1 Thessalonians (Program #8) -The Church Becoming the Embodiment of the Triune God (2)
One of the essentials for being a Christian is to appreciate the Bible as the word of God. But for most of us our reading and our understanding of the Holy Word fall far short of what it should be.
For instance, take a passage like 1 Thessalonians Chapter 2:12 where Paul tells us that we have been called into God’s own kingdom and glory. Do we really have an adequate appreciation of all that these implies or do we even have a proper understanding of things like God’s kingdom and God’s glory? Probably we just skim along taking such marvelous word for granted. But one of the benefits we have in this program each day is that the Lord richly unveils and brings us into deeper realities of His word.
Jeremiah (Program #16) – A Full Picture of God’s Economy by His Dispensing
The book of Jeremiah reveals God’s righteous judgment upon His people, Israel, for their many sins and the idolatry that had overtaken them. But if we look carefully and consider this book in the light of the entire Bible, we see that in the midst of all this negative history, God’s economy – that is His desire to dispense Himself and His riches into His chosen people that they might be reconstituted with Him and become His very corporate expression, is also revealed. In the first pages of Jeremiah’s account, God commissions him to tell all the people that their greatest evil is that they have forsaken Him not as their Creator nor even as their God, but as the fountain of living waters.
1 Thessalonians (Program #7) – The Church Becoming the Embodiment of the Triune God (2)
In both of his epistles to the Thessalonians Paul stresses at the beginning that the Church is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a strong confirmation to this in another passage of the Scripture in the gospel of John. However in order to see the parallel we must first be willing to reconsider the traditional and commonly held understanding of the gospel of John Chapter 14, “In My Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
You see, probably before I was even finish reading these verse, many of you were already thinking, “Oh, yes, that is talking about the Lord preparing our heavenly mansion.” But is that really what these verses present to us or are there a strong confirming word that the Lord Jesus has prepared a place for us today in God Himself, a place for all the believers to stay?
Jeremiah (Program #15) – Jehovah’s further Commission to Jeremiah (2)
When we read a verse from the Bible, particularly from an Old Testament book like Jeremiah, there’s usually a fairly clear and straightforward meaning. For example, Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah And whose trust Jehovah is. And he will be like a tree transplanted beside water, Which sends out its roots by a stream, And will not be afraid when heat comes; For its leaves remain flourishing;” On the surface we read and come away with a thought that if we trust in the Lord, He surely will bless us. Wonderful and certainly accurate according to the truth of this verse. But there is another equally accurate and yet far more profound understanding that can gleaned from such verses. It is this deeper and more intrinsic aspect that beckons our consideration and fellowship on this life study program.
1 Thessalonians (Program #6) – The Church Becoming the Embodiment of the Triune God (1)
The way in which Paul, the apostle opens his letter to the Thessalonians is very interesting, “to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Well, you may wonder what’s so significant about such a greeting. First, notice that Paul didn’t just say that the Thessalonians believers were in God, in a general way or even in God and in Jesus. But he inspired by the Holy Spirit chose these words specifically, in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We considered in recent programs, what it is to be in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus. Today, we will see more about what it is to be in Christ?
Jeremiah (Program #14) – Jehovah’s further Commission to Jeremiah (1)
The prophet Jeremiah was one with the Lord in many regards. So much so that during the troubling and tumultuous time in which Jeremiah lived, God used him as His own mouth. Bringing Jehovah’s direct speaking to the apostate and rebellious people of Israel. Yet despite being the Lord’s called and anointed prophet, Jeremiah also suffered greatly, sharing in Israel’s judgment. It’s understandable then at times he was given to complaining and bitterness. Yet the Lord was continually with him, comforting him and encouraging him not to speak “worthless things” as the people did. But to speak words that matched the preciousness of Jehovah and all that He had revealed to Jeremiah.
1 Thessalonians (Program #5) – The Church in the Triune God
In all of his epistles, the apostle Paul under scores that our God is Triune. That is He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. And as such He becomes available to us not only as our Father and Savior without but also as the very source of our Christian life within.
Paul concludes 2 Corinthians, a marvelous book with an unmistakable reference to the Trinity, 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.“ But in both 1 & 2 Thessalonians he begins the books by drawing our attention not just to God in a general way but to the Triune God as he says, “to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.“
Jeremiah (Program #13) – God’s Economy with His Dispensing in Jeremiah (2)
It seems upon casual reading of the Old Testament that the central focus of the book is the law of Moses. When God brought Moses to the mountain and deliver the ten commandments that surely was a key moment, a key factor in God’s dealing with His people Israel. But in the New Testament, the apostle Paul tells us that the law was not part of God’s original intention for man, rather it was something added due to man’s failures and sins. In Galatians chapter 3 he says, “Why then the law? It was added because of the transgressions until the seed should come to whom the promise was made, it being ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator. “ Actually God’s intention for man has never changed. From the beginning He has desire that He Himself would be everything to man. And Jeremiah, he lamented that His people Israel had forsaken Him, the fountain of living waters. If we have this view of God’s eternal desire, our understanding of such Old Testament books as Jeremiah will be greatly uplifted.
1 Thessalonians (Program #4) – The Triune God Embodied in the Word to Produce a Holy Life for the Church Life (2)
First Thessalonians, a letter written to a very young Church composed of newly saved believers reveals the Triune God in the first chapter. But this unveiling of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit goes on to reveal not just that God is Triune but that in our dynamic salvation all three of the Godhead are ministered to us becoming the very substance and elements of our faith and the beginning of our Christian life. A life relationship with God Himself.
Jeremiah (Program #12) – God’s Economy with His Dispensing in Jeremiah (1)
The Bible consummates with the revelation of the city of New Jerusalem. This indicates that the New Jerusalem is God’s goal. In fact every book in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is in some way related to the New Jerusalem as God’s goal. And as the ultimate goal of His plan and purpose with man, the New Jerusalem is just too wonderful for us to imagine. So God reveals this matter bit by bit. First by the Bible’s own words and then the stories, types, history, shadows and figures make it more and more clear to us. The Old Testament of Jeremiah is rich in the aspect of God’s economy that are revealed throughout. In Jeremiah, God’s goal of having a group of human beings that have been filled with Him and that bear His image and likeness to become His corporate expression for eternity is very much on display. And this vision unlocks all the riches and treasures in this book.