Powerful Service

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV).

Christian friend, is your life functionally dead? Here is the “jumpstart” to restore your spiritual energy!

We all tend to get “burned out” eventually. Actually, some of us take “breaks” for years! For those still going, it may be “low-energy”—just barely getting by. Love for God, His Word, and fellow man has waned to little or nothing. Perhaps, dear friend, you know firsthand how that is a sure way to utter misery!

It is easy to know the Bible, but unless we believe it, God’s indwelling Holy Spirit will not “effectually worketh” in us (today’s Scripture). “Effectually worketh” is the Greek word “energeo,” from which we derive “energy.” A related word is found in the classic verse, Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful [energes]….” When God’s Word is trusted, there results great activity. It was by these spoken words of God that He made the worlds from nothing (Hebrews 11:3)! What high-energy there!

God’s power will work in us when we put God’s Word within us. His Spirit will take His inspired words and work to produce His desired results. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily” (Colossians 1:29). Paul provided two illustrations. Firstly, Galatians 2:8: “(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:).” Secondly, Galatians 3:5, “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

Dearly beloved, may we take the King James Bible, especially Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, and believe what we read. That is the key to getting God’s power operating in our lives. There is no need to be “low-energy!”

Bible Q&A #515: “Why could the disciples not cast out the devil in Matthew 17:14-21?

Edifying #7

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “edifying” mean here?

According to Romans 16:25-26, God uses a three-fold method to “stablish” us the Church the Body of Christ. Without Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), without his epistles (Romans through Philemon), and without the Bible in light of that Pauline revelation, we will not be spiritually stabilized.

Paul ordered Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 1: “[3] As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, [4] Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” Those teaching “other doctrine” are legalists, law advocates (verses 5-11). They do not embrace God’s grace, fully and freely, but rather mix law and grace, which thereby abolishes grace. They are not “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Grace is all that God does for us through Christ’s finished crosswork. However, law is our performance to please God. These systems cannot mix; otherwise, confusion and frustration will result. So many professing believers have failed to keep pure grace as their operating system. Consequently, their spiritual lives have been greatly weakened or totally destroyed (cf. 2 Peter 3:15,16). Since they lack a proper view of the Scriptures, they cannot understand those words of God. Non-dispensational Bible study has rendered them impotent. They need to be edified, built up!

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6,7). “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:20-22). They need to be taught the Scriptures according to Pauline edification! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does the Bible contain a contradiction about Solomon’s molten sea?

Edifying #6

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “edifying” mean here?

The Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). “Godly edifying” (1 Timothy 1:4) is brought about by “the word of [God’s] grace”—the principles of grace the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ revealed directly to Paul.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ephesians 3:1,2). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If the information is not God’s Word rightly divided—the grace message, Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—then it is contrary to God’s will for us Gentiles. Such faulty teaching will not lead to “edifying” (spiritual building up) but rather extensive spiritual weakening and/or utter destruction.

When we ponder the rank Biblical illiteracyabsolute confusion—in the worldwide “Christian” community, it is obvious that precious few use the Bible dispensationally. Most preachers have failed miserably (!!) in “the work of the ministry.” Most churches and seminaries have not (!!) produced “perfected saints.” The Pauline design for the edification of the believer has not (!!) been followed; therefore, we see very few strong, skilled Christians.

Romans chapter 16: “[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….” Paul’s Gospel is important, Paul’s epistles are significant, and all other Scripture in light of Pauline revelation is critical.

We summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Edifying #5

Monday, July 9, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “edifying” mean here?

First Corinthians chapter 3: “[9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. [10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. [11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

The recurring issue is building an edifice or structure. God the Holy Spirit attaches a warning—take heedor beware (verse 10)—as to how we as individuals build doctrine in ourselves. If His curriculum is not followed, there will be a faulty house of doctrine in our souls, and thus a loss of reward at the (future) Judgment Seat of Christ. Rather than gold, silver, and precious stones; we have used wood, hay, and stubble (junk information!). Second Corinthians 5:9,10: “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Acts 20:32 tells us: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up [edify], and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Grace edification, “godly edifying,” is of tantamount importance….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is 1 Corinthians 12:3 talking about?

Edifying #4

Sunday, July 8, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “edifying” mean here?

Dear friend, it probably amazes you to meet people who have allegedly read the Bible for many years and who still have little to no understanding of it. They may even claim to be Christians but somehow—strangely enough—they do not think and behave very Christian-like. What happened to them to make them thus? How could they be so close to the truth and yet, at the same time, end up so misled and confused? Could we, in some way, help them get on the right path? Is there any way we can avoid this deception ourselves?

Let us think of an illustration of you intending to build a house. You do not care what materials you use; you just want a structure. Therefore, you collect bits of plastic, some grass, wooden beams, a truckload of gravel, scraps of metal, and other assorted goods, and randomly orient and attach them. It does not matter what you are doing, or to what end you are working, so long as you are busy “building” a “house.” Work, work, work!

You are screaming, “Brother Shawn, this is all so absurd! How silly it is to be so careless in selecting supplies and how stupid it is to assemble all that junk together!” Oh, dear friend, how glad I am to have gotten your attention! Indeed, it is madness! In reality, whether they know it or not, this is how frivolous most professing Christians are concerning their spiritual health. How cautious they are to not eat garbage lying on the streets, but how irresponsible they are in what they feed their souls! To them, one religious system is “as good as any other,” one teaching is as “Christian” as the other. Indeed, their physical health seems to them to be far more important than their spiritual health. It does not bother them to expose themselves to various and sundry spiritual trash.

They need godly edifying!” God’s design, not man’s, must be followed if they are to grow strong….

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Edifying #3

Saturday, July 7, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “edifying” mean here?

In today’s Scripture, the Greek word for “edifying” is oikodome (oikos meaning “house, temple;” doma is “to build, as in an edifice”). Notice “edification” is the process of constructing, or encouraging growth. For instance, Matthew 24:1 and Mark 13:1-2 highlight the “buildings” of the Temple complex. Here are literal, material structures in which the LORD God was to dwell. The physical Temple that King Solomon “built” is referenced in Acts 7:47.

The Bible also speaks of metaphorical construction (invisible edifices). For example, 1 Corinthians 3:9: “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Ephesians 2:21-22 says: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (There is a related word, oikodomeo, rendered various ways in our King James Bible—“build,” “edify,” “builder,” “build up,” “be in building,” “embolden.” However, time and space do not allow us to delve into this any further. Just notice the connections.)

God aims to have the Church the Body of Christ “edified,” or built up (today’s Scripture). “Perfected” (or spiritually mature) saints do “the work of the ministry,” and that will result in “the edifying of the Body of Christ.” Verse 16 continues: “From whom [Christ] the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” The Body of Christ edifies itself. Its members build in each other an unseen structure that God Himself desires, the Body of Christ thus becoming the expression of His life. Refer back to Ephesians 2:21-22 (above) if necessary.

First Timothy 1:4 instructs church leaders: “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” Let us see what godly edifying” entails….

The Work of the Ministry #7

Sunday, July 1, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

Ministry—what “work” it is!

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [purpose or intent] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17). God the Holy Spirit gave us His inspired, preserved Word (in English, the King James Bible) so we would believe it. Once we trust it (1 Thessalonians 2:13), it produces in and through us “all good works.” The greatest Christian good work is “the work of the ministry,” but spiritual development comes first. After all, today’s Scripture says only “perfected saints”—spiritually mature Christians—do “the work of the ministry.”

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12,13). These church leaders do “the work of the ministry” (cf. today’s Scripture; 1 Timothy 5:17,18), and they need to be especially appreciated.

Ministry is not to be taken lightly or flippantly. It is not “fun and games:” it is “work!” Eternal souls are at stake and they need to hear from us a clear Gospel message they can believe (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)! Otherwise, they will face an angry God and wind up experiencing His eternal fury. Eternal souls are at stake and they need to hear from us a study they can understand (2 Timothy 2:15)! Otherwise, they will experience tremendous loss of reward for their lack of Christian understanding and service.

Dear brethren, how exhausting ministry can be and is, but there is no greater way to spend our time and resources! It seems like we are wasting our time, but God forbid! “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58)! 🙂

Bible Q&A #510: “Can you explain John 1:17?