The Purpose of Jesus’ Resurrection

Most Christians go all-out this season of the year to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is the need of Christ’s resurrection the rest of the year? It is important that we as His disciples look into God’s word for His purpose for Christ’s death and resurrection. We are not covering this topic thoroughly but want to shed some light on this special time in the history of our Lord. The whole of God’s Word is to be studied in order to grasp the full meaning of this glorious victory that needs our attention and celebration every day of the year. We will post this week through next Lord’s Day our most-read articles on the subject of Jesus’ work for our salvation.

To Fulfill the Scriptures

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

For New Life, Testing, Praise, Honor, and Glory of Jesus Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:1 Peter 1:3-7

For our Justification:

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Romans 4:25

For our Assurance, Faith and Hope

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:31

Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1 Peter 1:21

And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 1 Corinthians 6:14

To Reveal God’s Power

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: Romans 1:4

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,Ephesians 1:20

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:6
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10

That We May Be Conformed to His Image

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29

That We May Follow in His Footsteps

Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that he loved us,

and sent his Son to be the propitiation
for our sins.

 
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we ought also to love one another.

1 John 4:10-11

Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us:

and we ought to lay down our lives
for the brethren
.

1 John 3:16

Dear Father, keep us this day and every day in the reality of your redemption, loving you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. Make the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ an ever-present working in our hearts and lives for everyday worship in spirit and truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Fran

Image: Google

Edit and Edify

The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
Isaiah 50:4

The closer Jerry and I come to the riverside, the more vivid the other side is becoming. What is behind is fading away, holding less of our interest. And we desire with grateful hearts for others to see what we see.

In the last twenty-seven years, I have been saving in notebooks and file boxes treasures the Lord has given me. Before I started to publish books written over the years, I had no special need to edit. Since beginning to publish three years ago, I want to make clear what the Lord has given .

The kingdom of our Father is too great for me to minimize, so I pray and desire that His glory be expressed as best as I can by the power of His Holy Spirit.

The grace of our Lord is so precious that I cannot present it apart from His Holy presence in the text.

His love is so needed by His children that I dare not paint a false picture with the brush of my own thoughts.

Editing is not only necessary for publishing books, but a great need in everything we write, in everything we say, and in everything we do. Editing is not just something we do ~ as much as we attempt ~ but it requires another editor to correct what we cannot see in our own writing, speaking, and living.

I have other editors but my trust is in the Holy Spirit ~ editor and  guide ~proofing everything by His Holy Word.

The Lord continues to teach me that I am proclaiming His kingdom of righteousness and grace for His glory. His purpose for giving me the truths and gifts of His Spirit and Word are to edify His people.

Our books are primarily an archive for future generations but we are making them available for His people everywhere, hoping that those who are distressed in this generation may receive a word of encouragement and edification even as we are being taught and edified through His Word and His church ~ passing on any profits to missions and charity.

Writing this post has impressed upon my heart the importance for God’s people to speak the truth in love wherever we are. We need to edit as much as we can while praying for the Holy Spirit to work in us to discern if our thoughts are aligned with His.

Is our speaking and writing for the purpose of edification? All we do should be for the building up of His people ~ His body ~ His church. In the following references, we see the meaning and importance of edification.

Ephesians 4:29 relates to our personal speech so as to edify those who hear us.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

These relate to what is being taught.

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1 Timothy 1:4

Paul writes to the Romans and the Thessalonians of edifying one another.

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Romans 15:2

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The following are in reference to spiritual gifts; that they should be to the edifying and comfort of the members of the church.

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1 Corinthians 14:3

Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12

Paul writes of his relationship to the Corinthian church.

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 2 Corinthians 10:8

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
2 Corinthians 12:19

Paul writes to the Ephesians of the edifying of the whole body of Christ.

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4;12

From whom 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. Ephesians 4:16

Gracious Father, thank you for revealing the brightness of your glory through your Son, Jesus Christ. By your Holy Spirit, take away those things of our own thoughts so that nothing stands in the way of your truth. So encourage our hearts that we only speak what edifies your people. Let the light of Christ shine through us to reveal your love and grace ~ for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

John Bunyan on the Lord’s Day

 For he waited for the city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:10

********************

OF THE LORD’S DAY, SERMONS, AND WEEK DAYS
John Bunyan

 “Have a special care to sanctify the Lord’s day; for as thou keepest it, so it will be with thee all the week long.

Make the Lord’s day the market for thy soul; let the whole day be spent in prayer, repetitions, or meditations; lay aside the affairs of the other part of the week; let thy sermon thou hast heard be converted into prayer: Shall God allow thee six days, and wilt not thou afford him one?

In the church, be careful to serve God; for thou art in his eyes, and not in man’s.

Thou mayest hear sermons often, and do well in practicing what thou hearest; but thou must not expect to be told thee in a pulpit all that thou oughtest to do, but be studious in searching the Scriptures, and reading good books; what thou hearest may be forgotten, but what thou readest may better be retained.

Forsake not the public worship of God, lest God forsake thee, not only in public, but in private.

In the weekdays, when thou risest in the morning, consider,

1. Thou must die.
2. Thou mayest die that minute.
3. What will become of thy soul.
4. Pray often.

At night consider,

1. What sins thou hast committed.
2. How often thou hast prayed.
3. What hath thy mind been bent upon.
4. What hath been thy dealing.
5. What thy conversation.
6. If thou callest to mind the errors of the day, sleep not without a confession to God, and a hope of pardon.

Thus every morning and evening make up thy accounts with Almighty God, and thy reckoning will be the less at last.” John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings.

Gracious Father, as you spoke through your servant in centuries past, speak these truths in our hearts today. Fill us with your Holy Spirit as we live in your presence every day — in our private devotions as well as our public worship. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

 

For to speak the truth, there are
but few that care thus to spend their time.
John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress

Words of Life ~ ATONEMENT

As we discover the centrality of Jesus Christ in all the Bible, atonement is central to the Old and New Testaments and the one subject most important to all who call themselves Christians. No other theme is as important to a believer as this one, therefore, we ought to study to clearly understand its meaning.

As I realized this to be my next word on the list, I knew it would be a most arduous undertaking. It is truly too high for me. To pretend to understand and define this word is not what I want to do, lest I lessen the impact of its true and powerful meaning. My best attempt will be to share my simple understanding and include two links to aid those readers who earnestly want to have a deeper knowledge of the major work of our Lord Jesus Christ. You may have other sources to add in the comment section.

The purpose of publishing Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian is to focus on the language of those who are born into God’s kingdom through Jesus Christ.

We can only carry so much from the Old Testament to bring understanding to a Christian vocabulary, so where books have been written on one particular word, we are using more of the references that pertain to our position as a child of God in the New Testament.

Old Testament H3722
Strong’s Concordance defines ATONEMENT kaphar kä·far’ to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch
to cover over, pacify, propitiate
to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites
the same word is used for appease, cleansed, pardon

The Old Testament records the Lord’s commandments for sacrifices to be offered for certain Israelite occasions – for childbirth Leviticus 12; for leprosy Leviticus 14; uncleaness Leviticus 15. These are not relative to a Christian.

We will use the references that relate to the understanding of the sacrifice made as an atonement for the forgiveness of sins – the type and the atonement that foreshadowed the atonement that would be made for us through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Atonement for Forgiveness of Sins

“And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.” Leviticus 16:34

Leviticus 16  speaks of the many facets of the atonement made by the priests once a year for the nation of Israel. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews compares these to the one sacrificial atonement Jesus made once for all. (Every Christian should study this book for these comparisons.)

The everlasting statute made for the children of Israel was no longer necessary when Jesus died for the sins of His people.

New Testament G2643
Strong’s Concordance defines ATONEMENT, katallagē kä-täl-lä-gā’ adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favor,
The same word is used for reconciliation in the N.T. of the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ

For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 5:10

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom we have now received the atonement.”
Romans 5:11
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”
2 Corinthians 5:18

Ephesians 2 is a must read for us to understand how both the nation of Israel and other nations are brought together and reconciled to God.

“And that he might reconcile both unto God
in one body by the cross,
having slain the enmity thereby:”
Ephesians 2:16

Specific Elements
In my meager understanding, there seem to be specific elements relating to Jesus’ atonement: a perfect life, sacrificeblood, death, and resurrection.

 A Perfect Life was required to appease the wrath of God (1 John 4:10).

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” 1 Peter 1:19

Sacrifice in the willingness to give His life (Ephesians 5:2).

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Hebrews 10:12

Blood is shed on behalf of His people.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:12

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22

the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5)

the blood of the everlasting covenant (Hebrews 13:20).

Death is the result of His sacrifice made for atonement–the finished act on His part to take our punishment upon Himself.

 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight“: Colossians 1:20-22

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30

Resurrection is the means for His ascension as our High Priest–ever living to make intercession for us, saving to the uttermost those who come to God by faith in Christ (Hebrews 7:25).

How blessed we are to study and meditate on the truths of Jesus’ life and His purpose for being here on earth —to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). I am both amazed and humbled. The power of His holy will to secure a people for Himself by providing all that is needed for our salvation is incomprehensible. To believe that He included me in this covenant of redemption can only be a work of His Holy Spirit within me. I am powerless to do anything in this atoning work. Atonement planned and executed by a Triune God leaves nothing to the imagination of man nor of his will to help or add anything to it. Atonement in the life and work of Jesus Christ is the only means to obtain at-one-ment with God our heavenly Father.

Dear Father, we can only know the power of your love that secured a new life for us through the atoning work of your Son, except as you work it in each of us. Continue to show us, teach us, and lead us as the God of our salvation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

What is Atonement?
The Day of Atonement Charles Spurgeon

ABORTION

 “For thou hast possessed my reins:
thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:”
Psalm 139:13-14 

(Written years ago, this article was discovered in a notebook among many other notebooks. That I found it in this time of history is interesting. Laws concerning abortion have been passed to the degree that there seems to be no understanding or value of life anymore. The more laws, the more power is given to men and women to decide who lives.)

This was not written to judge those who have had abortions but to speak to a generation that sees nothing wrong with abortion. I ask the following questions to make some sense of the practice of deleting life according to man’s standards.

I use the plural pronoun, not that we all have considered abortion, but as citizens of a nation that has accepted it and made it a normal practice

What are we aborting?
To abort means we have the power to prevent human life from developing in the womb.

Not to abort means we believe that what starts as a seed planted in a physical body will develop into human life.

However we think about it – there is the potential of a full life in a fetus.

Why would we want to abort?
– because we have the power to make this decision?
We also have the power to choose life for one which has no power of its own.

Is it because we would have to bring up a child on our own?

Perhaps this is the means of God’s grace to show us His provisions for us and for the child.

For those who are single — is it because we would have to face the truth of our sin before God, our family, and friends? (This question can only be understood as we know God’s standard for intimacy with others.)

This could be God’s timing to bring us in faith and repentance to Him. He loves, forgives, and proves His care and provision in all things.

Some may say, “Because I have a miserable life.”
It does not have to be that way. This may be God’s plan to start a new life.

There is Help!
There are organizations that support women through pregnancy, for the mother to keep the baby or to consider offering and blessing a family through adoption.*

I would encourage the first and best thing: to keep a baby, to accept God’s provisions of faith in Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, to love and bring up this baby in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). There is no greater blessing than for Him to love a parent and a child, for the mother (and father, if willing) to know His love and to love the child as He loves.

There is a great purpose and a promise in carrying a baby full term. It is believing God is the creator of all life and has given this child as a blessing. He uses even our faults and mistakes for His purpose and His glory.

I pray that the Lord will do a work in hearts to allow Him to lead through full-time pregnancy and to bring children to Him for His instruction and joy.

*If you need help to determine if you are pregnant, want an ultrasound, or considering an abortion, please check at the bottom of this link to find a pregnancy resource center near you. A mobile service is available in some areas.

(IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE, CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO YOUR LOCAL PREGNANCY RESOURCE CENTER.)

For a look at the truth of Planned Parenthood, please see the movie Unplanned scheduled in theaters on March 29, 2019.

“….. CHOOSE LIFE.”
Deuteronomy 30:19

 Dear Father, we are in need of your Spirit’s conviction; to understand your will for our holiness. We need to know you as the giver of every seed of life and the sustainer of what you give. Search us and know our hearts. try us and know our thoughts. Turn us to confession, repentance and true life in Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

In The Spirit on the Lord’s Day

What must it have been like—exiled on the Isle of Patmos,
because of his testimony for Christ? (Revelation 1)

John had no live band to lead him in worship, no accompaniment, no artificial light, no props, and no company. But he had his past experience with the Lord Jesus, the memories of living and walking in His footsteps, and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  The testimony for which he was exiled was the same power that was constantly with him.

He was chosen and prepared to receive such visions as he was given, and to put it in writing to be preserved for us.  John’s visions recorded in the Book of Revelation are not your everyday experience, or even a weekly example, of a worship that any of us can expect or hope for here on earth.  But it does serve to bring us to an understanding of the special day that the Lord’s Day became for His people.

It is a day to which we look forward, in anticipation of more of the revelation of the Spirit in our lives and our worship, when we are alone with the Lord or gathered with His people.  The same Spirit, by which we are born into His kingdom, is the same Spirit that leads to greater heights of understanding and finally to His glory.  He is the same presence and power that opens our minds and hearts to Christ, so that we desire to hear His voice, to see that just one, high and lifted up.  Being the center and focus of all our desires and worship, He is all that we seek.  We avoid all hindrances and distractions that take our attention away from Him, His Word and His plan for His worship.

The Holy Spirit and His Word (truth that is in and of Christ) lead us to cast all our crowns before Him, to humble ourselves before Him in silence, praise and adoration.  The same Spirit of which we are born, led, live, and walk, directs our hearts to Him, and reveals the things of God that He will never show us otherwise. (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)  This is worship in Spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

The power of His Word will separate us from the world, its methods, sounds, and designs, and by His Spirit bring us to discover Jesus Christ in a new light.  Who does not desire to see the lightnings, thunderings, and earthquakes that prayer and true worship bring to this earth—of which we are in such great need?


“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom
which cannot be moved,
let us have grace,
whereby we may serve God acceptably
with reverence and godly fear:
For our God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:28-29

Dear Father, fill us with more of your Spirit, especially today; lead us, open our eyes and ears and our hearts to  what you have prepared for us.  Show us great and mighty things we have not known—things that will enable us to bear witness of Christ in all that we do; even it means separation from everybody and all that we know.  Lead us to seek Christ, to live for, and worship You, and Christ alone.  In His name, we pray and praise you. Amen.

Words of Life ~ ARMOUR

(If you have not read our last post which leads into this one, here is the link.)

The Old Testament uses the word ARMOUR as relating to physical warfare – the dress of a soldier and his weapons. The New Testament uses the word ARMOUR in reference to spiritual warfare using the weapons of God.

Old Testament H3627
Strong’s Concordance defines ARMOUR kĕliy kel·ē’; from H3615; something prepared, i.e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon)

We share two references, the most commonly known is in 1 Samuel 17:38 where David was at first armed with Saul’s armour, which David could not wear. He faced Goliath with only a stone and slingshot.

And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 1 Samuel 17:38

Jeremiah 50:25 speaks of the Lord’s armoury and the weapons of His indignation.

The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

New Testament G3833
Strong’s Concordance for ARMOUR panoplia pä-no-plē’-ä; full armour, complete armour, includes shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves, and breastplate|

The Armour of Light

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Romans 13:12

The Armour of Righteousness

 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 2 Corinthians 6:7

The Armour of God

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

 We stressed in our last post the need to Plan Your Day Around God’s Word. It all starts with God’s Word. We would not know of the need or the means of the Armour of God except through His Word. The whole armour of God is necessary for protection and surviving the warfare against Satan. Paul may have used the analogy from seeing soldiers in his imprisonment in Rome. Every part of the armour had its purpose as does the armour of the Christian, if we are to endure to the end. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and prayer are all worn together.

We cannot go anywhere without these, else Satan will catch us unaware, find us defenseless, and overcome us.

I will not speak of each of these parts of our armour but for a more detailed description of each of these, I share a link for Charles Spurgeon Commentary on Ephesians 6.

Many Christians remain in despair or doubt about how to live in this world of sin and temptation. We need to use the manual to learn who we are in Christ and how we can overcome the work of the enemy in our lives.

Gracious Father, You promise to share your glory with those who overcome the enemy. Draw us more closely to you, train us and fit us with a graceful armour according to your design, for the victory you give us in Christ our Lord. In His name, we pray. Amen.
Fran
Image: Google