Tag Archives: covenant

Why Was Jesus in Human Form? (Number 2 of a Series – The First and Second Adam)

Today’s message summary of December 10, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Jesus came into human form to fulfill the role of the Second Adam.  Both Jesus and Adam did not have earthly fathers.  Adam, in the same way, was created without sin.

God made the covenant with Himself through Abraham to multiply him throughout the earth.  God, through Jesus Christ, made the new covenant with His people to provide salvation.

Jesus came in human form to fulfill what God had declared and to be with His people.

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

Genesis 3:15

I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

Luke 1:30-33

Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

His name will be Jesus, the Son of the most High.  He will have the throne of David and reign over the house of Jacob (2 Samuel 7:16, 29).

Jesus was in Joseph’s family line (Luke 3:31; Matthew 1:1, 6; Acts 2:29-30, 13:22-23, 36-39)

Acts 2:29-32

“Brothers, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not left in Hades, and His flesh did not experience decay. “God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this.”

Note that David, who was a king, was promised that someone would follow him who was always going to be on the throne.

Jesus is a real king.  He is King of kings.

1 Timothy 6:15-16

God will bring this about in His own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, the only One who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; no one has seen or can see Him, to Him be honor and eternal might. Amen.

Acts 13:35-39

Therefore he also says in another passage, You will not let your Holy One see decay. For David, after serving Gods purpose in his own generation, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and decayed, but the one God raised up did not decay. Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers and sisters, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you. Everyone who believes is justified through him from everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses.

Revelation 17:14

These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

God will always honor His Word.

While many will wonder how God could allow Himself to become a human (in its flesh and frailty, with pain and suffering), we have His Word that explains it.  It is a fulfillment of His promise for us.

We will be able to identify Jesus with the marks on His glorified body.  He is a Spirit.  Why does He need a human body?

John 4:24

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

What is a spirit? We really can’t explain it. But this God, who is a spirit, chose to put on a fleshly body.  The fleshly body allows for us to see Him, His life, His works, and His accomplishments

1 John 1:1-3

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of lifethat life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to uswhat we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus became that which was something that was seen and that he existed.  He was seen as a person, and not as a myth.

How do you touch a spirit?  Can you touch it?

John 1:11-14

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your new birth in Jesus Christ does not come from man.  The first birth was from humans, and the second birth comes from God.

The Word, Jesus Christ, took on flesh according to God’s will.

Spiritual life comes only from God; therefore, the life of Jesus could only come from God.

Luke 1:34-35

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”

As man was involved, there would be a sin nature because of Adam’s sin.  That is why all of man is now born in sin and with a sinful nature.

2 Corinthians 5:21

He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:21-23

For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

1 John 3:5

You know that he was revealed so that he might take away sins, and there is no sin in him.

Hebrews 9:26

Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Jesus was created in every way like a human being, except without sin.  It allowed for Him to be our High Priest who would represent all of us and to go before God without blemish to be our sacrifice.  Only in the flesh could Jesus suffer what Adam did.

He made His dwelling among us. He wanted to be seen by all of humanity in order that people would see how he lived (1 John 1:1).

Hebrews 2:18

For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.

Genesis 3:8-11, 23

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, Where are you?

And he said, I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.

Then he asked, Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

 

So the Lord God sent him away from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

Both Adam and Jesus Christ had experience separation from God.  Adam experienced it in the Garden (and he was banished from the garden), and Jesus did so on the cross when He took on the sin of everyone.  There had to be even a sense of loss for both at that moment.

Matthew 27:45-46

From noon until three in the afternoon[a] darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni? that is, My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

After His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus restores all of mankind, and what Adam had lost because of sin.  You and I today, while we have broken fellowship with God, can experience a renewal of fellowship with Him because of forgiveness.  In His flesh, Jesus Christ restores us in order that we can have fellowship with God.  One day, we will see Him with our own eyes!

1 John 3:1-3

See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called Gods childrenand we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didnt know him. Dear friends, we are Gods children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.

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The First and Second Adam (Part 1 of a Series)

Today’s message summary of December 3, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Why was Jesus sent to us in human form?  This is what we will ponder today.

God desired that the first Adam would be successful in his relationship with the Lord, but sin caused the fall of man.  It was God’s sending of the second Adam, in the form of Jesus Christ, that would claim the victory that the first Adam could not succeed in.

The first Adam was indeed without sin (before the fall).  He was pure, holy and righteous.  Jesus Christ is the One who would present Himself to the church to be pure and holy.

Ephesians 5:27

He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.

One day, the scars and blemishes that are present on your body today will be removed in our new bodies.

Note that Adam had direct access to God.  We, also, will have the same thing when we are with Him in heaven because there will be no sin present.

Romans 5:12-14

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.  In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law.  Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.

The second Adam became the gift that would justify and remove all of the sin that came from the first Adam, a human being in the flesh.  The second Adam, a life-giving Spirit, repaired the breach in the relationship between God and man that came from the fall from the first Adam.

We bear the likeness of both Adams.  The first Adam came from the dust.  The second Adam came from heaven.  It is important to note that the first Adam did not start as a child, but started as an adult, grew older, and died.  Jesus Christ started his earthly life as a child and grew into adulthood.  Both did not have earthly fathers, and both had direct fellowship with God.  Both began without sin, but only Jesus remained without sin.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.  For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:45-49

So it is written, The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. Like the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; like the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Therefore, we see where the statement “being born again” comes from.  Two births–one natural, and one that is spiritual.  Jesus Christ is the one who allows for man to fellowship within the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 15:50

Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit corruption.

Now, what about the different bodies?

1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:  Death has been swallowed up in victory.

When Jesus was born, many thought that he was the earthly son of Joseph.  Look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ:

Luke 3:23-38

As he began his ministry, Jesus was about thirty years old and was thought to be the son of Joseph, son of Heli, son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph, son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai, son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda, son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri, son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er, son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim, son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David, son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Salmon, son of Nahshon, son of Amminadab, son of Ram, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor, son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah, son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech, son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalalel, son of Cainan, son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.

The first Adam had no earthly father.  He, too, was a son of God.

The second Adam is also noted here:

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son[b] from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God does this in His own special way, when he acknowledges that they both come from God.

God seals His covenant with man in His own blood, which is significant.  What God does in His covenant is very much a covenant with Himself (man has nothing to do with it), and yet God is the One who provides salvation for mankind.  All that is required of man is to believe in Jesus Christ.

Genesis 15:12-21

As the sun was setting, a deep sleep came over Abram, and suddenly great terror and darkness descended on him. Then the Lord said to Abram, Know this for certain: Your offspring will be resident aliens for four hundred years in a land that does not belong to them and will be enslaved and oppressed. However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions. But you will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure. When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the divided animals. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, I give this land to your offspring, from the brook of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River: the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hethites, Perizzites, Rephaim, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.

Abram (Abraham) was unable to make a covenant with God.  It was beyond his ability to do it.  Only God could make such a covenant—and a commitment—to fulfill His promise to Abraham as the father of many nations.  It was a promise that revealed God’s ongoing presence and ability to keep His promises.

Hebrews 6:13-14

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself: I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply you.

God is the One who made the promise to work within us and give us salvation.  God upholds His Word and keeps it.  He will fulfill it and do it.  If you are born again in Jesus Christ, it is because God provides the ability for you to fellowship with Him.

Note that God’s promise to Abraham is an important part of the timeline of God’s covenant with his people.  Abraham is referenced within the genealogy in Matthew.  This was when God’s work to fulfill the covenant through Jesus Christ was noted.

Matthew 1:1-2

The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:  Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob.

Note that blood was shed in that covenant with Abraham through the animals that were sacrificed.  Why is this relevant?  What did Jesus Christ declare about His sacrifice?  (Note that, like the covenant with Abraham, man does not initiate it.  It is a covenant that God makes with Himself for His people.)

Matthew 26:26-29

As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, Take and eat it; this is my body. Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers kingdom.

Man is not involved with the covenant because of man’s fall.  The covenant is a work of God.

God declared that the work was finished.

Genesis 2:2

By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done.

John 19:28-30

After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, Im thirsty. A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished. Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

What was finished? The work of salvation for all of mankind was now completed.  The sacrifice had been given, and God had accepted it.  The blood had been shed, for there was no remission of sin without bloodshed.  What man cannot do for himself, God does it.  What man cannot complete in his own life, God does it for us.  Until a man gives over his life to Jesus Christ, there won’t be any progress or completion.

The work of salvation is a finished work.  Once one declares Christ as Lord and Savior of our life, He covers sin for all eternity.  It is a finished work.

Hebrews 10:12-18

But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool.  For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after he says:  This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, the Lord says, I will put my laws on their hearts

and write them on their minds, and I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

You are worth much more than what you think.  Note that you were bought with a price.

You are very special in that you are the work of God’s hands, and God gave His only begotten Son for the purpose of giving you the desire to be like Him and to live for Him.


Love is a Commitment

Today’s message text from Melvin Gaines:

The other day, my supervisor at work asked me to provide him with a text that he needed to preside over a wedding ceremony taking place this weekend. He originally asked me to select some Bible verses to reference within the ceremony, and he narrowed in on two of them.  One was Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, which notes that three strands of a cord are not easily broken, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7—the love is patient and kind verses.  From there, I put together a brief talk for him incorporating those verses.

It was likely not a coincidence that these two verse selections were chosen, for both of them have a very common thread in marriage—the importance of endurance.

Love is indeed important in marriage, but in order for a marriage to last, you must be ready to endure.

A believer in Jesus Christ has a foundation of love within the relationship, but the believer must also endure.

In both a marriage and as a believer, the ability to endure requires the participants to act in love with a commitment for success in the relationship.

Love is a commitment.

Note the various synonyms you can find in a dictionary for the word commitment: dedication, devotion, loyalty, fidelity and faithfulness.

There is a lot that can be said about not making a commitment to do something until you are ready to do it.  Many people make commitments to themselves that they can’t keep, let alone those that may be made with others.  When a couple, for example, says that they’re in love and want to get married, is there consideration given to what the commitment of marriage really means?

Love is not just the lovey-dovey stuff with hearts and smiley-faces.  Love is a commitment.

Our best example of a lasting commitment is in God’s covenant with His people, and especially the covenant that Jesus Christ has with His people.

Ezekiel 37:26-28 (HCSB)

26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. I will establish and multiply them and will set My sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28 When My sanctuary is among them forever, the nations will know that I, Yahweh, sanctify Israel.”

John 1:14

The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

 

2 Corinthians 6:16

And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said:

I will dwell among them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be My people.

 

These verses show that God has been pursuing His people throughout history for the purpose of having a relationship—a loving relationship.  A loving relationship requires commitment.

Love is a commitment.

In any relationship, it will stand or collapse based upon the level of commitment.  A strong union will be able to rejoice during the good times and endure during the bad times.  God must be the source of strength and encouragement in any relationship.

Here is one of the verses that was chosen for the wedding ceremony:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. 10 For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? 12 And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

 

In a marriage, two of the strands represent the husband and wife, but the third strand represents the presence of God in your life.  Three strands are not easy to break, but it requires a husband and wife to stand together, even in disagreements.

Marriage is a commitment to live faithfully and without holding grudges.  Some of us have been married long enough now where the honeymoon may be over, and the reality of life has kicked in.  Here’s some free relationship advice:

Men, ladies don’t like to be ignored when they speak to you.

Ladies, men don’t like to be nagged.

Men, ladies want to be honored and feel safe in your presence.

Ladies, men want to be respected and appreciated.

Here is where this commitment of love has to be at the forefront of your marriage, all marriages and even in your relationship with Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Note the words used in this passage to describe true love (not just lovey-dovey love)…it’s not envious, not boastful, not conceited, not acting improperly, not selfish, not provoking, not holding grudges.  Love is all about patience, kindness, truth, righteousness, unselfishness and endurance.

Marriage is a commitment for the long haul, and true love will get you through the long haul.

Love is a commitment.

Jesus Christ made a commitment to love us for the long haul.  He loves us and showed it through His sacrifice for us for all eternity (John 3:16-17).  All that He asks of us is a commitment to complete a relationship with Him by acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior.

Loving Jesus Christ is a commitment, and the benefit is for all eternity.

1 John 4:7-10

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

With this knowledge, is there something that you need to evaluate in your relationship with your husband?  Your wife?  Members of your family?  Or even with Jesus Christ?

In any relationship worth having and keeping…love is a commitment.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”

37 He said to him, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

 

Jesus Christ has made this commitment for you.  If you don’t have a commitment to Him, now’s your opportunity.

Love is a commitment.

 

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


Jesus’ Resurrection: How Does it Benefit Us?

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Today we are here to acknowledge that Jesus lives! He desires to draw each of us near and embrace us with His love!

He is alive! We do not believe in a myth. He lives, and He lives within us through the Holy Spirit. Paul declared that he could do nothing without Him. He is the One who enables us to live for Him.

Today is a reminder of Jesus’ resurrection. How does His resurrection benefit us? We need to understand that our atonement is based upon the grace and actions of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, there is no atonement for our sin. He died for your sin and my sin, and He arose. Many people have a problem with the fact that He is alive, and many question His presence today. We have to come to place to understand that Jesus Christ died for us to atone for our sin, and He rose again to prove that He is the One who saves.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8

3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

5 and that He appeared to Cephas,

then to the Twelve.

6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;

most of them are still alive,

but some have fallen asleep.

7 Then He appeared to James,

then to all the apostles.

8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born,

He also appeared to me.

 

We are to learn of the totality of Jesus’ life on earth; in fact, we are to be reminded of it, because life will take you in many different directions and will even cause you to forget where you are in the faith.

Some people will not agree that there was a resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. 15 In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.

 

If Jesus Christ was not raised, then our meeting and any preaching on the subject is useless. We would be bearing false witness. But thankfully, that is not the case.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

 

Jesus Christ indeed was raised from the dead. It is a demonstration of God’s power, and it is the same power that people can see in your own life–a changed life for Jesus Christ. You are the one who has heard the Word from this truth, and you live according to God’s promises because of what He has accomplished for you.

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

 

The resurrection declares that He is the Son of God.

Romans 1:1-4

1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostleand singled out for God’s good news— 2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures— 3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of Davidaccording to the flesh 4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.

 

Because of our resurrection, He is our mediator.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

5 For there is one God

and one mediator between God and humanity,

Christ Jesus, Himself human,

6 who gave Himself—a ransom for all,

a testimony at the proper time.

 

Hebrews 9:15

Therefore, He is the mediator of a new covenant,so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

 

Because of the resurrection, He is at the right hand of God.

Acts 2:32-33, 7:55-56

32 “God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. 33 Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear.

55 But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God’s glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

 

Because of the resurrection, He is able to intercede for us.

Romans 8:34

Who is the one who condemns?

Christ Jesus is the One who died,

but even more, has been raised;

He also is at the right hand of God

and intercedes for us.

 

Hebrews 7:25

Therefore, He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.

 

Because of the resurrection, He will judge us.

2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.

 

Because of the resurrection, He is able to heal us.

1 Peter 2:24

He Himself bore our sins

in His body on the tree,

so that, having died to sins,

we might live for righteousness;

you have been healed by His wounds.

 

Because of the resurrection, He is coming back.

John 14:3, 28

3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

28 You have heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

 

Acts 1:11

They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”

 

Because of the resurrection, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him.

Philippians 2:10-11

…10 so that at the name of Jesus

every knee will bow—

of those who are in heaven and on earth

and under the earth—

11 and every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Romans 14:11

For it is written:

 

As I live, says the Lord,

every knee will bow to Me,

and every tongue will give praise to God.

 

Because of the resurrection, we act in faith today believing that Jesus hears our prayers and is willing to touch us at our very points of need.


Spiritual Maturity

Today’s message summary from Melvin Gaines:

It is sensible for you to examine and evaluate your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Scripture indicates that there is a natural progression if you are growing in your relationship.

Hebrews 5:12-13

12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant.

1 Corinthians 3:2

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready.

Here are questions that you should honestly ask yourself…

  • Can you honestly say to yourself that you are making progress in your relationship with Jesus Christ?
  • If others were to observe your behavior, or even comment on it, would they see a progression in your relationship with Christ?

If you have not reflected on either of these questions, then how do you know where you are?  Believers will indeed experience a number of hindrances in getting anything meaningful out of bible studies, or being an effective part of a fellowship if you are having a prolonged personal struggle with who you are in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

As our church is moving forward, our ministry is taking shape in different areas, and as change occurs, you must prepare yourself for what your defining role is as a member of the body of Christ.  In determining your defining role, it is not enough to ask yourself if you are merely a participant.  Some believers may go their entire lives trying to determine what their role is, and even what their spiritual gifts are.  If you do not know what your role is and what your gifts are, then how can you possibly know who you are in your relationship with a church, with other members in the body of Christ, and as to how much you have progressed as a believer?

It is time to start asking ourselves the questions that maybe we have avoided until now.  Fear of the unknown will sometimes keep us in a paralysis of not looking at where we are and how we can improve ourselves.  Perhaps we are fearful of what others will say about us…who knows?  I do know that Satan would prefer that each of us never reaches our full potential as believers.  I also know that Satan is the greatest liar of all time (John 8:44).  Is it easier for us to believe Satan’s lies, or to trust in the Lord?

If we are to accurately assess where we are in our fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, we need to be able to measure our progress in the quality of our Christian life.  It is not a difficult process to measure where we are, as there are basic tenets that we must use in determining where we are in this area.  You may add some points within these basic doctrines, but I have examined three particular areas that should be at the forefront of any measurement of our assessment.

  1.   Your level of obedience to God through His Word
  2.   Growing with the knowledge of God through His Word
  3.   Peaking with understanding of God and His Word

Notice that all of these points refer very specifically to God’s Word in your life.  How do we know about God, and how did we learn about God in the first place?  We had to have some sort of exposure to God’s Word.  How did we come to know Jesus Christ as personal savior?  We learned about the Good News through exposure and reflection upon God’s Word.  How do we learn more about what God’s Word has to say to us?  By reading and studying God’s Word on a regular basis.  This is how God communicates with us…through His Word.  We reciprocate to God by communicating with Him in prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14

…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

How does this correlate with the quality of your Christian life, or as some would say, the abundant life?  The answer may seem overly simple to you, but think about this regarding point number 1…all that God wants from us is our obedience to His Word.  The only way that we can love God is to be obedient to His Word.

Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 5:10

but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.

Psalm 1:1-2

How happy is the man
who does not follow the advice of the wicked
or take the path of sinners
or join a group of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.

Psalm 25:10

All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth
to those who keep His covenant and decrees.

Psalm 112:1

Hallelujah!
Happy is the man who fears the Lord,
taking great delight in His commands.

If you are regularly practicing obedience to God’s Word, it stands to reason that God will respond to you with blessings as a result of your obedience.   The bottom line is that your obedience to His Word assures you that you are in fellowship with Him.  Your prayers are likely to be heard by him and answered by Him.  The residual effect of this obedience and the resulting ongoing fellowship with God is that God’s love for you, which has already been declared in his creation of you and His love for you in Jesus Christ in His plan of salvation for you will become more and more visible in your daily walk in faith.  You will, as a result of His love, love Him in return and have a greater desire to want to be obedient to Him.  It is a love relationship that can grow, as long as we do not inhibit it with sin or other forms of disobedience, beyond any sort of words or description that we can possibly come up with.

God’s desire for us is to be obedient to His Word.  That is where the process of beginning to measure your spiritual maturity.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines.


Audio – The Lord’s Table: The Body and The Blood

Today’s message on the significance of the Lord’s Table from Melvin Gaines (Body) and Pastor Gus Brown (Blood) in downloadable audio format.  You will need QuickTime or an MP3 player on your computer or music player to listen.

01_The_Lord_s_Table__The_Body_and_The_Blood_-_Part_1.mp3

02_The_Lord_s_Table__The_Body_and_The_Blood_-_Part_2.mp3

03_The_Lord_s_Table__The_Body_and_The_Blood_-_Part_3.mp3

04_The_Lord_s_Table__The_Body_and_The_Blood_-_Part_4_and_Conclusion.mp3


Sunday School Today: The Mosaic Covenant

When God made a covenant with Israel, Moses was the intermediary.  The covenant is often referred to as the Mosaic Law.  The points of this covenant, which can also be referred to as “blessings and curses” are as follows:

1.  Preamble/Historical Prologue (Exodus 19:1-4)

2.  Invitation (Exodus 19:5-6)

3.  Terms of the Covenant (Exodus 20-23)

4.  Blessings and Curses (Deuteronomy 27-28; Numbers 15:30-31)

5.  Ratification of the Covenant, with blood (Exodus 24)

6.  Sign of the Covenant—Sabbath (Exodus 31:13-17)

7.  Storage of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:24-26)

8.  The Covenant Meal (Exodus 24:9-11) (Lusk, 1994, pp. 54-56)

It is important to realize that all of God’s mighty acts of deliverance that resulted in the Israelites’ exodus from Egyptian slavery were all completed prior to this covenant.  Therefore, God delivered them out of slavery by His grace and not by their works of righteousness and uprightness.  In fact, He delivered them out of slavery because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 2:24; 6:8; Deuteronomy 9:5).

However, the Israelites had become deeply steeped in idolatry during their stay in Egypt.  They carried their idols with them when they came out of Egypt (Amos 5:25-26; Acts 7:42-43).  They openly demonstrated their idolatry when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the Law (Exodus 32:1-6).  They did this even after seeing how God overthrew Egypt with the ten plagues and parted the Red Sea so they could pass on dry ground.  They did this even though they saw God overthrow Pharaoh and his army by causing the Red Sea to come down upon them.  Except for their lineage to the Patriarchs, there was nothing about them that would make them worthy of God’s favor.  Therefore, they were saved by God’s grace and mercy and because He is a covenant-keeping God who remembered His promises to the Patriarchs.  Only after these dramatic acts of deliverance did God give them the Mosaic Law so that they would understand how they should live before the King of the Universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Thus, God Himself restored the covenant He made with the Patriarchs when He delivered their offspring from bondage and gave their offspring the land of Israel.

Some Gentiles think they are under the Mosaic Law in this present time.  However, Paul best describes the place of Gentiles prior to salvation by Christ as follows:

11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  Ephesians 2:11-12 (NASB)

But thanks be to God, Paul continues in Ephesians 2:13-22 to show that the only hope for us is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

From God’s Covenants and Restorations by Victor Vadney, Desert Willow Publishing.  This material is protected by copyright.