1 John (Program #32) – The Virtues of the Divine Birth to Practice the Divine Love (5)
All of the apostle John’s writings in the Bible stress the divine birth through which the divine life is imparted into the believers. In his gospel he says you must be born again. In chapter 3 of his first epistle, John says, 3:9 “Everyone who has been begotten of God does not practice sin.” And once again the stress is on the divine birth. But in chapter 5 he gets even more specific about not just the fact of the divine birth, but the location of the divine birth. When he says, 5:4 “For everything that has been begotten of God overcomes the world;”
Why does he change everyone in chapter 3 to everything in chapter 5? The answer reveals very much about the key to overcoming not just sin and the world but all of the negative things surrounding us in our day to day living.
In Ruth chapter 1, Ruth made a strong decision to follow Naomi back to the good land. And this typifies our decision to receive Christ. Today in the life study of Ruth, we are going to see that is not enough, we also need to enjoy Christ as typified by the gleanings that Ruth did from the Boaz’s field. And we also need to enter in to a marriage with Christ as typifies by Ruth marrying Boaz.
1 John (Program #31) – The Virtues of the Divine Birth to Practice the Divine Love (4)
In his first epistle the apostle John talks very much about love. Chapter four particularly places a strong emphasis on love. But if we examine John’s presentation of this most visible virtue of the divine birth we realize that the love spoken of in this book is not a vague or general love nor is it a natural love, a love that finds its’ source in the human heart. It is the love that flows from the divine source from God Himself. In verse 8 of chapter 4 John puts it this way, “He who does not love has not known God, because God is love.“
The book of Ruth is a rare delight. It’s the sweet love story of a girl with a dark background but who through the mercy of Jehovah and through her own strong choice found a way to join herself to God, to His people and to His move on the earth. In the process she even found a marvelous husband, a provider. But more than just the stuff of great stories are made up, the book of Ruth shows us much about ourselves and the full salvation that God is providing us and how we too can exercise to choose what He is offering to gain access to the rich inheritance that God desires all of His children to share.
In 1 John we are warned to prove every spirit to see whether it is of God. The apostle John was inoculating the believers against the spirit of Antichrist. Just the term “spirit of Antichrist” probably give raise to thoughts of immense evil and wickedness. Yet John tells very simply that any spirit that denies that Jesus has come in the flesh is the Spirit of Antichrist. What is the significant of denying that Jesus has come in the flesh?
The book of Judges is one of the most difficult in the Bible, it’s difficult because it records the history of Israel during one of its’ most miserable periods. Israel has forsaken God as her king, as her husband and every man had gone away doing what was right in his own eyes. The account of the loses and their battles against their enemies and the deplorable degradation of the people of God is quite depressing.
But following Judges comes one of the most sweetest and most lovely book of the Bible, the short book of Ruth. People had always love the story through the ages, but just as the deplorable account in Judges has an intrinsic message to us as God’s people today so does the book of Ruth. For in this book we see in type, the incarnation of the redeeming Christ and the sinners choosing to join herself to her redeemer and His people resulting in her receiving the full inheritance of God’s people and eventually becoming an important person in the accomplishment of God’s purpose.
1 John (Program #29) – Experiencing and Enjoying the All-Inclusive Spirit
A human being can be compared to a transistor radio which most of you are listening to right now. Every radio has a receiving apparatus that enables it to tune in and receive the invisible radio waves that are in the air. In the same way every human has a human spirit. When it is properly tuned in it can received the enjoyment of the Triune God.
Judges (Program #7) – The Abominable Chaos in their Worship
The life study of the books of Joshua and judges reveals not just the history of Israel with its’ successes and failures possessing the good land of Canaan, but also even more importantly it teaches us how we can gain and possess the all inclusive Christ as our full portion, our enjoyment and our inheritance. Israel in the good land typifies us, the New Testament believers in Christ and just as Israel allowed their departure from a close and intimate fellowship with Jehovah to impede their progress gaining the land we too can see our spiritual progress and our enjoyment of Christ impeded if we don’t take care of our day by day, even moment by moment fellowship with Him. Listen to this verse in 1 John 1:3 “That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
A very marvelous portion related to this matter of fellowship typified of course by the picture in the Old Testament of Israel gaining, possessing the land. We enter into the fellowship the moment we receive Christ and this fellowship is a fellowship that is life long.
Judges (Program #6) – The Miserable History of Israel’s Forsaking God (5)
In the varied history of the nation of Israel that is recorded in the book of Judges, we have of course the interesting and well known story of Samson. Endued with the power of the Spirit, he was mighty and fierce in his struggle against Israel’s enemy the Philistines but he had a very specific failure that gave Satan, God’s real enemy the ground to tempt him and and ultimately defeated him. Of course the beautiful Philistines woman, Delilah typifies this failure. Samson indulgence of the lust of his flesh led to his down fall. The story of Samson and the warning that we as God’s people today must take from this case is our topic on this life study of the Bible.