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.”
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.
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.“
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?
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.