The Body of Christ – Every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ.

Each member of the Trinity is related to the body of Christ, and every Christian is a part of the body of Christ.

God the Father placed Christ as the head of the body.

Eph. 1:22,23, “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him too be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.

Col. 1:18,19; Eph. 5:23,24 also fit this context.

The Holy Spirit forms the body of Christ and sustains the body.

1 Cor. 12:12-14, “For as the body in one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Greeks, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Cor. 6:15; 19,20 support this statement.

Christ is the Savior of the body.

Eph. 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ the head of the church; and He is the savior of the body.

Please read Eph. 5:25, 30.

Christ is the sanctifier of the body.

Heb. 2:11, “For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

Heb. 13:12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

The body of Christ participates with the Lord Jesus Christ in tactical and strategic victory over Satan and his forces of evil.

Eph. 1:22,23, “And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.

Every Christian is a member of the body of Christ. The body includes gentile believers and Jewish believers.

Ephesians 2:16, “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

The body of Christ is the recipient of many spiritual gifts.

Rom. 12:4,5, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

1 Cor. 12:7,8, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit. For to one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom, to another, the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit;

The communication of Bible truth is the responsibility of the body of Christ and of those people given communication gifts.

Eph. 4:11 and the following verses describe the process of church building through communication of doctrine. This is discussed in the Ephesians course for chapter 4.

The objective of the body in this life is to live the grace filled life.

Eph. 4:15,16, “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, who is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according tot he effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

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Gnosticism and the Colossian Heresy

Introduction 1

[Please read the Epistle to the Colossians before continuing with this study.]

The doctrine of the Person of Christ is stated in Colossians with greater precision and fullness than in any other epistle of Paul.

The Colossian heresy, in its attack upon the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, made it imperative that it be met with such precise and complete doctrinal teaching as would successfully cope with the false teachings of these systems. A full understanding of the implications of the truth in Colossians stems from an acquaintance with this heresy.

The Colossian heresy is composed of two elements, either as taught separately by different people, or fused into one idea structure containing elements of legalistic Judaism and ascetic oriental Gnosticism.

Paul’s mention of Sabbaths, new moons, distinctions between meats and drinks, circumcision – all point to the element of Judaism in the heresy. His references to self-imposed humility, service and worship of angels, hard treatment of the body, and a superior wisdom, indicate that he is dealing with a Gnostic element.

Paul does not define these heresies. We are inferring the questions by examination of the answers that he provides. Neither is there any evidence that he is addressing two different groups; but it is generally agreed that many Christians at Colosse were being taught false doctrine that was based on these two major heresies.

Gnosticism

A Gnostic is a person who considers himself as having “knowledge” beyond that which the ordinary person has. He thinks of himself as a member of an intellectual elite, one of the few who set themselves above all others as possessing a superior knowledge.

The ancient oriental philosophy, or religion, of Gnosticism was concerned mainly with two questions.

  1. First, how can the work of creation be explained?
  2. Second, How are we to account for the existence of evil in the universe.

So, the problem posed was, “How can one reconcile the creation of the world and the existence of evil with the conception of God as a being who is absolutely holy?”

The Gnostic argued as follows

If God had created the universe out of nothing, and evolved it directly from Himself, that holy God could not have brought an evil universe into existence. Otherwise, one is drive to the inescapable conclusion that God created evil, which is impossible because He is holy.

But, the fact of an evil universe remained. So the Gnostic explains this with the theory that God must have limited Himself in some was in the act of creation.

There must have been some evolution, some emanation from God, a germination. This first “germination” evolved a second, which introduced a third, and so on. The more numerous the various stages of these creative emanations from God, the more feeble became their deity, until the divine element became so diffused that contact with matter was possible.

Now – matter was conceived to be that in which evil resided. The Gnostic postulated the theory of some antagonistic principle, independent of God, by which His creative energy was thwarted and limited. Thus, evil is seen to be resident in the material universe.

So their reasoning is, the gap between a holy Creator, God, and matter is bridged by these emanations. In this way the Gnostic brushes aside the intermediate agency of creation, namely the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:3) and the fact that God put a curse on the perfect creation because of sin (Rom. 8:20).

From these philosophical speculations, two opposing codes of ethics emerged, a rigid asceticism and an unrestrained license. The problem confronting the religious Gnostic was – since matter is evil, how can one avoid its terrible influence and keep his higher nature pure?

According to one group, the solution was to hold to a rigid asceticism. All contact with matter should be reduced to an absolute minimum. The material part of man should be reduced by subduing and mortifying. One should live on a spare diet and refrain from marriage. Eating animals was forbidden. The anointing of the body with olive oil was prohibited.

Other Gnostics, however, felt that even such strict denial of the body would produce slight and inadequate results. The argued that matter is everywhere and that, no matter how careful you are, you can avoid contact with it.

Therefore, one should cultivate an indifference to the world of matter and sensation. One should follow his own impulses without giving matter any thought one way or the other. Further, this group argues, the ascetic elevates matter to a higher place that it deserves, by pacing such great importance on abstinence. Thus he fails to assert his independence to is. The true rule of life is to treat matter as foreign and alien to one, and as something towards which one has no duties or obligations, and which one can use or leave unused as one likes. This philosophy, or course, led to unbridled license.

Gnosticism had no connection with Christianity directly. The professing Christian church was, however, influenced by Jewish Essenes, who were mystics, members of a secret brotherhood, and characterized by the same sort of severe asceticism that Gnostics practiced, in their rigorous observance of Mosaic ritual. They would not light a fire, move a vessel, or perform other ordinary functions; some even stayed in bed as much as possible.

Essenes held the name of Moses in reverence, and blasphemy was punishable by death. Marriage was an abomination; the adopted children. Those who accepted marriage as necessary regarded it, nevertheless, as evil. They lived for prayer and religious exercises.

Believing that matter is evil, they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, but believed in the continuance of the soul after life. They rejected blood sacrifices of the Jews (in spite of Moses) and sent offerings of vegetables to the temple. They place angels in the category of things to be worshipped, and prided themselves on their secret documents and teachings.

These, then, are the anti-Christian doctrines and practices that were creeping into the church at Colosse. Paul’s letter was written to combat these things.

  1. Intellectual exclusivism VS the universality of Gospel teaching
  2. Hidden mysteries and secret ritual VS the knowledge of God in Christ
  3. Some men perfect through knowledge VS every man perfect in Christ.
  4. Divine emanations and angels who were mediators in creation VS Jesus Christ as Creator
  5. A distributed divine essence (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) VS the divine essence is totally in Christ Jesus.

The Essenes 2

The Essenes were a Jewish religious community which was first mentioned in history in the writings of Josephus (Antiquities, XIII, 5, 9), who mentions them as flourishing in the time of Jonathan Maccabaeus, in about 150 B.C., where he speaks of Judas, an Essene.

The Essenes are not mentioned directly in the Bible. However, it is thought that Matt. 19:11,12 and Col. 2:8 and 18 include indirect references to Essenes. In any case, the Essenes disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

The Essenes were an extremely ascetic group of men in Palestine and Syria, and they are thought to have formed the first cells of organized monasticism in the Mediterranean world, setting the pattern for the various holy orders which proliferated during and after the time of Christ. It is still not clear whether the Essenes proceeded from some sect of Judaism or whether elements of Greek and other foreign philosophies had an influence in their origin. Their main colonies were near the northern end of the Dead Sea and around the town of Engedi. The study of the Dead Sea Scrolls has produced a considerable body of knowledge of the early Christian sects; and the Essenes may have been the group which produced the scrolls. The bibliography of this article provides references for further study.

Essene Organization

The community of the Essenes was organized as a single body, with a president at the head. The members had to obey the president unconditionally. A man who wanted to join the order was given three articles: a pickax, an apron, and a white garment. After a year’s probation, during which he was observed continuously, he was admitted to the second stage of his probation period. Another two years passed, after which the successful candidate was admitted as a full member and allowed to participate in the common meals. He was required to take a terrible oath, in which he swore to be absolutely open to the brethren and to keep secret the doctrines of the order, under pain of excommunication.

Children were instructed in the principles of Essenism; and Josephus says that the Essenes were divided into four classes. The children formed the first class, the first and second stages of novices were the next classes, and the fourth class were the full members.

Essene Discipline

Discipline was carried out by trial, and guilt was never decided unless at least one hundred members voted for it. After that, the decision was unalterable. The usual punishment was excommunication, often amounting to a slow death, since an Essene could not take food prepared by strangers, for fear of pollution.

The strongest tie between members was the absolute community of goods. Those who came into the order had to give all they had to stewards who were appointed to take care of their common affairs. There was one purse for all, and all members had expenses, clothing, and food in common. Those who were needy, such as the aged and infirm, were cared for at the common expense; and special officers were assigned in each town to take care of traveling brethren.

Essene Ethics and Customs

The daily labor of the members was strictly regulated. After group prayer, the members were dismissed to work by their president. They reassembled later for purifying washings and the common meal. They went to work again for the afternoon and gathered again for the evening meal. The chief employment was agriculture, and there were crafts of every kind. Trading, however, was forbidden; it was thought to lead to covetousness. It was also forbidden to make weapons or any utensils or tools that might injure men.

According to Josephus and other historians, the Essenes’ life was simple and unpretentious. They did not marry, but other people sent their children to them for training and admission to the order. They only ate enough to stay healthy; and they were content to eat the same food day after day. They felt that great expense was harmful to mind and body; and they did not throw any clothes or shoes away until they were completely worn out. They only acquired for themselves the minimum required to maintain life.

The following special customs were observed by the Essenes:

  • They had no slaves; all were free, mutually working for each other.
  • Swearing oaths was forbidden as worse than perjury; “for that which does not deserve belief without an appeal to God is already condemned.”
  • The forbade anointing the body with oil or perfumes, because they thought that having a rough exterior was praiseworthy.
  • It was compulsory to bathe in cold water before meals, after the functions of nature, and after coming into contact with lower Essene classes or strangers.
  • They wore white clothing all the time.
  • They required great modesty. In performing natural functions they dug a foot-deep hole with their pickax, which they always carried, covered themselves with a mantle (so as not to offend God), and covered the hole when they were finished. While bathing, they tied the ever-present apron around their loins.
  • They sent gifts of incense to the temple, but they did not offer animal sacrifices because they thought their own sacrifices were more valuable.
  • Their common meals had many characteristics of sacrificial feasts. The food was prepared by priests with the observance of certain rites of purification; and an Essene could not eat any food but this.

Essene Theology

The Essene theology was basically Jewish, with an absolute belief in God. Next to God, the name of Moses the lawgiver was an object of great reverence, and whoever blasphemed either God or Moses was sentenced to death. In their worship, the Scriptures were read and explained. The Sabbath was so strictly observed they did not even move vessels or perform the functions of nature. Their priesthood closely paralleled the Aaronic priesthood.

They had a strong belief in angels and revered them highly. Novices had to swear to preserve the names of the angels.

Concerning their doctrines of the soul and of immortality, Josephus writes: “They taught that bodies are perishable, but souls immortal, and that the souls dwelt originally in the eternal ether, but being debased by sensual pleasures united themselves with bodies as if with prisons. But when they are freed from the fetters of sense, they will joyfully soar on high as if delivered from long bondage. To the good souls is appointed a life beyond the ocean, where they are troubled by neither rain nor snow nor heat, but where the gentle zephyr is ever blowing…But to the bad souls is appointed a dark, cold region full of unceasing torment.”

The Essenes had peculiar conduct with respect to the sun. They turned to the sun while prayer, in contrast to the Jewish custom of turning toward the temple.

Essenism seems to have been Pharisaism in the highest degree. It was, however, influenced by foreign systems of theology and philosophy, including possibly Buddhism, Parseeism, Syrian heathenism, and Pythagoreanism.

1 This article is taken largely from Bishop J. B. Lightfoot, Epistle to the Colossians.

2 Bibliography of the section on the Essenes.

Josephus, Antiquities, xviii,1,5; Wars, II,8,2

Schuerer, Jewish People, Vol. II

Edersheim, Life and Times of the Jesus the Messiah,

Brownlee, W.H., “A Comparison of the Covenanters of the Dead Sea Scrolls with Pre-Christian Jewish Sects”, in The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. XIII, Sept. 1950, pp. 50-72.

Unger, Merrill F., Unger’s Bible Handbook

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Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Christian

A Spiritual Gift is a unique ability sovereignly given to each believer by the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation for the purpose of serving the Lord.

  1. Purpose of this study – to look at all of the Spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament and to understand the purpose and function of each gift.
  2. Objectives of this study – To show the logic in the use of gifts and to enable each student to be able to understand, for himself, the validity of the permanent gifts and the futility of the temporary gifts in today’s church.

Introduction to Spiritual Gifts

  • God bestows on every believer at the moment he is saved, at least one Spiritual gift.
  • Since each believer is a priest, he is to function in his priesthood as both servants and ambassadors.
  • The Believer’s Spiritual gift determines how he is to perform his priestly duties.
  • A believer-priest is not on this earth to live for himself, but to live for others. (Love God and love your neighbors as yourself)

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

In order for believers to function in their Spiritual gifts, he must first be trained (equipped) by those God has given as teachers and communicators of the Word of God.

Ephesians 4:8,11-13

Therefore it says, ‘WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.’

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

These three benefits of the training our communicators give us are all reflected and accomplished by the function of our Spiritual gifts together for the common good.

Spirituality; Introduction to Spiritual Gifts

When Studying Spiritual Gifts, it is important to remember the principles of Spirituality that make the function of the Spiritual Gifts possible and effective.

  1. Spirituality is an absolute; you are either spiritual or you’re not.
  2. Spirituality is what the Spirit of God produces in the life of the believer – we reflect
  3. A believer is spiritual, not because he’s good or mature, but because the Holy Spirit is in control and leading the believer. – Gal. 5:22-23 Fruit of the Spirit
  4. Spirituality is accomplished simply by yielding to the Holy Spirit; the will of God and permitting the works of God is our lives. – Walking in the Spirit and being Led by the Spirit. – Gal. 5:18;25
  5. Yielding to the Holy Spirit (being Filled with the Holy Spirit) is accomplished by desire, confession, and dependence on Him. – 1 John (the theme of the epistle)
  6. Desire (repentance), Confession (acknowledgment of sin), and Dependence (faith) are the three aspects of Spirituality and provide the mechanics to ensure fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives.
  7. When a believer is Filled with the Holy Spirit, his Spiritual Gift can function within the body (church) of Christ as it was intended to do – Eph. 5:18
  8. Spiritual gifts are given to every believer the moment he believes in Christ – 1 Cor. 12:13; the Christian cannot choose his gift, but merely receives it as one of several benefits occurring at salvation. – (pos. truth)
  9. It’s important that each believer discover his Spiritual gift, develop his skills in utilizing his gift efficiently, and then put the gift into action as God provides opportunities.
  10. Spiritual gifts are designed to be used in the local church or in conjunction with the ministries of the local church; Evangelism, missionary work and similar forms of ministries that occur outside the church are designed to help expand and build the church worldwide.
  11. In order to discover our gifts, we first must know what gifts are given by God and how to recognize them.
  12. We have three main passages in the New Testament that outline and list the different gifts. Rom 12:3-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, and 1 Cor. 12:8-10;28-30; 14:6,26

Christians are the Hands of God

During the Second World War, a church in Strasbourg was destroyed. After the bombing, the members of this particular church went to see what was left and found that the entire roof had fallen in, leaving a heap of rubble and broken glass. Much to their surprise, however, a statue of Christ with outstretched hands that had been carved centuries before by a great artist was still standing erect. It was virtually unharmed except that both hands had been sheered off by a falling beam. The people hurried to a sculptor in town and asked if he could replace the hands of the statue. He was willing, and he even offered to do it for nothing. The church officials met to consider the sculptor’s proposition – and decided not to accept his offer. Why? Because they felt that the statue without hands would be the greatest illustration possible that God’s work is done through His people.

Jesus Christ chooses human hands (gave gifts to men – Eph 4:8-14). Sometimes they seem to be the most infirm hands, the least potentially successful hands, or the least qualified hands – but those are the hands He uses.

Romans 12:3-8

  • Paul wrote the book of Romans to the Christians in the church at Rome
  • The theme of the book of Romans is: Justification by faith and the Righteousness of God
  • Several basic Christian doctrines are taught in this book: Natural revelation; universality of sin; justification; propitiation; faith; original sin; union with Christ; the election and rejection of Israel; spiritual gifts; and respect for government.
  • In chapter 12, Paul discusses the importance of Spiritual Gifts and how these gifts are categorized by God into two permanent categories.

Rom 12:3-5,For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,

so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Paul introduces the team concept in the Body of Christ. He shows that each believer shares equally in responsibility and function to one another and to Christ.

We also see “one family – one father.” We are all children of the same God who is the Father of the one Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Romans 12:6, “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

Verse six begins to break down the Spiritual gifts into two categories.

Prophecy – this term in the Greek PROPHETEIAN refers to communications in two forms:

Foretelling the Truth

Forth telling the Truth

To proclaim the Word of God concerning future events and concerning present events.

Romans 12:7, “if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

Service – DIAKONIA means to wait on tables; it is definitely a serving others concept.

The “one who teaches” is the first of several participles. A participle is used to further define a preceding noun. In this case, teaching clarifies prophecy as being instructive and edifying.

Romans 12:8,, “or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

As communicators: teaching & encouraging; As servants: giving, leading and showing mercy

Paul teaches in this passage that doing good in contrast to doing evil, is manifested in the use of our gifts to express our love for one another and to show the love of God to mankind

1 Peter 4:10-11

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The same two categories/types of gifts are given by Peter in this passage: Communication and Serving gifts.

Summary for Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Peter 4:10-11

  1. Your Spiritual Gift should never give rise to feelings of superiority or inferiority.
  2. Your Spiritual Gift is a Grace Gift – selected by God with our best and the church’s best interests in mind.
  3. Your S.G. can only function as God empowers (serving gifts) or enlightens (communication gifts).
  4. Communication gifts are dependent on one’s lever of spiritual understanding (faith comes by hearing)
  5. Serving gifts require a willingness to serve and the empowering by the Holy Spirit who gives both strength and opportunity.
  6. The Holy Spirit will give insight to Bible Doctrine and growth to maturity for communicators. He will empower and offer opportunities to serve for non-communication gifts.

N.B.; But, there are actually three types of Spiritual Gifts taught in the New Testament:

  1. Communication Gifts
  2. Serving Gifts
  3. Sign Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Paul lists several of the spiritual gifts including the third category of spiritual gifts: sign gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Manifestation of the Spirit – this is what Spiritual gifts in action are; evidence of the HS in the life of the believer – gifts = ministries = effects

For the common good – this is the purpose of giving the gifts; to benefit the body not to serve one person or one group of people.

Paul begins his list of Spiritual Gifts to the Corinthians in verses 8-11.

For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Listed in the Romans and 1 Corinthians passages are the following gifts: Definitions, purpose, function of each gift is given based on examples found both in scripture and in the lives of Christians throughout history.

Communication Gifts

Exhortation – Rom. 12:8

Exhortation is the God given ability to draw alongside of someone in order to comfort, to encourage, to rebuke, and to lead into insight toward action.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • makes time to be available to assist others
  • Sticks with people through thick and thin
  • Sees creative options when facing problems
  • Enjoys people
  • Understand feelings and attitudes of others
  • Confronts without being offensive
  • Works comfortably with group or one on one.
  • Persists without becoming discouraged
  • Shows deep concern for people who are going through difficulties

Teaching – 1 Cor. 12:29; Rom. 12:7

Teaching is the God given ability to lay down in systematic order the complete ladder of a doctrine and to apply it incisively and diligently to life

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Employs a logical, systematic approach to the Word of God
  • Feels people need to respond once they know the doctrine
  • Evaluates matters clearly and concisely
  • Summarizes information easily
  • Picks out main points quickly in a presentation
  • Studies cautiously and diligently
  • Gives attention to details
  • Prefers groups to one on one settings

Word of Wisdom – 1 Cor. 12:8; 13

This is the God given ability to locate formerly unknown principles as well as to combine known principles of God’s word and to communicate them to fresh situations.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Understands complex matter quickly
  • Makes decisions without hesitation
  • Puts ideas into words easily
  • Takes details and puts them together to make a complete picture
  • Seeks to know God’s view in daily activities
  • Assumes responsibility for tasks undertaken
  • Identifies problems
  • Negotiates acceptable course of action for self or others in difficult situations.
  • Recommends practical solutions that work
  • Lives confidently and consistently

Word of Knowledge – 1 Cor. 12:8; 13:2

The God-given ability to arrange the facts of scripture, to categorize these into principles, and to communicate them to repeated or familiar situations.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Enjoys study, digging for facts or details
  • Persistent, thorough
  • More task-centered than people-oriented as a rule
  • Tends to become impatient with people who fail to learn
  • Very precise
  • Patient, stays with a project until completed in all its details
  • Continually looking, searching for new information or data
  • Enjoys talking to well-informed people
  • Logical, scientific, serious
  • Tends to avoid games or discussion on deeply personal matters

Serving Gifts

Faith – 1 Cor. 12:9; 13:2

The God given ability to see through mountainous problems to the ultimate resource with the vision that is timely to rely absolutely on both God’s ability and willingness to perform in this particular matter.

Examples of this gift in function;

  • Changes quickly from one task to another
  • Persuades others to join in on projects
  • Sets a pace for others
  • Makes decisions and acts quickly
  • Tackles the seemingly impossible
  • Places confidence and rest in God
  • Remains determined in spite of difficulties
  • Challenges others to do what needs to be done
  • Leads out with new ideas
  • Sees the big picture of what is possible.

Giving – Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 13:2

The God given ability to make and to give things most liberally and beyond all human expectations.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Invests wisely
  • Seeks to know the facts
  • Dislikes emotional appeals
  • Sets and achieves long ranged goals
  • Evaluates the extent and worthiness of need
  • Dislikes inefficiency or waste
  • Makes decisions quickly, but holds back when not certain
  • Determines the merit before investing
  • Uses resources to get the most out of them
  • Often gives privately and without show

Mercy – Rom. 12:8

The God given ability to be sensitive or empathic to people who are in affliction or misery and to lift internal burdens with cheerfulness

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Recognizes when people have needs
  • Finds it hard to say no when asked to help
  • Jumps in quickly to assist even if it takes more time and energy than can be afforded
  • Lays aside personal plans to do for others
  • Relies heavily on intuitive feelings
  • Loves people regardless of their faults
  • Looks for the best in people without doubting
  • Acts as a peacemaker
  • Avoids argument or controversy
  • Conveys a contagious cheerfulness

Helps – 1 Cor. 12:28

The God given ability to see tasks and to do them for or with someone in order to lift external burdens from others.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Prefers short range projects
  • Likes to be told clearly what to do
  • Takes orders well
  • Accepts responsibility to do routine tasks
  • Sticks to a task until it is finished
  • Appreciates recognition for work done
  • Considers any task important
  • Joins in quickly to assist when needed
  • Supports and responds to those in leadership
  • Works with others more often than for others

Ruling – Rom. 12:8 (leading)

The God given ability to stand before people and to inspire followers by leading them aggressively but with care.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Assumes responsibility for projects
  • Develops efficient and effective plans
  • Confronts people enthusiastically
  • Gets a high level of productivity from others
  • Delegates responsibilities easily
  • Finds creative new approaches
  • Organizes people and resources well
  • Stays with a task until it is completed
  • Accepts the role of leader willingly
  • Expects each person to do his or her part

Administration – 1 Cor. 12:28

The God given legislative ability to stand behind people in order to collect data, to set policy, to develop plans which will guide a course of action with skill and wisdom.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Plans carefully with attention to detail
  • Follows instructions with attention to detail
  • Gets the most out of available resources
  • Works hard to achieve efficiency
  • Sticks to a course once it is established
  • Confers, negotiates and supervises as needed
  • Expresses opinions freely
  • Keeps calm when there are obstacles
  • Guides the efforts of the team on projects
  • Charts a well planned course conscious of outcome

Sign Gifts

A sign gift was a temporary gift given by God to the Christians of the early church in order to fill the void in scripture until scripture was written. – 1 Cor. 13:8-10

These were given primarily to the Jews or to testify to the Jews because the Jews sought and demanded signs – 1 Cor. 1:22 cp. Mat. 12:39 (an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign).

Sign gifts ceased to function around the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD or at the time of completion of the writing of the NT portion of the Bible – circa. 96 AD

Healing – 1 Cor. 12:9

The God given ability to heal a person of various kinds of illness; The purpose in healing was NOT to cure sickness, but to draw attention to the message of the healer and his authority as being sent by God.

Examples of this gift in function:

Acts 3:1-8 – Peter healed a man born a cripple – cp. 4:4 – evangelism resulted

Acts 8:6-7 – Philip healed those paralyzed – cp. 8:12 – salvation resulted among many

Acts 19:12 – Paul healed the sick with handkerchiefs – cp. 19:18-20 = salvation & spiritual motivation among the believers.

Healings – ended a few years after the beginning of the church –

2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Tim 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20; Phil. 2:25-27 – Paul was unable to heal himself or others toward the end of his life. (thorn in the flesh; Timothy’s stomach problems; Trophimus left sick at Miletus; Epaphroditus left sick; Paul was losing his eyesight.

Paul’s last example of healing was in Acts 28:1-10 in an area where the message (the Gospel) was not yet authenticated.

Miracles – 1 Cor. 12:10

The God given ability to cause supernatural events; this gift was never designed to entertain people or to prove the existence of God, but to draw attention to the message of the one performing the miracle. Since the message of the early Christians and Apostles was dramatically different from traditional Judaism, it was necessary to establish authority and credibility before the Jews to authenticate the new message for the church. This gift ended along with the gift of healing.

Examples of this gift in function:

2 Cor. 10:8; Heb. 2:3-4 – Apostles had this gift

Acts 13:8-12 Elymas was struck blind = resulted in salvation of the people

Acts 9:36-43 – Peter raised Dorcas from the dead = many believed

Acts 20:6-12 Paul raised Eutychus from the dead = believers were encouraged

Acts 28:3-6 – Paul was bitten by a poisonous viper. = witnesses refused to believe

Prophecy – 1 Cor. 13:2

Prophecy is a two purpose gift; to foretell the future and to forthtell the present; Similar to the gift of teaching, this communication gift was temporary while the Bible was being written. A person with the gift of prophecy had a supernatural ability to proclaim the Word of God without having the benefit of scripture or previous study.

Examples of this gift in function:

Acts 11:27-28 – Agabus

Acts 13:1 – Barnabas, Symeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul (Paul)

Acts 21:9 – the four daughters of Philip

1 Cor.14: -Some members of the Corinthian church

Acts 15:32 – Judas and Silas

Prophecy – stopped once the scripture was completely revealed to the Apostles and written (96 AD). – 1 Cor. 13:8-10

Discerning Spirits – 1 Cor. 12:10

This is the supernatural ability to discern or distinguish between the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and a demon in the teaching of an unbeliever. Without having the Bible to use to evaluate one’s teaching, the gift of discerning spirits was necessary to assure the early church of accurate teaching from those who claimed to be Prophets or Apostles.

Examples of this gift in function:

1 Tim. 1:20 – Paul was able to discern the motives of the two believers who were blaspheming God

Gal. 2:11-14 – and to discern the motive of Peter when he was hypocritical concerning Law and Grace

Examples of the loss of this Spiritual Gift by the Apostles:

Acts 18:18 – Paul’s inability to keep himself from offering sacrifices and taking the Nazarite vow to God. (A vow that applied only under the Law and not designed for the church – Paul cut his hair breaking the vow).

Acts 15:37-40 cp. 2 Tim. 4:11; Col. 4:10 – Paul disallowed Mark from going on a missionary journey with him because of Mark’s past failures – Paul was not able to discern the true motivation of Mark.

Acts 5:1-11 – Peter was able to discern the true motives of Ananias and Saphira c/w his failure to deal with the Gentiles/Judaizers. (indication he no longer had this gift).

Discerning Spirits was replaced by the completed Bible which gave the ability to discern to ALL believers who know the Word.

Tongues – 1 Cor. 12:10

This is the God given ability to speak a foreign language without prior language training. A person’s education or lack of education made no difference in the function of this gift. In order to evangelize unbelievers of different races, cultures and nations, the sign gift of tongues was given. – 1 Cor. 14:22.

Luke 21:20-24 – Warning was given by Jesus to the Jews that their nation and Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Gentiles.

  • Tongues flourished among the Jews for forty years until the prophecy of Christ was fulfilled and the nation of Israel destroyed.
  • This warning and eventual destruction was similar to that given by Isaiah to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. – Isaiah 28:11

1 Cor. 14:21-22 – This is also the first indication of Tongues in the Bible, quoted by Paul and fulfilled at Pentecost as the final warning to Israel.

  • When the Jews failed to heed this warning as they failed to do under Isaiah, Israel was once again destroyed in 70 AD.
  • The church (Gentiles) was given an equal share in the inheritance promised to Abraham for the Jews – Eph. 3:1-9

1 Cor. 13:8-10 – With the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, Tongues was no longer necessary and thus ceased (stopped) since the warning to Israel was ignored and the prophecy of its destruction was now fulfilled.

  • This also explains why tongues was only seen three times in the book of Acts and explained in the book of 1 Corinthians all in relation to the Jews. It is not seen or discussed elsewhere in the Word of God or later than 56 AD when 1 Corinthians was written.
  • The reason tongues was no longer seen or discussed is primarily because Paul’s writings are addressed to Gentiles and tongues was not an issue or practiced among the Gentiles except as a sign Israel.
  • Since the Jews had already been witnessed to by tongues, the Jews living in outlying areas were the only ones who remained to be warned. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, oversaw this with the believers in Corinth who were giving testimony of the pending discipline of Israel and the joint-inheritance with the Gentiles.

Examples of this gift in function:

Acts 2; cp. 10:44-46; 19:6 – At Pentecost the church received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages

1 Cor. 12-14) – In Corinth some members of the church spoke languages the rest of the congregation did not understand

cp. Eph 3:1-9 – Tongues (languages) was also a sign to Israel that the Gentiles were now joint heirs in the promises to Abraham – (The Mystery Doctrine of the Church).

1 Cor. 14: 27-40 Biblical regulations for the use of the gift of Tongues:

  • Only two or three believers may speak in tongues as long as at least one person interprets. – vs. 27
  • No one is allowed to speak in tongues unless there’s an interpreter. – vs. 28
  • No woman has the gift of tongues since she would not be permitted to speak in church – vs. 34 – 35
  • Speaking in tongues could not have been forbidden providing it was done according to the above guidelines and as long as it was before the fall of Jerusalem and/or the completion of the canon of scripture – cp. 1 Cor. 13:8-10; – vs. 39
  • The use of tongues must be done properly and in an orderly manner – vs. 40

Interpretation of Tongues – 1 Cor. 12:10

This gift accompanied the gift of tongues so those of different languages would understand the message being spoken in the foreign tongue. Tongues was not to be practiced without someone with this gift present.

1 Cor. 13:8-10 – When tongues ceased the gift of Interpretation of Tongues was no longer necessary and thus it ceased as well.

Examples of this gift in function:

1 Cor. 14:26-28

SUMMARY AND APPLICATION

  • Knowing what your Spiritual gift is will come with Spiritual growth.
  • Functioning in your Spiritual gift does not require that you know what that gift is;
  • We need to be led by the Spirit and filled by the Spirit to function properly in our gift.
  • Spiritual growth will provide the believer with opportunities to function in their gift.
  • Since God has actually created/called us into His family for this purpose, we should not hesitate to desire we be used by God within our gift as soon as possible. – Eph. 2:10
  • God gives us our Spiritual gift at salvation; therefore praying for a specific gift is unproductive and not necessary.
  • God in his omniscience knows where we will and can function bestaccording to His plan.
  • No one gift is more important than another; therefore one shouldn’t be looked on as being superior to another.
  • Christians are not designed to all have the same gifts, therefore those who would teach that we should all have the gift of tongues or healings or teaching, or something else do not understand 1 Cor. 12-14 and thus are teaching untrue thing.

A publication of http://www.GraceNotes.info

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Holy Spirit Salvation Ministry

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Introduction.

God the Holy Spirit does seven things for each church age believer when he accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. None of these ministries make you feel better or any differently. There is no emotional experience with the Holy Spirit’s activities. All emotional experiences have a human source.

These seven things done for the believer by the Holy Spirit at salvation form the basis for unity among Christian believers.

Efficacious Grace**

Efficacious grace is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to the believer in Christ, or the work of the Holy Spirit which enables the believer to have an effective faith in Christ as Savior. It is the Holy Spirit picking up a person’s positive signals of faith in Christ and carrying them to the point of salvation.

When we hear the gospel we are spiritually dead. When we believe in Jesus Christ, it is the faith of a spiritually dead person. How can a dead man hear anything? Furthermore, what good is the faith of a spiritually dead person? Therefore, we were totally helpless to procure eternal salvation in our spiritually dead state.

But God the Holy Spirit in His matchless grace comes to our rescue. First, He makes the gospel clear to us. This is common grace. Then He makes our faith in Christ effectual, giving our faith life, as it were. This is efficacious grace.

In John 10:27-28, Jesus said, “I give unto you eternal life, and you shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck you out of My hand.” It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to make our faith effective so that we can be given eternal life.

Therefore, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in common grace may be regarded as the inhale of the gospel. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace may be regarded as the exhale of faith in Jesus Christ.

When the spiritually dead person believes in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit takes that faith and makes it effective for salvation.

The origin of our faith is from a spiritually dead person, and therefore it has no ability in itself. Spiritual death means total inability to do anything by which we can enter into an eternal relationship with God.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s ministry at salvation is one of fantastic grace, both in making the gospel understandable and in making our faith effectual.

So in salvation, the spiritually dead person believes in Jesus Christ, while the Holy Spirit makes that faith effective for salvation.

The positive volition of the spiritually dead person does two non-meritorious things.

When he listens to the gospel; the Holy Spirit makes the gospel message lucid.

When he believes in Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit makes his faith effective.

Being spiritually dead, we cannot understand what we hear as unbelievers. Therefore, without the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace, none of us would have eternal salvation.

Effectual faith means the power to produce the intended effect and purpose, i.e., salvation.

Ephesians 2:8, “For you have been saved by grace_ [efficacious grace] through faith [effectual faith], and this[matter of being saved] _is not from yourselves; it is a gift from God, not from works, lest any man should boast.”

So in our salvation, there are two acts of sovereign grace:

  1. The first is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in making the gospel understandable. Common grace means that, being spiritually dead, we can not begin to understand any spiritual phenomena, including the gospel.
  2. The second is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making our faith effectual, called efficacious grace.

For those who reject the gospel there is no efficacious grace.

Matthew 22:14, “For many are called [the entire human race], but few are chosen [i.e., elected, become believers].”

Efficacious grace is a part of the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13-14.

God the Holy Spirit makes your faith effective for salvation and then guarantees it, seals it.

Regeneration

The second ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation is called regeneration. It is taught in Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:23.

Regeneration is the technical term for being born again, because that is the way it is described in John 3:1-18, in our Lord’s discussion with Nicodemus.

John 3: 6-7, “-That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say to you: you must be born again. –

Being born again is a result of faith in Jesus Christ and occurs at the instant you personally believe in Jesus Christ.

We are born physically as dichotomous, having a body and soul, but no human spirit. However, at the moment we believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, making us trichotomous.

The moment God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, God the Father imputes eternal life to that human spirit.

Remember that any kind of life must have a place to reside. The human soul is where human physical life resides, imputed at our physical birth. The human spirit is where eternal life resides, imputed at our spiritual birth.

Soul life exists forever. The believer will live forever in heaven; the unbeliever will live forever in the lake of fire.

John 3:36, “For he that believes on the Son has everlasting life. But he that does not believe on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

So regeneration means the creation of a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life. The soul is the residence of human life; the human spirit is the residence of eternal life.

The fact that the believer in Jesus Christ is trichotomous is found in 1Thess 5:23; Philemon 25.

Just as the soul is the residence for soul or human life, so the human spirit is the residence for eternal life.

Conception is the origin of the human body; this is biological life. When biological life emerges from the womb, God creates human life and imputes it to the human soul.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in Acts 1:5. It is mentioned in principle and mechanics in 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 4:5.

At the moment we believed in Christ, God the Holy Spirit took each one of us and entered us into union with the person of Jesus Christ.

As a result of being in union with Christ, we share what Christ has.

  1. We share His eternal life (1 John 5:11-12), giving us a double portion of eternal life.
  2. We share His righteousness, giving us a double portion.
  3. We share Christ’s destiny under predestination.
  4. We share Christ’s election.
  5. Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, has a third royal title. We share in His royalty as His royal family.
  6. We become a new spiritual species, 2 Cor. 5:17

Once you are put into union with Christ also called positional sanctification, you can never get out. There is no sin or human good or evil you can perform that can disqualify you from being in union with Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis for the new spiritual species and the royal family of God. This is a unifying factor in the body of Christ. We have equal privilege and opportunity to execute God’s plan.

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

At the moment you believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit indwells your body, 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16.

1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you . . .

The purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to provide a temple for the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the shekinah glory. This is necessary because we all have the old sin nature resident in the cell structure of our bodies, with a predilection to sin in certain areas.

In the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple, our Lord Jesus Christ dwelt between the cherubs as the shekinah gory. His presence there was a guarantee of blessing to Israel through their unconditional covenants.

Just as Christ indwelt the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem as a guarantee of blessing to Israel, so He indwells us as a guarantee of our escrow blessings. He lives in your body as a greater guarantee of blessing than the guarantee given to Israel. For Jesus Christ is the escrow officer; He is the one who makes the distribution of our blessings for time and for the eternal state.

The indwelling of Christ says that, if the indwelling of Christ in sacred buildings during the age of Israel was so important, how much more important is it that Jesus Christ now indwells your body. In fact, it is so important that the Holy Spirit preceded Him and made a temple for His indwelling.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit relates to the body of the Christian believer, while the filling of the Holy Spirit relates to the soul of the believer in Christ.

The indwelling of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with your spiritual life experientially. It is the filling of the Holy Spirit that has to do with your spiritual life. The filling of the Holy Spirit is when the believer walks by means of the Spirit, where the Holy Spirit controls his soul, which is distinct from his body.

So the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit are not related; they are separate ministries.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with your personal life, how you act, or how you conduct your life. It is permanent. The filling of the Holy Spirit, however, is affected by our thinking or behavior, because personal sin is a factor, as shown in the next section.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit

The filling of the Holy Spirit is taught in Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16.

We are filled with the Holy Spirit at salvation when God the Holy Spirit takes us and enters us into fellowship with Himself.

Thereafter, the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the same as being under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, and this continues as long as he does not sin.

When we sin, we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit. We grieve the Holy Spirit. We quench the Holy Spirit. But through the use of confession of sin, we can once again become filled with the Holy Spirit.

To recover the filling of the Holy Spirit after sinning, we must use confession, which is described in 1 John 1:9.

The Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is found in Eph 1:13-14, 4:30.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is a signature guarantee of:

  1. The Holy Spirit’s ministry in efficacious grace.
  2. Eternal life.
  3. Eternal security in time.
  4. Your assets of divine blessing (Eph. 1:3)

This is His ministry whereby the Holy Spirit signs the guarantee of our salvation, eternal life, eternal security and invisible assets. He puts His signature to our lives that we actually have our blessings.

Both the indwelling of Christ and the sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantee our blessings.

The Sovereign Distribution of Spiritual Gifts to each Believer

All three members of the trinity are actually involved in the distribution of our spiritual gifts.

God the Father was involved in the distribution of spiritual gifts as a witness to the strategic victory of Jesus Christ after His ascension. This began in the dispensation of the hypostatic union. Heb. 2:4.

God the Son was involved in the initial distribution of spiritual gifts to the first generation of the body of Christ or royal family. This follows the analogy of a Roman triumphal procession. This was a part of the distribution of blessings as a result of the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ which terminated the dispensation of the hypostatic union, in His resurrection, ascension, and session. Eph 4:7-8.

After the first generation of the royal family, God the Holy Spirit is involved in all subsequent distribution of spiritual gifts, 1 Cor. 12:11.

At the very moment you believed in Jesus Christ, you were given a spiritual gift.

The distribution of spiritual gifts at the moment of salvation is the manifestation of team action in the body of Christ. It is the basis for administration and service in the royal family. It is the expression of the modus operandi of the church age believer, both as a royal priest and as a royal ambassador.

The Two Post Salvation Ministries of the Holy Spirit.

After salvation, the Holy Spirit has two post salvation ministries.

The enabling power of the Holy Spirit, for believers who are in fellowship, is called the filling of the Holy Spirit in Eph 5:18, and it is called walking by means of the Holy Spirit in Gal 5:16.

The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit can only occur when a believer is in fellowship. This is the enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit to understand doctrine.

Therefore, the post salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit are related to our understanding of Bible doctrine, John 14:26, 16:12-14; 1 Cor. 2:9-16.

Bibliography (principal sources):

Chafer, Lewis Sperry, “Systematic Theology”

McCalley, Chester, taped sermons and printed materials.

Strong, A. H., “Systematic Theology”

Thieme, R. B. Jr., taped sermons and printed materials.

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Romans 5 summary – Really cool

Observe the following comparison of Romans 5:

Person Adam Christ
Act Sin (vv. 12, 14, 16) Trespass (vv. 15–18) Disobedience (v. 19) Grace (v. 15) Righteousness (v. 18) Obedience (v. 19)
Physical Results Death for all (vv. 12, 14–15, 17)(vv. 12, 14, 16) Trespass (vv. 15–18) Disobedience (v. 19) Life for all (vv. 17–18, 21)(v. 15) Righteousness (v. 18) Obedience (v. 19)
Moral Results Sin enters for all (v. 12)
Sin reigns on all (v. 21)
Grace enters for all (v. 15)
Grace reigns for all (v. 21)
Legal Results All made sinners (v. 19)
Judgment for all (v. 18)
Condemnation for all (16, 18)
All made righteous (v. 19)
Gift for all (v. 18)
Justification for all (16, 18)

Now, since it is evident from Scripture that not all people will eventually be saved, Paul cannot mean that everyone is actually justified because of Christ’s vicarious sacrifice, but rather is potentially justifiable, for many reasons.

Geisler, N. L. (2004). Systematic theology, volume three: sin, salvation (p. 229). Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers.

Geisler, N. L. (2004). Systematic theology, volume three: sin, salvation (p. 229). Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers.

Suffering – A discussion of the suffering experienced by believers and unbelievers; deserved and undeserved suffering; how to avoid some forms of suffering; suffering for blessing.

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Peace of God in the Midst of Trouble

Introduction

This paper is an outline study to give you a start in thinking about the subject of suffering and to provide a catalogue to the many scripture passages relating to suffering. You would think that such a subject would be dreadful to study, but in the wonderful plan of God, the worst things are always the best things. As you read this article, look up the Bible passages that are indicated and ask the Lord to give you insight into His viewpoint on the issues raised.

We don’t have to look far to see that there is a lot of suffering going on in the world. The media provide us with endless information on the plight of unfortunate people all over the world. We are certainly aware that in America most people don’t suffer as do people in third world countries.

But we are also aware that we are members of the human race, and that some disaster, small or great, can come at any time without warning, something that makes us one of the statistics. Auto accident, cancer, tornado, volcano, falling airplanes…in fact we can suffer a lot just worrying about all the things that could happen to us. The Fickle Finger of Fate can zero in at any time with some kind of prime suffering – loss of job, loss of money, house burns down, etc.

The Whole Human Race Suffers

It is a startling fact that part of God’s plan for every human being includes a certain amount of suffering. All people suffer: rich or poor, smart or dumb, American or African, Christian or non-Christian. Suffering of some kind is part of God’s Plan of Grace, if you can imagine that.

Suffering can be defined as the removal or reduction (some curtailment or loss) of one or more of the things that make up the good things of life as we know it, things we call details of life. Details of life are any of dozens of features that make up a person’s life, things related to his personal life, family life, social life, or community and national life. Things like loved ones, friends, money, cars, health, marriage, sex, job, house, possessions, social life, etc., are all details of life; and when you lose one of these things that you enjoy, the result is suffering.

We identify two types of happiness in life. The first type is human happiness which is happiness derived from any of the details of life. The other type is divine happiness which is the inner joy produced as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life of the advancing believer in the Christian Way of Life.

Human happiness is temporary and dependent. It lasts only as long as the thing that provides the happiness. It depends on a detail of life to sustain it.

God’s happiness is independent of anything in this world; it is possible, the Bible says, “to be content in whatsoever state I am”, that is, to have a deep inner happiness and contentment that does not depend on other people, material possessions, or circumstances.

One way of describing suffering is to say that suffering comes from the removal of the human happiness. You can see, then, that if a person possesses God’s joy (+H), the loss of human happiness is much more tolerable.

Suffering occurs by several means in human life, both for Christians and unbelievers, including the following:

  • Suffering by loss of health – physical pain, illness, accident, loss of function, etc.
  • Suffering by privation – the lack of something necessary such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation.
  • Suffering from the weather – freezing weather or hot, storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, as well as earthquakes, volcanoes.
  • Suffering from mental anguish – worry, sorrow, anguish, fears, phobias, bitterness, jealousy, not the least of which is “suffering by anticipation”.
  • Suffering from justice, the long arm of the law, deserved or undeserved.
  • Suffering caused by other people. As long as there are two people in the same location…well, you know what I mean.

What About My Rights?

Many of our cares come from somebody’s trampling on our rights, or what we think of as our rights. Don’t you feel that you have a right to

  • Privacy
  • Possessions
  • Courteous treatment
  • Dignity
  • Consideration
  • Equal treatment
  • A fair share
  • Equal opportunity
  • etc, etc?

But where does it say that I have any rights at all? Do I have the right to be an American, to be in a good family, to be educated, to have enough food every day, to have a house, to be married to a fine person, to have good children, to have enough money?

It is clear from the Scriptures that we really have no rights whatsoever. The Lord has placed us in an environment with a certain supply of the gifts of His grace, and we didn’t earn any of them. Everything we have, and everything we are able to obtain, comes as a result of the Grace of God; we have deserved nothing!

One of the most useful practices in the Christian way of life is to “cast all care” on God, as He invites us to do. You can think of this as the act of turning all your rights over to God, which amounts to a practical reliance on God for total provision, including giving to us those rights which He sees fit.

We suffer needlessly because we demand our rights. We have no rights. We have only our just deserts, “the wages of sin is death”, which, by the grace of God, have been taken care of by the work of Christ. We are aware that one of the best things we can teach children is to be thankful for what they have, and to stop fretting about what they don’t have. Children complain about things not being fair or not being divided equally, but when these traits show up in adults, it is a sign that more growth in grace is needed.

Phil. 2:1-8

Col. 3:12-17

These passages indicate that the more relaxed a person is with regard to the details of life, the less he will experience the ill effects of some types of suffering. Often the amount of suffering can be limited through having a relxed mental attitude toward a person or situation. Even severe privation or emotional trauma caused by the sin or hatred of another person can be reduced remarkably by the use of principles of Faith Rest, forgiveness, by relying on the Father for all provision, by allowing God to protect your reputation, etc.

General Suffering in the World

An individual will have his allotted portion of suffering as a member of the human race as described above. Many people have no concept of “all things working together for good.” Their main goal in life is to reduce his own suffering to a minimum, even if it means making other people suffer to do it.

God intends, as part of His Plan, for suffering to awaken a person to the reality of the existence of God, to motivate positive volition at the point of God consciousness. Whatever the immediate cause of his suffering, the ultimate reason is that of directing his attention to the person of Jesus Christ. Suffering has a tendency to slow people down, to reduce their arrogance, to reduce their self-righteousness, their self-satisfaction, their self-reliance.

Think about it – where would you be today if everything had always been rosy, and you were unfailingly prosperous in all areas of life? Would you be going to church, taking in the Word, trying to figure out God’s answers to life’s dilemmas?

What about people who are suffering great deprivation because of locale (Bangladesh or the Sahel), or because of war, or because of cruel ideologies? Are these things part of the grace of God? An important fact is that God knows the spiritual needs of every person in the world, and He knows every person’s mental makeup. Only He can decide what combination of blessing and suffering is the best recipe for encouraging a person to become a Christian. He does not force man’s volition; but He will allow circumstances to develop around a person which will direct his attention toward Himself.

Why Believers Suffer

Christians suffer for many reasons, sometimes through no fault of their own. A Christian will experience a normal amount of suffering as part of human existence. But if a believer stays in fellowship with God and grows in Christ consistently, this type of suffering can be a great blessing and an opportunity to witness to other believers and to the unsaved.

Suffering that the Christian Can Avoid

To the backslidden Christian who is out of fellowship and already quite miserable, however, suffering never brings blessing, and everything he touches turns to misery. Even the details of life don’t make him happy; and he wastes his years in empty living.

Eccl. 2:1

A lot of a Christian’s suffering can be avoided, however, and God has provided many remedies for reducing the distress a person causes himself.

You can avoid suffering caused by divine discipline.

Heb. 12:1-15

Psalm 38

Chastisement is avoided by staying in fellowship, confessing sin, forsaking sin, laying aside every weight…that is, choosing to obey God.

You can avoid suffering from failure to isolate sin, resulting in “chain sinning”. An example is the failure to forgive an offense. This leads to mental attitude sins such as anger, bitterness, desire for revenge, judging. These, in turn, lead to sins of the tongue, maligning, gossip, false accusations. The offended party suffers worse than the original offender. But the whole chain can be broken by forgiving the other party and confessing the sins in the chain.

You can avoid suffering due to a guilt reaction to sin; the maintaining of a guilt complex. Remember that Christ died for all our sins; He bore the guilt for us. (1 Pet. 3:18; 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21). One may have confessed sin biblically and be in fellowship and still labor under a heavy load of guilt. But this is unbelief. A guilt complex itself is sinful, because one says by this that the Lord has not forgiven. But, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgression from us.”

You can avoid suffering which comes from maintaining a lifestyle like the unsaved. This is a life of callousness in the soul, emptiness, blindness, as shown in Eph. 4:17–32. The cure – Bible teaching every day while maintaining fellowship with God.

You can avoid suffering due to the rejection of authority, such as parental authority, school authority, civil authority, military authority, etc.

READ Judges 19 and 10, Matt. 7:29 to 8:13, Jer. 7, and Prov. 30

You can avoid suffering caused by making decisions outside of the plan of God.

  • Don’t follow a career that takes you away from the Word.
  • Don’t reject divine principles of marriage (marrying an unbeliever, getting a divorce, etc.)
  • Don’t follow any “greener pastures” leading or make changes in your circumstances because you think you will be happier in the new situation.
  • Don’t raise children by human viewpoint instead of doing it God’s way.
  • In general, don’t reject the Word of God, either through neglect or willful disobedience.

You can avoid suffering from failure to have your armor on.

Eph. 6.

The Believer’s Undeserved Suffering is Intended for Blessing

The following is a list of reasons why believers in fellowship suffer undeservedly in order to bring blessing to themselves or others.

  1. Suffering for the glory of God: Book of Job; Isa. 48:9–11
  2. Suffering to comfort others: 2 Cor. 1:3–6
  3. Suffering to demonstrate the power of God, the provisions of grace: 2 Cor. 12:8–10
  4. Suffering from spiritual growing pains; the testing that strengthens faith: Deut. 8:1–10; James 1:1–6; 1 Pet. 1:7,8; Rom. 5:3Faster growth means more frequent testing; there is a refining process: Job. 23:10; Isa. 1:18–27; 1 Pet. 1:7
  5. Suffering to keep down pride: 2 Cor. 12:6,7; Matt. 26:31–75 (the scattering of the disciples)
  6. Suffering to illustrate doctrine (for advanced believers: Book of Hosea
  7. Suffering by association occurs when we have some relationship with someone who is suffering: Rom. 14:7; 1 Cor. 12:26; 1 Chron. 21
  8. Suffering to show the fruit of the Spirit and the results of edification: 2 Cor. 4:6–11
  9. Suffering to learn the value of doctrine: Psalm 119:65-72
  10. Suffering as a witness to Christ: 2 Tim. 2:8–12; John 15:18-21; Acts 5:40-42; 1 Cor. 4:9–16
  11. Suffering as a result of exercising a spiritual gift; illustrated by the life of the Apostle Paul
  12. Suffering from involvement in spiritual battles, the angelic conflict: Eph. 3:8–13

Promises to Believers Who Suffer

Psalm 34:19,20; Isa. 43:2; 2 Cor. 4:17 and 12:9; 1 Peter 5:10

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Salvation Doctrines

“The Christian who does not understand what God has done in the past, and does not have faith in what God will do in the future, will be overwhelmed by today’s crisis.” Chester McCalley

Your Christian life began the moment you believed the Gospel, putting your complete confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. At that moment, God provided you with a great number of unique and permanent blessings. “…and hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3) These blessings are a part of your inheritance as a Christian; they are the doctrines and promises upon which you may draw during the remainder of your lifetime.

The following is a listing of salvation doctrines, a catalogue of the things God did for you when you accepted Christ. These basic teachings are the underlying principles for the mechanics of Christian living, the techniques such as faith rest and occupation with Christ, and are foundation principles for all other Bible doctrine.

This listing can provide you with hours of quality study and meditation. You may well find other topics that could be added to the list. It is valuable and important that you understand thoroughly your relationship with the Lord; a good knowledge of these doctrines can be of great help to you in solving problems and making decisions according to God’s viewpoint.

You are in the eternal plan of God, sharing the destiny of the Lord Jesus Christ. As such you are:

Foreknown

Acts 2:23. “this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

Romans 8:29. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”

1 Peter 1:2. “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

Elect

Romans 8:33. “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;”

Colossians 3:12. “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”

1 Thessalonians 1:4. “knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;”

Titus 1:1. “Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,”

1 Peter 1:1, 2. “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen”

Predestined

Romans 8:29, 30. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that *He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Ephesians 1:5. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will”

Ephesians 1:11. “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”

Chosen in Christ

Matthew 22:14. “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

1 Peter 2:4. “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God”

Called

1 Thessalonians 5:24. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

You have been reconciled

Reconciled by God

2 Corinthians 5:18. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,”

Colossians 1:20. “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

Reconciled to God

Romans 5:10. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

2 Corinthians 5:20. “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.”

Ephesians 2:14-16. “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

You have been redeemed (purchased from the slave market of sin).

Romans 3:24. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

Colossians 1:14. “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

1 Peter 1:18. “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,”

Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”

You have been removed from condemnation.**

John 3:18. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 5:24. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Romans 8:1. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

You are under grace and not under judgment (doctrine of propitiation).

Romans 3:24–28. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”

1 John 2:2. “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

Your sins have been judged by the spiritual death of Christ on the cross:

Romans 4:25. “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”

Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”

1 Peter 2:24. “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

You have been made dead to the old life and alive unto God. You are:
Crucified with Christ

Romans 6:6. “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;”

Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Dead with Christ

Romans 6:8. “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,”

Colossians 3:3. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

1 Peter 2:24. “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

Buried with Christ

Romans 6:4. “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Colossians 2:12. “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

Risen with Christ

Romans 6:4. “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Colossians 3:1. “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

You are free from the law.

Romans 6:14. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Romans 7:4-6. “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”

2 Corinthians 3:11. “For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.”

Galatians 3:25. “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [the Law].”

You have been adopted (placed as an adult heir in the family of God)

Romans 8:15. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!'”

Romans 8:23. “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

Ephesians 1:5. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,”

You have been justified (declared righteous).

Romans 3:24. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

Romans 5:1. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Romans 5:9. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

Romans 8:30. “and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

1 Corinthians 6:11. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Titus 3:7. “so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

You have been regenerated (born spiritually into the family of God)

John 13:10. “Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

1 Corinthians 6:11. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Titus 3:5. “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,”

By regeneration you are:
Born Again

John 3:7. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.”

1 Peter 1:23. “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”

Children of God

Galatians 3:26. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Sons of God

John 1:12. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

2 Corinthians 6:18. “‘And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.”

1 John 3:2. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

New Creations

2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Galatians 6:15. “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”

Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

You have been made acceptable to God.

Ephesians 1:6. “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

1 Peter 2:5. “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

To make a believer acceptable to Himself, God sees to it that you have been:
Made righteous

Romans 3:22. “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;”

1 Corinthians 1:30. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,”

2 Corinthians 5:21. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Philippians 3:9. “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”

Sanctified positionally

1 Corinthians 1:30. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,”

1 Corinthians 6:11. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Perfected forever

Hebrews 10:14. “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified._”

Made qualified

Colossians 1:12. “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

You have been forgiven all trespasses or sins

Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”

Ephesians 4:32. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Colossians 1:14. “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 2:13. “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,”

Colossians 3:13. “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

You have been made a heavenly citizen based on reconciliation.

Luke 10:20. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

Ephesians 2:13,19. “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household”

Philippians 3:20. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

You have been delivered from the kingdom of Satan

Colossians 1:13. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,”

Colossians 2:15. “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”

You have been transferred into God’s kingdom.

Colossians 1:13. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

You have been placed on a secure foundation.

1 Corinthians 3:11. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:4. “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.”

Ephesians 2:20. “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,”

You are a gift from God the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24. “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” 6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” 9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours.” 11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.” 12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” 24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

You have been delivered from the power of the sin nature.

Romans 2:29. “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”

Philippians 3:3. “for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”

Colossians 2:11. “and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;”

You have been appointed as a priest unto God.

1 Peter 2:5,9. “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

Revelation 1:6. “and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”

You are under the care of God as a chosen generation and a protected people.

Titus 2:14. “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”

1 Peter 2:9. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

You have been given access to God.

Romans 5:2. “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Ephesians 2:18. “for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.”

Hebrews 4:14,16. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” 16 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 10:19,20. “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,”

You are within the much more care of God.
Objects of His love

Ephesians 2:4. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,”

Ephesians 5:2. “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

Objects of His grace

For salvation, Ephesians 2:8,9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

For keeping, Romans 5:2. “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

1 Peter 1:5. “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

For service, John 17:18. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

Ephesians 4:7. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

For instruction, Titus 2:12. “instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,”

Objects of His power

Ephesians 1:19. “and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might”

Philippians 2:13. “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Objects of His faithfulness

Philippians 1:6. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 13:5. “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’”

Objects of His peace

John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Objects of His consolation

2 Thessalonians 2:16. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,”

Objects of His intercession

Romans 8:34. “who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

Romans 7:25. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

Romans 9:24. “even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”

You are a beneficiary of the inheritance from God (an heir of God and a joint-heir with the Lord Jesus Christ).

Romans 8:17. “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Ephesians 1:14,18. “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” 18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”

Colossians 3:24. “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

Hebrews 9:15. “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

1 Peter 1:4. “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

You have a new position in Christ.

Ephesians 2:6. “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”

Colossians 3:4. “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

1 Corinthians 1:9. “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 3:9. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

2 Corinthians 3:3,6. “being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 6 “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 5:20. “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 6:1,4. “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain” 4“but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,”

You are the recipient of eternal life.

John 3:15. “so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”

John 10:28. “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

John 20:31. “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

1 John 5:11,12. “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

You are a member of the family of God.

Galatians 6:10. “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

Ephesians 2:19. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,”

You are Light in the Lord.

Ephesians 5:8. “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light”

1 Thessalonians 5:4. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;”

You are united with the Father.

1 Thessalonians 1:1. “Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.”

cf Ephesians 4:6. “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

United with Christ

John 14:20. “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

cf. Colossians 1:27. “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

A member of His body

1 Corinthians 12:13. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

A branch in the vine

John 15:5. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

A stone in the building

Ephesians 2:21,22. “in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

A part of His bride

Ephesians 5:25-27. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”

A priest in His kingdom

1 Peter 2:9. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

A saint of the new species

2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

United with the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:9‑11. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

You are the recipient of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Born of the spirit

John 3:6. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Baptized by the spirit

1 Corinthians 12:13. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

Indwelt by the spirit

John 7:39. “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Romans 5:5. “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Romans 8:9. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”

1 Corinthians 3:16. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 6:19. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

Galatians 4:6. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'”

1 John 3:24. “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

Sealed by the spirit

2 Corinthians 1:22. “who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”

Ephesians 4:30. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Recipient of spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 12:11. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

1 Corinthians 12:27-31. “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts.”

1 Corinthians 13:1,2. “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

You have been glorified in Christ.

Romans 3:20. “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

You have been made complete in Christ.

Colossians 2:10. “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;”

You are the possessor of every spiritual blessing.

Ephesians 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

You are the recipient of a human spirit.

Romans 8:16. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”

1 Corinthians 2:12. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,”

2 Corinthians 7:13. “For this reason we have been comforted. And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 2:5. “even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”

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