Daily Devotional – Faith without Works is Dead being Alone

Faith without works is dead being alone. (text from James 2:17) If I say that I have faith that a smoke detector will save me if my home were to catch fire, and I purchase a smoke detector that instructs me that I must install a battery, and I did not. If my home were to catch fire, would the smoke detector save me? Was I obedient to my faith in the smoke detector?

Many people confuse the works of faith with the works of the Law of Moses. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (Jms 2:17) Faith takes action to make it complete otherwise it is dead faith. If you have faith in something and place your trust in it, then you will have corresponding actions that will make your faith complete. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” (Jms 2:21) Abraham’s faith was made complete when he obeyed God and placed his son on the altar to slay him the scriptures saying, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” (Heb 11:17-19) “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (Jms 2:22-23) “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jms 2:26)

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Daily Devotional – Obedience of Faith

Now to HIM that is of POWER to STABLISH you according to my GOSPEL, and the PREACHING of JESUS CHRIST, according to the REVELATION of the MYSTERY, which was kept SECRET since the WORLD began, But now is made MANIFEST, and by the SCRIPTURES of the PROPHETS, according to the COMMANDMENT of the EVERLASTING God, made KNOWN to ALL NATIONS for the OBEDIENCE OF FAITH: To God only WISE, be GLORY through JESUS CHRIST for EVER. Amen.” (Rm 16:25-27)

Did you know that obedience is and has always been what the Lord requires of us. From Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark, Abram offering up Isaac his only son to God, Moses and the Law, or the obedience of today to the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection; by partaking of the Lord’s death (repentance), burial (water baptism in Jesus name), and resurrection (being filled with the Holy Ghost) which is Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” If you love me, keep my commandments.

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Daily Devotional – A Body hast thou Prepared Me

Wherefore WHEN HE COMETH into the WORLD, HE SAITH, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a BODY hast thou PREPARED me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for SIN thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the BOOK it IS WRITTEN of me,) to do thy will, O God. (Heb 10:5-7)

Many people believe that there are conversations taking place in the Godhead because of scriptures like this. However, if you look at the beginning of this scripture it says “when he cometh into the world”. Who came into the world? God did. God is a Spirit. (Jn 4:24) When God came into the world he took on a body. In other words God had taken on humanity as well. The God-man. Fully God and Fully man at the same time. So when the Word that was God from John 1:1 became flesh John 1:14 then he was in the world. Furthermore we must remember that these are prophecies. When God prophesies through man this doesn’t mean a literal conversation was taking place in heaven. Just like the case with the Lord speaking to Cyrus. “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;” (Isa 45:1) Was this a literal conversation between God and Cyrus? The answer is no. The Lord spoke it through the Prophet Isaiah two hundred years before Cyrus was born and it was recorded so that it might be an undeniable evidence of the exactness of God’s foreknowledge. It was recorded and fulfilled in it’s proper time just like the prophecies concerning the Messiah.

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The Book of Colossians Part 1

Colossians 1:1-29
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Timotheus is Timothy. The reason that Timothy is mentioned here in the salutations to the Church at Colossae is because he was a native of the region where the church was situated. The Church in Colossae, is a small Phrygian city near to Laodicea, which was the capital of Phrygia, and approximately 100 miles from Ephesus in Asia Minor. “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1-3) In the book of Galatians the Apostle Paul lets us know “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Gal 5:3-6) However, in the case of Timothy the Apostle Paul felt compelled to have him circumcised “because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.” Timothy had accompanied the Apostle Paul throughout that region and was likely well known of those of the Church at Colossae. “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,” (Acts 16:6)

The Book of Colossians

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2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

As in other Epistles the Apostle Paul greets “the saints and faithful brethren in Christ” giving “thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” since hearing of their “faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints”. It is crucial to recognize the importance of praying for the saints in other Churches as well as your own Church congregation, even as since the time of their hearing of their faith at Colossae in the gospel of Jesus Christ they continued to lift them up before God praying always for them.

5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

The hope of eternal life by being obedient to “the truth of the gospel” of Jesus Christ which has come unto the Church at Colossae even as “it is in all the world”. This gospel that came to the Jew first and then to the rest of the world. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rm 1:16) “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” (Rm 3:22-30) This “truth of the gospel” that “bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth”. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (Jn 15:16) “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5 )

Even as the Colossians “also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.”

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

After hearing from Epaphras of the Church in Colossae of which he was “a faithful minister of Christ” to them, the Apostle Paul declares that from that very day in which they, Timotheus and others who were present with the Apostle Paul, heard of the Colossians “faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints” and their “love in the Spirit” did “not cease to pray for” them. The Apostle Paul then continues with a prayer for them of which we today also very much need. 1) That we “might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. 2) “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing”. 3) Being “fruitful in every good work”. 4) And “increasing in the knowledge of God”. 5) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power”. 6) Unto “all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness”.

This is a powerful prayer! The Apostle Peter’s instructions come to mind. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:2-11)

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Through God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been enabled “to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”. We have through God been delivered “from the power of darkness” and God has “translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”. This has he done by reconciling the world unto himself through Jesus Christ where we have now received the atonement for our sins by the offering up of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ that we may be made the righteousness of God in him by the born again process of God. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5:19-21) “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rm 5:11) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Jn 3:3-6)

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

We must be “born again” “of water and of the Spirit” or we “cannot enter into the kingdom of God. ” We have “redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” but you can not bypass being born again “of water and of the Spirit”. We also learn that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”. The visible image of God is the man Christ Jesus as he is the express visible image of God. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Heb 1:3) Jesus being the expressed visible image of God, as “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” is “the firstborn of every creature” “For by him were all things created” “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist”. Even as Jesus is “upholding all things by the word of his power” even as Jesus also said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)

Jesus is before all things and by him all things consist because Jesus is the “Alpha and Omega” “the first and the last”. (Rev 1:17) “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:6-14)

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Jesus did not have a portion of God within him but Jesus was God in the flesh. Jesus was entirely man and entirely God at the same time. Jesus “is the head of the body, the church” and Jesus “is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Jesus after his death rose again the third day making him “the firstborn from the dead”. “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” (Rev 1:5)

20 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.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

It is through the death of Jesus Christ that we have now received the atonement that “through the blood of his cross” we both Jew and Gentile have access to God by the redemption that is only found in Jesus the Christ. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” (Heb 9:14-17) Many people get confused concerning the plan of salvation and being born again when Jesus told the thief on the cross, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” The thief on the cross did not die under the New Testament as Jesus was still alive and Jesus also told us “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”. Jesus had power to forgive men of their sins while upon the Earth. “And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” (Mark 2:8-12) Jesus also told us, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (Jn 7:37-39) The New Testament Church did not begin until the outpouring of the Holy Ghost which had not yet been given when the thief on the cross had died. The thief on the cross was saved because he believed and Jesus had power to forgive men their sins. To be born again of water and of the Spirit as Jesus instructed for the New Testament Church one must obey what the Apostle Peter with the other eleven Apostles present told everyone what they must do in order to be saved. This taking place on the last day of the feast of pentecost, the feast of weeks, when the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the believers. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:36-39)

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
25 Whereof I 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:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

The Apostle Paul rejoices in his sufferings for the Church at Colossae making mention of “the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church”. The Apostle Paul truly bore the marks of Christ in his flesh from the many beatings and other evil deeds of men which were done to his body. The Apostle continues speaking of “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints”. That mystery which was God manifest in the flesh whereas he told the Colossians concerning Jesus that he was “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” “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”. “Christ in you” is referring to the Holy Spirit being in you when you are born again of water and of the Spirit. When you are born of the Spirit that Spirit is the Spirit of Christ which Spirit was given to both the Jew and to the Gentile. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rm 8:9) “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal 4:6) “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (Jn 14:16-18)

This is the gospel of Jesus Christ that the Apostle Paul preached “warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 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 Cor 15:1-4)

Colossians 2:1-23
1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

As Christians it is so very important that our hearts are “knit together in love” and that we understand “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ”. The wording of this mystery is not of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. It is “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ”. In the previous chapter the Apostle Paul addresses this mystery of Jesus Christ saying that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15) “by him were all things created” (Col 1:16) “he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col 1:17) “he is the head of the body, the church” (Col 1:18) “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18) “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Col 1:19) and in this chapter “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col 2:9) This is speaking of God manifested in the flesh as the true God and eternal life. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1 Jn 5:20)

4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

The Apostle Paul has brought this “mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” to their attention explaining who Jesus the Christ is “lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” While also rejoicing in their stedfast faith in Christ.

6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

The Apostle Paul instructs the Church that as they have received “Christ Jesus the Lord” that they are to “walk ye in him: as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 Jn 2:3-6)

The Apostle Paul continues giving warning concerning “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” clearly stating “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” whereas today many people say he is the second person in the Godhead known as God the Son and is only in the Godhead whereas the scripture contradicts this teaching saying that within Jesus the Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” For Jesus is the expressed image of the invisible God.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 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;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

The Apostle Paul is explaining the Apostolic Faith doctrine which is the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Church. He has explained to them who Jesus Christ is while warning them of the dangers of “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Which philosophies and traditions of men abounded even as they do today. He continues on to explaining what took place in water baptism so that they were fully aware of how their sins were remitted in water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ even as the apostles’ doctrine teaches, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:36-42) The circumcision of Christ where “the body of the sins of the flesh” are cut away or remitted “by the circumcision of Christ”. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” This repenting of one’s sins and being baptized in Jesus name for the remission of sins set us free from the law of Moses and the law of sin and death. “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.” “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph 2:15-22) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rm 8:1-4)

16 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:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Since Jesus Christ set us free from the law of Moses under the Old Testament the Apostle Paul then lets us know that the law was the “shadow of things to come” and not the image, whereas the body of Christ is the image and not the shadow. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:” (Heb 10:1-5) Since Jesus Christ is the image and not the Old Testament shadow “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”. These were but the shadow. We have no need of the shadow when the image has been given. “Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:8-10)

18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances”? The Apostle Paul is still referring to the water baptism in Jesus name where the “operation of God” “the circumcision of Christ” takes place cutting away or remitting your sins thus you are now “dead with Christ”. Repentance and water baptism in Jesus name are the only way to become “dead with Christ”. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rm 6:3) Since you are “dead with Christ”, why are you “subject to ordinances” “after the commandments and doctrines of men?” Jesus upbraided the scribes and the Pharisees for such types of traditions of men. “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” (Mt 15:1-6) “Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.” (Mk 7:1-4)

The Apostle Paul continues this subject of water baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit in the following verses of the next chapter in the Book of Colossians Part 2 coming next week.

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Daily Devotional – If Thou Canst Tell?

Who hath ASCENDED up into HEAVEN, or DESCENDED? who hath GATHERED the wind in his fists? who hath BOUND the waters in a garment? who hath ESTABLISHED ALL the ENDS of the EARTH? what IS HIS NAME, and WHAT IS HIS SON’S NAME, if thou CANST TELL? (Pro 30:4) I have DECLARED unto THEM thy NAME, and WILL DECLARE it: that the LOVE wherewith thou hast LOVED ME may be IN them, and I in them. (Jn 17:26) ANYBODY KNOW THAT NAME?

Did you know that Agur made this prophecy concerning the name of our God? Look carefully at this prophecy and you will find that the name of the Father and the name of his Son is one and the same name. It is Jesus that ascended up into heaven and it was Jesus who descended to Earth. “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (Jn 3:13) It is of great importance to take notice that Jesus said Son of man which refers to the flesh of God of which Jesus did not take on until his birth of the virgin Mary. Yet at this time Jesus was now saying that he was both on Earth and in Heaven as the Son of man at the same time. This because Jesus was Emmanuel which being interpreted is, God with us. “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” (Jn 6:62) “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Mt 1:23) “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (Jn 6:57-58) It was Jesus that established all the ends of the earth. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (Eph 3:9) Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” (Jn 10:30) Jesus received his name by inheritance. “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not. (Jn 5:43a) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things” (Jn 14:26a) “And I have declared unto them thy name.” (Jn 17:26a) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” (Eph 3:14-15) The prophecy of Agur concerning the name of our God revealed and fulfilled in the name of Jesus Christ. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1 Jn 5:20)

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Daily Devotional – Men and Brethren What Shall we Do?

MEN and BRETHREN, what SHALL we DO? Then Peter SAID unto them, REPENT, and BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the REMISSION OF SINS, and YE shall RECEIVE the GIFT of the HOLY GHOST. For the PROMISE is unto YOU, and to your CHILDREN, and to ALL that are afar off, EVEN AS MANY AS THE Lord our God SHALL CALL. (Acts 2:37-39)

Did you know that what the Apostle Peter instructed them to do to be saved is the same for us today? The promise was to “even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Even though this word was first preached to the Jews this same word was then given to the Gentiles also from the Apostle Peter. This is found in Acts chapter 10 when a Gentile man was praying and an Angel appeared to him and told him to call for the Apostle Peter and “to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” (Acts 10:33) The Apostle Peter then preaches Jesus Christ and as he is preaching this is what took place. “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” (Acts 10:44-48) The same plan of salvation was given to the Gentiles as it was to the Jews and this was what God had commanded the Apostle Peter to preach as we learned from the Angel of the Lord. Are you born again according to what the Apostle Peter commanded to both the Jew and then to the Gentiles?

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Daily Devotional – The Cup of Death wherein my King was crowned

O the Cup of Life, wherein righteousness is found, from the Cup of Blood that was poured out on the ground! The Cup of blood that will never run dry! The Cup of Love wherein grace doth abound! The Cup of Death wherein my King was crowned! The Cup of the Spirit, wherein are redemption is nigh!

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rm 8:2) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5:21) “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt 26:27-28) “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” (Heb 9:22-24) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rm 5:1-2) “And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.” (Jn 19:2-3) “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rm 8:3-4)

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A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.