Archive for ◊ April, 2018 ◊

30 Apr 2018 1 Corinthians (Program #21)

1 Corinthians (Program #21) – The Building Work with Natural Materials

In the realm of Christian service and ministry many things are done in the name of Christian work.  But 1 Corinthians 3 is a key chapter that points out absolutely clearly that the unique work all of us as the believers should be engaged in is a building work.  Verse 11 and 12 in this chapter say it:

“For another foundation no one is able to lay besides that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. But if anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble, “

Two categories of materials. And the first category, the materials are mineral, very precious and enduring gold, silver and precious stones.  In the second category however the materials are all perishable and natural  wood, grass and stubble.  The significant of these two categories becomes very relevant for us and the Christian work in the very next verses.

“The work of each will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by fire, and the fire itself will prove each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built upon the foundation remains, he will receive a reward;  If anyone’s work is consumed, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. “

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30 Apr 2018 1 & 2 Kings (Program #3)

1 & 2 Kings (Program #3) – The Reign of Solomon (2)

We all remember the inspiring story of King Solomon in the Old Testament.  As the new king over Israel the Lord agrees to grant him one request.  Solomon touches the Lord’s heart by asking for wisdom in order that he could rule over Israel in a just manner.   For centuries, men have admired Solomon and long to be like him and have the wisdom that God blessed him with.  Surely his wisdom was great, but consider for a moment: how it compares to the wisdom that is our blessing as God’s New Testament called ones.  In 1 Corinthians 1:24, Paul writes “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” and in verse 30, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”

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29 Apr 2018 1 Corinthians (Program #20)

1 Corinthians (Program #20) – The Building Work with Transformed Materials (1)

The goal of the Christian life is not merely to live a proper and upright life, died and then go to heaven. The goal as presented in 1 Corinthians has to do with being built up into a spiritual building that ultimately becomes God’s dwelling place on earth with His people. In short this building is the church becoming the real temple of God on earth.

What a high calling, our real work in the Christian life is a building work.  And to this end Paul instructed the Corinthians believers and us in chapter three of 1 Corinthians :

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s cultivated land, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds upon it. But let each man take heed how he builds upon it. For another foundation no one is able to lay besides that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. But if anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble, the work of each will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by fire. ”

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29 Apr 2018 1 & 2 Kings (Program #2)

1 & 2 Kings (Program #2) – The Reign of Solomon (1)

After the death of the great king David in Israel, his son Solomon assumed the throne.  Solomon achieved much glory and splendor during his reign and there is no doubt this was a high peak in the history of Israel.  But Solomon’s ending, like that of his father was not so glorious.   To read the account of the events in the Old Testament book of Kings is interesting to be sure, but if God is merciful and grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation, we can realize much more from these accounts than just the great stories and historical events.   We can perceive that behind all, is a God that is on one hand full of mercy and forgiveness in grace.  But on the other hand He is righteous and holy in all His dealings with His people.  There is an encouragement in these stories but there was also a warning that should sober us to take great care in all of our doings.

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28 Apr 2018 1 Corinthians (Program #19)

1 Corinthians (Program #19) – Growth in Life Needed (2)

In first Corinthians the apostle Paul confronts the difficult situation in the church there in a very wise way. He first identifies that their problems would due primarily to a shortage of the growth in the divine life. Although they had received the initial gifts of the divine life and the Holy Spirit they were still infants or babes in Christ.

He then unveils to them the marvelous progression of God’s economy. First they need to realize that they are all plants growing on God’s farms. Then the goal is to be built up together into a building and finally that this building is destined to become God’s dwelling place, His temple.

How about you and me? Have we received such a vision, such a revelation or are we like the Corinthians satisfied to remain in our spiritual infancy and hang on to personal preferences in our own traditions?

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28 Apr 2018 1 & 2 Kings (Program #1)

1 & 2 Kings (Program #1) – An Introductory Word

The books of the Old Testament can be viewed from differing perspectives.  On one hand we can think of the Old Testament as a compilations of interesting stories that convey certain moral and ethical teachings.  This is the common thought and it’s easy for the natural mind to grasp.  Another perspective takes a more intrinsic view.  And it is this view that compels us in this study called the life study of the Bible.

1 & 2 Kings contains many stories to be sure but they also convey the rich intrinsic significance of the entire Bible that which is centered on Christ, in His person and in His economy for the establishment of His kingdom.  Welcome to the life study of 1 & 2 Kings.

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27 Apr 2018 1 Corinthians (Program #18)

1 Corinthians (Program #18) – Growth in Life Needed (1)

In the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul stresses one thing, Christ. This is his wisdom in pointing the believers’ in these problems laden church to the one unique solution to all the problems in the Christian life and in the church life.

But in chapter three he turned his focus to the church. Writing about the church in a marvelous way without even ever using the term, church. In this book his speaking related to the church is not according to the doctrine and teaching regarding the church life but according to the life and the growth in life.

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27 Apr 2018 1 & 2 Samuel (Program #29)

1 & 2 Samuel (Program #29) – The Unique Work of the Processed Triune God

In 2 Samuel, the Lord through the Prophet Nathan prophesied to David the king, “Moreover Jehovah declares to you that Jehovah will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you sleep with your fathers, I will raise up your seed after you, which will come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. It is he who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” Properly understood, this passage constitutes one of the greatest prophecies in the entire Old Testament.

In Matthew in the New Testament, chapter 16, the Lord Jesus makes a similar prophecy to His disciples. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” This passage equally constitutes one of the greatest prophecies in the New Testament as well. God’s desire to build a dwelling for Himself and for us, from the beginning of the Bible through to the very end.

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26 Apr 2018 1 Corinthians (Program #17)

1 Corinthians (Program #17) – The Church, God’s Farm, God’s Building (2)

The believers in Corinth in the early church were rich in many things. They have received the initial gifts of the divine life and the Holy Spirit. They were enriched in all knowledge and they even have many miraculous gifts in their midst.  Yet Paul referred to them as infants or babes in Christ. How could that be with all that God had given them?   Primarily is because they neglect the mater of life and growing spiritually in the divine life. So, the apostle Paul points out to them in clear types and pictures the importance and necessity of the divine life.

Listen again as his words are so full of references to life and growth:

3:5-9 “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Ministers through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to beach one of them. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.  So then neither is he who plants anything nor he who waters, but God who causes the growth.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s cultivated land, God’s building.”

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26 Apr 2018 1 & 2 Samuel (Program #28)

1 & 2 Samuel (Program #28) – The History Concerning David (12)

Of all of the great figures in the Old Testament, none found more favor in the eyes of Jehovah than His beloved King David. David had a heart that matched God’s heart and therefore God was able to reveal the highest things to him. Yet in one critical area, David was weak and this weakness remains even today as a dark blemish on the light of one of God’s great servants.

Even in the divine record, the Holy Word, both in the New and Old Testament, God has reminded us of David’s fall. In 1 Kings 15:5, it says because David did what was upright in the side of Jehovah and did not turn aside from anything that He had commanded him all the days of his life except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

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