Galatians (Program #1) – The Background and Subject of the Book
Just as there are 4 different seasons in the year, so there are seasons in our Christian life. This means that at times, we will pass through winter as well as through spring and summer. We may not enjoy the winter that much, but any good farmer can tell you without the reducing and killing of the winter, the growth of the crops will never be complete.
All of the epistles in the New Testament were written against a certain background or backdrop. To fully understand these letters, it’s helpful to be somewhat familiar with the background. What was the situation that the Apostle Paul faced when writing this book?
1 Corinthians (Program #41) – The Lord’s Table (1) and (2)
The believers in the church in Corinth were confused by a practical issue – whether or not to eat food that had been offered to idols. Well, in giving opportunity to address it, the apostle Paul took the occasion to bring them into a deeper understanding of reality of eating and drinking. Actually eating and drinking are a kind of fellowship. Fellowship really means to participate, to enjoy. Surely we would all admit it is a good description of eating.
But the spiritual point that we need to come away with in this portion of 1 Corinthians chapter 10 is that we become one with whatever we eat. The old expression – “you are what you eat”, is true both physically and spiritually.
1 Corinthians (Program #27) – Stewards of the Mysteries of God
When we consider the leading ministry, the most respected Christian workers of the day, what kind of image of their life do we have? Well, most of the well known seems to be quite successful even by worldly standards; they are honored, respected for the most part, seems well off, able to live a very comfortable life. But what about at the time of the New Testament? The leading apostle from most of that era was the apostle Paul of course he wrote the bulk of the New Testament. What kind of living did he enjoy? Well from his autobiographical comments found in 1 Corinthians chapter 4 we get a glimpse:
“For, I think, God has set forth us the apostles last of all as doomed to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools because of Christ, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are glorious, but we are dishonored. Until the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and buffeted and wander without a home; And we labor, working with our own hands. Reviled we bless; persecuted we endure; Defamed we exhort. We have become as the off-scouring of the world, the scum of all things, until now.“
Luke (Program #48) – The Death of the Man-Savior (3)
All genuine believers must realize that Christ died for them as their substitute in order to redeem them from God’s eternal judgment. But His death means much more than just our redemption, because the death that He died was all-inclusive and dealt with every possible negative items in the universe. While at the same time releasing all of the riches of God for us to experience and enjoy.
1 John (Program #36) – The Virtues of the Divine Birth to Overcome the World, Death, Sin, the Devil, and the Idols (4)
The marvelous book of 1 John stresses the divine birth, the divine life and the fellowship all believers can experience and enjoy in the flow of this divine life. It is not a book of great doctrine but rather it is a book as is John’s gospel revealing the living and true God subjectively and experientially to mankind.
Finally in its concluding verses it tells us that above all we now possess the capacity to know Him not just know about Him.
1 John (Program #35) – The Virtues of the Divine Birth to Overcome the World, Death, Sin, the Devil, and the Idols (3)
The final few verses of 1 John serve as a strong conclusion to a book that stress over and over, the divine birth and the divine life that all believers received at divine birth. Closely associated with the divine birth are the divine fellowship and the divine anointing and all of the virtues that flow out of the divine birth. Of course, the source of the divine life is the divine being, God Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. And part of the heritage that we received at the divine birth is the capacity to know, experience, enjoy and ultimately even to possess God, not merely in an objective way but in reality.
Hallelujah for the new covenant! In the new covenant we’re just the happy inheritors. Our need is just to take, receive and enjoy.
Laws are a part of every aspect of life. We often think of laws as requirements that are outwardly placed on us, keeping us under an expectation to carry them out. But the Bible presents another kind of law to us, laws that God installs in us, full of the power of His divine life. These laws, the laws of the new covenant, are our focus today on the life study of the Bible.
You have to look at Acts 7:56 where Stephen when he was being martyred, he looked up in the heavens and he said, “I see the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God”. Our Savior Christ in the victory of His resurrection today is in the heavens and on the throne of God. But is He there as God only or is He enthroned also as a man? We will explore this profound item from the book of Hebrews on today’s life study of the Bible.
We’ve been given two keys in the early programs of our life study of Hebrews: (1) river-crossers; (2) seeing so great a salvation. What are these two keys about and how are they connected? more…