Coming to Our Senses

You probably recall Jesus’ story of the prodigal son (Luke 15).  At the low point of the story, the prodigal has gone away to a far country and squandered his father’s riches on loose living.  He found himself having to take a job feeding pigs; he was so poor and hungry that he longed to eat what the pigs were eating.  That sets the stage for this:

“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! ‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”‘ – Luke 15:17-19

I emphasized the word “senses” because I wanted to sensitize you to it so you’d look for it in this following verse from the epistle to the Hebrews:

For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. – Hebrews 5:13-14

The senses to which God would have us come are our moral senses.  Many people are accustomed to live for the pleasure of their physical senses.  If such people would only channel that same level of energy into pursuing the pleasure of their moral senses, they would find a joy they have not previously imagined.  For this reason, the Scripture says:

“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness therefore God…has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.”  – Hebrews 1:9

Therefore, if you want joy…do right.  That is, come to your moral senses…and act on 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.

You Are an Heir of Salvation

You have an inheritance in Jesus Christ.  How do I know this?  Because you are a human being.  Jesus died for all – the living and the dead – that He might leave an inheritance for each person in the earth.  What you inherit is a salvation which will nourish and sustain you throughout your whole life here on earth.

This salvation is not a salvation of circumstances, but rather a salvation of your soul.  (See It’s a Salvation of the Soul…Not Circumstances.)  The peace of your inner being is guaranteed.  All you must do is to love doing what is right.  Is that too much to ask?

Don’t be like an heir to a fortune who never claims his fortune.  Turn now to Jesus Christ our Lord and receive His peace and joy for living a life of goodness, love, and mercy.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  – Micah 6:8

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.

“And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise”

“And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”  – Galatians 3:29 King James Version

That’s a mighty big “if.”

Yet, since the kingdom of God has come, we are all Christ’s according to 1 Corinthians 15:25-28.  Thus, our God has taken the “if” out of the sentence.  We are all His now.  Thus everyone is going to heaven, yet judgment is upon every one of us.  Therefore, we should repent and live as righteously as we know how.

We are all Abraham’s seed.  It’s past time we started acting like it.

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 New Testament Documents Were Insurance

The New Testament documents were insurance against subsequent generations misrepresenting what the apostles had taught.  With the New Testament documents we have direct evidence from the apostles themselves about their teaching.  Churches may tell us that oral traditions were passed on from the apostles which should also be taken into consideration.  However, since the apostles spoke for the Lord and would not for that reason contradict themselves, we can reject any alleged oral traditions which contradict the writings penned by the apostles.

The apostles taught that the coming of the Lord would be a great spiritual event with momentous earthly consequences.  Therefore, every sanctified believer under the teaching of the apostles would know when the Second Coming occurred (Hebrews 12:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10) and would be able to pass this knowledge on to his children and their children.  However, the church would become apostate in the latter days of the apostles.  Therefore, what would happen to the true teaching about the arrival of the kingdom of God since it would be carried by individuals and not an institution that had fallen into unbelief regarding this teaching?  And how would any individual be able to preserve the apostles’ writing, or make sure that each generation faithfully passed on this information?  The answer is that the apostate institution would eventually canonize the apostles’ documents, not realizing that they were, in so doing, guaranteeing that ultimately the truth would come out to all generations even if the earliest generations had no way to faithfully pass on the apostles’ teaching themselves.

Therefore, you can look at today’s churches – Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant – and note that all three agree on 27 apostolic documents for the New Testament – no more, no less.  Those documents contain the very teachings that these churches proclaim (e.g. “Jesus is Lord!”) but also they teachings they deny (e.g. the certainty of the Lord’s coming in the first century).   Oh, the wisdom and patience of our Lord to provide insurance so that His plan of proclaiming to the nations the all-sufficiency and finality of His work through Jesus Christ!

The New Testament documents are insurance against any group using “tradition” or “church authority” to deprive humanity of the truth of what Jesus taught through His apostles.

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.

Since When Does a Mediator Need a Mediator?

Churches today – especially the Roman Catholic Church – will tell you that you need a mediator between you and Jesus Christ.  And, guess what, they propose themselves to fill that role.

The Bible says that there is but one mediator between God and men – the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).   Are we to believe then that this mediator himself needs a mediator?  How many mediators are there going to be?

We only need one mediator – and Jesus Christ is His name!

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.

Circumcise the Church

Abraham was given the covenant of circumcision.  Today we need a new circumcision.  That is, we should circumcise the church – meaning we should remove it from faith in Christ.

To circumcise means to “cut away.”  We need to cut away our faith in church from our faith in Christ, so that our faith might be in Christ alone.

So many people are taught today that they must have faith in church, or belong to a church, in order to be faithful to Jesus Christ.  Since the coming of the kingdom of God, however, this has not been necessary.  What is necessary is to learn about – and follow – Jesus Christ our Lord.

Therefore, be done with the church and serve Jesus.  He’s everywhere…and wants you to love everyone.

See also:

Church Is Not the Answer; Christ Is

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.

We Do Not Live in the New Testament Age

Why do some people think we live in New Testament times?  Churches today claim that the kingdom of God did not come when Jesus and His apostles said it would, and that, therefore, we must continue to wait for it.  But how can this be?  That is, how can it be that Jesus and the apostles were wrong?

Jesus and the apostles spoke of an age to come. Surely it came, didn’t it?  Yes, it surely did.

Therefore, we do not have to live as if we are in New Testament times.  The kingdom of God has come and so it is here.  We should seek it.  We should seek it by obeying Jesus (that is, imitate the love with which He lived).  We should follow Jesus as He followed God.  That is, Jesus is God to us.

We should no more read the New Testament and think we live in New Testament times than we should read about sacrifices in the Old Testament and think we live in Old Testament times.  It makes no more sense to be a churchgoer than to be one who sacrifices animals to God.

We do not live in the New Testament age or the Old Testament age.  Therefore, we should imitate the faith of those saints who lived in New Testament times and those who lived in Old Testament times, but not their activities (Hebrews 13:7).  Activities are generation-specific, but faith is for every generation.  So also hope and love.  But especially love.  (See 1 Corinthians 13).

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 Bible Is About Jesus

The Bible is about Jesus.  The following 28 posts, in a variety of ways, speak to that point.

The Scriptures Are About Christ

The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory

Verses That Demonstrate How the Old Testament Speaks of Christ (Specific Examples)

Verses That Indicate That the Old Testament Speaks of Christ (General Statements)

The Bible Is About the Son, Not the Father

Those Who Wrote the Old Testament Foresaw Jesus

The Resurrected Jesus Made the Bible a New Book

What Does the Bible Say? Sum It Up!

Are You Making the Bible an Idol?

Jesus Is the Torah of God

No New Writings Were Needed to Launch the Movement of Christ

Why Should I Read the Old Testament Without Jesus’ Guidance?

Concerning Christ There Is Much to Say

Let Us Read the Old Testament as Jesus Taught His Apostles to Read It

The Bible Is the Book of Jesus

The Apostles and the Prophets Witness Christ’s Sufferings…in Dramatically Different Ways

The New Testament Explains That the Old Testament Is About Jesus

The Bible Is God’s Explanation of Christ

Consider the Old Testament Your Bible and the New Testament Its Commentary

The Bible: Its Subject Is Jesus, Its Author Is the Holy Spirit

Jesus Is Explicit in the New Testament, Implicit in the Old Testament

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Are You a Student of the Scriptures…or a Student of the Lord?

Who Could Believe All Those Old Testament Promises Were About One Person?

The Jigsaw Puzzle That Is the Old Testament Portrait of Messiah

The Apostles Had Particular Insight into the Scriptures

The Apostles Did Not Write the New Testament to Replace the Old Testament

The Scriptures Were Written About Messiah

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.

Learning the Biblical Language of Soul

Since the salvation bequeathed to us in the earth is one of the soul, we ought to familiarize ourselves with the language the Bible uses to describe the soul and its various states.

Our souls can hope, they can grieve, they can be troubled, they can exult.

Our souls can experience destruction and death.  On the other hand, they can have life breathed into them by the breath of God.

We can compose, quiet, and humble our souls.  Our experiences can cause them to be disturbed, distressed, or unsettled.

Our souls can be blessed…or cursed.

We can lose our souls and we can gain them.

All the italicized terms – and more – can be found in the Bible’s comments about our souls.

Know this for certain: doing right is healthy for your soul; sinning is self-destructive.

Learn the biblical language of soul, for when you care for your soul you care for your life.  That is, as your soul goes, so goes your 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.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Beware of Man-Made Religion

Beware of self-made or man-made religion.  (See Col 2:23.)

Beware of people who borrow phrases from the Bible but then fashion ideas from those phrases which are inconsistent with the spirit of Jesus Christ and thus with the spirit of the Bible.

If you’re going to read the Bible, read enough of it to get a sense of the spirit behind those who wrote it.  So much of what is called biblical is not biblical at all.

God is love.  God is truth.  God is justice.  And, most importantly, Jesus of Nazareth is the image of the invisible God.  If someone’s idea doesn’t match Jesus, or doesn’t lead you to follow Jesus more closely, avoid it.

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 Age to Come Came

The New Testament speaks of “the age to come.”  (See Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Ephesians 2:7; Hebrews 6:5; see also Daniel 7:18.)  Did that age come?  Yes.  (See Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.).  In fact, there is no Bible prophecy that has gone unfulfilled.  (See All Bible Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled in Christ.)

We live in that age that the apostles said was to come.  Thus “the age to come” came.  In fact, it had come by the time that all the New Testament documents were gathered into one collection.  The apostasy of the church was the last sign before the coming of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and one of the apostles (in fact, the one thought to have lasted until the end: John 21:22) testified that this apostasy had come (see 1 John 2:18 and 3 John 1:9-10).

Thus whenever we read in the New Testament about the age to which they looked forward, we should keep in mind that we live not in their age, but in that very age they foresaw.

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.

You Can Glean Things from Scripture That No Human Being Has Shown You

The apostle John wrote, “The anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for any one to teach you…” (1 John 2:28).  The anointing of which he wrote was, of course, the Holy Spirit.  Thus Peter says that “no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

The best way to understand the Scriptures is through the Holy Spirit whom God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).

There is nothing wrong with receiving the truths of Scripture through other human beings, and that is certainly better than not receiving them at all.  However, there is a blessing attached to receiving knowledge and understanding directly from God.  For this reason, Jesus’ response to Peter’s confession of Jesus’ identity was “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).  Thus Paul also pointed out the distinction of having truth revealed to him directly by God in Galatians 1:1, 11-12, 15-17.  He does so again in Ephesians 3:1-13.

Recall that Jesus said, when speaking of the greatness of John the Baptist, “yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11).  Thus even you and I are qualified to receive revelation from God, for we cannot be lower than the least!

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.

Jesus Was Finding Things in Scripture That Were Escaping His Contemporaries

Jesus of Nazareth was unique in so many ways.  One of those ways was that He found truth in Scripture that others, many far more educated than He, had missed.  And, even more interestingly, Jesus would often seem surprised when those learned ones missed them.

Consider, for example, Jesus’ surprise at Nicodemus’ naivete about spiritual things in John 3.  Nicodemus was a highly respected Jewish teacher, yet he sought Jesus out to learn from Him.  Nicodemus did this at night so as to not attract attention, and thus keep his reputation intact.

Consider also how Jesus saw divorce as contrary to the will of God even though there was a provision for divorce in the Law of Moses (Matthew 19:3-12).  And then there was the issue of resurrection which Jesus saw as obvious, and He proved it from the very Law of Moses that that Sadducees thought was silent on the subject (Matthew 22:23-33).

How is it that Jesus could understand so many things from the Scriptures that far more learned men were missing?  The answer is that He approached them with the humility of a child (Matthew 11:2-30), and He sought to obey them with all His being (Psalm 111:10).  Thus, we can know that understanding the Scriptures is not primarily a matter of education, but rather of humility and obedience.

As the Scripture itself says in Psalm 111:10:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

Thus Paul could make the promise to Timothy:  “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7).

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.

Abraham Is the Model

How is it possible to live for God without church?  Live like Abraham.

Abraham stood alone, believing God in his time.  He did not belong to a weekly gathering of like-minded people.  On the contrary, He went out from the folks he knew, “not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

As God instructed Abraham, “Walk before Me and be blameless,” (Genesis 17:1) so Christ instructs us, “Walk before Me and be blameless.”

How do you walk before Christ?  See Practicing the Presence of Christ.

As it says in the book of Proverbs:

Let your eyes look directly ahead,

And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

Watch the path of your feet,

And all your ways will be established.

Do not turn to the right nor to the left;

Turn your foot from evil.

– Proverbs 4:25-27

Don’t make your neighbor the object of your trust; make him the object of your love.  Make Christ the object of your faith – and don’t look to the left or the right!

Remember:  Abraham is the model.

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.

What Faith and Conscience Have to Do with Each Other

Faith and conscience work together.  In this regard, see these verses:  1 Timothy 1:5, 19; 3:9 and Hebrews 10:22.   Note particularly 1 Timothy 1:19 which says that when conscience is rejected, faith gets shipwrecked.  Conscience is thus the rudder that keeps the ship of faith on course.

People who sever conscience from faith end up with licentiousness.  Jude warned against this in his short epistle when he wrote condemning “those who turn the grace of our God in to licentiousness…” (Jude 1:4)

Reading the Bible can be a help to both faith and conscience.

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.

Only Read the Bible to the Extent That It Nourishes Your Conscience and Your Faith

It’s easy to get blessed when you read the Bible but it’s also easy to get confused.  After all, it was written by dozens of authors across dozens of generations, and all in languages other than English.  Therefore, if you start to feel overwhelmed, recognize that there’s a simple explanation for why you feel this way.

Bible reading should nourish your faith in Christ and your consciousness of right and wrong.  Those are the two senses you want to always be developing.  This should be the purpose of your Bible reading.

Some people read the Bible to build sectarian arguments they want to make, or to justify a particular feeling they have or point of view they hold.  There are all sorts of unproductive reasons for reading the Bible.  To grow in faith and in morality, however, are two valid and commendable reasons.

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.

Ancient Israel Saved the Best It Had for Last

When Jesus said that there had been no one born greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11) He was certainly excepting Himself.  Nonetheless, this observation about John shows what fine company Jesus kept.

Consider also the moral caliber of the apostles who went forth spreading the word of Jesus to the nations.  And then, too, were those who believed the apostles and sought to learn more while spreading the word they had heard about the carpenter from Galilee who was saving the world.  Truly these were all people “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38).

You cannot blame me for calling this generation truly the greatest that humanity ever produced.  It is as well, of course, the greatest that ancient Israel ever produced.  This people of antiquity had saved the best for last.

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.

Christ’s Church Started on the Day of Pentecost and Ended When the Kingdom Came

Like the cocoon which protects the caterpillar that is becoming a butterfly, so the church of Christ, about which we read in the New Testament, carried believers like the apostle John from bosom of ancient Israel to the bosom of the kingdom of God.

That church represented the greatest generation of humanity who ever lived.

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.

 

Verses That Demonstrate How the Old Testament Speaks of Christ (Specific Examples)

The following verses demonstrate how the Old Testament speaks of Christ.  They are, of course, New Testament verses, because the New Testament is the source of this idea.  The Lord made it known to His apostles, whom He sent to spread His teaching.  These verses provide specific examples of how the Old Testament speaks of Christ.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but is long enough to show the variety of ways in which Christ is revealed in the Old Testament.

(An important point to keep in mind is that any time the New Testament speaks of the Scripture, it is almost always talking about the Old Testament because the New Testament was only beginning to be compiled during the apostles’ lifetimes.)

John 12:37-41 (Christ was the arm of the Lord, about whom Isaiah spoke)

Acts 3:18-26 (Christ was the great prophet promised by Moses, the seed promised to Abraham)

Acts 8:26-35 (Christ was the lamb led to slaughter)

Romans 5:14 (Adam was a type of Christ)

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (The Passover speaks of Christ)

Galatians 3:16 (Christ is “the seed” of Abraham)

Colossians 2:16-17 (Christ is foreshadowed in the food, drink, festival, new moon, and Sabbath descriptions)

Hebrews 11:17-19 (Isaac is a foreshadowing, or type, of Christ – the unique beloved son to be sacrificed)

1 Peter 2:4-8, 21-24 (Christ was the stone, the rock, the cornerstone, and the suffering servant)

See also the companion post Verses That Indicate That the Old Testament Speaks of Christ.  (Some verses show up on both lists because they both indicate and demonstrate that the Old Testament speaks 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.

Verses That Indicate That the Old Testament Speaks of Christ (General Statements)

The following New Testament verses indicate that we should think of the Old Testament as speaking of Christ.  They are general statements that the New Testament makes about the Old Testament.  This list is not exhaustive, but is long enough to make the point.

(An important point to keep in mind is that any time the New Testament speaks of the Scripture, it is almost always talking about the Old Testament because the New Testament was only beginning to be compiled during the apostles’ lifetimes.)

Luke 24:25-27, 31-32, 44-48

John 1:45; 5:39-40, 46-47

Acts 3:18-26

Acts 26:22-23

Acts 28:23

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (Note: “according to the Scriptures” in verses 3 and 4)

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (Note: “the sacred writings” are, of course, the Scriptures – the Hebrew Bible)

1 Peter 1:10-12

Galatians 3:24

See also the companion post Verses That Demonstrate How the Old Testament Speaks of Christ.  (Some verses show up on both lists because they both demonstrate and indicate that the Old Testament speaks 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.

 

Let Us Meditate on the Lamb of God

Jesus is the lamb…that was God.

Ponder the following references to Jesus as lamb, and glory in His goodness, His purity, His gentleness.  (They are rendered in Scriptural order.)

Isaiah 53:7-8 (These verses are echoed below in Acts 8:32-35)

John 1:29, 36

Acts 8:32-35 (This is a quotation of Isaiah 53:7-8)

Romans 8:35-37 (Herein we are called to follow Christ’s lamb-like example; a point Peter confirms in 1 Peter 2:21-25)

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

1 Peter 1:2 (this verse speaks of our being “sprinkled with His blood,” referring to His sacrifice as the lamb of God)

1 Peter 1:17-19

These are by no means all the Scripture verses to be found on this subject, but they are full of grace from Him that will be riches to you by Holy Spirit.

See also:

Our Lamb

Our Passover

Lamb, Stone, Bread – Images Foreshadowing Messiah

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.

Galatians 3:24

Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24 that the Law had become “a tutor,” that it might lead us to Christ.  The Law of Moses had, of course, not always served this function.  Instead, it had been the means of establishing a nation (that is, Israel) and holding it together until Christ would come.  With that coming, though, its prior use was becoming obsolete.

What I’m saying is that since the resurrection of Christ, we needn’t be concerned with the Mosaic Code.  We only need to be concerned with what it reveals about Jesus.

To take one example, we do not need to learn how to sacrifice a lamb at a feast called Passover or learn how to drink juice and eat bread at a commemoration called Communion.  Rather, we need to meditate on Christ as the lamb who takes away our sins.  All that is in the Passover is teaching about Jesus.  Paul says as much in 1 Corinthians 5:7.  John confirms it in John 1:29, 36, and Peter confirms it in 1 Peter 1:19.

Let the Law of Moses lead you to Christ…that you may continually come to 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.

 

James 3:18

How can we think of “the seed” without thinking of Jesus our Lord?  How can we think that “the fruit of righteousness” can come from any other source?

If He is truly the seed we sow, then righteousness will surely abound.  For “He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Let us to be sure to sow Him in peace – not in anxiety and strife – so that the full harvest of His righteousness might come!

See also this post on Isaiah 55:10-11.

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.

James 3:17

How can we think of “the wisdom from above” without thinking about Jesus Christ?

He descended from heaven to live among us, not carrying His great privileges with Him but divesting Himself of heavenly glory that He might be tempted in all things as we human beings are – yet without sinning like we do (Hebrews 4:15).  His great descent from above and return there was prophesied in Isaiah 55:10-11, among other places in the Hebrew Bible.  Truly Jesus has become to us “wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Is Jesus not “pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy”?  James 3:17 again)

Thank God for His wisdom from above!  All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ (Colossians 2:3).  That is, when you are looking for wisdom from God, be sure to seek it in the context of Jesus.  There is no true wisdom outside of Him.  Too often, believers seek God for wisdom, forgetting to live to and for Jesus.  Thus they either fail to receive wisdom or else don’t understand it when it is provided to them.

Let us never forget that Jesus is “the wisdom from above” and that more wisdom comes to those who are using what they already have – for “to him who has, shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but to him who does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:12).

Live for Jesus and wisdom will flow like a continual river in your heart (John 7:38).

See also this post on Isaiah 55:10-11.

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.

Genesis 17:1

In Genesis 17:1, God says to Abram, “Walk before Me, and be blameless.”

Today Christ is saying to you, “Walk before Me, and be blameless.”

This is what it means to “walk in the spirit.”  This is what it means to heed Hebrews 12:1-2.  This is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Will you be as responsive to your calling as Abram was to his?

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.

Hebrews 9:27

Hebrews 9:27 says that “it is appointed unto to men once to die and, after this, the judgment.”  This principle is fully illustrated in the life of Jesus.

Jesus died.  Then came the judgment of his life.  As a result of that judgment, Jesus was elevated to the highest possible place in the universe: that is, the right hand of the throne of God.

Similarly, each of us as human beings will be judged at the end of our respective lives.  None of us will be elevated as highly as Jesus because none of us will have lived as righteously as he did.  We will, however, be elevated to the level we deserve – just as he was elevated to the level he deserved.

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.

How the Kingdom of God Applied to Jesus as Compared to How He Makes It Apply to Us

The kingdom of God was a reality for Jesus of Nazareth.  He lived it.  For Him, the king of the kingdom of God was the God of Israel.  Thus Jesus obeyed all the commands that the God of Israel had given through Moses to the descendants of Abraham.  For us who live on the other side of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, however, the God of the kingdom of God is the Messiah of Israel – Jesus Himself.

Through Jesus, we receive all the promises to which He was entitled as a descendant of David.  Thus this special set of promises was brought not only to the Gentiles but to all Jews who were not descended from David (and the majority of Jews were not, since David was only one descendant of one of the twelve tribes).

Therefore, as Jesus looked to the God of Israel so let us look to Jesus – the Messiah (i.e. the Christ) of Israel.

You also might also find it helpful to use Abraham as a model in this regard.  See the post on Genesis 17:1, which explains how as Abraham looked to God so we should look to Jesus.

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 22:24

This verse prophesies the Messiah.  And if they are going to hang on him all the glory of his Father’s house, what glory is left for the father?

Truly, the Father of a fallen creation became the Son that He might become the Father of a restored creation.  For more, 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.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Matthew 24:45-51

In this parable, Jesus speaks of a faithful and sensible steward.  Who is more faithful than Jesus?  Who is more sensible than Jesus?

More than any one other single individual, these words describe Jesus.  And this is why He was raised to the right hand of God, charged to be Lord of the new creation (“put in charge of all his possessions”).  That is, He deserved it because He turned out to be the most faithful and sensible steward God had ever found in a human being.

Let us therefore imitate Jesus: the ultimate faithful and sensible steward.

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.

Luke 18:18-30

Luke 18:18-30 tells the story of Jesus’ interaction with “the rich young ruler” (as he’s come to be called).  The story is also found in Matthew 19:16-30 and Mark 10:17-31.

In this story, a rich young ruler asks Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Note that the questioner had everything going for him in life.  He had wealth.  He had youth.  And he had authority and power.  Give him credit for knowing that there was more to life than those things.

When He answered, Jesus essentially described Himself.  To see what I mean, compare the description Jesus gave of the appropriate course of action with the description God gave of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11.  That is, though Jesus was rich in heaven, yet for our sake He became poor so that we, through His poverty, might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).  Thus Jesus was not telling the rich young ruler to do anything He hadn’t already done Himself.

There is nothing Jesus tells us to do that He has not done Himself.  He preaches what He practices.

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.

If the Eyes of the Lord Are in Every Place, Shouldn’t the Fear of the Lord Be There, Too?

Proverbs 15:3 says “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”  If the eyes of the Lord are in every place, shouldn’t we fear the Lord in every place?

Why then do so many people only seem to fear Him in church or when they’re praying?

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.