Category Archives: Doctrine

The Book of Colossians Part 2

Colossians 3:1-25
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Part 1

The Apostle Paul is still speaking on the apostles’ doctrine as he moves from being “dead with Christ” to now if you “be risen with Christ” “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” “ Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rm 6:3-11) “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:12-13) “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rm 8:9)

The Book of Colossians

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This is the Apostolic Faith doctrine, the apostles’ doctrine, which is the gospel teaching of Jesus Christ’ death, burial, and resurrection. He has explained to the Church 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.” For 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) “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) It is “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ”. Which philosophies and traditions of men abounded denying the Apostolic Faith 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) This all explaining to the Church the salvation and redemption in Jesus Christ and being born of water and of the Spirit as Jesus instructed us which was fulfilled in Acts 2:38-39 which is the apostles’ doctrine. Therefore “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 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.”

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Since “ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” you are to mortify or put to death your members in the sense of bringing them under subjection since you have now been freed from death by the born again process of God the apostles’ doctrine. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rm 6:12-14)

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Since you are no longer living “in bondage under the elements of the world” (Gal 4:3) “Put on therefore, as the elect of God” these Godly attributes. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor 5:17)

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

“Let the word of Christ” the doctrine of Christ, the apostles’ doctrine, this Apostolic Faith word of truth “dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”. The purpose of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” is to be “teaching and admonishing one another” in “the word of Christ” while also “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” now that you fully understand “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” and the plan of salvation of being born again of water and of the Spirit according to the apostles’ doctrine that the Apostle Paul has expounded upon throughout this epistle to the Church. “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 2:38-39) “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) “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: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” (Col 1:27-28)

Colossians 4:1-18
1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:1-8)

5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom”. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)

7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

It is not known when Tychicus was converted or why he was with the Apostle Paul in Rome. However, on the Apostle Paul’s trip to Macedonia before being imprisoned in Rome we learn of the Apostle Paul’s companions. “And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.” (Acts 20:4) It is Tychicus and Onesimus that the Apostle Paul sends to the Church at Colossae “for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.”

10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

“Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas” is John Mark the writer of the gospel of Mark who was part of the company that accompanied the Apostle Paul for a portion of his first missionary journey who departing prematurely before the work was completed later brought forth contention between the Apostle Paul and Barnabas. Of which we learn here being a later time that Mark was profitable to the Apostle Paul and dearly beloved “and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)”

“And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” (Acts 12:11-12) “But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.” (Acts 12:24-25) “So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.” (Acts 13:4-5) “Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.” (Acts 13:13) “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.” (Acts 15:36-41) The Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy says, “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.” (2 Tim 4:11-12)

Luke, the beloved physician, is the author of the Gospel of Luke and that of the book of Acts as well as accompanying the Apostle Paul for a considerable part of the ministry. “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.” (Acts 16:9-10) “And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.” (Acts 27:1-2)

Since both Luke and Mark were well known associates of the Apostle Paul this is one of the main reasons that the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke were accepted as part of the New Testament. They themselves being not Apostles. As the rest of the New Testament was written by the Apostles with the exclusion of Jude who was the brother of the Apostle James which would make him a brother to Jesus Christ. “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” (Jude 1) “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” (Gal 1:18-19)

11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

It was Epaphras who declared unto the Apostle Paul of the love that the Church at Colossae had. “As ye 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.” (Col 1:7-8)

14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

Recall that 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. It is also the Church at Laodicea that the Apostle John received prophecy by the word of the Lord at a later time saying, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Rev 3:14-22)

The Apostle Paul says “to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.” The only other place that Archippus is mentioned is in the epistle written to Philemon. “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:” (Philem 1:1-2) This epistle was a private letter to Philemon. It is likely that Apphia is either the wife of Philemon or a close relative of Philemon and that Archippus is the son of Philemon. This is supposed because of the content of the letter which addresses the freeing of Onesimus as a servant from his master Philemon who was dearly beloved of the Apostle Paul. “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:” (Philem 1:10-11)

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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,

Part 2

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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The Book of Ephesians Part 2

Ephesians 4:1-32
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Part 1

The Apostle Paul, the prisoner of the Lord in Rome, implores us or begs us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”. The invitation by which we were called by God in Christ Jesus our Lord. As the followers of Christ we are not to be high minded and puffed up but rather lowly and meek, with longsuffering, forbearing or putting up with one another in love. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Endeavoring or making effort “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

The Book of Ephesians

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4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Recall the mystery that the Apostle Paul revealed to us in the previous chapter “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (Eph 3:4-6) “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) “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” (Eph 3:11)

The Apostle Paul continuing in speaking of this mystery begins to explain to us the Oneness of God and how Jesus Christ fulfills this revelation because our God is one.

There is only One body, The Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Rm 12:5) There is only One Spirit, The Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rm 8:9) There is only One hope, Eternal life through our Savior Jesus Christ. “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:” (Col 1:27)

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

There is only One Lord, Jesus whom God made both Lord and Christ. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) There is only One faith, The teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” (Phil 1:27) There is only One baptism, The baptism into the death of Jesus Christ. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rm 6:3) This baptism is speaking of the baptism that we enter into the New Testament Covenant where we are instructed how to partake of the plan of salvation given to all mankind. “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.” (Acts 2:38)

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

There is only One God, His name was manifested by Jesus Christ. “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” (Jn 17:6) There is only One Father, His name was declared by Jesus Christ. “And 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) There is only One door,
The door which is the Lord Jesus Christ. “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” (Jn 10:7)

Again, this is the Apostle Paul continuing to expound upon the mystery “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” where he is explaining to us the Oneness of God and how Jesus Christ fulfills this revelation because our God is one.

There is only one mediator, The mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Tim 2:5) There is only one veil, The flesh of Jesus Christ. “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” (Heb 10:20)

With this clarification of the Apostle Paul’s words that was spoken in Ephesians 4:4-6 and the drawing of your attention to the recognition that everything mentioned here is about the Lord Jesus Christ and the Oneness of God, We are to be “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

This captivity that was led captive was that of death as we will see in the next two verses of scriptures. Thank God for these wonderful gifts that were left for us. You may be wondering what are some of these gifts that were left for us. The Gift of Eternal Life, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, The nine Gifts of the Holy Ghost, The Gift of restoration of Sonship, The Gift of Grace, The Gift of Righteousness, The Gift of the five fold ministry, namely: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Upon the death of Jesus Christ his soul went into hell, “into the lower parts of the earth” to preach unto the imprisoned souls. At that time Hades in the Greek or hell had two compartments. Those that were in burning flame and torment and those that were in Abraham’s bosom paradise. Jesus came and preached to the imprisoned souls and those that were the righteous dead in paradise came out of their graves after the resurrection of Jesus Christ because Jesus took back the power the devil had over mankind which was death. Taking the keys of death and hell with him thus leading captivity (death) captive. Jesus led death captive and gave gifts unto men whereby we could be saved.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1 Peter 3:18-22) “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Acts 2:26-27)

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” (Lk 16:22-26)

Jesus being victorious over death and hell destroyed the power the devil had over mankind. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb 2:14) “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev 1:18) “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.” (Mt 28:5-7) “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Mt 27:52-53) “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.” (Lk 24:50-53) “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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 1:1-3)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

This is where the five fold ministry comes from. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers. Some try to tie Pastors and Teachers together however this is incorrect from other verses of scriptures. “Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;” (Rm 12:7) The five fold ministry is given to the Church for three very important reasons. 1) “For the perfecting of the saints”. Meaning to make us complete in doctrinal knowledge and understanding so that we are of full understanding of how we are to conduct ourselves as the Body of Christ the Church of God. 2) “for the work of the ministry”. Each of these classes of ministry have their part in the Body of Christ and are necessary for the work of the ministry. 3) “for the edifying of the body of Christ”. Meaning that by this five fold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers the Body of Christ is edified by their instruction and gifts of the Spirit that God has given to profit withal. We learn from verse thirteen that these three important reasons of the five fold ministry is so that 1) “we all come in the unity of the faith”. This meaning that we each have gained the same doctrinal knowledge and understanding of the gospel teaching of Jesus Christ as well as the other doctrines within the Word of God. To be unified in the faith. 2) “and of the knowledge of the Son of God”. The five fold ministry is to bring us to the “the unity of the faith” and this “unity of the faith” includes the correct understanding “of the knowledge of the Son of God”. Who Jesus is and why Jesus was manifested to us. 3) “unto a perfect man”. Meaning with this doctrinal knowledge and understanding given to us by the five fold ministry it will bring us “unto a perfect man” so 5) “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”. We are to be rooted and grounded in the doctrine so that we are not deceived by those who “lie in wait to deceive”. This you will only avoid if you are studious in the scriptures. “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:10-12) We must “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ” (2 Tim 2:15)

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

The five fold ministry as well as the witnesses of Jesus Christ who have been taught this truth must be “speaking the truth in love” that we “may grow up into him in all things” thus avoiding the error of those who “lie in wait to deceive”. “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30) For “…Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (Eph 5:23)

16 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.

The Body of Christ of which Christ is the head of the Body, the Church, is “fitly joined together” “For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” (1 Cor 12:24-25) The Body is ” fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth”. “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” (1 Cor 12:14-23) Each member of the Body is of extreme importance and “according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Thus the Body of Christ grows.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

The Apostle Paul admonishes us “walk not as other Gentiles walk” “being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”. These people are blinded by satan and thus their hearts are blinded! “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Cor 4:3-4)

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:6) “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)

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

To “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” you must be born again. By the “one baptism” taking on the name of our “One Lord” which is the epitome of our “one faith” that we are “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” which takes place when we obey Acts 2:38 which reads, “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.” (Acts 2:38) This is how we “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rm 6:12-14)

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.

Giving place to anger will allow a root of bitterness to spring up in you and this bitterness will destroy you as you have given place to the devil to take advantage. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” (Heb 12:14-15) “let not the sun go down upon your wrath” “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) “To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor 2:10-11)

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

We need to always be ready to give according to what we have. “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” (Rm 12:13)

29 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.

Our speech should always be “good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Col 4:6) “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
(1 Peter 4:11)

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Remember “ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:13-14) “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Cor 3:17) Let us not grieve “the holy Spirit of God”.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

This is how those who have put “on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” should conduct their behavior as mentioned above and continued into the next chapter.

Ephesians 5:1-33
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

“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) “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 Jn 2:6)

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:” (1 Thess 4:3-5)

4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess 5:18)

5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Mt 7:16-20)

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

In the last portion of this chapter the Apostle Paul is going to be speaking of the relationship between Christ and the Church, which is a great mystery.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Cor 11:2)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in
every thing.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Cor 11:3)

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (Jn 21:17) “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28) “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:2-4)

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1 Cor 6:15-18)

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

This is a great mystery concerning Christ and the Church of which Christ is espoused too. While also applying this to the husband and to the wife. The Apostle Paul continues with how the children are to behave as well as fathers, and servants and their masters.

Ephesians 6:1-24
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

It is crucial that the father bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” As head of the house this responsibility falls entirely upon the father to make sure that this is taking place. This is not to be passed off to the wife as “the husband is the head of the wife”. However, as the father “provoke not your children to wrath”.

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

The Apostle Paul speaking of servants and masters gives commandments of the conduct that should be displayed by each. We are not given enough information to determine if these were voluntary servants or forced servants. Either way this is the proper way of the conduct of the servant and the master.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 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.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Cor 10:3-5)

13 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.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:7-8)

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

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The Book of Ephesians Part 1

Ephesians 1:1-23
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Part 2

The Apostle Paul begins this Epistle to the Church at Ephesus by letting them know that he has been called to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. The Apostle Paul was not taught this gospel by man but by the revelation of Jesus Christ himself. “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” (Gal 1:11-17)

This epistle or letter was addressed to both “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”

The Book of Ephesians

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2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is important that the Apostle Paul acknowledges in his salutation that grace and peace be to the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus “from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Though our God is one. The man Christ Jesus was the mediator between God and man. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh to take away the sins of the world. In order for this to take place God needed to take upon him the seed of Abraham after the flesh so that he could die in our place and become the mediator of a better covenant established upon better promises. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” (Gal 3:20) “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. 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 10:6-10) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim 2:5-6) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb 2:14-17) “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29) “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” (Heb 8:6-7)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Since God was manifest in the flesh as the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, being also a man makes God both his God and his Father in regards to the humanity of Christ whereas concerning the divinity of Christ he was God. Thus the scriptures “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” (Gal 3:20) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Tim 2:5)

God has “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” as we are now each individually a member of the body of Jesus Christ. This making us partakers of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Cor 12:12-14) “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.” (2 Peter 1:3-4) “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Eph 5:30)

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

God calling those things which be not as though they were, having in his foreknowledge that mankind was going to fall into sin, having an eternal purpose in Christ to redeem us from sin, predestinated us according to his foreknowledge before the foundation of the world. For us to “be holy and without blame before him in love” by being made partakers of his divine nature by becoming born again where we become members of his body. “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Rm 4:17) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isa 46:9-10) “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” (Eph 3:11)

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

“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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Rm 8:29-34) “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rm 5:6-11)

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb 10:14-18)

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

The mystery of his will was that he would gather together in Christ both Jew and Gentile in one Body. The body of Jesus Christ.

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

“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: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 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. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:18-23) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rm 8:14-17) “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. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Gal 4:4-7) “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.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The Holy Spirit given to us “is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession”. The Holy Spirit is our promise of everlasting life! It is the promise of the new testament covenant which we enter into when we are born again as the Apostle Peter instructed us. “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 2:38-39) “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb 8:10-13) “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rm 8:9-11)

15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

“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; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” (Col 1:25-29)

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.” (Heb 2:5-8) “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor 15:25-26) “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 11:15)

Ephesians 2:1-22
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

The Apostle Paul tells the Church at Ephesus that God had given life to them by Jesus Christ “who were dead in trespasses and sins”. Speaking from the previous chapter concerning God and “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places”.

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The Apostle Paul including both the Jew with the Gentile when he says “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh”. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rm 3:23) “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Gal 3:22)

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

This being accomplished by being born again. “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 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: 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. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Col 2:10-13) This is what takes place when you enter into the New Testament Covenant as the Apostle Peter instructs us, “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 2:38-39) “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb 8:12-13)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Phil 3:20-21) “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Rm 6:4-6)

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal 3:16) “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” (Rm 4:13-16) “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)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

As the children of Christ who are “his workmanship” we are to walk even as he walked. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) “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)

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

The Gentiles being the Uncircumcision “and strangers from the covenants of promise” by the shed blood of Jesus Christ were brought nigh to the promises. Now having the ability to enter into the covenants of promise, for he being our peace, made of both the Jew and the Gentile one in the body of Jesus Christ.

15 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;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:3-6) “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) “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:19-25)

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
(1 Peter 1:10-12) “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Cor 3:10-17)

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Heb 3:1-6)

Ephesians 3:1-21
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

The Apostle Paul was in prison at Rome during the writing of this Epistle to the Church at Ephesus for the preaching and teaching to the Gentiles the gospel of Jesus Christ. This took place when the Apostle Paul went to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. It was prophesied that he would be bound. “And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” (Acts 21:10-11) The Jews accuse the Apostle Paul and he is allowed by the Centurions to speak to those of the Jews. “And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,” (Acts 22:217-23)

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Remember the Apostle Paul was not taught this gospel by man but by the revelation of Jesus Christ himself. “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal 1:11-12)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

The reason the Apostle Paul considers himself least of all saints is because of his past persecution of the Church of Jesus Christ. “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.” (1 Cor 15:9-11)

9 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:

This is a very profound and wonderful revelation. Not only were the Gentiles now to “be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” but we are now told that every thing that was created was created by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not pre-exist before his birth as the trinitarians have taught as God the Son, but this is the revealed name of God in the New Testament as Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (Jn 1:1-3) This Word is God and with God as the thought, plan, and reasoning within the mind of God as the Strong’s Concordance bears out. G3056. logos, log’-os; from G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):—account, cause, communication, × concerning, doctrine, fame, × have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, × speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

There was from all eternity an “eternal purpose” or plan in the mind of God which he “purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord”. That eternal purpose or plan was to save mankind from their sins. “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn 3:8)

12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14-16)

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

The “whole family in heaven and earth is named” after Jesus. “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” (Eph 1:10) “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Eph 1:21-23) “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11)

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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Heart Condition – Vessel of Honour

Serving the Lord is a Heart Condition
Lesson 4
Vessel of Honour

John 3_16

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Lesson 1                                        Lesson 2                                        Lesson 3

2 Timothy 2:19-26
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

1 Thessalonian 4:1-8
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Rejoice when the fiery trial which is to try you comes your way!! For you are partaking of Christ’s sufferings!! If you are reproached for the name of Christ, be happy!! If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:18-25)

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator!!

Romans 8:16-28
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 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 body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 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.

The whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now!! 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 body!! If so be that we suffer with Christ, that we may be also glorified together!!

2 Timothy 2:8-13
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

We are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together!! The word of God is not bound!! So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment!! If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 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. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. (Colossians 3:1-25) Works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!! While we look not at the things which are seen!! But at the things which are not seen!! For the things which are seen are temporal!! But the things which are not seen are eternal!!

Romans 5:1-6
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Justified by faith!! We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand!! And rejoice in hope of the glory of God!! And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also!! Knowing that tribulation works patience!! And patience, experience!! And experience, hope!! And hope makes not ashamed!! Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts!! By the Holy Ghost which is given unto us!!

James 1:1-4
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations!! Let patience have her perfect work!!
That you may be perfect and entire!! Wanting nothing!! Does anyone desire godliness with contentment??

2 Thessalonians 1:1-10
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven!! A time for mercy and a time for judgment!! A time to be delivered and a time to remain!! A time to pluck up from the roots which is planted and a time to plant which is aright!! A time for offenses to come and a time for offenses to cease!! A time for persecutions and tribulations!! And a time for flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!!

Acts 14:19-23
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Revival can not be stopped!! Whether stoned and left as one dead or not!! Revival can not be stopped!! For the Lord is with us!! Returning again Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers will be ordained and anointed from on High!!

2 Corinthians 11:23-33
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

2 Corinthians 12:1-16
1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

Glory in your infirmities!! That the power of Christ may rest upon you!! For the strength of the Lord is made perfect in weakness!!

2 Corinthians 5:1-10
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

We have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens!! Earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven!! We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord!!

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Let us labor therefore in the Lord that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him!! For the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is!!

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Heart Condition – Love not the World

Serving the Lord is a Heart Condition
Lesson 3
Love not the World

John 3_16

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Lesson 1                                        Lesson 2                                        Lesson 4

Here lies a subject of great importance. The heart. Many people put their trust into their heart when it comes to making decisions in their life. But what does the Bible teach us concerning the subject of the heart?

Proverbs 4:20-27
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Out of the heart are the issues of life and we are to keep our hearts with all diligence. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Matthew 12:33-34
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

We need to keep our hearts with all diligence for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

James 3:3-12
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Our tongues can not be tamed but is set on fire of hell! The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity!

Galatians 5:14-17
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

There is a tug of war going on within us! The flesh is craving the things of the world while the Spirit of God within us is craving the things that are of the Spirit! We can only overcome this by continuously bringing our bodies under subject to the law of Christ and following hard after the things that be of the Spirit of God and acceptable in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Romans 7:4-6
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Again we must continue to fight this tug of war that is taking place within each of us. We our the Bride of Christ and we are to be bringing forth fruit unto God. We have been delivered from the law and are now alive unto Christ that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter of the law of which we have been delivered from.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Romans 7:14-25
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

This is speaking of being under the law that the law is spiritual but we as humans are carnal and sold under sin because we inherited sin from Adam. The Apostle Paul then speaks to us of the tug of war that is taking place within us by using the law to illustrate this to us. He explains that the things that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to do we find ourselves doing that very thing we hate instead of what we know is right. Which proves to us that the law is good.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

The Apostle Paul continues to explain by using the law as the illustration that we know that within our flesh dwells nothing good, but there is a willingness present with us but how to perform that which is good we can’t find because there is a tug of war going on within us. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:17)

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

This is very important to understand. This tug of war with the flesh and the Spirit is continuously taking place even when you are doing good, evil is always present.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

This is the flesh and Spirit tug of war taking place in our minds but being brought forth out of the abundance of the heart! …for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matthew 12:34) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:20-27) But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8)

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

Romans 8:6-14
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

We have been freed from the law and that of the law of sin and death. If we have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the body is dead because we are no longer servants of sin because we have been set free by the Spirit of Christ dwelling inside of us. And this Spirit is life to us because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Matthew 12:35-37
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Even as has been said, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21) Even as we will be called into account in the day of judgment for every idle word spoken!

Mark 7:15-23
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

Listen carefully to the answer of why.

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Luke 6:43-44
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

So is it safe for someone to trust what their heart is telling them? The answer is no. Your trust should be in, what saith the Word of God?

Proverbs 28:26-27
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

As you can see, the heart can not be trusted. We must live our lives according to what the Word of God teaches us. Serving the Lord is a heart condition. Do you have an honest heart? Do you have a good heart? What do you allow your mind to ponder upon? Do you gird up the loins of your mind when evil thoughts arise out of your heart? Or do you allow yourself to think upon these things?

1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

It is crucial that you recognize that the thoughts you have come out of your heart. You have a choice in you mind whether or not you allow these thoughts to play out or not. You must bring into captivity every thought you have to the obedience of Christ. Which means that you must learn to apply the Word of God in your life; which means you must study the Word of God, go to church, and hear the 5-fold ministry that God has given to us; so that you can resist the tricks of the enemy of our souls.

The parable of the sower given to us by Jesus Christ in Luke tells us, But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)

1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Bible Questions or Bible Topics? Email: cpministries100@gmail.com No file attachments will be accepted or you can leave a comment to any post.

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Heart Condition – A Servant’s Heart

Serving the Lord is a Heart Condition
Lesson 2
A Servant’s Heart

John 3_16

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Lesson 1                                        Lesson 3                                        Lesson 4

A Servant’s Heart!

Colossians 3:23-24
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Mark 5:18-20
18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

A Servant’s Heart Must be willing to Pay the Price!

Luke 9:57-62
57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:17-22
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Luke 14:25-35
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

A Servant’s Heart Must be willing to be a Servant of Servants!

Acts 18:1-3
1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

1 Thessalonians 2:5-12
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-9
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

A Servant’s Heart Must be willing to be servant of all!

Luke 22:24-27
24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

John 13:12-17
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

A Servant’s Heart Must Understand that there will be Many that are First that will be Last!

Mark 10:28-31
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

Matthew 20:1-16
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

A Servant’s Heart Must be First Pure having Pure Motives!

1 Timothy 1:5
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Philippians 2:3-8
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Galatians 6:1-2
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

A Servant’s Heart Must allow the Lord to Multiply that which is Given to Him!

Matthew 13:10-12
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Luke 6:38
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 25:14-30
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

A Servant’s Heart Must allow the Lord to Add to him as the Lord sees fit according to His Plan and Purpose for him!

Luke 10:1-2
1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

1 Corinthians 12:18-23
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 14:1
1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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

A Servant’s Heart Must Remember that God will fulfill the Desires of your Heart according to His Will!

Psalms 37:4-5
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

1 John 5:14
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Proverbs 3:3-6
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Psalms 147:10-11
10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalms 37:23-24
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Proverbs 16:2-3
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

A Servant’s Heart Must be a Way of Life!

It’s in their attitude, character, and nature! It is their hope, dream, and passion!

Isaiah 43:10-11
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Acts 1:8
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

A Servant’s Heart Must be Sought out through Prayer and then Legs must be put onto your Faith!

James 2:14-18
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

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Heart Condition – The Parable of the Sower

Serving the Lord is a Heart Condition
Lesson 1
The Parable of the Sower

John 3_16

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Lesson 2                                        Lesson 3                                        Lesson 4

The Parable of the Sower

The first three canonical Gospels {meaning authorized; recognized; or accepted, which are} (Mt, Mk, Lk) are generally called ‘synoptic,’ and their authors ‘synoptists,’ because they all present the same general view of our Lord’s ministry. For the most part they record the same incidents, in the same order, in the same (or closely similar) words, and from the same point of view. —Commentary on the Holy Bible, A

Matthew 22:36-40
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

At this time we are going to take a closer look at the Parable of the Sower mainly from Matthew’s Gospel, but I will also include a couple of verses from Mark and Luke’s Gospel to further shed light upon the meaning of the parable. And thus we will gain a proper understanding of the parable at hand. This is what it means to study the Word of God and to gain doctrinal knowledge and understanding one commandment upon another, one commandment upon another, line upon line, line upon line, here a little and there a little. To further understand this concept refer to Isaiah 28:9-10.

Matthew 13:2-23
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables… Let me first define to you what a parable is.

The word parable is derived from a Greek word signifying to compare together, and denotes a similitude taken from a natural object to illustrate a spiritual or moral subject. It is a narrative of some fictitious or real event, in order to illustrate more clearly some truth that the speaker wished to communicate. —Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Do you have ears to hear the truth contained within this parable? This is where a wise soul will pray to understand and will ask God to allow his understanding to be fruitful in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God. You will desire truth, understanding of that truth, thus gaining the knowledge contained therein, and finally you will seek the wisdom to properly apply the principles that was contained within the truth that was revealed unto you.

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

But I thought God wanted everyone to be saved?

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Do you understand the concept being relayed here? To you that desires truth for example, more will be given to you. But if you do not have much desire for truth, from you will be taken away even that which you have.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: {Why Lord?} because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

This is not meaning a healing to your natural body, but rather we gain further understanding of what is meant from Mark 4:12 where it tells us “and their sins should be forgiven them.” The healing spoke of here that the people would receive would be that of their sins being forgiven them.

This is a great example of why when you are studying the Word of God that you need to make a comparative study of what the scriptures say elsewhere. So what we discover from this parable of the sower is that parables were spoken by Jesus because it is fulfilling of prophecy spoken by the Prophet Isaiah of which tells us that this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

That means listen up! Take heed to what is about to be spoken as this is the revealing of the truth contained within the parable.

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

So again we see that the receiving of the Word of God is a heart condition!! What kind of heart do you have? Is your heart waxed gross? Are you ears dull of hearing? Have you closed your own eyes to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Because the serving of the Lord is a heart condition!

For those of you on the way side, pray and ask God to give you an understanding of truth and a desire to pursue after righteousness. For it is a promise that if you seek after righteousness you will be filled.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

Anon meaning quickly or readily. So those on the stony ground hear the Word and quickly receive it with joy. Hallelujah!! Oh, I get it!! I understand!!

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

When it comes to making a stand for the gospel they that are on the stony ground are offended because of the Word. These are they of which will not pick up their crosses, deny themselves, and follow after Christ. But rather are offended because of the Word.

When one finds themselves offended at someone or something, if they do not quickly get a grip on their feelings, this perceived offense will turn into a breeding ground for a root of bitterness to spring up within you. This root of bitterness will poison you with hate!! And this hate will destroy you from within! For those of you who are suffering from this, the answer is to accept what has happened or what the current situation is with mercy and forgiveness to the one who has offended you. This mercy and forgiveness will set you free from the root of bitterness which has enslaved you to the emotion of hate and the desire to seek revenge.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

In Mark’s gospel this verse reads, “4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”

These are they of which the cares, the anxieties, and the deceitful lure of riches and other lusts choke the Word and they become unfruitful. Their attention is fixed upon their problems and their cravings of worldly pleasures and therefore they become unfruitful or unproductive for the kingdom of God. But what does the scriptures teach us?

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (Matthew 6:25)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrew 13:5)

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25)

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

In the Gospel of Luke this verse reads “8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Remember, serving the Lord is a heart condition! Those that were upon the good ground were those who had an honest and good heart, who having heard the Word, understood it, and brought forth fruit with patience over time.

What you have just heard is what takes place every time someone hears the Word of God. It will fall upon one of these four types of ground. But who is the wise from among you?

Matthew 7:24-25
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Matthew 12:48-50
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Matthew 7:21
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

James 1:22-25
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Let us not be forgetful hearers of the Word of God, but let us who are of the household of faith, be doers of the Word.

John 15:1-17
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

It is of the utmost importance that we as branches bear fruit. If we do not bear fruit we are no longer in the vine and we will be taken away! If you abide in the vine, Jesus Christ, you will not only produce fruit, you will also be purged that you may bring forth even more fruit.

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 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.

If you are not producing fruit. You need to reconnect with Jesus Christ the vine and find out what ground is the Word of God falling on when you hear it. If you are no longer going to Church or studying the Word of God you will know right away that there is a problem that needs fixed, for we must abide in him or we will not be able to do anything!

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

This fire is Hell fire which will eventually be cast into the Lake of fire! If you do not abide in Christ and produce fruit you will be cast into the Lake of fire on judgment day! And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Luke 3:9)

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

To abide in Jesus Christ you must keep his commandments even as he kept his Father’s commandments! If you do not keep his commandments you are not his disciple and you do not abide in him! If you keep his commandments you will abide in his love if you do not keep his commandments then you do not love him! If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

You are not the friends of God or of Christ if you do not keep his commandments! For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3) 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)

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 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.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Luke 12:33-34
33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

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Who is The Elect of God?

Let us for begin our study with the definitions of the words “Elect” and “Election.”

ELECT
e-lekt’:
That is, “chosen,” “selected.”

Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/elect.html

ELECTION
e-lek’-shun (ekloge, “choice,” “selection”):
The word is absent from the Old Testament, where the related Hebrew verb (bachar) is frequent. In the New Testament it occurs 6 times (Romans 9:11; 11:5,7,28; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Peter 1:10). In all these places it appears to denote an act of Divine selection taking effect upon human objects so as to bring them into special and saving relations with God:

Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/election.html

So, we see by definition, that to be the elect, you have to be chosen by God.

Many Christians today believe that the Elect of God are the natural Jews. On the opposite side the rest of the Christians believe the elect is the Church. However, we see that by definition, to be the Elect, you must be chosen by God.

Elect According to Foreknowledge

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According to the Old Testament, was Noah chosen by God? Yes. So by definition Noah was part of the Elect. Was the nation of Israel chosen by God? Yes it was. So then, we know that the people of God, or the Elect was also the Nation of Israel, because they were chosen by God. What about the people of the New Testament today, better known as the Church? Are they chosen by God? Yes. So then the Church is also the Elect.

With this establishment of the understanding of who the Elect is, we now can see, the question is not who is the Elect of God, as if it is either the Church or the Old Testament Jew, but rather, when the New Testament speaks of the Elect or the Election, to which dispensational time period was in reference?

For educational purposes, before we begin examining the New Testament references to the Elect or to the Election, I would first like to show through the scriptures, why the Elect of God changed and the New Covenant that came due to this change.

Scripture teaches us, that the nation of Israel was disobedient to God over and over again. So, God turned to a people that was not a people. That being the Gentiles. Let’s read it in scripture.

Deuteronomy 32:16-21
16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
19 And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

Here we see that the Children of Israel were froward, or (perverse; deceitful; false—King James Dictionary.) They began sacrificing and worshiping other gods, and this God hated and moved by jealousy for His people became angry and let it be known that He would move them also to jealousy with those who were not a people, and provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. This being a reference to the Gentile people, or those who are not of Israel.

Isaiah 42:1-8 {The prophet Isaiah is speaking of Jesus Christ that was to come}
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

This prophecy has foretold that Jesus Christ will come and will bring in a New Covenant and will become a light unto the Gentiles.

Luke 2:25-33
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

Here again we see that Jesus Christ will be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and also will be the glory of the people of Israel.

Romans 10:19-21
19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Apostle Paul now speaking poses the question, Did not Israel know? However he later explains to us in Romans chapter 11 that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

So what we have learned up to this point, is that the Elect of God, the people of Israel, disobeyed God, so to provoke Israel to anger by jealousy, he turned to another people, that being the Gentiles. We have learned that this light to the Gentiles, came through Jesus Christ who was commissioned to bring forth a new covenant. At this time, I would also like to show some scriptures that speak of the Covenant that was to come.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

What a beautiful promise the Lord has given!! I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Isaiah 28:9-13
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

In this prophecy we learn that the promise of the Spirit that was to come by stammering lips and another tongue, which is the rest in the New Testament, that it became unto the natural Jew a snare and this was because of their disobedience, which provoked the Lord to anger, and would be the fulfilling of the Lord’s turning away unto another people who were not a people.

Joel 2:28-29
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Here again we see that the prophet Joel also speaks of the promise of the Spirit that was to come.

Luke 22:20
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

In this scripture we learn from Jesus that He has come to establish a New covenant or a New Testament in the shedding of His blood.

Acts 2:1-4
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This was the fulfilling of what the prophet Isaiah has told us, with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Acts 2:14-16
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

This not only fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, but also the prophet Joel, and the prophet Jeremiah.

Hebrews 8:7-13
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

What we have now learned is that this promise of the Spirit that was to come, and the fulfilling of the law by Jesus Christ the righteous, was accomplished through the New Covenant, which was, I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And that I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more, and this New Covenant was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost with the out pouring of the Holy Ghost which was prophesied by the prophet Joel as well as several other prophets in the Old Testament.

So now that we understand through the scriptures why the Elect of God changed as well as understanding the New Covenant that came due to this change, it is also important to understand that when the Elect of God, was the physical nation of Israel or the Jewish people, this was only a type and a shadow of that which was to come in the Spiritual. Which are the members of the body of Christ, not one that is circumcised of the flesh outwardly, but one that is inwardly circumcised of the heart. This is the Elect of God in the New Covenant.

Romans 2:28-29
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Galatians 3:7-14
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

So with the changing of the Law, came a changing of the Elect of God. Now to be the Elect of God, one must partake of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and by the receiving of His Spirit, we through faith, now circumcised of the heart, become the seed of Abraham, and the Sons of God.

At this time we are going to talk about every scripture in the New Testament that refers to the Elect or to the Election of God, and discuss, to which dispensational time period was in reference, so we can conclude whether or not the New Testament scripture was in reference to the natural Jew or whether or not it was in reference to the Church.

Romans 8:31-39
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

The first thing to take note of here is that after we see God’s elect mentioned. It tells us that it is God that justifies. This is one of the clues we need.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

From the context of this passage of scriptures, if we substituted the Natural Jew in for God’s Elect, it would not make any sense. Why? Because the entire passage is speaking of God’s Elect who give His son Jesus to make intercession for us, so then who shall separate us from the love of Christ? He then tells us through example nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The natural Jew rejected Jesus, so again the context of these scriptures tell us that he is referring to those that Live after Christ Jesus our Lord, and that would be the Church, because the natural Jew does not live after Christ, they do not believe their Messiah has come yet.

The other clue was, it is God that justifies.

Galatians 3:11-13
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Since we are told that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God but rather by faith, we know that it could not have been referring to the physical Jew because they were under the Law.

In our first example we see the Elect of God was referring to the Church.

Colossians 3:1-17
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

In this example, we again see the context of this entire passage was addressing people who were followers of Christ. Starting by telling us, if you be risen with Christ seek that which is above because you are dead and your life is hid in Christ. He then continues and tells us to mortify our members since we put on the new man where Christ is all and in all. We are then told to put on therefore as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, kindness, etc. finishing with doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The natural Jew rejected Christ as their Messiah and under the Law there is no mercy, but it is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

In our Second example we see that the Elect of God is also referring to the Church.

Titus 1:1-3
1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

In this example again the context of the Elect being the Natural Jew does not fit, because the natural Jew rejected Jesus as their Messiah. These scriptures speak of the Truth of Jesus being our hope of eternal life, which God promised to us and is now manifested through preaching, which was given unto the Apostles. Paul being one of them.

In our Third example we again see that the Elect of God is in reference to the Church, those who are looking for eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:1-5
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 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,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Here again, we see that the context of these scriptures would not fit if applied to the natural Jew. The Letter was by an Apostle addressing those that were scattered and he called them the Elect through sanctification of the Spirit and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. This is the New Testament Covenant given unto the Church.

In our Fourth example we again see that the Elect of God is in reference to the Church because it speaks of the plan of Salvation given to us by the New Testament Covenant.

2 John 1:1-3
1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

In our Fifth example we again see that the Elect of God is referring to the Church. We can gather that information because it states that “I love the truth” and “also all they that have known the truth.” For the Truth’s sake, which dwells in us and will be in us for ever. That would be the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us and will be with us for ever. Also notice the phrase Grace be with you, mercy, and peace.

Ephesians 2:14
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

So Jesus Christ is our peace and Jesus Christ is the truth and it is Jesus Christ the Comforter that dwells within us.

Matthew 24:24-44
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Before we answer who the elect would be in reference to, the first thing we need to ask ourselves is what event is the Lord describing to us? Is this the catching away of the Saints or what the Church refers to as the Rapture? Some people have said that this is in reference to the 144,000 Jews that have been sealed from the book of Revelation.

However, take notice from verses 30 and 31. We are told Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

This describes Jesus Christ coming in the clouds with His angels and a great sound of a trumpet to gather together His elect. If this elect is not the church, then the question would be, How many times is Jesus coming in the clouds to gather together His Elect? But if you continue reading we are given a parable of a fig tree. This parable describes that the people who see the signs that were spoken throughout the entire chapter of Matthew 24, will be the generation in which all things are fulfilled. We are then told what event this is in reference to.

The parable describes that no man, nor the angels of heaven, but only the Father knows of this day and hour. This day is then described as being an evil day such as the days of Noah and that life went on as normal until Noah got into the Ark. Then an illustration is given to us as, two shall be in the field, and one shall be taken, and the other left. And then finally in verse 43 we are told in no uncertain terms, that this day is referring to the rapture, and it reads, But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

The Lord coming as a thief in the night is taught throughout scripture and is in reference to the Calling away of the Saints or what is more commonly called the Rapture.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-5
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Revelation 16:15
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

In our Sixth example we see again that the Church is the Elect that is in reference. We know this because it is speaking of the gathering away of the Church, in which the Lord will come as a thief in the night to all them that are in darkness.

At this time let’s also look at the other Gospel accounts of the same event.

Mark 13:22-37
22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

This example is very much like the previous example, depicting the same event. That event being the rapture of the Church, the Church being referred to as the Elect.

Luke 17:33-37; Luke 18:1-8
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

As we read in Matthew we again read of the illustration of two being in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. However more descriptively than we read from Matthew 24:28, we read from Luke 17:37 that the Disciples asked Jesus a question. The question was, Where, Lord? Jesus answered this question as Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

We then are given to us a parable by the Lord in chapter 18 concerning an unrighteous judge.

18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Here we see again by verse eight that Jesus is referring to the Son of man coming again to the earth and had previously been speaking of the catching away of the saints, so this was a parable about the Lord Avenging His elect. We are told they cry out day and night to Him. So the Elect of God again would be the Church that cries out to Him, since the Natural Jew does not even believe that Jesus is the Messiah and also we have linked together these three Gospel accounts as pertaining unto the Rapture of the Church.

At this time we will now be examining the scriptures in the New Testament that refer to the Election of God.

Romans 9:6-12
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth😉
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

In our first example of the Election of God, we see that it tells us, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works. That the children of the promise are counted for the seed not the children of the flesh. This again identifies that the Church is the Election of God in reference and not the natural Jew as the children of the promise are counted for the seed and that seed is Christ.

Galatians 2:16
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:16-18
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-6
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

Here again we see the Election of God is also in reference to the Church. We see this because it was addressed to one of the Churches, it spoke of grace, peace, the works of faith, and their patience of hope. This hope being eternal salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. We can also see from verse five that the Election of God is in reference to the Church because Paul refers to “our gospel”, which we know is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as concluding the verse with the Holy Ghost which was poured out on the day of Pentecost.

2 Peter 1:1-11
1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 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:
4 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.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 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.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In this example of the Election of God, we again see that the Election is in reference to the Church. We gather this information from the words spoken. Obtained like precious faith, through righteousness of our Saviour Jesus Christ, grace and peace be multiplied unto you, and from verse four which speaks of the exceeding great and precious promises that have been given to us, and that by these exceeding great and precious promises we can be partakers of the divine nature of Christ. We are then given the illustration of how if we add to our faith the things Peter has mentioned we will not only never fall, but we also will be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are told to make our calling and our Election sure. So we can see again this would be in reference to the Church.

At this time, I would like to turn our focus to where the confusion really comes from concerning who is the Elect or Election of God. Or better stated, who is the Elect or the Election of God in reference to. That in itself is the main part of the confusion. Failing to realize that anyone chosen by God is the Elect, regardless of which dispensation they are from. This will cause a person to choose one group of people as the Elect and state it as if the others are not the Elect, instead of recognizing that by definition anyone chosen is the Elect.

Romans 10:1-5
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Apostle Paul has told us that Israel has a zeal of God, but that they were ignorant of God’s righteousness and went about to establish their own righteousness. In so doing they did not submit themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every that believes.

Romans 11:1-14
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

Listen now to the comparison that is being made of the 7,000 men that God had reserved unto himself of the people of Israel..

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

The first thing we should take note of in this example is that Paul is speaking of Israel, the natural Jew. Secondly, there is a remnant to be saved by the Election of Grace. Here Paul already has given the answer. The natural Jew will be saved by the Election of Grace. He then expounds on it in verse six. If it be by grace then it is no more of works. Also in verse seven Apostle Paul asks, what then? Israel has not obtained what they have sought for but the Election has obtained it and the rest were blinded. That is exactly what happened as he continues on in verses nine and ten explaining that this was that which was spoken by the Prophet David in Psalms 69:21-28.

However the Election in reference is the natural Jew that is not blinded and has been Elected to be saved by Grace, which is why in verses thirteen and fourteen Apostle Paul tells us, that he is magnifying his office of being an Apostle of the Gentiles, in hopes to provoke to emulation those which are natural Jews so that some of them might be saved, by giving their hearts to Jesus Christ and becoming part of the Church. Again this lets us know that the Election of Grace is referring to the Church.

Romans 11:25-33
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

We now have learned from Apostle Paul that blindness in part is happened until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. What is the fulness of the Gentiles? This will be the end of the Church age in which the Church is raptured out to meet the Lord in the air.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Here at Romans 11:28 this Election of Grace is in reference to the Nation of Israel in which the Lord will fulfill a Covenant unto them and when He will take away their sins. We are told that this will happen at Mount Sion where the Deliverer shall come and turn away ungodliness from Jacob. This will take place after the fulness of the Gentiles has come in during the Battle of Armageddon.

Zechariah 12:9-11
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem,

So what we have learned from this teaching is that the Elect of God is anyone that is chosen by God and those that are chosen by God, are always saved by Grace. No man shall be justified by the law, but it is God that justifies.

This Justification of Grace is also known as the Election of Grace and came by faith in the Seed that was to come, being Jesus Christ, or through the Seed that has come, being Jesus Christ, and it is our obedience of faith that we are freely justified by God.

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Come let us Grow Together: Gaining Doctrinal Knowledge

Come let us Grow Together is a weekly series that deals with the many topical categories that exist within the Word of God. The purpose of this series is to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in things pertaining to God.

Isaiah 28:9-10
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

This is so important to understand. The Prophet Isaiah is teaching us whom the Lord will teach knowledge and whom he shall make to understand doctrine. The Prophet then reveals to us how the Word of God is set up and how we gain doctrinal knowledge. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little”.

A precept is a general rule regulating thought or behavior. In this case it is referring to the commandments of God the Law. But this doctrinal knowledge is gained precept upon precept. Meaning one commandment upon another, one commandment upon another. Line upon line, line upon line meaning we gain this doctrinal knowledge from one scripture to another from one scripture to another. Gaining this doctrinal knowledge here a little and there a little meaning it comes over time and over the course of studying from one book or chapter to another.

This is the key to gaining doctrinal knowledge.

So what approach should one take to begin gaining this doctrinal knowledge. First remember that you must be weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. This means that you must not be a babe in the Lord. The babe in the Lord needs to be Bible studied with and instructed in the paths of righteousness.

For those who are no longer babes and who have a good doctrinal foundation and desire to grow spiritually as well as doctrinally in the Word of God the first thing one should do is to begin to pray that God will open up your understanding to the Word of God and help you to have a greater desire to learn of Him.

Begin to pray and ask the Lord for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. Even if you believe you do have the knowledge of him begin to pray this prayer anyway because there is so much more to gain from the many scriptures that pertain to our God. Begin asking the Lord to increase your wisdom, knowledge and understanding in all things pertaining to God. Pray these prayers every day. Ask the Lord to increase your ability to learn doctrinal knowledge and ask him to open up your retaining levels that you might be able to retain the Word of God. Also pray that God will give you the ability to witness this gospel to others. Remember our God is a God who will reward the diligent seeker so pray that the Lord will give you diligence in studying the Word of God.

Change your study habits.

For those just beginning to understand what I am speaking of, start out with the New Testament in your studying. The reason for this is because we are under the New Testament Covenant and you are desiring to gain doctrinal understanding. You must increase your study time. Let me make some suggestions. For those who do not yet know the gospels and the book of Acts well, this is the place to start for you. However, set your goal to read each book within one week. Each week reading the next book until you have read all 5 of these books. The reason why is because you are gaining doctrinal knowledge here a little and there a little. You will begin to see the similarities in the gospels as well as gaining a deeper look at the overall picture because it is fresh in your mind.

For those of you who already know the book of Acts and the Gospels well, the epistles is the place to start for you. These books are very short in many cases so you can read several a day. But when you first start, consider reading the book of Romans, Galatians and James. These books have much to teach concerning the law and the liberty in Christ Jesus that has set us free from the law of sin and death. Also be sure to read the book of Ephesians and Colossians together to get a better look at the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. There is much in regards to this mystery and this is why you are praying for the spirit of revelation and the knowledge of him.

Be sure to read the books of Romans through Jude in no more than two weeks. This will really have the Word fresh in your mind and you will begin to see many similarities of topics. This is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

When you have finished this for your first time in this manner of study its time to switch to the gospels and the book of Acts for those who started with the epistles or for those who started with the gospels and the book of Acts switch to the epistles.

When you have completed the entire New Testament not including the book of Revelation, then it is time to start this process over, but this time begin to take notes. Notes on whatever particular topics stood out to you during the course of your study. In so doing you begin to learn more on this subject precept upon precept and line upon line and thus you begin to gain a deeper doctrinal understanding.

The notes you are taking are just logging down scripture verses that speak on the topic or topics you are searching out. Do not look to books for this help. Take the time to do this for yourself!! This is where the learning process for you really begins to take deeper roots because you have searched it out for yourself and see it for yourself in the context that it was spoken in. This will help you to be able to share it back with others as well because you have brought the scriptures to light that speaks on a particular subject and have reinforced them in your mind due to the manner in which you have studied them out. Also while you were taking these notes you once again went through the New Testament and this has allowed you to begin to take notice of more similarities, as well as reinforcing what you already knew, while letting you begin to see the many other scriptures that allude to those subjects that you may not have been aware of.

For example. If one desires to gain a deeper doctrinal understanding of the baptism, then one needs to log all the scriptures speaking on baptism and then study these scriptural passages together and you will then begin to gain doctrinal knowledge on this subject. You will also begin to take notice of other passages of scriptures that allude to the baptism as well as other subjects that are directly connected to the baptism as you continue to read through the New Testament.

Over time your understanding of the Word of God will increase greatly. After you have developed a great understanding of the New Testament then begin to look at the Old Testament. But remember the Old Testament law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. Study the Old Testament out but don’t get lost in it with it’s histories and genealogies and things of this nature, but rather begin to see the prophecies concerning Christ and the seed that was to come and learn why it was that the gentiles were grafted into the good olive tree. This should be your beginning focus of the Old Testament as well as beginning to take notice of the many prophecies concerning the end of days. This will begin to prepare you to better understand the book of Revelation when that time comes.

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