Question; “What Does the Word of God Have to Say About What Christianity Is All about?”
1 – Jesus is God (Revised 02/07/2016)
“Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (Jesus claimed to be God – see below #1)
2 – The Bible Is about Jesus
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (The Bible is about Jesus – see below #2)
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
First, we need to realize that the writer here is quoting Psalm 40:7, as well as stating it’s current application to Jesus, even as it related to the sacrificial system; thus indicating that this Scripture has fulfillment in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, as the passage has meaning concerning both the Old and New Covenants (Hebrews 8:13), indicating that Jesus is preeminent in both the Old and New Testament.
Psalm 40: 7 has always been understood to be a Messianic Psalm referring to the Messiah.
Whereas the writer of the book of Hebrews indicates how Jesus was the fulfillment of the Hebrew Messiah.
In the English this text seems somewhat straightforward, though many misunderstand the use of the word “volume” thinking it means the amount of space concerning what is written; yet this is not what it means, it has greater significance than even this misunderstanding.
The word that is translated into the English word “volume” in the Greek is kephalis, which holds great significance in understanding this passage.
At the time it was written, the Hebrew Holy Scriptures were long manuscripts which we commonly refer to as scrolls which were rolled up due to their massive length (Codices, synonymous with our ideas of a book with individual pages that were held together by a binder were not yet prevalent).
In order to handle the scroll without damaging it, and to aid in reading the scroll, the Hebrews used two kephalis, which were wooden rods that would be placed at the end of each side of the scroll, in order to facilitate the reading of the scroll by simply unrolling the kephalis on the left, and rolling up the kephalis on the right (Remember, Hebrew was read from the right to left).
The kephalis was what held the Scripture together and made it functional – readable, while at the same time protecting the scroll itself.
It would be somewhat synonymous with our current understanding of what bindings on books are meant to do.
Jesus Holds Together the Word of God, He is the Basis of Everything in It
The point that this Scripture is making is that Jesus holds together God’s Word and presents it in such a way that it is readable, understandable, and protected – Jesus in essence is the foundation and the mortar that holds the pages of God’s word together concerning its subject matter – which is Jesus Himself.
3 – Definition of the Gospel
1 Corinthians 15:1-3
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 ~ By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 ~ For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 ~ And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”
Means: “good news”
From a primary word σῶς sōs̄ (contraction for the obsolete σάος saos, “safe”); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): – heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
Assumes that the premise (protasis) is true for the sake of argument. It is Hypothetical reasoning, such as: “I would love to fly like a bird, ‘if’ only I could fly” – “‘if” I could be any animal, I would want to be an eagle” (In Koiné Greek there are four different Conditional Clauses which are translated into the English word “if,” each holding different meaning in the Greek, but unfortunately all four clauses translated into only one English word [“if”], which has diverse implied meanings, and is therefore nonspecific. This is the first type of class of Greek Conditional Clauses, Please see footnote #4 regarding Greek Conditional Clauses)
This is the gospel –
1) Jesus ~ died for our sins – according to the Scripture
2) he was buried
3) he rose the third day – according to Scripture
“According to Scripture” is sandwiched, it is the beginning and ending of the gospel.
You cannot separate the Bible from the gospel – the good news – and the good news is what Christianity is:
Christianity is faith in believing that it is a fact that Christ died for our sins – according to the Scripture.
And was resurrected on the third day as He said He would – proving up the validity of what he said (Jesus prophesied that He would rise in three days #3) – with the authorization that God was behind it all – only God could resurrect the dead – and everything was done according to the Scripture.
Christianity is about Christ
Not man or his salvation – salvation is secondary to the fact that God is preeminent and is to be our focus, not us and our own happiness.
Happiness is taken the word “happen,” things that happen us.
“It is the outward occurrences that affect our life.”
We do not live to be happy, we live to please the Lord.
4 – Pleasing God Only Possible by Faith
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God“
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
5 – Jesus Our Example – His Sole Purpose was to Please God
This is an Old Testament prophecy fulfilled by Christ and quoted by Matthew.
“Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.”
This passage is the Greek translation of the Hebrew prophecy of Isa. 42:1-4 regarding the Messiah as pleasing God.
When Jesus was baptized (Mark 1:11 & Luke 3:22) – God the Father speaking from heaven stating that Jesus always pleased Him.
“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
The Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:7 & Luke 9:35 & 2 Peter 1:17) – God the Father speaking from heaven stating that Jesus always pleased Him.
“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”
Jesus comments concerning Himself as always pleasing the Father.
“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
6 – Faith Comes from the Bible
One of the major areas wherein this ministry spends an excess amount of time concerns the subject of Biblical faith, which has more to do with establishing a relationship of trust in God, then understood by many as simply a tool of petition (And there is ALWAYS a place for petition).
This explains why it is impossible to please God without faith, as stated in Hebrews 11:6,
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Not only because we come to God based on faith that He exist, but that those that seek Him, He rewards in a relationship where He takes care of us. God desires those that exercise faith as a free will action in placing their trust in God, which grants us access to God’s grace to become His children through faith, which is the greatest reward man could ever receive.
There is no other value or personal character trait which pleases God, but faith; at least not in this special way according to God’s Word.
Faith Comes from the Bible
The place we gain Biblical faith is God’s Word, as stated in Romans 10:17,
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“
1 Peter 1:23 says
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
Biblical faith is created and grown wherein as a person reads the Bible, and the Holy Spirit opens their spiritual eyes to perceive that which is laid out, it is a logical reasonable process of coming to the conclusion that this book could not have been written by mortal man (2 Timothy 3:16), because:
1) There are prophecies given in Old Testament, that are fulfilled in the New Testament.
2) There are prophecies given within the Bible as a whole, which are fulfilled since it’s closing.
3) There are scientific and natural insights presented in the Bible, which were once considered completely false; which in time, science has caught up with the Bible proving that it was correct in the first place, and that it is beyond human insight.
4) There is deep wisdom that is written between its pages, which are far beyond the capacity of a human being to create.
5) There are internal evidences found in the Bible, which when crossed-referenced within itself present in such a way that it is obvious that 40 different men could not have utilized the exact same type of “Figures of Speech.”
Including: typology, such as seen in metaphor, similes, models; along with prophetic symbols as seen in even the use of numbers, colors, events, material and substances, dates, mathematics, names, roles, and even people’s personality and lives; all done to portray a shadow (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1) of things to come rather in heaven, or in the particular case of Jesus, the fulfillment of the Messiah; as witnessed in His First and Second coming – as well as Last Days events – all done in such a way that the only explanation is that God orchestrated the creation of this Book, and it is thus worthy of our complete trust, all pointing to Jesus the Christ as the Creator and Saviour of the world, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the center of God the Father’s kingdom, preeminent in ALL things, GOD.
Indeed it is God who inspired and orchestrated this book, not written by man, but written through men, by a God that is outside of our time domain, who can see the ending from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10); who is all-powerful, and in total control of His creation (Isaiah 45:5-7), and therefore worthy of our complete trust and faith in what He has said, and what He will do (Isaiah 46; Jeremiah 29:11).
Unfortunately, many Christians have been taught to focus on faith as a tool to acquire the things sought, rather than understanding that faith is a relationship with God, to trust whatever He has allowed or guided to be in our lives, and that God is trustworthy and in total control of all of our lives, no matter what it appears to be from the human vantage point.
Of all the qualities that our current generation LACKS, perspective (Discernment) and fidelity (Latin for “Faith,” as in: trusting God no matter what, and being trustworthy) are perhaps the greatest, hence the reason that this subject needs to be studied in great depth regaining a biblical understanding of faith, which many in this generation have seemed to have lost.
Job said in presenting his case: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (See Footnote #1). And as the greatest example of faith said the night before he would be executed, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42 ~ KJV)
“Trusting commitment of one person to another, particularly of a person to God. Faith is the central concept of Christianity. One may be called a Christian only if one has faith.“
Our English word ‘faith’ comes from the Latin fides, as developed through the Old French words fei and feid. In Middle English (1150-1475) ‘faith’ was replaced by a word that eventually evolved into ‘belief.’
Faith came to mean ‘loyalty to a person to whom one is bound by promise or duty.’
Faith was fidelity. ‘Belief’ came to be distinguished from faith as an intellectual process having to do with the acceptance of a proposition.
The verb form of ‘faith’ [“Faithè,” “faitheth,”] dropped out of English usage toward the end of the sixteenth century.“ (Holman Bible Dictionary)
“Faith” Every believer has a measure of faith; perfect for God’s individual plan for each of us. Romans 12:3
The ABCs of faith
Biblical faith can best be seen in the acronym, the ABCs of faith which is:
“Action based upon Belief, sustained by Confidence”
From the Outside
This would be how we perceive action as it is displayed by a believer, first observing the action which was generated based upon a belief that was held with the greatest conviction which we refer to as his confidence as found from a thorough examination of God’s word, the Bible.
A believer approaches biblical faith first as an exercise of belief, wherein after an examination of God’s word confidence is added to this belief regarding what God has said, all of which produces a way of thinking that motivates a change of actions due to this new adherents to biblical faith.
From the experiential aspect it might be more easily stated that biblical faith is seen as:
“Faith is Believing what God has said in His Word, due to the Confidence it has earned,
to the point that Actions are effected.”
And we know that repeated actions become behavior – hence faith actions are the behavior of a Believer – a Christian
7 – Christianity Defined
Christianity comes from the word Christian.
The word Christian is a word made up of two words, “Christ” and “ian.”
“ian” is a suffix, meaning it is attached to a word which indicates that those individuals referred to, they which are followers the preceding word, which in this case is Christ.
Christianity is made up of those individuals that follow Christ, who preach the Gospel, the good news that salvation was available to those that followed him, who were Christians, and that the gospel is the belief that Christ was crucified for our sins – according to the Scripture, was buried, and was resurrected the third day according to the Scripture.
You can’t separate Christ and Christianity, you can’t separate salvation from the gospel, and you cannot separate the fact that Christ died for sins and rose the third day from salvation, and you cannot separate faith from salvation, as well as you cannot separate salvation from the Word of God – the Bible.
It all works together, or it all falls apart.
1. Jesus’ Claim of Deity as the Son of God
Jesus made many claims in regard to being Divine, the Son of God Incarnate; we will look at two of these passages.
There are many other issues which display His belief that He was divine, such as the titles He used for Himself which were titles used of deity, His claim of sinlessness, His posture of superiority to the Pharisees, who He refused to cow down to.
He orchestrates worship of Himself, such as a Triumphal Entry, and the healings wherein He receives worship, and the fact that He seated within Himself the power to forgive sins – who does that, except God?
First, Mark 14:60-62, which occurs at Jesus’ trial, when He was asked by the High Priests (Which according to the Torah, a suspect had to answer, therefore Jesus had to answer as a suspect. Jesus went through 6 trials [See Endnote # 2 ], 3 secular and 3 religious, and only twice did He give an answer, once in fulfillment of the Torah when the High Priest demanded an answer, and once when the secular judge Pilate, based upon Roman law demanded an answer), if He was the Messiah (the “Christ”), the Son of God.
The text states:
“And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (KJV)
The second passage we will address is probably one of the most dramatic dialogues Jesus held with the Pharisees wherein Jesus claimed Divinity as the Son of God; as recorded in John 8:12-47, which states:
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (KJV)
Jesus also made seven “I AM,” statements, which the Jews understood to be an allusion that Jesus was using to indicate He was God, the one speaking from the “Burning Bush” as seen in Exodus 3:14, which states:
“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.” (KJV).
Jesus used this “I Am” statement many times, such as John 8:28:
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he [“he” is not in the original text, it is added by the translators thinking it was needed], and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
And to make sure that He was referencing Exodus 3:14, Jesus said in John 8:58,
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus left no ambiguity in connecting Himself to the “I AM” statements, therein claiming Deity (The 7 “I AM” statement are recorded in: John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:7; John 10:11; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 15:1)
“Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:24-33)
Please also see: John 10:25-33; John 5:17-18; John 5:23-24; John 8:12-47; Mark 2:5-7, John 14:1; John 14:6, John 14:8-11; John 20:28-29; John 5:39; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-46.
2. The Bible is about Jesus
God’s Word, the Bible is ALL about Jesus as recorded in the following Scripture:
Hebrews 10:7 ~
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
John 5:39 ~
“you search the Scriptures for and then you think you have life, it is these that speak of me.”
Matthew 5:18 ~
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
Luke 24:27 ~
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Acts 8:35 ~
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture [Isaiah 53:7], and preached unto him Jesus.”
Acts 26:22-23 ~
“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”
Acts 28:23 ~
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”
Romans 1:1-3 ~
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
Hebrews 1:1-3 ~
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Matthew 24:35 ~
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
3. Scriptures where Christ prophesied of His crucifixion and rising in three days.
Matthew 16:21 ~ From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Matthew 17:23 ~ And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
Matthew 20:19 ~ And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Matthew 27:64 ~ Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
Mark 9:31 ~ For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Mark 10:34 ~ And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Luke 9:22 ~ Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
Luke 13:32 ~ And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Luke 18:33 ~ And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
Luke 24:7 ~ Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Luke 24:21 ~ But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Luke 24:46 ~ And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
John 2:1 ~ And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
Acts 2:15 ~ For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Acts 10:40 ~ Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Acts 27:19 ~ And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
1 Corinthians 15:4 ~ And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Revelation 8:12 ~ And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
Revelation 9:15 ~ And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
4. Greek Classes of Conditional Clauses
[…] What is Christianity? […]
I love what you teach,can I continue to learn from you, am pastoring a church in one of the villages near the city of Lusaka in Zambia, Africa.my name is irac
My name is Brent. I started teaching 42 years ago, and have found that I have reversed my position on almost every major doctrine since then. This is not to glory about me, this is what happens when you attempt to hold on to what you believe loosely enough to seriously cross-examine it, praying and allowing the Holy Spirit to show you the truth.
We all get stuck behind our own belief systems, never realizing our egos are what is in control. My greatest desire is to teach the truth about and for God. I am a sinner, and the humility of understanding this, by questioning my own motives and sinful behavior, have helped lead in this quest to find truth.
I have said all of this to say, God honors even the worst of men when they are willing to hold their hand out, fingers stretched, and asking Him to take away what is wrong, and believing in faith that he will show what is right.
Please share any and all that I have written because it’s not mine, hopefully it’s more of the Holy Spirit than me, in some ways I’m quite illiterate, though I spend excessive amount of time studying as deep as I can, realizing the Holy Spirit honors the tenacity that goes along with committed self-study.
It is when we read others and learn how God has moved them, but most of all and that we keep on digging. I know so many pastors that I work with that have PhD’s, yet they don’t love the study and though I am academically below them, they can’t keep up with me nor can they support their biblical views.
They lose the argument by saying that a Greek word that has been understood concerning a specific meaning for thousands of years really does not mean what it says and what has been believed for over a thousand years.
Their logic is emotional, their stubbornness and laziness is seen in their lack of real spiritual maturity.
Let me share a secret with you.
Let me share a secret with you. Understanding that any attempt to add to this is blasphemy and display spiritual pride, which is predominant within the church these days.
Men attempt to maintain outward holiness, when were instructed to fight the battle of faith. It is faith that we please God, as Christ did, as Romans 11 states; not a lack of outward sin.
I know Buddhists that are much holier than I am or any Christian for that matter, but they have no eternal hope, they have no basis of faith.
We have hope as we follow Christ knowing that all things will ultimately work for our good, understanding that the whole basis that underlies our faith in God is a reliance upon the blessed hope of our future resurrection, and release from the sinful body. The biggest problem in my life is me.
In addition, whenever sin is no longer any part of my life, with that resurrection body, this hope is what I live for, and this is the blessed hope that displays the ultimate maturity, this virtual maturity of a believer.
However, where do I get this from? As some have said, the book of Romans is Paul’s gospel. It is the most beautiful complete teaching in-depth of salvation and Christianity as a whole and in part.
The fifth chapter of Romans should be studied together but I am going to refer to that which displays the ultimate spiritual achievement of the believer, his hope, in the first five verses of this precious book, which reads:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom 5:1-5 KJV)
what a beautiful crescendo, what an amazing capstone as we start in faith trusting that God and God alone justifies me without me doing anything, which leads to peace. People that believe you can lose your salvation treat salvation like it’s a condition, yet if you read God’s word and focus on let’s say the book of Ephesians, you come to understand that salvation is a relationship with the living God.
It is not something that you get by doing or maintaining anything and can therefore lose by doing or not doing anything, it is that you are adopted into God’s family, understanding that adoptions within the Hebrews, Roman, Persian and crescent area races during the time of Paul’s teaching understood that adoption could never ever be reversed.
God chooses this word to give us comfort in our faith, which leads to peace.
Those that teach the damnable, and yes I said it, but let me correct that, that sincerely teach the devilish doctrine of conditional salvation, no matter how sincere and ignorant, they are teaching people not to have faith but to live in fear. You cannot walk in faith and live in fear. David said what time he is afraid he will trust in the Lord, meaning that fear is not the opposite of faith, but that faith is what you do when you are in fear.
Yet if you live in fear day after day because you do not really believe that God is your Father and that you are saved, this is not walking in faith. This is walking by your physical site, your senses, your emotions. This is not walking by faith. Any thought that I could lose my salvation makes me act differently and do things to attempt to earn it which disqualifies itself as faith acts.
So we see in this progress that it starts with the word justification, which is what Jesus did, which we must have faith in; wherein we gain peace (I did not have peace in this way for 30 years of pastoring,
I always had self-doubt and was taught to focus on my own behavior, and did not mature the way that God wanted me to until I understood that there is nothing I can do to be saved or to be unsaved, the fruit of this faith is peace. You cannot make yourself feel peace; peace is a reaction to trusting that God has you and will never ever, ever, ever let you go.
That as it says that we are not just adopted in the book of Ephesians, but we are sealed. This comes from a segment that was on a ring that a king would use to authorize laws that he had written by stamping wax at the end of the law. Look at the book of Ruth in the law the Medo / Persians. Not even a king can undo a law that he has created.
Let me explain the significance of this. If a king is a tyrant to his people, he will be a tyrant concerning the law and therefore seats power in Himself, so that he could break a law that he made because he is the power, not the office of the King. If his son is weak, he will lose the kingdom, because he does not attain the power, it was seated in the person of his Father who is now dead.
However, if a wise king seats his power in the office of being a king, wherein he wears a ring that has the Kings signet, the law of kingship. When he dies, he passes this ring, which represents the law of kingship to his son, who carries on the righteous law even if he violates it, because it is not about Him it is about the righteousness of the law.
God use this word sealed to indicate that the Holy Spirit indwells us and seals us and therefore he cannot un-seal us. The law is a reflection of Him, but do not believe that he cannot be the Potter and do what he pleases based upon his own righteousness, which the law is only meant to reflect.
So we don’t want to believe that God is captured by his own law as the Wesleyan’s belief when they do not believe in predestination.
Yet God says he will have mercy upon who you have will have mercy because he is the Potter. He tells the Israelites to go into the land and to kill the inhabitants there that are waiting to destroy the Israelites, he tells Abraham to kill his own son (understanding that to God the Word and the deed are the same), he tells men that the firstborn will inherit in the repeatedly disqualifies the firstborn time after time. God is not being a hypocrite, his ways are not our ways, we cannot make Him a servant to the law or ourselves by any manipulation, and so let me make that clear.
But who are we to judge who he wants or doesn’t want, did he not predestinate Israel according to Romans chapter 9.
Now back to the point, God has used language to communicate how that once we are sheep we can never become goats, or let me ask you this. What does a fetus, an unborn baby have to do with its own birth, not one thing. It is when two humans come together in a sexual relationship that the child is born, why then would Jesus use the word born-again to describe something that can be temporary. When Jesus identifies what he came to do it always involves everlasting life, not temporary life, not life that you could ever lose. But, life that once you have it, it is eternal.
Now having said all that going back to Romans five, we see justification, we see faith, we see peace, we understand that grace is God’s work and not ours, which leads us to hope in the glory of God. Yet to validate this we also understand that we trust God in tribulation, because tribulation creates patients, an patients experience, an experience hope.
You see when I read God’s word which says faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, I understand that it is when I study God’s word deeply and see that he spoke predictions before they ever were thought to be true, showing that he knows the ending from the beginning. Reading the wisdom that couldn’t been written by man then my faith grows.
You see it is by observing the track record of the consistency of God’s word that I understand that whoever wrote this book couldn’t of been a man, and that therefore my faith grows so that whenever I am in tribulation I know that there’s something in it that God wants to bring out that I can trust Him in, so I learned to wait upon the good.
There were hundreds of thousands of believers that were burned at the stake within a century of the resurrection. Romans 8:28 teaching us that all things work together for the good, not that all things that happen are good, which is also seen when Joseph told his brothers when they displayed fear because their Father had died, and they thought perhaps Joseph would now take vengeance, what did Joseph say. “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” It is in this way that those that died refusing to recant of their faith in Christ, they died horribly and it wasn’t a good death.
However, of the five crowns that men receive in heaven there was one special crown for those that die for the testimony of Jesus Christ, it is then that they received something not just good but great. I do not think that there is anything of any higher commitment that a man can do than to die for his Lord and Savior.
So all things work together for the good, I always take a breath, because normally the good takes a while to happen, this is why I have to learn to be patient, and after I done it a few times it becomes much easier and builds an experience, experience that God is completely trustworthy and completely consistent; and it is the conclusion that faith is no longer something just hoped for as in a desire; but that the God that I have learned to trust in has said it and therefore I will be with Him in paradise with life everlasting.
Therefore it is this hope, based upon faith; which changes my behavior where I’m not as worried about dying today, as I am failing God and looking for the reward because I know it is real, that I continue on and even as Job said, “though he slay me, yet will I have faith in Him” (and maintain my witness, maintain my verbalization of faith in my life).
Well I hope I have not overwhelmed you. Moreover, if there is any words that don’t sound right please realize I am using voice recognition software and there may be sound alike words, and though I love Greek grammar and the language, I refuse to be in bondage to the inconsistent rules of English so I appear ignorant, because I am. Yet in Christ, and through his Holy Spirit, I am whatever he wants me to be.
Hope these words, do what they are meant to do (notice the pun on hope, better stated; I trust that God will use what I have taken the time and feel led to say.) Moreover, if not please have the courage to tell me that I am a babbler. I much rather have a friend point out the spinach in my teeth, then to walk around in ignorance all day having people think either I don’t own a toothbrush, or I don’t care about my appearance. Speaking the truth in love is missing in the church today. If I could be of any further help let me know.
I am finishing up my video studio and by December 1 will start to do video teachings as well as these articles.
I will make you a covenant, you pray for me and I will pray for you. And if we fail God will be faithful no matter what, for it is his glory that we live and breathe.
Your brother in Christ, Brent