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?

The Greater Condemnation #4

Friday, June 15, 2018

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body (James 3:1,2 KJV).

While many want to lead in local assemblies, today’s Scripture issues a stern warning. They had better reconsider!

God will hold church leaders—“masters” (today’s Scripture) or teachers (John 3:10)—to a much higher standard than He will church members. Do they believe the right doctrine? Are they practicing what they preach and teach? Christ said to Israel’s religious leaders in Matthew 23:14: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” Unsaved false teachers will have a hotter place in Hell than those whom they misled!

In time past, Israel had God’s Word and the Gentiles did not (Romans 3:1,2). Compared to Gentiles, Jews were the teachers. Yet, the Israelites were hypocrites—they committed the same sins they had condemned the “wicked” Gentiles for doing! In Romans chapter 2, God holds the Jews as the more responsible party. Gentiles were without God’s revelation; Israel knew God’s Word and still committed those atrocious deeds (see verses 1-3,12,17-27). They would all endure God’s wrath!

While we members of the Church the Body of Christ never have to fear seeing God’s angry face or winding up in Hell, we should know that God Himself will review our Christian service. Jesus Christ will examine our soul, to determine the quality of doctrine we built into it (see 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10). Was it “gold, silver, precious stones”—valuable, spiritual information, His Word rightly divided? Or “wood, hay, stubble”—useless doctrine, human wisdom, religious tradition? Paul warned the Corinthian saints that they were allowing false religious leaders to contaminate them with doctrinal error, which would cause them loss of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (see 1 Corinthians chapters 1-3).

Dear friends, we had better be cautious of whom we allow to become our Bible teacher. Furthermore, we had better not rush into becoming Bible teachers ourselves. Bible teaching is a most serious job….

The Wise Masterbuilder #15

Friday, January 19, 2018

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. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10,11 KJV).

Who is the “wise masterbuilder?” In what way is he “wise?” What is he building? Where do we fit in?

The solution to Christendom’s schisms—sectarianism/denominationalism—is “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Paul is our Apostle, God’s spokesman to us Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace (Romans 11:13; Ephesians 3:1,2): we do not exalt Paul but we “magnify” his God-given “office”/apostleship (Romans 11:13). He is the “wise masterbuilder” who laid the foundation—Jesus Christ “according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25,26; cf. today’s Scripture).

We study all the Bible: we do not discard the non-Pauline Bible Books. Nevertheless, we understand that, in Paul’s epistles alone, we find our doctrine, duty, walk, destiny, and hope as members of the Church Body of Christ. Paul is not “just another world religious leader.” He has been God’s messenger to the nations these last 2,000 years—the entire Dispensation of the Grace of God. If we ignore Paul, we discount Jesus Christ who sent him to us. When we emphasize Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew through John), we overlook His subsequent heavenly ministry (Romans through Philemon).

Whenever someone says that doctrine does not matter, remember today’s Scripture. God the Holy Spirit believed that the Corinthians should follow the Apostle Paul as he followed Jesus Christ. In the Dispensation of Grace, Paul is the “pattern”—for salvation unto eternal life and salvation from false teaching (cf. 1 Timothy 1:12-17). Do we agree with Him?

Colossians chapter 1: “[25] Whereof I [Paul] am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

-FINIS!-

The Wise Masterbuilder #14

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10,11 KJV).

Who is the “wise masterbuilder?” In what way is he “wise?” What is he building? Where do we fit in?

We study all of the Bible—Genesis to Revelation—as God inspired it all. However, we are not the only saints in God’s Word. The nation Israel needs Scripture written to and about her: these are the non-Pauline Books. When we “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we are simply recognizing distinctions that God has already made in His Book.

Nonetheless, most rebel and voice their excuses and objections. “I follow Jesus; I do not follow some man such as Paul!” “You throw away everything before Paul!” “You Paul-worshipper!” The Holy Spirit anticipated these protestations and mischaracterizations, as 1 Corinthians chapter 14 shows: “[37] If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. [38] But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” Pay close attention to verse 38!!

Do you remember our comments when we started? God values free will. If we want to stay biblically-confused (so as to support our denomination), if we prefer spiritual darkness (so as to keep our preconceived ideas), God will give us our way! To wit, “If you want to be without knowledge of Paul’s special ministry and message, be without knowledge!” (Unfortunately, many church members—and even most genuine Christians—have actually chosen this route. Notice, God gave them their desire!!)

However, for us who are interested in “godly edifying” (1 Timothy 1:4), we remember Paul’s words in 2 Timothy chapter 1: “[13] Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [14] That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How was Jesus Christ crucified among the Galatians?

The Wise Masterbuilder #13

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10,11 KJV).

Who is the “wise masterbuilder?” In what way is he “wise?” What is he building? Where do we fit in?

Today’s Scripture with its successive verses: “[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 Corinthians were not building proper doctrine in their inner man. Such loss of reward will be apparent at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10; Colossians 3:23-25). If there is to be grace edification in our lives, we must follow the “wise masterbuilder”—Paul (today’s Scripture). Notice the admonitions throughout the first Corinthian epistle: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me (4:15,16). Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (11:1). “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord(14:37).

To achieve spiritual maturity in the Dispensation of Grace, we follow the Apostle Paul as he follows the Lord Jesus Christ….

Anonymous Donors

Friday, October 27, 2017

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Colossians 3:17 KJV).

Whatever we do in word or deed, we should do all in the name of the Lord Jesusnot ourselves!

A little girl, partly raised by her poor widowed Christian grandmother, could not afford a coat for church. Her grandmother informed her that a couple had given her money to purchase such a garment. They requested to remain anonymous, so the grandmother withheld their names from the little girl. Years later, after their deaths, she revealed those names to her granddaughter. It was a deacon and his wife from the church.

Let us face it, dear friends. Our flesh loves to glory in itself. That is what makes religion so popular and enticing. “Look at what I did! Notice how I did it ‘just right,’ with ceremonial exactness!” Study Matthew chapter 23 and see the Lord Jesus’ harsh words for Israel’s religious leaders who were stuck on advertising all their religious performances. They loved to “make a fair shew [beautiful display] in the flesh” (Galatians 6:12,13)—what religious people do even today.

It is better to be like the aforementioned humble deacon and his wife. They did the right thing, but they never sought the praise of men. Rather than wanting their names known far and wide, it is assumed they loved the Lord Jesus Christ. What they did was not for themselves, for they requested to remain unnamed. One day, God will reward all Christians for their service to Him. We need not worry about being acknowledged by man for every good work our Saviour does in and through us. After all, He is the Witness who matters, and that is enough.

First Corinthians chapter 4: “[4] For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. [5] Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

(That little girl was Mom!)

In a Moment, In a Twinkling

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

“Behold, I shew you a mystery [secret]; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 KJV).

Behold, dear Christian friend, the quickest event you will ever experience!

It covers the smallest amount of time. The Greek word rendered “moment” in today’s Scripture is atomos, “without cutting; indivisible.” Scientists claim this value is 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000033 second! (Try to wrap your mind around that!) The other descriptive term is “twinkling,” as in an eye’s jerking movement (a blink). In Greek, it is related to the idea of “scattered abroad” (Matthew 9:36), “cast down” (Matthew 15:30; Matthew 27:5), “thrown” (Luke 4:35), “cast” (Luke 17:2), and “cast out” (Acts 27:19,29). These are sudden motions. Consequently, our English word “twinkling” is defined as, “in an instant; very quickly.”

The Rapture—“our gathering together unto [Christ]” (2 Thessalonians 2:1)—will happen so swiftly, we will not even have time to realize it. We will simply find ourselves in Heaven. An eye blink is an everyday, familiar event. Hence, the Bible uses it to depict the Rapture’s duration. In that extremely, extremely, extremely small fraction of a second, Almighty God will reconstruct the corpses of the millions of Christians buried worldwide, and re-implant their souls and spirits into those glorified bodies. Also in that extremely, extremely, extremely small fraction of a second, He will give us millions of living Christians new glorified bodies too. There will be an instant assembly of all members of the Church the Body of Christ, in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. As Scripture declares, that will all happen in an “atom” of time!

Then, we will be escorted into outer space, to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and then Father God’s throne in the Third Heaven. Finally, we will be scattered throughout the universe to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in the endless ages to come. Lord, hasten the day… hurry the day for that rapid event! 🙂