Monday, October 28, 2013

Ephesians 2:6,7 comments: we're already there!

6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

One of the amazing things about how the Bible is written is in how God reveals things to us which are already performed by Him but not realized by us until their time has come. For instance, Jesus came to destroy the Devil who has power over physical, biological death.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The Devil, also known as Lucifer and Satan, still, at this present time, has power over death. Jesus came to die but in defiance of Satan’s power over death He rose again, belief upon which is the principal reason that God saves you from an eternity of agony, the soul of man’s natural fate with Satan. Death is the most consistent facet of our world, happening countless times every moment. It is Satan’s bailiwick. But, based on Christ’s intent we are waiting for the redemption of our physical body, the adoption.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

We who are trusting in Christ await the translation of the church, popularly called The Rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:51 ¶  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

We are told to preach this doctrine to each other.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ¶  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

However, our appearances, the angels of our presence (Isaiah 63:9), are already in heaven with Christ. Just as Christ was able to be in two places at one time, so He has made us able to do the same.

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Take comfort, those who have trusted in Christ, that you are already seated with Him in heaven, and in your finite condition here are just waiting for that fact to be manifested upon our physical death or at the translation/rapture.

2 Corinthians 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

In the long ages of eternity our eternal life is proof of God’s love (Titus 3:4 for the synonymous use of love and kindness) toward us through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Nothing can separate us from that love and kindness.

Romans 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those who trust and believe in Christ are the body of Christ on earth.

1Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

When Christ says that no one can take us out of His hand, remember, we are a part of Him now, even a part of His hand.

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Eternity will reveal God’s love and kindness toward those who trust and believe in Him. It’s a done deal. Rejoice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ephesians 2:4,5 comments; God's Love, Mercy, and Grace

4 ¶  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We should always be thankful for a Holy God’s mercy toward us, and for His love. He saved us where we were, not where we should have been.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Nothing can separate us from that love.

Romans 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God has quickened us with Christ, whom He raised from the dead. To quicken is to make alive that which was dead (defined by phrasing in Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you). Note that we have the same power in us that raised Christ from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 ¶  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

We are saved by God’s grace, his unmerited favor and mercy toward them that believe, favor and mercy they have not and could not earn. Mercy and grace go together. You deserved something other than what you received at God’s hand. We are not under the Law given to Moses, an important point as many Pastors and Preachers want to put you under that Law so they can control you. Just notice the number of sermons given out of the Old Testament Law.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

We are saved, not by anything we have done or could do but because mercy is in God’s character. The Psalmist says;

Psalm 25:11  For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.      

Here, two things are acknowledged. It is in God’s nature to pardon. He will pardon for His name’s sake.  In addition, the Psalmist needs pardon like a sick person needs a doctor. The greater the illness the more reason the doctor is necessary. Here, the Psalmists sin is great and his need of God’s mercy is great. The awfulness and greatness of your sin is no impediment to God to have mercy on you. In fact, a perfect, Holy God is as far above the greatest saint and He is the most vile sinner. He extends His mercy to all regardless of their self-perceived merit or lack thereof.
He came to us when we were dead in sins. He didn’t require us to “get right” before He saved us. He saved us right there in the sin, the muck, and the mire in which we were stuck and made us alive in Christ. If you are at a point in your life where you feel you have done so much wrong that you could never be forgiven remember that it is God’s mercy that is extended to you now regardless of how bad you think you are or how good you think you are. It’s not about you. It’s about Him. Be forgiven. Call on Him now where you are.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ephesians 2:3 comments: by nature the children of wrath

3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Do a word study on conversation and you’ll see that it refers not only to your speech but to your behavior and manner of life. Here is an example from the letter of James.

James 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

The lusts of our flesh control us when we are unsaved. They are a part of the world’s philosophy and the world’s way of doing things. It’s less about fleshy living. That’s the first level, the symptom of the disease. What fundamentalists often miss is that it’s about an attitude toward the world, adopting the affections thereof.

1John 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

But, we are told.                                   

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

The unsaved are children of disobedience and therefore, children of wrath.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Our minds, by connection in this verse, are part of our flesh even when, with our minds, we wish to serve Christ. You can hardly trust the pleadings of your own mind any more than you can the demands of your flesh. Human beings have several fleshly desires including the desire for self-preservation, for self-propagation, then for self-gratification, and finally, with our minds, for self-justification. You cannot depend upon your own mind to determine what is right or wrong or what is God’s will or not, apart from His word. Your mind can convince you that any sin you are engaged in is correct, just, and even godly from engaging in a needless war with a government leader or of you, a simple citizen, deciding what kind of  wicked entertainment you’ll enjoy. Apart from God’s word, the mind is totally unreliable as a guide.

The word of God as found in His Bible is essential to live as a Christian. The life of the mind is the life of the flesh, in submission to the world, and to Satan, without the Bible. If you live in  some part of the world where a Bible is hard to come by God will sustain and keep you. However, in the West we have no excuse. There are hundreds of millions of Bibles here.

My point is that you cannot trust your mind or your conscience to keep and sustain you as a Christian any more than you can trust your flesh or the world. You did not save yourself. You cannot keep yourself from destruction. You cannot sanctify yourself by your own will, your good intentions, or by your works. You must surrender to God through His word to have that accomplished.

Notice that we are, “…by nature the children of wrath...” You did not come to Christ by some argument that someone made that appealed to your reason, to your rational mind.

The natural man does not understand the things of God….

1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

….although they have no excuse not to believe in God because, as Romans, chapter one, gives the religious history of mankind its shows that God did reveal himself to men and that…

Romans 1:19 ¶  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

So, as children of wrath, because our own will has become so corrupted, we are not able to come to Christ on our own. We need help.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

You see, no one comes to Christ or is born again by his or her own will alone.

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Are you still a child of wrath or have you been born again?

You can be born again, born a second time, by believing on and trusting in Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear on this.

To the Philippian jailer who wanted to know what he must do to be saved, Paul and company said;

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Paul told the Romans how to be saved;

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 ¶  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Believe that Jesus Christ is and was God in the flesh (John 10:30; John 14:9), that He died on the Cross at Calvary for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3), that He rose from the dead the third day for your justification (Romans 4:25), and that by His righteousness and not your own you can have eternal life with Him (Romans 3:19-26).

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Read the Bible every day(Deuteronomy 17:19; Ephesians 5:26; 6:17; 1 Timothy 4:13), letting God speak to you through it, and pray every day (Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17), speaking to God, unite with other like-minded believers to worship regularly and hear God’s word faithfully preached (Hebrews 10:24,25), and every day seek to wait on (Psalm 27:14) and to do God’s will (Hebrews 13:21).
Now, if you’ve done that, you are no longer a child of wrath. What you can expect when physical death takes your body is that God will receive you into His presence and you will have eternal life with a resurrected body that cannot die (Romans 8:23).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ephesians 2:2 comments: the prince of the power of the air

2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Before we were saved we followed the world and the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the Devil, Satan, Lucifer. This is the very spirit that right now works in the unsaved person, persons, and the world.

The world equals the people that inhabit the physical earth and their systems; the world of politics, the world of sports, the world of entertainment, the world of education, etc. etc. Do you see this definition of the world in the following verse by the phrasing?

Revelation 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

You could not love God if you loved the world.

1John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John has a lot to say about the world.

Satan is the god of this world.

2Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

John 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

John 14:30  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

John 16:11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The world loves wisdom and human knowledge of worldly things and attitudes.

Col ossians2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

1Timothy 6:20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

Philosophy, tradition, and false science are the things of the world that led us all before we were saved. God help us if they are still our guide. Humanism, a thirst for wealth and power, and demonic pseudoscience that declares we are nothing more than a higher animal are the world’s underpinnings.

However, we have been saved and have someone to teach us.
John 16:7 ¶  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9  Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Louis “Louie” Armstrong Widdowson; b.1997, d. 2013

Impressions of Louie – (Louis “Louie” Armstrong Widdowson; b.1997, d. 2013)

            Louie was born in August of 1997 under the bed of our daughter, Marcie, at our house at 67 Blooming Grove Road in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Whitney, his mother, only had one kitten in her life and he was jet black like her only a short haired cat while she had long hair. We had her fixed not long after his birth. Louie had been the result of one weekend when she got out of the house while my wife, Beth, and I were in Ohio visiting Beth’s relatives.

            My first memory after that of Louie was how he’d carry a little stuffed bear around with him wherever he went. Sometimes it was just too heavy and his back feet would lift off the ground. Louie was born with a long memory although he didn’t seem too bright. He used to enjoy a drip coming from our bathtub faucet and for a couple of years after it was fixed and no longer dripped he still would sit and wait for it. Louie wasn’t very brave. In fact, he didn’t like people and when company would visit he would retreat into our bedroom and burrow under our covers with the cat’s belief that if I can’t see them, they can’t see me. Beth remembers how Whitney would be fussing at a cat through a window and Louie would lean around the corner looking but not wanting to be a part in the confrontation. If Whitney and Louie got outside somehow Louie wanted right back in and that’s how I would know they had gotten out as he would be at that window howling to get back inside.

            Although I was Louie’s principal care-giver Beth cared about him a great deal. Once, when he got his claws caught in the refrigerator leg she reached for the refrigerator just as he managed to get free and to stop complaining. I asked her what she was about to do and she said emphatically, “I was going to lift that refrigerator off of him.” Whitney would force Louie to wrestle with her even though he was reluctant. I remember one such combat in our living room while a visitor from France who had come to see my boxing club looked on in enjoyment. That was in 1999. I have a picture of one more recently when an aged Whitney tackled a much overweight Louie.

            As I said before, Louie was not a brave cat. When our son, Nathan, would bring his beloved Jack Russell terrier, Dave, over to visit and Dave wanted to play, Louie would invariably hide under the covers of our bed while his mother would stand guard in the hallway leading to the bedroom. I presume that Dave could have easily taken this little wisp of a cat but she was determined to defend her son, even if she wrestled him to the ground or slapped him occasionally as she walked by him. After all, Louie was her boy.

            While we were still living at Blooming Grove Road Louie’s anxieties started to come out. He felt that his tail was attacking him and would try to bite it and fuss at it. We had no clue as to what was causing this strange behavior. But it didn’t end there. After we had moved into the new home in New Oxford, he’d lick all the fur off of his belly. I presume that he might have had some kind of parasites like fleas because after I began using Pfizer Revolution on him and then, when I could no longer afford that, bathing him with Dawn Dishwashing detergent, the scratching ended.

            We moved to New Oxford in May of 2006. That summer, while entertaining my brother and his wife for dinner one Saturday, Louie and the other cats; Whitney, Shakey, and Meekah got out through an unlocked patio screen. I was mortified or maybe terrified would be a better word but Beth assured me they would come back after Shakey and Meekah returned rather quickly. Sure enough, about 3am, Sunday, there was Louie standing at the patio screen wanting to be let in. My sleepless night wasn’t over, though, until Whitney returned. I doubt they went further than the bushes around our house.

            Louie’s obsession with his tail resulted in a visit to the vet that almost resulted in surgery but they shaved his tail and after applying flea medication he stopped trying to bite it. Of course, he’d already taken off the end of it. Fortunately, surgery was not necessary. He also had an obsession with chewing on plastic his entire life and I had to keep plastic away from him or he’d chew on it and try to eat it. I think he liked it on his teeth.

            In spite of his unsociable behavior toward visitors and his hiding in the dark of the basement family room when his tail was bothering him, he was very affectionate. I remember him coming upstairs when Beth would come out and kissing her ankles and legs with her saying in a teasing voice she’d use when talking to a child, “I don’t want your kisses, Louie.” He’d pull my hand toward his head if he was standing next to me because he wanted me to pet him and while I brushed him he would constantly lick and rub my free hand, almost as if thanking me. His meow turned into a short of Bill the Cat, “thwaaaackkk,” from the cartoon series, Bloom County, that Beth was so fond of years ago. But Louie’s personality was more along the line of the sad-sack 1960’s comedian George Gobel. In fact, we often think of Louie as the cat version of Gobel.

            Back then, I knew nothing about cats being obligate carnivores. I poured a bag of dry food into a large “bistro” container for the cats to enjoy at their pleasure. Having heard vaguely in the early 1980’s that dry food only would harm a cat’s kidneys I also fed them wet food. But, Louie would graze and graze on the dry food. Eventually, he blew up to 20lbs. in weight. In 2010 the vet warned about his weight while we were fretting over what to do about his tail. Slowly, with great effort, I was able to get him down to 17 ½ lbs. But, that was by the fall of 2011 and it was too late.

            One day, we noticed that Louie couldn’t walk. He was moving on the hocks of his legs. He would come upstairs but it was a pathetic thud, thud, thud. We got him to a vet who said that he would never walk again, that he had diabetes, and that we had a week to decide whether we could afford to treat him with insulin and extended stays at the vets for stabilization. Having been crushed in the recession, having lost our jobs, and being unable to get jobs that matched even a healthy percentage of our previous incomes Beth and I were considering that for all of our sakes, as we needed to keep a roof over ours and the other cat’s heads and Louie was going to suffer more and more and we just didn’t have any money, he might need to be euthanized.

            After some time on the internet I found a site touting the miraculous benefits of vitamin B-12, Methylcobalamin, for rejuvenation of nerves damaged by diabetic neuropathy not only in humans but in cats. A lady had created a website about how her cat, Jasper, had his mobility saved by this vitamin. I hurriedly ordered some and within three days of taking it, Louie was walked again. He never suffered from this issue again even after I stopped giving it to him. Knowing we did not have the money for expensive treatment and taking the doctor’s advice on how cats need meat and lots of water in their diet I put all of the cats on a wet food diet.

            Within a short period of time, I had a new cat. In fact, friends on Facebook called him, “Newie Louie.” He was jumping up on counters, getting in my lap, racing me up the stairs from the basement, not hiding from visitors, and generally doing all sorts of cat things that he either hadn’t done in years or had never done. His anxieties seemed to have disappeared although he was still obsessed with plastic and although he didn’t enjoy chasing a string or a laser he would try to bat a broken rubber band out of my hand. I suppose because he just liked rubber and plastic. For eighteen months I had a new, improved Louie who enjoyed being with me and with the other cats and would even get annoyed when Meekah would get too energetic and wild around him and would walk over and smack her. It was funny and it was wonderful. He became my little best buddy. There were setbacks, though, as I would foolishly give him dry food as a treat and once in awhile he would get sick.

            For eighteen months after his “death sentence” he was a good size, about 15 pounds, and very active. Because of my spoiling he was the prince of the house, making his bed at various places for a couple of months until he was bored and moving on, going from window to table, table to counter, and even sleeping for a time on the bar in our basement. I made sure his water and food were near him and that he always had a clean litterbox. I have been in the habit of sifting each box (one for each cat although they use them interchangeably) twice a day, making sure all water containers contain  fresh water twice a day, and the food is fresh at least four times a day (I was up to five times a day on that but it was too wasteful).

            I began to notice Louie was losing weight in the summer of 2013. He was approaching sixteen years of age. Even as his weight plummeted and I had to coax him to eat, doing all sorts of things that other family members thought strange and funny such as pretending to eat his food myself first because others eating always made him want to eat, I still didn’t think anything really bad was happening.

            Finally, to my relief, Louie’s appetite returned. He was eating wet food with gusto  and his newfound “cattitude” was never was lost (I loved him racing me upstairs, jumping in my office chair when I worked upstairs and spinning around like it was just soooo much fun). Sadly, though, Louie passed away on October 19, 2013. I buried him the next morning with this epitaph inserted into a plastic bag and taped inside his box.

Here lays Louis ‘Louie’ Armstrong Widdowson, born in August of 1997 and dying in October of 2013. Be respectful of this grave and his remains, stranger. He was a prince among cats. I loved him very much. Think on this gentle creature. He loved much and was loved greatly. He is survived by myself, my wife, his mother Whitney, and his friends, Shakey and Meekah. May God receive his precious soul and may I see him again in the next world. (Job 12:10; Proverbs 12:10)

He lay on a cushion I took out of one of the cat carriers. Beth and I cried many tears. It was a sunny Sunday morning, October 20th, 2013. I will never be the same.

            Louie taught me a lot about life and my relationship with Christ, my helplessness, and my dependence on my Lord. Louie’s trust, tender love, and expectations of only good things from my hand, and help whenever he needed it will always stay with me. I will for the rest of my life see him look up at me with those big yellow-green eyes when I held him in my lap, stroking his head, and gently saying his name over and over, “Hello Louie-Louie, my Louie.” I will never forget how he’d lay his head on my chest and let me hug him gently and say, “I love you, Louie.” There is such huge hole in my heart now. For two years I struggled to give him a quality of life but, in the end, failed to extend his life longer than the 16 years and 2 months he had. I am just grateful that God gave him to us. The other cats; Whitney, Shakey, and Meekah, I loved dearly, but were dropped off on us by our children. Louie was born in our house and knew only us his entire life. He was and always will be, “My Louie.”

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ephesians 2:1 comments: made alive by Christ

1 ¶  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Christ has made us alive, we who were dead in our sins spiritually and bound to die in our sins physically. We are born with a dead spirit due to the sin nature of Adam which we inherited.  Adam was told that in the day he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he would die. It was not, at that time, a physical death, but, as is evidenced here in this verse, the death of the spirit, (your spirit is one way you are known by God; see Proverbs 20:27 for your spirit; see Psalm 139:23 for your spiritual heart) with physical death as the ultimate consequence, and then an eternity of agony and anguish. You are either in Adam or in Christ. You are either bound for Hell or for Heaven. Several key verses in Romans, chapter 5, point out that death is a consequence of sin.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many…17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)…19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Quick refers to being alive and quickened is given life. Here’s an example;
2Timothy 4:1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
By the way, did you see that?  The word of God, little w, this Book, is alive.
The Bible says that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God….” 2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible says that the result of God’s inspiration is understanding, not word for word dictation.
 “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” Job 32:8
Peter said that Paul wrote by the wisdom given to him as he wrote, “..even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you… 2 Peter 3:15
Wisdom and understanding are synonyms in the Bible. “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much…” 1 Kings 4:29
So, although God did give some people words to write verbally as in the Torah, the five books of Moses, in most cases He did not rely on word for word dictation. In fact, He gave Jeremiah the wisdom to write an original and then to rewrite it and add words to it. “Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.” Jeremiah 36:32
Then, why are the words of a foolish Nabal, a disheartened Elijah, and a discouraged Jeremiah important? Because God preserved them for us, or rather for our learning as Paul put it in Romans 15:4 so that by the patience and comfort the Scripture teaches we might have hope.
The doctrine of  Preservation is essential to the doctrine of Inspiration. For, any historical researcher knows that there are two questions a scholar must ask when a written document is in front of him. One is why was it written? The second is why was it preserved?
King James Bible believers, those who believe we have a perfect translation in the Authorized Version, regard this doctrine as vital to our reverence for the Scriptures that we have in our hands, not the unseen original autographs.
Psalm 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
 But, whatever  Bible version you use or whatever Biblical text tradition you follow, it is Christ that makes you alive, who has brought you back from the dead in more ways than one.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ephesians 1:15-23 comments

15 ¶  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

An essential foundation of Christian faith in action is the love for Christian brothers and sisters, “love unto all the saints.” It is the basis of a new commandment Christ gave to His disciples, and by extension, to we who believe.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
2John 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
In the famous, “love,” chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 the word, “charity,” is a word that is defined in the Bible as the Christians active love for other Christians. It can’t be just about giving to charity, as per our modern definition as that is listed in the chapter as different than what is being talked about. See 1 Corinthians 13:3. This chapter explains that charity is greater than faith and hope. Charity is an active love that not only means well but does well. It doesn’t exploit, manipulate, or deceive but seeks the best interest of the other person in Christ.
For charity to be Biblically defined as love towards the brethren see the following verses; 2 Peter 1:5-7; 1 Peter 4:8; 5:14.
Here is the first part of Paul’s prayer for you. He asks that God give you a spirit, small “s”.
Isaiah 11:2  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
These are things that God provides for your spirit. Your spirit is the means by which you know God. Intellectual knowledge is not sufficient for the knowledge of God. Theologians write volumes of intellectual gibberish that is often as not pure speculation and flights of fancy, wholly unrelated to the literal meaning of the words of Scripture. Your spirit is also the means by which God knows you.
Proverbs 20:27  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Luke 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
This goes back to a previous verse;
30  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
A person who doesn’t understand the Bible and then has something revealed to him is like a blind man who can suddenly see, as in his mind sees something previously hid to him in plain sight.
So it is with the gospel of Jesus Christ to an unsaved person.
John 9:24  Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25  He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
There is a dullness about the world until we get that spiritual food and get that sight.
1Samuel 14:27  But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
29  Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
The hope of his calling;
1Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Romans 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
1Corinthians 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
Philippians 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2Thessalonians 1:11  Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
1Peter 5:10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
The riches of his glory He reveals to us, the inheritance we are to receive, which began with His salvation of us and His power over sin in our lives and over death, and will end with His glorification of us and our freedom from the very presence of sin in a glorified body that will live forever with Him.
Romans 8:29 ¶  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us–ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Hebrews 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
You have the same power, if you have believed and trusted in Christ and are, therefore saved, that made the resurrection possible. Isn’t that a wonderful and amazing thought?
God has destroyed the power of death over the believer, the power of sin over the believer, and the power of Satan over the believer.
20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Here is where Christ is. Here is where our spiritual blessings are found. Later we will see this is where we are, at the same time we are here on earth.
Here again is the simplicity of Bible salvation.
Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Above all things He created, including spiritual powers and earthly ones.
Colossians 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or  powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Psalm 89:27  Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The church is not a building, but is Christ’s body. We are Christ’s body, the people. The body of Christ is saved persons.  There are saved people all over the world who belong to the body of Christ regardless of what church they are in or how wrong they are on doctrine. The rules for salvation are simple and we have talked about them before but faith in Christ and trusting in His righteousness to get them to heaven and not their own works is the requirement.
Ephesians 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
We can only imagine what eternity will be like without sin and without the effects of the Fall and sin.
1Corinthians 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all