The Apostles Were Preparing a People for the Lord

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

Paul is speaking here of a “gathering to the Lord.”  During the time of the apostles, the people – Jews and God-fearing Gentiles – were gathered to each other and calling upon the Lord.  The coming of the Lord would be a coming to human hearts, and thus the gathering henceforth would be to Him and not to each other.

The Lord has come.  Let us therefore gather to Him.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

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Acts 23:1-5 – The Limitations of Conscience

Assuming you read yesterday’s post, you know how walking according to the spirit leads to a very different view than does walking according to the flesh.  Yesterday’s post also reveals the limitations of human conscience.

Paul’s conscience was clear.  It told him that he was in the right.  His accusers’ consciences, by contrast, told them that Paul was in the wrong.  If conscience was always a dependable guide, everyone’s conscience would have been saying the same thing.

For this reason the book of Proverbs says:

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

This does not mean that we should ignore conscience.  It does mean that we should live in the fear of God that our consciences may continually be calibrated to His.  Here are some posts on calibrating our consciences.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Posted in Repentance to Righteousness, The Ways of God | Leave a comment

Acts 23:1-5 – The Flesh v. the Spirit

Acts 23:1-5 illustrates the difference between walking in the spirit and walking in the flesh.

In verse Acts 23:5, Paul defends himself by saying that he wasn’t aware that had reviled Israel’s high priest.  That is because, by this time, Paul recognized the resurrected Christ as the high priest of God’s people (Hebrews 5:1-14, especially Hebrews 5:10).  Paul was “walking according to the spirit,” just as he had instructed the believers in Rome (Romans 8:3-4).  He was setting his mind on things above, as he had instructed the believers in Colossae (Colossians 3:2).  For Paul, Jesus Christ – not the man in fancy clothes standing before him – was the high priest of Israel.

Notice the stark contrast of the two different mindsets.

THE MIND SET ON THE FLESH:  Paul’s accusers had their minds set on the flesh.  They were Israel according to the flesh.  They had a high priest according to the flesh, and in their minds Paul had insulted him.  Since Moses had said it was wrong for a citizen to speak evil of such a leader, they condemned Paul.

THE MIND SET ON THE SPIRIT:  Paul’s mind was set on the spirit, things above.  For him, Jesus was the “ruler of the people” to whom Moses’ admonition would apply.  Therefore, all of Paul’s accusers were violating Moses’ admonition by speaking evil of Jesus and those who served Him.

Thus, whether one walks according to the flesh or the spirit can cause one to have a dramatically different view of a situation.

For a chart of Bible verses that lay collectively describe and delineate these two viewpoints see Flesh Versus Spirit.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Posted in The Kingdom of God, The Ways of God | Leave a comment

Isaiah 11:12 – Jesus Is the Standard for the Nations

Isaiah 11:12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.

Jesus was “lifted up”as a “standard for the nations.”  In John 12:32, He Himself said He would be.

Throughout the book of Acts and the epistles that follow we see the evidence that “the dispersed of Judah were gathered from the four corners of the earth.”  At first, it was just Jews according to the flesh who believed.  Then Jews according to the spirit (Romans 2:28, 29) were added to them.  (The book of Romans elaborates on this process).

Jesus is thus the standard, and the fulfillment of this promise which God made through Isaiah.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Posted in Jesus Christ, Types and Shadows | Leave a comment

Isaiah 11:10 – Jesus Is the Root of Jesse and the Signal for the Peoples

Isaiah 11:10 Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

We live in the day about which Isaiah was prophesying!  The root of Jesse is, of course, Jesus Christ our Lord – raised from the dead, never to die again.

The nations resort to Him because only in His name can salvation be found (Acts 4:12).

He “stands forever” by virtue of His resurrection.  He is thus a “signal” – or sign – “for the peoples.”  All of us may turn to Him. His arms are open wide (John 6:37).

His resting place – heaven itself – is indeed glorious!  And there we shall join Him when we leave this earth.  In the meantime, His glorious resting place is in the hearts of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6; Colossians 1:27).  Let us be among them!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Amos 7:7-8 – Jesus Is the Plumb Line

Amos 7:7 Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand.
Amos 7:8 The LORD said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“Behold I am about to put a plumb line
In the midst of My people Israel.
I will spare them no longer.

Jesus Christ is the plumb line.  He is the One by whom we are all measured.  Therefore, let us humble ourselves and repent.  Let us seek His forgiveness and His grace that we might live before Him.

(See also Christ’s Life Replaces the Law – That Life Is the Scepter, Rod, Staff, and Measuring Rod.)

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Posted in Types and Shadows | 1 Comment

Psalm 119:97 – The Lord Jesus Is Our Law

Psalm 119:97 O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

Jesus has become “the law” to us.  He is our great example.  Therefore, we meditate upon Him all the day that we might imitate Him.

Thus we might say:

O how I love You, Lord Jesus!!
You are my meditation all the day.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

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Proverbs 25:2 – Christ Was Hidden in the Old Testament and Revealed in the New Testament

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

God hid the glory of Christ in what we call the Old Testament.  Jesus of Nazareth sought it out and taught it to others.  As a result, we have the New Testament.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Posted in Jesus Christ, The Bible, The Ways of God | Leave a comment

The Lord’s Will for You Is Strength of Heart

God does not want you to be weak in heart.  Rather, His will is that you be strong in heart.  Consider and meditate upon the following verses:

1 Corinthians 16:13

Ephesians 6:10

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

2 Timothy 2:1

Hebrews 12:12; 13:9

James 5:8

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Posted in The Apostles, The Ways of God | Leave a comment

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 and the Power of Grace

 

2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,
2 Thessalonians 2:17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

Note the power of grace.  It is able to give us eternal – not merely temporal – comfort.  And it is able to give us good hope for the future.  Therefore, our hearts can be both comforted and strengthened in all our activities.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Posted in The Ways of God | Leave a comment