Tag Archives: fullness

Why Was Jesus in Human Form? (Number 3 of a Series)

A message summary of December 24, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

 

Jesus came in human form in His timing, and not ours.

Genesis 3:15

I will put hostility between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring.

He will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.

 

Man could not redeem himself…we needed a Redeemer.

God’s purpose is to restore His creation to Himself.  He is out to restore the relationship with mankind as He originally had with Adam.

Man was given the opportunity to redeem himself.  The great powers of the earth could not meet God’s standards.

It is what Scripture says:

Romans 3:10-12

as it is written:

There is no one righteous, not even one.

There is no one who understands;

there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away;

all alike have become worthless.

There is no one who does what is good,

not even one.

 

While man is always in a rush, God is never in a hurry.

 

  1. When the time had fully come, God acted.

Galatians 4:4-7

When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

God has always worked in His time.  When He is ready to act and not at the time which we desire Him to perform.

The fullness of time is when He is ready to act.

Ephesians 1:9-10

He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right timeto bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.

 

God works within your life with one thing at a time.  He is doing a magnificent work—one layer at a time.

He is never out of order.  Everything is always in His order and according to His purpose.

There is an appointed season and a proper time when and where He does His work.

Titus 1:3

In his own time he has revealed his word in the preaching with which I was entrusted by the command of God our Savior.

 

1 Timothy 2:5-6

For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.

 

Acts 7:23-25

When he was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man by striking down the Egyptian. He assumed his people would understand that God would give them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.

 

Moses made an assumption here that the people would see that he was there as God’s deliverer.  He needed to see God for Himself to understand how it was to be accomplished.

Acts 7:30-34

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he was approaching to look at it, the voice of the Lord came: I am the God of your ancestorsthe God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look.

The Lord said to him: Take off the sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. And now, come, I will send you to Egypt.

It was all to be accomplished in God’s time and in His timing.  God is the One who sends people along and to be His witness.  It’s one thing to go out before others (Matthew 28:19-20), but it is another to be sent before others.

 

  1. In the fullness of time He sent His Son.
  • It shows the pre-existence of Jesus.
  • It reveals the intimacy and confidence the sender has in the one being sent (He was sinless).

John 17:18

As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Jesus describes how He was following the example of His father.  He sent His disciples into the world.

The purpose of His coming:

Romans 8:3-4

What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the laws requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

He came to take the curse from us and represent the curse for us.

Galatians 3:13

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.

He tasted death for us.

Hebrews 2:9

But we do see Jesusmade lower than the angels for a short time so that by Gods grace he might taste death for everyonecrowned with glory and honor because he suffered death.

He came to destroy the one who held death.

Hebrews 2:14-17

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of deaththat is, the deviland free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it is clear that he does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abrahams offspring. Therefore, he had to be like his brothers and sisters in every way, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.

He is our High Priest.

 

  1. He was born of a woman.

Romans 1:1-4

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of Godwhich he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scripturesconcerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead.

 

Luke 3:31-32

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,

In Luke you see the lineage of Mary.  In Matthew, you see Joseph’s lineage.  Both are within the line of David.

Mary’s role is very important.  Blessed is she would has believed.  To be highly favored is to be given a special honor.  It is what God had decided for her life.

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgins name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you. But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 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 name him 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.

Mary asked the angel, How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations 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. And consider your relative Elizabetheven she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.

I am the Lords servant, said Mary. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel left her.

 

Mary knew that Elizabeth, a woman who was barren, was having a child well beyond her child bearing years.

Luke 1:39-45

In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariahs house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Marys greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!

God was speaking to Mary and Elizabeth to just believe in Him.

You likely will not understand everything that is happening (Mary didn’t have complete understanding), but Jesus will make it all known to you in his timing.

And you will praise Him for His goodness.

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said:

 My soul praises the greatness of the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

because he has looked with favor

on the humble condition of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations

will call me blessed,

because the Mighty One

has done great things for me,

and his name is holy.

His mercy is from generation to generation

on those who fear him.

He has done a mighty deed with his arm;

he has scattered the proud

because of the thoughts of their hearts;

he has toppled the mighty from their thrones

and exalted the lowly.

He has satisfied the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering his mercy

to Abraham and his descendants forever,

just as he spoke to our ancestors.

 

When you acknowledge Jesus Christ, you will walk by faith knowing that He will accomplish what He sets out to do.

 

  1. He is to be born under the law.

Luke 2:21-24

When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesusthe name given by the angel before he was conceived. And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).

 

His parents were carrying out the law.  They were raising their child according to the law, and it is relevant today in that we are to worship and serve the Lord according to your household because it is the proper thing to do.

 

Luke 2:25-35

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israels consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lords Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,

Now, Master,

you can dismiss your servant in peace,

as you promised.

For my eyes have seen your salvation.

You have prepared it

in the presence of all peoples

a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and glory to your people Israel. 

His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposedand a sword will pierce your own soulthat the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

 

Jesus came to fulfill the law.

Matthew 5:17

Dont think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

 

He came to be our Guardian–the Shepherd who watches over our souls.

Galatians 3:23-29

Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus.

For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams seed, heirs according to the promise.

 

He came to do what the law could not do.

Romans 8:1-4

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the laws requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.

John 3:16-17

For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 

As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember who Jesus Christ is—the perfect gift for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What John Sees in Heaven – War Ensues (Revelation Chapter 12) – Part 2

Today’s message summary of July 19, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Most people don’t realize that we are in spiritual warfare because they are just focused on the present–just trying to survive. We should pause to reflect upon this, and even ask ourselves what is the reason behind this approach.

The enemies of Christ are the enemies of the people of God. Satan has blinded the world of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though the message is visible, they still do not see it.

When it comes to how man sees things, there will either be the influence of the Holy Spirit or that of a demonic influence.

The first victim to fail in this war was Adam. He was influenced by Satan. Eve was also influenced by Satan. The question you need to ask yourself is this: Who is influencing you?

The word “victim” refers to someone killed, destroyed, injured or otherwise harmed by, or suffering from some act, condition, or circumstance of war. (Websters Dictionary)

Luke 22:31

“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.

 

2 Timothy 3:12-13

In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.

 

First, don’t assume that everyone wants to live a godly life. People want to go to heaven and claim to know God, but they don’t really want to live it out. God still has standards of living that must be met in order to receive eternal life. Living a godly life requires a certain amount of training, and in that lifestyle there will be persecution.

Satan doesn’t know everything, including the fullness of time. He reacts to what God has presented about Jesus and has been attempting to thwart it over time.

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.

 

The birth of Christ…

Galatians 4:4

When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.

 

Jesus’ death on the cross brought judgment upon Satan.

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

When this corruptible is clothed

with incorruptibility,

and this mortal is clothed

with immortality,

then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory,

Death, where is your victory?

Death, where is your sting?

Now the sting of death is sin,

and the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lords work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

Hebrews 2:14

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death–that is, the Devil–and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.

 

1 John 3:8

The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.

 

God will never tempt one to sin. The Devil is the one who makes it possible for you to commit sin.

Satan is continually working on you and I to destroy and ruin your testimony for Jesus Christ.

Romans 16:20

The God of peace will son crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

 

The ascension of Christ is the proof of Satan’s failure.

Acts 1:9-11

After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 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.”

 

Not only did Jesus defeat death, but He proclaims that He is coming back. From this, Satan knows that his time is short. He does not know how long, for no one knows the day or hour of Satan’s return.

In Revelation 12, we pick up at verses 4 and 5. John covers the life of Jesus:

Revelation 12:4-5

His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child. But she gave birth to a Son–a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter–and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

 

Satan was on the watch for the One who would be born in Israel. Satan was in charge of ruling all of the nations, but the Word declares that Christ would rule all of them. Satan has to watch and see what God is doing and then he would react in order to defeat or destroy, or hinder the work of God–but he can’t stop it.

Daniel 10:12-13

“Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.

  1. Abel was killed because he pleased God
  2. In the Great Flood, all unbelievers perished
  3. Nimrod, after the Flood, started the first great rebellion against God (Genesis 10:8-10)
  4. Abraham’s call by God but causes him to mistrust God, resulting in Ishmael (Genesis 16)
  5. The King wants all of the male children to be killed, Moses still emerged (Exodus 1:15-16)
  6. In the book of Esther, Haman wanted to kill all of the Jews (Esther 3:8-9)
  7. Herod made the decree to kill all Jewish children up to two years of age (Matthew 2:16)
  8. Satan tried to get the people to put Jesus to death, but it was not his appointed time to die (Luke 4:28-30)
  9. Satan could not keep Jesus in the tomb; guards were no match for Jesus (Matthew 27:62-66)

In Revelation 12:6, we see that God protects Israel for 3 1/2 years. Israel is fleeing from the Antichrist. All of this is taking place between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ.

Revelation 12:6-9

The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out–the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.

 

John tells us about the war in heaven (Revelation 12:7).

The dragon (Satan) was hurled down to earth.

Isaiah 14:12-15 reflected Satan’s desire to rule all nations:

Isaiah 14:12-15

Shining morning star,

how you have fallen from the heavens!

You destroyer of nations,

you have been cut down to the ground.

You said to yourself:

I will ascend to the heavens;

I will set up my throne

above the stars of God.

I will sit on the mount of the gods assembly,

in the remotest parts of the North.

I will ascend above the highest clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High.

But you will be brought down to Sheol

into the deepest regions of the Pit.

 

He continues his war on earth against God. Satan attacks the church in an effort to hurt God.

Ephesians 5:23-25

…for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.

 

Christ loves the church (the saints) and desires to protect them from Satan, who desires to make war against God’s people.

Revelation 12:17

So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring–those who keep God’s commands and have the testimony about Jesus.


Confidence in The Lord

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Do you put into practice what you read in God’s Word? Whenever you are reading your devotions, ask God to show you how to live out what you read for the day. If you ask Him, He will indeed show you how to do it.

Matthew 7:24-28 (HCSB)
The Two Foundations

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

28 When Jesus had finished this sermon, the crowds were astonished at His teaching,

We’re continuing on with this study on confidence in The Lord. How many of you have confidence in Him? Many of us believe He exists, but confidence in Him is completely different. To have confidence in Him is to have faith in Him and trust Him that He is able to provide what we need. We lack confidence in Him, in contrast, when we only trust in our abilities to provide for ourselves.

“If being a Christian is not reflected with a life of increasing righteousness, holiness, faithfulness, love, or justice, what remains to differentiate a follower of Christ from other people?” – Skye Jethani

Instead of using symbols that reflect we are Christians, are we living in such a way that is truly different from the world? Is there a substance to your life from the inside out? What God wants to see from us is a great confidence in Him…because you believe and trust in The Lord.

Confidence gives us the ability to help each of us to prosper and distinguish righteousness each day. It is more than just confidence in eternal life…it is a way of life.

If you lack confidence, you will not have the patience or desire to wait on Him. If we continually run ahead of Him or act before He acts, you will not have contentment in your life. Your confidence is only in yourself and not in God.

God wants us to practice what James says:

James 4:13
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

If it is the Lord’s will for you to live a certain way, do you stop to consider your decisions in accordance with Him? If it is the Lord’s will, you will have the confidence to perform on His behalf.

The Lord says “be anxious for nothing” (Luke 12:29) and to wait upon Him. We are to consider God in everything we do.

Be aware that confidence in God is not having confidence in yourself. Confidence in God requires surrendering to Him and involving Him in everything, which requires asking Him and waiting for answers from Him. The more that God answers you when you yield to Him, the greater your confidence in Him and His ability to minister to you. It’s not just about how He blesses you. It is in how you live your life abundantly through Him. He wants you to build your relationship with Him and be confident in Him. God is our Heavenly Father who we can speak to anytime and anywhere.

Unfortunately, we have witnessed many who may publicly declare that they know The Lord but yet meet extremely difficulty because there is a lack of confidence in The Lord and the necessary faith in Him to be able to live successfully in Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:6
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

Luke 1:37
For nothing will be impossible with God.

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh.

Confidence in The Lord is seen in the evidence of Christ in your life. When you surrender to Him, He will amaze you in what you will see Him do in your life. It is to live in such a way, as you build your relationship with Him, that you will never want to live outside of His will and purpose for you. He will give you His best counsel.

Philippians 1:6
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

To live in confidence is to overcome the desires of the flesh, which will take credit for what only God can do. The flesh will often find ways to sabotage what God does for us. Your confidence in Christ is always at war with the flesh.

In our confidence, He will have His way in your life, and it’s for our best interests. He is going to accomplish what He wants for you, even if we need to learn lessons along the way.

Philippians 2:13
For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

Our confidence is not in the flesh. Always remain confident in Jesus Christ in everything that you do. We do not want to live as the world does (on earthly things) and become an enemy of the cross of Christ. Our minds are to dwell on heavenly things. Everything here on earth is temporary and won’t last.

Philippians 3:1-3
3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a protection for you.

2 Watch out for “dogs,” watch out for evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh.

Philippians 3:18-19, 21
18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,

21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.

Jesus is in control of everything. You need to acknowledge that He is in control of your finances, your employment and your family…everything that you do. When you acknowledge these things, pray to God that you remain in accord with Him throughout your life. Speak to Him all day long and remain confident in His ability to give you everything that you need.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:31
What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?

All of this is conditional upon your love and obedience to God through Jesus Christ. Your confidence in Jesus Christ will indeed change your life. He will teach you how to wait patiently upon Him and see how He will go beyond even your own expectations.

Psalm 73:26, 28
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.

28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.


Sin is Overcome By God’s Grace

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

We’ve been looking at the effects of sin on one’s life and its power of destruction, but now we will explore the role of grace.

If God does not hold you together, you wouldn’t be alive today. The more that we can understand what God has done for us, the easier it is for us to live for Him. We are aware of what it is to live under the grace of God.

Sin and grace are in opposition to one another. They are not to be taken as being hand in hand. Sin has one objective–to destroy. Sin brings you low and ruins you and everything around you. Grace, in contrast, is to raise you up, build you up, and restore you.

What is the most important thing that Christianity brings to the world that no other religion is able to contribute? Is it Jesus Christ? Is it the resurrection? C.S. Lewis provided insight that it is God’s grace that matters most. Without God’s grace, there would not be Jesus Christ. Without grace, there would be no resurrection. Without grace, there would not be a plan of salvation. All of these are the effects of God’s grace. Grace would have to be extended and afforded to us before Christ would do His work. Grace is God choosing to love you for who you are.

Ask yourself this question–Do you know what is good for you?

We may think we do, but we really don’t. God knows what is good for us, but often we don’t take His advice. The Word of God is His way to help us to be good. Disobedience is man’s way of saying that he knows what is best for himself and that God doesn’t know.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?

Man doesn’t really know what is good, but God does know, and He has a plan for us.

Psalm 144:3
Lord, what is man, that You care for him,
the son of man, that You think of him?

That is a profound question that was asked within the heavenly realm by angels. The ultimate answer is that God loves us, and is thinking of us and working and planning for us. All of God’s creation was not for God’s use…it’s for us.

Romans 5:20-21
The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

How does God reveal His care for us? Through His grace to us.

John 1:17
…for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

This is not to say that grace did not exist before the appearance of Christ on earth. In the Old Testament, we can find areas where God extended His grace. In the New Testament, we see the fullness of God’s grace in the person of Jesus Christ. What is important to note is that grace has measurements in the same way that you can measure quarts of water or inches on a ruler.

Genesis 39:21
But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

Exodus 3:21
And I will give these people such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that when you go, you will not go empty-handed.

The root word of grace (char) indicates something that produces “well-being.” The air that you breathe, for example, is the grace of God. Charis means “joy.” While sin robs your comfort and peace, grace gives peace to you. Chara means well-being presented to mankind. It is to experience or express well-being, and it applies even in the midst of heartache and difficulty. Charisma–grace from God to mankind.

God rains down His grace on the just and the unjust.

Matthew 5:45
…so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

It is the Christian who gains access into His grace.

Romans 5:2
We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

This allows for more grace as needed for daily living.

James 4:6
But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says:

God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.

God gives us more grace as we are in need of it. Whatever the task is that He would have us to accomplish, He provides the necessary grace to complete it–in spite of our circumstances.

Do believers truly receive God’s grace?
We are the ones that decide if we will continue in God’s grace.

Acts 13:43
After the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and persuading them to continue in the grace of God.

The work of the Holy Spirit in building us up is the result of the grace of God extended to us in its fullness through Jesus Christ. Knowing all of this, it is still our choice to walk in the will and way of God and to live a Christlike existence. We are to walk in the favor of God according to His grace. God’s blessings are a reflection of His favor for you.

The work is by the grace of God, not of the flesh or the will of man.

Acts 14:26
From there they (the disciples) sailed back to Antioch where they had been entrusted to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.

God does more than just call us to serve Him. He enables each of us, just as he enabled the disciples, with His favor, to complete His work. The work is done through the kindness and ability of God, and not our flesh.

It’s only by the grace of God that you do what you do. While sin’s purpose is misery and destruction, God’s grace overcomes sin and gives us the ability to rejoice and be glad in His presence.
We have the privilege of access of the fullness of His grace for us.


Remembering What Christ Did For Us

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

As we are approaching the Christmas season, the presence of Christ Himself is less and less apparent. It’s no longer about “Merry Christmas” but more about “Happy Holidays.” This is, in fact, the very time that we should be paying attention to who He is. We (believers) are the people that need to say the words “Merry Christmas” to others rather than risk offending someone for stating the name of Christ.

Christmas is the time to reflect what God did for us. It’s a time to seek God’s Word and see what it says.

We often question the evidence of God’s presence in the world, but we are reminded that God is doing His work in our lives not according to our time, but according to His time. We need to wait upon The Lord and be patient and courageous. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).

2 Peter 3:8-9
8 Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

It takes God’s own time to grow and mature us. He is a patient and loving God because He cares about each and every one of us. Time is not an issue with God. He provides guidance for us that He is going to act at the appropriate time. Note this in Galatians 4:4:

Galatians 4:4
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

God acted in the fullness of time (according to His schedule), He sent His Son. The same thing will take place in future…Jesus will return in the fullness of time. When a fair trial has been given to all other schemes of salvation by mankind, God would send forth His Son.

The promise of Jesus’ first coming was noted in Genesis 3:15:

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.

Then God provides a little more information about this seed…

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

After the great flood, man came up with their own ways to get to heaven.

Genesis 31:19
19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols.

Many historians point to this time period as the origin of Hinduism…the emergence of many different Gods. It’s origin goes back 4,000 years.

During the time of Daniel, Buddhism is growing through two branches:

Hinayana – Teaching primarily rationality
Mahayana – Exalts the individual’s salvation by faith and good works.

Through these periods in history, man gained knowledge and was developing civilizations. This additional knowledge also led people to seek their own ways rather than seek God;
1300 BC – Pharoahs
1195 BC – Saul becomes king
1155 BC – David becomes king
1115 BC – Solomon becomes king

At about the time of Solomon, China and Buddhism begins to emerge. All of these things and even more over time were taking place in history, but Jesus was not presented yet. It was only on the appointed time that God had chosen for Jesus’ emergence.

Galatians 4:1-2
1 Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father.

Basic principles of the world were taught to the people such as reading, writing, and many inventions were taking place. At the same time, all of the different religions and philosophies (or ways to focus away from God) were also taking place (and they continue to exist today):

Galatians 4:3
In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world.

God sent His Son. He is coming from another place…not only to save us, but to teach us with knowledge AND truth.

John 1:17
…for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

1. God wants to bless us and provides grace (because He favors us)
2. He wants to deliver us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13-17)
3. He is revealing the living God to us…God’s manifestation in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)
4. He would be our faithful High Priest (Hebrews 7:25)
5. He came to destroy the work of the Devil (1 John 3:8)

Galatians 4:4-7
4 When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”

Hebrews 2:14-18
14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil— 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that He does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring. 17 Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.

God promised to bring forth Jesus from a woman. A woman is the medium for how all of us were presented in birth. He became like us, born of a woman, to bring us to Himself. He relates to us in every way of the flesh yet He was without sin. He took on the role of a High Priest and gave of Himself as the sacrifice by shedding His blood for us.

Galatians 3:13-17
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed. 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.

15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. 17 And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God and cancel the promise.

The law constantly revealed to us as a people our sinfulness (as we are reminded each day). Christ sacrificed Himself for our sake to become the law because of his righteousness over the flesh. Without Him, we could never be righteous under the law.

Romans 8:3-11
3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live[d] according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.