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October 29, 2020, 03:39:08 PM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
282956 Posts in 27493 Topics by 3790 Members
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Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10

 21 
 on: October 15, 2020, 08:40:01 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Reconciled

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” (Colossians 1:21-22)

The reconciliation act abolishes one condition and establishes another. We were “aliens...from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12) with our “understanding darkened” and ignorance due to a blindness of our heart (Ephesians 4:18). We were enemies whose “friendship of the world” made us at “enmity with God” (James 4:4).

We are reconciled now. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Indeed, we are also “saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:10-11) and are to be presented as a “chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). Both individually and collectively, we are “being built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5) who will “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

We can be absolutely sure that once we are reconciled, our alien state abolished and our adoption secured, our Lord Jesus remains the “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). Reconciliation ensures that the Lord Jesus Himself will “stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). HMM III

 22 
 on: October 14, 2020, 08:27:00 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Head of the Church

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

The “head” is both “chief” and “source.” When the Lord Jesus had accomplished the work of reconciliation on Earth, God the Father “put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).

The church, of course, is the assembly of the Redeemer, constituted and commissioned to do “the work of the ministry,” operating on Earth under delegated leaders (Ephesians 4:11-12). Even though the human focus is the making of disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), there is a constant gallery of “principalities and powers in heavenly places” who need the display of “the manifold wisdom of God” that is only made “known by the church” (Ephesians 3:10).

Although there is a sense in which all of God’s twice-born are spiritually part of a “body” that is “knit together” by the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:19), our participation is realized in the localized assemblies throughout the earth. One day the entire church will be completely assembled in heaven, a “general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).

Therefore, the head of the Church is preeminent and has all fullness, being the firstborn from the dead. He is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21). The mission of the Church, commissioned over two millennia ago, embraces an ageless goal. Ultimately, He will “present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27). HMM III

 23 
 on: October 13, 2020, 08:36:53 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Creator of All Things

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

The phrase “all things” is used throughout these verses to emphasize that everything has been brought into existence by the “dear Son” (Colossians 1:13, 16-20).

    All things were created through Him and for Him.
    All things consist (stand together) in Him.
    All things will give preeminence to Him.
    All things reside in His fullness.
    All things will be reconciled to Him.

The list of created things in verse 16 is exhaustive: heaven, Earth, visible and invisible things, and the rulers in and of the universe—thrones, dominions, principalities, powers. Jesus Christ is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).

The Creator existed before all things and now “approves” all things. Solomon understood this as he spoke of wisdom: “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was” (Proverbs 8:22-23), just as He chose us “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).

When the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to John, He said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). These grand sweeps of eternity are anchors for our faith. But we must not lose sight that “the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word [the word of the Creator] are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). HMM III

 24 
 on: October 12, 2020, 08:01:04 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The God Who Provides

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

God’s provisions for the believer include far more than physical necessities. These are indicated by seven beautiful titles ascribed to Him in the New Testament.

The God of love: First of all, we need love, and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Then “the fruit of the Spirit is love” in our lives (Galatians 5:22) because He Himself is “the God of love and peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

The God of all grace: God saves us by His grace, and then we need to “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:18). This we can do because “the God of all grace...hath called us unto his eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10).

The God of peace: He satisfies the need for peace in the believer’s soul, and He’s called “the God of peace” five times in the New Testament (Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20).

The God of all comfort: Our God is called “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,” because He “comforteth us in all our tribulation,” enabling us to provide comfort to others “by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

The God of patience: We “have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36), and this need also is supplied by “the God of patience and consolation” (Romans 15:5).

The God of glory: It was “the God of glory” who first called Abraham (Acts 7:2), and through the Word we also “are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The God of hope: By His Spirit He fills us with joy and peace, with power, and abundant hope—blessing us “with all spiritual blessings...in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). HMM

 25 
 on: October 11, 2020, 08:18:53 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Line upon Line

“The word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isaiah 28:13)

This familiar passage (repeated mostly from Isaiah 28:10 just before it) is often cited in support of a detailed, verse-by-verse method of Bible study and exposition. However, the context is one of rebuke to the people of Ephraim (that is, the Northern Kingdom of Israel) in the days of the divided kingdom. Isaiah especially castigates the priests and prophets who should have been teaching God’s Word to the people but who had instead become proud and then drunkards, leaving the people in great ignorance and spiritual confusion.

Therefore, cried Isaiah: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (v. 9). Before they can really grow in the knowledge of God, they must be built up carefully, line upon line, for they are yet carnal babes in spiritual matters.

A very similar rebuke was administered to the early Christians and would be even more appropriate today: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Such an admonition is greatly needed today, when Christian believers subsist almost entirely on spiritual milk—or even worse, on the froth that passes for evangelical literature in most Sunday schools and Christian bookstores today. We need to get back to the strong meat of the Word, lest we “fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” HMM

 26 
 on: October 10, 2020, 05:38:32 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Great Physician

“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12)

It almost goes without saying that a person who is seriously ill would do anything to regain health. But the sad fact is, few people really pay attention to their health until they are threatened with its loss.

On the other hand, testimonies without number have been chronicled that relate an individual’s refusal to acknowledge the claims of Christ until he or she had been stricken with personal problems or physical illness. “You’ve got to be on your back before you will look up,” so the saying goes. But what does the Great Physician have to offer the one whose health seems to be strong from an outward perspective?

Instead of being well, however, the Bible says that everyone is born into this world with a dreadful disease in our souls called sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). The sin disease is most tragic when we do not feel it and do not know we have it. “Because thou sayest, I... have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Jesus Christ is the only One who can heal us: “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). And just as He never sent anyone away who came to Him on Earth for physical healing (Matthew 12:15), so “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37) when he comes seeking salvation.

Certainly one of the most important steps in this process of being healed of our sin sickness is recognizing our desperate need for healing. When we say, “Be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee” (Psalm 41:4), He will respond with forgiveness, grace, and healing. JDM

 27 
 on: October 09, 2020, 09:20:52 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Delivered, Translated, Forgiven

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

The central message of the gospel lies in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. There is much more, of course, to our salvation. The immediate result is described in the two short verses of our text.

We have been delivered “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18). We have been delivered “from unreasonable and wicked men” (2 Thessalonians 3:2) and “from every evil work,” and are preserved “unto his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). Ultimately, we have been delivered “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

We have also been “translated” into the eternal kingdom of the Lord Jesus. We will “not come into condemnation” but have been turned “from death unto life” (John 5:24). Our life prior to salvation was darkness, but we have been made “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). No longer are we aliens outside of God’s family, but we have been “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

Furthermore, all of our sins have been forgiven, and we are “justified freely by his grace” (Romans 3:24). That forgiveness and justification seal us “unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). And since this is an eternal transaction brought about by a transcendent Creator, we have been raised “up together, and made [to] sit together in heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6). Already we have the “earnest of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14) and the assurance that we will “obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35).

In this life, we may struggle with human rejection. David’s comment seems appropriate: “I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge” (Psalm 71:7). HMM III

 28 
 on: October 08, 2020, 08:54:29 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Qualified to Inherit

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:11-12)

Having been “made strong with all strength” through “his glorious power,” we are then enabled to complete the assignment that God has granted to us on Earth.

The power of God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). The same power displayed when God raised Jesus “from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20) is more often needed on Earth for “patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” The word for “patience” in this text describes a quality of temper that does not easily succumb under suffering. That emphasis is not merely a contextual byproduct. Much of the godly life demands a temperament that opposes cowardice or despondence. We should “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

Many of our brothers and sisters in history suffered beyond human endurance, ultimately giving their lives for the Kingdom of God. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25). Therein lies the longsuffering that does not hastily retaliate after a wrong. This temperament opposes wrath and revenge.

These godly traits, earned and experienced only while on Earth, reveal us to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Now, we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Later, He will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). HMM III

 29 
 on: October 07, 2020, 02:54:34 PM 
Started by dan p - Last post by Shammu
Dan, Soldier4Christ posted a devotional you should read.

http://forums.christiansunite.com/index.php?topic=9609.msg318099#msg318099

 30 
 on: October 07, 2020, 08:51:59 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Fruitful in Every Good Work

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

There are many admonitions in Scripture insisting that the child of God maintain a lifestyle that reflects the holy character of the Savior.

The unique phrase “walk worthy” appears only three times in the New Testament: once in our text today; once in Ephesians 4:1, where we are asked to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”; and once in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, where we are admonished to “walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

Paul’s admonition to the church at Colossae was to live in such a way that everything would be “all pleasing” to our Lord. The Galatian church was struggling with members who were trying to keep the “old” Jewish law. Paul argued, “Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Paul insisted to the Thessalonians, “As we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

Since we are to “walk worthy,” we are to be “fruitful in every good work.” Indeed, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

None of this should be a surprise. When God drew us to Himself (John 6:44), brought the necessary conviction of our sin, Christ’s righteousness, and the judgment to come (John 16:7-8), what was “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1) had to become a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). That “new man” is then empowered to “walk worthy.” HMM III

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