The Thing Which is Good

Monday, September 2, 2013

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV).

On this Labor Day, we talk about work, “the thing which is good.”

In this day and age of increasing “government assistance,” people are becoming less and less aware of our hard work being the Lord Jesus’ preferred method of the source of our incomes. While the physically and mentally disabled are obvious exceptions, the God of the Bible expects all of us to contribute labor in order to provide for ourselves. For children and young adults, even being a student in school is work enough!

Observe the doctrine being communicated in today’s Scripture. The grace life does not merely teach us to quit doing bad things, but it also instructs us to start doing good things (Titus 2:11,12). Once a thief trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins, then God expects that thief to quit stealing and find a job so he can provide for his needs!

The God of creation calls work “the thing which is good” (today’s Scripture). Work is not something to be avoided; it is something to be embraced for the Lord’s glory!

When the Lord Jesus Christ put the first man, Adam, on earth, that man had a divine commission. Adam was not to simply loaf around and do nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to protect that garden, to till its ground, to prepare it for Jesus Christ to come down and dwell in with he and Eve (because of sin, that earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule is still awaiting fulfillment!).

Saints, may we work to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8), and may we work to help those who truly are needy (today’s Scripture). In the words of God the Holy Spirit, that is “good!” 🙂

Who Is a Saint? #7

Sunday, September 1, 2013

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Corinthians 1:30 KJV).

Behold, the identity that we Christians have in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Father God has one overall plan for creation, and not even hell itself will prevent Jesus Christ from becoming the Head of all the governments of heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9,10; cf. Colossians 1:16-20). “In the dispensation of the fulness of times,” Jesus Christ will be crowned the Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, and He will appoint rulers to fill those positions of government that are corrupted by Satan and sin today.

When we study and believe God’s Word rightly divided, we learn that Jesus Christ will one day rule this planet earth through redeemed Israel. These believing Jews—yea, “saints”—will be God’s channel of blessing and salvation to the Gentiles (Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:3-6; et al.). We also understand that Jesus Christ will one day rule the heavenly places through us, the agency called “the Church the Body of Christ” (Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:6,7; et al.)—we are God’s other set of “saints.” We, believing Jews and Gentiles in this the Dispensation of Grace, will be God’s vessels that He will use in outer space for His glory!

The doctrine that the LORD taught Israel in the “Old Testament,” Four Gospels, early Acts, and Hebrews through Revelation will finally come to a head, as Israel’s believing remnant is led by Jesus Christ Himself into their Promised Land (earthly kingdom) to dwell safely in it forever. For us, the doctrine in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, will be the life lived in and through us forever in the heavenly places… get a head-start learning and believing that doctrine now!

Dear saints, we cannot begin to fathom the joyous, busy schedule eternity future will be for us in the heavenly places. In Jesus Christ, we have wisdom, we have righteousness, we have sanctification, and we have redemption (today’s Scripture). May we never forget—that identity is not just to keep us out of hell, but to enable us to be used of God throughout all the endless ages to come! 🙂