September 22, 2016
God’s motive for adoption is here explained. It was “in love” that God chose us before we knew Him. It was God’s love that moved Him to save us and to give us the rights of sonship through adoption (John 1:12). While the doctrines of regeneration and justification describe our salvation from sin and death (Romans 8:2), the doctrine of adoption describes our new relationship as a beloved child of God.
September 27, 2015
Not living under the influence of alcohol, but under the Spirit’s control. Two commands are given here, with the first being illustrative to help understand and emphasize the second. They are: 1) Don’t allow your mind and senses to be dulled and dissipated under the influence of alcohol by getting drunk. 2) Instead, be continuously filled with the Spirit, so that your mind and body are always being submitted to the Spirit’s influence. This “filling” is not a once in a lifetime command or need, but a continuous, moment by moment one. Not because the Spirit leaves us, for He never leaves those He has sealed. But because we must continually drink from the Spirit as from a fountain that lives within us. Remember that Christ told the woman at the well that those who asked from Him would receive “living water” that would become in them a “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). The secret of living the abundant life is continuously living according to the Spirit’s filling, rather than by our own strength.
September 26, 2015
Everything has a “seal” or a child-proof cap on it these days. Designed to insure that the right person opens it and that the wrong person can’t, these seals offer quality assurance to the purchaser. The Bible says that when we are saved that God seals us with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us assurance of our salvation through Christ. Yet, when we sin, especially when we sin against fellow believers, it “grieves” the Spirit. It grieves God when we have unreconciled relationships. Having reconciled us to Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, and having sealed us with His Spirit, God has given us this ministry of reconciliation. We are to love God and others. This “grief” that we feel when we are not right with someone is further evidence of the Spirit’s seal. If you feel the Spirit’s grief today, move quickly to be reconciled and to feel His joy and peace again.
September 25, 2015
Some call the pastor the minister, but this is not biblical. The members are supposed to be the ministers. The pastor is to be an equipper. When Christ established the Church, he gave the gift of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the purpose of “equipping the saints.” When the members of the modern church realize that they are the ministers, we will see a return to the world-changing effectiveness of the 1st century church.
September 23, 2015
The Church is the people, not the steeple. Paul said that we are being “built on the foundation” of the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets. And that Christ Himself is the “chief cornerstone.” We are the church. Not a place, but a people. Jesus is not only its cornerstone, He is also its builder. As He told Peter, “Upon this rock I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). We are to “be” the church, while Christ “builds” it.