Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.
The Mark of a True Believer. Lots of people are running around claiming to be Christ followers. But are they, really? According to our Lord, not all are (Matthew 7:23). The knowledge of God was given to the Israelites and the priesthood was responsible for instructing the people of the laws. However, the blind and wicked religious leaders were holding people back from the knowledge of God so they were like scattered and lost sheep. The Lord, Jesus spoke sharply against them. Even though He came and condemned them by His words and deeds, church leaders are still holding people back from the truth even today. The people are just as lost today. For the elders, pastors and pews are full of people seeking to glorify themselves, they are seeking to gain approval from man, not God. They have no regard for the glorification and praise and honor due our magnificent God. The modern day scribes and Pharisees are those within the church who think they're the head of the church and will not yield way to the LORD so He can take His rightful place as the head. Knowing doctrines, laws, rules, the scriptures, the prophesies, attending church, and being a good person are not going to ensure you get to heaven. The true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, as the Father is seeking those who will worship in Spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). A worshiper is someone who dedicates their entire life to denoting the value of who Christ really is. They live with a deep reverence for the Lord. Waking up each day refreshed and with a new joy, seeking to hear, follow and obey the Lord for that day while avoiding temptations and telling the enemy to flee. They seek to be godly and show the LORD in all they do. Although they may fail at times, with tender hearts to the Father, they are convicted by the Holy Spirit and they are grieved and experience a sincere and honest repentance. They seek the Lord's help in breaking the iniquitous or habitual sins in their lives for they detest these practices which so easily entrap them. They are grieved that they've transgressed their holy God who is so tender, merciful and kind to them. They deeply hate the iniquity that remains in them and wish by any means possible that it could leave them entirely, therefore they long to be home with the Lord where the filth will be completely washed away. They abhor sin, but they act lovingly towards the sinners - knowing the Lord died for all of us; and they know they were once just as sinful. They understand that vengeance and judgment belong to the LORD. They seek to build each other up, they understand that the church, individual members, must edify each other, so they seek to lovingly reprove the blemishes in one another - in kindness and love so that the entire assemble is unified in the bonds of love, being united in Spirit, in mind and in faith. They don't seek to harm one another - as that would be against their loving Father's commands. Instead they want to strengthen each other in faith and godliness. They strive to forgive everyone, even the more difficult cases in their lives. They seek to love and bless their enemies as this is evidence of a sincere and pure heart. They want to die to themselves and to live in Christ - for He is glorious and they know it. They want to talk to Him and seek His counsel for He is wise and gives knowledge and wisdom. They know success in all situations is granted through Him, alone. Their hope and the labor of their hands is to lead others to this glorious, enriching, enlightening, loving and life-giving God.
They celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
A Life of Victory. The entire course of your life is based upon one simple question, asked by one man, Christ Jesus, Who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:15b). All history, throughout time and into eternity will be the manifestation of the answer for all people. And today, just as 2000 years ago, the answers appear broad in range, but they will be cut down to only two. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God who came as the promised Messiah, who was not only the savior and King of Israel, but the whole world, for this is what was spoken of when the LORD told Abraham, In you shall all the nations be blessed because you have obeyed my voice (Galatians 3:7-9; Genesis 18:18; 22:18-19). The LORD has spoken from heaven by sending angels and prophets, but more has He spoken by sending His Son, who is the radiance of His glory and the exact imprint of His divine nature (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus came to do the will of the Father (John 5:30; 6:38) and He did nothing of His own authority for He spoke what He has seen with the Father and just what the Father taught Him (John 8:28, 38). Jesus spoke the words of God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, the giver of life. And, just as it was with Abraham, so it is with us. We heard Him speak, and we will either believe or not believe. Because Abraham believed and trusted God, He was able to obey the words of the LORD. Abraham did as he was told, without disbelief - and so it is with us. Will you believe enough to obey?
2 Corinthians 4:16
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Are You Ready? Are You Ready? The bible makes it clear that mankind is influenced by one of two masters. There are those born of flesh who belong to satan and those born of Spirit who belong to Jesus Christ. Those led by the flesh are led by satan, which is the spirit of antichrist. There god is their belly, their own selfish desires and lusts with their glory being their shame, for all their works that give them pleasure, are works of unrighteousness for they suppress the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:12; Philippians 3:19; Romans 1:29; 2:8). These people have the wrath of God poured out on them already, for the works which Jesus did condemned them of their sin already. It will only be revealed at His second coming. We don't look down upon these people as we were born into this and once walked in these ways, but the Lord who is rich in mercy and grace has forgiven us of our sins and cleansed us of our unrighteousness, when we confessed our sins to Him (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 2:1-2). The Day of the Lord is coming, and it is close at hand! God is going to take those who are ready, those who's love for Him has not turned cold, those who have patiently endured the suffering of this life and always looked to Him for strength and continued in love towards everyone. If you've fallen away, the Lord promises that He will come and remove His lampstand (Revelation 2:5). The message is clear - let those with an ear hear.
1 Peter 3:10 NIV
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
The Ultimate Calling of Our Lives is to LOVE. The gospel message portrays an awe inspiriting Father who stops at nothing to get His wayward children to turn back. Some have gone as far as becoming His enemy and created other gods. But His love remains great, He overlooks all the hurtful things they've done in his plan of redemption, but they provoke Him to jealousy, igniting a burning fire of wrath within Him due to their shameless deeds (Isaiah 30:27; Jeremiah 7:20; Zephaniah 3:8). Not withstanding their unrighteousness, He withdrew His presence, allowing His children to pursue their own heart's desires of lust and sensual pleasures, thereby defile themselves (1 Thessalonians 4:5; Romans 1:24-26). In selfishness, they ravaged and exploited each another by using lies, false pretenses, deception, and manipulation to satisfy their own lusts (Romans 1:27-32). In defiance of His grace, many still refuse Him so His righteous judgment must avenge such wickedness and abuse so the Lord will repay them with His wrath (Isaiah 59:18; Romans 12:19). Despite this, the Lord is patient and remains steadfast in His love for His children. He is not slack in caring, but rather is rich in tender-loving mercy and kindness, with forbearance leading to repentance (Romans 2:4). He has shown mercy to the godly and the ungodly (Isaiah 26:10; Matthew 5:45) as He has taken their punishment upon Himself. He has chosen those He predestined (Romans 8:29-30;11:5; Ephesians 1:11; John 15:19; Acts 22:14), however He has called all to repentance and He awaits for He does not want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 5:32; 24:47; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 20:21; Romans 2:4).
His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Some Enter His Rest, While Others Don't. We can have hope in our salvation, for the Lord declared the beginning from the end; meaning He spoke from the ancient of days clear up until the end of time, with the profession that it will stand as He declared (Isaiah 46:10; Hebrews 4:3-4) for He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). And we know He rested from all His works on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). This very rest was promised by God to those who believe (Hebrews 4:3; Exodus 33:14) and this rest still remains for some to enter (Hebrews 4:1, 4-6, 9-10). But frighteningly, He also declared, with an oath, others will never enter His rest (Psalm 95:11). Who are the ones to enter or not enter?
And they marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?'
Obedience Brings Eternal Life. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He always obeyed His Father; it was His sustenance, for we read, Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work' (John 4:34). Jesus only did the will of the Father and what He was taught by the Father (John 5:30; 8:28-29). This brings light to our understanding of the only command with the promise of a long life if you obey; and that is to honor our mother and father (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20; Deuteronomy 12:28; 30:2, 20; Proverbs 30:17). This certainly points to Jesus and why it's repeated through scripture. The wages (payment or reward) of sin are death, and since Jesus never sinned, for He always obeyed, He had to be released back to life from death. Amazing! I bring this to my remembrance often; contemplating that Jesus never did anything of His own will. He never took that extra cookie when told. Extreme obedience, but it sure brought Him a long life; it gave Him eternal life, as the Son of Man. And Jesus is our great example of how we should live, for He said, 'For I have given you an example, that you should do just as I have done to you' (John 13:15).
Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
Is There Something More to Life? A short lesson on life, leaves you seeking and hoping there is more to life then what meets the eye. The church is evidence of this, as people flood through the doors with the resounding questions, "Is there a God," and "What is the purpose of my life?" The hearts of man are empty and this world only offers dead works leading to more darkening of their understanding (Ephesians 4:18). And in weakness of spirit, one must admit the vast numbers of people asking these questions are outside the church, for this is the place where they've been hurt the most. Having asked these questions myself, and being transformed upon finding the answer, I've dedicated my entire life to delivering the good news to this broken world. Our great God only wants, You (to) love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37) and He will take care of everything else.
Man Made in Image of God, Not Born of dust, But Born Again in the Spirit, to be United with him In His Eternal Kingdom
The creation of man by Michelangelo
My children, I am suffering birth pains for you again until Christ is formed in you.
Man Made in the Image of God; Being Created in Time, Space and Matter; to be Transformed to Eternal Sonship with Him in His Kingdom. God created man in His image as male and female (Genesis 1:26). He made them of flesh from the earth with life as a living being from His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Man was distinct in creation, being given a mind and flesh differing from that of animals (1 Corinthians 15:39; Daniel 4:16). By his very design, God created us with intrinsic value. Even with this glory, it was weakened by the flesh (Matthew 26:41; Romans 8:3), as we borne the image of the man of dust (1 Corinthians 15:49). But in God's glorious contemplation of us, He ordained an even greater glory to come; when we should be born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:3, 5). Adam was only an imprint or image of the One to come (Romans 5:14b). And by decree, before the creation of the world, God predestined us to obtain the inheritance of the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:4, 11-12; Hebrews 6:17), so those of us with eyes opened to behold the glory, we will be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and put on the new man ... being created in righteousness and the sacredness of truth (Ephesians 4:23). We are being transformed into the same image (of God) from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18) so that, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:49), in the fullness of time, when we finally put away all our weakened dust, to obtain new bodies and minds in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Revelation 21:1-4). As we are transformed to be adopted in sonship to God in His eternal Kingdom. God abounds in immeasurable wisdom, grace and love.
Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. Christ is the eternal high priest of the New Covenant (New Testament). And Jesus said, I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17); while adding, These are the very scriptures that testify about Me (John 5:39b). Jesus is the logos, the word of God, which became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14; 6:51). By the word, the breath of the LORD's mouth, all things were made for Him and through Him, everything in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones or powers, rulers or authorities, and nothing that was made was made apart from Him (Psalm 33:6; John 1:2-5; Colossians 1:16). God made everything so that His glory would shine through people around the world, for to know His glory is to bring it forth (Numbers 14:21; Psalm 57:5; Habakkuk 2:14). An entire cosmic plan was established, throughout the ages, to bring this into being, which included the fall and rise of man through Adam and Jesus, respectfully (1 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 5:12-21).
GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED: FULFILLING THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, THROUGH THE MOSAIC COVENANT BY SHOWING HIS DIVINE NATURE AND ETERNAL POWER
But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.
The Eternal Abraham Covenant. The Lord gave an unconditional covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-17), to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the overarching covenant with Him as their God and them as His blessed and holy people living in a promised land. This covenant is eternal and solely depends upon the Lord to fulfill it, as it will bring glory to His name (Psalm 66:2). Shouldn't He already be receiving honor and glory? Yes, For God's invisible attributes; namely because His eternal power and divine nature are already made visible, since the creation of the world, in the things He created (Romans 1:19-20). So people already knew God, but they chose to not give Him honor or thanks (Romans 1:21-23). Therefore, God gave them up to the impurities and lusts of their hearts, to do as they pleased (Romans 1:24-25), but now He is calling these people back to Himself. But only for the Jews? No, for it is written, This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6 BSB). For the promises were spoken to Abraham and his to his seed. Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is the Christ (Galatians 3:16 NIV). God will be known and honored, not only by the Jews, but all the gentiles, the peoples of the world, for It is written, 'I live,' says the Lord, 'that every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will confess to God (Romans 14:11 BLB) so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11 ESV).
Believers are set free, from the Law of Moses - See Paul's First Missionary Journey - The Apostolic Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD
The Apostolic Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. For are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The Gospel Message is Questioned. Along his path, Paul preached the good news of the freedom in Christ Jesus, that we are justified by faith not works of the law and gentiles are grafted into this salvation (Galatians 3:18, 22, 24; Romans 3:28; 5:1). In Antioch, a few false prophets quickly came to pervert the gospel message, by trying to lead people back into captivity under the law of Moses, by saying gentiles had to be circumcised. And the people feared for their salvation. Paul was astonished upon his return to see how quickly they deserted him by turning to another gospel (Galatians 1:6). He continues, not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7). He explains twice for emphasis, that even if an angel from heaven preaches another gospel, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). Paul is concerned about this error in teaching for he knows, A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9) so believing just the smallest lie or deviance from the truth can affect your entire understanding of God.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.
The Law was Give to Bind Sin and Set the Captive Free. God wanted fellowship with man, and He made a promise to Abraham that it would happen, and all who believe will receive the promise. But before He could have fellowship, or even friendship, with mankind, He had to deal with our transgressions. His righteousness required Him to deal with our transgressions of His perfect and pure holiness. He accomplished this by giving us the law, which would first enslave us and then set us free (Galatians 3:22); but in doing so, it would make the whole world accountable to God (Romans 3:19). Through this process, instead of seeking our own hearts desires, which are desperately wicked (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 8:7; Philippians 2:21), now we could draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19) for love of the law (Psalm 119:97) for it is perfect (Psalms 19:7a). The law was perfect, but it made nothing perfect, because of the weakness of the flesh (Hebrews 7:18-19).
What is the Abrahamic Covenant?
The Abrahamic Covenant is the promise of hope and salvation to which we hold, in the fulfillment of Jesus Christ. A covenants is an agreements, a word or a bond between two or more people; with either one or both parties having to abide by specific conditions. God's first covenant was with Adam, which ended poorly for mankind. Thereby requiring the need for more and everlasting covenants, which would be solely based on God's ability to perform, not our, as we fail. The Abrahamic covenant is our hope, because it is only based on God's ability. It's based on His holy name, which means that He will fulfill it, so as to bring no shame upon His own name, establishing the credibility of it, which gives Him glory.
Understanding gospel foundation; from the Old to the New Testament
The New Testament (NT) is the fulfillment of the old covenant within the Old Testament (OT). The triumph is through faith (Ephesians 2:8), which is belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world (1 John 3:5; John 1:29), so you can be raised to life again at Jesus' second coming and enter the Kingdom of God (John 6:40). The promise was given to Abraham (Galatians 3:16), who is the father of the faith; which is God's promise to be our God and for us to be His people, endowed with blessings (Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7). It was fulfilled through the work of Jesus Christ, His beloved Son; when he took upon Himself the judgment due mankind, by crucifixion upon the cross, thereby ending the legal decree against all mankind (1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 2:13-14). Having never sinned, death could not hold Him, for death is the maturity of sin (1 Peter 2:22); so He was able to raise to life, body and spirit, to ascend into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God as our mediator (Mark 16:19; Ephesians 1:20).
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father
the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--he will testify about me.
When the Holy Spirit Comes, He Gives Gifts to Man. The Holy Spirit is the third person of God's divine essence, in the trinity. He is the promised helper, which we need to accomplish our goal. What is that you ask, what is my plan and purpose? In the simplest understanding, it is for us to reach the right side of eternity, having followed the narrow path by walked through the wilderness of this life. As we walk, we're to talk, telling others how to find the path, along the way. We live in a dark world. Darkened by what, the sun comes up every day? It's a darkened spiritual world, for we have closed off our understanding and connection with God, for we did not want to give Him honor and glory, even though we knew He was always there.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11)
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah predicted, "He bore our grief," and "Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer." (Isaiah 53:4,10). God was pleased to kill His Son, an innocent man, why? This is especially difficult to understand when we know, "He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord God" (Proverbs 17:15). The short answer is because He loved mankind and wanted to give him eternal life (John 3:16), but with a deeper understanding we garner the knowledge of God's power and authority was given into the hands of Jesus and His offspring (Genesis 9:1-3).
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