EXPLORING GOD’S WORD 69 LESSON 4

TOPIC: STEADFASTNESS continued

Should be manifested by:

*In holding fast the confidence and rejoicing in hope. Heb.3:But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Heb.3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

*Keeping the faith – Col.2:For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 1 Peter 5:Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

*Standing firm in the faith- 1 Cor.16:And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

*Holding fast to what is good – 1 Thess. 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

*Maintaining Christian liberty – Gal.5:Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

*Striving for faith of the gospel – Phil.1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; Jude 1:Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

*Steadfast even under affliction – Psalm 44: 17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.18 Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;19 Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.  Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 1 Thess. 3:For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

[ to be continued ]


 

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EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [67]

Topic: Christianity — Christianity is not religion; it is a relationship with Christ.

a/ Founded in Christ—- 1 Cor.3: 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

b/ Based on doctrine—- 1 Cor.15: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

c/ Designed for all—- Matt.28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

d/ Centers in salvation—- Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

e/ Produces change—- 1 Cor.6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

I trust you are blessed by reading of theses verses that Christianity is a real relationship with Christ, the only true Savior.

THE BIG RAIN!

The Summer was dry;

the Fall too,

danger of forest fires,

everywhere loomed.

The wells and streams,

are going low,

Prayers going up,

for the storm clouds

on the horizon show.

They all prayed,

for a big rain;

they needed water,

so much they knelt,

and God answered,

and sent a big rain,

now the wells are not dry,

the streams are filled;

Thank you Father,

thanks again;

You heard our prayers,

and You sent a big rain.

~ Winston Staples

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [62]

TOPIC: Repentance. [ to turn around, 180 degree turn a round ] To turn from the darkness of sin to the light of an eternal God.

*To turn—– Acts 9:35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.

*To repent—– Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

*To return—– 1 Samuel 7:And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

*To convert—– Acts 15:And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

KINDS OF REPENTANCE:

*Natural—– Joel 3: Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:

The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.

Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head:

And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it.

*Internal—– Ps.51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

*Unavailing—– Heb.12: 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

*True—– Read 9:1-20

*Unreal—– Exodus 9: 27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.

28 Intreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.

29 And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord‘s.

30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord God.

31 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.

32 But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.

33 And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.

34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses.

[ to be continued ]

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [60]

topic: SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

As we look around this old world we see a great falling away from God. We see moral de cay everywhere; we need to be given a shake and woke up and get back to the Bible teaching. What must we do to get back on track?

a/ Old Testament when they got astray, one returned to the place of worship.

  • Gen.35: And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

    Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

    And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

    And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

    And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

    So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.

    And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

    [ KJV]

B/ They returned to reading  God’s word.

  • 2 Kings 22: And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord.

    10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

    11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes

    12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,

    13 Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

    14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

    15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,

    16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:   [ also read Neh.8:1-18 ]

    C/ They confessed their sin.

  • Ezra 10: 1-17 King James Version (KJV)

    10 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it.Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware.Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain.10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.11 Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.

    14 Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.17 And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.

D/ Be filled with the Holy Spirit.

John 7: 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) [also read Acts 2:1- 47 ]

 

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

 

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD {59D}

*Topic: Ascension of Christ [d]     This is the last blog on this brief study on the Ascension of Christ.

  • He descended to prepare a place for His people   John 14:In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
  • His second coming will be in the clouds      Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
  • His ascension typified     Lev.16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:   Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Hebrews 9:But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Christ ascended into Heaven to take His seat at the right hand of His Father and one day soon the Father will say Son go bring your bride home, then He will descend in the clouds and catch us up to meet Him in the air. What a Glorious day that will be!

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [54]

* Wisdom……Today so many people are seeking knowledge and wisdom, often in the wrong places. Some people obtain knowledge but fail to have the wisdom to use it correctly.

Let’s look at the following Bible verses about knowledge and wisdom:

  • Proverbs 1:The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. [20-22]20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

    21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

    22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

  • Proverbs 4: Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
  • Luke 2: 39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.