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The Human Conscience Series: NT Descriptions Of Our Conscience’s Workings

SIH TOA ICONThe wicked flee when no man pursueth:

but the righteous are bold as a lion.

(Prov 28:1)

 

There are many aspects to the working of the human conscience that is within us.  One of the ways to come to an understanding of the functions of the conscience is by looking at descriptions of the conscience’s effects in the lives of Biblical characters.

Our study for today will be very similar to our previous study.  For today, instead of looking at Old Testament verses, we will be looking at New Testament verses that describe the conscience’s effects on individuals.  Please note, as in our prior study, although the word “conscience” is not used, the work of the conscience is clearly seen in each of these Scriptures.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matthew 27:3-5 (KJV)
3) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4) Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What [is that] to us? see thou [to that].
5) And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Mark 6:14-16 (KJV)
14) And king Herod heard [of him]; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
15) Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
16) But when Herod heard [thereof], he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

1 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)
4) For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

1 John 3:19-21 (KJV)
19) And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21) Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.

THE STUDY:

The work of the conscience described in the NT Scriptures…
1.  Matthew 27:3-5 – …Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, departed, and went and hanged himself.
The phrase “when he saw he was condemned” is translated from a Greek phrase with a common meang of “when he perceived that judgment was awaiting him”…..

This shows us that the conscience reveals guilt and impending judgment.

2.  Mark 6:14-16 – … But when Herod heard [thereof], he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
This is very similar to Proverbs 28:1 – “The wicked flee when no man pursueth”…

In both of these texts, we can see a result of the conscience at work is paranoia on behalf of the one being convicted of wrongdoing.

3.  1 Corinthians 4:4 … For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
“I know nothing by myself” is another way of saying “There is no perception within myself”.   Paul was telling us that his conscience was not convicting him of unfaithfulness in the ministry.  However, because it can malfunction, his greatest concern was if he was looked upon as faithful by Christ.

Although the conscience can be a great asset in discerning our condition before the Lord, it can malfunction and its testimony can lead us astray.

4.  1 John 3:19-21 …And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.

The phrases “assure our hearts”, “heart condemn us”, and “heart condemn us not” are all describing the work of the conscience within us.  “To assure” describes actions that cause the conscience to testify of innocence and purity; “to condemn us” describes the conscience testifying of guilt and coming judgment; while “condemn us not” is when the conscience is silent on an issue, resulting in presumed innocence.

The conscience not only testifies of guilt, but also testifies of innocence, or at times can imply innocence through silence.

THE SUMMARY:

This completes our study of the various texts in the Bible that describe the workings of the conscience without containing the word “conscience” .  In these two sections we have learned the following about the workings of “the conscience that lies with us”

The conscience:

1. Gen 20:5,6  – pushes us towards perfection in choices and deeds.
2.  1Sam 24:5, 10   – works with our desire to please God, warning us of our failures.
3.  1 Sam 25:31 – helps us to avoid ruin to our goals and desires.
4.  Job 27:6 – produces feelings of shame when we rebel against the Lord’s will.
5. Psa 16:7 – gives us continuing instructions and corrections to regulate our choices/actions
6.  Eccl 10:20 –teaches us through feelings of confidence, shame, or uncertainty
7.  Gen 3:8 –  reveals when we have sinned, communion is broken, and repentance is needed
8. Gen 42:21 – shows us when we sin against others and the results of those sins in our lives.
9. Prov 28:1 – causes unfounded anxiety/fear for the guilty while supplying confidence/boldness to the righteous.
10. Matthew 27:3-5 – reveals guilt and impending judgment.
11. Mark 6:14-16 – causes paranoia on behalf of the one being convicted of wrongdoing.
12. 1 Corinthians 4:4 – can be a great asset, or it can malfunction and lead us astray.
13.  1 John 3:19-21 – testifies of guilt, also of innocence, or can imply innocence by silence

We have looked at both the Old Testament and New Testament texts that clearly describe the work of the conscience without using the word “conscience” in the texts.  The remaining sections of our study will center on the texts that contain the word “conscience”.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

For a free copy of this series in book form pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscience.pdf

For a free copy of this series in book form docx version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscienceprotected.docx

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The Human Conscience Series: OT Descriptions Of Our Conscience’s Workings

SIH TOA ICONThe wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

(Prov 28:1)

 There are many aspects to the working of the human conscience that is within us.  One of the ways to come to an understanding of the functions of the conscience is by looking at descriptions of the conscience’s effects in the lives of Biblical characters.

In our study for today, we will be looking at many pictures of the conscience working in the lives of Old Testament characters.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Gen 3:8 (KJV)  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Gen 20:5-6 (KJV)  Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.  And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Gen 42:21 (KJV)   And they said one to another, We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

1Sam 24:5 & 10 (KJV)  And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt…. Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and [some] bade [me] kill thee: but [mine eye] spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he [is] the LORD’S anointed.

1Sam 25:31 (KJV)  That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.

Job 27:6 (KJV)  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach [me] so long as I live.

Ps 16:7 (KJV)  I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Prov 28:1 (KJV)  The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Eccl 10:20 (KJV)  Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

THE STUDY:

The conscience described in the OT Scriptures…

1. Gen 20:5,6  –  she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

The Hebrew phrase “integrity of my heart” carries with it the idea of “completeness or perfectness of will and desires”….

This shows us that the conscience pushes us towards perfection in choices and deeds.

2.  1Sam 24:5, 10   – “And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him,…, And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people.

The phrase “heart smote him” comes from the Hebrew meaning “to strike upon the desires, will and goals”…

By this phrase we learn that when we sin our conscience strikes in harmony with our desire to please God, warning us of our failures.

3.  1 Sam 25:31 – That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart…”

Here, the phrase “offense of heart” is a translation of a Hebrew phrase that means “to cause to fall, or to bring to ruin, our desires, will and goals”…

Here we learn that our properly working conscience helps us to avoid ruin to our goals and desires.

4.  Job 27:6 – “…my heart shall not reproach [me] so long as I live.

The phrase “my heart shall not reproach me” comes from the Hebrew translated “my inner being will be bring shame upon me”…

From this phrase, we can learn that a properly functioning conscience will produce feelings of shame and embarrassment when we rebel against the Lord’s will.

5. Psa 16:7 –I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Here, the phrase “my reigns instruct me” can be translated “my inner being teaches, chastens and corrects me.”…

Here we are told that our conscience gives us continuing instructions and corrections based upon the counsel of the Lord to regulate our choices and actions.

6.  Eccl 10:20 – Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

The Hebrew phrase translated “in thy thought” carries with it the idea of “to receive with your senses”….

In other words, it is revealing that the conscience’s teachings can be “sensed” through our feelings of confidence, shame, or being troubled and unsure.

The conscience at work in the OT Scriptures:

1.  Gen 3:8 – “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

It was due to their conscience that Adam and Eve hid from the Lord after eating the forbidden fruit.  Our conscience helps us to understand when we have sinned against God, our communion with Him is broken and our need of repentance.

2. Gen 42:21 – “And they said one to another, We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

It was their conscience that caused the brothers of Joseph to feel guilt concerning the mistreatment of Joseph when they had placed him in the pit and sold him to the Egyptians (Gen 37:1-36).

Our conscience shows us when we sin against others and the results of those sins in our lives.

3. Prov 28:1 – “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

It is a wicked man’s conscience that causes him to feel threatened and mistakenly expect harm to fall upon him.  While the conscience gives the righteous assurance and peace knowing his heart is right with God and the Lord is with him every step of the way.

The human conscience works on the mind of the guilty causing unfounded anxiety and fear while supplying the righteous confidence and boldness in the face of danger.

THE SUMMARY:

We have looked at the Old Testament descriptions of the workings of the human conscience.  We have seen that the conscience was clearly at work in the lives of both the wicked and the righteous of the Old Testament.  The workings of the conscience is varied and numerous but, when working properly leads us to the things of God and to put down the acts of rebellion that we commit.

In the next section of our study, we will be looking at the New Testament descriptions for the working s of the human conscience that is within us all.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

For a free copy of this series in book form pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscience.pdf

For a free copy of this series in book form docx version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscienceprotected.docx

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The Human Conscience Series: “What Is Our Conscience?”

SIH TOA ICON

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”  (Prov 28:1)

 The human conscience is perhaps the greatest NATURAL gift that was given to man to aid in his service to Almighty God.  If the conscience is working properly, it can give assurance of a right path that is being taken, or it can clearly warn of a wrong path that is being followed.

But, likewise, in the case of a broken conscience, the effects can be devastating to the one to whom it is speaking.   It will call evil good and good evil; it will profess that darkness is light and light is darkness; it will bring about only pain and confusion to the one that is following its bidding.

The importance of a healthy, properly working conscience cannot be overestimated.

So what is our conscience?  How does it work? How can we keep it functioning as it should?  In this series we will be trying to answer these, and many other questions, concerning our conscience, the wonderful God-given gift to each and every one of us.

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 8:9 (KJV)  And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

1Cor 8:7 (KJV)  Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

THE STUDY:

The conscience defined in the Scriptures:

In the OT

In the Old Testament KJV the word “conscience” is never used.

In the NT

In the NT the word “Conscience” is the English translation of the Greek word suneidesis.  This word is made up of two Greek words that are fused together…
1. The first Grk word is “sun” which means “together”, “combined” or “to be held within”
2. The second Grk word is “eidesis” which means “perception”, “awareness” or “understanding”

In English

In English the word “conscience” is based upon a fusion of words as well…
1. The first word is “con” meaning “with”, “alongside” or “joined”.  This is similar to the Grk word “sun”.
2. The second word is “science” which means “perceived knowledge” whose meaning is close to that of  “eidesis”

As we combine these basic ideas we can see that our conscience is “the witness (or awareness) of the perceived knowledge that is within us.”  There are two important aspects to this definition I would like to emphasize…

First of all, our conscience is a “witness” that abides within us.  It is constantly testifying to us. It speaks to us inwardly with a type of testimony that is described as being “convicted” in John 8:9… “And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one,…”  We must be careful and realize that conviction by our conscience is not the same as conviction by the Holy Spirit of God.  We will be looking at the differences between these at a later date.

Secondly, the content of this “witness” of the conscience is “perceived knowledge”.  In other words, it is what WE BELIEVE is true.  Not necessarily what is actually true. This principle is brought into clear view for us in 1Cor 8:7…

Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.”  In this section of Scripture we find that the conscience is malfunctioning due to the possession of false knowledge.

These Christians were lacking truthful knowledge concerning the true nature of meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  Because of this, they believed error.  Once they had placed they began to trust this untrue knowledge, their conscience became a defiled witness within them.

How did that occur?  The conviction of their conscience now contained the error that they had come to accept as truth.  What was the remedy for this situation?  They needed to be taught the truths of God’s Word and then accept this teaching as the truth.  In this way their conscience could be cleansed of the error and it would begin to function as it should.

Let me give you one other example to emphasize this point… If we consistently told our young child that it was a sin to wear a red tie to church, he would come to believe that is the truth.  Because of this, the first several times wore a red tie to church he would feel the pangs of guilt and shame.  It wouldn’t matter whether or not wearing a red tie was actually a sin, the point is because he believed it was a sin his conscience would act as if it was truth.

My guess is that every one of us have experienced some type of this during the course of our lifetime.  Either we held to some untruth and were convicted by our conscience, only to find out we were wrong in our belief, which ended the conscience conviction on this issue.  Or, we did not know a truth so our conscience did not convict us, only to learn the truth at a later time and then our conscience began its ministry to us on this issue.

So please remember this very basic, yet important truth…. Our conscience does not function based upon the truth… it functions based upon WHAT WE BELIEVE IS THE TRUTH.   We will be referring to this principle throughout the rest of our studies on the conscience.

THE SUMMARY:

In this first installment of our series, we have seen that when we speak of our “conscience”, we are describing the gracious gift given to us by God that is the natural witness to perceived truth that lies within us.

This witness of the conscience can be described as “conviction”, although it differs from the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God.

It is a witness of the perceived truth, in other words, it speaks to us based upon what we have been taught and then accept as truth.  As such, it is possible to malfunction based upon our receipt of false teaching and can be restored to health by us rejecting the error and replacing the error with the truths of God.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

For a free copy of this series in book form pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscience.pdf

 

For a free copy of this series in book form docx version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscienceprotected.docx

 

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 3:13-24 (3)

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Proverbs Concerning: Our Relationship To Wisdom & Understanding:  Prov 3:19-20

19) The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20) By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

INTRODUCTION:

We now continue by looking at several proverbs that address the proper relationship we should have towards the blessings of wisdom and understanding.  In this section we will be looking at the author of all wisdom.

EXPOSITION:

19) The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
Solomon now gives us proof-positive that our Lord is the Originator of all wisdom.  His proof for us is founded in nature, which is the indisputable witness of God as the ultimate Source of all wisdom.  Solomon, through divine inspiration, proves this truth through three examples of God’s interaction with nature around us…
1.  The creation and preservation of the earth.  God set in place all the elements of nature causing them to exist and work together harmoniously.
2.  The creation and preservation of the heavens.  God set up, ordered, and aligned the heavens so that they would exist and be maintained under His guiding hand.

“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.”  (Jeremiah 51:15)

Both the existence and upholding of the earth and the heavens is proof of His great wisdom and understanding.

 “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all:… “(Psalms 104:24)

20) By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
3.   The great flood during Noah’s day.  The Lord caused the fountains of the earth to bring forth water and the clouds to send forth rain for the first time in history.  Both of these worked in unity to bring about His desired goal… the overflowing of the world by water.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”  (Genesis 7:11)

SUMMARY:

Let’s never take nature for granted.  It is a living witness of the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of its Creator.  As we look at His wonderful interaction with His creation, let’s always keep in mind that it was through His great wisdom that these all came into existence.  And it is through this same wisdom that they continue to be maintained and used by Him for His glory.

The Possessor of this great creative, maintaining wisdom is now offering His wisdom to us.  By His grace, as we search His Word, we can receive that wisdom, and in doing so, we will enhance both our physical and spiritual life.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 18)

“…Meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving”

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Tim 4:3-5

 

1Tim 4:3-5 (KJV)  3) Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4) For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
With Thanksgiving day quickly approaching, what better time is there to remind ourselves about the need to be thankful for our material blessings (food, clothing, shelter etc) and the means by which we receive these things (employment, gifts, etc)?..

Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Paul was addressing false teachings which dictated that true followers of God should remain celibate and abstain from eating meat.  Paul is explaining to young Timothy that the marriage union and the eating of meats are to be enjoyed when they are partaken with thankfulness accompanied by a clear conscience.

For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:or it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Paul goes further and explains the reasoning behind this…. Everything that God makes is pleasing and beneficial for man and can be enjoyed by man.  However, men must recognize and appreciate, through the act of thanksgiving, that the Lord is the One that has supplied these blessings to mankind (Matt 6:25-32).
Paul helps us to understand that, whenever saints are confronted with a decision concerning our life choices, they are seek the Lord’s will by looking to the Word and praying for understanding.  Once they discover His will and submit to it, they can be confident our actions are not sinful, but glorifying to Him.

In today’s economy, it is no small blessing to have our material needs supplied through the blessings of Christ.  We should always be thankful for the need that is being supplied, keeping in mind that all our needs are supplied only through the gracious act of the Lord.  But our spirit of thankfulness should not end there.  We should also be thankful for the earthly source of these blessings as well.  Whether our needs are being supplied through an employer, a family member, a friend, church or other source, we should be thankful for the source which was raised up by the Lord to meet our needs.

Mark 8:6 (KJV)  6) And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks

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: Mark 9:41-50 (9)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.  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

In our final installment of this series we need to turn our attention to verse 50 of our text… 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.

In the previous verse (vs 49), we saw that salt was a picture of preservation… For those who are yet in their sins they are salted “with fire”, meaning they are preserved to face the eternal judgment of Almighty God.  For those who are salted “with salt” we find that those who have come to a saving faith in Christ are now preserved to spend an eternity in the very presence of God.

In verse 50, we find another use of salt, as a flavoring agent that enhances the taste of many foods.  We are told that salt is only good as a flavoring agent when it retains the characteristic flavor of salt.  If it were possible for salt to loose its flavor, it would taste no better than sand and would be used by no one.  This illustrates a believer’s need to be “salt” in the midst of a sin darkened world, if we are to make a useful contribution to those around us…

Matt 5:13 (KJV)  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

If, by God’s grace, we are no longer salted “with fire” but are now salted “with salt”, we have a very great responsibility before us.  We are to live as a “salted” one showing forth the love, grace and kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ to all around us.  Why is this so important?  Not only is it a testimony of the Lord and His work in our lives, but it also opens the opportunity for the enhancement of the quality of life of all those around us.

In this series, we have looked at “evidences of genuine salvation”, “the importance of genuine salvation” and  “absolute necessity of genuine salvation”.  These verses have emphasized our need to make certain that we have been saved from the wrath to come.  1Thess 1:9-10 (KJV)  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;   And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Once we have made certain of our salvation, let us all be active in showing Christ to others and, in doing so, attempting to enhance the lives of all who come into contact with us. John 10:9-10 (KJV) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

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

The Precious Word – Summary Of Our Study (Lesson #13)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Over the past 12 lessons we have seen that the Word of God has supplied to us the answers to some of life’s most difficult and important questions:

  1. What is the Bible?  Why does it stand out from all the writings of man?
  2. Does God exist? If so, ho is the true God?
  3. Is our existence on earth simply an accident, or were we created by a higher power?  If we are created beings who is our Creator?
  4. Is There a Messiah? If so, what is His identity?
  5. Does sin exist? If so, to whom do we turn to find forgiveness?
  6. Where do we turn to find peace and comfort in the midst of a world that is filled with injustice, pain, suffering, and death?
  7. What takes place at our death? Does our spirit go out of existence or does it continue to exist in a conscious state?
  8. Is there a need to prepare spiritually for our coming death?  If so, what can we do to prepare?
  9. Does genuine lasting happiness and joy exist? If so where can we find them?
  10.  Is there a purpose for our life on earth?  If so, how can we fulfill that purpose?
  11.  Why are there sorrowful, painful events in this world?  If there is a God why does He allow evil in this world?
  12.  Is there a universal standard for right and wrong? If so, where can we find it?

And this list is just the beginning…. We are promised by God Himself, through the writings of the Apostle Paul that God’s Word totally gives us what we need to know to live our lives on planet earth… “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

It is because of this that this precious book, God’s Word handed down to man, should be the chief source of all our knowledge, understanding and wisdom as we live our lives for His honor and glory.

In Psalm 19:7-11, we find a summary of the Word of God and its significance for all mankind. In this study, we will be looking at this set of verses, as a fitting summary and concluding study for our series.

SCRIPTURES:

Ps 19:7-11

(KJV)  7) The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple.  8) The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes.  9) The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether.  10) More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.

(ESV)  7) The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;  8) ​the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;  9) the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.  10) More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.  11) Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

THE STUDY:

In our text, Ps 19:7-11, we now turn our attention to the significance of God’s Word for our lives…

The flawless Word and its benefits…

In this section of our text we find the Word of God given six different titles:

7) The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul:

The Hebrew word translated “law” means “to draw a line” or “to point in correct direction”. This title teaches us that the Word contains limits that the Lord sets for us to follow. These limits are given to us to keep us from hurting ourselves.

The line that the Lord draws clearly shows us that we are not perfect and we are missing the target He has set for our lives.  The knowledge of our failures before Him shows us our need of repentance which motivates us to turn to Christ as our Lord and Savior resulting in our receipt of spiritual life.

 the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. 

The word for “testimony” means “a witness”.  The Word of God witnesses to us the truth of God.  God, here is acting as a witness for Himself.  He is the only One who has full knowledge of His own person, desires, work and commands.

Once we learn the about God from His Word it makes us wise as we apply these truths to our day to day walk with Him.

8) The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart:

The word that is translated “statutes” refers to “a responsibility given to us by a superior”.  As our Creator and Savior the Lord has all authority over us. The Word is filled with the duties that He has given to us.

These responsibilities are just and, if we keep them, are beneficial to His cause and our well-being. When we keep His statues we can find much joy and happiness in life as we live a blessed life of the Lord.

the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes. 

“Commandment” is a word that means “to arrange, appoint, or set in order”.  The Scriptures help us to set our life in order.

By following its dictates, our eyes are opened to how we can live an orderly, useful life that is fulfilling our purpose for living.

9) The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever:

The word “fear” is translated from a Hebrew word that carries with it the idea of “reverence, respect, and awe”.  It is through the Scriptures that we can come to a partial understanding of the greatness of God and our need to reverence Him.

When we reverence God as we should, we will find ourselves submitting to His authority at our salvation; and it is this salvation that result in clean holy lives.  This type of life results in eternal rewards for those who are faithful to Him.

the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether.

The word translated “judgments” is defined as “verdicts, or the decrees of a judge”. The Word of God relates to us what God has decided about the many varied issues we may face in life.

Do I want to know what God thinks of a certain action?  What about a decision I am about to make?  His Word will tell us.  At that point, we will know the Lord’s lawful and just assessment of any subject.

The priceless Word and its preeminence…

10) More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 

The value of God’s Word to both saved and unsaved is described in two ways:

  1. More valuable than a great quantity of fine gold – This describes the value of God’s commands in terms of worldly wealth.  The Word is more valuable for us than the most valuable riches this world has to offer.
  2. Sweeter than fresh honey from the comb – This is comparing the benefits of the Scriptures to one of the most delicious and beneficial of foods of this world.  The Word gives a better type of strength, nourishment and enjoyment than that of sweet honey.

 

The cautioning Word and its result…

11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.

The Word of God contains many warnings from the Lord that is given to mankind for their protection and gain.

By listening to the admonitions of the Lord, we will escape great sorrows in life.  By heeding His counsel we will lead lives that are pleasing to God and secure eternal rewards as faithful servants.

THE APPLICATION:

In our text, and throughout our series, we have seen many different aspects of God’s Word.  One of the many things that all these features of His Word have in common is the fact that, in every case, they are beneficial to anyone who is willing to apply its truths to their lives.

The application of His Word will result in the reception of many various blessings.  Some of these blessings we will be able to enjoy during our lifetime on earth, but in many cases, these blessings have eternal significance enjoined to them.  One of the greatest eternal benefits we will receive are rewards for our service which we will be able to lay back at our Lord’s feet as a way of giving Him all the praise for His Word and the enabling we needed to serve Him. (Rev 4:10-11)

Realizing the wonderful blessing of His Word that He has handed down to us, let us all join together with the Psalmist and share the great desire of his heart…. to praise and honor our Lord for His Word and its many benefits to us….

Ps 138:2-3

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.   In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, [and] strengthenedst me [with] strength in my soul.

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.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

The Precious Word Bible Series – The Universal Standard Of Right / Wrong (Lesson #12)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Because of our fallen natures, and the guilt we feel due to the performance of sin, each and every one of us has a tendency towards justifying and, even, denying the sins that we have committed.  In our minds, we think that if we excuse and ignore our acts of disobedience to God, they will simply go away, never to come back to harm us again.

As fallen man, left to their own thoughts, will pervert sin to the point of invalidating its very existence by changing its definition.  That is why the prophet Isaiah described the people of his day in this way… “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”

The only possible remedy for this situation is the presentation of a clear, concise definition of sin.  This definition of sin, in conjunction with an explanation of its results would be given for the good of mankind.  These would be given to fallen man from a heart of love as a warning to fallen mankind of its need to find forgiveness for sin or face the punishment of eternal suffering separated from the presence of Almighty God.

Where can we look to find such a well-defined standard by which we can compare our lives?  Where can we search to find the loving teachings that are given to us to warn and prepare us for the eternity to come?  Let’s search the precious Word of God to see if our gracious Lord has given us a standard that will reveal our condition before Him.

SCRIPTURES:

Isa 6:1-4

(KJV)  1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.  4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

(ESV)1) In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  2) Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  3) And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”  4) And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

 

Deut 9:10

(KJV)10) And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them [was written] according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

(ESV) 10) And the LORD gave me the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words that the LORD had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.

 

 

Rom 7:12

(KJV)  12) Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

(ESV)  12) So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

 

 

Gal 3:21-26

(KJV)  21) [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

(ESV)21) Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.  22) But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  23) Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.  25) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,  26) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

 

Lev 20:7-8

(KJV)7) Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I [am] the LORD your God.  8) And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I [am] the LORD which sanctify you.

(ESV)  7) Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.  8) Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

 

Matt 22:34-40

(KJV)34) But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.  35) Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,  36) Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?  37)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  38) This is the first and great commandment.  39) And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

(ESV)  34) But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  35) And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  36) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  37) And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  38) This is the great and first commandment.  39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  40)  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

THE STUDY:

Who must be the Author of a universal moral standard for mankind?

As we begin our search for a perfect moral standard let’s look at Isa 6:1-4…

1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.  4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

To begin looking for any moral standard we must begin by finding:

  1. a PERFECT author unable to mistakenly identify the standards by which we are to live.
  2. The author of these standards must also HOLD AUTHORITY over mankind to hand down binding standards by which to live.

The only One who is perfect and unable to err, holding authority over all creation is our Lord Jehovah… here we are told…  Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory”.   The LORD, in all three persons of the trinity is a God that does not commit sin (1 John 1:5); also as Creator and Authority holder over all creation is seen and glorified in it. (Isa 64:6-8)

What is the moral standard Jehovah has given to mankind?

In Deut 9:10 we find that the law was directly given from God to Moses…

10) And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them [was written] according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

Undeniably, the law of God (tables of the 10 commandments) was given to Moses directly from the very hand of God.  This helps us to understand that the commandments of God are without error and a binding authority of the actions of mankind.

In Romans 7:12 we find that, because the law comes from a sinless Lord, the commands themselves are perfect…

(KJV)  12) Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Here, the law is described as:

  1. Holy – Pure, separated for Godly uses
  2. Just – Fair, separated from sin
  3. Good – Beneficial, pleasing to God and man

Because it proceeds from God it is pure, fair and beneficial to all mankind.  The law is a fair indicator of mankind’s spiritual condition as well as a sinless standard by which mankind must be compared.

Since the law is beneficial to mankind, how are we to use the law and benefit from it?

1.  By using it as a schoolmaster showing us our need of salvation:

In Galatians 3:19-26 we read…

(KJV)21) [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Here, we find that the law was never intended to be the gateway to salvation (through the good works of mankind) vs 21.  It was given to show us our sinful condition before our Holy God. (vs 22).  It was given to lead us to the perfect Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ (vs 22-24).  Christ is the One who came to earth and perfectly kept the law.  This allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice that was able to bear the sins of all mankind (1 Ptr 2:21-24).

2. By using it to give a visual presentation of our Lord to our acquaintances.

Leviticus 20:7-8 tells us that by keeping God’s laws, we can be a testimony to those around us…..

7) Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I [am] the LORD your God.  8) And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I [am] the LORD which sanctify you.

Our holy Lord gives us the responsibility to tell others about Him.  One of the greatest ways we can show our Holy Lord to world is by living according to His law.  He is a Holy God and we can proclaim His holiness by striving to keep His commands. (1 Pet 1:13-23)

(Please note: Although forgiven, because we still possess a fallen, sinful nature, we cannot keep the laws of God perfectly.  Although we are to desire to fulfill His law to be a good testimony, at times, we will fail (Rom 7:12-25).  In this case, we are to repent of the committed sin and continue on in service to Him (1 John 1:5-10).

3.  By using it to improve life for all mankind on earth

In Matt 22:34-40, we find that by keeping the law, we will heighten the quality of life for all mankind…

34) But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.  35) Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,  36) Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?  37)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  38) This is the first and great commandment.  39) And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Our Lord boils down the law into 2 basic commissions… He gives us the primary responsibility of loving our Lord, the second most important responsibility is to love our neighbors as ourselves. These summarize the entire table of God’s laws, which are basically divided into two sections… (Exodus 20:1-17)

Man’s Responsibilities To God

When we love the Lord as we should we will then, naturally do all we can to honor and glorify Him:

  1. Have no other Gods before us.
  2. Make no graven images
  3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
  4. Give the Lord for worship and rest (Sunday – New Day – John 20:19, Col 2:16-17)

Man’s Responsibilities To Man

When we love our neighbors as we should we will then, naturally, do all we can to do no      harm to them but only help them:

  1. Honour our father and our mother
  2. Will not commit murder
  3. Will not commit adultery
  4. Will not steal
  5. Will not bear false witness
  6. Will not covet

By doing these, we not only show others the attributes of Christ but we also make this world a better place to live for everyone.

THE APPLICATION:

The natural result of turning away from the principles of God’s Word is the replacement black and white standards of morality with those of varying shades of gray.  This is the condition of our world today.  As the generation after generation have passed away so, too, have the clear set of morals that the Bible gives to us.

Let us all be thankful, and value God’s Word because found within its pages are the set of moral values necessary to bring us to Christ, reveal Christ to those around us, and make this world a far better place in which to live.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals Why Tragedy Exists (Lesson #11)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Why is there sorrow in the world?  If there is a God, why do we see horrible displays of injustice, wickedness and calamities in the world in which we live? In many cases, these questions are asked by those who are searching for comfort during times of great catastrophe. There are others who, when they see the many damaging acts of our world, seek to “make sense” of these events, by questioning the purpose behind them.

Can we ever come to an understanding of why evil exists in the world around us?  Of course, we cannot know the mind of God; therefore, we can never fully understand the particular reasons behind a specific event.  But, by God’s grace, we can come to an understanding of some common purpose behind the evil occurrences of this world.

In His Word, He helps us to come to a comprehension of why our world is filled with injustice, calamities and wickedness.  Let’s take time to examine the harmful events of this world in the light of God’s precious Word.

SCRIPTURES:

Isa 45:5-8

(KJV)  5) I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else. 7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].  8) Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

(ESV)  5) ​I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, 6) ​that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.  7) I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.  8) “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.

Gen 3:9-24

(KJV) 9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?… 16) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return…. 22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24) So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

(ESV)  9) But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”… 16) To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 17) And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18) thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19) By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”…. 22) Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23) therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24) He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Eccl 7:13-14

(KJV) 13) Consider the work of God: for who can make [that] straight, which he hath made crooked? 14) In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

(ESV) 13) Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? 14) In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

THE STUDY:

Let’s take a look at our first text, as we search for the purpose behind the evil that is in the world today.

In Isa 45:5-10, we will see that evil exists to teach us about the True God….

5) I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else.

Our Lord, as He speaks to the nation of Judah through the prophet Isaiah, begins to establish His uniqueness as the ONLY true God. His desire is for the entire world (“from the rising of the sun and from the west”) to come to understand this truth about Him.

 

7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

8) Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

To clearly demonstrate His exclusivity among all the “gods” worshipped by man, He points to His creation of:

  1. The light – illumination, both physical light and giving us understanding of His truth (spiritual ability to understand His Word)
  2. The darkness – literal darkness or nighttime, also can speak of the “dark times” of our lives (sorrow and calamities)
  3. Peace – the experience of safety, welfare and prosperity in both the physical and spiritual realms of our lives.
  4. Evil – times of adversity, affliction, calamity, troubles in our lives experienced as a part of a fallen, sinful world.

The Lord tells us that He “creates” these things.  In other words, He allows them to takes place in this world, either by bringing them into existence, or by allowing them to come into existence.  In either case, He is in control of these things and uses them to reveal Himself to fallen mankind. (John 9:1-7)

How do the dark, evil things in our lives reveal God to man?:

  1. His grace – It shows us what life would be like without Him. (Eph 2:12)
  2. His sovereignty – It shows us that we cannot control the events of our life (Acts 17:25-28)
  3. His love and care – As we experience His presence and intervention in times of trial. (Psa 36:5-9)
  4. His justice – As we see the direct results in the lives of the lost. (Prov 11:20-21)
  5. His wisdom – When these dark times result in our good and His glory. (Deut 8:2-3)
  6. The list goes on and on….

The evil things in life result to teach mankind about the True God.

In Genesis 3:9-24 we see that evil exists as the natural result of the existence of sin in a fallen world…

(KJV)9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?16) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return…. 22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.24) So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

In the above text, we find a listing of the general types of hardships that mankind experiences as the result of disobedience to God in the garden.  It was this act of disobedience that plunged the world into a sinful fallen state and brought with it sin and its results upon all creation ….

  1. Trials directly resulting from our decisions and actions…  this would include pain in childbearing, contraction of STD after intimate relations, punishments for breaking laws of land, broken marriage due to adultery, traffic accidents due to a careless decision, persecution due to choosing to take stand for Christ, the list is endless.
  2. Trials directly resulting from fallen nature… the existence of weeds, thorns, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wild animal attacks, poisonous bites and stings from animals and insects, once again the list seems endless.
  3. Trials directly resulting from sins’ effects on physical body…. death, sickness, pain, aging, birth defects, these and many others can fall into this category.

All of the above, as horrible as they are, cannot compare to the ultimate evil that has come upon mankind… spiritual death.  But even in spiritual death we see how the Lord uses it for His glory by restoring to us the spiritual life that was lost at the fall of man. (Eph 2:1-9)

In Eccl 7:13-14, we find that the evils that come upon us are beneficial to us.

13) Consider the work of God: for who can make [that] straight, which he hath made crooked?14) In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Here, the Lord explains to us one of the great reasons why difficult times enter into our lives.  The Lord brings both days of prosperity and days of adversity into our lives.

Why? “that man should find nothing after him”.   In other words, so that we will not be able to predict what our future holds.  By doing this, the Lord constantly reminds us of our need of Him. We cannot know what the future holds and we cannot, with certainty, prepare for it.  It causes us to be in a constant state of reliance upon Him and recognition of our susceptibility to the evils of this world.

The Apostle Paul teaches us this same principle in 2 Cor 12:6-10…

6) For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but [now] I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me [to be], or [that] he heareth of me.7) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Paul suffered from a physical infirmity that forced him to rely on the Lord.  This produced a spiritual strength in Paul’s life as he looked to the Lord for guidance and strength, instead of relying upon his human wisdom and ability.

Through the trials that we face in life, we benefit in several ways:

  1. They teach us that we are not in control of our own future or destiny, therefore we must rely on the Lord daily. (James 4:14-17, Pro 3:1-6)
  2. They teach us that we should thank the Lord for the good times and rely on the Lord during the evil times. (Psa 75:1 , Psa 31:9-16)
  3. They are an opportunity to be strengthened and develop a closer walk with the Lord to prepare for the trials that may lie ahead. (Psa 119:71, James 1:1-4)
  4. They are an opportunity to present a testimony of God’s grace to others during the trial and, following the trial, it is an opportunity to help others in similar circumstances from the lessons we learned thru experience. (1 Pet 4:12-19, 2 Cor 1:4)

THE APPLICATION:

As we complete our study on the purpose behind the existence of evil, as followers of Christ, the preciousness of His Word is magnified.  The Word reveals to us that our Lord is in control of all the heartbreaks of this world (Dan 4:34-35); He has reasons for each to take place. Knowing, this makes it much easier to cope with them when they occur.

Through His glorious Word, we also receive assurance that the evil of this world only results in God’s glory and our good.  And, sadly the Word also brings to light that the harmful events of this world can only be blamed on man’s fall and our individual acts of sin.  We are to blame for the catastrophes of this fallen, sinful world.

But finally, the pricelessness of the Word is emphasized when we read of God’s eternal promises concerning the overwhelming experiences of this world.  For we are clearly told that these events are only temporal in nature, and short lived, in comparison to the wonderful eternity awaiting the people of God.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2Cor 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.

1Pet 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

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 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.

Praise God for His Word and the many wonderful teachings that enable us to withstand the devastations of this world.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The Meaning Of Life (Lesson #10)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Have you ever asked yourself,  “What is the purpose of my life?”  Or perhaps, “How can I best use the time I have been given to live life on earth?”  For some, these questions are unanswerable… they struggle their entire lives trying to come to the true meaning and purpose for the life which we have been given.

Solomon was a great example of this type of person.  King Solomon lived his life in pursuit of the answers to these questions.  It was only in his old age, just prior to his death, that he came to an understanding of his purpose in life.  You can read about his pursuit for these answers in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Do you desire to know the purpose of your life?  Do you want to know the most fulfilling way to live your life on earth?  Let’s spend some time looking at the wisdom of Solomon as he instructs us on the true meaning to our life on earth.  To do this, we must turn to the precious word of God… the book that answers for us some of the greatest of life’s mysteries.

SCRIPTURES:

 

Eccl 12:12-14

(KJV) 12) And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh. 13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. 14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.

(ESV) 12) My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13) The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

THE STUDY:

In this lesson we are only looking at one text from God’s Word.  Although there are several texts that explain the true meaning to our life, these verses we find in Ecclesiastes gives us a clear and complete answer to our question.

Solomon, through experience, knew the importance and wide spread interest that life’s purpose creates.  The issue was so important for King Solomon that he spent his entire lifetime pursuing its solution.

The book of Ecclesiastes is a diary that Solomon kept as he pursued the evasive solution.  In his search for self-satisfaction, contentment and purpose for his life; he tried everything from the carnal pleasures of this world to wealth, education, the arts, political power, and other selfish pursuits, all to no avail.

In Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 we read….

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.

Solomon acknowledges that many books could be written about the life’s meaning, without completely explaining the subject. Likewise, in the search for life’s purpose, an individual could exhaust themselves while never coming to a satisfactory explanation of the secret to life.

By God’s grace alone, He allowed Solomon to attain what he had so diligently searched.  Then, again in a display of His love and kindness to us, He allowed Solomon to accurately and concisely reveal the answer to the readers of His Word….

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Here, we find the conclusion of Solomon’s life long search. As Solomon presents it to us, he invites us to “hear” it.  There are three different ways we can “hear” something… with our ears, with our minds, and with our hearts:

  1. Hearing with our ears – By this phrase, I am simply saying we can hear a truth without ever understanding it or applying it to our lives.  The Bible refers to this type of hearing as “knowledge”.
  2. Hearing with our minds – By this I am referring to not only knowing something but coming to an recognition of its truthfulness, meaning and importance.  The Bible describes this type of hearing as “understanding”.
  3. Hearing with our hearts – A simple way to express this is to sincerely attempt to apply this truth to our lives. In other words, it is to put in action the truth we have come to know and understand. The Bible describes this as “wisdom”.
  4. In this case, Solomon is definitely explaining to us the need to hear these teachings with our heart.  Once we understand life’s purpose, we are to live it out in our day to day walk with the Lord.

(Proverbs 2:6 – “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding”)

As we continue on in our text we find the treasure for which we have been searching…

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.

Here we see Solomon gives us a two-fold explanation of the true reason for our creation and existence on earth:

  1. Fear God – The word translated “fear” carries with it the ideas of reverence, submission and distress.
  2. Keep His  commandments – This phrase points to the need to come to an understanding of His desires for our life and then striving to fulfill those desires.

The above description of life’s meaning gives to us a wonderful cycle of godliness:

  1. By coming to a greater knowledge and understanding of God’s greatness, we find ourselves recognizing the need for greater submission to Him.       (Isa 6:1-8)
  2. This greater submission then leads to increased obedience to His desires. (Psa 40:6-10)
  3. One of His greatest desires is glorification of him in all things.  (2 Cor 4:14-15)
  4. Wanting to glorify Him leads us to a more complete knowledge and understanding of His greatness and the cycle automatically continues. (1 Cor 6:19-20)

 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.

Solomon now attempts to encourage us to apply this truth to our lives.  He does this by pointing us to the final judgment that will take place following the second coming of Christ.

Here, we are told that every work that performed by mankind will be placed before the Judge of all creation.  Whether we are lost and saved, we all will be judged based on the same criteria:

Rev 20:11-12  And 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.  (12)  And 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.

Please note the two basic criteria in the final judgment:

  1. For both groups the first area of judgment will involve “the book of life”.

If our names are found in “the book of life” (a book containing the names of those who are chosen to eternal life through faith in the Lamb – Rev 13:8) we will spend an eternity living with our Lord and enjoying the eternal life which we have been given. If our name is not found in this book we will be consigned to eternity in the Lake of Fire – Rev 20:15, Rev 13:8)

  1. The next area of judgment will involve our works. By works, Solomon emphasizes this term involves our outward actions (“every work”) and the inward motives for our actions (“every secret thing”).  For this judgment, I believe the 66 books of the Bible will be used (“the books”).  A comparison of our works, and the principles found in the Bible will be compared. For the saved, a determination of the receipt of rewards will be determined.  For the lost, a determination of level of eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire will be determined. (see also 2 Cor 5:9-11, 1 Cor 3:11-15)

(Note: some Bible teachers believe that Rev 20:11-12 is only speaking of the judgment of lost mankind at the end of the age.  Even if this is so, the basic principles that are being applied in this judgment will be the same principles applied to saved mankind as well.)

THE APPLICATION:

The Word of God is so precious to us. Within the confines of its pages is found the answer to one of life’s most perplexing question, the true purpose behind mankind’s existence on earth.

By coming to an understanding of our true purpose, comes an understanding of need to honor and glorify our God by making Him the center of our life. By seeking to always please Him in both our motives and actions it allows us to prepare ourselves for the judgment of the last days.

The Apostle Paul summarized our responsibility in Col 3:1-9…

1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  4) When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.8) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.9) Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

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.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals Our Source of Lasting Joy (Lesson #9)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Man’s quest for permanent, total joy began immediately after the fall and continues on to this day. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to find true happiness in the things this world has to offer.  Men have experienced all the world’s offerings, miserably failing to achieve their goal.

So what are we to do?  Is there no one who can help us to understand true joy?  Is there anyone on this earth that can point us to the path that leads to lasting contentment, peace and joy?  Once again, this is where we begin to see the preciousness of the Word of God.  Within its pages we find the secret of true joy and the way that leads to it.

SCRIPTURES:

Ps 35:9

(KJV) 9) And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

(ESV) 9) Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his salvation.

Neh 8:10

(KJV)   10) … for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

(ESV)  10) …. for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Isa 61:10

(KJV) 10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.

(ESV)  10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

 

Rom 5:11

(KJV) 11) And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

(ESV)  11) More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1Thess 2:19

(KJV) 19) For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

(ESV)  19) For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?

THE STUDY:

When the Bible speaks of “joy” what is it talking about? The word joy is translated from several different words. The many words translated  “joy” have associated with them four basic ideas:

  1. To be bright, cheerful, radient (the outward display of joy)
  2. Pleasure, satisfaction, fulfillment (inward contentment)
  3. To jump or spin, (excitement)
  4. To welcome, to bring to oneself (receipt of benefits)

In the above definitions, we can find a basic definition of “joy”.  When the Bible speaks of “joy” it is describing a blessed man’s outward display of happiness coming from inward feelings of contentment and excitement.

As we begin our study in Psa 35:9, we immediately find the treasure for which we are searching, “joy”….

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD:

In our text, we find the source of true, lasting joy is the Lord Jehovah. He alone is the One from whom all blessings flow.  As our verse continues, it explains how we can experience the joy that is found in Jehovah alone…

it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Joy can be experienced only through the salvation that He so graciously offers to us.  Without coming to faith in Christ, any man’s pursuit of joy will be fruitless and void. As lost mankind we are born under the dominance of sin in our lives….

Joh 8:33-34  They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  (34)  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

But through the faith in Christ and His work on the cross, we can be delivered from the bondage of that sin…

Joh 8:35-36  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.  (36)  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Until we are removed from the enslavement of sin, and liberated through the work of Christ on the cross, we cannot experience a life of joy, freedom and peace (Rom 6:16-20).

Not only is salvation from sin’s bondage a basis of our joy, but two other aspects of salvation work on our behalf to cultivate joy in our hearts.  We can see this in Isa 61:10…

10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.

In these verses, the receipt of salvation is pictured as being clothed in robes of righteousness.  This righteousness has two results in the lives of Christians:

1.  An intimate relationship with Christ is begun.  This is pictured by the bridegroom/bride picture. Just as the putting on of the wedding garments is the beginning phase of intimacy between a married couple.  In this same way, having robes of righteousness being put upon the believer brings about an intimate relation with Christ and the Father. (1 John 1:1-4)

2.  An heirship is formed.  When we receive robes of righteousness and intimacy with Christ and the Father we are adopted into His family.  Based upon this adoption we become heirs of God, guaranteeing us the receipt of many future blessings. (Roms 8:13-18)

Knowing that we have been made free from sin’s bonds, experiencing a close walk with our Lord, and looking forward to the receipt of many blessings of heirship in the family of God are the three main pillars upon which joy is experienced in the believer’s life.

The blessings related to joy are not limited to experiencing joy in our lives, but also includes the receiving of spiritual strength.  This is shown to us in Nehemiah 8:10….

… for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Here, we can see that a joy that is based upon the Lord is the source of our strength as we live our lives on a day to day basis. Why is a daily source of strength an absolute necessity for us to lead a joyous life on earth?  The fallen world in which we live is filled with discouragements and troubles (Job 14:1-2).  Without an ever present source of strength, life becomes a daily struggle to survive for any one of us.

The daily strengthening joy that we receive from the Lord is based upon a BACKWARD look at the cross of Christ and a FORWARD look at His second coming.

The BACKWARD look at the death of Christ is spoken of in Romans 5:11….

And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Our joy is renewed on a daily basis as we look at the work of our Savior on the cross.  One of the greatest accomplishments of the cross is securing the atonement of God’s people.  The idea of atonement teaches us that it was through the work of Christ that we, who are sinful beings, are brought into fellowship with God.   When Christ died on the cross for our sins, He took upon Himself the punishment that was meant for us.  In doing so, He took away the enmity that stood between us and God.  He brought us into peace with God (Rom 4:24-5:1).

The FORWARD look at His second coming is spoken of in 1 Thess 2:19…

19) For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

Keep in mind, our future “homecoming” with Christ is a source of great joy for the Christian.  Just knowing that we will be delivered to a sinless life of peace and joy with Him brings us great joy.  However, also this verse brings out the idea of a reunion with those we love and hold dear to us.  If those who have passed on before us are saved, we can expectantly wait to rejoin them at the final resurrection.  What a day that will be!  What a source of joy those thoughts bring to us even now.

THE APPLICATION:

True joy can only be found in God the Father through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through His work on the cross that we can receive “joy unspeakable and full of glory”.  This joy enters our life as we walk with Him enjoying communion and spiritual strength. By acknowledging both His past, present, and future blessings, we can experience joy as a part of our daily walk with Him.

All of this, can only come to us through His precious Word that clears reveals the way of salvation and the blessings that proceed from our gracious Lord.

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.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals Our Condition (Lesson #8)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Throughout the ages mankind has been plagued by death.  Every man who ever lived, regardless of social status, wealth, education, gender, nationality, or religious affiliation has died.  The only exceptions to this are the few members of mankind alive today.  In their case, apart from the Lord’s 2nd coming, they will certainly taste of death in the near future.

It is this universal death event for which men must be prepared.  How can we prepare ourselves for the coming death if we do not understand our spiritual standing before God Almighty?  It is only by honestly coming to a conclusion about our spiritual condition that will allow us to know what preparation is needed for the coming day of death.

The Bible is the only infallable source that will show us clearly, truthfully, and without compromise our condition before God.  This is another reason why the Word is precious to us.

SCRIPTURES:

Rom 5:12-14

(KJV) (12) 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: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) 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.

(ESV) (12) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (13) for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. (14) Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

Rom 6:23 

(KJV) (23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(ECV) (23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Eph 2:4-5

(KJV) (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

(ESV) (4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

THE STUDY:

To begin our search to find our true spiritual condition before Almighty God, let’s look at Rom 5:12-14 …

(12) 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:

To help us to understand our condition, the Lord points us back to the Garden of Eden.  He relates to us the actions of the first man Adam.  How do the actions of Adam affect our spiritual condition?  Adam is not only our physical ancestor but also, in a sense, our spiritual ancestor.  The results of his actions have been passed down to all of us as members of mankind.  In this passage several results of Adam’s sin are given to us:

  1. Sin (a condition falling short of perfection) has now became a part of the world in which we live.  We now live in a fallen world in which we see the results of sin on every hand: imperfection, injustice, suffering, sickness, sorrow and death.
  2. Sinful mankind now possesses an imperfect nature that is predisposed to choose and commit acts of imperfection and disobedience.  We now, as a part of our nature, will choose to rebel and sin against our Creator.  Sin has now become a part of our very being.
  3. Sinful mankind is now sentenced to death. When the Bible speaks of fallen mankind experiencing death, it is speaking of two different types of death:
    1. Physical death – Due to mankind’s sinful condition, our bodies now suffer from pain and sickness. They will gradually become weak, grow old, and eventually die.  This type of death involves the separation of the eternal spirit from physical the body.
    2. Spiritual death –While alive on earth fallen men is separated from God; they experience no communion, or fellowship with Him.  At physical death, fallen mankind experiences permanent separation from Almighty God in the Lake of Fire. This type of death involves mankind’s spirit being separated from Almighty God.

(13) For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Sin was in existence from the time of Adam throughout the history of mankind.  The existence of sin before the 10 commandments proves that some type of “law” existed in Adam’s day.  If no law existed during the times of Adam, then sin could not exist, because sin is “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).  What was the law that Adam had broken?  It was, at least, one of the commands that God initially gave to Adam (Gen 1:28-30).

(14) 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.

The first Adam is a “figure” of Christ who is the second Adam. (1 Cor 15:45-47) Just as through Adam death came upon all, through Christ we can find life everlasting.

This principle is emphasized in Romans 6:23…

(23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Here we find that, although we are born spiritually dead, there is One through which we can receive eternal life… our Lord Jesus Christ.

The idea of being spiritually dead should not be overlooked or skimmed over lightly.  It holds a very grim significance for all of us.  To be truly dead implies that we are unable to restore ourselves to life.

For example, suppose that someone suffocates and dies.  Rescue workers are called to the scene.  They bring the oxygen tank and mask to the victim.  They set it next to the victim and then stand back and wait.  Can the one who is dead reach up, turn on the oxygen, and place the mask on their face?  Of course not.  What the victim needs is for the rescue workers to perform CPR, and place the oxygen mask upon their face.   They are totally reliant on the rescue workers, if they are to be restored to life.

So, too the condition of a lost man.  There is absolutely nothing they can do, apart from God’s gracious intervention, to restore themselves to spiritual life:

  1. They cannot perform good works to merit salvation, because their      works are simply filthy rags in God’s sight (Isa 64:6)
  2. They cannot trust Christ of their own ability, because faith is a      gift from God (Eph 2:8-9)
  3. They cannot turn from their sinful acts, because this can only be      done by God’s power (Acts 11:18)
  4. They do not desire to come to the Lord, because there is none who      naturally seek after God (Rom 3:9-12)

The list could go on and on…

This is the true condition of all mankind apart from the intervention of God.

THE APPLICATION:

To summarize a spiritually dead person’s condition and salvation experience we need to look

Eph 2:4-5…

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  (5)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Notice that “even when we were dead in sins”…. The Lord intervened.  Out of His great love, He has given us spiritual life even when we were still dead in our sins.   This is salvation through Christ, not ourselves.  This is salvation by grace, not our own works.   This is the condition of mankind and the genuine salvation that God so graciously gives to us.

With an understanding of our spiritually dead condition comes an understanding of OUR NEED OF SALVATION and also OUR NEED TO TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE for that salvation.

When burdened to come to Christ, we must come with an attitude of total reliance on Him…. If He does not save us, we will not be saved. When we approach Him it must be with the spirit that says, “Dear Lord, I know I can do nothing to please you.  I realize I can do nothing that will bring salvation to myself.  If you do not intervene in my life, and grant me spiritual life, forgiveness and righteousness through the work of Christ, I will not be saved.”

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals Our Afterlife (Lesson #7)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

What takes place after we die?  Does our spirit cease to exist while our body enters the grave, does our spirit continue to exist in a conscious state, or does our spirit simply sleep to be awakened at a later time?  If so, where does our spirit reside? What about our bodies… will they ever leave the grave, or will they just gradually decay and cease to exist?

The answers to these questions, many think, cannot be known with certainty. This attitude is so sad because, if we stop to think about it, these issues are perhaps the most important issues that we face in this life….  If there is no afterlife, then there is no need to prepare for a future life.  Our life’s goal can simply be to “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”.  Without an afterlife, our only concern should be to enjoy this life to its fullest, because that is all there is.  However, if there is an eternal afterlife, we will come to a realization that this life is not to be limited to living for temporal pleasure. The main goal of our physical life now becomes preparation for the eternal existence that awaits us.

Praise the Lord, thanks to His precious Word, we can come to definite, and sure, conclusions about both the existence, and nature, of the afterlife that awaits us.  This is just another of the many reasons why we should value God’s Word and seek to make it a living part of our day to day life on earth.

SCRIPTURES:

 

Luke 16:19-31

(KJV) 19)  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21) And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence. 27) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28) For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29) Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30) And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31) And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

(ESV) 19) “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20) And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21) who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22) The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23) and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24) And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25) But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26) And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27) And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28) for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29) But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30) And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31) He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Mal 3:18

(KJV) 18) Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

(ESV) 18) Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

Dan 12:1-2

1) And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

(ESV) 1) “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2) And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

John 5:24-29

(KJV) 24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

(ESV) 24) Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25) “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26)  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27) And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28) Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29) and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

THE STUDY:

When the Bible speaks of an afterlife, it is distinguishes between two different phases of the afterlife:

  1. The status of our spirits and bodies immediately following our PHYSICAL DEATH.  We will be studying this phase of the afterlife by looking at Luke 16:19-31
  2. The status of our  spirits and bodies immediately following THE LORD’S SECOND COMING.   We will be studying this phase of the afterlife by looking at John 5:24-30

In our first text, we find the existence of the afterlife that IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS OUR PHYSICAL DEATH  being described in Luke 16:19-31. In these verses, we will see the afterlives of two men being described:

  1. What we are told about Lazarus helps us to understand the existence and condition of the BELIEVER in the afterlife.
  2. The other man being talked about is the rich man.  He was a man who died without exercising faith in the Lord.  His condition helps us to understand the condition of the LOST PERSON person in the afterlife.

19)  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,21) And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Here, we can see the complete opposite conditions these two men experienced during their life on earth.  The rich man lived a lavish lifestyle, enjoying many of the pleasures this world has to offer.  While Lazarus, a beggar, is shown suffering.  He suffers physically with health problems, as well as suffering financially lacking many of the necessities of life that we would take for granted.

22) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Immediately following his death, we find that the rich man’s spirit is found in a condition of misery and torment.  He, himself, describes it as being in flames. After death, the spirit of unbelievers is consigned to a place of burning torment.

This same place is described in Mark 9:43-48  as “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” This is speaking of the torment and continual corruption that is experienced by the unbeliever. It is also spoken of in 1Pet 3:19 where it is given the title “prison”.  These and many other references in Scripture support the description we find here in Luke 16:.

Also please note that while in this torment, he is able to view Lazarus in the comforts of Abraham’s bosom, only adding to his torment and suffering.  He realizes what joy and comfort he could be experiencing if he had only trusted in the Lord.

Conversely, we see Lazarus escorted to comfort in “Abraham’s bosom” by angels.  What is meant by the phrase “Abraham’s bosom”?  It is a phrase that is referring to heaven, the abode of God.  Following death, the believer’s spirit is taken to heaven to enjoy a close relationship with God and other believers unhindered by sin.  This is the meaning of Abraham’s bosom.  Abraham is the father of all believers, while his “bosom” is speaking of a closeness and intimacy that is experienced between the now dead believer, His God and other believers.  This communion is unfettered by sin and its effects   (Matt 8:11, Luke 4:16, John 13:23)

 

26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.27) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:28) For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.29) Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.30) And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.31) And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

In this part of our text, we can see that the torment being experienced by the rich man causes him to be concerned about his loved ones who are still alive on the earth. This selfish man who only lived for his only earthly pleasures, is now concerned about the ones he loves on earth.  In the midst of his concern for his family, Abraham reminds him that the time for witnessing to those he loved has passed. He had his chance when he was still alive on the earth.  Abraham also reminded the rich man that God has given to this world His precious Word. It is through the testimony of that Word that will work salvation in the heart of the unbeliever.

We also can see that Lazarus and the rich man are separated by a great gulf (a chasm, a void, nothingness). It is because of this great divide that they are not able to travel from one place to another. The suffering being experienced by the rich man cannot be escaped.  Likewise the comfort being experienced by Lazarus cannot be lost.

(Just a quick note about Luke 16…

There are some who say that Luke 16 was a parable spoken by the Lord, and therefore cannot be taken literally.  Please keep in mind, there is really no reason to believe this is a parable.  I am confident this is an historical event recounted by our Lord.

But if it is a parable, EVERY parable the Lord taught is always based upon common everyday events…. If this is the case, it is simply telling us there are saved and lost men who die every day and are consigned to their perspective condition.

Also, if this is a parable, it is being taught to us to reveal truth while hiding truth from unbelievers. (Mark 4:11-13).  What would be some of the truths the Lord is revealing to us?  There is an afterlife. There is a distinct difference between men’s destiny, The lost will receive punishment, while the saved will receive comfort. We should witness of the truth while yet alive on earth.  Whether parable or no, the substance of the teaching doesn’t change.)

Just like our after-death condition after our physical death, our condition IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS SECOND COMING will differ based upon our spiritual standing before God. Malachi 3:18…

Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Consignment to our eternal destiny will take place based upon the presence or absence of our name in the Book of Life ( a record of those who, based upon God’s sovereign counsels, have come to faith in Him – Phil 4:3, Rev 20:12-15)

We can see this in  Daniel 12:1-2…

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.2) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

In our final passage, we will see the process that will take place during the second coming of Christ leading up to the final consignment of all men in John 5:24-29…

 

24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The Lord teaches us that it is the Word’s development of faith in our heart, which secures everlasting life for His people.  This everlasting life also involves escaping from divine judgment for our sins and being given spiritual life to those who were at one time spiritually dead.

25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

This is speaking of the final resurrection of dead bodies.  This account includes both the resurrection of the bodies of the saved and lost dead of all time.

26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Christ’s ability to resurrect the dead is based upon the authority that the Father has granted to Him.  The Father has given Christ the authority to give spiritual and physical life to all.  (John 14:19, Col 3:3-4)  Not only is Christ given the authority over spiritual and physical life, but He is also given the authority to judge all mankind, resulting in their eternal consignment.

28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The Lord will be the power behind the resurrection of the bodies of both lost and saved of all time.  This resurrection will result in standing before Him in judgment, and then His consigning of all mankind to their eternal destiny.  For the saved, those who have served Him faithfully (a mark of genuine salvation) it will be an eternal communion with Him.  For the lost, whose sin remains on their account, it will be an eternity facing divine judgment and separation for the many sins they have committed.

THE APPLICATION:

The precious Word shows us, with certainty the afterlife exists. For those who have trusted in Christ, the eternity holds eternal, sinless communion in the presence of God Himself. For those who never trusted in Him and eternity of judgment and separation from Him are awaiting them.

Based upon these truths about the afterlife, as members of mankind, our concern is two-fold:

First, we are to live our life in preparation for the life to come.  This is one by recognizing our need of salvation, turning from sin to Christ, and placing our faith in Him.

Secondly, out of concern for others around us, we are to present to them a testimony of God’s grace.  This is done in the hopes that, through the grace of God, they may come to a saving knowledge of Him before it is eternally too late.

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

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The Comforter (Lesson #6)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

INTRODUCTION:

We all need comfort.  In the world in which we live, we experience pain, sorrow, loss, difficulties, and discouragements as we continue on life’s path. For many, these circumstances result in depression, mental breakdowns and even suicides. Whether we have experienced God’s grace, or have never come to a saving knowledge of the Lord, we face distresses that plead for comfort and aid.

Where can we turn for that comfort?  To whom can we flee for counsel, safety and peace in a world filled with violence and troubles?  Our Lord, through His precious Word reveals the true Comforter to whom we can always rely upon.

SCRIPTURES:

Psa 86:17 

(KJV) Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

(ESV) (17) ​Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Isa 49:13

(KJV)  Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

(ESV) (13) Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Joh 14:16-18

(KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  (17)  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  (18)  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

(ESV) (16) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17) even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18) “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Act 9:31

(KJV)  Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

(ESV) (31) So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

2Co 1:3-5

(KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  (4)  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  (5)  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

(ESV) (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4) who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5) For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

THE STUDY:

The Biblical definition of a comforter is muti-faceted:

  1. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word translated “comfort” carries with it several ideas.
    1. breathing a sigh of relief;
    2. to pity and then console;
    3. and finally, to put at ease or to relieve.
  2. In the New Testament the Greek word translated “comforter” also has several ideas behind it.
    1. to be called near (a warrior being called to stand and fight alongside);
    2. to be advocate or defense attorney;
    3. to encourage or to urge forward.

We can see from these various definitions the idea of comforting in the Bible involves many different areas of helping others who are facing distresses.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the role of a comforter, let’s see who the Bible says we should look to in times of distress and turmoil in our lives.

In our first text, Psa 86:17, we find the identity of the divine Comforter clearly identified…. 

“Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.”

Here we find, in the life of the Psalmist, that Jehovah God was the source of his comfort during times of opposition and mistreatment at the hands of his enemies.  In the context, David was facing enemies who were seeking to kill him (vs 14).  This Psalm was a tribute to the Lord, whom David was praising for His protection, love and comfort during these times.

In Isa 49:13 we read that the comfort that Jehovah gives is centered upon His mercy that is shown to His people….

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

Those who look to the Lord by faith, acknowledging their sin and His role as Master of their life, are the ones who are the recipients of the Lord’s comforting hand.

His mercy, alone, is an act that brings comfort to the sin-burdened soul.  Just knowing that the Lord has forgiven us of our sins and has made us citizens of His eternal kingdom is a source of the greatest possible comfort that we can possess. (Psa 85:10)  Any trial we may face in this world becomes dim and insignificant if life lived with the Lord is our certain, eternal destination.

The touch of the comforting hand of Jehovah is not limited to the Old Testament saints, but is also a part of the lives of New Testament believers as well. This is seen in 2 Cor 1:3-5…

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  (4)  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  (5)  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Please notice that, just as Old Testament saints, we who are New Testament believers are the recipients of the comforting hand of Jehovah God.  In these verses, we are told one of the great purposes that our God gives us comfort is so that we might show comfort to others in times of distress and sorrow.  Bringing comfort to those who are suffering is one of the best ways we can leave a lasting impression of God’s grace in the lives of others.

But also it is interesting to note that the comfort that God the Father gives to us “aboundeth” by Christ.  In other words, it is the work of Christ, and His intervention in our lives, through which the comforts of God flow. Not only is God our Comforter, but in a very real sense Christ, Jehovah God in the flesh, is the source of our comfort as well.

(Just as a side note, not only does comfort flow to us from the Father through the work of Christ, but all of God’s graces are given to us through Christ. See Eph 2:7)

Not only is Christ and His work an essential aspect of our comforting, but we are told in Acts 9:31 that we are comforted by the Holy Spirit….

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

How can it be that the Holy Ghost is said to be the Comforter for the church when we were told previously that the ministry of comforting is granted by Jehovah God through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ?

We have this explained for us in John 14:16-18…

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  (17)  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  (18)  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Christ is promising that, following His ascension, we would receive another Comforter that would be ever-present with God’s people.  Comforting is one of the great post-ascension ministries of the Holy Ghost.  If we look closely, we see that when Christ promises us a continuation of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He describes it as Christ Himself coming to be with us (vs 18).  Keep in mind, Christ, as the second person of the Godhead is Jehovah God.  The indwelling Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, is Jehovah God as well. (John 4:24, Rom 8:9, 1 Cor 3:16).

The three persons of the Godhead are the very same God (1 John 5:7), therefore, it is without contradiction that all three persons can be identified as the Comforter.

THE APPLICATION:

In a sinful, fallen world that is filled with sorrow, loss and distress, what a privilege it is to have the ultimate source of comfort being identified within the pages of the Word. Not only is our Comforter’s identity clearly shown, but also the path that leads to a personal relationship with Him.

The message of salvation is the key to a living relationship with the Lord Jesus and access to the many wonderful blessings that He has promised for His people.  One of those blessings is the comforting hand of Jehovah God that rests upon those who have submitted themselves to Him.

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

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

 

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The Savior (Lesson #5)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

INTRODUCTION:

Another theme that runs throughout the Holy Scriptures is mankind’s need of deliverance from sin.  Every man was born in a fallen condition of separation from God.  Their fallen condition brings about acts of disobedience towards Almighty God.  It is these two products of sin (fallen nature and disobedient acts) that generates mankind’s great need of salvation.

Yes all mankind, due to sin, is in desperate need of salvation.  But the Word’s teaching about mankind does not stop there.  It further explains that man cannot merit, nor in any way attain, salvation of his own efforts.  Hence, mankind’s unyielding need for a Savior. Man needs someone who will stand in their place and perform the saving work that they so greatly need.

So, who is this One who can deliver all of us from our helpless, hopeless condition? Who can meet the demands of God and supply the redemption for the heinous sin that affects each of us?  God’s Word graciously reveals His identity to us.  This is another of the reasons why the Scriptures are so very valuable for each one of us.  You see, without the precious Word, we could never come to knowledge of the One that can save us from our sin.

SCRIPTURES:

Isa 12:1-3 

(KJV)   And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.  (2)  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  (3)  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

(ESV)  You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.  “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORDGOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”  With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

 

Isa 45:20-22 

(KJV)  Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.  (21)  Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.  (22)  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

(ESV) Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.  (21) ​Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. (22) “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

 

1Ti 1:1 

(KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

(ESV) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

­

Matt 1:21-23 

(KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  (22)  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  (23)  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

(ESV)  (21) She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (22) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23) “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Joh 1:29-34

(KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  (30)  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.  (31)  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  (32)  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  (33)  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  (34)  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

(ESV) (29) The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (30) This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ (31) I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” (32) And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. (33) I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ (34) And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

THE STUDY:

As we search the Scriptures for the identity of the Savior of man, let’s turn our attention to Isa 12:1-3…

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

Isaiah is acknowledging that he, personally, had been disobedient to the Lord and under the Lord’s anger.  However, he was now bringing praise and honor to the Lord because His anger had been lifted from Isaiah. To replace that anger, Isaiah was now receiving comfort (communion, peace, security) from His Lord.

Who had done such a wonderful work for Isaiah? Working comfort and grace to replace the anger and guilt that Isaiah had been experiencing?  Isaiah continues by naming this great Saviour…

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

His God was the One that had worked deliverance on Isaiah’s behalf.  But which God was it through whom Isaiah had received deliverance?  Was it Baal? Or perhaps, was it Nebo? Absolutely not. Isaiah was not saved through the workings of the man-made Gods of the surrounding nations.  He clearly names JEHOVAH as the Savior of mankind.

Not only does Isaiah give credit to Jehovah for deliverance from his sin, but he also gives Him credit for his new found spiritual vitality and joy.  Both of these were the end result of the salvation that Isaiah had been given.

Now that Isaiah had experienced the wonderful salvation, and its effects, he invites all of mankind to partake of this same salvation that his Lord offers to man….

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

According to the Lord’s clear explanation to Isaiah, the saving work of Jehovah separates Himself from all the false, man-made Gods of this world (Isa 45:20-22)….

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

When we come to an understanding that Jehovah is the only true Savior of all mankind it makes perfect sense that Paul would write in 1 Tim 1:1…

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Notice here, that God is given the title “our Saviour”, but the Lord Jesus Christ is given the title “our hope”.  How can this be?  If we find salvation in Jehovah why would Christ be said to be the origin of the hope we have?

We have this principle explained in Matt 1:21-23….

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 

Matthew’s account of the birth of Christ includes an account of how our Lord was given His name.  He would be called “Jesus” because He would be the Savior of His people.  The name Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation”.  This is the answer to our question.

How can God be said to be our Savior and, yet Christ be said to be the origin of our hope?  It is because Jesus Christ is one with Jehovah God (John 10:30; 1 John 5:7)

Notice this principle is more clearly expressed in the following verses of this text…

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Jesus, truly is Jehovah God who came to the earth and met with mankind as a man.  He is both God and Man who came to be the Savior of His people (1 John 5:20).  He is “Emmanuel”; He is “Jesus”. (Isa 7:14)

John the Baptist reaffirmed the identity of Christ in John 1:29-34…

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

The text continues by teaching us that, as both God and Savior, Christ far exceeded John the Baptist in person, work and authority.  John the Baptist’s ministry was to clearly show the true identity of Christ to the Jewish people…

This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 

The text closes by explaining the events that took place at the baptism of Christ.  It was these events that confirmed the true identity of Christ to those who were witnesses of His baptism..

And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  (33)  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  (34)  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

At Christ’s baptism, we are told that:

  1. The Spirit descended upon Christ.
  2. The Spirit then landed (abode) upon Christ
  3. The message from God validating the ministry of Christ

Based upon the above, John the Baptist became a witness for Christ by publically verifying His identity as Savior and Son of God.

THE APPLICATION:

Through His precious Word, with the knowledge of the true identity of our Savior, comes a blessed joy knowing that although we cannot save ourselves, by looking to Him in faith, we will be delivered by Him.

If the Lord has shown us His grace by delivering us from our sin, should we not be greatly motivated to serve Him and glorify Him with our lives?  Once again, we are to look into His Word to find His guidance and instructions for living our lives separated to His service.

Tit 2:11-14  “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.

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

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The Messiah (Lesson #4)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

  

INTRODUCTION:

Throughout the Old Testament scriptures we find the central theme of the coming Messiah and His work on behalf of mankind. The prophecies surrounding the Messiah are extensive, compelling and of the utmost importance for all of mankind.  However, in spite of the prophecies importance, there is much debate and misunderstanding concerning the identity of this Messiah.

For some, the Messiah has already come and fulfilled many of the OT prophecies. For others, He is yet to come and bring a fulfillment to these prophecies, and yet, to others, these prophecies are only fulfilled in a spiritual fashion with no literal Messiah to ever come to the earth.

God displayed for us the importance of recognizing and submitting to the Messiah by His public rejection of the nation of Israel in the 1st century AD.  The Jews rejected the Messiah which led God to turn His back on the nation of Israel thus making it both spiritually and physically desolate.  This desolation was made complete with the destruction of the temple and the casting out of the Jewish people from the land of Israel during the invasion of the Romans under Titus in 70 AD.

Our precious Word, openly identifies the true Messiah, the One sent by God for the purpose of creating a kingdom over which He will rule for an eternity.

SCRIPTURES:

 Act 10:37-43

(KJV) (37)  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  (38)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.  (39)  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:  (40)  Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;… it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  (43)  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

(ESV) (37) you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: (38) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (39) And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, (40) but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,… he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. (43) To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

 

Joh 6:66-69

(KJV) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  (67)  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  (68)  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  (69)  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

(ESV)  (66) After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. (67) So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  (68) Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, (69) and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Luk 24:44-49

(KJV)  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  (45)  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  (46)  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  (47)  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  (48)  And ye are witnesses of these things.  (49)  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

(ESV)  (44) Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  (45) Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (46) and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, (47) and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (48)  You are witnesses of these things. (49) And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

 

THE STUDY:

To begin our study let’s try to find out what we mean by the term “Messiah”:

  1. The Old Testament word “Messiah” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “Anointed One”.
  2. In the New Testament, the word “Christ” comes from the Greek word  for “Anointed One”.
  3. Therefore, “Messiah” and “Christ” are words that mean the same thing, they are simply translated from two different languages (John 1:41) “…We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” .

The core idea of both terms (Messiah, Christ) is the idea of being anointed.  In the OT, when a person was anointed (normally with olive oil upon the head) it was a public declaration that this person had been chosen by God to fill a specific office. For the most part, men who were publically anointed with oil were men who were chosen to fulfill one of three offices: Prophet, Priest or King.

This brings us to our first text in Acts 10:37-43 …. (37)  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  (38)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.  (39)  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:  (40)  Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;… it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  (43) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

Here, we find the principle of the “Messiah” clearly explained in verse 38:

  1. Notice that a public anointing took place.
  2. This public anointing was performed by God using the empowering Holy Spirit as the “anointing oil”.
  3. As a result of this empowering anointing, we find works of kindness, and works that healed those afflicted by Satan (physical sickness and/or demonic possession) being      performed.

Not only do we have an anointing being described, but we also have the One that is anointed being identified… “Jesus of Nazareth” (vs 38). He was:

  1. Anointed by God the Father at His baptism (Matt 3:16-17, John 1:32-34).
  2. The One that was anointed by the Father to fulfill all three offices of:
    1. Prophet speaking the very words of God (John 14:10);
    2. Priest standing between Holy God and sinful man making reconciliation, working peace (Hebs 5:1-10);
    3. King over all being exalted by God as a faithful Son, given authority to rule over all (Phils 2:5-11, Rev 19:10-16).
  3. Unjustly crucified (vs 39)
  4. Resurrected the third day (vs 40)
  5. Witnessed publically by many  following His resurrection (vs 40).
  6. Given authority by God the Father to be Judge in the last day (Acts 17:31, Rom 14:9-10)

Jesus is the One that the Old Testament prophets had spoken and revealed to be the God-sent Savior of His people (Isaiah 53:1-12). It is this Jesus who is the “Messiah”; in other words, it is Jesus who is the “Christ”.  It is this death, burial, resurrection, and public display of the risen Messiah that makes up the “gospel” (good news) message (1 Cor 15:1-11).

Christ’s work, as defined in the gospel message, is the same work that the Old Testament prophesies attributed to the Messiah.  We can see this in Luke 24:44-49….  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  (45)  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  (46)  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  (47)  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  (48)  And ye are witnesses of these things.  (49)  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Along with Jesus explaining to His assembled disciples the content of the Old Testament prophesies concerning Himself (vs 44-46), He also left them with a set of responsibilities.  These responsibilities would all center on their need to spread the “good news” about Christ and His work to others:

  1. To preach the need for repentance resulting in the remission of sins to all nations (vs 47)
  2. To be witnesses of His fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies and His identification as the Messiah. (vs 48)
  3. To proclaim the gospel using the empowering of the Holy Spirit to preach and, then, work results in the hearts of men. (vs 49)

Peter affirms Jesus identity as the Messiah in John 6:66-69…  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  (67)  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  (68)  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  (69)  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Peter’s statement leaves us no doubt about the Messiah’s true identity. Peter makes the statement “We believe AND ARE SURE that thou art the Christ…”.

During His earthly ministry, His followers were able to see the OT prophecies being fulfilled right before their very eyes. In spite of this, many did not believe Jesus’ testimony and willingly chose to ignore the many proofs of His Messiah-ship. It were these same individuals who chose to no longer follow Him.

In contrast to the many who chose to leave His side, there were those who, by faith, recognized His true identity and dedicated themselves to follow Him, the Messiah. Peter verbally declared what His true followers knew in their regenerated hearts and minds that Jesus had come and fulfilled the ministries given to Him by the Father.  He was the fulfillment of the OT promises of their coming Messiah.  He was “the Christ, the Son of the living God”.

THE APPLICATION:

Why is God’s Word precious to us?  By His grace, through His Word, God has revealed to us the identity of the Messiah.  It is His beloved Son, God Himself, the Lord Jesus.  When we understand that Jesus is the One sent from God to be the Eternal Prophet, Priest and King, we can begin to understand why Christ and His work must be considered with an extreme seriousness.  How we deal with Christ (His person, His message and His work) is what will dictate our standing before Almighty God and, as a consequence, our eternal destiny.

Will we like Peter come to an unquestioning acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah?  If we do, it is entirely an act of God’s grace at work in our hearts and minds.

Or, will we choose to not believe in the clear message of His Messiah-ship found in God’s Word?  If this is the case, we can only attribute this to our sinful condition which has blinded our eyes to the truths of His Word. We have chosen the sinful path upon which we are walking. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

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

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 Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The True Creator (Lesson 3)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

INTRODUCTION:

Is our existence simply an accident with no real purpose, design or meaning behind it?  Or are we created beings designed to fulfill a specific purpose?  If we are created beings, then who created us?  The answers we get will differ based upon who is asked these questions.

If we go to the world of science to try to find answers to these questions, we find much debate.  The majority of scientists are slow to say that we have been created.  Among those who say we are created beings, they differ as to the identity of our creator.

Sadly, if we go to the world of religion, we still find a great deal of debate about these things.  Among many theologians we find unity of opinion that we are created beings.  However, widely ranging opinions exist when they are asked to specifically identify the creator.

We may have a tendency to say, “The answers to these questions lie in the very distant past.  The only real issue of importance for us is the fact that we exist.   Why, or how, we have come into existence is really a very insignificant subject.” The Bible not only identifies our Creator, but it also explains to us why, for all mankind, this is a very important subject that we all must have clarified in our minds.   In this lesson, we will be focusing on the Word of God’s teachings concerning our creation.  We will be finding answers to the question “Who has created us?” and also “Why is this issue so important for us to understand?”.

SCRIPTURES:

Isa 45:18

(KJV) For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

(ESV) For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.

 

Acts 17:27-29

(KJV) That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  (28)  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  (29)  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.

(ESV) (27) that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,  (28) for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ (29) Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

 

1Co 8:5-6

(KJV) For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  (6)  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

(ESV)  (5) For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— (6) yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

 

Isa 45:8-10

(KJV)  … I the LORD have created it.  (9)  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?  (10)  Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

(ESV) …I the LORD have created it.  (9) “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?  (10) Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

THE STUDY:

To begin our study let’s turn to Isa 45:18….

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”

In answer to our question, Is our world, and everything in it, the result of a creative act?” the Bible proclaims a resounding “YES!”  First, we are told that our world was ….

  1. Created – to create, feed, develop
  2. Formed – to mold, to fashion, to shape
  3. Made – to make, to accomplish, to dress, to keep
  4. Established – to fix, to secure, to support

Based upon the Word, we can clearly, undoubtedly see that we are living on a world that was created.

Also please note we are told the purpose of this world’s creation.  The globe was created for the purpose of being inhabited by mankind.  He had us in His mind as He was bringing into existence, forming, shaping, and upholding this world. Our world was the result of a meaningful creation process with a specific purpose in mind… to be a habitation for mankind!

Finally, let’s notice that our text clearly tells us the identity of our Creator.  It was Jehovah, the “LORD”. He alone, as the Creator, has made the world in which we live. This creative act of Jehovah, is one of the ways that He is set apart from all the other “gods” of this world (Acts 17:22-29).

Not only is Jehovah the Creator of the world in which we live, the Bible is equally as clear that He is our Creator as well.  This is clearly seen in Acts 17:27-29….

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  (28)  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  (29)  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.”

Peter, in his message on Mars Hill, plainly declares that it is in our Creator, our God, our Lord, Jehovah, that we find our existence and our life…. “in him (God) we live, move and have our being” (vs 28).  This great Creator is not far from man, but is accessible, through His grace and the work of His Son, that allows us to have access to Him (vs 27).

Once again, Peter then reminds us that His Creatorship is one way, of many, that He is set apart from all the gods of this world (vs 29).   This principle is emphasized in 1 Cor 8:5-6…

For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  (6)  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Here, we find Paul, writing to the church at Corinth (a center for idol worship in the NT era) reminding the church that the creatorship of God sets Him apart from all others.  But interestingly, he does not stop there.  Paul then proceeds to explain that Christ, as the second person of the Godhead, should also be attributed with the creation of this world (John 1:1-4, 14; Col 1:13-17).  By implication He, too, should be set apart from all other false gods as our Creator and the Creator of the world in which we live.  He is truly Jehovah God, come to the earth that He created, to save members of His creation from the ravages of sin (John 1:10-14).

Being our Creator, God possess authority over us. We see this principle in Isaiah 45:8-10…

…I the LORD have created it.  (9)  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?  (10)  Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

We are His creation, He has the authority to make us as He pleases and use us as He pleases. It also implies His authority to reveal His desires for our lives and our need to be in submission to those desires.  There is no room for questioning His wisdom or His judgment or His desires   for the lives of men (Rom 9:14-26).

THE APPLICATION:

Why is God’s Word precious to us?  It reveals clearly that we are a creation of our Almighty Lord.  It explains to us that, as the creation of Jehovah, we have the privilege of serving the one true God over all.  As our Creator, He has a purpose for our lives, He has a plan that is to be fulfilled and has revealed His desires for us in His Word.

This is reason why knowledge of our creation is so important for our daily lives. We are not simply the result of chance or a random occurrence taking place as a natural act.  We are the Creation of our Lord, brought into existence through a miraculous act of His Sovereign power. Our creation explains to us that we have a purpose behind our existence.  It clearly shows to us that we have a responsibility to serve our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, for we are under His authority.

As we come to a greater understanding of His Creatorship, we also come an understanding of the need for submission to His desires for our lives…

Rev 4:10-11  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

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

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 Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The True God (Part 2)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

INTRODUCTION:

Throughout history, men have desired to identify and serve the true God. However, the ability to identify the true God, apart from God’s Word is an impossible task.  This principle can easily be seen by examining the worship of the false gods that took place in the Gentile nations of the Old Testament.

Keep in mind, with only a few exceptions, the truths of God Word were kept within the confines of the nation of Israel.  The gentile nations surrounding Israel were devoid of the truths of His Word, and because of this, their worship was limited to worship pointed toward false gods.  Many of these names will be familiar to all of us. Baal, Ra, Nebo, Moloch, Ashtoreth, the list could go on and on.  What do these names all have in common?  They are the names of false gods worshipped by in gentile nations which surrounded Israel.

Even Israel, when they forsook the teachings of God’s Word, allowed the worship of these idols to enter into their nation.   It was when the Israelites sought the truths of God’s Word, and willingly lived according to them, that we find the worship of the true God take place within their boundaries.  Undoubtedly, the Bible is the only reliable source we possess that will reveal to us the true God of the Universe.

In this lesson, we will be coming to a better understanding of the preciousness of the Scriptures by seeing the true God revealed within its pages.

SCRIPTURES:

Psa 83:18 

(KJV)  That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

(ESV) that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

Isa 42:8-9

(KJV)  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

(ESV)  I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Exo 3:13-15

(KJV)  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?  (14)  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.  (15)  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

(ESV) 13) Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14) God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15) God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

John 8:58-59

(KJV)  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.  (59)  Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

(ESV)  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59) So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

THE STUDY:

Who is the true God?  Psalms 83:18 reveals His identity to us….

“That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”

The true God over all the earth identifies Himself as Jehovah.  The word Jehovah is a Hebrew word that means “the self-existent One” or “the One who was, is and will be”.  Why would God choose the name Jehovah to describe Himself?  It is because this is one of the characteristics that sets Him apart from all the false Gods of this world.

God, alone, exists eternally.  The other gods this world has chosen to worship are mere creations of the sinful human mind (1 Cor 8:4).  In some cases, there were demonic forces that inspired the ideas leading to the creation of these false gods.  Even in these cases, the demonic forces behind these gods do not exist eternally, but are simply angels, once created by God, who committed sin and were cast out of God’s presence due to their sin (Rev 12:7-9).

In Isaiah 42:8-9 we find that since Jehovah is the true God, His worship is exclusive…

“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Not only does the God of this universe reveal to us His name, but He also makes it clear that worship should be reserved entirely for Him.  As the true God, He will not share the praise and honor that He deserves with false gods and the demonic forces behind them.

One of the proofs God gave to us that He is the true God are prophecies that have been fulfilled later in history.  As we study all the many prophecies that were given to us in the Old Testament, combined with their fulfillment later in history, we have proof positive that He is the True, Sovereign, Eternal Lord of all.  Many of these Old Testament prophecies involved the coming Messiah, which were later fulfilled in the life of Christ on earth. These same prophecies, and their fulfillment, also clearly indicate that the Scriptures are His revealed Word given to us.

In Exodus 3:13-15… We have a very important section of Scripture that, once again, reveals to us the identity of the God of this universe…

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?  (14)  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.  (15)  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Notice here, the name that God gives Himself is “I AM”, as we recall this is the exact principle reflected in the definition of the name “Jehovah”.  To call Himself the “I AM” is to say that He has, is and will always exist.  In other words, He is “the Existing One”.  There never was a time in the past when He has not existed, nor will there ever be a time in the future when He does not exist.

For Him to make the statement “I AM THAT I AM” speaks, not only of His eternal existence, but also of His immutability (He is not capable of change), His faithfulness to His promises, and His knowledge of all things throughout time.

Finally, in conjunction with the Exodus 3: passage, we would be remiss if we did not mention the Christ’s statements found in John 8:58-59…

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.  (59)  Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Here, if we read these verses carefully, we find that Christ took upon Himself the title “I AM” as He spoke to unbelieving Jews who claimed that He was possessed by a demon. (John 8:48-52)

By giving Himself this title, Christ was revealing to all mankind that He was the true God and Lord over all (Phil 2:5-11, John 10:30, John 1:1-2).  The unbelieving Jews recognized what He meant by taking upon Himself this title and attempted to stone Him.  Stoning was the acceptable punishment for blasphemy in the Jewish nation.  However, He as the True God, was able to pass from their presence without them hurting Him.

THE APPLICATION:

What a wonderful blessing it is to possess the Word of God.  It is in God’s Word that we have His identity clearly revealed.  The God of this Universe is Jehovah.  He is the One that always has, and always will, exist.  He can be trusted as the faithful, all-knowing Sovereign God over all that deserves our worship.  It was this same God that came to the earth as man to bring salvation to His people… His name is Jesus…

Joh 10:25-30  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

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

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 Precious Word Bible Study Series – Introduction (Part 1)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Do you know that the most printed book ever is the Bible?  Over six billion copies of the Bible have been printed over the generations.  The next most printed book is “Quotations From Chairman Mao” that has had 900 million copies printed (less than 1/6 of the number of copies printed of the Bible). Why is the Bible the most printed book ever?

We might begin to understand if we stop and think about it. It is this same Bible, or portions of it, that has been translated and reprinted from one generation to the other for over thirty-five hundred years.  It is the contents of this book that are proclaimed on a weekly basis, to those who faithfully gather in churches throughout the world, and have done so, for almost 2000 years.

For those called of God to be pastors, evangelists and teachers of His Word, the burden, to declare His Word, is taken very seriously. They have been willing to leave their lucrative jobs, their homeland, their relatives and their friends to go to other cities, states, or even countries to proclaim His Word to them to which they are called.

For many, the ultimate sacrifice for the Word has been made. Christians, who have proclaimed His Word and lived their live according to it, have been willing to suffer physical abuse, and even give their life, all because they recognize the tremendous value of the Word.

But the ultimate proof of the Bible’s value is shown by men who have entrusted their eternal destiny to the message found within its pages.

Again, we ask the questions “Why?  What is so special about this book?”

In this series we will be attempting to answer these questions.  For this lesson, let’s study the Bible’s value for each of us.  We will be centering our study upon the Bible’s testimony about itself, it’s author, it’s purpose, and, therefore, it’s value to all mankind.

SCRIPTURES:

2Ti 3:16-17

(KJV)  16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

(ESV)  16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17) that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Pro 3:13-15 

(KJV) 13) Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  14)  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.  15)  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

(ESV) 13) Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14) for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15) She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

THE STUDY:

In our first scripture, 2 Tim 3:16-17, we find both the origin and the purpose of the Bible.

The Word’s authorship is revealed to us in the phrase….

All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The phrase “inspiration of God” carries with it the idea of being “breathed out by God”.  The Bible is the very words of God handed down to mankind. (2 Sam 23:2; 2 Peter 1:21).   When we understand this basic truth we can come to an understanding of the reliability of Scripture:

  1. Since, we know that God  cannot lie (Titus 1:20); it only follows that the Bible can be trusted and  counted as dependable.
  2. Since we know that God  is perfect and sinless (Lev 19:2, 1Pet 1:16); it only follows that His words are perfect and they will not fail, nor contradict themselves.

The remaining portion of 2 Tim 3:16-17 reveals to us the great purpose that God had in mind when He handed His words to mankind…

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

According to our verses, God’s word was given for man to profit in six ways:

  1. Doctrine – learning; the gain of knowledge, facts,  and information about spiritual things
  2. Reproof – conviction; to show error, need of change
  3. Correction – to straighten; to show how to correct error, to demonstrate how change should be made
  4. Instruction in righteousness – to educate in Godly living; how to please God with our lives
  5. May be perfect – to be spiritually mature, to be wise, experienced and knowledgeable.
  6. May be thoroughly furnished unto all good works – all the tools we need to live lives on earth and prepare for life after our death.

The above listing makes it very easy to understand why the Bible is of such value to us.  Please notice how it is phrased in Pro 3:13-15…

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”

How do we find true happiness in a world where we find the existence of injustice, selfishness, abuse and sin?  It is only through the gathering of wisdom and understanding.  “Wisdom” and “understanding” are simply another way of expressing the six ways we profit from God’s Word (see above listing). It is through the Word of God that we can find true wisdom and understanding (Pro 2:6).

Because the Bible is the complete revelation of spiritual wisdom and knowledge that is handed down from God to man, the writer of Proverbs assigns to it great value…

  1. It is greater than the purchase of silver
  2. It is greater gain than highly refined gold
  3. It is more highly sought after than rubies
  4. It is of more benefit to us than any other possession we can desire

THE APPLICATION:

Now that we have seen the tremendous benefits that can be attained through knowledge of God’s Word, we can better understand its popularity and the importance that it has held throughout the centuries.

It is this value found in His Word, that’s makes a lifetime of study and application of His Word of overwhelming benefit to us all.

Psa 119:111-112  “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.  I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.”

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.

A New Ministry Has Begun At Settled In Heaven

Settled In Heaven Ministries is beginning a new type of teaching series.  This new ministry is entitled “Teach Others Also”.   This ministry will consist of 13 video and written lessons specifically tailored for SS classes, Home Bible Studies, and Small Group Meetings.  This ministry was started based upon several requests we have received for a quarterly (12 or 13 week) teaching series.

Our first series entitled “The Precious Word” will begin with the first weekly posting on Sunday Morning July 1st and is scheduled to conclude with the Sept 23rd posting.  This will give anyone interested the ability to see much of this series before the fall quarter begins.  Hopefully, after seeing the first several lessons you will be able to decide whether you would like to use this series in the upcoming quarter.

This study will be emphasizing the importance of the Word of God for the Christian while, at the same time, answering questions that are commonly asked by unbelievers.  It will be clearly demonstrating that the Word of God supplies the believer with EVERYTHING that is needed to serve the Lord for the entire course of their lives.  For the unbeliever they will be receiving truths about God, Sin and Salvation and many other important truths.

The 13 interconnected subjects that are covered in this series are:

  1. Introduction to the study – The Preciousness of the Word
  2. Does God Exist?
  3. Are We Created Beings?
  4. Is There A Messiah?
  5. Does Sin Exist?
  6. How Can I Be Comforted In the Midst of Suffering?
  7. What Happens When We Die?
  8. How Can We Prepare For Death?
  9. Where Can We Find Lasting Joy?
  10. What Is The Meaning To Life?
  11. Why Does Tragedy Exist?
  12. Is There A Universal Standard Of Right and Wrong?
  13. Summary Of Our Study – The Preciousness Of the Word  (Can be deleted for classes using 12 week quarters)

The series material includes:

  1. The 25 minute video lesson presentation (for those who would like to lead a Bible study group without the availability of a teacher).  This video will be posted on the SIH blog along with the written copy.
  2. The Written copy of the current lesson as a blog posting each Sunday morning
  3. The 117 page Student/Teacher Manual which can be downloaded here in .pdf or .docx format. It is highly suggested that each student receives a copy of this manual to aid in the teaching process.  This manual includes:
    1.  a written outline of each lesson ( a copy of the written lesson that was posted on the blog website)
    2.  from 5 to 7 questions for each lesson
    3. an answer key at the end of the book (pg 100-113)  that can easily be deleted from the students copy of the manual

This is the first time I have attempted this type of series so it is a learning process for me. I have attempted to correct as many errors as possible in the handbook, however, let me apologize for any errors that may still exist.

If you have any suggestions regarding subjects for upcoming series, improvements or any type of changes you would like to see with these lessons please feel free to contact me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. ANY INPUT IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. The feedback I receive from this initial series will form the future path for this ministry.

As always, all the material offered is free of charge.  All of these materials may be distributed freely.  All that is asked is that no monetary gain be received from the distribution of these materials.  May the Lord bless each one of us as we begin this new ministry at SIH Ministries.  I trust this ministry will be a blessing to each one of us.

Homepage: www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog: www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog: www.youtube/settledinheaven