In today's study from John 3:1-16 we take a look at the conversation between Nicodemus and the Lord and his need for salvation.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
In today's study from Galatians 1:10-18 we find Paul beginning to share his testimony about how the Lord called him and prepared him for the ministry. We also see how the Lord has called many others who have gone before and that we all must pass through a time of preparation.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Today, let’s take a look at Revelation 1:6-7 where it says, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. ven so, Amen.” Notice first that God has “…made us kings and priests unto God and his Father…” We who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives are kings and priests unto God. We are kings, because one day we will rule and reign with Christ. We are told in Revelation 5:9-10, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Yes, one day God will allow us to rule with Him. The extent of our rule will be directly dependent upon our faithfulness in this life. Some of us who have been faithful will rule over much. While some of us who have been unfaithful will, unfortunately rule over very little. If God cannot trust us with little, then how can He trust us with much? Even our human employers can figure that one out. Jesus, when speaking to this subject said to the faithful servant said in Matthew 25:23, “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Notice also that we are priests unto God. We need no earthly priest to gain access to the Father. In Matthew 27:51 it says, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” This symbolized that an earthly High Priest was no necessary. Through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we all have equal access to the very throne of God. Jesus is now our sole Intercessor. Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:5 said, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus is our priest now. The veil of division separating us from God has been removed. Our response to that is, “…to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Notice in verse 7 that it says “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him…” This is not referring to the rapture that occurs in 4:1 as that it will only be known to the saints that He will come for. (We will discuss this event in detail later.) This is speaking of the Second Coming that will occur in 19:11-16. This is when all of God’s enemies will see Him.
Notice the later part of verse 7 where it says, “…and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” This is when all of those who rejected Jesus will see him. They will look upon Him who they pierced and wail. This is especially pertaining to the children of Israel. Zechariah 12:10 and 13:6 says, "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” “And one will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” This is fulfilled literally in Revelation 19 at the Second Coming of Christ.
Why will they “mourn” when they see Him? They will finally realize the tragic mistake that they have made. They had the Messiah walking in and among them and did not realize who He really was. John 1:10-11 says, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” How about you? What have you done with Jesus?
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
What is a friend? Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with them. They ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you. Friends understand those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities, and in opening them up to friends, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse them, neglect them, tolerate them. Best of all, you can keep still with them. It makes no matter. They like you. They are like fire that purges to the bone. They understand. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, pray with them. Through it all--and underneath--they see, know, and love you. A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
In today's from 2 Timothy 3:10-17 Paul encourages Timothy to carefully follow his example in doctrine and life, warns him that false teachers will come and deceive many, therefore he will need to cling to the authority of the Word of God.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Let’s look at the last part of Revelation 1:5 where it says, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Now, at first glance that sounds very strange. It’s very easy to understand that God loves us, but what about that blood stuff?
We must understand something about the Bible. The New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. That means that it is impossible to fully understand one without the other. A perfect example of this is found right here in this verse. I want to explain it so that you can see what I’m talking about. Many times, we pastors will say something from the pulpit, not realizing that not everyone really knows what we’re talking about. Thus the blank looks!
In the Old Testament, the people were required to bring their sacrifices to the priest repeatedly (it could be a young bull, a sheep, a goat, a turtledove or even a pigeon) for the atonement (forgiveness or covering) of their sins. The priest would then take the one who brought the sacrifice and “put his hand on the head of the burnt offering” so that “it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him” (Leviticus 1:4). This signified that they were transferring their guilt and sin to the animal. In other words, the animal was going to die in their place.
The priest would then “kill the bull before the LORD” (Leviticus 1:5a). The method of killing was by cutting the throat while simultaneously collecting the blood into a container. After which “the priests, Aaron's sons” would “bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting” (Leviticus 1:5b). The blood of the animal had to be shed in order for the one who sacrificed the animal to be forgiven.
Now, after looking at all of these things in the Old Testament; what can we learn about them in the New Testament? We will find that Jesus fulfilled them all. First, in the Old Testament, the sacrifice had to be brought to a priest. In the New Testament, we have no priest but Jesus. Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
Second, in the Old Testament, the sacrifice had to be made repeatedly for the forgiveness of sin. In the New Testament, the sacrifice only had to be made once by Jesus’ giving of Himself. The writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 9:12, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He (Jesus) entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
Third, in the Old Testament, the one who brought the sacrifice placed his hand on the head of the soon to be sacrificed animal to symbolically transfer his sins to the animal and to identify himself with it. In the New Testament, Jesus is the sacrifice for us and we identify ourselves with Him not by the laying on of hands, but by faith. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Fourth, in the Old Testament, the sacrifice had to die and its’ blood had to be shed for forgiveness. In the New Testament, it speaks of Jesus in Hebrews 9:22 when it says that “without the shedding of blood (Jesus’ blood) there is no remission (forgiveness)” of sin. Jesus had to die and His blood had to be shed or there would be no possible way of forgiveness for us.
Fifth, in the Old Testament, the priest would then collect the blood and sprinkle it around the altar. In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews 12:24 says, “to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling (His blood) that speaks better things…”
In conclusion, there is no need to make animal sacrifices anymore like they did in the Old Testament. We are under the New Testament. That word Testament can be better translated “covenant”. There is no need for an earthly priest to intercede on our behalf anymore. Jesus is our priest. Jesus also became our sacrifice so that by faith in Him, our sins could be permanently forgiven.