Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are You Willing To Serve Christ?

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2: 5-8)

Word Focus:

Let this mind be”: All godly action begins with the “renewing of the mind.” Right thinking produces right actions. Our actions are the fruit of our deepest thoughts.

in you”: Thinking and being like Christ are requirements not only for an individual but also for the corporate body of believers. Together we need to think and act like one being, like the Person of Jesus Christ.

form of God” (Gk. Morphe - theou) (Philippians 2:6) G3444; G2316: The Greek word for form was generally used to express the way in which a thing exists and appears according to what it is in itself. Thus, the expression form of God may be correctly understood as the essential nature and character of God. To say, therefore, that Christ existed in the form of God is to say that apart from His human nature Christ possesses all the characteristics and qualities belonging to God because He is, in fact, God.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keep your focus on Jesus!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18)

Paul concluded that the Corinthians should not lose heart, because God would raise them up with Jesus (2 Co 4:14). Here is a great principle. A proper focus on our glorious future with Christ will empower us to endure any kind of trouble. The outward man is the physical body, called in this section “the earthen vessel” (2 Co 4:7), “the body” (2 Co 4:10), “mortal flesh” (2 Co 4:11), “earthly house” (2 Co 5:1), and “tent” (2 Co 5:1).

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Workers in the Harvest

One of the most profound “truths” in the Bible regarding salvation by grace alone can be found in the parable that our Lord Jesus told of the workers in the harvest. This parable is not about the rewards that a believer will receive in heaven, but about service and obedience to God.

In this parable Jesus further clarified the membership rules of the kingdom of heaven—entrance is by God’s grace alone. In this parable, God is the landowner, and believers are the workers. This parable speaks especially to those who feel superior because of heritage or favored position, to those who feel superior because they have spent so much time with Christ, and to new believers as reassurance of God’s grace.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Assurance of Salvation (Eternal Security)

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:9-13)

The witness looks back to the anointing of the believer described in 1 John 2:27 and refers either to the Holy Spirit or to the testimony of the Scripture. The last part of the verse suggests that the Scripture is meant. John is contrasting those who accept and those reject what God says. A person who trusts in Jesus possesses the witness, namely, the truth of God (1 John 5:9). The one who rejects God’s testimony is claiming that God is a liar.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jesus Christ -- He who came by Water and Blood

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. (1 John 5:6-8)

The water and blood have been interpreted in at least four ways: (1) as Jesus’ baptism and death, (2) as His incarnation, (3) as the water and blood that flowed from His side on the Cross, and (4) as the baptism of the believer and the Lord’s Supper. Most scholars favor the first interpretation.

In this epistle, John is correcting the false teacher Cerinthus, who denied the Incarnation by teaching that the divine Christ descended on the human Jesus at His baptism and then departed before His crucifixion (1 John 2:22). But if Jesus died only as a man, he could not have taken upon himself the sins of the world, and Christianity would be an empty religion. Only an act of God could take away the punishment that we deserve for our sin. Click here to read more on Cerinthus.