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Showing posts from November, 2017

The Lord's Appointed Times

Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)
Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Not to abolish, not to discard it, not to do away with it. To fulfill it.

Paul understood this. We must also. The Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in Colossae:
Therefore, no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)
The dietary guidelines had a purpose. So did the festivals and Sabbaths. They were a shadow of what is to come. They pointed to the substance which belongs to Christ. These aspects of the Law were given for a purpose. They revealed in shadow what was coming in the future. They were prophetic. In fact, they still are.

Christ has fulfilled much of the Law and Prophets in His first coming. Christ was born according to the Scr…

Two Main Tasks In The Church

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Paul's declaration in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is one of the most well-known and oft-quoted verses in Scripture. It speaks of the beautiful truth of salvation. The old things passed away. New things have come.

Praise God!

Much less quoted are the next verses.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20, underline added) If you are in Christ, you are a new creature. The old has passed away. The new has come. The "new" includes a ministry of re…

A Kingdom of Priests

'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."
(Exodus 19:5-6)
God declared His purpose in salvation after bringing the sons of Israel out of Egypt. God did this just  prior to giving them the Mosaic covenant. The purpose of salvation does not change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. The New is a continuation of the Old.

God declared that He was making a people for Himself to be His own possession. He was making a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
The nation of Israel is foundational in this purpose. Gentiles in the New Covenant are grafted into this same purpose. The use of this language - a kingdom of priests, a holy nation - is used by the Apostles John, Peter, and Paul in addition to the author of Hebrews.

A Conditional Covenan…

Stand By & See

But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."
(Exodus 14:13-14)

Salvation is wholly a work of God from beginning to end. The fact that you can contribute nothing to your salvation is a stumbling block to non-believers and believers alike. Pride can keep people from humbling themselves before God and receiving the gift of salvation. Those who have received salvation can begin to think they must now add something to what they have received.
Both are serious errors.
The Apostle Paul used the exodus and wilderness wanderings of the sons of Israel as a picture of God's work of salvation. For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;…

Christ Our Passover

For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
(1 Corinthians 5:7)

God promised to make a great nation of Abraham. Genesis records God's faithfulness in beginning to fulfill these promises through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As Genesis ends we see that God has orchestrated events in order to bring the sons of Israel (Jacob) into Egypt.

When they entered into Egypt there were about 70 persons in all. Over the next four hundred and thirty years the people multiplied greatly. God brought them out of the land of Egypt with powerful plagues in order to make them a holy nation, set apart for His great name.

The series of plagues drew a distinction between the sons of Israel and the Egyptians. The final plague was the harshest and was a foreshadowing of the coming Christ. The Apostle Paul makes it plain that Christ is the fulfillment of the Passover.

Distinguishing The People of God God declared the purpose of the plagues from the beginning.
"But on that day I will…

The Lion of Judah

"The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples."
(Genesis 49:10)

God declared that a seed would come and overcome the enmity of the curse of the fall. God chose Abraham and promised to make of him a great nation. God promised that the blessing upon Abraham would be a blessing upon all the families of earth. God miraculously provided Isaac to Abraham and Sarah to continue the lineage of promise.
Isaac grew up and took a wife at the age of forty. Isaac's wife Rebekah was barren. Isaac prayed for his wife, God opened her womb, and she conceived twins. The twins struggled together while in the womb and the LORD explained the struggle to Rebekah: The LORD said to her,
"Two nations are in your womb;
And two peoples will be separated from your body;
And one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger."
(Genesis 25:23)God sov…

The Lord Will Provide

Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided."
(Genesis 22:14)
After the miraculous birth of Isaac, the child of promise, Abraham was tested by God. This testing should be taken in the sense of refining. Not tempting. God was testing Abraham like a master goldsmith tests his metal. The testing is not an attempt to find out what you have. The testing is intended to refine what you have. Big difference.

God has already been refining Abraham for years. While Abraham waited for the fulfillment of the birth of Isaac his trust in God was built. The miraculous nature of Isaac's birth foreshadowed the miraculous birth of Christ. The offering of Isaac served as a type of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
The Offering of the Son We must always be careful when offering allegorical interpretations. Such handling of the text without restraint can lead to all sorts of speculation. In thi…

The Child of Promise

"But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year."
(Genesis 17:21)
Christians are called to walk by faith and not by sight. This is not a wishy-washy call to live by wishful thinking. Instead, it is a command to trust that God is able to accomplish what he has said he will do. Walking by faith is living in a confident expectation that God will do as he promised.
Scripture records God's faithfulness throughout history. Often God chooses to reveal his hand by working through circumstances that would be impossible if not for his miraculous intervention. These miraculous workings serve as evidence that God will likewise do as he has promised in regards to the salvation of individuals who put their faith in Christ. Salvation would be impossible if not for God's miraculous intervention.

The Promised Son God laid the foundation for salvation in the promised seed to come through Abraham. Abraham believed God. His faith in Go…

The Promised Seed

And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
(Genesis 15:5-6)
The great doctrinal cry of the Reformation was the assertion that salvation is by the grace of God through faith. This doctrine did not originate with the Reformers. Instead, the Reformation insisted on this truth because of its assertion in the Scriptures.
The Apostle Paul emphasized this same truth in Galatians 3. He quoted Genesis 15:6 and knit it together with the truth of Genesis 12:3.
Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.&qu…