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Who Is Jesus? Your Answer Holds Eternal Consequences…

SIH HALTAL ICONMat 16:13-16  –  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

For the SIH Bible Study on this subject:

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

 

“Jesus Is The Anointed Prophet Priest and King”

SIH STSTA ICON(Identifying Jesus as the Anointed One During His First Coming)

 

INTRODUCTION:

Many times in the New Testament Jesus is given the title of “Christ”.  The title “Christ” holds the same meaning as the Old Testament title “Messiah”.  Both of these titles possess a similar meaning, “one that is anointed”.

Why are these two titles for Jesus so important? It is based on the Old Testament practice of the anointing prophets (1 Kings 19:16), priests (Nums 3:3), and kings (1 Kings 19:16).  The public anointing of these office holders revealed  that they have been given God’s authority and enabling to hold their perspective offices.

Based upon this Old Testament practice, understanding that Jesus was “the Anointed One” reveals to us that Jesus has received God’s authority to hold the offices of “Prophet”, “Priest” and “King”.

In this study, we will be making a quick search for proofs that Christ exercised this divine authority as Our Prophet, Our Priest, and Our King, thus proving that He truly was anointed by God.

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Isa 61:1-3

(1)  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  (2)  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (3)  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

  

Mat 16:13-16

(13)  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  (14)  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (15)  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  (16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

Mat 16:20

(20)  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

Act 10:37-38

(37)  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  (38)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

 

Heb 1:8-9

(8)  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  9)  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

In the Old Testament, there are many texts which speak of the Messiah, or “the Anointed One”. These texts describe the individual who will be anointed by God to perform many different earthly, and heavenly ministries…

Isa 61:1-3 – “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Heb 1:8-9 – “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

Jesus was anointed by his Heavenly Father with the Holy Spirit as the Spirit came down upon Him at His baptism…

Act 10:37-38 – “That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

 

So in Matthew 16:13-20 the Lord was not only emphasizing His position before the Father as “the Christ” (“the Anointed One”), but also he was emphasizing the ministries he was performing at His first coming as God’s Prophet, Priest and King.

Mat 16:13-20 – “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

While on earth, and immediately afterward, Christ fulfilled all three roles that His Father had given to Him…

  1. Prophet – During Christ’s ministry on earth, He delivered the Father’s message to the people…

Joh 12:49 – “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what  I should say, and what I should speak. 

Joh 14:10 – “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

 

  1. Priest – During Christ’s ministry on earth, He acted as Priest making intercession and sacrifice for His people…

Joh 17:9 -16 – “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.   And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.   And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…”

Joh 10:11-15 – “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 

  1. King – immediately following His ascension Christ was seated at His Father’s right hand and began His reign as King of King and Lord of Lords… 

Mar 16:19 – “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” 

Act 2:32-35 – “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, every time we speak of “Jesus Christ, the Messiah” we are affirming that Jesus is the promised King, Prophet, and Priest sent from God to rule, intercede for, and sacrifice Himself for God’s people.

Do we believe, with a God-given faith, that Jesus is our Christ?  Has He died for us?  Does He intervene for us?  Does He rule over our hearts and lives?

If we can answer “yes” to all of these questions, we have been delivered from our sins and are eternally secure in Him.  If we cannot say “yes” to these questions then we have to question our standing before God.

May we all come to a saving faith in Him, placing all of our trust in Him as the Prophet, Priest and King of our lives.

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

Do We Rightly Divide The Word, Or Do We Proclaim Error?

SIH HALTAL ICON2Ti 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

For the SIH Bible Study on this subject:

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

“Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth”

SIH STSTA ICON(Treating The Bible With Honesty and Respect As God’s Revealed Word)

 

INTRODUCTION:

For our Bible study today, we come across a very well-known and emphasized text of Scripture.  In this text, the Apostle Paul is instructing a young Pastor Timothy on the need to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”, as he ministers to the Ephesian the church and the citizens of Ephesus.

What did Paul mean when he gave these instructions to Timothy?

Was he telling Timothy of the need to divide the Word between true teachings and errors that the Bible contains?  There are many that wrongfully believe this is so.

Or perhaps, Paul was telling Timothy of the need to divide the Scriptures into several different time periods characterized by different methods of Godly interaction with men?  Our dispensational brothers would tell us this is the case.

In our study this morning we will be looking at the Scriptural meaning of the phrase “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and its application for all who seek to serve the Lord and share His Word with others.

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

2Ti 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

Obviously, this study will center on the meaning of the phrase “rightly dividing”.  The only possible way to come to a proper understanding of this phrase is to come to an understanding of the MEANING of these words and their USAGE in the context of our passage…

 

The meaning of the words “rightly dividing”.

This two word phrase is translated from one word in the Greek.  This word is “orthotomeo”.  The meaning of orthotomeo is very interesting indeed.   This word comes from a fusion of two Greek words… “orthos” and “tomoteros”.

“orthos” carries with the ideas of straight, upright, level, honest, not twisted, not distorted.

“tomoteros” carries with it the idea of cutting, sharpness, dissection.

From this vocabulary we can see the basic idea Paul was getting across to Timothy was the need to “cut into” God’s Word, closely examine it, and then share his findings with others.  It would be much like a biologist that is using a very sharp knife to carefully dissect an animal to come to a better factual understanding of its internal organs and contents.

Also, Timothy was never to approach God’s Word with a bias or a predisposition about its contents.  He was to simply accept the teachings of the Word, accept them as truth, and then fairly reflect his discoveries to his listeners without twisting his findings in any way. Timothy’s teachings were to simply reveal the contents of the Word, not twist the Word to align it with his personal desires and beliefs.

In summary this terminology teaches us that Timothy was to take great care in coming to an understanding of the Scriptures and in revealing its contents in an unbiased, truthful fashion.

 

The usage of the phrase “rightly dividing” in the context of our passage.

Please keep in mind, the thought found in this passage actually begins in verse 14 and carries through to verse 19.  In this passage we see two basic themes being covered over and over again…

 

#1.  The need to teach the truth and ONLY the truth.

This subject is found in verses 15 & 19:

15)  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In this verse, we see the need to study diligently, come to an understanding of the truth and teach the truth we have learned, so as not to stand ashamed before Christ.

(19)  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Here, we see that one of the outstanding characteristics of God’s people is the need to depart from iniquity in our personal life.  This includes departing from false teaching that only harms men.

 

#2.  The harm that is done through the false teachings of men.

This theme is found in the following verses:

 

(14)  Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

False teaching is of no profit to the minister or those who sit under his ministry.  On the contrary, false teaching only disrupts and sabotages those who are striving to come to an understanding God’s Word in truth.

 

(16)  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

(17)  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

(18)  Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Here, Timothy is told to brush off wicked and fruitless discussions that only lead to an increase in opposition to God.

False teaching devours the listener like gangrene, resulting in uselessness and a poisoning of the hearer.  Teaching error propagates untrue beliefs and can even overwhelm the set of Godly truths that were previously learned.  In other words, error not only deceives those who have learned no truth, but also can confuse those who have assented to the truth.

These were all destructive results of teaching error which emphasized to Timothy the need to come to a proper understand of the truths of God’s Word and then, faithfully, reveal them to his hearers.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, all of us have some type of ministry that God has given to us.  In every case, our ministry should involve revealing God’s Word to others through our lives, whether by our words or our actions or a combination of both.

For us to faithfully proclaim the Word of God, we should concentrate on these instructions given by the Apostle Paul to Timothy…. carefully study the Word and then, with equal care, share what we have learned with others.

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

In Everything We Do… Do All For The Lord’s Glory

SIH HALTAL ICON1Co 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

 

For the SIH Bible Study on this subject:

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

Where do our eyes lead us?

SIH HALTAL ICONJob 31:1,7-8 – I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?… If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

“Sins Of The Eyes And Heart”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

There is a clear relationship between what we see with our eyes, what we sinfully desire in our hearts, and the fallen outward actions that we commit.  Our Lord, Himself, addressed this relationship in Matthew 5:27-28 when He said…

 

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

This is a very important issue that we need to understand clearly. In this study we will seek to come to an understanding of the Lord’s teachings (and other related verses) on the relationship of our eyes, heart (desires) and the acts of sin we commit.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Job 31:1-8

(1)  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

(2)  For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

(3)  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

(4)  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

(5)  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

(6)  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

(7)  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

(8)  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

 

 

Pro 23:7

(7)  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

 

Mat 5:27-28

(27)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

(28)  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

Jas 1:13-16

(13)  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

(14)  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

(15)  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

(16)  Do not err, my beloved brethren.

 

 

THE STUDY:

 

Mat 5:27-28 – Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

In our Lord’s teachings found in Matt 5:27-28, we are taught that sin can occur within the heart (desires) of a man.  Please notice that “lusting after her” is counted as committing the sin of adultery “in his heart”.  In other words, possessing sinful lusts is one type of sin that can be committed by man.

This also helps us to understand that there are two different ways that any sin can be committed:

  1. First of all, sin can be committed in the heart when we hold burning desires to perform an act of sin.  In the case of Jesus’ teaching, the desire to commit the act of adultery, is, in and of itself, counted as a sin.
  2. Secondly, sin can involve the outward act of the sin.  In Christ’s teaching this would be the physical act of adultery being committed with the woman after whom the inward lust is being committed.

Please note that both the sin of the heart and the actual commission of that sin are recognized as two separate sins. To lust in the heart is sinful, to go farther and actually commit the physical sin of adultery is recognized as a second commission of sin.  We should never think that if we commit sin in our hearts we had “might as well do the act”.  This is a lie that comes from Satan himself, being told to us in an effort to increase our guilt and the sin that abides in our lives.

 

Jas 1:13-16 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.   Do not err, my beloved brethren.

In the above verse, James explains to us the steps that produce acts of sin in our lives.  James teachings helps us to better understand the relationship between our eyes, heart and the outward performance of sin.

Every commission of sin begins as a temptation.  These temptations are wholly based upon the desires that we hold within us.  Notice what James says… “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away OF HIS OWN LUST and enticed.”  Folks, anytime an opportunity to sin arises, but we have no desire to commit that sin, it is not a temptation to us.

A very simple example is a person who is on a diet and HATES vanilla ice cream.  I can offer that person vanilla ice cream over and over again and they will never be “tempted” to eat it and break their diet.  Why?  Because they have no desire to eat the vanilla ice cream.   However, if the same person LOVES chocolate ice cream, the moment I offer it to them, the offer becomes a “temptation” to them to break their diet.  Because they desire it, the opportunity to partake of it becomes a temptation to them.

James then goes further and explains that when the person recognizes the opportunity to sin is open to them (they are enticed by it), the sinful lust in their heart then gives birth to the outward act of sin which leads to their death.

WOW!  What a horrible chain of events that leads to all men’s downfall, reminds us of a fish that is caught by a fisherman…

  1. The bait is seen by the fish (using its eyes)
  2. The bait attracts the fish because it is hungry (its desires)
  3. The bait is taken by the fish (the outward act of taking that which is sinfully desired)
  4. The fish is killed by the fisherman (death occurs as the direct result of sin)

The commission of sin takes place in the same way…

  1. We see an opportunity to sin (we place our eyes on it)
  2. We then take advantage of that opportunity (because we desire to commit that sin)
  3. The natural result of the commission of that sin is physical and spiritual death.

 

 

Job 31:1-8 – I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

Job understood the two types of sin when he said… “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes”.

  1. Job described the outward acts of sin as “If my step turned out of the way”
  2. Job described the role of inward sinful desires as “mine heart walked after mine eyes”.

 

Job also understood how sin develops in our lives:

  1. He was describing his sinful desires being fulfilled following the seeing an opportunity to sin… “mine heart walked after mine eyes”:
  2. This results in the outward commission of that sin “If my step hath turned out of the way”.

 

Because of Job’s knowledge of these truths, he was able to successfully avoid sin in his life.  This is why he was able to boldly ask the Lord to look at his life and see that his life was dedicated to pleasing Him.  So what is the secret to Job’s success?…

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

 

He saw the need to control what his eyes looked upon to avoid these times of temptation that so easily come upon all mankind.  he understood that, due to our fallen, sinful natures we all possess sinful desires.  The one of the most effective ways to avoid cultivating and fulfilling those desires was by controlling his eyes…

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

 

In other words, if Job avoided the opportunity to sin, he would not be feeding his sinful desires nor would he be bringing them to fruition.  What a very important lesson for us all.  By controlling what our eyes look upon we can keep our sinful desires at bay and not “live them out” in our actions!

Job said that the result of this covenant he made with his eyes, he was able to sincerely invite the Lord to examine his life without guilt or hesitation… “Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity”

 

CONCLUSION:

Do we attempt to control our eyes and avoid temptations whenever we possibly can?  The answer to this question speaks volumes about our character, the person we are within.

King Solomon understood this principle when he wrote in Proverbs 23:7 … “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he;”

In response to Solomon’s writing, lets close by asking ourselves this simple question … “Who are we?”  The answer can be found in our attempts to rule over our eyes and the desires that dwell in our hearts.

 

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

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

Will we pass the test when we face temptations?

SIH HALTAL ICONJas 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

“Temptation Or Testing?”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

Many times the Hebrew and Greek words translated “temptation” are also translated “test” or “trial”.

In the KJV the two Hebrew words which are most often translated temptation or test are ‘bahan’ and ‘nasa’.  The two Greek words translated similarly are the words ‘dokimazo’ and ‘peirazo’.  The folllowing table better explains the relationship of these words to one another…

 

Hebrew Greek Hebrew and Greek Translation in KJV:
bahan dokimazo examine, prove, assay, try, allow, discern, like
nasa peirazo tempt, try, prove, examine, assay, adventure, go about

 

As you can see from the above table, all 4 words carry with them the ideas of attempting (Deut 4:34, Acts 9:26), testing (Job 23:10, 1 John 4:1), discerning (Gen 38:25, Luke 12:56), and/or tempting (Isa 7:12, Matt 4:1).

In all of the above usages the principle of “testing or attempting something resulting in a conclusion being drawn” is present.  So why would this term be used to describe a temptation taking place?  In this study we will being seeing that the temptations we face are all trials that reveal truths about us.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jas 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Rev 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

 

 

THE STUDY:

Just as King Nebuchadnezzar came to understand, we all understand that the Lord is truly in control of   every event that takes place in our lives…

Dan 4:34-36 – “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?  At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.”

 

 

This principle not only applies to the blessed times of our lives, but even the more difficult, trying times  are under God’s control and allowed into our lives for a purpose. Remember, the Lord never brings temptation upon us ….

Jas 1:13 – “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

 

 

But He allows the powers of darkness, the fallen world, and our flesh to tempt us.  The story of Job clearly presents this truth to us…

Job 1:6-12 – “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.   And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

 

 

Also as Christians, we are also familiar with God’s promise that He never allows anything in our lives that does not eventually work for our good and His glory…

Rom 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

 

When we put all of these Biblical principles together, we can see that the Lord controls our temptations and allows temptations to come upon us for our good and His glory.  But how does this all work?  How does the Lord allow temptations to enter our life and how do we benefit from them?

This is where our word study comes into play.  Our word study gives us one of the great reasons why God allows temptations to come upon us…   Every temptation is used by the Lord as a time of testing that teaches us something about ourselves.

 

This principle is repeatedly brought out in Scripture.  Two such texts are:

Jas 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Rev 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

(Please note in both James 1:12 and Revelation 3:10, temptations are described as trials (testings) that are faced by man.)

That is why the words translated “tempt” or “temptation” carry with them the idea of “testing or attempting something resulting in a conclusion being drawn”.  In other words when we are tempted, we are being tested.  This test, and how we respond to it, can teach us much about our Lord, Satan and, especially, ourselves.

When we are tempted, we can learn about the Lord’s enabling grace, His patience and His forgiveness; we can learn about Satan’s methodology, his strength and his limitations as he attempts to bring the Christian to failure; and we can learn about ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses, and our need of Christ enabling for our day to day walk.

 

CONCLUSION:

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, gives us one practical application for our lesson this morning.

2Co 12:7-10 – “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

 

In this text, Paul lists many testings he faced in life (his “thorn in the flesh”, other “infirmities”, “reproaches”, “necessities”, “persecutions”, “distresses”)…  Please note all these testings were actually temptations that sought to hinder Paul and his ministry for Christ.

Paul came to recognize that even these testings (or temptations) were something that brought him pleasure because they taught him about Christ’s enabling grace and his great need of Christ on a daily basis which kept him close to Christ.

 

Folks, we should never underestimate the importance of using times of temptation for our benefit and the Lord’s glory…

May we learn of Christ’s great enabling grace that allows us to remain faithful to Him even during the heaviest times of temptation in our lives.

Through this may we also learn of our daily need of Christ’s grace in our lives.

And finally, when we fail him during times of temptation, may we immediately seek His forgiveness, allow this to reveal our weak areas, our need to avoid these areas of temptation whenever possible, and finally, may we work to strengthen ourselves in these areas through Bible study, prayer and seeking a close walk with Christ.

 

 

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

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It Is Impossible To Lose Our Salvation And Then Regain It Again

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 6:1-9

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

And this will we do, if God permit.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

“For It Is Impossible”

SIH STSTA ICON“For It Is Impossible”

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

 

 

Heb 6:1-9

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

And this will we do, if God permit.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

 

 

THE STUDY:

Heb 6:1-9… 

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 

Here the writer of Hebrews reminds us of the need to continue to grow in knowledge of the teachings of Christ.  We are to not continue to dwell on the foundation teachings we have learned, but we are to add to them and build upon them. As we grow in knowledge and application of the teachings of Christ, we become “perfect” (mature, strong Christians) who are equipped for service to Christ.

Some of the teachings that are considered foundational include:

  1. the need for “repentance from dead works” and “faith toward God” for salvation
  2. the importance of entrance into church membership (through “baptism” in water), the Holy Spirit’s initial empowerment of local churches (“baptism” in the Spirit) and the coming reformation of the world (“baptism” with fire)
  3. the ordination of God’s men into the ministry (“laying on of hands”), the “laying on of the hands” by the apostles which propagated the accrediting gifts of the Spirit.
  4. the coming “resurrection from the dead” which teaches us about the existence of life after death and entrance into either the presence of God or “eternal judgement” in the Lake of Fire.

 

 

And this will we do, if God permit. 

Here, we can see that growing in the knowledge of Christ’s teachings is not simply a matter of human will but is wholly dependent upon God’s gracious intervention in our lives…

1Co 2:9-2:16

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

This is why we are told that God must allow “permit” us to come to a greater understanding of His truths for us to achieve the goal we have had set before us.

 

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

Please note this verse now begins a discourse on the permanent nature of our salvation.

The writer will now explain to us that we cannot be shifting back and forth from being saved, lost, and then saved again.  Christ’s payment on the cross included all of the believer’s sins past, present and future.  It was an all sufficient payment that will never fall short of the complete, eternal redemption of His people…

Rom 8:29-31…

“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?”

Folks, once saved we are PERMANENTLY saved.  In other words, the receipt of our new nature (and becoming a new creature in Christ) is our new, enduring state of existence.  We have been made the servants of Christ, never to return to the servanthood of Satan, our sin nature, and this fallen world. This is our new identity and we will continue on as servants of Christ for the rest of our lives.

This principle of our enduring change (resulting in us being placed permanently into the Kingdom of Christ) is a tremendous motivating force for us to grow in the knowledge and application of the Word of God.  Due to this never ending change in servanthood, we should devote our lives to coming to a greater understanding and application of the truths of our Lord for our lives.  Being permanently made His servants, should we not come to a greater understanding of His teachings and desires for our lives?  This can only be done through a continuing learning and application of His Word to our lives.

The writer of Hebrews clearly tells us that “it is impossible”.  In other words what follows CANNOT happen.  NOT EVER can a person who is saved, fall away and then be saved once again.  Why?  For him to be resaved would mean that Christ would have to die again.

To lose a person’s salvation would clearly demonstrate that the death of Christ was insufficient to cover ALL of his sins (past present and future.  Therefore if a Christian could lose their salvation Christ would have to die a second time on the cross to pay the price for the sins that caused the Christian to initially lose his salvation.

Please note in this passage, a truly saved person is described as:

  1.  “enlightened” – had their spiritual eyes enlightened to see the truths of His Word and come to a knowledge of Christ as the light of this world.
  2. “tasted of the heavenly gift” – partook of God’s gift of salvation
  3. “made partakers of the Holy Ghost” – indwelt by the Holy Spirit
  4. “tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come” have experienced the Word of God in their lives and the precious hope of a coming eternity with Christ.

Speaking of these genuine Christians, the writer of Hebrews says that “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Remember the context of this statement is that “It is impossible”.  In other words “it is impossible for a saved person to depart from their saved condition, no longer be a new creature and lose his membership in God’s kingdom and then regain all these blessings a second time.”  Why?  Because in doing so they would…

“crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

If he did lose his salvation, it would be proof Christ had failed in His work, thus putting Him to a public shame and causing Him to die on the cross again (to pay for the sins that caused the initial loss of salvation).

 

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. 

The writer then uses a picture from nature to illustrate the complete, and permanent, blessing of salvation which is given to any who come to Christ in repentance and belief.  The eternal nature of the blessing of salvation is much like the blessing of rain that falls upon the earth causing it to bear herbs.

The rain causes the earth to bear the herbs and bring them to maturity which end up being a blessing to others.  Just like a Christian whose initial salvation experience and continuing growth is brought about through the continuing application of Christ’s work on the cross in the life of the believer.  These blessings of salvation and spiritual growth result in the believer being a blessing to those around him.

The one who never tastes of God’s grace of salvation is like the ground that only brings forth thorns or briar plants.  This ground does not bring forth spiritual fruit, nor can its plant life be used to be of benefit to others around him.  This ground is the perfect picture of the person who is not saved, who never has received the work of Christ, which is eternally rejected by God and condemned to eternal judgment.

Please note the writer’s point.  The earth (picturing Christians) that bears herbs does so due to the gracious work of Christ on the cross that is applies to his account.  The ground that bears thorns and thistles (lost men) has never tasted of Christ’s gracious work on the cross. They cannot go back and forth from thistle bearing to fruit bearing and then back again.

Why is this?  God’s gracious application of his work on the cross is like continuing rains that keep the saint secure and produce spiritual fruit in the believer’s life.  That is what makes the difference.  God’s continuing gracious intervention (pictured by the rain) is what enables and then sustains the earth to bear the herbs and be of great value to others. Just like God’s work on the cross, and His intervention in the life of the saved (through the Holy Spirit) is what saves them AND keeps them secure in fruit bearing.

To lose our salvation is to say God has failed in His initial work on the cross… to regain salvation (following losing it) is to say that He must have died again and paid for the sins that originally caused the initial loss of salvation.

 

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

The writer of Hebrews, sums up this portion of his teaching with encouraging words.  He is convinced that the Lord has “better things” (more truths from God’s Word) awaiting them to be learned and applied.   The ability to understand and apply the truths of God’s Word is a direct blessing that accompanies the salvation experience.

This is why he has gone to great lengths to encourage the Hebrews to continuing to grow in the Word of God.

This is why he explained in great lengths one of the great motivating forces to continue in God’s Word… we are graciously, eternally, changed and secure in Christ, He now is our permanent King, should we not seek His teachings and desire for our lives found in His Word?  Do we not appreciate Him for His complete work on our behalf, making us secure?  If so, it is a certainty that we should be spending time in His Word seeking His will for our lives as His eternal servants.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

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

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

Jeremiah… Called From His Mother’s Womb….

SIH HALTAL ICONJer 1:3-10 –

It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

Jeremiah 1:3-10 – Jeremiah’s Calling

SIH TOTT ICON(The Need For Christ In Our Evangelization)

 

INTRODUCTION:

In this account of the calling of Jeremiah to the ministry, we find principles about the Lord’s present day ministerial call to pastors, missionaries and teachers of His Word.  However, we also can also find principles that apply to all of us who strive to be lights in the midst of a sin darkened world.

For our lesson today, we will be looking at those principles that help all of us to shine forth the light of the wondrous gospel message to the lost world around us.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Jer 1:3-10 –

It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

 

 

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 

Based on verse 2 (“To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.”), Jeremiah’s call was issued in the thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign.

What is being spoken of in verse 3 is the length of Jeremiah’s ministry that began after his calling…

Jeremiah’s ministry began in Josiah’s 13 year, which was about 627 BC; it continued during Jehoiakim’s reign; and ended in the 11 year of Zedekiah’s reign, when Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians in 586 BC.  So in other words, Jeremiah ministered faithfully to the Lord for approx. 40 years. 

 

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

This verse helps us to understand that Jeremiah’s calling was not a “spur of the moment” act by the Lord, nor was it a result in a change of God’s plan for Jeremiah’s life, not at all.

Before Jeremiah was conceived, God’s sovereign, unchanging, eternal plan included Jeremiah being brought into this world and being given a prophetic ministry that he would fulfill for the next 40 years.

We all need to stop and take a moment to understand what this verse is teaching us.  Not only was Jeremiah’s ministry a part of God’s eternal plans but also, in this verse, the Lord is confirming the life and personhood of the unborn child.

Please note that God describes Jeremiah in this verse as a person prior to his birth.  We can see this from the titles that God gives to the unborn Jeremiah.  He uses the titles “thee” and “thou”!…     

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee

Clearly the Lord did not look at Jeremiah as a piece of tissue or simply a group of cell that were growing in synch with one another.  No, the Lord was looking at Jeremiah as a fully human being who possessed personhood and identity.  

 

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

In this verse, we begin to see some very important principles that we can apply to our lives as lights in this world.  When Jeremiah was called to the ministry, he immediately thought of his inability to fulfill the ministry to which he was called, and rightfully so.

Just as Moses (Exo 4:10-13) and Isaiah (Isa 6:5), Jeremiah understood his inability to effectively proclaim the Word to the lost nation around him.

Folks, we all are in the same boat.  We all are called to take the gospel to the world, but left to ourselves we are totally unable to perform the task we have been given. Paul understood this very truth when he wrote 1 Cor 2:3-5…

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

 

Paul understood as he took the gospel to the lost that his preaching had to be illuminated and empowered by the Lord or else it would hold no lasting results for the recipient.

This is a great principle that many times we forget… we go out witnessing without the Lord’s intervention, only to find that it was a wasted effort that bears on lasting results.  Every time we witness, we need to go out humbly and prayerfully, recognizing our great need of Christ every step of the way.

 

But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

The Lord gently, lovingly, speaks to Jeremiah and reassures him that He will empower those who minister for Him. Although fallen, sinful mankind is unable to persuade anyone to come to Christ apart from the Lord’s personal intervention in the life of the minister and those being ministered to…

Eph 6:18-20 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Joh 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. 

The Lord’s encouragement to Jeremiah did not stop with His words of encouragement and promises to help.  He then acts on His promises and intervenes in Jeremiah’s life granting him the words that he needed to speak. 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When we go to take the gospel to the lost, we are to go humbly looking to the Lord to lead and supply our every need, and most importantly, we are to take the gospel to the lost with a desire to glorify and honor Christ alone.  This will ensure the Lord will be with us and enable us as we take His gospel to the lost.

 

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Three Miracles That Took Place Immediately Following Christ’s Death…

SIH HALTAL ICONMat 27:50-54 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4E8

“The Events That Accompanied Christ’s Death ”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

In this small text from the book of Matthew, we find three very interesting happenings occurred at the same instant that our Lord died on the cross…

 

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”

  1. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
  2. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Do we appreciate the importance and miraculous nature of these occurrences?  What can we learn about Christ and His work from them?

In this lesson we will be attempting to come to a partial understanding of these things realizing that we, as sinful mankind, can never come to a complete understanding of them this side of heaven.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Mat 27:50-54 –

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

(51) And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

(52) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

(53) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

(54) Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

 

THE STUDY:

In Matthew chapter 27, we find three very interesting happenings occurred at the same instant that our Lord died on the cross…

  1. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”
  2. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
  3. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

To understand some of the lessons we can learn from these three great occurrences, it is important we include verse 54 in our study of verses 50-53…

“Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

From this verse, we can see that these events brought glory and honor to Jesus to the eyes and mind of the Roman military leader (centurion).   After seeing these things, he said “Truly this was the Son of God”, referring to Christ’s claims about His relationship with His heavenly Father.

By using this title, the Centurion was recognizing that these three events had accredited Christ’s claims of origin and divinity ….

 

Christ found His origin in heaven…

Joh 6:38 – “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

 

Christ was God Himself…

Joh 10:30-31 – “I and my Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.”

 

The centurion had come to understand that this Jesus “Truly was the Son of God”, just as Christ had claimed…

Mat 16:15-17 – “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

 

But, for the Christian, the lessons that can be learned from these three events go much farther.  In these miracles, we can see the purpose and results of Christ’s death on the cross.

The first of these miracles was the veil of the temple being torn in two from top to bottom, for the first time ever, giving Jews unfettered access to the very presence of God (signified by the mercy seat in the holy of holies in the temple building).

  1. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” – This speaks of Christ’s death giving sinful mankind access to God. The lost mankind, due to their sin, alienates them from a holy God.  The shed blood of Christ on the cross, when a lost man comes to faith in Christ, covers their sin and gives eternal access to God.  This is symbolically proclaimed when the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom
  2. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” An earthquake accompanies the Lord at many of His appearances to man on earth (Exo 19:18, Nahum 1:5, Isa 29:6).  Why is this? Because when the great Lord visits sinful creation all the earth trembles at His presence (Psa 97:4).  These principles help us to understand the truth behind the earthquake that took place at Christ’s death.  It was at that point in time that God’s presence is clearly seen.  As Christ completed His work on the cross, we saw both the wrath of God and the love of God being clearly brought into view.  His wrath, as it took the life of Christ and His love, as Christ died for us.
  3. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” This speaks of the new life that Christ’s death has graciously supplied to sinful mankind.  When the lost person comes to a saving faith in Christ, they begin to live a new earthly life in Christ and inherit eternal spiritual life to be enjoyed in this world and the one to come.

 

CONCLUSION:

The tearing of the veil, the earthquake and the resurrection of the dead, glorify and honor Jesus, showing us that He is the true Son of God.   But we also have two of the great blessings of Christ’s work given to us… access to God and the new life we enjoy now and in eternity.

May we all bring honor to Christ, knowing that He was God Himself, who came from heaven to earth to on our behalf.  May we understand that, as He hung on the cross, He was giving His life for us, and He was graciously bearing God’s wrath against our sins.  In doing so, He was giving us permanent access to God and a new life to enjoy on earth and throughout eternity.

 

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

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

We Are All Condemned Without Christ…

SIH HALTAL ICONEph 2:1-10 – “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  

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.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4E0

 

 

Ephesians 2:1-10 – “But God”

SIH STSTA ICON(Our Great Need Of Christ)

 

INTRODUCTION:

Over the years, through personal experience and observing the lives of others, I have seen fallen mankind’s absolute need of Christ clearly revealed.   There can be no doubt that all of us, as a part of sinful mankind, is absolutely separated from God and unable to think, desire, say or do anything that is pleasing to God or glorifying to His name.

So, as members of fallen mankind, what can we do?  How can we find peace and communion with God, when we are unable to do anything to purify ourselves or enter into fellowship with God of our own efforts?

We can do nothing to meet these great needs, “BUT GOD” can meet our every need!

In this lesson, we will be looking at what God’s Word teaches us about our great need of Christ and His wonderful grace.  It is this very grace that enables fallen mankind to receive the forgiveness of sins, enter into His presence, please Him, and enjoy eternal communion with Him.

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eph 2:1-10

(1)  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

(2)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

(3)  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

(4)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

(5)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

(6)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

(7)  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

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

(9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

(10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

 

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

All of mankind was conceived in a sinful, spiritually dead condition (Rom 3:23 & Rom 3:9), because of this, man is alienated from our perfectly holy God (Isa 59:2 & Micah 3:4).

Furthermore, due to the effects of sin in his life, mankind is much like a corpse.  Just as a corpse can do nothing to regain the life that as once within it, likewise lost mankind can do nothing to restore spiritual life to its spiritually dead condition (Titus 3:4-7).  This is why the above verse describes man as being “dead in trespasses and sins”.

If mankind was simply left to himself, he would continue in this sinful isolated state, never coming to an understanding of his own sinfulness, his isolated condition apart from God, nor his desperate need of Christ (John 12:39-40 & Rom 3:10-11).

But thanks to the Lord, He reaches down from heaven, intervenes in the heart of the lost man, and grants him spiritual life (2 Cor 4:6 & Acts 26:18 & Col 2:13).  This is what is being referred to by the phrase “And you hath He quickened (given life)”

 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The writer of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul, describes the condition of every saved person prior to Christ’s intervention in their lives. By doing this he is teaching us that all mankind began “in the same boat”, we were ALL sinful, followers of Satan, with no hope of salvation within ourselves. This is the time period he is referring to by the phrase “in the time past”.

Paul describes the lost person’s lifestyle as following the path set by this sinful world and Satan (1 Cor 6:9-11 & Gal 1:4) when he states, “ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air”.

Lost mankind’s submission to the control of Satan and Satan’s activity in their lives is emphasized in Paul’s dual description of Satan: “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”.  Folks, Satan is alive and actively intervening in the affairs of all fallen mankind on earth (1 Pet 5:8 & John 8:44).  For us to denying his existence or his activity among us is to deny the very teachings of God’s Word, which in effect, makes God a liar (Rom 3:4).  This cannot be.

 

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

None of saved mankind can be prideful, nor take credit for their own salvation (Rom 4:2 & Rom 3:27-28 & 2 Tim 1:9).  We are clearly told in this verse that those who are saved through the Lord’s gracious intervention were equally sinful and separated from God as those who are not saved (Eph 5:8 & Titus 3:3-6).  Paul clearly points to the lifestyle of the saved prior to their salvation experience when he says, “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past”.

Paul tells us that those who are saved were previously living according to our sinful longings, living to fulfill the evil determinations that come from our fallen nature and corrupt minds…”in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;” 

Paul stresses the spiritually dead, sinful, guilty condition of the saved prior to their salvation when he says, “and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

 

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

“But God” these are the sweetest words that a lost person can ever hear…

“But God” this is the only hope for all of mankind who are spiritually dead and unable to please the Lord of their own merit.

If lost mankind was left to themselves, they would be condemned by their own actions, under the wrath of God, and without hope of redemption (Jer 13:23 & Rom 8:7-9).  But with the gracious intervention of God, they can experience forgiveness, deliverance and fellowship with God.  Our wonderful God is overflowing in mercy and incredible love for His people.  Paul says it this way, “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us,”

His love is so great and His mercy flows so freely that even the chief of sinners could find forgiveness through His gracious intervention in their lives.

 

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Paul continues to address the saved and the wondrous change wrought in their lives through God’s grace.  Even when the saved person was spiritually dead, the Lord saw fit to graciously grant him spiritual life (John 14:6 & 1 John 5:11).  This is the “quickening” being talked about in the phrase “hath quickened us”.

The giving of spiritual life was given to us as a joint work of both God the Father and Christ (John 5:21).  Spiritual life was given to us by our gracious Father, based upon the work of Christ on the cross, not our own goodness or works (Rom 5:21 & 1Pet 3:7)…”hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

 

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

The joint working of the Father and Christ does not end with the giving of spiritual life.  His work continues in the life of the newly saved individual.

Paul talked about this continuing work when he said “hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places”.   Based upon Christ’s work, the Father then raises the saved to a new lifestyle in Him (2 Cor 5:17 & Gal 6:15), and promises him an eternity of fellowship in the very presence of Christ (Rom 6:4-5 & John 14:3).

 

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Why does the Father and Son work together granting spiritual life, a new lifestyle and eternity with Christ to the saved?   Is it because our inherent goodness obligates Him to do so?  Or, perhaps, it is because, through our good works we have gained these great blessings?

Absolutely not! Paul tells us that “in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his kindness”.  It is nothing in us that motivates the Lord to grant to us spiritual life (Isa 40:17 & Psa 62:9).  It is all based upon His character and greatness.

 Two of the great motivations in the heart of the Father that drives Him to grant spiritual life to us is His love for us and His desire to be glorified (John 3:16, 2 Thess 1:11-12 & Rev 5:9-15).  He graces us with spiritual life so that His great gracious kindness will be seen, remembered, and celebrated throughout history.  In other words, He did all of this for us so that He might be glorified and honored when we see, and experience His great love and grace in our lives.

 

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.

Paul now explains how spiritual life is obtained by the lost individual. Since the lost individual lacks inherent goodness, and their good works cannot merit their salvation, how is it acquired?  It is entirely based upon the grace of God, as we exercise faith in Christ (Rom 4:16)…”For by grace ye are saved through faith” .

But when we read this it seems to say that we are saved through a work that we do… an exercise of faith.  However, Paul makes certain that we do not get confused about this issue. He tells us that the faith we exercise is “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”.  Even the very faith we exercise in Christ does not simply come from within us, but it is a gift that comes from the Father (John 6:27-29 & Rom 12:3).   Therefore, in a very true sense, our faith is not a work we perform, but it is a work the Father performs in us.

Once again, we can see the wondrous grace of God as He gives to one who is destitute of saving faith, the gift of faith and the ability to exercise that faith.  When we come to this knowledge it eliminates any possibility that we might boast about our exercise of faith in Christ.

This is why Paul then clearly states that saving faith in the individual is “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.

Since our salvation is a work of God within us, our life is like a poem (“workmanship”) that is brought into existence through the work of Christ and and declares His glory through the good works of the saved (Eph 1:4 & Gal 5:22-26).  This is the meaning of Paul’s phrase “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”

Remember that in verse 7, we saw that God was motivated to save His people so that He might be glorified throughout the ages for His great grace and kindness.  This same principle can be seen in this verse as well.

Paul tells us that the performance of good works by the saved person “God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”   Before the salvation of His people, in eternity past, the Lord chose that when He saved an individual, their lifestyle would change to a way of life that would bring honor and glory to His name.  This helps us to understand that not only the very act of salvation, but also its effects in the lives of those saved, will bring honor and glory to God alone (Jer 9:23-24).

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

So what is a lost person to do?  How can a lost person receive the forgiveness of sin and be the recipient of God’s wonderful grace?

We have that questioned answered in John 6:27-29…

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

 

As the Lord shows you the sin that is in your life, and the of forgiveness and deliverance from that sin, simply believe on Him.

Believe in Christ as the Divine Son of God (1 John 5:7).

Believe in Christ as the One who came to the earth and died on the cross to pay the price for your sins (Phil 2:5-9).

Believe in Christ as the Only Way of salvation (Acts 4:10-12).

Believe in Christ as the new Master of your life (Phil 2:10-11).

This is what the Lord has commanded each of us to do.  As the Lord intervenes in our life, showing us our great need and working in our hearts, we are to turn to Him and trust in Him as our Lord and Savior.  This is how we respond to the workings of God in our life.

What amazing grace to know that He can graciously intervene in our life and draw us to Himself as we respond in faith to Him (john 6:43-45).

As we come to an understanding of all these things, we can only come to the conclusion that “To God be the glory, great things He hath done”!

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Christ Is Given Dominion Over All!

SIH HALTAL ICONPsa 8:1-9  – “To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:   All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

 

 

Psalm 8:1-9 – “Christ In Psalm 8:” (Christ As Sovereign Lord)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

 

Psalm 8 is a wonderful Psalm that was written by King David with the central purpose of praising the Lord for his greatness as revealed to us in nature.   In this Psalm, David not only uses nature to glorify the Lord, but he also uses a series of prophecies of past events and the future event of Christ’s first coming as a tool to bring honor and glory to the Lord also.

 

In our previous devotions we have looked at the references to nature that David uses to bring honor to the Christ.  Now, for the next three devotional lessons, we will be using David’s first coming prophecies and their fulfillment to bring added glory to Christ. The three prophesies we will be looking at is found in:

  1. vs. 3 – Christ as Creator
  2. vs. 4-5 – Christ as Man
  3. vs. 6-8 – Christ as Sovereign Lord

 

(Please note in our previous verse by verse study we’ve looked at the prophecy of Christ found in vs 2.  Because of this, we are not looking at this prophecy in this study.)

 

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Psa 8:1-9

(1)  To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

(2)  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

(3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

(4)  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

(5)  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

(6)  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

(7)  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

(8)  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

(9)  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

 

Not only was man, prior to the fall, given rulership over the creation of God to use it, care for it and control it.  But in a very special way, our Lord Jesus holds the position as Lord over all.   This truth about Christ is brought out in many New Testament scriptures including…

 

Mat 28:18

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 

1Co 15:23-27

“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…. 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.

 

Rev 5:11-13

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

 

And many others.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

 

Folks, Jesus is not only Lord over the creation of God as a whole, but He is also Lord over each one of us as individuals.  As our Lord, we all must stand before Him and give an account for what we have done in our lives…

 

Rom 14:9-12

“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

 

When we stand before the Lord, will we be able to stand innocently with the blood of Christ covering our sins?  Or, will we stand with the guilt of our sins yet on our accounts?  This is the great question we all must answer.  The only remedy for our sins is the shed blood of Jesus Christ which covers our sins which is received through faith in Him.

 

If we are unsaved may we come to Christ by faith, trusting in Him as our Savior.  If we are saved, may we share the good news of the gospel with the lost around us, trusting in the Lord to use our message to bring others to Him.

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Christ Was Made Man And Yet Held The Highest Glory and Honor!

SIH HALTAL ICONPsa 8:1-9 – To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

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