will consciously, constantly align myself with His will and ways in every area of my being.”

To close, I would like to re-emphasize the most misunderstood aspects of being faithful… Being faithful is like a coin that has two sides to it. You cannot have one without the other:

1. First of all, being “faithful” ALWAYS describes outward submission motivated by an inward confidence.  To hypocritically submit to the outward commands of Christ is not being “faithful”.   Our submission to Him must be motivated by being “full of faith”.  We should never think being “faithful” simply involves outward acts.

2, Secondly, being “faithful” does absolutely rely upon our outward acts of submission to His will.  We can say we are “faithful” (full of faith) all that we want, but if our lives are not in submission to His will, we cannot claim faithfulness.  As a matter of fact, if we think we are full of faith, and our lives do not align themselves to His will, we must question the validity of our faith.

Do our lives exhibit submission to His will and ways, motivated by absolute assurance in Him?  Or are we like an actor on a stage, outwardly conforming to the dictates of religion without being convinced of the Bible record concerning Christ?

Do we KNOW that Christ is our Lord and Saviour and we naturally find ourselves treating Him as such?  Or are we like those who may possess a mental assent to truths about Christ without that knowledge ever working change in their lives?

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

For those “Christians” who deny the resurrection; Remember…

1Cor 15:17-19 (KJV)  And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Jesus: God’s promised Saviour

Acts 13:23 (KJV)  Of this man’s seed hath God according to [his] promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

SIH’s Think On These Things: Gen 5:19-24 (6)

Gen 5:19-24 (KJV)  And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:  And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.  And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:  And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:  And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

Heb 11:5 (KJV)  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Jude 1:14 (KJV)  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Within the pages of the Bible, we read very little about this man named “Enoch” and, yet, what we are told about him should cause any Christian to appreciate the wonderful testimony that he left behind. Besides his age, lineage and descendants, we are told basically four different things about Enoch:
1. “Enoch walked with God”
2. “God took him (Enoch)”; in other words, “Enoch was translated that he should not see death and was not found for God took him”
3. “he had this testimony, that he pleased God”
4.”Enoch… prophesied of these saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints”

What a wonderful testimony Enoch left behind for all of us to desire….
1. Enoch walked with God – He lived a life in agreement with God’s will and desires while keeping himself from consistent, in dwelling sin.
2. God took Enoch – It was through Enoch’s faith that he was brought into a personal relationship with God and then delivered from sin and the effects of sin as he entered into eternity
3. Enoch pleased God – He possessed the indwelling Spirit; he choose to put Christ first in his life and showed this by sharing the gospel message; he lived his life by faith believing in the promises made by his God, his life was characterized by answered prayer, keeping the commands of God, and submission to His revealed will for Enoch’s life.
4. Enoch prophesied of God’s victory over Satan, sin and death manifested in the end times – he spoke of Jehovah and His judgment of sin; Enoch spoke of Jehovah’s final victory over Satan, sin and death; Enoch spoke of the future blessings of Jehovah’s people; Enoch was a living illustration of faith in Jehovah; and finally Enoch’s life exhibited love for His Lord and others.

Are our lives producing the same type of testimony as that of Enoch?

Phil 1:27 (KJV) Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Think Before Accepting Teaching …

2Pet 2:1-2 (KJV)  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

The Everlasting Arms of God

In Deuteronomy 33:27 we read of the everlasting arms of God…

Deut 33:26-27 (KJV)  [There is] none like unto the God of Jeshurun, [who] rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.  The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms:…

Let’s take a few minutes to study the importance of the everlasting arms of God and their effects in our life.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Deut 33:26-27

THE STUDY:

Deut 33:26-27

1) [There is] none like unto the God of Jeshurun,  Our God is truly unique and beyond comparison to all other gods in three ways…
Exod 15:11 (KJV) – Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders?

(1)  Glorious in holiness – His perfection
(2) Fearful In Praises – His greatness
(3) Doing wonders – His works among men

b)   Jeshurun – “upright, standing, upheld One”; A title given to the nation of Israel pointing to them being blessed, prosperous and righteous.   In other words, Israel was a trophy of God’s grace, they were blessed with prosperity and righteousness.  They were a living display of the grace of this wonderful God.

2)   [who] rideth upon the heaven in thy help, – Our God is so great He is said to ride upon the heavens.  In other words, He transcends this natural world, taking authority over His people, leading and guiding them throughout their walk on earth.
Exod 13:21-22 – And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people.

3)   and in his excellency on the sky. Excellency – Ornament, that which beautifys, attracts attention. The Lord’s forgiveness, leadership and blessing upon Israel brought beauty, honor and glory to Himself.
Neh 9:12-15 – Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.

(1)  The Lord had blessed them with leadership, His Word, and met their physical needs.
Neh 9:16-18 – But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou [art] a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This [is] thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;

(2)  Israel responded with rebellion and the worship of false Gods.
Neh 9:19 – Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

(3)  Yet the Lord was patient, kind, forgiving and continued to keep His Word in spite of their actions.

 

4)   The eternal God [is thy] refuge, – Eternal – before, ancestral, preceding.  This God, we now serve, is the same God that preceded us, taking care of the Israelites and remaining faithful to His Word.
Psalm 90:1-2 – A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God.

Refuge – a retreat; a dwelling; a secure, safe, protected place.  It is this same God to which we are to run and find rest, security, and divine supplies.
Isa 57:15 – For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

 

5)   and underneath [are] the everlasting arms:… Everlasting – vanishing point.  As far as the eye can see (into the past and into the future) … the arms of God will supply support, strength and comfort to His people.  There is no scenario we can conceive where His arms will not be with us as we seek to serve Him on earth.

i)     His arms symbolic of…
(1)  support and comfort – Song 2:6 His left hand [is] under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
(2)  strength – Gen 49:23-24 – The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot [at him], and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

ii)    Our need to…
(1)  trust Him – Isa 26:4 – Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength:
(2)  know our eternal security is in Him – 1Pet 1:3-5 – Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.
By remembering our Lord’s patience, grace, mercy, strength and comforting arms, we can find rest for our souls in the midst of a sinful, trouble filled world.  His everlasting arms are always with us, enabling and protecting us as we seek to serve Him with our lives.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.
The same eternal God that will protect and bless His followers is the same eternally just God who will hold mankind accountable for the sins that they commit. Realizing He is the eternal judge of all mankind, should be a motivating force in seeing the need ot come to Him for salvation before it is eternally late.

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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.

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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.”

Pray For Our Faithful Brethren

1Thess 1:2-4 (KJV)  We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;  Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

A No-Quit Christian

Have you ever known someone who just refused to quit?  No matter what obstacle they might face, no matter how gloomy the outlook for success, there are those who refuse to say “I give up”.  I don’t know about you, but I admire those type of people.

When it comes to sharing Christ with others, Christians should be the masters of exhibiting the “I refuse to quit” attitude.  You see, the level our commitment to share Christ with others, is directly related to our level of trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul explained this principle in great detail in our text for this posting.

Let’s take a few moments and study a “No-Quit Christian”…

THE SCRIPTURES:

2Tim1:8-12 (KJV)  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;  Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,  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:  Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

 

THE STUDY:

In our text, the Apostle Paul is encouraging a young Pastor, Timothy, to be a faithful steward of the gospel message.  Paul is explaining to Timothy why he (Timothy) needs to exhibit a “no-quit” attitude as he shares the gospel with others. (Rom 1:16),   These same principles can be applied to each of our lives as we seek to share the message of salvation to others around us.

2Tim1:8-12 (KJV)

8) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner:

Paul, is encouraging Timothy to take a stand for the Lord in spite of all the opposition and discouragements that he will face.  Paul knew that our fleshly nature is bent toward “taking the easy way out” when it comes to our service for the Lord.  It is far easier on us as sinful humans to deny our relationship with the Lord and those who are faithfully serving Him.

Just think of the Apostle Peter who so easily denied knowledge of the Lord during the trial and crucifixion of Christ. (Mark 14:66-72)

but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Being led by the teachings of Christ, Himself (Luke 9:23-26), Paul understood that anyone who takes a stand for the gospel by faithfully witnessing to others will, eventually, face abuse and mistreatment in this world. (2 Tim 3:12)

Following his denials of Christ, Peter made a purposeful choice to allow Christ and the gospel message to take preeminence in his life as well. (1 Peter 4:14)  Even the OT prophet Isaiah, understood the need to be willing to suffer shame for the cause of the Lord (Isa 51:7).

How can we consistently face the world’s criticisms and still serve Christ… it is by the power and grace of the Lord. (2 Tim 4:17, 2 Cor 6:4-10)

9) Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

The Christ that we share with others is the same Christ that has graced us with His forgiveness and eternal salvation.   We did not deserve our salvation, nor could we work to gain our salvation… it was given to us freely through the workings of the HS in our life.  Paul is reminding Timothy, and all of us, of our obligation to serve Christ in appreciation for all He has done for us. (Roms 12:1)

10) 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:

This same eternal plan of salvation that was made in eternity past, has now been clearly shown to mankind through the first coming of Christ.

This is the essence of the gospel message that we proclaim.  It is an explanation of Christ’s work in defeating sin, and its result, that was wrought in the eternal counsels of God Almighty.  By sharing the gospel, we are sharing the way in which mankind can be set free from the effects of sin. (Col 1:25-29, 1 John 1:1-4)

11) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Paul’s call to the ministry centered on this gospel message.  He was appointed a preacher (one who proclaims the gospel message); an Apostle (one who was commissioned to be an ambassador to deliver the gospel message); and a teacher (one who explains the gospel message).  Paul had a tremendous amount of responsibility placed upon his shoulders. All of which was fulfilled as he faithfully took the gospel message to the lost Gentile world. (Eph 3:4-7)

12) For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

What motivated Paul to continue to share the gospel in spite of many hindrances?  Paul was very familiar with the Lord in whom he had placed his trust… he was well acquainted with the person and work of His Lord.  (Isa 12:1-2, Phil 3:7-11, 1 Pet 4:1-9)

1. Paul knew of His person: His greatness, His love, His grace… the list goes on and on.

2. Paul also knew about His work: His forgiveness, His salvation, His security, His justice, etc etc.

Paul was convinced beyond any doubt that His Lord was able to store up all that Paul had done for Him unto “that day”.  In other words, he was convinced that the Lord would remember, and reward, his faithfulness at the last judgment. (2 Tim 4:8, Matt 6:19-20, Jude 1:21-25)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

Paul was one of the most persecuted of all of Christ’s followers.  He understood that by keeping his Lord, his Lord’s works, and his eternity with the Lord on his mind, he would be encouraged to continue faithful service for Christ.  Let’s all be conscious of our Lord and His workings, as we serve Him with no shame nor fear.  Let’s confidently look forward to our eternity with Him, it will make our service worth it all.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Being known as one of Christ’s followers may lead to mistreatment from this world, but it will result in a certain blessed eternity with the Lord.  By coming to Christ, we are acknowledging both our need of a Savior and our realization that eternity is of far more importance than the temporal things of this world.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://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.”