Luke (Program #8) – The Preparation of the Man-Savior with His Divinity (7)
Following the account of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in Luke chapter 3, there are two very interesting items. First of all, the genealogy of Jesus – beginning with Jesus and working its way back to God. The second is the temptation or the testing of Jesus – forty days in the wilderness with Satan directly tempting the Lord, yet Jesus in His perfect humanity, fully withstanding every temptation and thereby defeating God’s enemy. But it’s interesting that the Lord was led there to face that temptation by the Holy Spirit. We will look at both the genealogy of Jesus and His passing this test of tests in today’s life study of Luke.
After the revelation of the four living creatures and the great wheel of the move of God in Ezekiel chapter 1, we are presented with the striking description of the spiritual sky above these four living creatures. In 1:22, Ezekiel writes, “And over the heads of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the sight of awesome crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” This vivid picture conveys that when God’s people are fully experiencing Him in Christ and are connected to one another in a way that expresses and glorifies Him, then they have a clear sky above them – so clear that they can see without limitation into the very third heavens where our dear Lord Jesus sits so preeminently on the throne. Verse 26, “And above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, like the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was One in appearance like a man, above it.”
Luke (Program #5) – The Preparation of the Man-Savior (3 & 5)
In the opening chapter of the gospel of Luke there is the account of two miraculous conceptions. First John the Baptist was born to Zachariah and Elizabeth who both being well advanced in age were beyond any hope of conceiving a child short of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. The other conception of course is that of the Lord Jesus, who also was conceived in a miraculous way. But the conception of Jesus involved much more than mere divine power because it brought forth the mingling of two natures; the divine and human to produce not just an unique man as John the Baptist surely was but a God-Man, who became our Savior, the Man-Savior Jesus. John’s father Zachariah saw much of what was involved in this greatest of all miracles. We will look at it in His prophecy on our life study today.
Luke (Program #4) – The Preparation of the Man-Savior with His Divinity (2)
The gospel of Luke tells the story of a wonder meeting between two mothers to be – Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and Mary, of course who was the mother of our Lord Jesus. Listen to this marvelous account given in chapter 1 “And Mary rose up in those days and went to the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, And entered into the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she lifted up her voice with a loud cry and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby leaped with exultation in my womb. And blessed is she who has believed, because there will be a completion of the things spoken to her from the Lord.”
Song of Songs (Program #9) – Sharing in the Work of the Lord
There are many ways to study the Bible. We may study it from a historical perspective or from a theological doctrinal perspective or we may study it as a book of moral precepts or as a pattern for our living. Surely the Bible is a book of truth but preeminently, the Bible is also a book of life. “I have come that you might have life”, the Lord Jesus said in John. And also in John He said, “The words that I speak are spirit and are life”.
Psalms (Program #10) – What Kind of Man May Dwell with God for His Heart’s Desire and Good Pleasure?
In the gospel of Mark in chapter 8, there’s a marvelous account of the Lord Jesus healing a blind man. After laying hands on the man, the Lord asked him if he could see anything. The man responded by saying that he could see man, but as trees walking. Well, his sight was partially restored but not yet cleared. So the Lord touched his eyes again and this time the Bible says, ‘And he began to see all things clearly’. This is how we are in our spiritual seeing. We need the Lord’s continual touch and healing of our spiritual eyes, especially when we come to His word. Take a book like Psalms. It’s quite easy to see something on the surface, but do we see all things clearly? Do we see Christ unveiled, magnified and exalted? Lord be merciful to us all, touch our seeing again and again.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #14) – The History Concerning David (2)
Throughout the ages, many have opposed God and oppressed His people. On one hand, it could be said that God has many enemies; but actually God has only one unique enemy – man. Man fights against God and this man is the flesh. The teaching regarding the flesh is found in many New Testament books and passages like Galatians 5 that tells us that, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these oppose each other that you would not do the things that you desire.” But it takes the Old Testament pictures and types to illustrate how we all are subject to the evil of the flesh and how diligent we all must be to keep it where the Lord Jesus left crucified on the cross. If our eyes are open, we will see these Old Testament books such as 1 Samuel in a different, fresh and very new way that brings these things into a sharper focus.
Of all the disciples called by the Lord Jesus in the gospels, probably the one we can most readily identify with is Peter. Simon Barjona as he was known before the Lord changed his name to Peter. In John chapter 1 was as impetuous as he was fervent and often found himself as the target of the Lord Jesus’ reprove.
Recall for example in Matthew chapter 16, Peter’s sympathetic suggestion to the Lord that He should keep Himself from the suffering of death that He knew awaited Him. “get behind Me, Satan” was the Lord’s reply. “You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.” How could Peter possibly recovered from such a stinging rebuke?
And of course it was also Peter, who denied the Lord three times during the hour of trial preceding the actual crucifixion. Yet only days later it was this same Peter who stood on the day of Pentecost and usher thousands into the kingdom with his powerful and dynamic speaking.
And not only so, in his two epistles, Peter uses language and phrases so rich and full of high and profound meaning that we can’t help but marvel at the power of God’s full salvation. That this unlearned fisherman could write such thing. Listen to his word in 1 Peter,
1:18 “Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers,”
19 “But with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ;”
Welcome to our first life-study of the book of 1 Peter.
1 Thessalonians (Program #19) – Our Heart to be Established Blameless in Holiness and our Body to be Preserved Clean in Sanctification
Proverbs 4:23 says: Keep your heart with all vigilance, For from it are the issues of life.
So, how do you keep your heart? Well, if you are a seeker and lover of the Lord Jesus, and that you want to stay with us for a special life study program from 1 Thessalonians today, entitled “Our Heart to be Established Blameless in Holiness.”
When we look at the kind of human life the Lord Jesus lived on the earth and if we take His teachings as an ethical standard for us to imitate, we will set our Christian life on a direct path that will lead us to utter frustration and failure. And worst yet, it will leave God’s heart’s desire unsatisfied because the real example of the Lord Jesus was not just that He lived the perfect life, but that He all the time practiced to live another life. This might sound strange and contrary to what you’ve known and practiced concerning the Christian life, but it, nonetheless, is the clear teaching of the Bible. We need not live a good life. We need to live Christ.