Known of God #7

Saturday, May 28, 2016

“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:8,9 KJV).

Not only do we in Christ know God. More importantly, God knows us!

There was a time—“time past”—when the idolaters of Galatia, nonmembers of Israel, did not know the one true God personally and intimately (Ephesians 2:11,12; cf. Romans 9:4,5). However, Paul wrote to the Galatians that that time had passed. Mankind was now living in “but now.”

Ephesians chapter 2 declares: “[13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ… [18] For through him [Jesus Christ] we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father. [19] Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; [20] And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; [21] In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: [22] In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Through Paul’s Gospel—Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—we Gentiles have “access” to Father God. Furthermore, when we believe that Gospel of God’s Grace, He comes to live inside of us personally via the Holy Spirit. In His Word rightly divided, He has made known unto us His will. We need not revert to our former ways of spiritual ignorance. No need to return to works-religion (as the Galatians were doing in today’s Scripture—using the Mosaic Law). Works-religion will only hinder God’s relationship with us, and ours with Him. He has already given us His grace, His Son, and His fellowship. We need give Him nothing but our trust.

The God of creation will be known of us, and, most importantly, we will be known of Him! 🙂

Known of God #6

Friday, May 27, 2016

“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:8,9 KJV).

Not only do we in Christ know God. More importantly, God knows us!

To the pagan Gentiles, Israel’s God was the “UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts 17:23). Dead in trespasses and sins, under Satan’s control, Gentiles had no relationship with Israel’s God (Ephesians 2:1-3,11,12). Once we move in the Bible from “time past” to “but now,” however, Israel’s God becomes “known” to the Gentiles. Israel’s God decided to reveal a secret He had kept to Himself for thousands of years. He chose Saul of Tarsus, His arch-nemesis, saved him by His grace, and sent him (made him an apostle) for a very special purpose. Paul would preach a worldwide Gospel message. “THE UNKNOWN GOD… him declare I unto you!(Acts 17:23).

Paul’s own admission is 1 Timothy 2:5-7: “[5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [7] Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”

Israel’s rejected Messiah, Jesus, had become the Saviour of the world. Now, through Paul’s ministry, all people of all nations learn “Christ Jesus… gave himself a ransom for all.” This message was first preached by Paul (not Jesus in His earthly ministry, not Peter, not James, not John, et cetera). Through Christ’s shed blood, we have fellowship with Father God: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). When we trust Jesus’ finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, we “know” God intimately. And, more importantly, as a parent would commune with his or her child, He “knows” us.

We conclude this devotionals arc by expounding the rest of today’s Scripture….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did not Jesus speak words not recorded in Scripture?

Known of God #5

Thursday, May 26, 2016

“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:8,9 KJV).

Not only do we in Christ know God. More importantly, God knows us!

Today, it is very difficult to find someone who has never heard of “Jesus.” Contrariwise, when the Apostle Paul began his ministry, it was very difficult to find someone who had heard of “Jesus.” When JEHOVAH God’s apostle of the Gentiles, Paul, entered Athens, Galatia, Thessalonica, Lystra, Derbe, Philippi, Antioch, Berea, Ephesus, and innumerable other Gentile areas, it was His first attempt ever to directly reach those Gentiles. The nations that He had given over to Satan’s control back in Genesis chapter 11, He was now reaching down so they could reach Him.

In Acts chapter 14, Paul and Barnabas preached to the idolaters at Lystra: “[15] …[T]urn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: [16] Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.” Paul preached in Athens (chapter 17): “[23] For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. [24] God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; [25] Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;… [29] Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. [30] And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”

Paul preached a similar message to the idolaters in Galatia (today’s Scripture). It was via his Gospel message they could know God and He could know them!

Satan and Dispensationalism #22

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” (Colossians 1:25,26 KJV).

Dispensational Bible Study enables us to see and appreciate the final revelation from God. Satan is thus utterly embarrassed!

By nature, Satan is a genius. From his creation, he has operated on a mental level far, far, far beyond every other creature of God. Lucifer was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). As creation’s song-leader, Satan was to devise ways to glorify his Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Lucifer became prideful (verses 15-18): his wisdom and beauty made him fall in love with himself. Lucifer concluded that he belonged on God’s throne, that he was wiser, more fit to govern creation. Thus, began the spiritual battle that is waged even today.

Beginning in Genesis chapter 3, Satan involved mankind in usurping God’s authority. Genesis chapters 4-6 were intensifications of that battle. Unbelieving Cain killed his believing brother Abel—the first murder. Man’s wickedness was so great that God finally destroyed that ancient world with a global flood. Next, the disastrous one-world government and one-world religion at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11). Satan thought he would somehow always outsmart God.

When God created His special nation Israel (Genesis chapter 12), Satan began to focus on corrupting Israel. The rest of the Old Testament documents Satan corrupting Israel. During Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, that spiritual battle reached its highest level of intensity. The bloodlust was so great in Satan that the greatest murder would occur now.

Satan could have sent an evil spirit to work in killing Jesus Christ. But, he did not. The Bible says Satan himself entered Judas (Luke 22:3). Satan was certain the job would be done right, once for all. Israel’s King would die! With Him dead, Israel’s kingdom would never come to pass. Israel was already dead in sin and Satan’s grip. The lost Gentiles could not be saved through Israel, for Israel could not rise to kingdom glory. With God’s Son dead, Satan had won. Or, had he?

Paul and Dispensationalism #15

Saturday, August 22, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

God dealt with Israel as His people from Genesis chapter 12 onward. Romans 1:18-32 explains how God had given the nations (Gentiles) over to Satan and graphic sins at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11). This shameful behavior typified the Gentiles up through the entire Old Testament Scriptures (and even today!). While Israel’s activities during that time were equally sinful (Romans 2:17-29), Israel at least had direct access to the Creator God (Romans 9:4,5). At least Israel possessed the words—the Law—of the eternal JEHOVAH God (Romans 3:1,2). Contrariwise; the Gentiles groped around in spiritual darkness (Ephesians 4:17-19; cf. Acts 17:22-29); without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:11,12); relishing Satan’s lifestyle (Romans 1:32); ignorantly worshipping stupid dead idols of wood, metal, and stone (Acts 17:29,30); “walking in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). Awful, just plain awful!

And then, God had pity on us! With Israel refusing to cooperate with Him, He activated a plan He had kept secret in Himself. He would turn to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry. Paul preached to the Athenian idolaters: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). “Quit embracing foolishness, Gentiles! Change your mind! Trust that ‘Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again’ (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). This Gospel of Grace is the means whereby you can escape Satan, hellfire, idolatry, and your other vain behaviors!”

As today’s Scripture indicates, they (we) could literally become trophies of God’s grace. In contradistinction to their old, worthless lives of sin and death, their lifestyles could abound with truly good works—God’s life manifested in and through them (us) for all (especially Satan) to see!!! 🙂