Light Bulbs and Lenses #10

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Dear friends, in this world of intensifying spiritual darkness, God’s Word rightly divided provides us great light. Yea, in this world of increasing obscurity, we can be blessed with great understanding from God’s words dispensationally understood. For us English-speaking people, the rightly divided King James Bible is a brilliant beacon in these times of abounding uncertainty, mass confusion, and widespread ignorance.

The Holy Spirit will teach us using the Holy Bible, provided that we pay special attention to His words spoken through the Apostle Paul. First Corinthians 2:13 says, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” And, 2 Timothy 2:7: “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” Finally, today’s Scripture: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

Dear brethren, as we let God’s grace teach us, we are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;…” (Titus 2:13). The earthly life we have in Christ now will continue into eternity future, the heavenly places. God the Holy Spirit illuminates us about this and other important Christian truths, as Ephesians chapter 1 says: “[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: [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,….”

In light of Pauline revelation, we understand that we are the Church the Body of Christ, never to be confused with the nation Israel. We are under grace, not law, thus free to walk in the victorious identity given us in Christ. Sin does not have to reign over us. We can enjoy God’s life, now and forever. As long as we respond positively to the spiritual light we have, God will honor that and give us more… light… bright… lenses… sight! 🙂

Light Bulbs and Lenses #9

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Most church members believe successful Christian living involves keeping the 10 Commandments, remembering the Beatitudes, following the “Golden Rule,” et cetera. Nonetheless, when the Holy Spirit through Paul spoke about Christian living, He said the teacher was God’s Grace, not God’s Law.

Titus chapter 2 again: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] … the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Alas, even many “grace believers” have a shallow understanding of grace. Their misconduct causes other Christians (and even lost people) to cling to strict rules and regulations even more. Grace does not save us according to how we live, but it should influence how we live.

Romans chapter 6 is what grace teaches: “[6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [7] For he that is dead is freed from sin. [8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: [9] Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. [10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

“[11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. [13] Neither yield ye your members [body parts] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

We conclude this devotionals arc….

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Light Bulbs and Lenses #8

Monday, October 2, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

During the past decade, dispensational Bible study has clarified many obscurities for me. Christian growth is like switching to eyeglasses of increasingly higher magnifications. The believer’s willingness determines: (1) the rate at which those eyeglasses are traded, and (2) the size of the gaps between successive magnifications. As focus improves when camera lenses are adjusted, the sincere Christian soul progresses in Bible understanding. The passage of time causes that which is vague to become sharper. However, without right division, God’s preferred method (2 Timothy 2:15), clarity is gone, the light is diffused or nonexistent, and Christian growth stops.

Consider Titus 2:11-14, the Christian life that precious, precious, precious few believers ever discern and enjoy: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Remember, “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” refers to the Apostle Paul’s “all nations,” or “Gentile,” apostleship (Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26; cf. Romans 11:13). Grace existed before Paul, yes, but it being offered freely to all nations when they deserved nothing but wrath, that was unheard of prior to Paul. “The Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2) involves more than God in His grace simply offering us redemption from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire). Titus chapter 2 says grace teaches us how to live daily and overcome the power of sin.

Why did Jesus Christ offer Himself “a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6), a “redemption-price for all?” To take those who would trust Him as personal Saviour, and give them an identity to overcome daily sinful living. Grace not only changes our eternal destiny in the future. It can change how we conduct our lives right now….

Light Bulbs and Lenses #7

Sunday, October 1, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Apart from Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, we read in Scripture about Law-keeping as part of the believer’s life. Unless we “rightly divide the word of truth,” keeping Paul separate from the rest of Scripture, we will abandon God’s grace and return to the Law. The Gospel of Grace enlightens the soul. If we continue walking in the light of God’s grace, we will live by that light through faith, and the Law will be unnecessary. It is incongruous to begin in grace (salvation by God freely giving to us through Christ’s finished crosswork all that we need) and then revert to the Law (performance-based system found in the non-Pauline Bible Books).

People appeal to Paul’s epistles for the Gospel of Grace, but then conduct their Christian lives by grabbing the legalistic, non-Pauline Scriptures (works). That is silly—grace and law do not mix! We came to Paul’s “Gentile” ministry and epistles to learn about God’s “all-man” (worldwide) message of grace. Likewise, for Christian living, we must appeal to this heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:5-7 says: “[5] For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. [6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” How did we “receive Christ Jesus the Lord?” Likewise, our conduct is based on “[our] faith in Christ.” From where did we Gentiles learn about Christ? From Paul, His Apostle to us Gentiles (Romans 11:13). We “walk” likewise.

Romans chapter 3 again: “[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:….” We have been “redeemed”—purchased out of and freed—from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire). Hence, we no longer have to serve sin. God’s grace is our master, and by faith in Pauline revelation, we reign in the light of grace….

Special-edition Bible Q&A #425: “Were the 11 Apostles wrong in choosing Matthias instead of Paul?

Light Bulbs and Lenses #6

Saturday, September 30, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Being saved from sin unto eternal life is exciting enough, but there is (as someone once said) “truth within truth.” There is more to God’s plan than simply keeping us out of Hell. Most believers in Christ, however, never get beyond that simple fact. We have to move onward, dear brethren!

As per 1 Timothy 2:4, God’s plan also involves “com[ing] unto the knowledge of the truth.” In 2 Timothy 2:15, we read: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” All the Bible is true, but not all of it is true today. God’s dealings with man change through time because man changes. Remember, He selected Paul to communicate a special set of doctrine to us Gentiles. At the heart of that message is the “all-men” Gospel. That information was unknown prior to Paul.

Titus chapter 1: “[1] Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; [2] In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; [3] But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;….” And, Acts 20:24: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

Moving from a simple Gospel message, we progress to the “understanding” part. Remember, today’s Scripture says: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” From the moment of our trusting Christ onward, we should continue walking in the light we have. The same genuine interest we had in being saved into Heaven, we should continue to have in Bible understanding. There is more in Scripture than salvation from the penalty of sin. We also find salvation from the power of sin….

Our latest Bible Q&A article: “Why did Paul quote Habakkuk in Acts 13:41?

Light Bulbs and Lenses #5

Friday, September 29, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Unless one is a Calvinist or a Dispensationalist, Matthew 20:28 is quite alarming: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” How could Jesus Christ say that He had come to “give his life a ransom for many?” For “many?!” Did He not die for the whole world? At the time of His earthly ministry, He came to pay the redemption-price for the nation Israel.

As the angel of the Lord told Joseph in Matthew 1:21 about the virgin Mary: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Surely, “his people” excluded Gentiles. How do we know? Isaiah 53:8, written 700 B.C., predicted of Messiah: “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” Who would be Isaiah’s people? Israel. No Gentiles are in view here.

Returning to 1 Timothy 2:5-7, noting very carefully the final words of verse 6 and all of verse 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.

Through the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit here makes a startling claim. Jesus Christ did not die for Israel only; He paid the sin-debt of the whole world (“all”). Notice the first word of verse 7—“whereunto” (“to which purpose”). In order for Jesus Christ to be declared a ransom for all nations, God appointed Paul “a preacher, and an apostle,… a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” Paul is the “due-time testifier” of this unrestricted, worldwide grace message. Now we are branching off into the second part of God’s will… “come unto the knowledge of the truth….”

Our latest Bible Q&A article: “What is the ‘temptation’ in 1 Corinthians 10:13?

Light Bulbs and Lenses #4

Thursday, September 28, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

First Timothy 2:4 says, “[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved,….” Then, we read, “…and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Verse 5 begins with “for,” a particle of further explanation or amplification: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;….” So, “the man Christ Jesus” is “the one mediator between [the one] God and men….” Verse 6 issues additional information: “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Finally, verse 7 expands verse 6, as we see: “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.”

So, there are the matters of (1) “salvation” and (2) “the knowledge of the truth.” “Salvation” involves the Lord Jesus Christ, the one Mediator between God and men, He “who gave himself a ransom for all.” The word “ransom” means “redemption-price.” From birth, we are naturally slaves to sin, descendants of Adam. Jesus Christ shed His blood to pay the price to deliver us from sin’s slave market. Romans chapter 3: “[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption [payment of the price to free us] that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [fully-satisfying payment] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;….”

Sin brings death, but life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:10-14). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Through faith in Jesus Christ’s shed blood, we can be united with Father God. (Christ is “the mediator,” remember.) So, God’s first desire is for all people to be “saved”—freed, delivered—from sin’s dominion. The spiritual deliverance at Calvary once reserved for Israel is now available to all people, Jew and Gentile. This all-people message is interwoven with “com[ing] unto the knowledge of the truth….”