Jump to content
Kingdom of Adventistan
Sign in to follow this  
phkrause

Days of Praise

Recommended Posts

phkrause

The Holy Spirit's Ministry: God's Fail-Safe Plan--Glorification
“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

God “glorifies” those whom He has justified. The Greek term is doxazo, with the core meaning “to make glorious, adorn with luster, clothe with splendor.” It is the same word the Lord Jesus uses of what the heavenly Father will do for His beloved Son. “It is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God” (John 8:54). It is also the same word the heavenly Father speaks about Himself. Jesus prayed: “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” (John 12:28).

Paul addressed the awful sentence that would be executed on those who reject the substitutionary work our Lord accomplished on Calvary. All who reject it are doomed “because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).

As for us, we are to share in the glory that our Lord will receive, so that “God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). When all the redeemed stand before the throne in heaven, we will all sing the Song of Moses: “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy” (Revelation 15:4). HMM III

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you find some value to this community, please help out with a few dollars per month.

phkrause

January 16, 2020
The Holy Spirit's Ministry: God Himself Is For Us
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

This stunning statement is founded on the unalterable attributes of the triune God (Romans 8:31-35). God Himself secures our salvation; who then can possibly undo His work?

  • “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
  • “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalm 56:11).

God Himself is the giver and the protector of our salvation.

  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
  • “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
  • “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

What can possibly undo the work of the omnipotent and omniscient triune Godhead and Creator of all things? It is utter foolishness to yield our eternity to the Savior and then conclude that our feeble efforts could somehow thwart a work of eternity. HMM III

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  January 17, 2020
The Holy Spirit's Ministry: Absolute Assurance
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)

This is an amazing proof of God’s limitless love for us. God Himself did not hesitate to deliver His own Son as payment for us. God gave the dearest, the most precious, the most excellent Gift He could possibly give—His one and only Son—for you and me!

God will, therefore, “freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32). The Word of God contains much Scripture written on these “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). Not only has the omniscient Creator acted in love toward us, but He did so knowing “our frame; he remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).

Surely you will remember the gentle record that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s love was given unilaterally toward us. We must be drawn to our Lord’s love by the heavenly Father Himself (John 6:44).

Since the entire process is God’s process from beginning to end, “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). HMM III

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
January 18, 2020
A Created People
“This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.” (Psalm 102:18)

Only God can create, and whenever this verb (Hebrew bara) is used in the Bible, the subject of the verb, either explicitly or implicitly, is God! However, certain “progressive creationists” contend that “creation” does not have to be instantaneous but can be a protracted process—some form of evolution. The verse above is used as a proof text for this position, the idea being that the Jewish “people” are being gradually created (“molded”) into a nation that will eventually bring praise to God.

This type of scriptural distortion illustrates the extremes to which theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists will go in order to force long evolutionary ages into Scripture. In the context, the psalmist is not speaking of a long process but a future event. He is speaking of a future time to “have mercy upon Zion,” when “the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come” (v. 13). At that future time, “the LORD . . . shall appear in his glory” (v. 16). Then will come the glorious day “when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD” (v. 22).

It is only then that “the people shall be created” who “shall praise the LORD.” When a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as his Creator and Savior, he does indeed become “a new [creation]” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and the miracle of regeneration is always recognized in Scripture as an instantaneous event accomplished by the Creator in the mind and heart of the believer at the time of conversion. As for the Jews who are alive when the Lord returns, “in that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David” (Zechariah 13:1). Multitudes will believe and become, at that time, “new creature in Christ Jesus.” HMM
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  January 19, 2020
Thoughts of the Heart
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)

These two verses, describing the incurable wickedness of the antediluvian world that finally brought on the global Flood, contain the first two of over a thousand occurrences of the word “heart” in the Bible. Note the contrast: man’s heart was evil; God’s heart was grieved.

Both the Hebrew and Greek languages treated the heart as the center of a person’s being, the seat of all feelings and thoughts, and we do the same in English. The writers knew that the heart was a physical organ, with its function of circulating the blood as basic to physical life. Leviticus 17:11, among other Scriptures, notes that “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” but only rarely was the word used thus in Scripture. Nearly always the word is used symbolically in reference to the deep essence of a person’s being. It is also used occasionally to refer to the innermost part of physical objects (e.g., “the heart of the earth,” as in Matthew 12:40).

In this first occurrence, it refers to the “thoughts” of the heart. Somehow, before one thinks with his mind, he thinks with his heart, and these deep, unspoken thoughts will determine the way he reasons with his brain. Jesus confirmed this in Mark 7:21: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts.”

How important it is, then, to maintain a heart that is pure. In fact, in sharp contrast to the first occurrence of “heart” in the Old Testament referring to man’s evil thoughts, the first occurrence in the New Testament is in the gracious promise of Christ: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 20, 2020
God's Work of Providence
“Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.” (Psalm 65:9)

The 65th Psalm speaks especially of God’s great work of “providence” as supplementing His primeval work of creation. The latter was completed in the six days of the creation week (Genesis 2:1-3). The work of providence, however, still goes on, perpetually reminding us of God’s care for His creatures. “He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).

God’s providential concern, however, extends not only to men and women. “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle” (Psalm 104:14). “So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. . . . These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season” (vv. 25, 27). “Behold the fowls of the air: . . . your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Matthew 6:26).

Note that He is not their heavenly Father, He is your heavenly Father—yet He feeds them! He is merely their maker and provider; yet a single sparrow “shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29).

He even provides for the inanimate creation, “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). The omnipotent God of creation is thus the ever-sustaining and ever-caring God of providence.

Still, some choose not to believe, even though “that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen . . . so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  January 21, 2020
Joy Is Better than Fun
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)

People today seem always to be looking for fun or entertainment. “Fun” is never mentioned in the Bible, so it is evidently not considered to be a very significant part of the Christian life. The word “entertain” is used to speak of hospitality, and such activities as “play” and “reveling” only receive condemnation. (Playing is appropriate for children and animals, of course.)

Christians, however, have something far better than worldly fun—they have heavenly joy! This is the unique privilege of the redeemed, and there are many channels through which this joy can be experienced.

First of all, Christian joy comes through the Word. As even Jeremiah (“the weeping prophet!”) could say: “Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart,” as in our text. Then we rejoice in God’s great salvation: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10).

There is great joy also in the privilege of prayer and having our prayers answered: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Christian service and witnessing are a source of tremendous joy when their fruits are finally seen. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).

And there is much, much more! “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). After all, we know personally the very Creator of all that is good, “in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 22, 2020
We, Being Many
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5)

All too frequently in today’s Christian circles, we place certain individuals and certain gifts on a pedestal, and all too often the resulting pride is devastating. Pride may be the favorite tool of Satan. Pride was the reason Satan rebelled and lost his exalted position (Isaiah 14:13-14). He appealed to Eve’s pride in the garden (Genesis 3:6), similarly tempted Christ in the wilderness (Luke 4:6), and uses it on us today. Be warned! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6😞 “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Paul, through the Holy Spirit, chose to introduce his teaching on the use of spiritual gifts and unity of the entire body with a warning against pride, admonishing “every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). His discussion on the many-membered body that follows leaves no room for pride. Nor does the parallel passage in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

The apostle points out that each Christian forms an equally essential part of the whole. Since we are all equal in God’s eyes, and all mutually dependent upon one another, what room is there for pride? Likewise, Paul points out that each Christian possesses an equally vital connection with Christ. Who are we to tell Christ a part of His body is less valuable than the rest? He is concerned for each one equally. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 23, 2020
The Communion of the Saints
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

The words “fellowship” and “communion” in the King James Version are both translations of the same word (koinonia) in the Greek New Testament. The fellowship of which the New Testament speaks is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian life. In the early days, “they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. . . . And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:42, 46).

It wasn’t long before heresies, schisms, and non-Christian practices began to fragment the churches; nevertheless, fellowship is still a vital biblical doctrine toward which all Christians should strive.

Today, with our multiplicity of sects and denominations, the concept of the communion of the saints seems almost an anomaly. Yet there is still a very real and blessed fellowship among Bible-believing Christians of all denominations, and this is one of the great blessings of the Christian life.

True fellowship, of course, must be based on truth in doctrine and practice. As our text indicates, real spiritual fellowship with fellow Christians must be based, first of all, on fellowship with the Father and the Son. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). Christian fellowship is not, as many seem to think, built on food and fun, but on truth and light. HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 24, 2020
Paul's Growth
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)

Many times today we look at Paul and wish to be greatly used of God as he was. But Scripture teaches us that use of Paul as a role model requires a proper view of Paul—his humility and his submission to Christ.

Paul didn’t start out as a humble servant. In fact, before his conversion, he was quite proud of his pedigree (Philippians 3:4-6). He was the overseer at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58). He was fanatical, the haughty persecutor of the early church (8:3). In grace, he was informed of his error by “Jesus whom thou persecutest” (9:5), and soon Paul recognized the worthlessness of his background and human achievement, and counted all these things “but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

Once his view of Christ was proper, Paul’s view of himself began to decrease. In AD 56 or so, Paul, who had been set apart for a ministry to the Gentiles “from my mother’s womb” (Galatians 1:15), called himself “the least of the apostles, that am not meet [fit] to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).

While in prison several years later, Paul wrote to the Gentile churches he had founded, marveling that this ministry was given “unto me, who am less than the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8). Shortly before he was beheaded in prison for his faith, he testified “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

As Paul grew older, his evaluation of his own worth decreased. As one draws closer and closer to the light, he is able to see more clearly his own unworthiness. JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  January 25, 2020
The Indwelling Christ
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

The fact that Jesus Christ is actually in each believer is both a great mystery and rich in glory. In fact, it is our very hope and assurance of glory in the age to come.

How Christ may be both seated at “the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3) and yet living in us is surely a mystery, yet it is fully true. He Himself told His disciples: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. . . . Abide in me, and I in you. . . . He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 14:23; 15:4-5).

The apostle Paul also confirmed this great truth: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). One of his prayers for the Ephesians was “that Christ [might] dwell in [their] hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17).

The mystery as to how this can be is resolved in yet another mystery—that of the triunity of the Godhead. Christ, the Second Person, is present in His people through the Holy Spirit, the Third Person. Christ said: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter. . . . Even the Spirit of truth; . . . for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).

In fact, as our text says, His indwelling presence is our very hope of glory, for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).

Thus, where we go, He goes; whatever we say, He hears; even what we think, He knows. Christ, by the Holy Spirit, is our ever-present comforter and guide and counselor. This is, indeed, a glorious mystery! HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 26, 2020
What Is His Name?
“They shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:13-14)

Moses had been specially trained by God for the task ahead. He had been raised in Pharaoh’s household and had no doubt learned the wisdom of Egypt. Moses was well acquainted with authority, both exercising it and submitting to it. It comes somewhat as a surprise, then, that when told by God that he would be the one to lead his people out of bondage, he both objected to assuming such a leadership role and even questioned God’s authority over the situation.

But when he first realized that he couldn’t talk God out of using him, Moses expressed doubt as to God’s ability to bring this about. He asked God for more proof of His authority over mankind, evidently feeling that merely being “the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (3:6) was insufficient authority. He couched his question in a roundabout way, claiming that the unbelief of the people of Israel was such that “they” would want to know, but this was not the case at all. When Moses first explained God’s plan to the “elders of the children of Israel” (4:29), “they bowed their heads and worshipped” (4:31).

God graciously answered Moses with the wonder-filled declaration “I AM THAT I AM.” He is the self-existent One. He is, simply because He is. No one made Him. He made all else that is, including Moses and the Egyptians. This assurance empowered Moses for 40 years and should be enough to empower us. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:5-6). JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 27, 2020
Haste Makes Waste
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isaiah 28:16)

This is one of the great Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, promising a Savior who would be the sure foundation of the eternal temple of God; yet it was 700 years before the promise was fulfilled. God did not “make haste,” but His promise, nevertheless, was sure. No doubt many believing Jews wondered why it was taking so long, but in the “fulness of the time” (Galatians 4:4), Christ came.

It is so easy to rush ahead of God instead of waiting for His leading. With good intentions and admirable zeal, Christians plan great programs, establish new organizations, promote legislation, and become involved in a thousand-and-one good activities, all in the name of Christ and His kingdom. Such activism is urgent, they believe, because the time is short. Nuclear war is coming; maybe even Christ is coming; and we must hurry.

But the Scripture says: “Therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18).

We must not fail to follow when He really leads through His Word, but all too often undue haste results in confusion and collapse. When our text is quoted by Peter (1 Peter 2:6), the phrase “make haste” is rendered by “be confounded,” or “be ashamed.” It is not honoring to God for Christian projects and activities to “be confounded,” so Christian believers must be careful not to “make haste.” “Wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  January 28, 2020
The New Birth
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)

The term “born again” has come into wide use—too wide and popular, in fact, for many who use it have little comprehension of its meaning. First of all, there can be no real Christian who is not a “born-again Christian.” Jesus said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . Ye must be born again” (John 3:3, 7).

The Creator of the new birth is the Creator of the universe, as the text declares. He begat us as a kind of first fruits of His creatures. The new birth is not a new leaf, or a new morality, but a new creation! “Except a man be born of . . . the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

The miracle is accomplished through faith in Christ, believing the record of His saving work, as revealed by the Scriptures. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).

Those who are truly born again will inevitably exhibit the characteristics of a spiritual birth, just as those who are born physically exhibit signs of physical life. As one characteristic of the new birth, “whosoever is born of God doth not commit [i.e., ‘practice’] sin” (1 John 3:9). Another sign is that of true Christian love, for “every one that loveth is born of God” (John 4:7). Furthermore, “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

The new birth is not a religious cliché but a miracle generating everlasting life. “According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 29, 2020
The Names of God
“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” (Genesis 7:16)

Many stirring books have been written on the general subject of the names of God. Most of the names make use of one or two of the three primary names. The first is Elohim, meaning “mighty one.” It is a uni-plural name—plural in form but singular in meaning and verb usage, suggesting the uni-plural nature of the triune Godhead, appearing in most English translations as “God.” It most often is used when worldwide events or attributes are discussed, including creation, judgment, sovereignty, transcendence, and salvation. The second is Jehovah, meaning “the self-existent one,” which appears as “LORD” in English translations. It stresses God’s holiness, nearness, concern for man (especially Israel), hatred of sin, love of sinners, and His revelatory nature and communication. The third is Adonai, a more general term meaning master and used of both men and God. It appears as “Lord” in English Bibles.

For example, the name Elohim, the transcendent, uni-plural Creator God, is appropriately used exclusively in Genesis 1:1–2:4, the account of creation from God’s perspective. Throughout the rest of Genesis 2, the account of creation from man’s perspective, the combination name Jehovah-Elohim is used. Man was at this point without sin, in full accord with his Creator, and experiencing the fullness of His love and communication. The curse, as related in chapter 3, changed things forever, and in chapter 4, Adam and his offspring, painfully aware that their sin has broken God-established relationships, relate better to Jehovah, the Savior. In our text for the day, we see Noah obeying the orders of Elohim, the sovereign judge, to enter the Ark, but Jehovah, the loving Savior, making them secure. JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

January 30, 2020
You All
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” (Philippians 1:3-4)

One would suspect from his frequent use of the phrase “you all” that the apostle Paul had come from Alabama or Georgia! But in his writings, “you all” is not a southern idiom but a warm expression of Christian fellowship. His heart was burdened, not just for a few close friends and loved ones (as in most of our own prayers), but for “all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:2).

He assured the Philippian church that he was, in every one of his prayers, praying for “you all.” He told them of his confidence in their continued growth in Christ, that it was altogether fitting for him to believe this of “you all,” thankful that “in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace” (Philippians 1:7).

He wrote in a similar vein to the Thessalonians at the start of his (chronologically) first epistle: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2). Paul had a long prayer list.

To the Roman Christians he wrote: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). Then he wrote his benediction: “Now the God of peace be with you all” (Romans 15:33). He concluded his message to the Christians at Corinth: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Peter and John used the same expression in their writings, for they also were large of heart and concern. Finally, these are the very last words of the Bible: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  January 31, 2020
Written for Our Learning
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Let no modern Christian ever think that he can ignore the Old Testament and base all his faith and practice on just the 27 books of the New Testament, as vital as they are. Even the apostle Paul, who wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else, depended heavily on the Old Testament Scriptures for his exposition of the New Testament doctrines he had received “by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).

For example, in the longest and most doctrinal of all his epistles—that is, Romans—he actually quoted from the Old Testament no less than 60 times, even though the epistle had been specifically addressed to Gentiles (Romans 11:13).

In his letter to the Gentiles at Corinth, after an extensive discussion of the Old Testament account of the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness, he said: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

In this passage, the word translated “examples” is the Greek tupos, from which we derive our word “types.” Thus, the experiences of the Israelites were actually revealed by God to be “types” of Christ and our relation to Him. Therefore, in addition to the many explicit prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament, many other Scriptures can be profitably expounded as “types” of Christ. Indeed, in all the Old Testament Scriptures, as Christ Himself taught, are “things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 1, 2020
The Bright and Morning Star
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16)

The epilogue of Revelation contains many words of comfort to the believer. Our Lord promises, among other things, that “behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me” (v. 12), and “blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (v. 14). Likewise, there are many names for God given, such as “the Lord God of the holy prophets” (v. 6), “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (v. 13), and “the root and the offspring of David” (text). This rehearsal of names and deeds provides comfort, but why is Christ called the “bright and morning star”?

The analogy is to the planet Venus, so often seen shining brightly in the early morning. The sight provides a pledge of the coming day during which the light is brighter and the sight clearer.

Likewise, however beautiful and awe-inspiring our perception is now by the light of our Bright and Morning Star, Jesus Christ, we are promised a more complete view. Although He has “shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6), and although Christ appeared as “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3), soon we shall see Him “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12) and even “be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Our view now constitutes only the beginning of a clearer sight — a guarantee of the glorious day that has no night, when we shall see the King in all His beauty. There will even be no need of the sun, “for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23). JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 2, 2020
Great Reward
“Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” (Luke 6:23)

Sometimes great rewards are promised to those who help locate dangerous criminals, or to those who win a lottery, but such pecuniary rewards are trivial compared to those awaiting all the faithful servants of Christ. The “great reward” promised by Christ in our text is specifically for those believers who willingly have endured hatred and ostracism, reproach and slander “for the Son of man’s sake” (v. 22).

Such rewards are distinct from salvation, of course, for that reward is given only “to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly” (Romans 4:5). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:5-6).

That is, salvation is a free gift, received only through personal faith in Christ and His sacrificial death for our sins. Rewards, on the other hand, are earned by faithful witness and work for Christ. In that day when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10), many will learn to their dismay that, although they have indeed received everlasting life, they will have very little reward. For “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13)—not the quantity, but its quality and fidelity to God’s Word. Then, “if any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved” (v. 15).

We need to remember that one of the last and thus most significant promises of Christ was: “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause
  February 3, 2020
Behold, He Cometh
“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.” (Revelation 1:7)

This striking verse, which deals with the return of Christ, contains several aspects well worth our study.

First: “Behold, he cometh.” This event is still future, but it is as sure as if it had already taken place. Christ will return.

Second: “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). His coming “with clouds” was also prophesied in Daniel 7:13; Matthew 26:64; Acts 1:11; and elsewhere.

Third: “Every eye shall see him.” Who is included here? Certainly everyone living at the time, both Christian and non-Christian. But also the saved dead and raptured saints will be present (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Can it be that the unsaved dead will likewise “see” Him come? Those who died without Christ should be vitally interested. Either the coming rebellion will defeat Christ and free their spirits from Hades, or they will soon face certain, final judgment.

Fourth, notice the different reactions. His tormentors will be in horrible distress; those who “pierced him” will be in inexpressible anguish as they realize the awful consequences of their actions. Who pierced Him? Certainly Israel, but the collective sins of all men of all ages pierced Him. Some have gained forgiveness and will gladly see Him come; others have refused and will “wail” at His return.

Saints in heaven and on Earth will delight in His coming. To them, it means release from persecution, justice on their persecutors, and a righteous kingdom established. It will mean questions answered, imperfections removed, the curse repealed. Any distress felt for friends and loved ones still living in rejection will be swallowed up in the rightness of the action. JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 4, 2020
King of All the Earth
“For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.” (Psalm 47:7)

This stirring psalm of praise, which celebrates the reign of Christ over all the earth, finds its primary fulfillment in Christ’s second coming and full reign over His kingdom. The reader is exhorted to “sing praises unto our King” (v. 6). The reign of Christ certainly gives cause for celebration. His arrival forces the psalmist to proclaim, “O clap your hands, all ye people” (v. 1).

What has happened to make this Kingship such cause for celebration? After all, “by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16). He belongs on the throne. We should expect to find Him there. However, even though there is a sense in which He reigns today, the sad fact remains that another has usurped rule.

This usurper can be none other than Satan, who not only claims rule of the creation for himself, but who spoiled the original perfection of the creation which now “groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). He has encouraged men to accept the mindless concept of evolution, and even denies Christ recognition as Redeemer, as the humanist’s creed “We will save ourselves!” boasts.

But all is not lost! Our text assures us that Christ will reclaim His kingdom: “He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. . . . God reigneth over the heathen” (vv. 3, 8). Christ the Creator, the Redeemer, the Heir, has conquered the enemy and soon will assume His rightful throne—“the throne of his holiness” (v. 8), “greatly exalted” (v. 9). Then we shall join the redeemed of the ages, and “shout unto God with the voice of triumph” (v. 1). JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 5, 2020
The Holy City
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:2-3)

On the night of the last supper, Jesus made a wonderful promise to His disciples: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And . . . I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). Eventually, at His second coming, those who belong to Him shall be with Him.

That this promise applies to all His disciples (not just the 11 in the upper room) is evident in His prayer right after this conversation: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. . . . Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am” (John 17:20, 24). When the Lord returns, or when we die as believers, “so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

That place where we shall be with Him, which He is still preparing for us, is the Holy City, new Jerusalem; for our text says that “he will dwell with them” there and be their God. The last two chapters of the Bible describe in some detail that beautiful “tabernacle of God” in which we who believe in Christ will all have our Christ-prepared mansions some day.

This magnificent city is not heaven, for John saw it “coming down from God out of heaven.” Right now, therefore, it is in heaven, where the Lord Jesus is, along with the souls of those believers who already have gone “to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). There in the Holy City, “the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” with eternal joy (Revelation 22:3). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 6, 2020
Made Manifest by the Scriptures
“But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.” (Romans 16:26)

This revelation was written by Paul the apostle as a conclusion to his great doctrinal epistle to the Romans. That which “now is made manifest . . . to all nations” had been “kept secret since the world began” and was essentially the simple truth revealed in “my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ” (Romans 16:25) offering to people from every nation (not just Israel!) the wonderful gift of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

And note that this was being made manifest not just by the preachers and Scriptures of the New Testament, but “by the scriptures of the prophets”—that is, by the Old Testament Scriptures. There are some today who think the Old Testament is no longer of significance to Christians. But they are wrong! Remember that Jesus, after His resurrection, speaking to two of His disciples, rebuked them by saying: “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: . . . And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25, 27).

Furthermore, the Old Testament abounds with wonderful promises and precepts and examples that are supremely practical and profitable for the Christian life. As Paul said, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). In fact, every Old Testament Scripture is “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 7, 2020
Live Honestly
“Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.” (Hebrews 13:18)

It ought to go without saying that a Christian should live honestly in all things. Apparently it does need saying, however, because the Scriptures contain many such references. For example: “Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17). For the sake of one’s Christian testimony before other men, it is vital that utter honesty must characterize his life. Even if men cannot see our little acts of dishonesty, God can, and so even our secret actions must be “providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Corinthians 8:21). “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest . . . think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

We live in a corrupt and cynical society where genuine honesty is rare. Petty pilfering at the office, cheating on taxes, plagiarizing, loafing at the job, padding expense accounts, cheating on tests, cutting corners on obligations, breaking promises, exaggerating—the list of petty dishonesties is endless, not even to mention the crime and major corruption so prevalent today almost everywhere. In such an environment dominated and conditioned by a humanistic educational system, unsaved persons easily adapt to such questionable practices, for “unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15).

But when Christians do such things (and, unfortunately, they do!), those same people find it scandalous and blaspheme the gospel because of it. How vital it is for Christians to become scrupulously sensitive about even the smallest matters. This should, in fact, be a major item of daily prayer, as in our text for the day. HMM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phkrause

February 8, 2020
By Faith
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

This great verse, evidently a definition of faith, appears to be somewhat obtuse, but it can be properly understood. The word “substance” carries the sense of reality, or assurance. The same author uses the word to explain that the Son of God took on human “substance,” consisting of “the express image of his person [or ‘substance’]” (Hebrews 1:3). The word “evidence” is more properly translated “proof.” The passage teaches, then, that faith provides the reality and proof of things that we can’t see directly. They are as sure to us, through faith, as are things we can see directly.

Faith enters into the picture whenever we attempt to understand something outside the realm of empirical observation. This surely includes creation. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). Creationist faith is certainly reasonable faith, in stark contrast to evolutionist faith, which believes in ordered complexity from disorder without any ordering mechanism or outside intelligence.

Faith is extremely important in God’s economy: “Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6) in any area of life. “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Likewise, we live by faith: “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). Furthermore, “by faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24) steadfast as a Christian, and “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We are to “follow after . . . faith” and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:11-12).

Since this list comprises only a sampling of things that must be done in, by, or through faith, it is no wonder that it “is the victory that overcometh the world” (1 John 5:4). JDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

If you find some value to this community, please help out with a few dollars per month.



×
×
  • Create New...