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New definitions of old words can deceptively cause confusion and misunderstanding of what was meant by God in revealing truth to His chosen writers of the scriptures. -The nature and purpose of the church being explained by the apostle Paul in this letter as a 'mystery' is one current attempt. The church while not new in God's plan was new in it be…
 
The promises of God and the the faith of a Canaanite prostitute brought the nation of Israel to the brink of the land promised to them six hundred years prior. They had to respond in faith to God's word by moving ahead and into the land beginning by crossing the Jordan river at flood stage, no less. God didn't make it easy but He promised and prove…
 
The letter to the Ephesians is focused on the uniqueness of the Church in being a new group of people called out by God. The Church is not only distinct from the Jews, from Israel and from the kingdom, also not being a spiritual form of the kingdom today. God's work of salvation today is focused on Gentiles while some Jews are being saved, national…
 
God chooses to save whom He so wills. The beauty of His choice and how that changes a life is on display in the life of Rahab. A Canaanite woman who was a prostitute by profession would be among the least likely from the human perspective. From God's perspective she was chosen not only to help the nation of Israel as they began their conquest of th…
 
From prison where the apostle Paul was writing he considered himself a minister of the gospel and steward of the grace of God given him. That did not change because he was confined as he understood he was where God intended him to be in HIs plan. As he wrote to the Ephesians he was not distracted by personal concerns for his own safety and welfare …
 
Joshua was prepared and trained for the ministry God had for him over a period of forty years. He assumed his role of leadership of the nation of Israel at the age of eighty-six. Over the course of his training he had demonstrated himself to be faithful, reliable, and responsible. Joshua while having trained under Moses and following after Moses wa…
 
The land is a key issue for the nation of Israel and one of the promises made to them by God in the Abrahamic Covenant. The promise was confirmed several times to Abraham and then to his son Isaac and to his son Jacob and then to Jacob's twelve sons. The land was given them by God as an unconditional eternal promise but their occupation of their la…
 
The Church is not the new Israel and Israel does not quit being Jews. God had a new plan with the Church being formed as a new group of people based on spiritual identity by faith in Jesus Christ. Racial, ethnic distinctions and the Mosaic Law were no longer the basis for God's people to be brought together. All non-Jews, Gentiles, were in need of …
 
Changes in the world today that are going on among the nations are involved in God's orchestration of events that set the stage for what He has planned next. The scriptures reveal that to be the rapture of the Church to be followed by the time of the great Tribulation. As the time nears for which only God knows the day and hour the rebellion agains…
 
From spiritually dead to eternally alive is the potential change in status, course of life, and destiny thereafter provided by God for sinners. All humanity being descendants of Adam mean every single person is a sinner and every single person is offered God's gift of salvation. Every single person receives the gift by faith in Jesus Christ. Faith …
 
In his closing comments the apostle Paul emphasized strongly the need the church had and continues to have to be firmly established on the truth of God's Word and hold that position. God's power works through HIs Word. Compromise or diluting the Word with worldly ideas, philosophies, and trendy ways of comfortably doing ministry in a hostile world …
 
What and who every person is or was is presented against the backdrop of the salvation God has provided, how, and why.-Being dead in sin speaks the fact of being separated from God and unresponsive to God. Spiritually dead the the spiritual condition every person is born with while being physically alive. As described by the inspired word of God th…
 
Paul's pattern in his relationship with other believers was to pray for them and to let them know not only that he was but what he prayed for them for as well as what he thanked the Lord for because of them. In doing so he let them know they may have been out of sight but they were not out of his mind. He revealed that while he was in this situatio…
 
In his closing comments the apostle Paul began with a commendation to a woman named Phoebe who likely carried the letter for Paul to Rome. She is to be remembered as a woman who served God in her local church as a servant of the Lord. The ministry of a couple who Paul met in Corinth and joined him in his ministry in Corinth as well as in Ephesus af…
 
God has revealed what we know about who He is. There is order in the triunity of the Godhead in which each of the members has equality being fully God. Each member has a role in the carrying out of the salvation of plan for man.-This message highlights the ministry of the Holy Spirit that connects the preview Jesus gave of what the ministry of the …
 
Paul included in his closing comments an overview of what he saw as future plans for his ministry. in doing so he let the readers know he had a longing to see them to encourage them and be encouraged by them. Paul is a good reminder of making plans to be responsible with the time for ministry while recognizing the Lord controls the timing, circumst…
 
The good news of who Jesus Christ is and what He did when He came to earth to give His life as the final and ultimate sacrifice for sin. God has provided sufficiently and spoken of it clearly. His death and resurrection provide the one and only, the perfect and complete way for any who will hear and heed the free gift of eternal life.…
 
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the seal of guarantee of the finished work of providing complete justification and salvation for all sinners.-The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the assurance of a coming resurrection for all people.-The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the assurance of a coming judgment by Christ, the resurrected One. Believers …
 
Paul begins his closing comments expressing appreciation for the evidence of their salvation being demonstrated in their lives. The genuineness of faith manifests the presence of the Holy Spirit by a hunger for God's word and the practice of His word. As the word is put into practice there will be a growth in personal relationships among believers …
 
God is universally sovereign as well as sovereign over every individual and their personal salvation. As great as the benefit of salvation is to mankind the ultimate reason for it is the resulting praise to God and His pleasure in that salvation. God's choice of who was to be saved was on the basis of HIs will and good pleasure. Before God no indiv…
 
As the local church is gathered together there is to be a unity created by the Spirit with the diversity that individuals will bring. This diversity will have differences in levels of maturity, preferences, personality, and past experiences. Learning to love one another and get along will be an ongoing process requiring all to have an attitude of h…
 
As this epistle begins it does so with one long sentence in the original Greek elaborating on God's sovereign work in bringing sinners into a right relationship with Himself. He has revealed that He is one God existing supernaturally as three separate persons all whom had a vital role in the salvation of man. God's choice so save some from the mass…
 
The mature believer has more flexibility as well as more responsibility in the application of biblical principles in the areas of liberty. Personal preferences are going to differ among believers so in the fellowship there must be a sensitivity to the consciences of the weaker, more immature believers to avoid doing what is offensive to their consc…
 
The sovereign collaborating work of the triune God is the source of life and the means for living the new life and the eternal life to come. Every believer is given blessings described as spiritual coming through the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God and are spiritual in their nature. God is to be blessed for all He has done, all He has given, and…
 
As believers live in the present while growing and maturing in their faith they bring to the Body of Christ great diversity. Matters of preference, past experiences, personality will continue to allow for differences that collectively make the local church complete. These differences can become a concern when opinions and personal practices become …
 
Paul's greeting begins with the essentials. God's grace and resultant peace are necessary for life and living the new life given as a child of God. The same grace that provides salvation is included in the salvation package as the enabling, empowering means for sanctification. Having peace with God by means of the saving grace then provides for the…
 
Crucial for the believer to live godly is to live conscious of the return of Christ at any moment. This gives strength in the trying times and motivation to live pleasing to Him all the time and everywhere. The provision made by the salvation God has provided includes the power and transforming ministry of the Holy Spirit to guide and enable right …
 
This epistle beings with the customary opening stating who the writer is, the intended recipients are, and a greeting. Paul lets them know he is writing from his position as an apostle so what he says has authority for the lives of the believers individually and corporately. He writes addressing them as saints who are faithful bringing to the foref…
 
The child of God will manifest the love of God to others. This love is generated by the Spirit of God and is described in Scripture as being a love of the will rather than being driven and in response to feelings. This love is shown back toward God by means of obedience to His revealed Word. In His revealed Word there are instructions to, and how t…
 
As the apostle Paul met with the elders of the church at Ephesus he was convinced he would not see them again. He gave them instructions concerning their responsibility for leading the church to be and to be doing what God so intended. He told them what they needed to do was model their ministry after his that they had been a part of and observed w…
 
While responsible to pay off debts incurred, the believer is never to consider the responsibility to love, particularly other believers who are also brothers and sisters in God's family. This love is like that shown by Christ in giving His life as the sacrifice for sin. This love is generated by the Holy Spirit rather than by feelings and emotions.…
 
The gospel the apostle Paul brought to the city of Ephesus provided and continues to provide salvation to the sinner. The gospel stands firm, unchanged, and powerful to save then and now. Time, culture, circumstances do not necessitate adjustments, alterations, or additions to the message. Any attempts to change the message dilutes and negates the …
 
The more openly and defiantly sin is practice and promoted the more pressure there is on the believer to not come under the influence and compromise as well as standing firm in the face of hostility and opposition. When the word of God is abandoned so goes the moral anchor that provides stability to a people, nation, or culture. Moral standards wil…
 
God's intention in His design and creation of man and then woman is for their distinctions to be recognized, acknowledged, and lived out corresponding to His choice for each person. While man can attempt to alter or change the gender a person is born with they cannot, neither physically nor biblically. Neither denial, disfigurement, nor putting on …
 
When given a biblical principle by God to be obeyed the first response is often to think of the exceptions or exclusions. The fundamental principle underlying all of God's word is that it is His word and it is Him who is being obeyed in living out the commanded principles. This brings clarity to the application in each circumstance through all the …
 
As Paul wrote to the believers in Rome it was in many places and at many times a 'deny or die' world towards Christians. Believers then and now must nonetheless continue to focus on living lives pleasing to God, being conformed to Christ, while keeping in view their citizenship being in heaven. Sovereign civil authorities at all levels have been ap…
 
The hatred of the world toward believers is not an excuse or reason for the believer to hate the world. The believer is commanded to never pay back evil with evil to anyone. The believer has the example of the life, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ as the pattern for facing times of hostility, opposition, hatred, and violence. Responding to thos…
 
What one thinks about their future or what comes next after physical death will directly affect and influence how live is lived in the present. God has revealed details of the future of the believer with Him including destiny, quality of life, and condition of the resurrected body. Being aware and mindful of these truths gives calm in the midst of …
 
Seven biblical reasons for the rapture of the Church before the seven year tribulation are discussed in this mini-series. In this part two of the series reasons 4 through 7 are covered. They include- 4- The Church is promised deliverance from God's wrath- 5- there must be a gap between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ to the earth- 6- th…
 
The first of seven reasons for the rapture of the Church before the seven year tribulation are discussed. There are numerous other biblical reasons for understanding the rapture of the church will occur, and occur prior to the beginning of the tribulation, this first of two part mini-series begins with the foundational points. These included in par…
 
Uncertainty, fear, the unknown, and the unexpectedness of life can be very unsettling to anyone. For believers the trials these times bring are opportunities to trust the Lord even more. During the times of greatest despair and concerns God will be magnified to those who know Him and are known by Him. When He remains the central priority and fixed …
 
The spiritual gifts given by God to believers are to be governed and motivated by the love for one another that is generated by the indwelling Spirit of God. This love will be sincere, active, respectful and engaged in doing what is needful and best for others. This necessarily means knowing what is needful by being involved in the body life of the…
 
This psalm is written as a celebration of God's blessings in the marriage relationship. The historical context is the wedding of a king of Israel and as a prophetic anticipation of the relationship of Christ and His Church. There are also present, practical applications of marriage as an ordinance given by God. There is celebration of the significa…
 
God gives gifts to believers for the benefit of the church. He determines who gets what gifts and the measure of those gifts so that each individual believer will contribute to the ministry of the local church also referred to as the body of Christ. These gifts vary from speaking gifts that include teaching to serving gifts that include helps and s…
 
The word of God stands unchanged and unchanging. Departures from faithfulness to the Word are evident by understanding the principles of interpretation and the application of those principles consistently from Genesis to Revelation. -A danger in the church is when those who are mere professors of salvation without the Holy Spirit's ministry in and …
 
After explaining salvation the apostle Paul continued in his letter to give details of how those who have been saved become members of the church. In particular, the local church and how it should function with the members working together with unity while being diverse and individually gifted for the building up of the body. In the early church, a…
 
Five characteristics of God's present universal reign over all creation are discussed as they are revealed in the scriptures. These include- 1- its permanent existence- 2- the extent is to all that exists in time and space outside of God Himself- 3- today God's divine control is generally providential- 4- divine control can be exercised through sup…
 
Some of the gifts given to the church were temporary as it was a new spiritual entity to whom God was giving new revelation. The purpose of a spiritual gift determined its duration so a look at the historical record of the first thirty years of the church's history clarifies the use of those gifts which were temporary. Gifts to give new revelation …
 
The tension between God's sovereignty and the troubles that come by way of life for God's people continue to challenge believers who are living godly lives. Confidence in God, in His control, and His power can be questioned in our hearts when circumstances seem to continue on and seem inconsistent with who God is and what He has promised His people…
 
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