Blog Archives

26 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #15)

Ephesians (Program #15) – The Hope of God’s Calling and the Riches of the Glory of God’s Inheritance in the Saints

Hope can be a tremendous thing. If a person has hope, then their ability to withstand hardship and suffering is immeasurably enhanced. And as Christians, we above all people should live a life that is full of hope and therefore equipped to handle whatever may come our way. Paul, the apostle, experienced many hardships and knew much about hope; and in his letter to the Ephesians he opens up his earnest prayer to God on behalf of all the believers. One of the items that he prayed for strongly was that we all would see clearly and truthfully what is the hope of our calling. Where hope is a wonderful thing but our hope needs to be founded in truth and in the reality that the Bible conveys and not in something fanciful or simply according to the popular thought of the day.

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26 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #14)

Ephesians (Program #14) – A Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation and the Eyes of Our Heart

Ephesians is a book filled with marvelous spiritual facts, it reveals the mystery of the will of God. Yet to many people even Christians, Ephesians is a closed book; though they read it and understand the words, they do not gain the vision that is conveyed in this book. That’s because to see spiritual truth in reality is different from mere mental comprehension. That’s why the apostle prayed so earnestly in the first chapter that the readers would have all the necessary tools to see and enter into the vision that he is presenting in his letter. Listen as he prays in verse 17 & 18, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him. The eyes of your heart having been enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

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26 Oct 2018 Jeremiah (Program #17)

Jeremiah (Program #17) – Jehovah as the Potter and Israel as the Pottery

The prophet Jeremiah found himself in a difficult almost impossible situation. On one hand, he himself was part of the nation of Israel. A nation that had rebelled against the Lord and as a result was suffering under the hand of Jehovah’s discipline and chastisement. Therefore, Jeremiah was suffering along with all his countrymen. Yet Jeremiah was unique in that he had faithfully spoken Jehovah’s word to Israel pointing out their unfaithfulness and warning them to turn back to the God who had so marvelously brought them into the Good Land. But this faithful speaking by Jeremiah was rejected by Israel and caused them to hate him and even further persecute him.  So it’s not surprising to hear this man of God crying out in anguish to the one person who would surely sympathize with him – his own mother. In chapter 15, the prophet said “Woe is me, my mother, because you bore me, A man of strife and a man of contention to the whole land. I have not lent with interest, Nor have they lent to me; Yet everyone curses me.” But before his mother could speak a comforting word, Jehovah intervenes. And in the discourse that follows, we see that Jeremiah had a different view from Jehovah regarding the way that the Lord was dealing with His people, Israel.

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25 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #13)

Ephesians (Program #13) – The Pledge of Our Inheritance

In ancient times when one purchased a piece of land, upon payment of an initial deposit, the seller would then give the buyer a bit of the ground as a pledge or guarantee that the property was in fact the very same parcel agreed upon. The apostle Paul picks up this custom to help illustrate one of the important functions or aspects of the Holy Spirit in God’s plan or economy. In Ephesians 1, Paul referring to the Holy Spirit says in verse 14, that the Spirit is actually the pledge of our inheritance. We will explore just what it is that we get when we receive this pledge.

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25 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #12)

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.

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25 Oct 2018 Jeremiah (Program #16)

Jeremiah (Program #16) – A Full Picture of God’s Economy by His Dispensing

The book of Jeremiah reveals God’s righteous judgment upon His people, Israel, for their many sins and the idolatry that had overtaken them. But if we look carefully and consider this book in the light of the entire Bible, we see that in the midst of all this negative history, God’s economy – that is His desire to dispense Himself and His riches into His chosen people that they might be reconstituted with Him and become His very corporate expression, is also revealed. In the first pages of Jeremiah’s account, God commissions him to tell all the people that their greatest evil is that they have forsaken Him not as their Creator nor even as their God, but as the fountain of living waters.

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24 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #11)

Ephesians (Program #11) – The New Testament Believers to the Praise of God’s Glory

Three times in the first chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul uses an expression like “to the praise of His glory”. The first time in verse 6, the praise is offered by us – the believers – as the issue of our sonship. The second mention, however, in verse 12 also deals with our sonship but the praise is not offered by us but rather it is the angels even the creation itself that joins in praise to God because of what He has accomplished in us – His sons. Now, not just sons in name and position but sons of God in life and nature.

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24 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #10)

Ephesians (Program #10) – To Head Up All Things in Christ (2)

The notion or idea of an eternal struggle in the universe is certainly not new or novel.  Most societies, even most religion makes reference to the struggle of good versus evil that is larger than our world.  But what the Bible actually reveals is that the struggle is not directly good versus evil; rather it is God versus His enemy, Satan – the source of all evil and the source of death.  Actually, if our eyes are open, we realize that God in His wisdom allowed this archangel to rebel.  With one possible reason being the  tremendous opportunity that afforded God to manifest His wisdom through the church by heading up all things in Christ.  This is the view in Ephesians.

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24 Oct 2018 Jeremiah (Program #15)

Jeremiah (Program #15) – Jehovah’s further Commission to Jeremiah (2)

When we read a verse from the Bible, particularly from an Old Testament book like Jeremiah, there’s usually a fairly clear and straightforward meaning. For example, Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah And whose trust Jehovah is. And he will be like a tree transplanted beside water, Which sends out its roots by a stream, And will not be afraid when heat comes; For its leaves remain flourishing;” On the surface we read and come away with a thought that if we trust in the Lord, He surely will bless us. Wonderful and certainly accurate according to the truth of this verse. But there is another equally accurate and yet far more profound understanding that can gleaned from such verses. It is this deeper and more intrinsic aspect that beckons our consideration and fellowship on this life study program.

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23 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #9)

Ephesians (Program #9) – To Head Up All Things in Christ (1)

The book of Ephesians presents the highest view in the entire New Testament. The apostle Paul identifies the focus of this book in the very first chapter when he says, “Making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, Unto to the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him;” (Ephesians 1:9-10) This is not a book about improved behavior, how to raise our children or even how to have a successful marriage; yet in one sense, it’s on all these things. But fundamentally this book is altogether dealing with God’s eternal purpose which is according to His good pleasure and on how He is working in the world situation without and more specifically on how He is working within us to bring this purpose into reality.

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