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June 21, 2024, 06:00:44 AM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
286863 Posts in 27569 Topics by 3790 Members
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16  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: June 05, 2024, 08:57:45 AM
Paul as Our Example

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)

The apostle Paul many times urged his readers to follow his example in living the Christian life. To the Philippians, Paul said: “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17).

The initial reaction to such exhortations is to think of Paul as arrogant. To the believers in the Corinthian church, he said: “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me” (1 Corinthians 4:16). To those at Thessalonica, he said: “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you....Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9).

At the same time, Paul considered himself to be “the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle” (1 Corinthians 15:9). Later he called himself “less than the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8), and finally he said that he was even the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

In no way was the apostle Paul an egotist. Nevertheless, he knew that his converts needed an example to see, as well as precepts to learn. The Lord Jesus Christ, of course, is our real example (1 Peter 2:21). But by living a life patterned after Christ, Paul could say: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

People need to see Christ in the lives of their Christian leaders. By the grace of God, we also need to live as Christ did, so that when people follow us, they also will be following Christ. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). HMM
17  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: June 04, 2024, 09:27:44 AM
Jesus and the Study of Scripture

“And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” (John 7:15)

In the midst of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, “Jesus went up into the temple, and taught” (John 7:14), and the unique caliber of His teaching (literally “indoctrinating”) caused the Jewish scholars there to “marvel.”

Their question on this occasion was how an uneducated man, who had never been taught by the scribes and rabbis, could have acquired such a remarkable understanding of the Holy Scriptures. He had never had formal training in the Word; yet, when He taught, “he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29).

His answer to their question was amazing: “My doctrine [or ‘teaching’] is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16).

There are two factors at work here. First of all, His working knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures was encyclopedic, acquired in the same way any other student of the Word can acquire it—by diligent and prayerful personal study thereof. He had done this all His life from the time He was a small boy. Remember how He had “asked questions” of the astonished doctors in the temple, how He was “subject unto” His parents, and how He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:46; 51-52). In all of this, He is a perfect human example to us as we also seek to learn the Scriptures and grow in wisdom and in favor with God.

But beyond His human understanding of the Word, of course, was His own innate divine wisdom and authority. He was eternal God as well as perfect man. Thus, He not only has authenticated the former Scriptures and given us an example in their study and use, but He has also conveyed perfectly to us, through His apostles and prophets, the Scriptures of the New Covenant. HMM
18  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: June 03, 2024, 08:29:06 AM
The Healing Ministry of Jesus

“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17)

The earthly healing ministries of Jesus are here said to have fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:4: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” The Hebrew words used do allow this New Testament application, so this passage does, indeed, predict the healing work of the Messiah in His earthly ministry. Isaiah 53:5-6 then predicts the substitutionary atoning work of the Messiah, concluding with the statement: “The LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

The order is important. The healing ministry preceded the atonement, just as the prophecy of healing preceded the prophecy of Christ’s atoning work. This means that particular healings cannot be a part of the atonement itself. The reason for the earthly healing work of Christ was “that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6).

The saving work of Christ includes deliverance from the death penalty for sin in one’s past life, the power of sin in this present life, and the very presence of sin in the future life. Our great salvation has already delivered us from the eternal torments of the second death (Revelation 20:14; 21:8), from the defeating power of physical infirmities in our present bodies, and from the very presence of sickness and pain in the future. In any case, there is no question that God is well able in particular situations right now either to provide direct healing in answer to prayer or sufficient grace to meet whatever physical need we have in a way that honors Him (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). HMM
19  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: June 02, 2024, 08:00:22 AM
The Cup of Salvation

“What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:12-13)

Here is a remarkable question and answer. To everyone born into the world, God has given multitudes of benefits. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Some receive more than others, but all receive many, so the question is what we should do for the Lord in return. The answer is simply to receive His great gift of eternal salvation!

On one occasion, the people of Capernaum asked Jesus: “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His answer must be profoundly surprising to anyone who believes that he can please God and earn salvation by doing good works. “This is the work of God,” said Jesus, “that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29).

The truth is we can never pay for our sins by good deeds. If one is ever to be saved from his sins and to obtain salvation, it must be received solely by faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death,” but “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” so that “the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” and—in the words of our text above—“whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 6:23; 5:8; 5:15; 10:13).

Therefore, when a repentant sinner calls in faith on the wonderful name of our gracious Lord, he drinks of the healing cup of salvation and receives everlasting life. Because Jesus drank the bitter cup of God’s righteous judgment on our sins, we can drink deeply of the “living water....springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10-14), and we can say with the psalmist: “My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:5-6). HMM
20  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: June 01, 2024, 08:25:09 AM
God’s Shadow

“The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.” (Lamentations 4:20)

In the hot desert lands so familiar to the Israelites, a place of shade was considered a blessing wherever it could be found. This was often taken as a symbol of God’s protection from the hot hatred of their (and His) enemies. In fact, the Hebrew word for “shadow” is used 12 times in the Bible as a type of God’s guarding presence.

The first is in Psalm 17:8: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” Three other times “the shadow of thy wings” is used (Psalm 36:7; 57:1; 63:7). Isaiah speaks of His presence “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” and as like being hidden “in the shadow of his hand” (Isaiah 32:2; 49:2; also 51:16). The Lord is compared to “a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isaiah 4:6). He is “a shadow from the heat” and like “the shadow of a cloud” (Isaiah 25:4-5).

The last reference to God’s shadow is in our text above in reference to the forced exile of God’s people into Babylon. In this sad context, Jeremiah laments that even “the anointed of the LORD”—that is, literally, the Lord’s Messiah (fulfilled in Jesus Christ)—has been taken captive with His people. He is even called “the breath of our nostrils,” recognizing implicitly that it was He who breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life in the beginning (Acts 17:25). Thus, He will even be with His people as they undergo their just chastisements; they can even “live among the heathen” under His shadow. No matter how dark our circumstances, we can say with the psalmist: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty....in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2). HMM
21  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 31, 2024, 08:50:28 AM
Unsearchable Things

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2)

Education is sometimes claimed to be a “search for truth,” and scientists in particular take pride in their “research.” No doubt the scientific method has led to many useful discoveries and inventions, and rulers often have sponsored “government research” for their own ends. Furthermore, God’s primeval “dominion mandate” (Genesis 1:26-28) in effect ordains the conduct of beneficial research.

At the same time, there are some things that are far beyond the research capabilities of human investigations. Yet, they are understandable to the believing heart because these unsearchable things are near to the heart of God, who made us in His image. “I would seek unto God,” Job said, “and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number” (Job 5:8-9).

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3). “There is no searching of his understanding” (Isaiah 40:28). “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). There is far more to be discovered concerning God and His great creation than all the scientists can ever hope to discover in this life. But those who love Him will have an eternity of time to search out the majestic complexities of His infinite universe, for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

What a marvelous paradox! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). Yet unsearchable though they be, Paul, “less than the least of all saints,” was able to “preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:Cool. HMM
22  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 30, 2024, 08:29:25 AM
The Able One

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

This beautiful benediction is quoted at the end of many worship times because it summarizes both the core promises and the foundational authority of “the only wise God our Saviour.”

He is able! The precision of the Holy Spirit’s inspired words is always perfect. The ability of the only wise God is not only omnipotent but omniscient as well. The Greek word dunamis signifies not only sufficient innate power to accomplish the task but also the knowledge to perform the job correctly. The leper said, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Matthew 8:2).

He is able to “keep you from falling.” Again, the word choices are absolutely wonderful. God’s ability is used to provide a place of safe custody sufficient to stop any external attack. “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil” (2 Thessalonians 3:3). That custody protects our “faultlessness”—a condition that is without any flaw. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

Only God’s omnipotence and omniscience can produce a “new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). God “can do” nothing less. His dunamis is such that “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).

That is why “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God” must be given “honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17). HMM III
23  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 29, 2024, 08:30:41 AM
Saving Some

“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23)

In the context of this passage, Jude has been exhorting us to “build up” ourselves in the “most holy faith,” keeping ourselves in God’s love and looking forward to “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:20-21). The instructions that follow may apply to us and our fellow believers. If so, then these categories would fit the “vessels of...dishonour” that Paul alludes to that are in a “great house” (2 Timothy 2:20).

“Of some have compassion, making a difference.” Some of those in our circle of influence need our “pity.” The word choices imply a desperate need that we must attempt to remedy. Many of the Lord’s healing miracles were done because of compassion. We are encouraged to “make a difference” in the lives of those who urgently need the healing of the Word of God.

“Others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” These are in jeopardy of eternal judgment. They are truly needy but are more dangerous to deal with. Even the imagery used by Jude is fearful. These are so “spotted” (dirty, filthy) by their fleshly deeds that we must “beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).

Jude’s admonition is also applicable to Paul’s concern for the unsaved Jews that he “might save some of them” (Romans 11:14) or his willingness to become as “them that are without law” so that he might “gain them” and to become “as weak, that I might gain the weak” (1 Corinthians 9:21-22). The instructions are valid for either perspective.

Paul echoes Jude’s concern when he says, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). HMM III
24  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 28, 2024, 08:01:50 AM
Every Creature Under Heaven

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” (Colossians 1:23)

Before the Lord ascended back to heaven, He commanded His disciples to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and one might receive the impression from the words of our text that this had already been accomplished, just 30 years after the command was given.

Yet, it is hardly plausible to infer from this that Christian missionaries had already reached the entire globe. The problem may be our far-too-limited appreciation of God’s witness in the creation. The phrase “to every creature” in our text could better be read “in everything created.” That is, the gospel that was now being brought in explicit terms to the Colossians was consistent with what they already should have known from God’s great witness in the very structure and behavior of everything He had created.

This is the testimony of such familiar verses as Psalm 19:1 (“the heavens declare...”); Romans 1:20 (“the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen”); Acts 14:17 (“he left not himself without witness”); and Acts 17:28 (“in him we live, and move, and have our being”). In the verses just preceding our text (Colossians 1:16-22), Paul had defined this universal gospel as embracing the creation, salvation, and consummation of “all things” by Christ (vv. 16-17, 20). The essence of this truth can be seen (if one’s eyes are willing to see it) in “all the world” (v. 6) in the beauty, complexity, unity in diversity, purposefulness, continuance of energy, and process as found in “every creature which is under heaven.” Every aspect of God’s creation has been designed to reveal Christ as Maker and Savior. HMM
25  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 27, 2024, 07:52:52 AM
What Mean These Stones

“When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know.” (Joshua 4:21-22)

The poet George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In the life of every nation, there are “memories” that must be preserved if that nation is to retain an awareness of its unique role among the nations of the world—indeed, among the long list of nations throughout history.

Long ago, God Himself instituted “memorials” so that the key events of history might be remembered. The rainbow was to remind God of His covenant to preserve life on the earth after the awful destruction of the Flood (Genesis 9:8-17). Jacob set up a stone after he had seen the ladder and spoken with the angel of the Lord (Genesis 28:12-22). Joseph insisted that the children of Israel take his bones with them into the land of promise (Genesis 50:25).

In our text, Joshua is told by the Lord to take 12 stones out of the Jordan and make a monument to commemorate the beginning fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham centuries earlier. That day, Israel was to enter the “promised land” and start its conquest of Canaan.

The Memorial Day that we celebrate in the United States began with the ending of the Civil War. Since then, our country has added many memorials. Each of them, whether a mere plaque, a lone statue to a notable person, or a vast and sweeping edifice, are all intended to remember some significant event and the people who made history during that time. Typically, we honor the dead who paid the ultimate price that we might live on—and we should. There are others, though, whose sacrifices in time and treasure were enormous. May our thanks this day “remember” all of them. HMM III
26  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 26, 2024, 08:56:36 AM
What God Requires

“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

This sounds simple enough, and the people of Israel readily agreed with Moses to do these things. Modern religious liberals cite such a lifestyle as all that is necessary to satisfy God. But the rub is this: Who dares claim to “walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD [his] God with all [his] heart”? Anyone who makes such a claim would be breaking God’s commandment against lying.

Solomon reached a conclusion of like kind: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Indeed so, but who can “keep his commandments”? “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

Another favorite verse of the liberals is Micah 6:8: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Yes, but the problem is that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

There was one such man, of course! The Lord Jesus Christ “did no sin,” yet was willing to “bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (1 Peter 2:22-24). What we could never do, He has done for us. Now, through faith in the finished work of Christ, we have been set free from the bondage of sin and can indeed “have [our] fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22). HMM
27  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 25, 2024, 09:00:50 AM
Elijah’s Prayer

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (James 5:17-18)

“Elias” is the New Testament name for Elijah, the great prophet who lived during the darkest days of Israel’s apostasy, when Ahab and Jezebel ruled the land and had turned it over to the worship of the demonic god Baal. “Elijah” means “Jehovah is God,” a most appropriate name for a prophet of the true God in a nation and time given over to paganism.

Elijah suddenly appeared before King Ahab with the ominous prophecy: “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1). This was not presumptuous. In his commentary, James said Elijah “prayed earnestly” before he spoke and that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

This remarkable prophecy was miraculously fulfilled. There was no rain in all the land of Israel for 3.5 years (as also confirmed by Christ in Luke 4:25) until Elijah defeated all the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-45).

Yet, James reminds us that Elijah was “a man of like passions as we” and that both ends of the miracle—the onset and termination of the nationwide drought—were simply answers to Elijah’s two fervent prayers. James has much to say about how we also can receive wonderful answers to prayer. In addition to praying fervently, we must “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6). But faith must be expressed by action (as when Elijah confronted Ahab), for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Finally, if we “ask, and receive not,” it may be that we “ask amiss,” wanting the answer only for ourselves (James 4:3). HMM
28  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 24, 2024, 12:42:52 PM
Evidence of the Spirit’s Filling

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)

This classic verse on the filling of the Holy Spirit can be rendered as follows: “And don’t begin to be drunk with wine, which involves profligacy, but be continually being filled with the Spirit.” That is, one cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit (which implies complete control by the Holy Spirit) if he has come to even the slightest degree under the control of wine (or anything else, for that matter).

Being fully controlled and guided by the Spirit is not just a one-time experience. It should be a continual experience—a moment-by-moment control of one’s thoughts and actions by God. In practice, however, it is at best a repeated experience, whereas most Christians experience it quite rarely, if at all.

But how does one have such an experience, and what is the evidence that it is the real thing? To be controlled by the Spirit, one must yield control to Him and not let himself be controlled by anything or anyone else. In practice, this means believing and obeying the Word He inspired, consciously yielding one’s self as often as necessary. Jesus promised that “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

It should be noted that the filling of the Spirit is not necessarily marked by any particular feeling or ecstatic experience. The real proof is in the life, manifested by such characteristics as are described in the context of the passages referring to the Spirit’s filling. In our text, it is obvious that such a filling is accompanied by redeeming one’s time (v. 16), understanding God’s will (v. 17), a happy and Bible-centered conversation (v. 19), a continuously thankful heart (v. 20), and a right attitude and relationship with one’s spouse (vv. 22-25). It is also evidenced by boldness in witnessing and in standing up for God’s truth (Acts 4:31; 13:9-10). HMM
29  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 23, 2024, 09:03:25 AM
Sit Still

“Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.” (Ruth 3:18)

This was the instruction given to Ruth by Naomi in hopes that her kinsman, Boaz, would be willing to perform his family duty and marry Ruth, whose Jewish husband had died in Moab. Ruth’s behavior had been honorable, and she had done what she could to let Boaz know she was willing to be his wife, but now she could do nothing except to sit still and wait.

This lesson needs to be remembered by Christians today. All too often we rush ahead of the Lord, fearful that things won’t work out unless we take matters into our own hands. When the Jews were being invaded by the Assyrian armies and felt they needed an alliance with Pharaoh, God warned: “The Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still....In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:7-15).

Long before, when the children of Israel were in even more desperate circumstances with the Egyptian armies pursuing them and the Red Sea in front of them, Moses had said: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13). Soon, Pharaoh’s chariots were at the bottom of the sea just as, in due time, Boaz did marry Ruth, and 600 years later, the hosts of the Assyrians were slain by the angel of the Lord (Isaiah 37:36).

There is, certainly, a time to work—and work hard—in the service of the Lord. There are spiritual battles to be fought and races to be run. But when we have done the best we know how, according to the Scriptures, and still don’t see the answer, there comes a time when we must simply sit still and wait for the Lord. He would have us “be still, and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10). HMM
30  Theology / Bible Study / Re: A Daily Devotional on: May 22, 2024, 09:01:43 AM
Build Yourself Up

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21)

The New Testament relationship of the twice-born to the eternal condition is compared to a “building” of God (Ephesians 2:22) made up of “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5). Thus, there is often the exhortation for us to build a holy association with each other (Romans 14:19) and to seek to build a strong assembly as we work together (Ephesians 4:16).

Each of the many references uses some combination of descriptive preposition or adjective along with the term for house. The general application assumes that since we will be “housed” together in eternity, we should seek to be building that house while on Earth. Even those who are in authority in the “house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15) are to be focused on building that house (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Jude addresses the individual. He presumes we are aware that we are “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” with “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). Even with a “wise masterbuilder” like Paul to give us inspired instructions (1 Corinthians 3:10), we need to be very careful how we build on the foundation that Jesus Christ has laid for us. Our work can be “gold, silver, and precious stones, wood, hay, [or] stubble,” and it will be evaluated by the “fire” of God’s timeless judgment (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

The construction of the building—both the larger house and the individual “lively stones” that make up the house—are to be built up on the “most holy faith.” Once the foundation has been laid by Jesus Christ, we are to be “rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). HMM III
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