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.
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…
Acts (Program #46) – The Propagation in Asia Minor and Europe through the Ministry of Paul’s Company (12)
Once the Gospel of Christ emerged from Judea, it quickly spread into the continent of Europe. The great cities of the day became the stage from which the Lord Jesus, through primarily the apostle Paul and his co-workers, presented the all-inclusive Christ in resurrection. But, at each new place, fierce opposition soon appear, the opposer’s keen ability to twist and distort the message of life in Christ was a continual frustration to the brothers. The stories are immensely interesting but the lessons for us are the real value. Stay with us for another revealing life study of the Bible.
John (Program #41) – The Work of the Spirit unto the Mingling of Divinity with Humanity (2)
You come into this chapter (John 17); it’s like stepping into a room where a Godly person is praying and you feel uneasy to interrupt Him. And, you certainly don’t want to come in to inject any thought of your own. So, there’s a holy atmosphere here, of the communication in the divine Trinity that only the Holy Spirit can make known to us.
I believe the prayer, in John 17, is very very significant, mainly because it comes at the end of a long message that the Lord Jesus gave to His disciples just before He went to the cross. Chapters 14, 15, and 16 give us the message that the Lord Jesus spoke on His way to be crucified. So, this of course is a very significant portion of the Word of God, particularly in the Gospel of John. And, after that long message, then He closes with this prayer. And, this prayer is so meaningful that unless you really pray it, or I should say, read it prayerfully, you will not know what its subject is.
John (Program #38) – The Organism of the Triune God in the Divine Dispensation (2)
When He speaks to us, we have to keep it. When His word abides in us, then right away, we are abiding in His love. So, just by saying Amen to His speaking, love will fill us, and we will find the prevailing way to love the Lord Jesus and abide in His love.
The very striking point in John 15 to me is the illustration of the vine and the branches. There’s no other plant that could adequately illustrate the life flow that exists between the Lord and His believers. The Lord said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” Could any other illustration make it more clear? Then, what God is producing is an organism, not an organization. The “I am” here is Christ when He said, “I am the vine.” And, the “you are” is that part of the vine known as branches. Christ, the Son, is the very center of God’s economy, and He’s also the embodiment of all the riches of the Father.
John (Program #36) – The Dispensing of the Triune God for the Producing of His Abode (4)
This is so critical for our experience of Christ to continually say, “Lord Jesus, I love you.” And according to these verses, when you tell the Lord that you love Him, He says “I will love you also, and My Father will love you. I will manifest myself to you. And, not only that, the Father and I will come to you and make an abode with you.”
Thus far, we’ve seen that John 14 is a very mysterious chapter. In verse 2, the Lord says, “In My Father’s house are many abodes”, and this verse has been misinterpreted and misunderstood by many people. What we have seen from the Holy Bible is that the Father’s house is the Church. 1 Timothy 3:15 tells us the Church is the house of the living God. And, in the Church, which is the Father’s house, are many abodes. These many abodes are the many members of the Church as the body of Christ, who are the many dwelling places of Christ. Each believer in Christ, as a member of His body, which is the Church as the Father’s house, is a dwelling place to Christ…
Luke (Program #36) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in His Human Virtues with His Divine Attributes from Galilee to Jerusalem (16)
It’s interesting that the greatest difficulties that the Lord Jesus had in His earthly ministry was not dealing with sin. It was dealing with religion. We would think that religion should help people come to God. But all too often what we find is the same thing that the Lord Jesus found; not only the religion not help us to find God it frustrates and even stumbles us from coming to God. It is in this context in Luke 17 that the Lord said “woe to him who stumbles. It’s more profitable if a millstone is put around his neck and he is hurled into the sea than to stumble the little ones.”
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.