Galatians (Program #36) – Sow unto the Spirit for the New Creation
The book of Galatians ends with this marvelous word in Galatians 6:18 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” If grace is God Himself in Christ through the Spirit to be our daily supply, it’s most helpful to find out how to experience such grace be with your spirit. These are the words that we’ll focus on in today’s life study of the Bible.
The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ brought in a complete change in the way God dealt with men. His desire today is to bring a rich and bountiful supply of His Spirit to all His children. But, how do we receive this supply? Galatians 3:5 says, “He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit and does works of power among you, does He do it out of the works of law or out of the hearing of faith?” Are we still struggling under the law or are we receiving the Spirit through faith? Stay tuned for today’s life study of the Bible.
Ezekiel (Program #24) – The River Flowing from the House
An outstanding feature that appears again and again throughout the pages of the Bible both in the Old Testament and the New is a river. The river was prominent in Genesis and the river appears in the books of history and the books of the prophets in the Old Testament. This river is still flowing in the gospels especially in the Gospel of John where the river flows out of the pierced side of the Lord Jesus. And it continues to flow right through the final chapters of Revelation where it is seen proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem. In all of these mentions the river is a very positive factor, very much related to the matter of the divine eternal life. One of the more striking appearances that this river makes is in Ezekiel 47 where it’s seen flowing out of the house of God. In this chapter it becomes a deep river – too deep and too wide to be passed over. The one that we have no choice but to abandon ourselves to and swim in.
Ezekiel (Program #20) – The Temple and Side Chambers
The gospel of John gives us the unforgettable picture of Jesus coming into the temple in Jerusalem. And in the display of the most righteous anger, the sight of God’s house being turned into a place of merchandise and commerce, He cleanses the temple – overturning the tables and chasing the peddlers away. Immediately following this comes a profound exchange between the Lord Jesus and the religionists. In John 2:18-21, “The Jews then answered and said to Him, What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things? Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, This temple was built in forty-six years, and You will raise it up in three days? But He spoke of the a temple of His body.” What makes this word so meaningful is that John clearly identifies Jesus as the real temple, the real house of God. This means even as we consider the temple in the Old Testament such as in Ezekiel’s great vision in chapters 40 to 48, we must realize that this is a type of the Lord Jesus Himself and of the church, the New Testament, the enlargement of God’s house.
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.”
2 Corinthians (Program #8) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (1)
All believers have their favorite verses, verses that just seem to minister particularly to us in our situation. But one verse that deserves to be on every list is 2 Corinthians 3:18, listen to the apostle Paul in this marvelous verse,
18 “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.”
Why is this verse so particularly important? Because it brings us face to face with the Lord Jesus in an intimate and personal way. But also in a way where by we are infused, transfused even transformed by Christ Himself as the very life giving Spirit.
The apostle Paul after his strong rebuke and dealing with the Corinthians in his first letter had good reason to visit the city at his first opportunity. It would had given him the chance to answer first hand any misunderstandings and to sue any lingering stinging from his rebuke.
In the realms of public relations or human wisdom he surely would had taken this way. But Paul’s living was not directed by such things as “PR” in human wisdom. And though he was criticized by some of the Corinthians for delaying his coming after he told them of his desire to come. We see the real reason for his delay. The reason was the Lord Jesus Himself. And Paul’s first concern which was not to live just a Godly life, but to live Christ, to live in perfect oneness with Him. This is the pattern that Paul had become not just to the Corinthians but to all of us.
Jeremiah (Program #3) – Crucial Aspects of the Divine Revelation in Jeremiah
The Lord Jesus in the gospel of John chapter 5 speaking to the religionists of His day told them, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40) Well, the clear message in this strong word to them and to us is that the whole Bible – both Old and New Testament – reveal Christ and should bring us to the very Christ it reveals every time we touch it. How crucial it is for us to keep such a view in mind whenever we come to the word of God especially in the Old Testament book such as Jeremiah.
1 Corinthians (Program #35) – Dealing with Marriage Life (3)
When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, it was very hard for those around Him to discern that what He was speaking was actually God’s word. Because unlike the prophets of the Old Testament He spoke as a normal man with normal language and never one time does the Bible record Him using the phrase “doth saith the Lord”. Yet He was the Lord and every one of His word was the word of God. What set Him apart from those of the Old Testament dispensation was incarnation. He wasn’t just speaking for God in the way of prophesy, He was God. God incarnated to be a man. This principle of incarnation is the unique characteristic of the whole New Testament. Not just man under the influence or inspiration of the Spirit speaking for God but man so one with God in their life, in their living and even in their speaking that their words were God’s words.
1 Corinthians 7 is the chapter that illustrate this principle of incarnation. Not only is it applied to the Lord Jesus but even as it applied to the apostles and the apostle Paul specifically.
God wants to fill us with Himself to such an extent that we are swallowed up by His life even in our mortal bodies until we become in full His many sons to glorify Him.
There are probably more studies and expositions of the book of Romans than nearly any other New Testament book. But this study is unique in that we want to take the view of how we want to enjoy Christ as our life and life supply so that He can be everything to us for the building up of the Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem as God’s unique goal in this universe. more…