Articles

Jesus: The Fulfillment of Prophecy

What is the purpose of the Bible? Some say that it is a rulebook; a set of “do’s” and “don’ts” on how to live; others see it as a guideline for self-improvement. Some see it as a mysterious book filled with codes and deep hidden secrets of the world; others say that it is purely a work of fiction with no significance at all. I see the Bible as something entirely different than all of these ideas… I see the Bible as a love letter – a love letter to you – from the Creator of the Universe. A love letter designed to not only show you the Creator of the Universe and everything in it, but to unveil to you His heart and His passion for you, and His desire to reconcile you to Himself and share in a personal relationship.

Some people have a hard time accepting this idea. They see God as a distant being up in the sky, who is either not interested in the world at all, or so busy dealing with the events and troubles of the world that He could not possibly have time for us on an individual basis; however nothing could be further from the truth. The word “Bible” simply means books, but what’s so special about this particular collection of books? What’s so different about the Holy Scriptures?

I have already mentioned that I see the Bible differently from most people… I see it as a love letter. Now ultimately the greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for the one you love. To save someone, even at the expense of yourself; and this is exactly what God has done, through Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament writings (what the Jewish people call the Tanakh) there are prophecies – prophecies of the Anointed One of God, the Messiah (Mashiah) who will come to redeem and save His people. This is an action done purely from love, from a desire not to destroy, but to save.

The Holiness of God Leads to Jesus

There is a division in many Christian circles today; and this division is between the holiness of God, and the Grace which Jesus Christ has brought to humanity. You may have heard it spoken in church or preached from the podium, that “God is a Holy God. His Holiness is uncompromising and His eyes see everything.” This is an absolutely true statement – no doubt about it at all. But what is the intent of the message? For believers in Christ Jesus who have been cleansed from all of their sins, is the holiness of God still something to fear?

I have spoken to many believers who are facing confusion, because they have been taught that they should be in fear regarding the holiness of God and should constantly be weighed-down in remembrance of their sins. To do otherwise would mean that God had “given them up to their sinful lusts” or that they have a “seared conscience”; and we have an entire separate study on the true meaning of a seared conscience for those who are trapped in the psychological jail-cell of sin and guilt because of that particular false teaching.

The question we will be answering today in this study is: Is the Holiness of God separate from the Grace of Christ? Many people think that they are on two opposite ends of the spectrum, as if God has a split-personality disorder. Yet is this what the Bible actually teaches? We will be looking at this today in the scriptures.

Bless God by Receiving From Him

It’s safe to say that most believers want to bless God. We sing songs about “blessing His name.”, speaking well of Him (which is technically all that blessing means). But there is a commonly held idea that in order to truly bless God, we must give to Him; an idea that has led many into bondage by trying desperately to give to God something of worth and value in order to somehow demonstrate gratitude.

However is this idea of “giving back to God” really the best way to demonstrate gratitude or bless Him? Is this really what the Bible says? Today we will be answering these questions from scripture to see what really gladdens the heart of God.

Blessings Come When You See Jesus

Imagine for a moment if you will, that God appeared to you in a dream and asked you what He was to give you. What it is that you would ask for? Perhaps more money? Healing? Maybe to find true love? Would you ask to see more of Jesus? Now I am not asking the question in order to bring a sense of guilt on you, so please don’t feel that way. However what we will be reading in scripture today will actually shift your mentality, to see that actually all of the other blessings will come as you see and receive more of Jesus into your life, because He is actually the source of every blessing.

As we study this today, it is my sincere hope for you that this will change your outlook, and even your thinking as you study the Bible in your personal time. That Bible reading will not be a chore, or a tool for behavior modification. But that it will become a joy and a treasure, as you grow closer to the LORD, and live a life of divine blessing through Him.

Every Blessing is Yours in Jesus

When looking at men whom God has blessed throughout the Bible, Solomon can’t be ignored. He was the most-blessed figure in the Old Testament – so much so that God said that there was never anyone blessed like Solomon before, nor will there be after him for all of his days. (1st Chronicles 2:12, 1st Kings 3:13)

Often times, we look at Solomon and wonder why God doesn’t bless us in the same manner. After all, we are kings and priests in Christ. (1st Peter 2:9) However this question is based on a faulty premise: that God has indeed not blessed us to an equal and even greater measure than He has blessed Solomon. That’s why in this study today, we will be looking at the blessings God gave Solomon, and also how today in Christ Jesus, we have such a greater measure, that if Solomon was here, he would be asking us for a loan!

One Needful Thing

In John chapter 15, Jesus speaks the words that this ministry is founded upon, saying that He is the True Vine, and that we are the Branches. Then He goes on to make a very important and very controversial statement, that apart from Him we can do nothing, but with Him we bear much fruit. This statement of Jesus is controversial, because while nearly every believer is familiar with it, very few actually believe it!

Do you believe these words of Jesus today? Do you truly believe that without Him you can do nothing, but with Him you will bear much fruit? We as humans, tend to think that we can still do some things without Him – we think that we can still do small things or personal things without Him, and we only need Him for the big and important things. But the truth of Jesus as our source of everything is vital to our success as a believer, and this is what we will be studying today.

A God of Second-Chances

You have probably heard it said before, that God is a God of second-chances. But what exactly does this statement mean? What is the implication of such a truth? If God is a God of second-chances, then does that mean that there are no second-chances without Him? And how precisely do we avail ourselves of the second-chances that we are offered?

In this study today, we are going to be answering these questions from scripture. Taking a look at where this popular phrase comes from and how it applies to our daily life. By seeing this truth, you can have security in the completed work of Jesus Christ, and doubt, confusion and fear will no longer steal the peace you have in Christ.

See Jesus and Never Walk in Darkness

There is much confusion and differing ideas regarding what it means to “walk” from a Christian standpoint. It is often said that we are to “walk worthy of our high calling in Christ”, and this is generally thought of to mean that we should guard against sinful acts in order to prove our worthiness. But is this what the Bible actually means when it speaks of our walk in Christ? Are we really supposed to prove our worthiness by our performance or behavior?

In this study today, we will be examining this question in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ, because there is no other light by which things can be clearly seen. Everything will either stand or fall by Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 3:11-13 makes it clear that anything built on Christ will stand firm, but anything built on another foundation will be burned-up. So we will see if this idea of proving our worthiness by our performance stands up by Jesus.

The Grace of Christ Brings Health and Prosperity

Many times when believers talk about health, they do it from the perspective of the world. As if sickness and disease is just a normal part of life. From a very early age, we are conditioned by the world to accept illness as a natural condition – as just part of being human, and so we receive it without a second-thought. Likewise when believers talk about prosperity, many times it is with derision “we don’t want that prosperity gospel!”. As a result, many people spend their lives battling sickness and in poverty But is this what the Bible says should be? Is this what the life of a believer redeemed by Christ Jesus should be like?

Today in this study, we will be answering these questions from scripture as we examine what the Bible has to say regarding health and prosperity, in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ. And as we see the truth of Jesus regarding these things, we will be able to receive more of Him.

You Are Holy in Christ

What does it mean to be holy? People have many different ideas about the word… from piousness and being overtly spiritual like the Pharisees, secluding yourself and meditating, or some other combination of self-effort and works. The Biblical definition of holiness is “to be set apart for your intended purpose”. But this definition has been largely misinterpreted and misunderstood, and has become something much more carnal and fleshly.

That’s why today in this study, we will be taking a look at holiness, in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ; and as we see this truth from the scripture, the false burden of trying to be holy will be replaced with receiving the holiness that Jesus has paid for us to have.