Whatever Is True of God Is True of the Son of God

The only-begotten Son of God Christ Jesus has all the characteristics and powers of God.  He is God!

Just like Jesus had to be made like His brethren in all respects (Hebrews 2:17) during the days of His flesh, He had to be made like His heavenly Father in all respects during the eternal day that began with His resurrection (Isaiah 22:24).

And Jesus is “the exact representation” of God’s nature (Hebrews 1:3), and possesses all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

How can this be?  Can there be two Gods?  No.  God the Father gave Himself up that He might become God the Son.

Does this mean we would be without a heavenly father?  No.  Jesus would become our heavenly father in due time – specifically at the coming of the kingdom.  Indeed the kingdom of God has come and Jesus is our eternal Father (Isaiah 9:6).

Let us worship the Son of God and no other.

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

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.

The Lessons of God Keep Getting Repeated in Scripture

How did a teenage boy named David know that he could prevail over a giant named Goliath?  (1 Sam 17:6).  One way was that he would have been familiar with the stories passed down through his family from the generation of Israel that marched around in the desert for forty years before entering the promised land.  That circular march of futility was the judgment against Israel for believing the reports of the ten cowardly spies sent to the land of Canaan (two of twelve spies dissented).  You’ll recall that the ten returned with a report that there were “giants in the land” and that Israel would therefore not be able to prevail (Numbers 13-14).

By David’s time, Israel was dwelling in the land of Canaan.  Goliath was a giant defying Israel’s possession of the land.   David knew from his ancestors’ experience that shrinking back in the face of this giant was just the sort of behavior that the Lord really disliked.  David believed that the Lord would help him if he took on the giant.  And indeed God not only helped David, but subsequently made him king of Israel and testified that David was “a man after my own heart.”

David didn’t think that story from Numbers about the ten fearful spies was a tedious passage from an obscure book.  On the contrary, he found life in listening to it, learning from it, and acting on what he’d learned.

When we see repeated patterns in the Scriptures, it strengthens our confidence that we are understanding the Lord’s word.

All patterns in the Scripture ultimately point to Christ.  He was our “David” who took on the “giant” of “Death” and conquered it so that we might no longer be cowardly or fearful (Hebrews 2:14-15).

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.

God Doesn’t Tell Time with a Watch or a Calendar

Practically everyone is familiar with the refrain from the book of Ecclesiastes: “There’s a time for [this], and a time for [that].”

Jesus was virtually silent to world until He was approximately thirty years old (Luke 3;23).  Since then the world has not stopped hearing from Him.  Thus there was for Jesus “a time to be silent and a time to speak”  (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

Mordecai told Esther to keep quiet about her people or her kindred (Esther 2:10), but subsequently urged her to abandon her silence (Esther 4:14).  Thus there was for Esther “a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

The Lord doesn’t tell time by a wristwatch or a calendar.  He tells time by what needs to be done for righteousness’ sake  (that is, the need of the moment, as in Ephesians 4:29).  And, of course, we are imitators of Him.

Thus there is for you “a time to be silent and a time to speak.”  You will know when to be silent and when to speak by the Lord’s Spirit who is in you.

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.

1 Samuel 13:13-14

This passage outlines the role Christ plays in replacing Adam.  Paul mentions this type in Romans 5:14 (where he explicitly labels Adam a type of Christ) and again in 1 Corinthians 15:22 and 45 (where he calls Christ “the last Adam”).

Adam is like Saul.  Saul did not keep the command of the Lord, and so lost his God-given authority.  Christ is like David.  David was the man after God’s own heart who was chosen to receive the authority Saul had squandered.

The Bible is teeming with patterns like this which reveal to us more about Christ our Lord and His great work on our behalf.  See Types and Shadows for more examples.

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.

Churches Say Things But Do Not Do Them

I was on the staff of a church at one time whose tagline was 2 Corinthians 4:5:  “For what we preach is not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.”

It was a noble sentiment, but grossly unrepresentative of our actual mission, which was to 1) receive enough money in the offerings to pay our bills, 2) have enough volunteers to organize services, and 3) grow.  Oh, yes, we wanted to serve Jesus…but that had to come after the first three goals.  If the first three goals weren’t met we would have had to disband.  This is true of every church.  We hated to admit it, but deep down we knew it was so.  It’s a truth that church leaders would just rather not acknowledge.

(Let me be clear that I am speaking about churches in general, not churches where the leadership is consciously trying to bilk people of their money.  Those are reprehensible and no one would defend them.  I’m speaking of all the well-intentioned churches, and ours was certainly one of those.)

Therefore, churches are saying 2 Corinthians 4:5, but they are not doing it (Matthew 23:3).  Ah, individuals within the church may be doing it – and, if so, bravo for them!  But those individuals don’t need the church to do it.

Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church

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.

Churches Are Preaching Half a Gospel

Churches are preaching:

Heaven is real, but only some are going there.

Jesus promised to return, but hasn’t done so yet.

God is everywhere, but you still need to go to church.

Why don’t they preach the whole counsel of God?  (Acts 20:27 KJV)  What they have is half a gospel at best.  Here’s what we should all be preaching:

Everyone Is Going to Heaven

Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again

Practicing the Presence of Christ

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.

We Are to Follow Jesus as He Followed God

We are not to follow God as Jesus followed God.  We are to follow Jesus as Jesus followed God.

We can’t see God as Jesus did.  If we could, we could have followed God without Jesus having to come.  Jesus followed God so that we might follow Jesus.

For this reason Peter said that Jesus left us “an example that we should follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).  Peter walked right alongside Jesus and yet could never see the Father that Jesus was imitating, but he did see Jesus and that provided someone he could imitate.  Since we have the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, we can imitate Him, too.

In John 5:19 Jesus said that “the son could do nothing unless it is something he sees the father doing.”  He is, of course, drawing on the lessons of life that anyone can see.  Jesus could see His Father, and so He imitated Him.  We can see Jesus, so we should imitate Jesus.  Does this make Jesus our Father?  Yes.

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

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.

Jesus Is Portrayed as a Man of Faith

Since Jesus was a son of Abraham and of David, we might expect to see Him portrayed in the gospels as a “zealous for Torah” Jew.  Although He is certainly portrayed as a Torah-abiding Jew, His zeal was for God.  His life was thus marked by an astounding level of faith.

When the apostles and their co-workers wrote the gospels, this focus on Jesus’ faith comes forth.  This helps us with the transition from the law of Moses to the grace of the kingdom of God.  The primary example Jesus was setting for us was one of faith in God – an example which Gentiles could follow as well as Jews.  His was a faith for everyone to imitate.

We sometimes are staggered by the faith that the Lord Jesus seems to ask of us, but is it really that much when you see the amount of faith He Himself demonstrated?  After all, when He died He was not going to be there to raise Himself like He had raised Lazarus.  There was no one on earth who was going to shout His name so that He might come forth from the tomb like Lazarus did.

Jesus was putting all His faith in the God of the Scriptures.  Is it too much then that we should trust the Jesus of the Scriptures?

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.

The Praise Comes from Infants Because the Revelations Are to Infants

Are you as a little child before the Lord?  Jesus said that this was the way to greatness in the kingdom of God (Matthew 18:1-4).

When we become as children, He discloses wondrous truths about Himself to us (Matthew 11:25-26).  When this happens, we sing His praises (Matthew 21:15-16).

If you noted carefully the references in Matthew 11 and 21 you know that the very people who didn’t receive the revelations are the ones who got the most upset with those who did.

We cannot be innocent bystanders with the Lord – we come out either for Him or against Him (Matthew 12:30).  Let us humble ourselves as little children lest, if we don’t, we find ourselves viewing critically those who do.

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.

The Son of David and the Son of God

Jesus is both the son of David and the Son of God.

In the flesh, Jesus is the son of David.  David was a man of flesh.  David’s descendants would therefore be flesh.

In the spirit, Jesus is the Son of God.  When He was raised from the dead, He was birthed from the dead.  For this reason He is called the “son” of God because God sired Him, and by the resurrection did He do so.  For this reason also, Jesus is called the firstborn of the dead (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5).

The “son of David” is an earthly identity and the “Son of God” is a heavenly identity.  This is the answer to the riddle that Jesus posed to the Pharisees in Matthew 22:41-46.  Messiah could not be both David’s descendant and David’s Lord…but the resurrection allowed Jesus to hold both identities.  David’s descendant had to become something else in order to become David’s Lord.  That something else was the resurrection of Christ.  Through it, Jesus of Nazareth became the resurrected-from-the-dead supreme authority of heaven and earth (Acts 2:34-36).

Son of David – Son of God.  Humanity – Deity.  Flesh – Spirit.  Then – Now.

The days of His flesh are no more (2 Corinthians 5:16).  We know Him now in the spirit.

Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh

Practicing the Presence of Christ

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Changed Everything

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.

Jesus Is the Pivot of Time and Space

All time and space turns on Jesus Christ.  That we divide our time between B.C. and A.D. is but a ripple effect of that truth (B.C.E. and C.E. are simply society’s way of trying to avoid discussing the elephant in the room).

Jesus came in the flesh as the son of David.  Thus, all the promises of the Scriptures to Abraham and David were His.  Jesus was declared the Son of God by virtue of His resurrection from the dead and made Lord of heaven and earth (Romans 1:3-4; Acts 13:33; Psalm 2:7).  On that basis, He was able to bestow all the promises of God on the nations, which is why Paul said that all the promises of God are “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:19-20).  Thus Jesus received the promises in the flesh for Himself that He might bestow them upon us in the spirit.

Son of DavidSon of God.   And His resurrection is dead center of the pivot.

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.

Adam and Eve Truly Died the Day They Ate the Forbidden Fruit

God had told Adam and Eve that they would die in the day that they ate from the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:16-17).  Later, Satan contradicted this (Genesis 3:1-5).

Since the Bible records that Adam didn’t die until many years later, some think that the “die in the day” part wasn’t true.  However, Adam and Eve did die that day…spiritually.  That is, spiritual death was that day.  Physical death was many years later.

Therefore, the world today is filled with walking dead people.  That is, it’s obvious that many people are separated from God (which is the definition of spiritual death).  They are merely existing.

For this reason Jesus said to a hesitant follower, “Let the dead bury their own dead” (Luke 9:60).

For this reason also Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).  Through Him our fellowship with God is restored and we live.  For this reason He also said, “I have come that they might have life” (John 10:10).

We don’t attach enough importance to the death Adam and Eve began experiencing that first day of sin.  As a result, we miss out on the eternal life Jesus Christ has for us in the here and now.  Let us forsake our sinning and instead practice the presence of Christ.  He is the life (John 14:6).  He is the life!

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.

Is There To Be No Year of Jubilee?

Yesterday’s post, Eighteen Long Years, made reference to Jesus’ viewpoint that suffering should not be allowed to go on indefinitely.

Consider also that the Law of Moses (never noted for going easy on people) called for a “year of jubilee” every 50th year (Leviticus 25).  Even if a person had sold himself into slavery, he was allowed to go free in the year of jubilee.

If there was such a statute of limitations on bondage in the Law of Moses, how could the great Messiah Jesus not have such a statute of limitations in His own judgments?

People who say that God has planned an eternity of conscious torment called hell do not understand Jesus at all.

Judgment is indeed upon us (and for this reason we must repent), but everyone is surely going to heaven.

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.

Eighteen Long Years

In Luke 13:10-16, the story is told of how Jesus healed a woman who had been bent double for eighteen years.  A synagogue official took issue with Jesus, saying He should not have healed her on the Sabbath.  Jesus countered that the Sabbath was a particularly good day to heal her.  He also said that the woman ought to be loosed from her affliction to which Satan had bound her for “eighteen long years.”  Can the Jesus who so mercifully called attention to the length of her bondage be someone who would consign unbelievers to an eternity of torment?

Everyone Is Going to Heaven

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.

Yoked to Christ or to the Church?

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus Christ invites us to take His yoke upon ourselves.  Since Christ is invisible, this has to be a matter of faith.  And so it is (John 20:29-31).

Yet the church insists that believers must be yoked to church.  That is, churches say that the only way to be yoked to Christ is to be yoked to church.  Churches are visible; therefore, this is not a matter of faith.  Thus, churches by their behavior contradict their own Scriptures!

Be yoked to Christ.

For more, see Church Is Not the Answer; Christ Is.

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.

The Depth of Corroboration to the Testimony of Jesus Christ

I wrote a post published two days ago about The Twofold Witness of Prophets and Apostles.  In it, I treated the prophets and the apostles as if together they accounted for two witnesses.  Of course, the corroboration is much greater than that because each represents a set of witnesses – not just one witness each.  In fact, I will go on to point out that each set of witnesses meets the Mosaic standard of two or three witnesses within itself as well.

To be more specific, the New Testament itself is largely the testimony of Paul, John, and Peter.  These three witnesses each corroborate each other’s testimony about Jesus.  Furthermore, the remainder of the New Testament was largely written by Matthew, James, and Jude.  These three corroborate each other…and Paul, John, and Peter as well.

As for the Old Testament, we have Moses and all the prophets.  This includes the prophets who wrote the longer books: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.  It also includes the twelve minor prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah,  and Malachi.  There are even others beyond these who corroborate the prophecies of Messiah, such as Samuel and Ezra.

Therefore, the “two or three witness” rule is applied in deeper and deeper layers as you drill down on the testimony given about Christ.  This is all the more reason we can be rock solid sure about the testimony regarding Jesus Christ.  There should be no doubt about who He is, or that He is.

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.

Would You Like a Third Witness to Jesus Christ?

Yesterday’s post, The Twofold Witness of Prophets and Apostles, cited Moses’ rule that “every fact is to be established by two or three witnesses” (Deuteronomy 19:15).  What about the stickler who says, “I’d like three witnesses for Jesus Christ since the issue is so important – the prophets and the apostles are not quite enough.”  The answer is that the Lord Himself is the third witness through His Holy Spirit.  In fact, He is bearing witness to your heart at this very moment that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God and the Savior of the world (John 20:30-31; 1 John 4:14).

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.

The Twofold Witness of Prophets and Apostles

The Law of Moses says that a fact should be established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15).  In the case of Jesus Christ (the Messiah of Israel) we have our two witnesses: the prophets and the apostles.

The Old Testament is what we call the collection of writings by the prophets, and the New Testament is what we call the collection of the writings by the apostles.

The apostle Peter said that the apostles’ testimony about Messiah made more sure the prophets’ testimony about Him (2 Peter 1:19).  Later in his letter Peter reaffirmed the two witnesses of prophets and apostles (2 Peter 3:1-2).  Thus Peter reiterates that the New Testament makes more sure the Old Testament.

The testimony about Jesus Christ is true.  It has been established by the appropriate number of witnesses.  Let us therefore believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him with all our hearts!

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.

Isaiah 52:13

Jesus of Nazareth was the servant of the Lord prophesied in this verse from Isaiah.

Before Jesus came, people who heard this scripture envisioned someone great in the earth: a king, a mighty warrior to defeat Israel’s enemies.  It was the resurrection from the dead, however, that God had in mind – an exaltation so great no one had contemplated it.

Oh, the people of Israel had a hope in resurrection from the dead.  However, they did not foresee the sufferings of Messiah as leading to the glories of Messiah (Luke 24:26).  The reign of Messiah from a heavenly Jerusalem rather than from an earthly Jerusalem was certainly an understanding that came only with Jesus’ resurrection and His explanation of it to His disciples.

We, however, have the benefit of hindsight and can look back at this verse penned over half a millennium before Christ was born and see the great glory of God’s prophecy through Isaiah.  Oh, how wondrous it is!  Who can compare to the servant of the Lord in Isaiah 52:13?  He is high and lifted up, and greatly exalted!

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.

The Benediction of the Face

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 King James Version

Most people hear these words and promptly forget about them, even when they like the words.  However, think how different life would be if people took these words to heart and lived by them.

Who would commit adultery if they believe the Lord’s face was paying attention?  Who would even think adulterous thoughts if they thought God was watching?  It is precisely because people – even many people who greatly esteem the words – do not take the words to heart that sin abounds.

If we really believe in the blessing of Christ’s face toward us, we will find power over sin.  This is how God purifies for Himself a people for His own possession.

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.

His Face Is Like the Sun Shining in Its Strength

You may recognize the words of the title to this post as coming from Revelation 1:16.  These words also remind us of the Transfiguration experience in which Jesus’ face shone like the sun to Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:2).

Of course, we are not surprised at these things because the Messiah was prophesied to be “the sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2).  Jesus was the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4) who was spoken of as a “sun” long before (Psalm 84:11), thus all these descriptions are fitting.

It is no wonder then that those who look to Jesus (Hebrews 11:27; 12:2) themselves have shining faces (Psalm 34:5) like Stephen (Acts 6:15).

Thus, Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) and those who truly follow Him reflect the glory of the light of His face upon them – that is, they live as His reflected glory (Matthew 5:14).

These are the people who walk in the light of the countenance of the Lord (Psalm 89:15; Matthew 13:43).

This has nothing to do with going to church and everything to do with seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

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.

What Got Stephen Stoned

 

In Acts 6, we see Stephen serving tables.  No one wanted to stone him for that.

Then we see Him speaking about Jesus and the great things He had done – including rising from the dead.  That got everyone’s attention and brought him before the religious leaders – not for commendation, but for condemnation.

In Acts 7 they let Stephen make a statement which turned out to be a scriptural vindication of Jesus and an indictment of the religious leadership that had pushed to have Him crucified.  That speech got them gnashing their teeth at Stephen.

What finally set the crowd to kill Stephen, however, was his confession of seeing Jesus standing at the right hand of God in the midst of this trial.  The notion that God was looking down on this situation and siding with the followers of Jesus was all the antagonists could bear.  They rushed upon Stephen and stoned him in a fit of fury.

It is the idea that God is actively watching us all the time that brings out the worst in people who don’t love Him. (John 3:19-21).

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.

Do You Want to Go to Church or Do You Want to Live Godly?

In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul wrote that everyone who desires to live godly in Christ Jesus would be persecuted.  Most invitations to church we receive don’t seem to make those points (that is, that we should live godly and that we will be persecuted for doing so).

The only invitation to church we should consider accepting is the one that comes from Jesus Himself:  How to Be in the One True Church.

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.

Let Us Give Ourselves to the Lord that We Might Give Ourselves to Others

In 2 Corinthians 8:5 the apostle Paul gives us a practical order for the laying down of our lives in love which Jesus commanded (John 15:13-14).

First, we pray and give ourselves to the Lord.  In that process we let Him direct our hearts so that we know His will for serving those around us.

Parents should love children.  Children should respect parents.  Husbands should love wives.  These directions are simple, but are not easy…especially in this darkened world in which we live.  But this is where the Lord’s grace comes in.  If we begin every day by giving ourselves first to Him, then He can pour us out as His grace to those around us.  By giving ourselves first to Him, we know better how we should give ourselves to others.

This is the outcome of following His teaching to put our relationship with Him above all other relationships (Luke 14:26).  It is not so that those relationships should suffer, but rather that the should flourish.

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.

Call on the Lord from a Pure Heart

In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul tells Timothy to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who “call on the Lord from a pure heart.”  This was the heart cry of the New Testament church.  It is practically impossible, however, in our day to find a group of people for whom this is the objective.  Why is that?

The reason is the kingdom of God is here.  God abandoned church as His vehicle of salvation when its prophesied apostasy came to its fullness. just as He had abandoned Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:12; 1 Samuel 2:27-4:22).

If you want to find the Lord, live in the light of Christ.  You do not need anyone else in order to turn your heart to the Lord.  Jesus has come in His glory.

The one true church is the kingdom of God.  Let us seek it (Matthew 6:33).

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.

The Lord Purifies for Himself a People for His Own Possession

Titus 2:14 talks about the Lord redeeming us from lawless deeds and purifying us for His own possession.  How does He do this?

He does this as we give ourselves to walking in the light of His presence (John 3:19-21).  See also Practicing the Presence of Christ.  Ancient Israel was not pure; neither was the church of the New Testament, especially in its latter days.  That’s why the Lord brought the kingdom of God.  In the kingdom we are purified as we keep looking to Him who is unseen (Hebrews 11:27).  If we walk with Him, the light of His presence cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Purity of heart comes not from walking with holy people but from walking with a holy God.

This is the process for those who would be part of His kingdom, which is the one true church.  No man can enroll you in it; no man can kick you out of it.  It is entirely of the Lord (Obadiah 1:21).

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.

Afterthought on 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

We’ve been looking at this passage for the previous three days’ posts.  In retrospect, you should consider that being in the Lord’s church doesn’t have the same “rubbing shoulders” effect you’re used to in man-made churches.  I hope you see that you’re “trading up” because the one you’re rubbing shoulders with the most in the Lord’s church is the Lord Himself (Amos 3:3).

One of the great wonders of the Lord’s church (that is, the kingdom of God) is that while you feel like you’re alone from a human standpoint, you are far from it.  As Jesus said, others have labored and you are entering into their labor (John 4:38).  Similarly, Elijah felt he was serving God all by himself but God admonished him that there were 7,000 others serving God of whom Elijah was completely unaware (Romans 11:2-4).

Therefore, when you are part of the one true church, you may feel alone from a human standpoint – but you never are.  The Lord knows those who are His even if we don’t (2 Timothy 2:19).  Serve God as if you are part of a mighty army, because you are (2 Kings 6:16-17).

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.

“And I Will Be a Father to You”

We have been considering the promises of 2 Corinthians 6:16-18.  Two day’s ago we looked at verse 16.   Yesterday we looked at verse 17.  Today we conclude by looking at verse 18.

Note that the promise is from “the Lord Almighty.”  Who is our Lord?  Jesus Christ.  For confirmation, go to Acts 2:34-36 where Peter testifies that Jesus has been made Lord by virtue of His having been seated at the right hand of God.  But who needs a verse citation to know that Acts through Revelation declares Jesus to be Lord over and over and over again?

Therefore, in the coming of the kingdom of God, Jesus becomes our Father through promises like this one.  Apart from Him, we have no inheritance in God – but through Him we inherit all things!

Does it surprise you that Jesus is our Father?  If so, see There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ and Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ.

If you believe the promises of 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 then you will know how to be part of the one true church.

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.

“Come Out from Their Midst and Be Separate”

Picking up where yesterday’s post left off, the exhortation in 2 Corinthians 6:17 is that we “come out from among them.”

From “whom” should you come out?  Whomever you are among.  This is speaking spiritually, of course, and not according to the flesh.  Therefore the exhortation is speaking to your spiritual identification.

Do you identify with church?  Or are you of Jewish descent and identify with your ethnicity?  Or are you part of some other religion?  Or are you without religion altogether and consider yourself an atheist or agnostic?  In all cases you should forget about any sort of group identity and approach the Lord from your own heart.  This is true faith.

This exhortation is reminiscent of Paul’s admonition in Romans 14:22: “Let your faith be a matter of your own personal conviction before the Lord.”  Paul was preparing his disciples for the kingdom of God.  We live in that kingdom.  Therefore, we are to let go of all fleshly orientation to our worship and recognize that God looks on the heart and wants us to approach Him and live with Him individually.

You do not need a “fellowship” of faith to show the love of God for you already have family, friends, and co-workers to whom you can show love – even if those people are enemies of your faith.  Didn’t Jesus teach us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-48) and that our enemies would be the members of our own household (Matthew 10:34-36)?

Let worship be a function of your heart and not of sociological groupings or bands with singers, and then you will know how to be part of the one true church.  See also Romans 12:1-2 and John 4:20-24.

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.

“He Will Dwell in Us and Walk Among Us”

This promise from 2 Corinthians 6:16 brings to mind Satan’s taunt to God in Job 1:7: “I’ve been roaming around the earth and walking about on it.”  Through the kingdom of God, which the promise quoted in 2 Corinthians 6:16 has in view, the tables are turned and it is God who is dwelling on the earth and walking around on it.

This kingdom of God came and will always be here because it is eternal.  Therefore, we should acknowledge Christ in our midst.  If you do so, and if you honor and obey Him, then you know how to be part of the one true church.

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.