Ephesians (Program #22) – The Breaking Down of the Middle Wall of Partition
The Bible in Romans tells us very clearly that Christ’s death on the cross resolved any conflict that exists between us and God. Roman 5 :1 “Therefore having been justified out of faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ.“ And how we worship Him and praise Him for making such peace. But there is another peace that was accomplished through the redeeming death of Christ and Paul talks about this peace in Ephesians chapter 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition, the enmity, abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace.”
This specifically is not talking about peace between us and God. This is talking about peace between bitter and fierce enemies, peace between man and even between races and it is a crucial aspect of the salvation that we had received. We’ll talking about this peace today on our life study of the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians (Program #12) – Sealed with the Holy Spirit
Of the three in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is the most mysterious and the least known. Yet the Bible tells us that the Spirit functions in many definite ways. For example, it is the Spirit that broods over us before we’re saved; it’s the Spirit that convicts us, bringing us to salvation; the Spirit gives life; the Spirit also teaches and guides us into all the reality. But Ephesians gives us at least two additional functions of the Spirit in 1:13-14 “In whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, Who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.” These verses tell us that the Spirit seals us and also that the Spirit becomes the pledge of our inheritance. The sealing and pledging Spirit is our subject today and in the next program on this life study from Ephesians.
Galatians (Program #44) – Walking by the Spirit as Sons of God (1)
Galatians, much like the book of Romans, reveals God’s salvation to us in a most dynamic and marvelous way. We are saved by faith, through grace and fully according to the operation of the Spirit and not by the works of law. But the revelation of the New Testament and of these books especially does not stop here. There is a goal to this salvation, a wonderful goal, that should become our goal as well. This was the deep burden of the apostle Paul in Galatians.
The Christ of our salvation is the crucified Christ. As Christians if we are living according to law, attempting to please God by our own behavior, then we have no need of the One who was crucified and resurrected for us. Listen to Paul’s words in Galatians 3:1: “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed crucified?” Please stay with us as we focus today on the crucified Christ on this life study of the Bible.
2 Corinthians (Program #10) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (3)
The apostle Paul speaking about himself prior to his salvation refer to himself as the chiefest of sinners or the foremost of sinners, yet this one who had been the great persecutor of the church eventually becomes the chiefest among the apostles.
How did God accomplish such a reconstitution of Paul? Was it His miraculous work transforming him in an instant? Or was it the constituting work of the Spirit over many years?
2 Corinthians chapter 4 is the key chapter in providing answers to this profound question.
1 Corinthians (Program #4) – Christ and His Cross the Unique Solution (1 & 2)
The Bible reveals that all believers have been called by God. If we were not for this calling we were never be saved. Salvation is not something we can stumbled into on our own
But what we have been called into? 1 Corinthians chapter 1 tells us “God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Our calling is into the fellowship of His Son. But 1 Corinthians also tells us that the greatest frustration to that fellowship is division. Division became the problem in the 1st century church. And look today how great this problem is to the fellowship that should be our day by day enjoyment and experience. A fellowship that is in Christ and that should be universal among all the members of His one Body. The fellowship of His Son is our topic today.
Romans (Program #55) – Designation by the Spirit of Holiness
Romans 10:12 says, “The same Lord is Lord of all, and rich to all who call upon Him.” Whenever we call upon the dear, sweet name of our Lord Jesus, He is the life-giving Spirit, applies all of His unsearchable riches to us, thus transforming us from sinners in the flesh to sons of God in the spirit for the Body of Christ.
In God’s plan of salvation, we begin as sinners. And upon our believing into Him, we experience His forgiveness. But God’s goal is not just to have forgiven sinners; His goal is to have sons. For sinners to become sons, we need the riches of God’s salvation applied to us, and that’s the focus of our Life-Study of the Bible today.
Zephaniah(Program #1) – Jehovah’s Judgment and Salvation
Zephaniah 3:14-15 “Give a ringing shout, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! Jehovah has taken away your judgments; He has turned aside your enemy. The King of Israel, Jehovah, is in the midst of you; You will not see evil again.”
Zephaniah speaks of Christ been the king of Israel, in her midst, in the restoration, which is coming. So that time in the future will be a great salvation to Israel. But for the last two thousands years, His salvation has mostly been to the Gentiles. How is this fit into the central thought in the book of Zephaniah?
Nahum (Program #1) – Jehovah’s Judgment on Nineveh
In the Bible story of Jonah, we probably recall, that he was fleeing, running away from Jehovah and the task that God had appointed to Him. That of bringing God’s message of judgment and repentance to the evil city Nineveh.
In the story as Jonah was trying to escape from God, he is thrown into the sea during a raging storm, only to be swallowed up by a giant fish. He remained alive in the belly of the fish for three days until he was spewed out by the fish unto dry land. Well, this is the part of the story that most of us remember and can retell it to our children. But the story continues, for eventually Jonah reached Nineveh, and not only did he proclaimed God’s righteous judgment on that evil city, but he also witness first hand Jehovah’s mercy and salvation upon the people of Nineveh.
Another book in the Old Testament, another book of the Minor Prophets, is that of Nahum. And once again the subject of the book is the city of Nineveh. Only this time we don’t see God’s mercy and compassion resulting in the salvation for the city. Rather we see God’s righteous indignation and judgment upon Nineveh resulting in the city’s ultimate destruction. What was it about this ancient city that caused it to be the focus and so much attention by the Old Testament prophets?
The Old Testament Prophets Daniel, Zechariah and Joel all speak prophetically of 4 great empires that would come against God’s chosen people Israel to consume and devour. This consuming had been going on for more than 27 centuries now. History tells us that Daniel got it right when he prophesied in Chapter 2 that these 4 empires that would rule the world and wreck havoc upon Israel would be the Babylonian, the Medo Persian, the Greek and the Roman Empires. Zechariah saw them as 4 horns. And the Prophet Joel described them as 4 kinds of locusts as in Chapter 1 : 4 “What the cutting locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the licking locust has eaten; And what the licking locust has left, the consuming locust has eaten.”
Whatever metaphor we use to depict these 4 great empires, the fact is, Israel had been sustained through this long period of suffering and ultimately will turned back to God, and receive a salvation and a restoration. For us, God’s New Testament people these consuming locusts representing all of human government had also been used by God for His specific purpose and goal, and that is the Christ might be manifested.