The Greatest Hero

Monday, May 28, 2012

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “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” (verses 14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

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

The Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ #2

Monday, March 19, 2012

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 KJV).

As today’s Scripture indicates, God has called us Christians by Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) for us to obtain “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Our souls have already been purchased (redeemed) from the bondage of sin through Christ’s bloodshed (Titus 2:13,14). However, we still live in these sinful physical bodies that are prone to die. At the rapture, that will change, literally!

Unlike our spiritual bodies (souls), our physical bodies have not yet been redeemed from sin. If the Lord tarries, we shall die physically, and our physical bodies will go into the ground. But, at the rapture, these physical bodies will be resurrected and redeemed: Paul wrote, “[we are] waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23; cf. Ephesians 4:30).

Although we now have “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” inside (in the inner man, the soul), these physical bodies limit us from seeing what God has really made us in Christ. So, these vile (sinful) physical bodies must one day be instantly transformed at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:50-57). Our physical bodies will be automatically changed to resemble Jesus Christ’s glorious resurrected body (Philippians 3:20,21). Wow!

We have Christ’s glorious resurrection life living in us now (Galatians 2:20), but we cannot see that glory. One day, God will give us glorified physical bodies, which, unlike these physical bodies, will be able to reflect this inward glory. The inward glory we now have will be manifested for all creation to see. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God [us Christians!](Romans 8:18,19). Glorious truth!

The Crux of God’s Eternal Purpose

Friday, January 27, 2012

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20 KJV).

God the Father has one grand purpose for creation—to make His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the governments of heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9,10). But, the Bible teaches that an angelic rebellion, led by Lucifer (Satan), sought to usurp Jesus Christ’s headship in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-18). Once Satan enticed mankind to sin and cooperate with his policy of evil, that rebellion then infiltrated earth (Genesis 3:1-24).

Today, the governments that God created in heaven and earth are in rebellion. Satan has spoiled what was created “by” and “for” the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16,17; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12). How will God reconcile unto Himself the governments of heaven and earth? How will Jesus Christ eternally subvert Satan’s strongholds in those two realms? Today’s Scripture provides the answer.

Using Christ’s shed blood, God is currently forming a heavenly people for His name, the Church the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:14). In eternity future, He will use this entity—us!—to restore His authority in the heavens. At Christ’s Second Coming, God will restore His earthly people, the nation Israel, forgive them of their sins through Christ’s shed blood (Acts 3:18; Hebrews 9:11-15; 1 Peter 1:18,19), and use redeemed Israel to reclaim His authority in the earth.

Indeed, the very thing at which Satan thought he defeated God—Calvary’s cross—is that which God will use to permanently conquer Satan’s policy of evil. Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary is the crux of God’s plans for eternity future: everything that God will accomplish in the ages to come hinges on Jesus Christ’s shed blood. In order to destabilize Satan’s power in heaven and earth, God must deal first with the sin issue in both realms, and Christ’s blood does just that in both realms. Behold the wisdom of our God!

Oh, by the way, interestingly, crux is Latin for cross….

Three Basic Grace Doctrines

Monday, January 2, 2012

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3,4 KJV).

Today’s Scripture identifies three basic grace doctrines:

  1. WE ARE DEAD WITH CHRIST: Romans 6:6 explains: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Our old Adamic sin nature is “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). Thus, according to today’s Scripture, we Christians are “dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.” We are “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have a new identity and we are a “new man” (Ephesians 2:15).
  2. WE ARE ALIVE WITH CHRIST: Nothing dead can serve God, so after God killed us, severing us from our identity in sinful Adam, God gave us life… His Son’s life! Thus, today’s Scripture says: Christ, who is our life.” Galatians 2:20 continues: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me….” Philippians 1:21 affirms: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Our Christian life is not our life at all. Actually, it is Christ living His life in and through us! God left us, the Church the Body of Christ, on earth, so He could live His life in us… for the lost world to see. We are the body of Christ, who Himself is God incarnate; thus, since God is living His life through our mortal bodies, we Christians are also “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:15,16). The lost world only sees the invisible God by watching us, His visible servants. Wow!
  3. WE WILL APPEAR WITH CHRIST IN GLORY: Finally, today’s Scripture references “our appearing with Christ in glory,” or “our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). When our earthly ministry ends, and the Body of Christ is complete, the rapture will transition us to heaven’s glory, beginning our eternal ministry there!

…But We Have Been Given God’s Grace

Sunday, December 25, 2011

“In whom [the Lord Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV).

In yesterday’s devotional, we learned how we, the sinful human race, are worthy of our holy Creator God’s wrath. God has created a special place, hell, for Satan and those who follow his sinful rebellion against God (Matthew 25:41). The simple truth is that, because of our sinful nature (and the resulting sinful actions), we all deserve to go to hell, and ultimately, separated from God forever in the lake of fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:14,15; Revelation 21:8; et al.).

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b). God, in His grace, dealt with our sin at Calvary’s cross, and took it out of the way. Through the finished crosswork of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, the riches of God’s grace are manifest. God left heaven’s glory to live in a human body, to “humble himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”(Philippians 2:5-8). Why?

  • To commend God’s love toward us (Romans 5:8).
  • To die, not simply for us, but as us (Romans 6:3-9; Colossians 2:11-15).
  • To undo the damage caused by sinful Adam (Romans 5:12-21; Colossians 1:20-21).
  • To “put away [our] sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).
  • To deliver us from Satan’s policy of evil, and make us sinners saints (Colossians 1:12-14).
  • To give us everlasting life…His life (Galatians 2:20) and thus, do for us what we could not do for ourselves—accomplish our salvation from the second death (spiritual death) (Ephesians 2:1-9)!
  • To give us “peace with God” (Romans 5:1).

Today, God is not imputing the world’s sin unto it (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Everyone, regardless of religion, race, or social standing, can now receive forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ. All they have to do is place their faith in the Gospel of Grace as found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4—“that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for our justification!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM arC MINISTRIES!

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study titled “Emmanuel 2.” The Bible study can be read here and watched here.

The Precious Blood of Christ

Friday, September 23, 2011

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

The term “redeem” means “to buy something back that which was originally yours.” When God created Adam (the first man), mankind was in complete fellowship with God. There was no sin or death. That all changed when Adam disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6,7). Sin had ruined God’s perfect creation. There, in Eden, God lost the human race to sin and mankind became part of Satan’s policy of evil, “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 2:2).

Coming up through the Scriptures, we see God setting His plan into motion. Somehow He would redeem man, and restore the fellowship He and man had once shared. God purposed in Himself to die for man—God would become a man to shed His sinless blood for our sins. The sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, has “purchased us with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

First and foremost, Jesus Christ died to redeem the nation Israel (today’s Scripture). Matthew 20:28: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many [Israel]” (cf. Luke 1:68). But, 1 Timothy 2:5,6 says: “the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” When we come to Paul’s ministry (“in due time”), God reveals that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for Israel and for everyone else (us Gentiles!).

Just as God will restore Israel at Christ’s Second Coming (Acts 3:18-21; Romans 11:26-29), Christ has restored us unto Himself now: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…” (Galatians 3:13). If you have not done so, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, His dying for your sins, His burial, and His resurrection for your justification, and God will save you forever.

The Inward Man

Sunday, August 7, 2011

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

As the saint progresses in earthly years, he or she gets discouraged. Hair becomes white as snow. The skin loses its elasticity, wrinkling and sagging. Vision dims, memory fails, and hearing diminishes. That once lively body grows progressively weaker and unable to perform the tasks it once did with ease. But, be not discouraged!

God gives this interesting description of dying Moses: “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deuteronomy 34:7). Moses, age 120, had excellent vision. His body was as agile as a young man’s. Wow!

In today’s Scripture Paul alludes to the “outward man” (physical body) and its decay and ultimate death (“perishing”). Because of sin, these physical bodies have nowhere to go but to the grave. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). Even though death may kill the physical body, Christians are confident that (the second) death cannot harm the spiritual body (the “inward man”).

Furthermore, Paul explains that we need to focus on renewing the “inward man” with sound Bible study, not focusing on the perishing state of the “outward man.” We will get new physical bodies, but the souls we have are ours forever.

Short of the Lord’s coming in our lifetimes, our physical bodies will go into the ground. While it is morbid, that is reality. But, this too is reality: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

These physical bodies will be redeemed at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:53; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 3:20,21). Romans 8:23 says: “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” Praise the Lord that we are not eternally confined to these weak, limited physical bodies!

* My outward man turns 23 today, saints.