God is Love

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

“…God is love… God is love… We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:8b,16b,19 KJV).

The word “love” is used very flippantly in today’s world. Of the many who speak about “love,” few know what it is. On this Valentine’s Day, we offer sound doctrine from God’s Word to correct the misunderstandings of what love really is. What is love, according to God’s Word?

Today’s Scripture says that “God is love”—God does not simply love, but His very nature is love. What does that mean? In 1 John 3:16, we read: “Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:” Our Apostle Paul put it this way: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s nature is love—selfless, self-sacrificing!

God’s Word defines love and charity in 2 Corinthians 12:15: “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Love is seeking the best interest of others, even if it costs you something (time, energy, resources, et cetera). Charity is love in deed (demonstrated, manifested in action). God loved us, so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. It cost God the Father His Son, and it cost God the Son His life. What a selfless act!

Our nature in Adam is selfish, but our nature in Christ is not. Paul declares, “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). We who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, our Christian lives are driven and motivated by Christ’s love for us, not our love for Him. It is this unselfish love of Christ working in us that causes us to look on the things of others, to seek their edification and their benefit, not ours (Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:1-11). This will result in charity, our selfless actions reflecting that love of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:15).

As the lost world observes our Christian service, they will see, “God is love.”

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

God is Love

Sunday, February 14, 2016

“…God is love… God is love… We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:8b,16b,19 KJV).

The word “love” is used very flippantly in today’s world. Of the many who speak about “love,” few know what it is. On this Valentine’s Day, we offer sound doctrine from God’s Word to correct the misunderstandings of what love really is. What is love, according to God’s Word?

Today’s Scripture says that “God is love”—God does not simply love, but His very nature is love. What does that mean? In 1 John 3:16, we read: “Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:” Our Apostle Paul put it this way: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s nature is love—selfless, self-sacrificing!

God’s Word defines love and charity in 2 Corinthians 12:15: “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Love is seeking the best interest of others, even if it costs you something (time, energy, resources, et cetera). Charity is love in deed (demonstrated, manifested in action). God loved us, so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. It cost God the Father His Son, and it cost God the Son His life. What a selfless act!

Our nature in Adam is selfish, but our nature in Christ is not. Paul declares, “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). We who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, our Christian lives are driven and motivated by Christ’s love for us, not our love for Him. It is this unselfish love of Christ working in us that causes us to look on the things of others, to seek their edification and their benefit, not ours (Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:1-11). This will result in charity, our selfless actions reflecting that love of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:15).

As the lost world observes our Christian service, they will see, “God is love.”

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Paul and Dispensationalism #11

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“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, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:3-5 KJV).

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

The goal of dispensational Bible study, particularly Pauline dispensationalism, is not simply to fill one’s head with Bible knowledge. There is no spirituality in drawing the Bible timeline. No spirituality is in merely talking about God’s grace and Paul’s special ministry. Spirituality is when you know where to go in the Bible to find your information and then using that information to benefit others (“charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”). Grace doctrine is not meant to be kept secret, spoken only when you want to argue. Grace living is to be… lived!

Our goal in sharing dispensational truths should never be to pick fights, debate, et cetera. Religion has deceived many, many precious people. We should seek their highest good (“charity”). They need to learn God’s truth, and we who know God’s truth should share that truth in love and gentleness. We have the doctrine that can save them from their sins, renew their minds, mature them spiritually, et cetera. How marvelous! How exciting!

Unlike modern-day Ecumenists who minimize doctrine, bulldoze denominational barriers, and simply “fellowship with all ‘Christians’ around the love of ‘Jesus,’” today’s Scripture says Paul approved sound doctrine and exposed false doctrine. Paul commanded young Timothy to rebuke false teachers in Ephesus. They were not to teach any other doctrine than what the Lord Jesus Christ had taught them through the Apostle Paul. Actually, the Bible says their error was legalism (1 Timothy 1:6-11), forcing the Mosaic Law into Christian living. Paul had predicted this apostasy years earlier in Acts 20:28-35. Paul had encouraged them, verse 32, to embrace “the word of [God’s] grace.” This was the Bible rightly divided—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the grace doctrines!

Greet the Brethren!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Peter 5:14).

Dear saints all around the world, we greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

Elsewhere in the Bible’s canon, we find similar expressions to today’s Scripture. For instance, 2 Corinthians 13:12-13: “Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you.” Or, Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss” (1 Thessalonians 5:26). And 1 Corinthians 16:20: “All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”

To “greet” is an action of endearment, a gesture of love and respect. As custom in apostolic days, to “kiss” other believers was to do so on the cheeks, beard, hands, or forehead. Men would kiss men and women would kiss women. Today, we shake hands, hug, wave, smile, say “Hello,” et cetera.

Many times the Greek word for “greet” is translated “salute” in our King James Bible (Romans 16:5,7,9,10-16,21-23; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Philippians 4:21,22; Colossians 4:10,12,15; 2 Timothy 4:19; Titus 3:15; Philemon 23; Hebrews 13:24; 1 Peter 5:13; 3 John 14; et cetera). Our English word “salute” is from Latin salutare ‘greet, pay one’s respects to,’ from salus, salut- ‘health, welfare, greeting’; the noun partly from Old French salut.

In this world of busyness and worldliness, love is greatly lacking—even within the professing “Body of Christ.” Christians talk about how there once was an atmosphere of love in their local assembly; now, the ambiance is cold and unconcerned, full of backbiting, division, and selfishness. Christians do not seem to be as caring as they once were concerning other Christians. It is described by the phrase “without natural affection” in 2 Timothy 3:3. What a shame when Christians treat other Christians as lost people treat Christians!

Today, find another Christian and “salute/greet” him or her. Give a handshake, a wave, blow a kiss, do something to acknowledge their presence. After all, you need your practice. There will be millions of saints for you to “salute/greet” when you get to heaven. And, never forget, some will be the exact same saints mentioned in today’s Scripture! 🙂

God is Love

Saturday, February 14, 2015

“…God is love… God is love… We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:8b,16b,19 KJV).

The word “love” is used very flippantly in today’s world. Of the many who speak about “love,” few know what it is. On this Valentine’s Day, we offer sound doctrine from God’s Word to correct the misunderstandings of what love really is. What is love, according to God’s Word?

Today’s Scripture says that “God is love”—God does not simply love, but His very nature is love. What does that mean? In 1 John 3:16, we read: “Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:” Our Apostle Paul put it this way: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s nature is love—selfless, self-sacrificing!

God’s Word defines love and charity in 2 Corinthians 12:15: “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Love is seeking the best interest of others, even if it costs you something (time, energy, resources, et cetera). Charity is love in deed (demonstrated, manifested in action). God loved us, so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. It cost God the Father His Son, and it cost God the Son His life. What a selfless act!

Our nature in Adam is selfish, but our nature in Christ is not. Paul declares, “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). We who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, our Christian lives are driven and motivated by Christ’s love for us, not our love for Him. It is this unselfish love of Christ working in us that causes us to look on the things of others, to seek their edification and their benefit, not ours (Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:1-11). This will result in charity, our selfless actions reflecting that love of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:15).

As the lost world observes our Christian service, they will see, “God is love.”

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Instant Christians #15

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

“Instant” is defined as, “happening or coming immediately, prepared quickly and with little effort.” Being “instant” means the Christian is so skilled in God’s Word rightly divided, so in tune with His Father’s Word, that he or she daily has a greater comprehension and delight in that Word, and that Word is so integral in his or her thinking that it is not a burden to speak of its doctrine with clarity and conciseness, that he or she has read it so much that numerous verses and/or passages can be quoted without a printed Bible present (today’s Scripture).

It is these skilled Christians that the church lacks. Why? The average Christian is weak, unable to take a solid stand on doctrine because he or she does not even know sound Bible doctrine (the individual’s fault and the local church’s fault). Now we see why the world is not interested in hearing someone who “loves the Bible” but knows nothing about it!

The “instant” Christian is one who has studied and still studies the entire King James Bible, but he or she will study especially Romans through Philemon. This will be followed by prayer, speaking to God by repeating His Word back to Him, and applying it to life by faith. He or she will grow more and more familiar with God’s Word rightly divided. As the years pass, he or she will speak of Bible verses and topics with greater depth and wisdom, ready to give an answer to both the curious and the critical. As a soldier arms himself or herself with the proper equipment, so we arm ourselves with the “sword of the Spirit,” that we “fight the good fight of faith!”

We answer their objections (or get them to someone who can), we urge them check everything we say against the Bible. Dispensational Bible study withstands all scrutiny, and we have full confidence in God’s truth. Let us be “instant” Christians, prepared to speak God’s Word authoritatively, skillfully, and charitably. 🙂

By the way, in the near future, we plan to have a follow-up devotionals arc that will expand on these concepts. Stay tuned!

Preaching to Perfect

Monday, November 24, 2014

[Christ] Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily (Colossians 1:28,29 KJV).

And so, our grace Bible conference has concluded.

Our ministry goal as Pauline dispensationalists is to “have all men saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4)—to see that they hear the right Gospel (Paul’s Gospel, Christ’s finished crosswork [1 Corinthians 15:3,4]) so as to believe it, and to see that they hear the right Bible doctrine so as to receive it (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon). That is Father God’s will for them; if we delight in His will, it will become our will; and we will then do His will.

We are not here to prove ourselves right, or to force people to agree with us; we are here to declare that God is right and everyone else is wrong, and to be helpers of others’ joy. We know the heartaches and perplexities of religious tradition, we have found the key to recovering ourselves out of the snare of the devil, and now we hold forth “the word of life”not in arrogance, but in compassion, for we too were once foolish and deceived. We care about their souls, that they not be defiled with either sins of the flesh (“secular” human evil) or sins of the spirit (“pious” human good).

Rather than trying to take away something worthless that they have, we offer them God’s priceless wisdom that they need; if they embrace the latter, they will discard the former! If they prefer spiritual ignorance, that is their prerogative, and we should say no more; if they want spiritual maturity, that is our privilege of teaching them God’s Word rightly divided (today’s Scripture).

As our apostle Paul knew, it was really God’s Holy Spirit working in him mightily; it was not Paul struggling in himself to do the work of the ministry. When it is God working, there is no pride, failure, or misery; only charity, love in action, to see that lost souls are saved (justified) and those Christian souls are edified (strengthened). Yes, we “preach to perfect!” 🙂

NOTE: The 2014 Slidell Grace Bible Conference concluded yesterday. Videos of the messages to be uploaded to YouTube in due time, so stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in purchasing CDs or DVDs, please email me for more information at arcministries@gmail.com.