An Eternal House in the Heavens #7

Sunday, March 26, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

God still has work to do concerning our outward man, and we still have work to do concerning our inward man. While He has yet to redeem our physical bodies, which are falling apart, we should focus on our inward man, which should be growing. Second Corinthians chapter 4 once again: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” How is the “inward man” “renewed day by day?”

Romans 12:1-2 tells us: “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.”

Ephesians 4:20-23 says: “[20] But ye have not so learned Christ; [21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

The key to Christian living is letting Jesus Christ teach you how He wants to live His life in and through you. It is not something you struggle to do, but something you daily learn from His Word rightly divided. Faith causes the Holy Spirit to take that Word and change your thinking processes, and that will change your conduct to fit God’s grace. Colossians 3:10 adds: “And [ye] have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him….” We are building up the inner man, preparing for the day when God relocates it to the new outward man….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who are the prophets of Romans 16:26?

An Eternal House in the Heavens #6

Saturday, March 25, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

Today’s Scripture opens with great certainty: “For we know….” Verse 6 says, “Therefore we are always confident….” There was great assurance in Paul’s mind touching the resurrection of us Christians. He knew that his physical body would “perish,” be “dissolved” (disintegrated). Thus, he was not overly concerned about its weaknesses and limitations. He would leave behind that “outward man” of flesh and blood: that “body of sin” would be destroyed (Romans 6:6). Paul concentrated on his soul, or “inward man” (2 Corinthians 4:16). The soul was the “real” him, something he could never leave. He would take that into eternity, and God would implant that soul into the body “eternal in the heavens.”

Father God has prepared or appointed us to the resurrection, as chapter 5 continues: “[5] Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. [6] Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: [7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight: ) [8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Our confidence is found in the indwelling Holy Spirit (verse 5), the “earnest” or “down payment.” As people who have trusted the Gospel of the Grace of God—Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)—we have been “redeemed” soul and spirit (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). However, our outward bodies are unredeemed. Romans chapter 8 says: “[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.”

Indeed, we wait for “the adoption,” “the redemption of our body….”

Saved, Saved, Saved #2

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

“The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me” (Psalm 116:6 KJV).

The second verse of Jack P. Scholfield’s classic 1911 hymn, “Saved, Saved, Saved,” highlights today’s Scripture.

“He saves me from every sin and harm,
Secures my soul each day;
I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm;
I know He’ll guide me all the way.”

While Scripture certainly does not teach sinless perfection in this life (called “complete sanctification” in strict religious circles), it does teach victorious Christian living. For example, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:11,12). As Christians, we can choose to let sin reign in us, or we can choose to deny sin’s access to our life. Our choice!

Christ Jesus died, and we died to sin with Him; He was raised again, and we were raised again to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-5). “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (verses 6,7).

Romans chapter 6 is packed full of wonderful verses about our identity in Jesus Christ. We can have complete and total victory over sin on a daily basis. But, do we access that identity by faith in these Bible verses? Or, do we coast along in the energy of our flesh (the Law) and let sin get dominion over us? That is what happened to Paul in chapter 7. Chapter 8, the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, rescues us from the despair and defeat of chapter 7.

Brethren, whether or not we act like Christians, we are still the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-28). It is His faithfulness that keeps us saved, for it is His faithfulness that purchased our redemption in the first place! What a glorious, exciting reality—we will never find anything like it in religion! The salvation we have from the penalty of sin (hell) allows us to have salvation from the power of sin (daily sins).

Freed from Sin

Friday, July 8, 2016

“For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Friend, notice the Bible does not say we are free from sin, as in sinlessness. It says we are freed from sin,” “sin” (singular) being the nature rather than the actions the nature causes (“sins”). As verse 6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Our Adamic sin nature does not have to control us anymore because God crucified it with Christ on Calvary. Certainly, it is a supernatural event. When we trusted Christ Jesus as our personal Savior, God credited Christ’s death (which happened 20 centuries ago) as our death to sin. He also credited Christ’s resurrection as our resurrection unto eternal life (verses 1-5,8-23).

In stark contrast, the natural man, a person outside of Jesus Christ, one who is dead in trespasses and sins, he or she has no choice but to sin. We read in Ephesians 2:1-3: “[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.”

There is no power for lost people to do righteousness because the flesh is weak. They need God’s power if they are to walk in righteousness. They need to be liberated from the power of Adam and Satan. Today’s Scripture says that we have been freed from the power of sin, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus say, ‘My God, my God?’

Created for God’s Glory

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Scanning “Christian” television, I saw one preacher answering viewer-submitted questions. One inquiry concerned the origin of Satan’s great power. The warped preacher responded, “Satan worked his way up to the powerful role he has. God never gives anything free!” Of course, he never actually took his Bible and/or gave verse references—there are no such Bible verses! He was merely speculating and had no business talking about such matters.

Dear friends, Lucifer was created “perfect” from the moment of his creation (today’s Scripture). As the anointed cherub that covered, decorated, and protected God’s throne, he was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (verses 11-19). Lucifer did not have to “work his way up.” Rather than lead all of creation in worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, he wanted praise and worship all to himself. Lucifer loved himself: pride was his downfall (1 Timothy 3:6). Actually, Lucifer worked his way down and became Satan (meaning Adversary)! Lucifer was not content in functioning in the capacity God had given him, so he fell “as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Adam too was given a job, to rule Earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26,27). Yet, Adam abandoned that position and followed Satan’s policy of evil. Thus, mankind has no relationship with God today.

The preacher who said God gives nothing free, what a liar. He knows nothing about the riches of God’s grace to us in Christ, nothing of “being justified freely [without cost to us] by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Just as Lucifer did not work his way into functioning for God’s glory, we cannot work our way into heaven. God offers us soul salvation unto eternal life (justification) apart from any works of any kind (water baptism, confession of sins, commandment keeping, church membership, et cetera). We need to come to Jesus Christ by simple faith in Him alone, relying entirely upon Him exclusively (and not upon Him and our religious works). We will be thus created for God’s glory! 🙂

The Greatest War Hero

Monday, May 30, 2016

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study “The Greatest Hero,” which can be read here or watched here.

Satan and Dispensationalism #25

Friday, October 30, 2015

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” (Colossians 1:25,26 KJV).

Dispensational Bible Study enables us to see and appreciate the final revelation from God. Satan is thus utterly embarrassed!

It is written down forever in the eternal Word of God. Looks were indeed deceiving at Calvary. Satan, appearing victorious, actually participated in his own defeat! Beloved, the preaching of the cross is that God outsmarted Satan. Jesus Christ’s shed blood can deliver sinners—even wretched, uncircumcised Gentiles such as ourselves—from Satan’s domain!

“[12] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: [13] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: [14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14).

That God would take Jews and Gentiles who would simply trust His Son’s finished crosswork, and form one new man, the Church the Body of Christ—completely unheard of in the Old Testament! Even Satan could not and did not figure it out. It was not revealed to Satan, his fallen angels, God’s elect angels, and man until God saved miserable Saul of Tarsus and commissioned him as the Apostle Paul. As God’s apostle of the Gentiles, Paul had a special role. He was given the privilege to finish God’s Word (today’s Scripture).

Through the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, God has made known unto us “the mystery of his will” (Ephesians 1:9). God had a secret will, friends. Now that God has revealed His secret through Paul’s writings, Satan has an active campaign to keep it hidden. Dispensational Bible Study is watered down, slandered, and ignored by the religious crowd and the modern English versions, that Satan not be exposed as foolish. Let us not be foolish. Lest we miss God’s latest (and final) revelation, may we recognize and hold fast to by faith the Dispensation of Grace given to us by Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul.

-FINIS!- 🙂