Proverbs (Program #7) – Coming to Proverbs to Cultivate Our Regenerated New Man
Paul, the apostle tells us that the Bible has the potential to affect us when we read it in two very different ways. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 he says “Who has made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Do we have this realization when we come to the word of God? The same words can either become Spirit and life to us or they can become dead letters to us. It all depends on how we come to the Bible and what kind of persons we are that will determine what we receive. We’re all fallen creatures with an old fallen nature and an old life the Bible calls the old man. When this old man comes to the Bible in order to find help to improve itself before God, the result will be predictable, the result of death.
Proverbs (Program #3) – The Detailed Precepts for Man To Live a Proper Human Life (1)
Whenever we come to God’s word, whether to a deeply spiritual book such as Ephesians or to a book with easy to understand, ethical and moral precepts such as Proverbs, the kind of person that we are will have much to do with what we take away from our reading of the Bible. In fact, the Bible itself tells us that the words of Scripture can be spirit and life to us as we see in John 6, “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life”. But the same New Testament also provides a strong word of caution in 2 Corinthians 3, “Who has made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life”. Spirit and life or dead letter, the Bible can be either. And the determining factor as to which we will experience has everything to do with us and how we approach this word of God.
Psalms (Program #3) – Christ in God’s Economy versus the Law in Man’s Appreciation (2)
The Bible is not an ordinary book. Though it surely contains a lot of history, we should not read it as a history book. It also contains scores of moral and behavioral imperatives but we should not take it as a book of ethics. Neither should we approach the Bible as a book of philosophy . Because beyond all of these things, history, ethics, philosophy, The Bible is in its’ essence, God’s own breath revealing the Christ of God enable to convey God Himself as life into those who come to seeking nothing else but His very person.
Job (Program #15) – Two Trees, Two Sources, Two Lines, Two Principles, and Two Ends in the Divine Revelation of the Holy Scriptures
The Bible opens with man placed in a garden before two trees. These two trees represent two lines that run through the entire Bible. And these two lines become two ways that man can take. At the end of the Bible, the two ways issue in two ends, two results. One line or way represented by the tree of life leads to life, the eternal life, the eternal city of life – the New Jerusalem. While the other way, typified by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, leads ultimately to death and destruction.
Revelation (Program #10) – Ephesus – Love, Life and Light
No doubt, hundreds of volumes and countless thousands of pages have been written concerning the 2,000 years of church history since the Lord Jesus established the first church in Jerusalem. Church historians have had much to say as they have looked back through time. But do you realize that the Bible, in just two short chapters in the Book of Revelation, gives an incredibly comprehensive summary of the history, and did it before that history happened.
Jude (Program #6) – The Basic Structure of the Epistles of Peter and Jude (2)
The epistles of 1 and 2 Peter and Jude have occupied us now for the past nine weeks on this program. And today we conclude the life study of these three short but very significant books in the divine record. But not with the systematic or academically summary but rather by following the spiritual thread that links these three books. Though they are separated in the canon scripture by the three epistles of John in their subject and basic structure they bear a striking similarity and easily warrant being considered as a group.
All three were written against the back drop of the degradation and decline of the church, a time of apostasy. And therefore all three can be considered as an inoculation against the heresies that were damaging the testimony of the church at that time. Yet they also shared a basic structure that is one hundred percent positive and absolutely in concert with the central focus of the entire New Testament. And that is that we would all be brought into the real enjoyment of the Triune God. In order that through His operation in us we would be transformed that we would be built up into His spiritual habitation so that He could indwell us and that we would express Him for eternity.
Jude (Program #5) – The Basic Structure of the Epistles of Peter and Jude (1)
Through the centuries believers and Bible scholars alike appreciated the epistle of Peter for giving us a clear presentation of God’s government. Surely this point is the subject of these books. But woven through out Peter’s epistles as well as the epistle of Jude is a basic structure, a central line of focus that if we neglect will leave us far removed from the reality of living a life that is actually under God’s government. It’s this basic structure of these three books that is our subject for the final two programs.
The short epistle of Jude concludes with a marvelous charge to the believers. A charge that includes, “…building up yourselves upon your most holy faith,” and “praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,” of course the Father, “awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ“, the Son.
The result or issue of this four fold charge is that it will be unto eternal life. Actually some consideration of this passage may give raise to a very meaningful question. Is this really a formula for how to receive the eternal life? Or rather is it a charge to those who already possessed the eternal life, is that how they should have their daily living in the eternal life that they already received? A profound question.
Jude a short book of only one chapter with twenty five verses is known primarily for the classic call in verse three “to contend for the faith”.
Yet in addition to this well known passage it also contains some marvelous utterances that help bring the believers into a rich and glorious experience of the divine life. And even some practical help on how not just to live a godly manner but how to live in the Triune God Himself. Listen to verses 20 and 21 – “But you, beloved, building up yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Jude (Program #2) – Evils of the Apostates and Their Punishment Under the Lord’s Judgment
Jude charges the believers in verses three and four in his epistle, “…to earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who of old have been written of beforehand for this judgment, ungodly men, perverting the grace of our God into licentiousness and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”