Settled In Heaven Blog

Category Archives: Romans

Daily Devotional Series – Be Thou An Example: Prove What is Good, Acceptable, Perfect

Daily Devotional Series – Be Thou An Example: The Renewing Of Our Minds

Don’t Be Shaped By The World…. Be Totally Changed By Christ!

SIH HALTAL ICONRom 12:1-2 – 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. (2) 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 the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4CE

Daily Devotional Series – Be Thou An Example: Be Not Conformed But Be Ye Transformed

Daily Devotional Series – Be Thou An Example: Our Reasonable Service

Daily Devotional Series – Be Thou An Example: An Acceptable Sacrifice

Setting The proper Example For Christ… Living Holy Lives For Him!

SIH HALTAL ICONRom 12:1-2 – 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 the SIH devotional video on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4Cq

A Living Holy Sacrifice

A Sacrifice To God by His Mercy

Daily Devotional Series- Be Thou An Example: Introduction

 

Introduction to the 27 Part Devotional Series
Texts: Titus 2:7-8; 1 Timothy 4:12-13; 1 Peter 2:1-25; Romans 12:1-2
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Thanksgiving 2015 : “Saying Thanks Just Isn’t Enough”

(Thanksgiving Devotional 2015) 

SIH STSTA ICONIt is commonly believed that the first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621.  This feast was attended by both Pilgrims and Indians who joined together to thank God for their bountiful harvest of the previous year.  This celebration was continued by the first American colonies, and later by the United States, as a time of thanksgiving for the blessings that God had bestowed upon the American people.

The official Thanksgiving Day holiday was started in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln, at the end of the Civil War, asked Americans to set aside the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving to God for the blessings He had shown to America (one of which was an end to the Civil War).

In 1939 FDR moved the holiday to the prior week.  He did this to help businesses by giving them a longer holiday shopping period.  Finally, in 1941 the fourth Thursday in November was declared by Congress to be the official holiday of Thanksgiving.

Please see:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-thanksgiving-day

 

Clearly, the Thanksgiving holiday began, and was continued, as a time to publically give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon our country and its individual citizens.

Even our government understood that simply talking about being thankful for what the Lord has done for us was not enough.  The Thanksgiving celebration is the way that our government has decided to allow its citizens to actively thank the Lord for His many blessings.  They did this by taking legislative action and declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday that gives time for all our citizens to stop, reflect upon the Lord’s blessings in their nation, families and personal life and then celebrating these wonderful blessings.

Sadly, some Christians believe that the verbal giving of thanks to the Lord is an adequate way to show their thanks to Him; but what does the Bible say?….

 

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

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.”

 

 

THE STUDY:

In the Word of God, the Apostle Paul has a lot to say about the outward manifestation of a Christian’s thankfulness for all that their Lord has done for them.  One of these texts is found in Romans 11:36 – 12:1.  This will be our text for this devotional time…

 

First, Paul explains the basis of our need to proper appreciate all the Lord has done for His people… 

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

 

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things:

of Him – all things, people and events in life come from Him.

through Him  – all things, people and events in life are sustained by Him.

to Him – all things, people, and events in life are used by Him for His glory and our benefit.

 

He is the Creator of all, He is the Sustainer of all, He is the One that controls all…

Colossians 1:14-17 KJV – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” 

All of our friends, loved ones and acquaintances; all of the precious events that take place in our life; and all of the blessings that we have received, including our physical life, talents, abilities and, most importantly, our spiritual life…. They all find their origin in Christ. 

Put very simply… the Lord is our All in All.  Without the Lord we could do absolutely nothing,  we would have no family or friends; no talents; no abilities; no physical life; and most importantly, no salvation.

 

“to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

Because of this, He is to be glorified and honored throughout our lifetimes…

 

Secondly, Paul explains our need to live lives that clearly displays our thankfulness by our actions…

“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.”

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

“beseech” – to urgently encourage

Paul now speaks to us with urgent words of encouragement for us to actively show our appreciation to Christ in our lives.  Not only is our words of thanks important, but also our lives should display our thankfulness as well.

 

by the mercies of God,

Living lives that display our thankfulness to Christ can only be done through the merciful intervention and enabling of Christ.

1 Peter 2:10-12 KJV – “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

 

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

How can we show our thanks to Christ for all He has done for us?  By giving of ourselves for the cause of Christ.  We can do this by taking advantage of every opportunity that is opened to us to turn over our bodies (by bearing Spiritual fruits through our talents, intellect, speech, and actions) to Christ for His use.

Whenever we do this, motivated by a heart-felt appreciation of all He has done for us, we are displaying our thankfulness to Christ to the lost and saved who are around us.

 

holy,

When we live our lives as a living sacrifice for Christ, we are surrendering the lusts of our flesh to the will of Jesus Christ.

In doing so, we will find ourselves living lives that are separated FROM sin and the sins of this world and, at the same time, our lives will be lived TO fulfill Christ’s will.  This is what it means to live a holy life for Christ.

 

acceptable unto God,

Being a living sacrifice is making a sacrifice that is pleasing to our God. After all this is one of God’s great purposes in saving us from our sins…

Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

 

 

which is your reasonable service.”

When we recognize, consider, and appreciate all that our Lord has done for us… in humbling Himself as a man; coming to a sinful earth; being mocked, ridiculed, and scorned;  being falsely accused and tried;  and finally, dying on the cross for us…. it is only reasonable that we would give our entire lives to Him.

Philippians 2:5-10 KJV – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

During this Thanksgiving holiday celebration, the desire of our heart should be to come to… a greater recognition of the Lord’s many blessings in our lives; a greater appreciation of His love and grace that He has shown to us; a greater desire to submit to His desires; and finally, put our thankfulness in action by serving Him in greater ways.

When we consider all that He has done for us, may the Lord put a new song of praise in each of our mouths and actions, as we share the wonders of His grace with others and be the source of truth to those who so desperately need Christ…

Psalms 40:1-3 KJV – “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”

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“The Deliverance Of Creation 2”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

One of the many wonderful truths involving the Christian’s eternity with Christ concerns the deliverance of God’s physical creation from the pain and decay of sin.   What a blessing it is to know that, not only will our bodies be completely delivered from the effects of sin, but so too, the physical creation of God… 

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”  (Romans 8:21-23) 

Let’s take a few moments to look at what the Bible teaches concerning the future deliverance of creation from the effects and presence of sin. 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 

[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.   Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”  (2 Peter 3:10-15)

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”   (Romans 8:18-23)

 

 

 

THE STUDY: 

The main texts of our study will be Romans 8:18-23 (where we find the basic principle of creation’s deliverance from sin affirmed) and 2 Peter 3:10-15 (where we find the creation’s deliverance described in detail)…

Now let’s take a look at the PROCESS behind the renovation of this heaven and earth from 2 Peter 3:10-15.   Peter now presents to us teaching on the same event as was spoken of by the Apostle Paul, the deliverance of this heaven and earth from sin, its effects and its presence…

 

10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Once again, we see that the timeframe for the deliverance of creation is shared with that of the glorification of our bodies.  Both take place when Christ comes as a “thief” (at His second coming – 1 Thess 5:1-10, Matt 24:36-41).

 

The removal of sin’s effects and presence from this creation is described with several different terms:

  1. “pass away” – to cease to be. In other words, their sinful condition will no longer exist.  They will “cease to be” what they once were because they will be changed.  Just as the Christian’s fleshly, sinful body will no longer exist when it enters into its glorified condition.
  2. “melt” – dissolved, loosened, stripped away. Creation will be “stripped” much like damaged, worn, finish is stripped from old furniture during the renovation process.
  3. “burned up” – to be burned to the ground. Much like a forest fire burns all to the ground producing fertile soil for the regrowth to begin.

Please note that NONE of these terms dictates a new creative act must take place.  Each term can easily describe a renovation process   Keep in mind, the heavens and earth will not be totally destroyed with new ones created in their place.  Contrary to this false teaching, the Bible is plain that the appearance of the new heavens and earth is the result of the RENOVATION of the old not their total destruction.  They will be “changed” much like restoring used garments…

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”  (Hebrews 1:10-12)  

 

11) [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Because we know that the Lord will prepare for us an eternal dwelling place wholly separated from sin, should we not seek to rid ourselves of sin while yet on this earth?

Here, in these verses, we find two terms for this act of renovation…

  1. “dissolved” – this is the same term as “melt” in above verse.
  2. “melt” – this is a term that means “to liquefy”. Perhaps this is the most important term of them all.

We are told that through the use of fire and extreme heat the Lord will “melt” the components that make up His creation.  This melting will be used by the Lord to reform (reshape) the heavens and earth, while using its original components…

  1. This reminds us that the earth was covered with water as a part of the original creation process (Genesis 1:1-2)
  2. Also this reminds us of the world-wide flood that was God’s judgment of sin that resulted in a similar, yet incomplete cleansing of the earth… 

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”  (2 Peter 3:5-7) 

 

13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Although we are told that the heavens and earth will “pass away”, “melt”, “be burned up”, and “dissolved” we know that, based upon His promises to us, He will reform these into a “new” heavens and earth.   These will then be the containers of “righteousness” with the Lord and His people forever inhabiting them.

 

It is very important to notice the description “new”.  The Greek language has two terms that are translated “new” in the New Testament:

  1. “neos” which means “new” in relation to age and time.

This word means “young” or coming later in time.  This word carries the idea of a child compared to an adult, or a new place of employment that follows the previous place of employment.

 

  1. “kainos” which means “new” in relation to quality or condition.

It means “fresh”, “youthful” or “renewed”.  In speaks of the idea of a “fresh” coat of paint or the “restoration” of an antique car.

The word “new” in this passage is “kainos” (and every NT passage where we find new heavens and earth mentioned) clearly revealing the heavens and earth are “new” in the sense they are reinvigorated, or refreshed as the result of their renovation.   It CANNOT mean they are new in the sense they are young and come after the old heavens and earth.   Again, this helps us to see that the New Heavens and New Earth are the same Heavens and Earth which we are experiencing now, simply reformed and renovated to remove all traces of sin.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

 

Now Peter gets to the practical application of all these things…

14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  15) And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

 

For those who have trusted in Christ.

14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

As believers, we all look forward to the appearance of the New Heavens and New Earth and our entrance into it.   Because of this wonderful future awaiting us, let us be certain of our standing before Him.  Let us not “miss out” on this wonderful eternity, simply because we are lax in our self-appraisal of our spiritual condition.

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  (2 Peter 1:10-11) 

 

For those who have never trusted in Christ. 

15) And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

For those who have never trusted in Christ, please remember, the delay of His second coming (which includes the end of mankind’s opportunity for salvation and the appearance of this New Heavens and New Earth), is because He is a long-suffering Lord who is giving ample time for the lost to come to a saving knowledge of Him.  Please turn from your sins and come to Christ before it is too late…

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?   Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?   But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

 (Romans 2:3-6)

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

“The Deliverance Of Creation 1”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

One of the many wonderful truths involving the Christian’s eternity with Christ concerns the deliverance of God’s physical creation from the pain and decay of sin.   What a blessing it is to know that, not only will our bodies be completely delivered from the effects of sin, but so too, the physical creation of God…

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”  (Romans 8:21-23)

Let’s take a few moments to look at what the Bible teaches concerning the future deliverance of creation from the effects and presence of sin.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 

[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.   Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”  (2 Peter 3:10-15)

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”   (Romans 8:18-23)

 

 

THE STUDY:

The main texts of our study will be Romans 8:18-23 (where we find the basic principle of creation’s deliverance from sin affirmed) and 2 Peter 3:10-15 (where we find the creation’s deliverance described in detail)…

Let’s begin with Romans 8:18-23 and look at the PRINCIPLE of the renovation of this heaven and earth…

 

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

Paul reminds us that no matter what opposition may be faced for the cause of Christ, they cannot be compared to the eternal glory that is awaiting the people of God.  This eternal glory includes living in the very presence of Christ; the receipt of a glorified body; no longer facing pain, sorrow nor death; and removal from the very presence of sin and it’s effects; to name a few…

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”  (Revelation 21:1-5)

 

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.   But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 

There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed.  

And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. 

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”   (Isaiah 65:17-25)

{Note: Although these verses are commonly thought of as referring to the 1000 year reign, based upon their context (vs 17), they are clearly referring to our future existence on the New Heavens and New Earth}

 

22) For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.   (Isaiah 66:22)

 

 

19) For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 

20) For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, 

21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

All of God’s creation is now waiting anxiously for the glorification of the believer’s body which will usher in “glorious liberty” (deliverance from the influence, effects and presence of sin) of the children of God.

Why is all creation looking forward to the glorification of the believer’s body?  Creation’s deliverance from sin will take place in a similar fashion, during the same timeframe, as that of the believer’s glorification:

  1. Both involve a renovation or a remaking – The believer’s glorification involves the believer’s body being changed (glorified and ushered into God’s presence) at His second coming. (1 Cor 15:51-58). The deliverance of God’s physical creation will involve its renovation and entrance into God’s presence (Heb 1:10-12, Rev 21:1-5)…
  2. Both involve the same timeframe (Christ’s second coming)- The believer’s glorification will take place as Christ returns in the clouds which will be followed immediately by His wrath falling upon lost mankind culminating in the renovation of the heavens and earth (Mark 13:24-27)…

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:5-7)

 

 

22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23) And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.

The creation of God is now going through painful times due to sin’s effects.  She is groaning due to the pain of the effects of sin.  She “travaileth in pain” (ie suffering birth pains) as she is awaiting the “birth” of her coming reforming by God.

Paul compares this to each one of God’s people who, enduring the results of sin, are groaning in pain and eagerly awaiting the receipt of their glorified bodies and the removal of sin’s influence, effects and presence.

All of these blessings are the result of the Lord’s redemptive work on the cross where He has undone the sin and death that has entered the world through Adam (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

 

In part two of our two-part series, we will look at the PROCESS behind the renovation of this heaven and earth from 2 Peter 3:10-15.

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you study His Word.

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

The Precious Human Life #5: The Minister And Witness Of These Things

SIH TOTT ICON

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

 

This is part of a series that is looking at the preciousness of life and the need for a more serious examination of the Scriptural validity of taking a human life under any circumstance.  Folks, our world has devalued the taking of human life to the point the loss of human life is “no big deal” and “JUST a part of the world in which we live.”

By God’s grace, as we continue through this series, my prayer is that the Lord would open all of our spiritual eyes and come to a more complete realization of the great value of human life.  Also, we need to carefully consider the results of our actions, and the circumstances surrounding the taking of human life, making sure that in each situation, the taking of life is Biblically justifiable and absolutely necessary.

Our devotional series will contain six daily devotions, all of which will emphasize the wondrous nature of the human creation and the loss inflicted upon mankind when a human life is taken from their midst…

  1. Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exo 20:13)
  2. The Glory and Honor Of Man (Psa 8:4-6)
  3. God’s Image & Likeness (Gen 1:26-27)
  4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Psa 139:14-16)
  5. The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Acts 26:16-17)
  6. Prepare To Meet Thy God (Amos 4:12)

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Isaiah 6:8-12, Psalms 66:16, Acts 26:16-17, Romans 10:13-17)

Acts 26:16-17 KJV

“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;   Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,”

 

Psalms 66:16 KJV

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

 

Isaiah 6:8-12 KJV

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.   And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.   Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.   Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,   And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

 

Romans 10:13-17 KJV

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.   How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!   But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

Man, A Minister and Witness of The Lord and His Works For Us

In Acts 26:16-17 and Isaiah 6:8-12, we find the call to ministry of Paul and Isaiah respectively.  In both instances we see the ministry of these men involved telling others about the Lord and His work that was done on behalf of His people…

 

To Paul:  “to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;”

 

To Isaiah:  “Go, and tell this people,…”

 

This calling of men to the ministry of the Lord is shared by all men who have come to faith in Christ.  Although not all men are called to full-time ministry, all men who are saved are called to share the gospel message with those around them.   David, although not called to full time ministry as a minister of the Lord, understood and accepted this great responsibility…  “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.”

Folks, this responsibility given to saved mankind is of great importance.  Without the proclamation of the gospel message, the lost of this world are without hope with salvation unavailable to them…  “…and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? …  How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! …   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

Folks, every human life that is taken from this earth is one who has, or is potentially one who has been given the responsibility to take the gospel into this world.  Whether they be saved, or potentially a future recipient of salvation, by taking away physical life, we are silencing one who may be used of God to accomplish great things in His service.

It is important to note that NONE of us can know whom the Lord will call to salvation.  Even the most wicked and vile of mankind can be called to salvation through the call of God.  Therefore, even when the life of a lost man is taken, from a strictly human standpoint, we can never know if he would have been saved and what he might have accomplished for Him.  The Apostle Paul is the perfect example of this type of individual (Acts 26:1-23).

Please note: I am a firm believer in the sovereignty of God in salvation… He will save those who are chosen and none will be lost (John 6:39).   However in matters of this nature, concerning man’s responsibility, we must look at things from man’s vantage point without regard for God’s unknown workings of providence.  More about this principle in our next devotional.

 

In our next devotional, we will be being looking at the preciousness of human life by examining man’s need to “prepare to meet thy God” during our lifetimes on earth.

 

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“The Kingdom Of Christ, Of God, Of Heaven” – Displays Of His Ruling Authority Throughout Time

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matt 12:28 etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King. WhenBasileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

Based upon the above Scriptures we can see that these three titles are describing the same event and will be used as such in this study.

Although we cannot visibly see His authority, we certainly can see His authority at work in the world around us.  By His grace, He has displayed for us His authority, throughout the Scriptures, in many different ways.

Let’s take a look and see the God’s authority to rule displayed for all to see throughout the Bible…  

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

The Kingdom of Christ:

Eph 5:5,

 

The Kingdom of God:

Matt 6:33, 12:28, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43;

Mark 1:14, 1:15, 4:11, 4:26, 4:30, 9:1, 9:47, 10:14, 10:15, 10:23, 10:24, 10:25, 12:34, 14:25, 15:43;

Luke 4:43, 6:20, 7:28, 8:1, 8:10, 9:2, 9:11, 9:27, 9:60, 9:62, 10:9, 10:11, 10:20, 12:31, 13:18, 13:20, 13:28, 13:29, 14:15, 16:16, 17:20, 17:21, 18:16, 18:17, 18:24, 18:25, 18:29, 19:11, 21:31, 22:16, 22:18, 23:51;

John 3:3, 3:5;

Acts 1:3, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31;

Roms 14:17;

1 Cor 4:20, 6:9, 6:10, 15:50;

Gal 5:21;

Col 4:11;

2 Thess 1:5.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven:

Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 5:10, 5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 11:12, 13:11, 13:24, 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 18:23, 19:12, 19:14, 19:23, 20:1, 22:2, 23:13, 25:1, 25:14

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, “The Kingdom of Christ”, “the Kingdom Of God”, and “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

Please note:

The Kingdom of Christ is only used in Ephesians 5:5 and is clearly speaking of the perfect reign of Christ that will take place throughout eternity.  In this text, it is equated with the Kingdom of God because both Christ and the Father will be reigning throughout eternity. (Rev 22:3-5; see also Rev 21:7-8, Rev 21:24-27)

Also “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are equated as well.  Please note the following references which show that, in many cases, these titles are used synonymously…

Matt 4:17 – Mark 1:15;

Matt 5:3,10- Luke 6:20-22; Matt 8:11-Luke 13:28;

Matt 10:7-Luke 9:60;

Matt 11:11-Luke 7:28;

Matt 11:12-Luke 16:16;

Matt 13:11-Mark 4:11;

Matt 13:31-Mark 4:30-31; Matt 13:33 – Luke 13:20-21; Matt 19:14-Mark 10:14;

Matt 19:23-Mark 10:23;

Matt 25:14-Luke 19:11-13.

 

THE STUDY: 

It is important for us to understand that the Lord displays His authority to rule in different ways that will vary throughout time.

In the Old Testament, some of the major ways He displayed His authority to rule was in:

  1. His sovereign rulership over creation (including mankind)…

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”   (Daniel 4:34-35)

 

  1. His rulership over the fledgling nation of physical Israel during the times of the judges…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”  (1 Samuel 8:4-9)

 

  1. His rulership over the unified and divided nation of physical Israel during the times of the Kings…

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”  (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the Old Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Psalms 40:8)

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.”   (Haggai 1:12)

 

 

In New Testament times, He displayed His authority to rule in very similar ways….

  1. His sovereign rulership over His creation (including mankind)…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:24-28)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the lives of the New Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”   (Hebrews 10:14-18)

 

  1. His rule over His local assemblies…

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.”   (Colossians 1:13-20)

 

Into eternity future, the Lord’s ruling authority will be shown. The following is an incomplete list of His sovereignty on display during the end-time events…

  1. His taking of His saints…

For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)

 

  1. His punishment of the powers of darkness of this world…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”  (Revelation 19:17-21)

 

  1. His millennial reign (the first part of His eternal reign)…

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  (Revelation 20:4) 

 

  1. The final judgment…

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.”  (Revelation 20:12-15)

 

 

  1. His rulership throughout eternity…

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:2-5)

 

As you can see, throughout history from eternity past and proceeding into eternity present, we find the Lord consistently revealing to mankind…

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Exodus 15:18)

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to know that our Lord truly reigns over all things.  Without His wondrous displays of sovereignty, we would live in doubt about His control over all, but because of His many displays of rulership we can say as the Psalmist…

“But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”   (Psalms 115:3)

Because of this, there is no reason for worry or fright… no matter what may take place in this life, OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!  And we have a consistent source of proofs that this is so!

“The Choice Has Been Made” (What the Supreme Court Decision on Homosexual Marriage Proves to Us All)

SIH STSTA ICONNote: For an in depth study of the Biblical teaching on same-sex marriage, please see my posting: http://wp.me/pU88A-nE

____________________________________________________

 

 

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States in a 5 to 4 ruling that, in effect, rules that states can no longer prohibit same sex marriages.   Over the past 50 years, we have seen our country ban school-sponsored Bible reading in schools; it has prohibited state-sponsored prayer in school; it has legalized the taking of unborn life; and now, it has mandated the allowance of gay marriage in all 50 states.

In this sequence of events, we can see our country’s gradual rejection of honoring, respecting and obeying our Lord Jehovah, replacing these with an exaltation and submission to the gods of this world (including man himself).

No longer are God’s desires what is important… they have been replaced with the desires and sinful lusts of man.

No longer is our Creator Jehovah looked upon as our Lord and King… now, mankind sees themselves as the one to whom we owe our allegiance.

No longer is what the Lord says that is important, now all that is important is that we all are politically correct, never condemning any action of others, but being accepting and aiding in the commission of sin.

Obviously, in the eyes of our society, it is more important that man be allowed to have his way than to be restricted by a Lord who only desires what is for our good and His glory.   Paul addressed this very issue in Romans 1:21-32.  In this text Paul addressed the gradual decline of the Gentile world as they rejected the witness of God they had received and turn instead to the ruler ship of another…

Romans 1:21-32

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

 

Sounds like our country, does it not?

Folks, our Lord has graced us with the truth of His Word and we have willfully turned from these principles.  We have chosen to follow the desires of the creature instead of the desires of our God.   According to the above passage of Scripture, we have now entered the last stages of this rebellion against the Lord.  What we saw take place with the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is the official, public declaration of our nation’s condition, just as rebellious gentiles of Paul’s day, who turned from God and then steadily lost the truths of His Word that they once possessed.  We have now, officially, publically, arrived at this place.

God has turned us over to our own lusts, taking His Word out from among us, which is now clearly seen by the immorality that is taking place around us.

At the founding of our nation we were given a choice by Jehovah, much like the choice given to the Israelites by Moses… the choice was to choose between good and evil which would be, in essence, a choice between the life and death of the nation.   If the Israelites chose the path of obedience to God, following the good, they would be insuring the future life and health of their nation, as it would be surrounded by the blessings of God.

If, however, they chose the path of evil, it would be laying a foundation of wickedness that would result in their eventual death as a nation….

 

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 KJV

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;  I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

 

Folks, we have made this choice, the path of evil has been now interwoven in our society.  Our Lord has been rejected by our government, our future now is headed on the path of continued departure from the Lord, wickedness on every hand, and eventual ruin.  I truly believe that now, it is simply a matter of time.

Is there no hope?  With each passing day our hope grows more dim.  Of course, the Lord could always graciously, mercifully intervene and work a true miracle of repentance and restoration in our nation.  At this point in time is there any indication He will do this?  Absolutely not.  He can, but based upon the last 50 years, I am hard pressed to say that He will work such a miracle; especially, for a people who have willfully turned away from Him, and continue to do so in our government, churches, and families with no sign of repentance in sight.

Why am I writing this posting?  To accomplish three basic ends.  I desire to remind us, as the people of God:

  1. We should not be surprised if we see things decline at a faster rate. It seems as if the more truth we turn from, the more quickly truth is taken from us.  We have seen in over the past 50 years and I have no reason to believe this will decelerate in anyway.  I believe it is very possible that a greater persecution of God’s people (those who attempt to continue to stand in the truths of God) is on its way.
  1. We should recognize that we are living in the last days and that the Lord’s coming is close at hand, closer than it has ever been before. There is a great need for us to seek to meet the spiritual needs of those around us because our time of service may be drawing to a close.
  1. We should seek the riches of the Lord that is found in His Word and His promises, prayer, and service to Him . We should be constantly guarding our hearts to make sure that our affections are not turned from our Lord and His Word.  May we never allow this attitude we see in our nation rub off on us.

Folks, it is just as Paul says, “we are dead and our life is hid with Christ”.   If our nation continues on this path of decline, let’s not be discouraged our Lord is still on the throne, we are hid in Him, and soon, we will be home with Him!!!

Colossians 3:1-4 KJV

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

 

 

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Email: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

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

 

Call Unto Me

SIH STSTA ICONJeremiah, who spoke out of a heart of obedience to the Lord and love for the nation of Judah, prophesied of their coming defeat at the hands of Babylon. The King of Judah, Zedekiah, seeing that the prophecy was coming to pass, imprisoned Jeremiah, blaming him for Judah’s coming defeat. (Jeremiah 32:1-5).

Our lesson (Jeremiah 33:1-3) now picks up with Jeremiah sitting in prison being given words of comfort from the Lord…

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

1) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
2) Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD [is] his name;
3) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
(Jeremiah 33:1-3)

 

THE STUDY:

The Lord’s introductory message to the imprisoned prophet Jeremiah….

 

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

The Lord is speaking to Jeremiah for a second time while he was imprisoned by Zedekiah.

He had originally received a message from the Lord telling him of Judah’s defeat (Jeremiah 32:3-5). It was this original message for which he was imprisoned by the King of Judah, Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:1-2).

Following his imprisonment, the first message he received is found in 32:26-44. In this message, the Lord reaffirmed his initial prophecy of the coming defeat of Judah by Babylon (32:26-35), and also gives Jeremiah a promise of a future deliverance of Judah from the 70-year Babylon captivity (32:36-44).

Can you imagine what Jeremiah must have been thinking? I believe, because he was a fallen sinful human, like all of us, he was probably plagued with doubt concerning this miracle deliverance would take place.

It was an easy thing to believe that Judah would fall to the invading Babylonian empire. After all, at that point in history, Babylon had the greatest army on the face of the planet earth. The Babylonian empire had already taken over many of the most powerful nations of the day and was now surrounding Judah ready for “the kill”.

However, the second part of this God-given promise was very different indeed. How difficult it must have been for Jeremiah to believe that Judah would ever be freed from their captivity. How could a small, impoverished and soon-to-be-imprisoned Judah ever be able to overcome the great and mighty forces of the Babylonian word empire? It would take an absolute miracle from the Lord.

Thus, the Lord now gives Jeremiah the second “prison prophecy” to reaffirm to Jeremiah the certainty of the release of Judah from Babyon…

 

Thus saith the LORD

The Lord now speaks to Jeremiah…

 

the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it;

Jeremiah is now reminded that ….
1. The Lord was the One that created both the nation of Judah and the Babylonian Empire
2. The Lord that shaped both nations to conform to the desires of His will
3. The Lord that has intervened to sustain both Judah and Babylon

In other words, He was reminding Jeremiah that both Judah and Babylon only existed because of His intervention. Without Him, neither would exist nor possess their might and authority. He was clearly explaining to Jeremiah that He was the One who has humbled Judah and He could exalt them once again. Likewise He was the One that had allowed Babylon to become the world empire of the day and He would be the One that would bring them down to defeat.

 

the LORD [is] his name;

The Lord now emphasizes that it is JEHOVAH that can make a legitimate claim to all of this. No false gods could claim such awesome power and authority over the kingdoms of the world. Only the One True God…. Jehovah could make such an assertion.

 

Call unto me,

The Lord now invites Jeremiah and the nation of Judah to “call unto me”. The word translated “call” is a Hebrew word that carries two separated, yet related ideas:

1. it is speaking of issuing “a public invitation” or “to cry out to me”

2. it is used to describe addressing someone personally.

In other words, to “call” is telling Jeremiah to “cry out to me by name” seeking forgiveness and deliverance from their captivity. The Lord is emphasizing Jeremiah’s and Judah’s privilege of communion with Him as well as the need to seek out His aid personally. It was not enough for them to seek the aid of another god…. No, his request had to be made to Jehovah only.   Because it was Jehovah, alone, that was the Creator, Shaper and Sustainer of the nations.

 

and I will answer thee,

The Lord promises to Jeremiah and Judah that He will answer them. The word for answer is very interesting indeed. It implies that the Lord will pay attention, consider and respond to his cry. They would not be ignored nor would they be forgotten. Their prayer would be heard and the Lord would act.

 

and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Not only does Jehovah promise to hear, consider and respond to Jeremiah’s and Judah’s request, but He promises His response would be “eye opening” for them. If Jeremiah and the people of Judah would approach the Lord with requests for deliverance from captivity and forgiveness of sin, the Lord would answer them by performing that which seemed impossible.

What are some of those miraculous, eye-opening things that they would see?
1. The specific events surrounding the deliverance of Judah from Babylon.
2. His forgiveness for their hard hearts and repeated acts of rebellion against Him.
3. The national and personal blessings that would be bestowed upon them following their forgiveness and deliverance.

Following this wonderful promise of answered prayer, the Lord then reiterates to Jeremiah that Judah would miraculously be delivered from Babylonian captivity, restored to the land of Israel and forgiven of their sins. (Jeremiah 33:4-8)

Why would the Lord do all of these miraculous works for Judah? So that He might receive all the honor and praise…

And it (Judah) shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.(Jeremiah 33:9)

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks these same principles that we see being applied to the physical nation of Israel, applies to each one of God’s people as members of His spiritual nation (the Israel of God).

Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation that is directly linked to disobedience to your Heavenly Father? As you read these words and the many other Bible texts that reveal the Lord’s love and readiness to forgive do you shrink back in unbelief?

Folks, the Lord has made it plain to us that nothing can separate us from His love, He is always waiting to forgive us, restore communion with us and bless us abundantly no matter what situation we may be facing.

What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.
Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:31-39)

These verses help us to understand that when a saint falls into unrepentant sin, this does not mean that he has lost his salvation, it is a matter of his close relationship with His Lord being hindered. Think of it this way…

When a child disobeys His parents it does not mean that he will be “kicked out” of the family?

No, it results in hindered communion with his parents… he knows he has disobeyed and his conscience plagues him concerning his disobedience. His parents are displeased with his disobedience and his will full rebellion against them and they will discipline him for his disobedience….but they DO NOT REMOVE HIM FROM THE FAMILY. They still love him, work for his good and long for forgiveness and restored communion with him.

 

This is how it is with our heavenly family as well. There can be hindered communion with the Father and the Son but, although we will be disciplined, we will never be cast from His presence…

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:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
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?
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.
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.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
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 12:5-13)

It is only through confession of our sins and a turning from those sins that we will find unhindered communion and a restoration of peace in our hearts.

Turn to the Lord and allow Him to bless with forgiveness and a restoration of fellowship with Him. Allow Him to open your eyes to His miraculous love, faithfulness and mercy. He will once again restore peace to our hearts and a confident recognition of His presence in our life as you face the many storms of life.

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

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

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #2)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our previous studies, we have been looking at the “Accrediting” or “Sign” Gifts that were given to establish the New Testament Scriptures, the ministry of Christ and the Apostles, and the ministry of the local church as the newly created house of worship. We saw that these type of gifts are no longer needed, nor are they given to men, as we now have the historical record of the accrediting gifts found in the New Testament.

With this lesson, we will begin looking in detail at the “Spiritual Gifts For Today”…

 

 

 

Lesson:


A Description Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

Gifted Men:

 

Evangelist – Ephesians 4:11 – “One who proclaims the gospel”

In other words, those whose main thrust is to minister to the lost giving them the gospel message. In today’s time this gifted man is best described as “a Missionary”.

 

Pastor/Teacher – Ephesians 4:11 – “a Shepherd / an Instructor”

He is described as a “Shepherd (or Pastor)” because his three responsibilities are to lead, feed and protect the local assembly over which he has been given oversight. He is described as a “Teacher” because one of the main thrusts of their ministry is to teach all aspects of God’s Word (doctrinal, practical, evangelistic) to the members of the local assembly.

 

Spiritual Gifts:

 

Prophecy – Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:11 – “to show forth the mind of God”.

This gift emphasizes the PROCLAMATION of the Truth.

How do we know God’s mind today? It is through the revelation of His Word. The gift of prophecy is the ability to proclaim God’s Word. This is clearly shown in the description “to speak as the oracles of God” in 1 Peter 4:11. This description is translated from a phrase meaning “to speak the logos (Word) of God”.

It is to be done “according to the proportion of faith” ie “according to the level of persuasion and conviction that he possesses.” In other words, a prophet is only to teach that which he is convinced is the truth. He is not to teach something because others teach it, but he is to study and be led by God to the truth of the Word and only then, proclaim it. (Romans 8:38-39)

 

Ministry or Helps – Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Peter 4:11 – “service, laboring to meet needs of others”.

This gift emphasizes HUMILITY based on the Truth.

This gift involves recognizing the needs of those around us and the ability to identify how to fulfill those needs. This gift also is closely associated to the exercise of several spiritual fruits including love, gentleness, and patience.

 

Teaching – Romans 12:7 – “to explain, to inform, to instruct”.

This gift emphasizes the EXPLANATION of the Truth.

The clear explanation of the principles of God’s Word is in view with this Spiritual gift. This gift enables a man to understand Biblical truths and then to clarify, illuminate and expound on them. Many times this gift is given in conjunction with the gift of Prophecy. While the gift of Prophecy’s greatest goal centers on the application of the truth to the life of their listeners, the gift of Teaching majors on their students coming to a clear understanding of the truths of the Word with the application of these truths a secondary goal.

Both of these ministries are of equal importance and rely upon each other. Truth cannot be applied to the life (goal of the prophet) until it is properly understood. Likewise understanding truth (goal of the teacher) without application to the life is of very little profit to the hearer.

 

Exhortation – Romans 12:8 – “to call near, to comfort, to stand with”

This gift emphasizes the ENCOURAGING to keep the Truth.

This gift involves encouraging others to keep the truth. This is done through strengthening and reassuring words, as well as actively supporting the actions of others in service to Christ. It involves standing with them in the midst of heartaches, testings, and temptations. Many times this gift is used along with the gift of ministry.

 

Giving – Romans 12:8 – “to give over, to share with others”.

This gift emphasizes GIVING to display the Truth.

This gift involves sacrificing of ourselves in order to illustrate what our Lord has done for us as recorded in His Word. This can involve the sharing of our finances, time, talents, possessions, or knowledge with others with no intention of restitution. It is handing over what we possess in an effort to display, on a very very small scale, the tremendous sacrifice that Christ has made on our behalf.

Note our text tells us this gift is to be exercised with “simplicity”. This relates to us the sincerity of motives and willingness to give of ourselves. Our giving should not be forced or manipulated but must be an act of our freewill, as we sincerely desire to share our blessings with others.

 

Ruling or Governments – Romans 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:28 – “to stand before, to preside over”.

This gift emphasizes ORGANIZATION AND EXAMPLE SETTING to effectively reveal the Truth to others.

This gift involves the ability to effectively exercise directive authority over others. It involves organizing and delegating roles of service to most effectively serve the Lord. A part of this gift involves setting the proper example to those who are placed under their authority. Also, it involves a willingness to fulfill any role that is delegated to others.

Our text explains that this gift must be exercised “with diligence”. This helps us to understand that this gift must be exercised in a serious, eager, and careful manner. Many times the success of a ministry hinges upon the quality of leadership of that ministry.

 

Mercy – Romans 12:8 – “to show compassion to undeserving, to withhold deserved punishment”

This gift emphasizes the ability to EMPATHIZE WITH THE NEEDY to more effectively share the Truth.

This gift involves possessing a willingness to aid an inferior and/or forgive the guilty. This gift specifically involve the use of empathy (the ability to put ourselves in the “shoes” of others allowing us to emotionally share in the difficulties of others) as we minister to those who have wronged us or are suffering.

In the eyes of the world punishment is meted to the guilty and aid is to be given to those who are profitable to us.   This gift enables us to put ourselves in their place, share in their emotions and recognize their needs.   This then allows us to forgive instead of punish and to aid them in their suffering regardless of their social status.

 

Celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – “to live in unmarried state, to live a celibate lifestyle”

This gift emphasizes the ability to live WITHOUT PHYSICAL INTIMACY for the sake of the Truth.

This gift involves living a chaste lifestyle for the purpose of placing our full attention and efforts on service for Christ. This gift involves the ability to control our fleshly desires for sexual intimacy which allows us to concentrate solely on service to Christ. The exercise of this gift allows our service for Christ to be unfettered with the concerns of meeting the needs of a spouse or children.

 

Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – “to be a party in the Biblical marital covenant”

This gift emphasizes being FAITHFUL TO THE CONDITIONS OF THE BIBLICAL MARITAL COVENANT to show the Truth.

This gift involves receiving the God given ability to keep all the responsibilities of the Biblical marital covenant. The varied responsibilities of the husband and wife center upon the willingness to always working to meet the needs the other person while living in harmony between themselves and God. This gift involves the ability to recognize the needs of the spouse, sacrificially meet those needs, while yet placing the Lord first in the marriage.

 

Hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9 – “to be fond of aliens, foreigners”

This gift emphasizes CARING FOR STRANGERS to communicate the Truth .

This gift involves the ability to readily accept strangers as if they were long-time associates, friends, or family members.   It is having the ability to care for those we do not personally know by accepting them into our presence while sharing our blessings with them.

 

 

Please note the following gifts found in these texts are accrediting (sign) gifts that no longer exist and are covered in previous lessons:

  1. Office Of Apostle – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  2. Office Of Prophet – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  3. Gifts of Healings – 1 Corinthians 12:28
  4. Diversities of Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28

 

In our next lesson, we will look at how we can recognize which gifts we have received of the Lord

 

Additional Information:

A Description Of Spiritual Gifts For Today (Verses Used In This Study):

Rom 12:4-8 KJV

(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Rom 8:38-39 KJV

(38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV

(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV

(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV

(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.

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV

(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV

(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.

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV

(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our previous studies, we have been looking at the “Accrediting” or “Sign” Gifts that were given to establish the New Testament Scriptures, the ministry of Christ and the Apostles, and the ministry of the local church as the newly created house of worship. We saw that these type of gifts are no longer needed, nor are they given to men, as we now have the historical record of the accrediting gifts found in the New Testament.

 

With this lesson, we begin the second major division of our study as we will take a look at the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit that are given for use in the local assemblies in today’s time.

 

The Scriptures:

Texts that list gifts for today EXCLUSIVELY:

Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Texts that list gifts for today along with some of the accrediting gifts:

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Texts that list Spiritual Fruits :

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(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.

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(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.

 

 

Lesson:

A Listing Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

  1. Gifted Men:
    1. Evangelist – Ephesians 4:11
    2. Pastor/Teacher – Ephesians 4:11
  2. Spiritual Gifts:
    1. Prophecy – Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:11
    2. Ministry – Romans 12:7, 1 Peter 4:11
    3. Teaching – Romans 12:7
    4. Exhortation – Romans 12:8
    5. Giving – Romans 12:8
    6. Ruling – Romans 12:8
    7. Mercy – Romans 12:8
    8. Celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
    9. Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
    10. Helps – 1 Corinthians 12:28
    11. Governments – 1 Corinthians 12:28
    12. Hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9

 

(Please note the following gifts found in these texts are accrediting (sign) gifts that no longer exist and are covered in previous lessons:

  1. Office Of Apostle – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  2. Office Of Prophet – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  3. Gifts of Healings – 1 Corinthians 12:28
  4. Diversities of Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28)

 

 

A Listing Of Spiritual Fruits:

  1. Fruits Of The Spirit:
    1. Love – Galatians 5:22
    2. Joy – Galatians 5:22
    3. Peace – Galatians 5:22
    4. Longsuffering – Galatians 5:22
    5. Gentleness – Galatians 5:22
    6. Goodness – Galatians 5:22
    7. Faith – Galatians 5:22
    8. Meekness – Galatians 5:23
    9. Temperance – Galatians 5:23

 

 

The Difference Between Talents, Fruits and Gifts Of The Spirit:

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…

 

Type Of Gift Texts Gifted Person Evidenced From Nature Of Gift Types Received
Physical Talent Matthew 4:18-20 Mankind Physical Birth Natural (Physical) Various(Lord’s Discretion)
Fruit Of The Spirit Galatians 5:22-24 Saved Spiritual Birth Natural (Spiritual) All
Spiritual Gift (Charisma) Romans 12:4-81 Corinthians 12:8-11Ephesians 4:11-121 Peter 4:8-9   etc. Saved Lord’s Intervention Supernatural (Spiritual) Various(Lord’s Discretion)

 

Notes on above chart:

1. This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man. Please understand that when we speak of the “Spiritual Gifts” they differ greatly in many areas from “Fruits of The Spirit”. These are not to be confused.

2. (One area of similarity between the three is that all three are given through God’s grace and all three are to be used in our service to Him.)

In our next study, we will be looking at “Spiritual Gifts For Today” in detail. Later in this study we will look at the “Fruits of the Spirit” in greater detail.

 

 

Additional Information (Verses Used In This Study):

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(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.

 

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(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.

 

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.