Archive for the ‘Philippians’ Category

Philippians 1:27-30

Most of us want to be liked and accepted by others. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make others like us. Just think about how much money we could save if everyone were blind and couldn’t appreciate the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive, or the houses in which we live.

Most people want to be part of the in crowd.” But what price are we willing to pay to be popular and accepted? Are we willing to go along to get along” even if it violates the clear teachings of the Word of God and our consciences? Does it mean anything to you that you grieve God when you sin – act lawlessly (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:4)? Are we willing to be unpopular with the world’s crowd so that we can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Psalm 1)?

The Apostle Paul realized that preaching or teaching in the abstract and in generalities to no one in particular resulted in weak Christians. The truth that is found in God’s Word must be presented clearly and simply to others who, in turn, need to apply it to their every day lives. He told Timothy to Preach [proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of seasons. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.” (Find out why in 2 Timothy 4:2-5). James, the Lord’s half brother wrote, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 2:23).

In his brief letter to the church in Philippi, Paul expressed his desire for them to live, to stand, to strive, to be fearless, and to suffer for the cause of Christ if necessary (Philippians 1:27-30; See 2 Timothy 3:12). Let’s think about these things for a few minutes.

Live. (v. 27a) When God saves us as a result of our believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He begins the process of conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2). This involves our cooperation with God. In another letter, the Apostle Paul instructed believers to put off their carnal way of thinking that often results in unbecoming, sinful behavior that can have detrimental consequences in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. Then he told believers to put on other things that display Christ like behavior (See Colossians 3:5-17; Galatians 5:22, 23).

Quote. A good place to learn to be Christ like is when we encounter the little complaints which people have. We cannot mature unless we have occasions and provocations that disturb us. Every big thing is made up of a lot of little things.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer

Consistency. Even though we’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, we still retain our sinful nature that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). We still have the potential to behave like unsaved people when we act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1 ff; 5:1 ff) or yield to the temptations that come from the devil/demons or from the world system. But when God saved us, we became partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and have the potential to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Romans 8:8). Paul wanted believers to learn to lean on the Lord for strength to do the things He wants us to do. It’s available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A consistent, godly life has a tremendous impact on others around us. But an inconsistent, hypocritical life brings disgrace to God’s name which could result in our being chastened severely by the Lord (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 2 Samuel 12:14). When a believer sins, he/she needs to confess the sin(s) to God the Father and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 51:13).

Stand. (v. 27b) All around us a spiritual battle is raging for the control of the mind, emotions, and actions of mankind including Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 4:4; 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 10:5). But the Good News concerning Christ’s death for our sins and His bodily resurrection must be proclaimed if people are to be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17). When was the last time you shared the Clear Gospel” with an unsaved person? Do you really care about lost people? If not, ask God to stir you up His love in your heart (Romans 5:5; Revelation 2:4). Are you helping Christians stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus expressed His desire that true believers be united in their objective of glorifying God and loving one another (John 17:21; See Ephesians 4:4; John 13:34, 35). Sometimes it’s very difficult to know who the true Christians are and who are only “professing Christians.” God knows those who are His, but we can only make an evaluation of a person by his/her beliefs and behavior (John 10:27; James 2:18-20). We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Disobedient Christians, who engage in habitual, sinful conduct/lawlessness (1 John 3:4-9), will be disciplined by God (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16), and need to be shunned by other believers until repentance and confession have been made (2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Strive. (v. 27c) Too many Christians are not focused on the things that God wants us to think about and do (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1 ff). We have Good News for people who are dying physically and who are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Getting this information to them may cost us our lives. Jesus laid down His life so we could be saved (1 Peter 3:18; John 10:10-18), and Paul endured all things for the salvation of the elect (2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). In like manner we should be willing to follow their examples in an effort to reach the lost and edify believers. The Crown of Rejoicing” awaits Christians who are involved in leading others to Christ so they can be saved (1 Thessalonians 2;19, 20). The Crown of Glory” is given to those who shepherd God’s flock God’s way (1 Peter 5:4).  This involves feeding, leading, guarding, and healing God’s flock of sheep.

Problems. The devil is delighted when the Gospel is not clearly presented to unbelievers and when Christians are confused about how they are supposed to live holy and godly lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16), once they have been saved (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:10-17; See our Dispensations Chart).  All of the Bible is for us, but not all of it is addressed to us (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  Far too many Christians never share the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) with lost people, and some add to it or subtract from it and cause others to believe in vain by adding good works to faith in Christ alone (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fearless. (v. 28a) All believers need to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He and demons are real and they are enemies of God and would like to overthrow God and overwhelm His children. Paul reminded Timothy that …God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). John, the Apostle, reminds us that [we] are of God, little children, and have overcome them [those with the spirit of antichrist], because He [God] who is in [us] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; See Ephesians 2:2). Nothing can happen to a true child of God without God’s permission. True Christians have confidence in God’s ability to raise the dead and give them a better life in heaven if they are killed (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

Doomed. (v. 28a) All those who reject God’s offer of salvation that is available to all mankind, will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever in accordance to their works done on earth (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). Where will you spend eternity?

Reproof. God the Holy Spirit reproves (convinces) unsaved people of the sin of unbelief in Christ, their need of Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the ultimate judgment to come on them as it will on the devil and his angels/demons (John 16:8-11). There are no second chances or opportunities to be saved from the lake of fire after an unbeliever dies (Hebrews 9:27).

Resurrection. Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead guarantees the resurrection of all human beings who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51, 52; Hebrews 9:27). Do you know in which one you will participate if you should die? The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation as some cults and religions teach.

Suffer. (v, 29). While true Christians will not go into or through the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; See Daniel 9:27), all Christians who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The Gospel is offensive to proud men and women who think the can save themselves by their good works (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Peter 2:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Quote. We who preach [proclaim] the Gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world…We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not compromise but ultimatum.” – A. W. Tozer

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other people who are teachable and willing to change.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

[1] https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Philippians 1:19-26

What do you want to do or accomplish while you’re here on planet earth? What do you dream about? What are you doing to achieve this dream that you have? Are you interested in fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? Would you like to be free from all pain, sorrow, and suffering and have a lot of friends and be able to influence people? What or who motivates you in your pursuit of your dreams – a parent, a teacher, a friend, or perhaps the fear of loss (Acts 4:36; 5:3; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:11; Hebrews 10:25)? Are you willing to bend the rules (cheat) to accomplish your goals? Do you believe that “the end justify the means” (Romans 3:8; 6:1; 2 Timothy 2:5)? If so, when and why? How have the “religions of man” done this?

If we’re honest, most of us are putting our own desires and pleasures above everyone else’s including God’s desires for us (See what Lucifer did in Isaiah 14:13, 14). We usually want things to go “our way” and not “God’s way” or His will for our lives (See James 4:13-17). But the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to pay the debt that we owed to God (1 Peter 3:18), has a unique plan for our lives (Ephesians 2:10; See Jeremiah 29:11). He desires that all mankind (men and women, boys and girls) be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people won’t accept His gift of eternal life because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:16-19, 36). He even gave to each true Christian a spiritual enablement (gift) at the time of our salvation so that we could glorify God by making Him known to others whom God brought into existence (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11 ff; 1 Peter 4:10) and to help build up (edify) the spiritual “Body of Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). See our “Bible Basic Docs” on our website.

Let’s see what the Apostle Paul wanted to accomplish in his own life and his willingness to accept what God allowed to come into it and give thanks (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Timothy 2:1). He “turned the lemons he received in life into lemonade.” Are you doing this too?

Assurance. Even though he was under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30) because of his faith in the resurrected Christ who had died for our sins and who had been raised from the dead on the third day (2 Timothy 2:8-10), he was quite confident that he would be delivered from his imprisonment and that he would be able to revisit the churches he had started, and start other local churches. He believed that the prayers of the believers in Philippi would be answered by the Lord. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). He also believed that God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself were interceding for him to God the Father (Romans 8:26, 35; See Hebrews 7:25).

Magnification. It was Paul’s desire to glorify God and to magnify His name (person and work) to those whom he encountered in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). He did this with boldness even though he was bound (chained) to a Roman soldier night and day (Philippians 1:14, 16). Think about what that must have been like if it had happened to you. (How would your behavior change if you knew that Jesus was chained to you? Actually, God the Holy Spirit indwells each believer, and is grieved when we sin – Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)? Paul was not ashamed of Christ or the Gospel which is the power of God unto anyone’s salvation who believes in/on Him alone for salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). He wasn’t going to let fear or shame deter His witness for Christ (2 Timothy 2:7; Romans 1:16, 17). With cheerfulness and clarity he spread the Gospel to those whom he encountered along life’s path (Philippians 4:4).

Life/Death. It mattered not to Paul whether he lived or died. To die meant to be present with the Lord immediately (2 Corinthians 5:1-8). The Bible doesn’t teach “Purgatory.” Physical death was a door into eternity. If God wanted him to live a little longer on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 1:18) he would use that time to reach more people for Christ and edify them in the faith. Christ was the source of his life (Galatians 2:20), and pleasing Him was paramount (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Dilemma. Living and remaining on earth would mean continued bodily limitations, suffering and joy, being absent from Christ, and being in Satan’s realm. Dying would mean that he would receive a better, temporary body (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) to house his soul and spirit in heaven until the time of the rapture when he would receive a resurrected, glorified body like Christ’s (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). It would mean joy and no more suffering, to be present with Christ forever, to be separated forever from sin, but no more opportunities to overcome sinful temptations and earn rewards, crowns, or praise from God (James 1:12), and no weak Christians to help (Galatians 6:1 ff).

Confidence. Paul had a quiet confidence that God was going to allow him to remain on earth a little longer so he could assist believers in the faith. The Jews who were intent on killing him had a weak case against him and couldn’t prove the accusations that they made against him.

Time. We all have 24 hours each day and 168 hours in a week. What are you doing with the time God has given to you? Don’t “kill time.” Are others learning about God from the words you speak and from the life you live? Does dying frighten you? If so, why? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23) by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Perhaps you know these facts and believe these facts. But have you transferred your faith and trust over to Christ alone to save you? Are you trying to earn your way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5)? Are you “believing in vain” by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2)? What are your thoughts about heaven and the lake of fire (hell)? Do they line up with the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 11:10, 16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:1-17; 22:1-5)? Do they disappear by imagining them away as John Lennon suggested?

Questions. What does God want you to do daily while you are here on earth? What is your reason and purpose for existence? If you’re a true Christian, have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? By when do you hope to achieve the goals that God has put into your heart (See Philippians 2:13; 3:10)? What obstacles are you facing and who does God want you link up with to carry out the good works that God planned for you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11 ff; 2 Corinthians 6:14)? What skills (spiritual gift) do you need to develop? What specific steps are you taking to accomplish His goals for your life (Galatians 5:16, 25)? And why do you want to do these things – to glorify God or yourself (1 Corinthians 10:31; Jeremiah 9:23, 24)? Are you a “wandering generality” or a “meaningful specific”? Do you feel helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and like you are hell bound (Romans 6:23)? If you are –

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other believers who are teachable and willing to change. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: “Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

[1] https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about a person by discovering what makes him/her angry, what makes him/her cry, and what makes him/her laugh. Apply this to yourself.

“A real test of the genuineness of Christian profession is witnessed when one finds himself under pressure, provocation, or persecution…Our reaction to a sudden, unexpected change of condition or circumstances shows up a weakness in many of us.  Some Christians are thrown completely off balance if anyone disagrees with them, and under more trying circumstances they go completely to pieces.” – Dr. Lehman Strauss. What sets you off?

Attitude. A key to the problems of life has to do with the attitude. What is your attitude when you are suddenly stopped short of your goal that was part of your planning? Do you resent the circumstances? Do you become angry with God or with others because you didn’t get your way? Be honest. “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Is it your way or the highway? Is it God’s way or your way as one secular song suggests?

Submission. One songwriter put it this way: “Not what wish to be / Nor we are wish to go /For who am That should choose my way? / The Lord will choose for me / ‘Tis better far I know, / So let him bid me go or stay!” When facing the cross, Jesus said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Are you interested in doing God’s will or your will? How often are God’s thoughts and ways brought into your decision making (Isaiah 55:7-9)?

Reactions. The Apostle Paul’s response of rejoicing in the Lord in the midst of his circumstances had a profound effect on some unbelievers, some believers, and even upon himself. Ask yourself, “What are others learning about me by my words, actions, and reactions?” Do they bring glory to God or do they grieve Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 4:30; Psalm 19:14)?

Guards. Being under house arrest (Acts 28:30), Paul was chained to many, elite Roman soldiers. They were his captive audience. They observed him day and night and soon learned that he wasn’t an ordinary prisoner but was there because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his passion to spread the Gospel to others. Many were saved by Paul’s life and the Gospel that came forth from his lips.

In Prison. Some Bible teachers believe that Paul was in prison because he didn’t heed the warnings that had been given to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:4, 12-14). Even though he was willing to die for Christ, “To want to die for Christ is all wrong when God wants you to live and preach the Gospel.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer. “For as many as are [habitually being] led by the Spirit of God, these are [maturing] sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

Blessing. But even when we mess things up, God has a way of turning them around for good for His children who love Him (Romas 8:28). Paul needed a rest and some time to reflect/meditate (See Psalm 1:2; 46:10; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:15). So he used his time to write letters to churches and individuals to instruct them and to share with them grace teaching/truths that He had received from the Lord during his time with the Lord in Arabia (Galatians 1:17). Could you write a letter, call someone, or give a word of encouragement to someone in need? (See 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; Hebrews 10:24, 25) If you can, will you do it? When? Today?  What is really important to you – other people in need or your own personal pleasures?

Satan. He will try to convince some unsaved people that they aren’t savable and could never be forgiven for the sins they’ve committed. He often reminds Christians of past failures that have been forgiven (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9) and would cause us to become disappointed, discouraged, and even to doubt God and His Word. When he or demons tempt us, we must put on the armor that God has provided for us to be victorious (Ephesians 6:10-17). Do you also know how to overcome temptations that come from your sin nature, and from the present world system? Being tempted isn’t a sin, but yielding to sinful temptations is sin (“Sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23).

Plans/Goals. “Make plans and set goals which are in keeping with God’s written Word. Arrange them into priorities. Plan your strategy. Submit your goals to God’s sovereign will. If God providentially hinders you from accomplishing your goals, assume that the delay was part of God’s sovereign will. This will free you from discouragement. All you’ll need to do is adjust your time table.” – Adapted from Gary Friesen, Decision Making And The Will of God. p. 239

Effects. Paul’s attitude of rejoicing in the midst of his imprisonment stimulated other believers to become more bold in their witness for the Lord (See Acts 4:13-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). He wasn’t discouraged because God’s love had been shed abroad in his life and this helped him overcome his fears (Romans 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).

Motives. Yes, there were some people who were proclaiming the Gospel from envy and strife, but others were proclaiming it from goodwill (Philippians 1:15; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:16). Either way, he was glad that others were learning about Christ and His offer of salvation to all mankind (1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 2:2). We should always be ready to give an answer to those who ask us about our hope/confident expectation in Christ (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 4:2). Are you prepared to do this? Have you ever led another person to Christ for salvation? Would you like to learn more so you can do this and earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20; Ephesians 4:11)?

Formula. For someone to be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) and to go to heaven to be with God (John 14:1-3), one needs to use the right formula. “Grace + Faith = Salvation + Good Works (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is not “Grace + Faith + Good Works = Salvation” (Titus 3:5). Note the difference.  Make sure the Gospel for salvation is presented clearly to them.

25 Words. These few words could result in a dying person’s or anyone’s instant salvation. “My Friend, You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. M. Kober [1]. (Read Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14.)

Witnesses. Jesus wants every Christian to be a witness to unbelievers so they can be saved (Acts 1:8). The devil will try to intimidate and discourage you (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8), but with God’s help you can do what He wants you to do (Philippians 4:13). The Apostle Paul was willing to endure all things so others could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10). To what extent would you go so others could be saved?

Investment. Why not invest your life in others? Chuck Swindoll gives these suggestions: “Ask God to give you a sensitive spirit for identifying someone to disciple. Be on the alert – don’t scratch anybody off your list of possibilities [as long as they are still alive]. Reach out slowly and informally. Before your time together is over, make specific plans to meet again.” – Discipleship, p. 99

Questions. What makes you angry/mad? What makes you sad and causes you to cry? What makes you laugh and rejoice in the Lord? Are you truly saved or just a “professing Christian?” If you’re truly saved, are you growing spiritually, and serving God and others?  Are you regularly sharing the Gospel with the lost? Do you have all your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; 29:1)? Do you want to do God’s will more than anything else? Are you struggling with sinful temptations (See 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:3)? Are you tired of living a defeated life? If so –

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com with your questions/comments. Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out. Send us your questions/comments. If this has helped you, please share it with others.

[1] Dr. Manfred Kober, https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

(Acts 16, Philippians – Lesson # 9)

Have you ever wondered how “The Church” and local churches got started? What are churches supposed to be doing? Why are there so many different kinds of churches? What are Christians supposed to believe and how are they supposed to act? Where in the Bible do Christians find their rules for living? Why does it seem like there are contradictions in the Bible?

Before going to the cross to die for our sins, and rise again bodily from the grave on the third day, Jesus said, “I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). What did He mean? Did it exist in the Old Testament times, and before the Apostle Paul became a Christian (Ephesians 2:15; 3:1 ff; 5:32; See 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13)? Has the Church replaced Israel because of their rejection of Him as their Messiah (Romans 11)? Can Christians claim promises that were given to the Jews? What about the curses? (Read Deuteronomy 28).

Mosaic Law. It was through Moses that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave to the Jewish nation the Law to regulate their daily lives. It included the Law, the statutes, and ordinances. These were not rules they had to keep to earn their salvation (Galatians 2:16). When Jesus came to earth, He gave the Jews some new rules (Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5-7) to tell them what they had to do to enter the “Kingdom of the Heavens” (Matthew 4:17; See Daniel 2:44, 45).

Rejected. Because the Jews, as a whole, rejected Jesus as their promised Messiah (John 1:11; 18:40; Matthew 23:3-39), He postponed the setting up of His kingdom to a later date (See Matthew 16:20; 23: 36-39). This will take place when He returns to earth after the “Seven years of Tribulation” (Matthew 24:29 ff; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 9:27).

Church. It is also called “Christ’s Body” and it began on the “Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2; 10; 11). It will be complete when “all whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him and been saved” (John 6:37, 44; Romans 11:25). Then Christ will return for the true Church, and make it His “Bride” and take them to the place that He has been preparing for them (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9 ff). This event is referred to as “The Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

Steward. The Apostle Paul was the one whom Christ chose to be the “Steward” (Household Manager) of this “Dispensation of Grace” in which we now live (Ephesians 3:1 ff). The Apostles Peter and John, along with Christ’s half-brothers, James and Jude provided supplemental information for New Testament Grace believers to believe and practice.

For/To. All of the Scripture/Bible is for us, but not all of it is directed to Christians. All of it is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (See Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). From the Old Testament we can learn much about the character of God (Exodus 3:14), what not to do lest we suffer the same kind of consequences that the Jews did for their disobedience (1 Corinthians 10). We also can count on God to keep His promises to us as He did with the Jews (Romans 15:4).

Witnesses. Jesus made it clear that He wanted His disciples to be His witnesses and for them to share the Gospel concerning His death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection with other Jews, with the Samaritans, and with the whole world (Acts 1:8). As a result of Peter’s preaching on the Day of Pentecost, 3,000 Jews became Christians (Acts 2:41). But it took some persecution of these Christians to get them to go to the non-Jews.

Persecution. God allowed, a devout Jew by the name of Saul/Paul, before he became a Christian, to persecute them (Acts 8). This caused the Jewish Christians to scatter out and share the Gospel with everyone wherever they went. On his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, Saul/Paul was stricken by a bright light and a voice from heaven that said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me” (Acts 9:4). He soon came to recognize that is was the resurrected Christ who was speaking to him. He became a Christian at that time.

Education. Still being blind, Saul/Paul was escorted to Damascus where he remained blind for three days until Ananias came and prayed for him and his eye sight was restored to him (Acts 9:9-18; See Galatians 4:15). Saul/Paul then proclaimed Christ in Damascus before going out into Arabia for three years to be taught by the Lord Himself (Galatians 1:17). After spending a few days with Peter in Jerusalem, Saul/Paul went back to his home town of Tarsus for the next 14 years (Acts 9:30; 11:25).

How To. It has been suggested that during this time he was learning how to live the Christian life himself before teaching other Christians how to live by “Grace Principles.” (See Acts 20:28.) He related his personal struggle with his sin nature and how he leaned how to overcome the temptations that come from it by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7; 8; Galatians 5:16).

Age. Some believe that the Apostle Paul was about 50 years old when he began his missionary work, along with Barnabas. Having been commended by the Christians in the church in Antioch, they began their first missionary journey into central Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). When the work got hard, John Mark, whom they had brought with them, went home (Acts 13:13).

Stoned. As they went from place to place sharing the Good News (Gospel) concerning Christ’s death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection, they saw some people saved in spite of much persecution. While they were at Lystra, the Apostle Paul was stoned to death (Acts14:19; See 2 Corinthians 12:1-6). But since his work on earth wasn’t done, God revived him and he and Barnabas continued to evangelize the Jews and Gentiles. Today Jesus holds the “keys of death” (Revelation 1:18; See Hebrews 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:14). A few local churches were established along the way.

Account. Returning to their sending church in Antioch, they reported what God had done through them (Acts 14:27). When it was time for them to go back to the area where they had started some churches, Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement about whether they should take with them John Mark who had deserted them on their first missionary trip (Acts 15:36-41). Because of this, Paul took Silas with him, and Barnabas took John Mark with him and they went on separate missionary journeys.

Assistant. When Paul and Silas arrived back at Lystra, they found a young man by the name of Timothy, who had a good report from the brethren (Acts 16:1 ff) . In all likelihood, Timothy had heard about or perhaps witnessed Paul’s being stoned to death and hearing of his restoration back to life. Perhaps this resulted in Timothy’s being saved. So Paul invited him to come along with them as they continued on their missionary trip.

People Groups. Even though Paul had been commissioned to go primarily to the Gentiles (non-Jews), he didn’t neglect the Jews (Galatian 2:7). He tried to visit their synagogues on the Sabbath to proclaim to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on their third day. So when they crossed over the sea, they arrived in Philippi (in Europe), and encountered a lady by the river where there was a place of prayer.

God’s Work. He prepared Lydia’s heart and she received the Gospel message from Paul, and became the first Christian in Europe (Acts 16:14). She, being a wealthy business woman, invited Paul and his companions to stay at her house.

Demon. Later as Paul and Silas were sharing the Gospel with the people in Philippi, a demon possessed girl, who was making her masters much money, was following Paul around while saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us [Greek =“a”] way of salvation” (Acts 16:17; See John 14:6). Irritated by this, Paul cast the demon out of the girl. This resulted in the merchant’s financial loss, and Paul and Silas’ being beaten and thrown in jail.

Rejoicing. Rather than complaining about their mistreatment, even though Paul was a Roman citizen, they sang songs in the middle of the night. God sent an earthquake that caused their chains to fall off.

Question. Fearing for his life, the jailor came rushing in and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-32) was Paul’s reply. Upon believing, the jailor and his household were baptized (immersed). Read Acts 16 for “the rest of the story.”

Martyrs. While the Apostle Paul and his companions were evangelizing in Asia Minor and Europe, the other disciples of Jesus went elsewhere proclaiming the Gospel. All but the Apostle John were martyred for their faith. (Read John Fox’s “Book of Martyrs.”) Truly “The blood of the martyr’s became the seed of the church.”

The “Book of Acts” continues Dr. Luke’s record of the life of Christ that he began in the Gospel with his name on it. It transitions people from Law into Grace. Believers today have a new set of rules to regulate their lives. These “Rules for Grace Living – Dispensations” can generally be found between John 13 through Revelation 3. (See our “Understanding the Times, Dispensations Chart” for more details.)

What Is A Local Church Supposed To Do?

God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself (Exodus 8:22; 10:2; Isaiah 49:3; John 17:4; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). This means that He tells us what He’s like and then demonstrates it to us in various ways. In the end, God the Father will be glorified when everyone acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord (i.e. the God/man – Philippians 2:11). This verse doesn’t teach “universalism” or that eventually everyone will be saved (See John 3:18, 36; Matthew 25:41, 46).

The primary objective/purpose of a local church is/should be to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). Christians can do this by/through –

Worship. Believers today are to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24; Ephesians 4:23; John 14:6). This can be done anywhere at any time. When Christians gather together, they should rehearse the attributes and character of God to remind each other of who and what God is. His attributes include His goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love. Meditating on these things will enable us to magnify God in our thinking (Psalm 1:2; 34:3; 1 Timothy 4:15).

Preaching. In order for believers to grow spiritually ( 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), they need to have the Word of God proclaimed and explained to them (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 4:2; Titus 1:9). The Scriptures are to be interpreted normally (literally), historically, grammatically, and contextually. God gave to the Church Pastors/teachers for the edification of believers (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Stimulation. Believers should look forward to the assembly meetings of the church (Hebrews 10:24, 25) so they can use their spiritual gifts with love to assist others in the fellowship (John 13:34, 35; Galatians 5:13; Romans 12:3-9; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10).

Ordinances. There are two ordinances that the Lord gave to the Church: Baptism/immersion (1) to identify us with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3, 4; Galatians 2:20), (2) to be obedient to His command (Matthew 28:19, 20), and for us (3) to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism/immersion is not a condition for salvation, but an evidence of it to other people (Acts 8:36-39). The “Lord’s Table,” when observed, is designed to remind believers of the Lord’s sacrificial death until He comes back for us (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Unity. When God saves people today, whether they come from a Jewish or non-Jewish background, they are placed into the spiritual “Body of Christ – the true Church” and are made one “in Christ” (Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Believers are to “keep” (guard/maintain) the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Evangelism. Without the proclamation of the Gospel (that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead) lost people cannot be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:9-17; Matthew 25:41, 45; Revelation 21:8). This particular Good News is the “power of God” unto the salvation of both Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17). A person needs to know the facts of the Gospel, agree with the facts, and then place his/her faith in Christ alone, apart from any good works, if he/she is to be saved (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fellowship. Each local church, under Christ’s headship, may choose to fellowship with other Bible believing local churches as the Holy Spirit leads them (Ephesians 1:22, 23; Romans 8:14). God is opposed to the unequal yoke with unbelievers and with those who teach another Gospel and/or heresies (2 Corinthians 6:14; 11:4, 13-15; Revelation 2:20; 18:4; Titus 3:10).

Conclusion: The Church which is also known as “The Body of Christ” was a mystery in the Old Testament times (Romans 16:25-27). Are you are member in this body and the new creation (Ephesians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17)? You can become one by placing your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Once you’ve been saved, God wants you to grow spiritually, serve Him by serving others, and making Him known to others within your circle of influence and those whom you encounter in life.

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. Please SHARE this with others who want to know what God says in His Word.

(Philippians –  Lesson #8)

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time? Has all the happiness and joy in life been drained out of you? Would you like to have God’s quality of life and have it more abundantly (John 3:16; 10:10)? Perhaps you’ve heard this song by Joseph D. Carlson: “If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, / Let Jesus come into your heart. (Repeat) / Your sins He’ll wash away, / Your night He’ll turn to day, / Your life He’ll make it over anew. / If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, / Let Jesus come into your heart.” [1]

New Heart. Sadly, he didn’t quite get it right. God doesn’t want to come into our sinful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). Instead He wants to give us a new heart (mind, will, emotions) and a new nature from above (2 Peter 1:4; John 3:3-6). This occurs when we place our faith exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Although we still retain our old sin nature even after we are saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25), we have a new potential to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9) and to do the desirous will of God for our lives. Are you doing it or doing what you want to do independently of God?

Happiness. This can be an elusive feeling that comes from having things going our own way. But there is a way that seems right but that can lead to death (Proverbs 14:12; Judges 21:25).

Joy. This is one of nine things that God the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a Spirit filled believer (Ephesians 5:18) and it’s known as The Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). Likeagape” love, this joy that comes from God, needs to directed properly toward the right objects, at the right time, for the right reasons. Just as God’s love can be misdirected toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17), so true joy can be misdirected away from God, His Word, and His children, to the temporal and vanishing things of this life.

Me Worry? The Apostle Paul wrote, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). When the believer’s delight is in the Lord and His Word (Psalm 1:2) and as we think and meditate about all that He has done for us (Ephesians 1:3 ff; Colossians 3:1 ff), there is nothing that can shake us and cause us to worry and fear (Philippians 4:6-8; 1 Timothy 4:15; Romans 8:35-39). No trial, temptation, or challenge can come our way without His approval or permission (James 1:12-15; 1 Corinthians 10:13). When we, as believers, successfully overcome temptations that come from the devilour old sin nature, or the present world system, we let God know that we love Him more than the temporary pleasures that this life offers (Hebrews 11:25). This pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9). Sadly, many Christians grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

On Being Joyful

The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to follow his example and be joyful Christians (Philippians 4:4). Here are a few things that helped him do this.

Self Image (Philippians 1:1). He knew what he had been prior to His encounter with the Lord. He considered himself to be a chief sinner” (1 Timothy 1:15). Having been saved, he voluntarily became a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15; See Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy15:17). He demonstrated his servanthood to God by serving for the advantage of other believers as the steward of this dispensation of grace” (Ephesians 3:1 ff; Galatians 5:13; 6:10). He also saw himself as being part of the New Creation” (Ephesians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17), and a member in the Body of Christ, the true Church” (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Grace & Peace (Philippians 1:2). Paul knew that his salvation was due to the grace of God which he didn’t deserve (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Upon his becoming a Christian, he had peace with God” and no longer was he God’s enemy (Romans 5:1, 10). He could enjoy the peace of God” as long as he was filled by the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and walked by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25). Yes, there were times when the Apostle Paul struggled with and gave in to the temptations that came from his sin nature (Romans 7:15-25). God doesn’t want us to sin, but He knows that we will sin periodically. This is why we have an Advocate with the Father who satisfied His outraged holiness against our sin nature (1 John 2:1 ff). Jesus is the one and only Mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5). All true Christians are priests who are to offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16) and Jesus is the High Priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26; 4:15, 16).

A Thankful Heart (Philippians 1:3). Paul wrote, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” [Philippians 1:3). He was responsible, from a human standpoint, of bringing these people to Christ. They knew how he and Silas were mistreated and beaten there in Philippi for the cause of Christ so they could be saved (Acts 16:16 ff; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:12). One of the evidences of being filled with the Spirit” is that a believer will have a singing, thankful, and submissive heart (Ephesians 5:18-21). We’re instructed to give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (sin apart) and for all men (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1 ff).

Prayer (Philippians 1:4). God has given believers eight ways to communicate with Him: worship, praise, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession, asking in Jesus’ name, confession, and making vows. It’s a shame that so many Christians limit their communication with Him to asking and receiving” and then failing to give thanks to Him for His good and perfect gifts that come from above (James 1:17).

Fellowship (Philippians 1:5). Too often fellowship is associated with potluck meals” rather than sharing spiritual things in common with God and other believers. (See Ephesians 4:1-6) If Christians are to have fellowship with God, we must walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). We must order our lives by the standard that God has given to us. They involve grace principles” rather than by law principles” (Romans 6:14; 3 John 1:4). See our “Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart” on our website.

Confidence (Philippians 1:6). God always finishes what He begins. Our salvation comes to us in three phases. When we place our faith and trust in Christ alone as our personal Savior, we are immediately saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1). We are being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:16). We shall be saved from the presence of sin when we die or are raptured (Romans 8:23).

Concern (Philippians 1:7, 8). When we have God’s love operating in our lives, we should direct it back to God and His children first (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10), rather than toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). We won’t /shouldn’t think of ourselves more highly than we should think (Romans 12:3). Perhaps you remember this song by B. Metzger. Jesus and others and you, What a wonderful way to spell joy! Jesus and others and you, in the life of each girl and each boy. “J” is for Jesus, for He has first place, “O” is for others you meet face to face, “Y” is for you, in whatever you do. Put yourself third and spell JOY.”

Expectations (Philippians 1:9-11). The Apostle Paul knew that God could do far more than he could ask or think in the lives of those who were submissive to Him (Ephesians 3:20; James 4:7). His prayer was that their love might abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that they might approve the things that are excellent, that they might be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, and that they might be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Glory (Philippians 1:11). God’s primary purpose/objective is to make Himself known to His creatures – both human and spirit beings (John 14:13; 17:4; Philippians 2:11). It ought to be every Christian’s purpose/goal/objective in life to glorify God through everything that we say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31; John 15:8; Psalm 19:14).

Gospel (Philippians 1:12-15). Even though Paul was in prison for the cause of Christ, his bold witness to the elite Roman soldiers resulted in some of them being saved. They were Paul’s captive audience. They observed how he lived and related to those who came to visit him in prison (Acts 28:30). He told them about Christ and why he was there for insisting that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah who died for our sins and rose again bodily from the dead (2 Timothy 2:8-10).

Quote. Joy is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God – that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen.” – Chuck Swindoll, Laugh Again, p. 34

Your Sail. One ship sails east. One ship sails west. Regardless of how the winds blow, it is the set of the sail, and not the gale that determines the way that we go.” – C.R.S. In which direction will your sail be set – for Joy or for Sorrow.

Help. We’re her to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 25; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies.

[1] https://hymnary.org/text/if_you_want_joy_real_joy_wonderful_joy 

 

(Philippians – Lesson #7)

One ship sails east

One ship sails west

Regardless of how the winds blow.

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.” [1]

During my summer vacations, when I was a teenager growing up in Japan, I loved to go out on a small sailboat on Lake Nojiri in the Japan Alps. [2] It was a little bigger than a surf board and had a center board, a rudder, and a sail. I’d lie down on it and steer it with my feet. I got pretty good at it and could go almost anywhere as long as there was a wind and if I had set my sail properly.

Storms. Life throws a lot of adverse winds at us and the devil wants to discourage, disappoint, and cause us to doubt God and His Word. But when we, as believers, put on the whole armor of God, and resist the devil, we can overcome him and live a life that pleases God (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Corinthians 5:9). Are you grieving God (Ephesians 4:30) or pleasing Him?

Choices. We all have choices to make every day. We can get all upset, complain, and question God and His plan for our lives just as the Jews in the wilderness did. If we do, we can/should expect to suffer similar consequences as they did (1 Corinthians 10). On the other hand we can give thanks with a grateful heart and let others know that we have a God who is bigger than all our challenges in life (1 John 4:4). God wants us, as believers, to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things and people that He allows to come into our lives (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1). The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13; See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10 NKJV). Are you giving thanks to God with a grateful heart? [3] From prison he wrote to some believers and encouraged them to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4).

Freedom. Having had virtually everything stripped from him during his concentration camp experience in World War II, Dr. Victor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”.

Pride/Humility. The once proud King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon leaned his lesson well when he shared his personal testimony after God humbled him. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37 NKJV). Pharaoh, who wouldn’t humble himself before God, was brought down by the mighty hand of God and he and his soldiers perished in the Red Sea (Exodus 15:4).  

Application. Are you proud of your race, place, or face? Wait just a minute. “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it” (1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV)? Furthermore, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:7 NKJV).  

Outlook. We, as Christians, can look at life from a human perspective or through God’s eyes knowing that “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 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 8:28 NKJV). Read that again slowly. “Our troubles didn’t come to stay, but to pass.” But not so for those who die physically without the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Read Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Bad News/Good News. “Friend, You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [4].  Have you shared this information with an unbeliever recently? Apart from the Gospel, no one can be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17).

Promises. [5]“God will keep His promises whether we believe them or not.” Knowing them and claiming the ones that were given to us as New Testament Christians can result in a “worry free life.” “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as them come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible Studies.

[1] Adapted from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “The Winds Of Fate”

[2] Lake Nojiri – Pictures: https://www.google.com/search?q=images+lake+nojiri&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiHgpKjzqLiAhVMmK0KHY2zCbYQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=896&bih=445

[3] Give Thanks – Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXBxImes110

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMTmZKotTYw

[4] Dr. M. Kober, https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

[5] Promises: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/promises-for-christians-to-claim-2/

Philippians 1:1 (Lesson #6)

We all know that we’ve sinned and have acted lawlessly (1 John 1:8-10; 3:4). This makes us sinners in need of a Savior because we can’t save us ourselves by our good works (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). But when the word “saint” is mentioned, what comes into your mind? To some people “The title ‘Saint’ denotes a person who has been formally canonized, that is, officially and authoritatively declared a saint, by the Church as holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and is therefore believed to be in Heaven by the grace of God.” Today Romanists generally believe that a person can become a saint by (1) waiting five years. The process to make someone a saint cannot normally start until at least five years after their death. … (2) becoming a “servant of God,” (3) showing proof of a “heroic virtue,” (4) having performed verified miracles, (5) and then going through cononisation. [1]

But according to the Scriptures, the moment a person believers on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, he/she becomes a saint, a child of God, a royal priest, and a member in the Body of Christ which is the true Church (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 John 3:10; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6; Romans 12:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 5:30). There are many other things that can be said of every true Christian who has been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). If you’re saved, how many of them could you name? Is your lack of Bible knowledge contributing to your not enjoying the eternal and abundant life that Christ came to give to you (John 10:10)? How much time are you spending in God’s Word and meditating on it (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17)? Do you need help to understand the Scriptures? If so, ask us about our “Dispensations Chart.” It might help you greatly. Knowing what parts are to you as opposed to what is for you, can make a big difference.

Saints. This word comes from the Greek language (in which the New Testament was written) and essentially means one who has been separated unto God. “Sainthood is not an attainment; it is a state into which God in grace calls men.” – W. E. Vine. It has to do with a believer’s position “in Christ.” Just as a prince is taught and then called upon and expected to behave like a prince, so too all true believers (Christians) are called upon to learn how to live up to the level of their position “in Christ” (1 Peter 1:15, 16). “In the New Testament the word “saint” always refers to a sanctified person, one set apart to God inviolably [incapable of being violated] for His possession and service. (Compare the related Greek words hagios and hagiazo rendered “saint” and “sanctify” respectively.) The aspect of Christian sanctification is positional, based on the atoning blood of Christ (Hebrews 13:12; compare 10:10-14). In this sense, all believers are saints regardless of their progress and growth…” – Taken from Dr. C. I. Scofield’s Study Bible, Romans 1:7 note. [2] “The Apostle Paul was fond of addressing his fellow believers as “saints” (cf. Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Philemon 5, 7). This title reflects the Christian’s present justified standing before God, though not necessarily his or her present sanctified standing in the sight of other people.” – Dr. Thomas Constable. [3]

“In Christ Jesus.” The term “Christ” can be used to mean (1) “Messiah” (Matthew 16:16, 20), (2) the “resurrected and glorified One” (Acts 2:22-36), or to (3) the “New Man” or the “New Creation” called “The Christ” (Ephesians 2:14, 15; Ephesians 5:32; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The context must determine the meaning. When a sinner believes/trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for his/her salvation (Acts 16:31), he/she is placed (baptized spiritually) into this “New Creation” which includes the spiritual “Body of Christ, which is His Church” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; Matthew 16:18). The members include all believers from the “Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2) up to the Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 6:37; Romans 11:25). The Lord Jesus Christ became the Head of His Body, the Church after His crucifixion, death, and bodily resurrection from the dead, on the Day of Pentecost (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 4:8-16; Acts 2). As the Head, Jesus Christ is the One who directs the affairs of the Body through God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Sadly, many Christians grieve (Ephesians 4:30) and quench Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19) by sinning or failing to follow His leading in their lives (Romans 8:14; 2 Timothy 2:12).

Spiritual Gifts. The activities of the Body of Christ (Christians) are directly related to his/her spiritual gift that is/was given to each and every New Testament believer at the moment of his/her salvation (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 2:10). Some of the spiritual gifts were “temporary” until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10), while others are extant (still being given out today). (See our “Bible Basics Docs” on our website for more information.) For a believer to receive crowns, rewards, or praise from Christ at the time of the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), these good works must be exercised with love that is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the lives of “Spirit filled” believers (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13; 22, 23; Ephesians 5:18). Good works done independently of God are like wood, hay, and straw and they will be burned up on judgment day (John 15:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 64:6). The unbelievers’ day of judgment, called “The Great White Throne Judgment,” will come at the end of the 1,000 reign of Christ (Revelation 20:11-15). It will determine the degree of suffering these people will endure throughout all eternity. There is no annihilation of the wicked dead as some cults teach (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:44, 46, 48). In which judgment will you participate (Hebrews 9:27)?

Philippi. It was a Roman colony in Europe and a military outpost. The citizens apparently enjoyed autonomous government, immunity from taxes, and treatment as if they lived in Italy. The first Christians and members of this local church were Lydia and jailor and his family (Acts 16). Other people were saved as the new Christians shared the Gospel with others in the community (Acts 1:8). Dr. Luke may have stayed in Philippi for awhile to strengthen the newly established local church after Paul and Silas left there and went to Thessalonica where they also faced persecution (Acts 17).

Bishops. This term relates to an overseer of a local church (1 Timothy 3:1 ff). “Pastor-teacher” is the spiritual gift that a man should have to become an overseer of a church. Being an “elder” tells us that a bishop (overseer) should have a relative degree of spiritual maturity and this takes some time (1 Timothy 3:6; Titus 1:5 ff). He should be involved in feeding, guiding, guarding, and healing God’s flock, the Church (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; 4:1-5; See Revelation chapters 2, 3 for Christ’s words to the angels/messengers/Pastor-teachers in these seven churches).

Deacons. These men need to be genuinely saved (2 Peter 1:10) and be Spirit filled men (Ephesians 5:18) with God’s wisdom (James 1:5; 3:17, 18) who assist the Bishops, Pastor-teachers so they can give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:3, 4; 1 Timothy 3:8).

Questions? Have you placed your faith and trust in the Christ of the Scriptures alone to save you? Do you see yourself as a necessary member in the “Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)? If you are saved, are you acting like a Christian should act? Do you know what your spiritual gift is? Do you realize that while we have citizenship here on earth, our most important citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20)? Are you using the “spiritual gift” that God gave to you to edify others within the “Body of Christ” (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)? What are you doing to magnify and make the Lord Jesus Christ known to other people (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3)? What needs to change?

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] Saints.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint

https://www.google.com/search?q=what+comes+to+people%27s+minds+when+the+word+saint+is+mentioned&oq=what+comes+to+people%27s+minds+when+the+word+saint+is+mentioned&aqs=chrome..69i57.19383j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.google.com/search?q=How+do+you+become+a+saint+in+the+Catholic+Church%3F&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwirhvKQzY7iAhUNSa0KHcSVDXEQzmd6BAgKEAo&biw=693&bih=398

https://www.newsweek.com/how-do-you-become-saint-pope-francis-just-announced-new-path-635376

[2] Dr. C. I. Scofield Study Bible. http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield%C2%AE-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

[3] Dr. T. Constable, https://www.planobiblechapel.org/tcon/notes/html/nt/philippians/philippians.htm

The Bad News & The Good News” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/