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Philippians 1:29-30: “To Suffer For His Sake”

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:29-30 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ,

 

The Lord graciously delivers to each of His people times of affliction, to bring glory and honor to Christ, and open occasions for us to grow in grace and knowledge of Him.

 

 

 

not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

 

This gracious gift of faith from the Lord involves both the saving faith that we exercise when we are first saved, and also the faith to trust Christ in the midst of opposition and trials. Trusting in Christ for our salvation, and in times of opposition, reveals to those around us the genuineness of our absolute trust in Him. The one faith (at salvation) shows our trust in Him with our eternal life, the other (during opposition) shows our trust in Him for our physical life and well-being.

Not only do opportunities to suffer for His name allow our faith to be seen by others, but it also develops Christian maturity and growth in Christ. This growth then prepares the Christian for greater opportunities of service for Christ which, in turn, results in even greater glory and honor being brought to Christ’s name

In all these ways, being opposed in our stand for Christ is truly a gift of grace, opening up to us wonderful occasions to bring glory and honor to His name.

 

Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

The church at Philippi was facing the same types of opposition that Paul faced when he had been with them, and the current opposition that he faced.

Paul was pointing out to them that he was speaking to them out of experience. These instructions were not simply words that were a part of an academic exercise or words that stemmed from inexperience and naiveté.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Through his experience, Paul understood the powerful testimony that could be had by trusting in Christ for our eternal salvation and then continuing to trust in Him in times of trials and opposition. Paul knew that these, in turn, resulted in greater spiritual growth and maturity which brought about greater areas of service to Him.

How often do we recognize that our saving faith was a gift given to us by God? (2 Peter 1:1)

How often do we stop and thank Him for the opportunity to show our sincerity to others by remaining faithful in the trials that have come upon us? (Heb 3:12-14)

How often do we appreciate the trials that come our way realizing that, as we remain faithful to Him, they will result in our continued growth in Him and greater service to Him in the future? (James 1:2-4)

May we all recognize and appreciate the wonderful blessing of faith that the Lord has granted to His people. It is through this faith that we are eternally secure in Him and able to remain faithful to Him during times of trials and opposition.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 1:27-28: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:”

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:27-28 KJV – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

One of Paul’s great desires for the Philippian church members was for them to behave in an appropriate way for those who give the gospel of Christ to others.

Folks, as Christians, we are representatives of Christ on earth. We have the responsibility to represent Him in this world in two major ways:

1. by taking the gospel to the lost

2. by possessing lifestyles that follow the example Christ has set for us

These two go hand-in-hand as the appropriate way to represent Christ on earth.

 

that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

 

Paul’s hope is that they remain unified to faithfully serve the Lord in Paul’s presence, and in his absence as well. Even in his absence, Paul will hear of their ongoing unity in their service to Christ. He describes their unity as:

1. “stand fast in one spirit” – remain rooted fast and firm with one set of desires

2. “with one mind striving together – joining together in spiritual warfare based upon a singular set of beliefs in which they all mentally affirm.

Their unity would result in an advance of the doctrines of the gospel of Christ.

 

 

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

Paul then encourages them to continue in this unity, even in the face of persecution. They were not to be fearful in the face of those who oppose them. By remaining faithful during opposition it would proved three things to everyone who was watching them….

1. it gave a clear indication that those who were abusing them were headed for eternal ruin and destruction.

2. and it gave a clear indication that the church members were headed for deliverance from this sinful world to a sinless eternity with Christ.

3. their faithfulness during persecution indicated their salvation was based upon God working in their lives empowering and motivating them to faithfulness as new creatures in Christ.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, does our lifestyle reveal Christ and His gracious intervention in our lives?

When others see us do they see Christ being glorified as He works in our lives?

Are we unified with other church members and Christian friends in serving the Lord, even in the midst of persecution and hardships?

All of these are wonderful testimonies that bring honor and glory to Christ and encourage other believers around us. May we all rededicate our lives to reveal our Lord in us as we live our daily lives on this fallen world that so desperately needs to see Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 1:25-26: “Contentment In Bringing Joy To Others”

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:25-26 KJV – “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all

 

After examining the probable results of Paul’s prison deliverance by release or death, he has been persuaded that he will be released from prison and continue to live and serve the Lord on this earth.

 

 

for your furtherance and joy of faith;

 

Paul saw the great need of the churches of the Gentile world. He saw they needed assistance as they continued to grow in the Lord and experience lasting joy in their faith.

What is meant by their “faith”? Of course, joy is gotten by the Christian when they exercise faith in Christ as their Savior, but it does not stop there. As the Christian grows in the truths of God’s Word, their faith will increase and become more fixed in their hearts. This is a part of their “joy of faith” and the need for Paul to continue to teach them not only the way of salvation but the truths of the Word as well.

 

 

That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

Paul wants the saints at Philippi to gain an increase in joy from his remaining on earth and ministering to them. Paul was trusting their joy would increase as they see him delivered from prison, which meant the Lord would allow Paul to continue to minister to them to meet their needs.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

One of the blessings of serving the Lord is finding contentment and satisfaction in the knowledge that we are being used of the Lord to help others in need. It is a great privilege to be used of the Lord to meet the spiritual or physical needs of those around us. It is living a life to which we are called of our Lord.

May we all follow the example of Paul and be content knowing the Lord is using us to bring joy and everlasting peace to others who are around us.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 1:19-20: “Christ Shall Be Magnified In My Body”

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

TODAY’S TEXT:

Php 1:19-20 KJV – “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Please keep in mind, in the context, Paul has been speaking about the increased preaching of Christ in the Gentile world (vs 14-18)…

For I know that this shall turn to my salvation

Paul knew that the increased preaching of the gospel would result in his salvation. This would take place in one of two ways…
1. As the gospel would go out, a majority of the Gentile world (including the Roman gvt) would be saved which would result in Paul’s release from imprisonment. This would be due to the change in public opinion about the gospel and Paul’s ministry.
2. Or, as the gospel goes out, more of the Gentile world including the Roman gvt) would reject it and become more hardened against it which would lead to the taking of Paul’s life. This would result in his release from imprisonment (and this sinful world) as he would die and go home to be with his Lord.

through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Paul encourages the believers at Philippi to continue to pray for him and his soon salvation. Note Paul doesn’t ask them to pray for either type of deliverance from his bonds, for he was submission to the sovereign will of God and knew that in either case it would be for his good and God’s glory.

Paul also understood that either type of deliverance would be a result of the Holy Spirit’s enabling through the gracious intervention of Christ in his life.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness,

Paul wanted, and was confident that, the Lord would intervene in his life, meet his every need through the Spirit. He believed that, through the Lord’s continuing intervention, his needs for enablement would be met. He expected that, by God’s grace, he would continue to boldly minister the gospel to others until he was delivered from prison by release or death.

Paul desired these things AND expected them to take place.

as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

One of Paul’s great desires throughout his saved life was to make Christ clearly seen and enlarged in the eyes of others. He would do this with every part of his body, speaking with his mouth, through the actions of his body, and through his faithful lifestyle. His desire and anticipation was directed to his being enabled to glorify Christ whether he would be released from prison and allowed to continue his ministry or if he would die a martyr’s death at the hands of the Roman government.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in this section of Paul’s letter, we see his heart being exposed and his true desires being revealed for all of us to see. His one and only desire was to allow Christ to be clearly revealed and enlarged through his life. Everything else was a matter of his submissive spirit desiring for the Lord’s will to be done in his life, no matter what it may be.

What a very simple, and Godly way to live our lives… simply desiring for Christ to be revealed to others in all that we say and do, and then be willing to accept whatever the Lord has in store for each one of us, knowing that it will be for our good and His glory.

May we all have hearts that are filled with this wonderful attitude and service and submission to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:15-18: “Christ Is Preached and I Therein Do Rejoice”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:15-18 KJV – “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this section of Paul’s letter, he speaks about the motivation that lies behind the preaching of Christ (truths about the person and work of Jesus Christ and the true salvation by grace through faith message) …

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Paul recognized that not everyone who proclaims truths about Christ have honorable motives. According to Paul, some preached truths about Christ because they were jealous of Paul’s ministry, others proclaimed Christ to stir up quarreling and hard feelings between the church members and the lost people who were living in the area.

However, Paul did not let those with bad motives cloud his judgement, he also recognized those who proclaimed the same truths about Christ with Godly motives of joy and a desire for their hearers to be blessed.

 

The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

There were those who preached truths about Christ motivated by the desire to stir up anger which would end up adding to the persecution that Paul faced.

 

 

But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

 

But there were also those who taught the truths about Christ as an act of support for Paul, moved by love for him. They were following his example of taking a stand no matter what the consequences, knowing that it would encourage him and they would be doing what he desired for them to do.

 

 

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

Now Paul says something that may surprise us…. In Paul’s way of thinking the most important point is that truths about Christ were being proclaimed to the world. In made very little difference to Paul whether the proclamation of Christ was done out of hidden sinful motives, or genuinely to please the Lord and support Paul…. In either case, Paul was happy and would continue to be happy seeing truths about Christ being proclaimed.

It is very important to note that this was not an issue of the truth being proclaimed vs false teaching. The issue was the motives that lie behind proclamation of the truth. In both cases, the truth about Christ, His person and His work, was being proclaimed…. and this is why Paul was joyous! Christ was being presented in truth…. That is what was most important to Paul.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, there are many different truths that we can learn from Paul’s writings on this subject. First and foremost, we should see the need to be less judgmental of those who proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, His person and His work.

If any man teaches error concerning Christ, His work, and the way of salvation, we should mark him as a being an Anti-Christ (one who stands against Christ) and vigorously oppose his message that will lead men to an eternity of separation from the Lord in hell.

1Jn 2:22 KJV – “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

However, for those who teach the truth of Christ, even when in the presence of questionable motives, we are to follow the example of Paul and allow him to continue unhindered, being thankful that the truth about Christ is being proclaimed. The Lord will take care of dealing with the intents and desires of each man’s heart. We are to be concerned with our own desires and make sure we are serving Him with Godly intentions.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:12-14: “Trials For The Gospel’s Sake ”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:12-14 KJV – “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

 

Paul desired for the Philippian believers to come to recognize one of the main purposes of trials, abuse and persecution in the life of a Christian… for the gospel to be advanced among the lost. In Paul’s case, he was suffering abuse in the form of unjust imprisonment at the hands of the idolatrous Roman government.

Even in the midst of his abuse, Paul understood that the Lord has allowed this imprisonment to fall upon him so that the gospel could be shown through his words, actions, and lifestyle and so that other Christians would be encouraged to boldly proclaim the gospel to the lost around them…

 

 

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

Paul did not deserve this imprisonment, he was in this prison for the cause of Christ. As he spent time in prison, all who cared for him, due to his spotless testimony, came to understand that he did not deserve to be imprisoned. In that sense, his “bonds in Christ” were clearly seen by those around him. He was in prison for Christ’s sake, not for wrongdoing on his part.

What a wonderful testimony Paul possessed! To lead such a righteous life that, when persecuted, everyone realized the persecution was undeserved. As they watched Paul’s life, they saw truths about Christ and, in his words, they heard about Christ. Even while in prison, the life and words of Paul were furthering the gospel message to the lost around him.

 

 

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Not only did Paul’s imprisonment open doors of opportunity for Paul to spread the gospel message, but it also encouraged others to spread the good news of Christ to those around them. Paul’s courage and spotless testimony in the midst of his imprisonment, was an encouragement for other Christians to take a firm, bold stand for Christ also.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn some important truths from this aspect of Paul’s life…

1. All the trials that come upon God’s people are an opportunity for the gospel to be proclaimed through our lives and voices.

2. Our words and actions during these trying times of life can affect the lives of both lost and saved around us. As we remain faithful to the cause of Christ, the gospel will be proclaimed to the lost while encouragement to serve will be received by those who are saved.

3. We should always strive to lead lives that are unspotted by this world. In doing so, we can have confidence, and proclaim to those around us, that the trials that come our way are not due to the chastening hand of the Lord but have come upon us to further the gospel.

We should always remember that others are constantly watching us. How we handle the trials, and good times, of our lives affect others. No matter what type of situation we are currently in, may we all strive to live God honoring lives and show Christ to all those around us!

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:9-11: “Turning Love Into Action”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:9-11 KJV – “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this text, Paul’s prayerful desire was for the Philippians to be graced in four basic areas:

 

 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 

1. Their Motive – Paul desired that their love would be overflowing in greater and greater ways; especially to motivate them to gain more knowledge of the Lord, His will for their lives, and the ability to make Godly decisions.

 

That ye may approve things that are excellent;

2. Their Judgment – Paul desired that they exercise Godly judgement by recognizing, affirming, and living according to, those things that excel in spiritual truth and importance.

 

that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

 

3. Their Testimony – Paul desired for the Philippians to have a testimony of being a genuine and separated to God throughout all their lives and generations until Christ comes again.

 

 

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

4. Their enablement – Finally Paul desires for their service to stem from Godly enablement. He desired for the Holy Spirit to control every aspect of their lives; allowing them to bear spiritual, blameless fruits; both of which are gracious gifts given to them by Christ. These spiritual fruits are to be utilized to “shine the light upon” God and cause Him to be honored and worshipped. They are not to be used to exalt the individual Christian, which would bring attention and praise to the Christian.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Paul’s desires for the Philippians should not only be our desire for other Christians, but our desire for our own personal lives as well:

As Christians, we should never underestimate the need for Godly motives, judgment, testimonies, and enablement as we live our lives for Christ….

1. So often we can go through the motions of Christian service with the wrong motives compelling us.

2. It is so easy to find ourselves using our own carnal judgements to make the day to day decisions to come our way.

3. It is so easy, to get side-tracked in our service that we find ourselves going through “religious” motions of service in the name of Christ, in a disingenuous way, confusing “going through the motions” without genuine holiness.

4. Perhaps the most prevalent of these pitfalls that can so easily take us off course, is when we serve the Lord of our own effort, strength and ability, without relying upon the Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish that which the Lord has given us to do.

May we all be on guard for these pitfalls in our own lives, as well as being in prayer for our spiritual family that they would not be overcome by these as well. May we always seek to help other struggling Christians with words of instruction and encouragement to strengthen them as they seek to serve our Lord sincerely under the strengthen hand of the Holy Spirit.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:6-8: “Our Love For Other Believers”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Philippians 1:6-8 KJV – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Due to the Philippians’ Godly lives and testimony, Paul was convinced that the Lord was at work in their personal lives and in their church. Once he was assured the Lord was working, Paul also knew that the Lord would continue to work in their lives until the second coming of Jesus. It would be at Christ’s coming that the Philippians’ redemption would be made complete at the receipt of their glorified bodies and their entrance into eternity.

This helps us to understand that there is no such thing as “falling from grace”, in other words losing our salvation. What God has begun, He will complete. If we see others, who once professed Christ, turn their backs on Christ, in actuality, they were never saved to start with.

This is also supported by the Apostle John who said “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1Jn 2:19 KJV)

When a person turns from their profession of faith, it is not the Lord who was unable to accomplish His work in the professor’s life, the responsibility falls totally on the pseudo-Christian who, in actuality, misled those around him when he professed salvation, never being saved to begin with.

 

Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart;

It only made sense that Paul would think of the saints at Philippi with great confidence in their testimony… he loved them which led to him believing in them and their public profession of faith.

 


inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

The Philippian church shared in Paul’s experience of imprisonment and proclamation of the gospel. They did this in many ways, through praying for Paul, sending Paul much needed monetary aid and encouragement along the way.

By doing these things, the church had a part in the grace that the Lord had shown Paul during these difficult times. The Lord had graciously blessed Paul with the prayers of saints, encouraging words and monetary needs being met. The saints at Philippi, by allowing the Lord to use them, had a share in the blessings that were sent Paul’s way. In that sense they were “partakers of my grace”.

 

 

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

Based on their past relationship; their sharing in experiences; and their aid of prayer, encouragement and money; Paul had a deep, sincere, desire to be with the Philippian church. This love was not a carnal, fleshly, passion for them, but a Godly, spiritual desire to be in their midst. This is the same type of love that Christ exhibited towards each of his people.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

As we see Paul’s love for the Philippian believers on display, it reminds us of the type of love we should have towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If we love our spiritual family as we do we will:

1. Be quick to believe their testimony and trust them for continued faithfulness

2. We should remember, and appreciate, all they do for us never taking them for granted.

3. Our love should not find its roots in selfishness or carnality, but should be an exhibition of a Christ-like love that is characterized by self-sacrifice, caring for others, working for the good of others, and humility.

Do we love our spiritual siblings as we should? If so, this love will be seen in our lives, through our concern care and sacrifice for them.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:3-5: “Our Remembrance Of Others”

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Philippians 1:3-5 – “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

After Paul shares his desire for God’s grace to be shown to the Philippians, he now turns his attention to the grace God has shown to him. What is the first received grace that comes to Paul’s mind? It is his memories of the Philippian saints and the privilege of being able to pray for them.

“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy”

Paul’s natural loving response to the wonderful memories he had of the Philippians was to pray for them. Stop and think about it… as Paul remembered their faithfulness and the encouragement he received from them, he would stop and thank God for them and ask the Lord to meet their spiritual and physical needs whatever they may be.

The gracious privilege of praying for them was a joyous thrill to Paul’s heart.

“For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”

One of the sources of Paul’s great joy was based upon their fellowship as believers in Christ. One of the ideas behind the word “fellowship” is “to share in common”. In other words, Paul possessed great joy in praying for the saints at Philippi because they shared so much in common. One of the reasons they shared so much in common was because Paul had been acquainted with the church “from the first day until now” (the very beginning of their church).

What did they share in common? Their salvation, their faithfulness in service to Christ, the persecutions they faced, their spiritual and physical needs etc etc etc. Because they shared much in common, Paul understood much about what they were going through, this enabled him to more intelligently pray for their needs.

Paul held a privileged position of prayer for them, because he understood much more about their experiences and needs than most other saints.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

From Paul’s thankfulness and prayer we can learn much about our relationship with other Christians. Here is a quick rundown of the lessons we can learn:

1. We should be thankful for the memories that we have of wonderful times we have shared with our spiritual family members and the living testimony for Christ, and the example they set for us.

2. We should always be mindful of what our spiritual kindred are going through and the needs they have in their lives. Especially we should use the experiences we have shared with them to better pray for them and their needs.

3. We should never take for granted the privilege we have to pray for others. This allows us to be a part of the blessings they receive when their spiritual and physical needs are met.

4. Our prayers should come from a joyful heart of love as we appreciate our spiritual siblings and seek to give of ourselves, through prayer, to meet their needs.

May we all be more effective prayer warriors for members of God’s family. May we all seek to learn from the thankfulness and prayer life of the Apostle Paul and live them out in our lives as we seek to serve our Lord!

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:1-2: “The Need for Grace and Peace”

SIH TOTT ICONINTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

TODAY’S TEXT:

Philippians 1:1-2 – “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Following Paul’s greetings to the church at Philippi, He shares with them his personal desires for the church members (saints) and leaders (bishops & deacons). In verse 2, we can see the first of his desires is for them to be given “grace” and “peace” from the Father and Jesus.
As most of us know, the idea of “grace” simply means to “give something that is beneficial to those who do not deserve the benefit”. The idea of “peace” implies harmony, quietness, and rest.

WOW! What a perfect combination to wish upon others…

1. When we have grace from the Lord shown to us this opens the door for us to be recipients of the graces of His salvation…. conviction, repentance, faith, spiritual life, forgiveness, adoption, indwelling of the Spirit, and our future inheritance in with Him in glory (to name just a few).
Once saved, His graces continue to flow towards us in the form of His enabling graces as we seek to serve Him with our lives: the bearing of spiritual fruits; the use of our natural talents; and the exercise of other abilities as we serve Him.

2. These wonderful graces are only made more enjoyable when we have the grace of peace. This would involve the possession of peace and quietness between God and ourselves, knowing we are forgiven of our sins and fulfilling His will for our lives.
Then another aspect of peace in the life of believers would also involve being at peace with other men. It would include being at peace with our spiritual family members, enjoying spiritual unity as we put Christ first in our lives, working towards the same goals of glorifying and honoring Him with our lives. Another aspect of this peace involves the saints being at peace with the lost around them, when possible, in the absence of persecution, hatred, and rejection.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Paul, out of love for the members of the church at Philippi, wrote this epistle to them. To begin his letter, he expresses his desire for grace and peace to be given to his spiritual brethren. In doing so, Paul is giving us a wonderful guideline to follow in our relations with our Lord, members of the family of God, and the lost around us.
Concerning our relationship with the Lord, we are to make certain we are at peace with Him. This can only come through His gracious intervention in our lives which leads us to the ultimate grace of salvation from our sins and eternal peace with Him. The need for this type of self-examination, to be certain that we are in the faith is proclaimed by Peter as well when he tells us …

2Pe 1:10 KJV – “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

Concerning our relationship with other men, we can use Paul desires to help us to understand our need, through the gracious intervention of the Lord, to work for peace and harmony between ourselves and others whenever possible.

1Pe 3:11 KJV – “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”

This would include doing everything in our power to show Christ’s self-sacrificial love to those around us. By aiding others in need, by seeking to share Christ with them with our words, actions, lifestyle, by befriending those who are friendless and loving those who are unlovable, we will be doing all that is in our power to work peace between ourselves and those around us.

May we all seek to learn for the wishes of the Apostle Paul and live them out in our lives as we seek to serve our Lord!

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
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Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending …

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:8 KJV

(8) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

Christ calls Himself “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”.

 

Folks, Christ is the beginning and the ending of all aspects of our lives… creation; history; truth, understanding and wisdom; the languages of the world; the nations of the world; all worldly authorities; and on a more personal basis, our physical lives, our health, our families, our employment… the list seems endless.

But, for this devotional, I would like us to set our minds upon the most important area of our lives that finds its beginning and completion in the Lord, our redemption…

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6 KJV)

 

The ESV translates this verse in this way…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

 

Although, as believers, we were redeemed in times past, we will not receive all the results of the redemptive work of Christ until His second coming.  When our Lord comes at His second coming, we will receive our glorified bodies… at this point in time the results of the redemptive work of Christ will reach total fulfillment.

What a wonderful truth for us! Our redemption was begun by our Lord and WILL BE COMPLETED by our Lord at His coming, and we can be SURE of this!   We can know with certainty that If He has begun the good work of redemption He will bring it to pass. We are secure in His hands, never to lose our salvation, never to be alienated from Him again, never to face eternal suffering for our sins.  If He has redeemed us, we will receive glorified bodies and dwell with Him eternally…

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? (Romans 8:29-31)

 

May we all enter our day with joyous, confident hearts knowing that if we have been saved by His grace through faith in Christ, we can know that we will live with Him eternally in our glorified bodies.  Let us serve Him with greater appreciation knowing that we find our eternal security in Him and His redemptive work that He will bring to a completion.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ju

 

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #5)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our last few studies, we have been looking at the Spiritual Gifts that the Lord gives us for our usage today.   In our lesson today, we will be looking at Spiritual Fruit that is borne by all genuine believers in Christ.  We have previously summarized the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Fruits in the following chart:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.

Please note that some of the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Fruits include:

 

Difference Spiritual Gift Spiritual Fruit
When Is The Fruit/Gift Received ? Spiritual Gifts are given at the Lord’s intervention in the christian’s life to equip them for ministry. Spiritual Fruits are given when the believer is given spiritual life (during their salvation experience with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling)
What Is The Nature Of The Fruit/Gift ? Spiritual Gifts are supernaturally exercised by the Christian during the performance of their ministry Spiritual Fruits are naturally borne by the Christian resulting from the presence of the indwelling Spirit
What Are The Types Of The Fruit/Gift Received ? Various Spiritual Gifts are given to believers at the discretion of the Lord based upon their individual ministries All of the Spiritual Fruits are given to every believer
What Is The Purpose For The Fruit/Gift ? Different Spiritual Gifts are needed for the Christian’s differing ministries All the Spiritual Fruits are necessary for the fulfillment of the Christian’s ministry
Summary:
EVERY believer, based upon the discretion of the Lord, is given SOME (at least one) spiritual gift(s). The exercise of the VARIOUS GIFTS RECEIVED are vital to the successful completion of the ministries to which the believer is called. EVERY believer, based upon the presence of the indwelling Spirit, is capable of bearing EVERY spiritual fruit.  EVERY fruit is vital to the successful completion of the ministry to which the believer is called.

 

Let’s now continue our study of Spiritual Fruits…

 

Lesson:

Biblical Principles Concerning Spiritual Fruits:

 

#1 – The Amount Of Fruit Borne By Believers Varies…

And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred…

The sower soweth the word.  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.  (Mark 4:2-8, 14-20)

 

One of the great results of spreading God’s Word to the lost is seeing those who come to faith then bear fruit for God’s glory.  This is one of the basic principles of the above parable.  Among saved individuals the amount of fruit that is borne varies.  This is shown by some bearing 30, 60 or 100 fold.

 

 

#2 – Bearing Spiritual Fruits Builds The Christian’s Testimony Among Men

 “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.  (Luke 6:39-45)

 

The spiritual fruits that are borne by the Christian are a vital part of their testimony before others.  It is through these fruits that we can have proof of a genuineness act of saving grace in the heart and the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  This is compared to those who receive the Word and those who did not act on upon.  It is those who do not bear any spiritual fruit at all. (Matthew 7:15-20; 12:33, Luke 3:7-9. 8:4-15; 13:6-9; Romans 6:18-22; 2 Corinthians 9:10-12, 1 Pet 1:5-11)

Also, please note that these are evil fruits that are given off by the unsaved (Eph 5:7-11, James 3:13-18).  Those evil fruits are listed in Galatians 3:19-21…

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

#3 – Cleansing Through The Word Increases Fruit Bearing

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. “  (John 15:1-8)

Here in this text, we can see that the Lord using the act of cleansing in the life of the believer to bring forth more fruit (Heb 12:4-13).  This cleansing always involves the application of the Word to the life of the believer (Col 1:3-6, 7-13).   This cleansing can take many different forms (personal Bible study and prayer, chastening, trials and tribulations etc etc).

No matter how God’s Word is applied to the life we see a basic progression of events:

1.  the Word is applied

2.  the Christian draws closer to God

3.  the Christian life increases in submission to the Lord

4.  then more fruit is borne in the Christian’s life

 

 

#4 – Fruit Bearing Is A Reason We Were Saved

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.”  (John 15:12-17)

The Lord clearly explains in this passage that one of the great purposes of our salvation was so that we might bear spiritual fruit for His honor and glory.  Think about it… He chose us and appointed us to go forth and bear spiritual fruit for Him.  This would include spreading His Word with our mouths and in our actions by bearing spiritual fruit in our lives. (Romans 7:4-6, Hebs 13:12-15)

 

 

#5 – Fruit Bearing Results From Following The Spirit’s Leadership

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.  [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”   (Galatians 5:13-26)

In this foundational passage, not only do we find a detailed listing of the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit, but we also find some practical instruction concerning the bearing of spiritual fruit.  The key to bearing much spiritual fruit for Christ is submission to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.  This principle is described by two different phrases…

1.  “led of the Spirit” – helps us to understand our need to allow the Spirit to lead and guide us in all our decision making

2.  “walk in the Spirit” – this helps us to understand that, as we habitually allow the Spirit to lead us, it will become a lifestyle and consistent walk of life.

 

 

 

#6 – Spiritual Fruits Are Acts Of Righteous Performed By The Righteous

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”  (Philippians 1:9-11)

The fruits of the Spirit are also described as the “fruits of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10; Hebrews 12:11; James 3:18).  This title helps us to understand two truths about the fruits of the Spirit:

1.  They are fruits that indicate the presence of Christ’ righteousness in the life of the believer.

2.  The fruits are righteous fruits…. in other words they are aligned with God’s laws and accepted by Him. (Titus 3:12-15)

 

This lesson concludes our look at spiritual fruits borne by all believers.

 

 

Additional Information:

A Description Of Spiritual Fruits For Today:

15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(Matthew 7:15-20)

 

33) Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit.

(Matthew 12:33)

 

 

7) Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8) Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9) And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(Luke 3:7-9)

 

 

39) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40) The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42) Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44) For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

(Luke 6:39-45)

 

 

4) And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5) A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8) And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

9) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13)  They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.

(Luke 8:4-15)

 

 

6) He spake also this parable; A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7) Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8) And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [it]:

9) And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.

(Luke 13:6-9)

 

27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(John 14:27)

 

151) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5) I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

(John 15:1-8)

 

 

12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17) These things I command you, that ye love one another.

(John 15:12-17)

 

18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death.

22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

(Romans 6:18-22)

 

 

4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5) For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

(Romans 7:4-6)

 

14) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

(Romans 15:14)

 

 

10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12) For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

(2 Corinthians 9:10-12)

 

 

 

13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16) [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Galatians 5:13-26)

 

2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Ephesians 4:2-3)

 

 

29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

(Ephesians 4:29-32)

 

 

7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9) (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

(Ephesians 5:7-11)

 

9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;

10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

(Philippians 1:9-11)

 

3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which][ ye have] to all the saints,

5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

6) Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

(Colossians 1:3-6)

 

7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

(Colossians 1:7-13)

 

6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(1 Thessalonians 1:6)

 

12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

15) All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace [be] with you all. Amen.

(Titus 3:12-15)

 

36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

(Hebrews 10:36)

 

 

 

4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10) For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.

11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

(Hebrews 12:4-13)

 

12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

(Hebrews 13:12-15)

 

 

13) Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.

16) For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.

17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

(James 3:13-18)

 

18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

(1 Peter 1:18-21)

 

11) Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

(1 Peter 2:11)

 

5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 1:5-11)

 

 

All About Living Dogs and Dead Lions

SIH STSTA ICONIn Ecclesiastes 9:4, Solomon makes the statement…
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

In Phils 1:21, it is explained to us that Paul believed that ….
“For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.

Solomon and Paul seem to contradict each other.  Solomon seems to say that the possession of physical life is far better than departing into eternity.  However, Paul seems to place our eternal existence ahead of our temporal existence here on earth.  Which view is correct?  Is the Bible contradicting itself?  How can these two verses be reconciled?

Let’s take a few moments to study these two Scriptures, in their proper context and see what we can learn from each statement…

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

4) For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5) For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6) Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.
 (Ecclesiastes 9:4-6)

 

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.
 (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

 

21) For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
22) But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24) Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you.
 (Philippians 1:21-24)

 

THE STUDY:

Solomon’s message included the truths that for all mankind, our physical life that is given to us is of great value that should never be downgraded nor ignored….  

 

For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:
It is during our life on earth that we possess HOPE.  The hope of salvation, and the hope to be faithful in our opportunities of service for Him.

 

for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
The hope we possess as the result of the physical life that is given to us is so great that it outweighs all the wealth, power and fame this world has to offer.  Far better for us to possess life as a poverty stricken servant, than to be a dead king, millionaire or movie star that has wasted their life by ignoring their need of salvation and their opportunities to serve Him.

 

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Dying is a universal event that touches every person.  Everyone knows death is coming. 
With physical life comes the opportunity to prepare for the certainty of death and entrance into the afterlife….
1.  When death comes we will enter into a conscious eternity in the presence of our Great Judge. We will no longer experience life on earth, nor will we know about anything that is taking place on earth.  All of our interaction on earth will be over.
2.  Our opportunity to use it to prepare for eternity has passed.  We will no longer have the opportunity to lay up eternal rewards through faithful service to Him.
3.  When death takes us, we will no longer be able to influence men, and in many cases, we will not even be remembered by men.

 

Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.
4.  When our life on earth is over, our interaction with other men is brought to an end. We will no longer be able to react to the needs, desires and actions of others with the emotions of love, hatred or envy.
5.  No longer will we have allotted to us any type of role in the land of the living.

 

Based on Solomon’s previous message, later in Ecclesiastes, he tells us….
 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
Our most important responsibility is to use our life on earth wisely by submitting to the True God through faith in His Son and then living lives of obedience to Him.

 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.” 
We must always be thinking about the permanent separation from this earthly life that death brings to us and the need to prepare NOW for the judgment that is to come upon us.

Based on the above verses, Solomon’s message is thus….
1.  Our life on earth gives us the hope of salvation, and the hope to be used by Him in service.
2.  These hopes we possess in life outweigh all the wealth, power and fame this world has to offer.
3.  Once our life on earth is ended…. IT IS TRULY ENDED.  We will be TOTALLY CUT OFF from any type of intervention in this world.
4.  We will be in God’s presence and will stand before Him to answer for what we have done on earth.

 

Paul’s message reiterates and supports Solomon’s message fully….

For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
Paul is reminding those of us who are saved and serving Him that, in spite of the great importance of our physical life on earth, we will be gaining when we enter into eternity.

 

But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
As we live our life on earth… we should always remember that our upcoming eternity with Christ, and the rewards it will contain, will be the direct result of using our earthly life wisely.  Although, we would rather be home with the Lord, we should continue on preparing for eternity with faithful service to Him.

 

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you.
Paul desired to go home and be with Christ NOW, he recognized it would be of great benefit to him.  However, he also understood that as long as he was on the earth, the Lord had work for him to do. He also recognized that Christ’s work for Paul was to glorify Him in all things.  Through Paul’s teachings and example others were receiving spiritual benefit.

This is perhaps the greatest sacrifice a Christian can give to others around him.  To be willingly to use their physical life wisely, by living a life that honors the Lord in word and deed, being a living sacrifice of His grace, and choosing to continue on in service on earth… all the while knowing that there is a far greater eternity awaiting Him.

Based on the above verses, Paul’s message is thus….
1.  Our life on earth, for the faithful saint is an opportunity to affect the lives of others for the glory of His Lord and Savior. Although, times may get tough and the saint may feel like quitting…
2.  He knows that a far greater blessed eternity is awaiting Him.
3.  He knows that he is being used of God to be a blessing to others.  This is a part of the Christians being a “living sacrifice” for Christ.
4.  He knows that his continued faithfulness on earth will reap spiritual blessings in eternity

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In spite of the seeming differences in their writings, the three texts listed above clearly show us that these men shared much in common.  They shared the same faith in the Messiah as their Savior, they both recognized the need to trust Christ and serve Him in this life and they both understood that the afterlife would include recompense for their service.

So why did they make seemingly contradictory statements?  Although had held much in common concerning their beliefs, the audience  and therefore the purpose of their writings are different and key to reconciling their two statements….

 

1.  Ecclesiastes – Solomon is addressing mankind in general.
In his writing of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is explaining the true purpose and meaning behind our physical life on earth.  He has come to learn, through a lifetime of investigation that to “fear God and keep His commandments” (see Eccl 12:13-14) is the purpose of our existence and the key to living a joyous, fruitful, satisfying life on earth.

He is trying to emphasize to us all that we should never take the importance of our physical life for granted.  It is during our physical life on earth that we possess the opportunity of salvation and service to our Lord and Savior.

Solomon’s desire is to share the importance of using our physical life to glorify God by trusting in Him and serving Him here on earth.

 

 

2.  Philippians – Paul is writing to saved church members at Philippi who are faithful in their service to Christ.
Unlike those to whom Solomon writes, the faithfulness of Paul’s readers has proven that their salvation is genuine and that they possess an understanding of the need to serve Christ while on earth.  Therefore, the issue of the importance, and purpose, of their physical life is not needed to be emphasized to them.

What did they need to hear?  They needed emphasized to them the need to be remaining faithful amidst affliction in this world and the wonderful blessings awaiting them in eternity to come.

Paul’s intent was to share with his readers that, compared to this earthly life filled with trials and heartaches, THE BEST IS YET TO COME.  They should continue on in the faith knowing that someday they would go home and be with their Lord and Savior for an eternity.

So folks, there is no contradiction in these two passages.  Both texts, while complimenting and building upon each other, hold many truths to encourage, comfort and strengthen us as we live our life on earth…

For those who know Christ as their Savior, may we never take the blessing, privilege, and opportunity of our physical life on earth for granted, while yet understanding that we have a far better life in heaven to come!

For those who have never come to know Christ as their Savior, please take advantage of the wonderful blessing of physical life that the Lord has given to you.  Turn from your sins, trust in Him as your Savior and know that your life was given to you as a gift.  This gift is to be given back to Him by living your life in service to Him.

 

For all of us…. always remember… it is far better to be a living dog than a dead lion.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
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Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.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.”

Spirits Among Us – Do Ghosts Exist?

SIH STSTA ICONThe belief in the existence of ghosts is on the rise, and no wonder… in today’s world the subject of ghosts has flooded the TV screen. A few of the TV shows that have ghosts as a central theme are: “Ghost Whisperer”, “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Stories”, “Ghosts Lab”, “American Paranormal”, “A Haunting”, “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, “Being Human” the list goes on and on.  One list I found said there are 50 shows currently on TV centering on ghosts.  If you would like to see the list just click here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110628172308AA4hkzC

With the existence of ghosts a major subject in today’s entertainment world I thought it would be good to look at the truth about ghosts.  The Word of God is the final authority on all issues of life here on earth and in the spirit world.  Let’s take some time to examine the truth about ghosts.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Acts 7:58-60; Luke 23:39-43; 2 Cor 5:1-9; Phil 1:23-26; Psa 88:9-12; Eccl 9:10;

Heb 9:27-28; Luke 16:19-31; Luke 8:51-56;

THE STUDY:

To begin our study, it is very important to define what we mean by a “ghost”.  “ A ghost”, for this study, refers to the disembodied spirit of a dead person that dwells among the living on earth.  This is the definition we will be using for this study.

The Bible teaches us that once a person dies they immediately depart from this world: 

(Act 7:58-60) And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.   And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.   And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

(Luk 23:39-43) And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

(2Co 5:1-9)   For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.   For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

(Php 1:23-26)  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.  And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;  That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

This is why the Word makes it plain that once we are dead we can no longer praise the Lord or serve Him on earth…

(Psa 88:9-12) Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.  Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.  Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?  Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

 (Ecc 9:10) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Also, the writer of Hebrews understands that, once we die there is no longer any opportunity to receive forgiveness of our sins…. We are given this warning to motivate us to be sure we have received forgiveness in this lifetime…

(Heb 9:27-28) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The account of the rich man and Lazarus gives us a clear understanding of what takes place following the death of both God’s people and those who have never been forgiven of their sins…

(Luk 16:19-31) There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  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;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  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.  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.  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.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Notice in this account several interesting points:

  1.  Immediately upon death both saved and unsaved leave earth and enter the eternal state (saved into “Abraham’s bosom” – another name for God’s presence; unsaved into “hell” another name for eternal torment – or “prison” in 1Pet 3:19)
  2. They are recipients of the justice of God based upon their deeds on earth during their lifetime.  “he is comforted, and thou art tormented”
  3. Their eternal state cannot be changed.  There is a division between the two that cannot be spanned. “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.”
  4. When there is a suggestion of sending one from the dead back to earth, it is assumed there would be a resurrection from the dead.  There is no other option even discussed…  “though one rose from the dead”.  When Christ resurrected someone from the dead, their spirit re-entered their physical body, and then walked among men on earth…

(Luk 8:51-56) – And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.  And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.  And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.  And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.  And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.  And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

After studying all the above verses, it is quite obvious that the spirits of those who have died DO NOT return to the earth as disembodied spirits. 

If this is the case, does this mean that the only living beings on earth are human embodied beings?  Absolutely not!

In our next blog posting, we will examine what spirit beings exist among us and how they affect our lives…

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

Let’s be careful to not get “caught up” with the modern day “ghost fever” running rampant around us.  Let’s always keep in mind, the final authority on the spirit world is our Lord and His Word.  Keeping in mind that departed loved ones will not return to the earth as a spirit, helps us to understand the tremendous responsibility to be a witness to those around us before it is eternally too late. (Matt 9:36-38)

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

The Lord, the Creator of all things (including the spirits of men) has clearly told us in His Word that the dead do not return to earth and dwell among us as spirit beings.  Knowing this should motivate us to seek the Lord while we yet have our physical life.  Once, we are dead, we no longer have the opportunity to come to Christ, nor can we avoid eternal punishment by simply returning to the earth as spirits and dwelling among the living.  (Jer 8:20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

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

Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 4

SIH STSTA ICON“Oh what a feeling…”

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

  1. What is God’s will ?
  2. Not my will, but thine be done.
  3. Thus saith the Lord
  4. Oh what a feeling
  5. Open and shut doors
  6. Summary of the study

In part number 4 of our study lets study… “Oh what a feeling…”

THE SCRIPTURE:

Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Phil 1:9-11 (KJV)

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;Being filled with the fruits

of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Phil 2:12-13 (KJV)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

Eph 5:6-13 (KJV)

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.Be not ye therefore partakers with them.For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

1Thess 5:16-22 (KJV)

Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing.In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.Quench not the Spirit.Despise not prophesyings.Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.Abstain from all appearance of evil.

THE STUDY:

In our search for God’s will, many times we find ourselves relying on our ”feelings” to help us determine His desires for our lives.  For example, a lack of a guilty conscience can be interpreted as the Lord’s approval for a certain action.  Likewise, a feeling of excitement, or certainty, can be interpreted as the Lord’s urging us forward in our plan of action.  How about a depressed, or anxious, feeling?  That can be interpreted as the Lord putting the brakes on our current life path, showing us a need to seek another. A fleeting thought that enters our mind, can be interpreted as the Spirit revealing to us the path the Lord would have us to take.  Seeing the need in the life of other people, many times, is interpreted as the Lord’s call to a certain ministry.

I am not denying that the Holy Spirit, at times can use our thoughts, conscience, emotions and desires to aid us in the understanding of His will for our lives.  However, we should never rely exclusively on these inward “impressions” to decide the life path for us to take.  So how can we discern the Lord’s will in our life “impressions”?

1 Thess 5: 21 gives us a very straightforward answer to our question… “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

The Lord gives us some basic principles of guidance to “prove” (put to the test) our feelings thoughts and emotions in Phil 1:9-11:

 … that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment” –

Our life should be centered upon showing love… love for our Lord and love for others around us.

How do we show our love for the Lord?  One way, is to put His will for our lives ahead of our own.  Another way, is to become familiar with His Word (knowledge) and then apply it to our life decision making (judgment).

“That ye may approve things that are excellent” –

Another way to show our love for our Lord is to take the time and effort to put to the test all our life experiences ,and feelings, so we can know which ones He approves.  By using our knowledge of His Word and then exercising Godly judgment, we can discern which emotions, desires and feelings are coming from Him.

This point cannot be underemphasized…. One of the greatest uses of His Word is to use it to prove what is pleasing to Him.  This applies to any area of our life.  The teachings we receive, the world’s influences on our lives, and His will for our lives (including the events we experience and the feelings we have) are to be put to the test using His Word and a mind that is renewed through a growing knowledge of His Word .   See Acts 17:10-11 (the Scriptures), Eph 5:6-13 (the truth) , Roms 12:1-3 (a renewed mind).

“that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness”  –

What is the result of putting the teachings we receive, the influences of the world, and our life experiences and feelings to the test?

It is two-fold righteousness both an inward righteousness (“sincerity”) and an outward righteousness (“without offence”). These two types of righteousness combine to bring about a life that is fulfilling His will and bearing an abundance of spiritual fruit.

“which are by Jesus Christ” –

Living a life that is fulfilling His will is a work of Christ in our hearts.  Christ, through His Spirit enables us to serve Him in spite of our sinful, fallen nature.

“unto the glory and praise of God” –

Living lives that fulfill His will brings all the praise and glory to the Lord.  Why? Because we are living our life according to His will due to His will because He is at work within us.

Phil 2:12-13

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

We can prove what is His will for our lives, through an attitude of submission to His will and the renewal of our minds.  This renewal comes through a consistent increase in knowledge and application of His Word.

The more we are familiar with His Word, the better we can discern His will for our lives.  The greater our knowledge of His Word, the easier it is to discern if our thoughts, feelings and urgings are from the Lord or elsewhere.

Again, as in our prior study, we find that His Word takes preeminence in our life decisions.  If our feelings, thoughts, or emotions run parallel to His Word we can follow them without hesitancy knowing that we are living within the instructions of His Word.

If however, our impressions, in any way, depart from the principles laid out in His Word, we can rest assured that the impression is not from the Lord, but is being produced from a sinful origin (our flesh, the world, or powers of darkness).  In this case, we are to flee from the path these impressions would indicate we are to follow.

Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

Prayer Principle #4 –  We must pray for the Lord’s discernment of His leading in our lives.

For those who are not saved….

The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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

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

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

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

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

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Halloween Part #2 – The Death Symbols

SIH STSTA ICONWith the Halloween holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to study the history and characters surrounding the holiday.

As Christians, we have the responsibility to…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22)

So with this as our motive and the desire of our hearts, let’s look at part 2 of our series on Halloween:

  1. A Study of The Halloween Celebration (All Hallows Eve)
  2. A Study of The Death Symbols – Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein Vampires, and Bats
  3. A Study of The Sorcery Symbols – Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons
  4. A Study of The Necromancy Symbols – Séances and Ouija Boards
  5. A Summary of Our Study On Halloween

May the Lord be glorified in our study….

THE SCRIPTURE:

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (2Co 5:1-11)

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecc 12:7)

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (Php 1:20-24)

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luk 23:42-43)

THE STUDY:

The History of Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein, Vampires, and Bats:

Skeletons & Ghosts – Both were reminders of the death and the afterlife.  Keep in mind, the central theme of the Samhain eve festival was to honor and pacify the souls of the dead who walked upon the earth.  (Please refer to Halloween Part #1 – The Celebration)   The skeleton and the idea of ghosts were the ideal symbols for death.  The skeleton refers to a dead body; while a ghost refers to the spirit after its departure from the body at the time of death.

Jack O Lantern – Based on a legend about Jack, a lazy drunken farmer, who had trapped Satan with the use of a cross.  In exchange for his release Satan agrees to never take Jack’s soul.  At his death, Jack, who couldn’t enter heaven due to his sinfulness, nor could he enter hell due to his agreement with Satan, is trapped forever wandering the earth looking for a resting place.  He uses a hollowed out turnip with a burning coal in it to light his way.  This turnip that gave forth light was gradually changed to a pumpkin over time.

In some societies, the lighted pumpkin face was symbolic of the god of the darkness, Samhain, who would turn away other weaker evil spirits.  The people would place these pumpkins on display to ward off the evil spirits.

For more information about the history of Jack O Lanterns please refer to:  http://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-history

Frankenstein – The story of the Frankenstein monster was presented in a book by Mary Shelley, “The Modern Prometheus” or “Frankenstein”.  The tale of “Frankenstein,” revolves around Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s attempt to assemble a human body from parts derived from various dead bodies that were obtained from a graveyard.  Once assembled, Frankenstein then successfully brings the body to life. Over time, the monster demands to have a mate created by the Doctor.  After a failed attempt to create the mate, the monster rebels against the doctor. Dr. Frankenstein is forced to destroy his own creation.

The basic idea of this book was derived from a dream of Mrs. Shelley in 1815. In this dream, Mary saw her dead daughter suspended over a fire, warmed, and then brought back to life.

It is plain to see how easily the Frankenstein monster fits into the Halloween scheme.  Once again, we have the story of one who was once dead, possessing life and walking upon the earth.

http://www.thingsinthebasement.com/index.php/site/comments/the_history_of_the_frankenstein_monster/

http://www.phobos-deimos.com/History/Frankenstein/Frankenstein%20History.htm

Bats & Vampires – According to legend the Vampires, also know as “the living dead”, came out at night to feed upon the blood of their victims.  They soon became associated with bats due to the vampire bat of South America that came out at night, drank blood of animals to survive.

Most historians believe that both of these then became associated with Halloween due to their nighttime activity and their association with evil and death.

Vampires were ideal characters for Halloween due to their status as the living dead.

Bats, became associated with Halloween from their activity in ancient times. The druids would build fires to offer sacrifices and worship their false gods.  These fires would attract insects, who in turn would attract bats who feed off of them.  With the bats flying and congregating over the fires, they soon became associated with the spirits of the dead who were seeking a resting place.

http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bat.shtml

All four of these groups of Halloween symbols share a common thread… death and restless spirits wandering on the earth.

What does the Bible say about the spirits of dead men walking the earth?

In our texts, the Bible makes it plain, that once a spirit departs from it’s earthly house (human body), the spirit goes into it’s eternal state:

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”

“To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Note: this was spoken by Christ to the thief on the cross moments before His death.

This is one of the greatest of all Christian desires… that once we are done being used of God on earth, He will take us to our eternal home….

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:”

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope,”

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ;”

For those who are not saved, physical death and the accompanying entrance into the afterlife is a dreaded event.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;”

There is not a shred of Scripture that indicates that once a spirit leaves a body the spirit continues on in the earth, not entering it’s eternal state.  This teaching is made to order for Satan to mislead the lost into thinking that there is a way to escape eternal punishment for sins.   And yet, the Bible is clear…. All lost mankind will be punished eternally for the sins they have committed.

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Col 3:24-25)

“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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”(Rev 20:12-15)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

Can we honestly say that we “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22) when we participate in the Halloween festival?  Please prayerfully, consider this question.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Remember, the Bible is plain…. After death we all must face a final judgment, answering for what we have done in our lives.  There is no escaping this.  If you realize you have committed sin and desire for to live your life for Him, then turn to Him realizing you can do nothing to save yourself.

The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (Joh 14:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)

 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:1-2)

Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.

If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.

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

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

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

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

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

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