When the Fulness of the Time Was Come – 333’s 200th

Saturday, December 17, 2011

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5 KJV).

In the beginning God set the first man, Adam, on earth to “subdue [control] it,” to “have dominion” over it and everything on it (Genesis 1:28). Alas, Adam sided with Satan, joining the rebellion against God. The human race, now marred by sin, was unable to fellowship with its holy Creator God.

Fortunately, God promised mankind’s Redeemer in Genesis 3:15: a Man who would do what Adam failed to do—rule earth for God’s glory. Adam was “the figure [preview/type] of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14c). About 4000 years after Adam, the “him that was to come” finally came—Jesus Christ. How human history was forever impacted when that Redeemer came!

Jesus Christ’s birth was not some haphazard event of nature. God the Father had preplanned the exact moment of the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture). Recall that, unlike us, before His physical birth, Jesus Christ lived as a Spirit in heaven’s glory with His Father (John 1:1,2; cf. Micah 5:2).

When the appointed time came, at His Father’s behest, Jesus’ Spirit came to earth to indwell the body in the virgin Mary’s womb. For nine months, God Himself actually lived inside Mary’s womb! Being delivered, He lived a sinless life of 33 years, despised by His family (Israel) and the world. As one dear Christian brother explained, “That was the greatest life ever lived in a human body!”

No event in human history compares to the coming of Jesus Christ. As today’s Scripture teaches, the Lord Jesus became a small Baby… to become a grown man… to become Israel’s rejected Messiah… to ultimately die for us, the wretched Gentiles! God became a man, to “give Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).

We are ever grateful that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son….”

Saints, we have reached a milestone – #200. WOW!

Ye Are Complete in Him

Thursday, November 24, 2011

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9,10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture says all the power of the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—dwells in Christ Jesus (God the Son). Consequently, we are “complete [lacking nothing] in Christ.” The moment we trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, God instantly gave us everything He can ever give us.

We read in Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” In Christ, we have all our “need” (singular) met. What is our “need?” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). The spiritual blessings we have in Christ as a present and permanent possession are our “need.”

What are these spiritual blessings? Throughout Paul’s epistles, we read of over 120 spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus. Our spiritual blessings in Christ include:

  1. Sealed by and with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30)
  2. Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
  3. New identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  4. Holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in God’s sight (Colossians 1:22)
  5. Crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6)
  6. Alive with Christ (Romans 6:8)
  7. Liberty (Galatians 5:1)
  8. Accepted in the beloved, God’s Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6)
  9. The temple of the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  10. Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  11. Access by one Spirit unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
  12. Preserved unto the Lord’s heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18)
  13. Eternal life (Titus 1:2)
  14. Grace to endure suffering (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  15. Deliverance from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4)

We cannot see these spiritual blessings with our physical eyes, but we see them with our spiritual eyes of faith (Hebrews 11:1). Let us always thank God for these blessings, not just during the Thanksgiving Season, but for all eternity.

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study titled “A Cornucopia of Spiritual Blessings.” The Bible study can be read here.

The Veteran Worth Thanking

Saturday, November 12, 2011

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15 KJV).

Yesterday, the United States of America recognized and thanked its veterans, living and departed, the often-forgotten men and women who risked their lives to secure our freedom. Just as we remembered flesh and blood veterans who fought for our physical liberty, we reserve our worship and utmost respect for the least esteemed Veteran, He who secured our spiritual liberty.

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Through Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary, we have eternal victory over sin, death, hell, and Satan. Everything that God has planned for us is dependent upon Christ’s victory at Calvary.

Jesus Christ nailed the Mosaic Law to His cross (today’s Scripture). Christ’s sinless blood covered our failure to obey God’s laws; Jesus’ righteousness annulled our unrighteousness (sin). Christ not only liberated us from sin and its penalty (the everlasting lake of fire), but today’s Scripture affirms He also triumphed over Satan himself!

Christ has “spoiled [destroyed] principalities and powers [Satan’s power], he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [His cross].” Jesus Christ destroyed Satan’s plans. Through Christ’s cross, God has “delivered us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), Satan’s evil system of Ephesians 2:1-3.

During a recent cemetery visit, I noticed American flags flying above deceased veterans’ headstones. These individuals can no longer hear or regard our thanks, but Jesus Christ’s body is not decaying in some tomb. If there ever was a Veteran most worthy of our gratitude, it is our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He died in battle, allowing Himself to be executed on a Roman cross of shame and scorn, He resurrected. He is alive and well today, alive forevermore.

Saints, eternity will ring with our thanks to the Veteran worth thanking, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Kosher Food Laws

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” (Colossians 2:16 KJV).

Some professing “Christian” groups prohibit their members from consuming pork products. Is this necessary? While God clearly forbade the nation Israel from eating pork in time past (Leviticus 11:7,8; Deuteronomy 14:8), we are not under legalistic demands (the Mosaic Law) in this the Dispensation of Grace. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). God does not want us to be in the bondage of Mosaic Law-keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Galatians 5:1).

Today, God uses His grace, not the Mosaic Law, to educate us and guide our lifestyles and behavior: “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;” (Titus 2:11,12).

The Apostle Peter, according to Acts 10:9-16, was a kosher-food Jew. When he finally ate non-kosher foods with the Apostle Paul’s Gentile believers, the Jews were upset with Peter (Galatians 2:11,12). These Jews had no idea that God had opened a new dispensation, our dispensation, and the laws that God gave Israel in the Dispensation of Law did not apply to anyone in our Dispensation of Grace. Hence, today’s Scripture declares that we are not bound to observe Israel’s kosher food laws and religious days (including the Sabbath day!).

In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, we read God’s further instructions to us regarding kosher food laws: “…some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrine of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy… and commanding to abstain from meats [foods], which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Provided that you give thanks to God for the bacon, catfish, and shrimp, God says you can eat them! 🙂

Only One Gave Glory to God

Friday, October 28, 2011

“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” (Luke 17:17,18 KJV).

In Luke 17:11 we find our Lord Jesus passing through Samaria and Galilee (northern Israel) on His way to Jerusalem. Verse 12 explains that there are ten lepers standing outside of a town. (Remember “leprosy” describes various skin diseases, so these unclean men are outcasts of society.) The ten lepers cry out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (verse 13). Verse 14 says, “And when he [Jesus] saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed.”

In Leviticus 14:1-ff., the LORD had given instructions to Moses concerning lepers (in the day of their healing, they were to go to the priest). Although they are still leprous, Jesus commands the ten lepers to go to the priests, as though they were already healed.

By faith, these ten lepers begin heading toward the Temple. Interestingly, notice how they were not healed until after they followed Christ’s instructions and had already begun walking to the Temple. These ten lepers knew Christ had the power to heal them, and they knew that as long as they obeyed Him, they would be healed. So, they begin walking (as though they were already cleansed). Because they had faith in Jesus’ words, they followed Jesus’ commands.

Luke 17:15,16 continue: “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.”

As indicated in today’s Scripture, only one of the ten lepers thanked and glorified God. The other nine, sidetracked by the relief and healing, never bothered to glorify the God who had healed them. May we be like that lone leper, mindful of what the LORD has done for us, grateful to Him, and giving Him the glory that He so rightly deserves!