Category Archives: Christ

Does the way you study matter?

by Louis Roth

This is a valid question considering some of the methods employed by churches these days.  There seems to be a desire to give people a minimum amount of knowledge so that they can be effective sooner.  The rest of the Bible does not seem to matter much.   A perfect example of the problem with this occurred while I was studying for a state insurance exam.  I was asked to use the material from a website which provided reading material, vocabulary, lots of practice questions, and exams.  Their claim to fame was that this minimum set of material would allow a person to pass with a 70% score.  The theory then is that remainder of the body of information was unnecessary since the goal was to just pass and be productive sooner.    I also own an exam study book which had a different thrust:  knowledge about how the insurance world works and some history is important.  The book was easily an inch and half thick!  I used both sources of information.  Here is the key:  all the information about the state specific information came from the website source only.

The exam day came, I took the general portion.  Generally, the gamble of studying a minimum set of information paid off.  On the other hand, the state specific portion (only 30 questions) was a different story.  I determined that in at least half the questions I encountered were not covered by the study material!   I was forced to guess at the correct answer, console myself that I only needed a 70% score to pass, and ponder if the strategy was the right way to approach spiritual knowledge.

My question is this:  is forcing disciples to guess what is the right answer when trials occur ever acceptable?  I realize not every question can be answered, but surely you need a foundation with which to reason the appropriateness of ideas to which we are exposed.  Otherwise, it’s is like the small group where everyone has an idea and no one really knows who is right (if anyone).  Will Satan avoid coming at us with only things we know only?  Certainly not!  Without a proper foundation a building cannot stand.  The same goes for the spiritual foundation and the spiritual warfare that constantly surrounds us.  Studying the Bible book by book exposes the disciple to all the concepts the authors wanted to convey.  Each book will repeat ideas from other books those reinforcing previously learned spiritual information.  Proverbs 5 teaches about using the wisdom we have learned and the importance of applying that wisdom.  Testing came come in the form of some really tempting forms:

Prov. 5:3 (NASB)  For the lips of an adulteress drip honey

And smoother than oil is her speech;

Here the consequences of sexual immorality or severe and long lasting:

Pr. 5:3-6 (NASB) : “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death,Her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

And

Prov. 5:7-11 (NASB): “Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her And do not go near the door of her house, Or you will give your vigor to others And your years to the cruel one; And strangers will be filled with your strength And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien; And you groan at your final end,”

We are not just talking about sex issues, these distractions can come in the form of theology.  Those that are relatively new to the faith can be distracted and deceived into doing things that are unnecessary or plain wrong:

2 Pet. 2:1-3:  “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.   “

An example of this can be found:

Gal. 1:6-8 (NASB): “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

The GraceNotes material method of teaching allows students to learn more in the long run even though it may appear slow initially.  Our studies cover one book of the Bible at time, exploring the concepts that arise in comprehensive fashion so the student is aware of other Scriptures that reiterate similar concepts.  The curriculum evaluates the original language when it’s important to understand the deeper meaning of the author.  The original language is frequently more figurative and consequently it’s necessary to explore those concepts.  The historical setting is also important to understand temporal forces at work during the time of the letter.  For example, knowing the approximate date of a letter, 1 Peter for example, can influence whether the audience is Jewish or a mix of Gentile/Jewish.  Are the Gentiles now part of the Diaspora?

GraceNotes deals with folks that are largely on their own as far as support.  We have a product that can provide the solid spiritual foundation to handle Spiritual Warfare that we never have to endure.  Prisons are some of the darkest spiritual places around, yet with an eventual maturity, our students can be a light in this darkness.

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The Ascension of Christ

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The resurrection body of the Lord Jesus Christ went from a point just outside Jerusalem all the way to the third heaven.Acts 1:1-11

Once He arrived in heaven, Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of God the Father. This is called His session. Psalm 110:1; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22.

The ascension and session of Christ form the basis for His total victory in the conflict with Satan. Heb. 1:3-13.

The ascension and session of Christ begin a new phase in this conflict. Eph. 1:20-22; 4:7ff. Therefore, the believer of the church age is involved in the intensified stages of this warfare. Eph. 6:10-18, the armor of God.

The ascension and session of Christ are the beginning of the march to victory culminating in the crushing of the head of Satan, when Satan is made the footstool of Christ. This is prophesied in Psalm 110:1 and quoted in Luke 20:42,43; Acts 2:33-35; Heb. 1:13.

The crushing of the head of Satan, representing his final defeat, will take place at the Second Advent of Christ, Dan. 7:13,14; Zech. 13:2; Col. 2:15; Rev. 20:1-3.

The ascension and session of Christ completes the glorification of Christ in His hypostatic union. Acts. 2:33; 5:31; Phil. 2:9; I Pet. 3:22.

The ascension and session of Christ explain the uniqueness of the church age and the importance of having a royal family, John 7:37-39.

The ascension and session of Christ make possible the second high -priestly function of our Lord, namely, intercession. Heb. 7:25.

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Communion and the Passover

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The Passover feast became the communion table on the evening that Jesus Christ was betrayed, the evening of the last supper on which the Lord Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover.

In God’s mind, the death of Jesus Christ was an accomplished fact long before it became a reality.

1 Pet. 1:18-20, “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from you vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

Therefore, the Father recognized that the symbolic offering of the paschal lamb, the lamb of sacrifice at the Passover, was sufficient throughout Old Testament times. The shed blood of the animal became an atonement, or covering, for the guilty sinner, God knowing that the time would come when the Lamb of God would take away the sins of the world. John 1:29

In Old Testament times, the people gave testimony to their faith by ceremony. The ceremonies gave testimony to the death of Christ and His work on the cross as a substitute sacrifice for mankind.

God Himself provided his own lamb: Acts 2:23; Rev. 13:8.

Jesus Christ gave Himself willingly to become the final Passover sacrifice: 1 Cor. 5:7.

Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross provided the means to reconcile the world to God so that, through His saving grace, eternal life might be given to all who believe: Eph. 2:8-9.

At the last Passover, Christ showed His disciples that there would be no more Passover feasts after this one meaning no more killing of lambs.

The Passover feast was just a shadow picture, an illustration of Christ himself who would bring a greater deliverance to people that the deliverance from Egypt, namely, salvation.

The shadow was soon to become the reality: Col. 2:16,17; Heb. 10:1-14.

The disciples would soon look back on the cross instead of looking forward to it.

The Passover became the communion table, for the purposes of:

Harmony: 1 Cor. 11:20-22.

Remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ: 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Restoration to Fellowship: 1 Cor. 11:27-32

Fellowship: 1 Cor. 11:33,34

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The Body of Christ

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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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Blood Of Christ

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The phrase blood of Christ refers to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Blood represents the judgment for our sins while Christ was bearing them on the cross also referred as His spiritual death.

The physical death of the animal in the Old Testament sacrifices is analogous to the spiritual death of Christ.

1 Pet. 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

Every animal sacrifice foreshadows or predicts of the work of Christ.

John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Isa. 53:7 “He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.”

The animal had done nothing wrong but was judged anyway. In the judgment, the animal physically died. Jesus Christ had done nothing wrong, in fact He was impeccable. In His judgment, the sins of the whole world were poured out on Him. The phrase blood of Christ sets up a representative analogy with animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. The work of Christ was presented by means of these ceremonial practices.

For more information, study the Grace Notes topics of reconciliation, propitiation, the barrier, and furniture of the tabernacle.

After Jesus Christ’s work on the cross was completed, He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) Then He said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) He dismissed His spirit; He did not bleed to death on the cross.

John 10:17-18 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” .

After Jesus Christ had died physically, the soldier ran a spear into His side, and blood and water came out. The separation of the blood and water indicated He had already physically died. Hence, he did not bleed to death. His throat was not cut as was the animal’s when preparing the animal sacrifice. Please read John 19:31–34

So, the bleeding of the animal is an analogy to the spiritual death of Jesus Christ. This is His judgment that he took on Himself for payment of the penalty of our sins.. The judgment of the animal was physical death. The judgment of Christ was spiritual death.

Col. 1:20 “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Heb. 10:18–20 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”

This judgment served to remove the barrier between man and God. There is a meeting between the two sides of the cross and that meeting is in the phrase blood of Christ.

The teaching of the death of Christ for the sins of the world was lived out by Old Testament believers in Christ, through use of animal blood sacrifices. The significance of the analogy is that it relates us directly to the millions of people who were saved before the time of Christ. They were saved just as we are, by grace provision and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is no longer a need for animal sacrifices, because Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is once for all.

Heb. 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

The blood of Christ is the basis for all of the salvation doctrines of the New Testament, including the following:

Redemption

1 Pet. 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Eph. 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins > according to the riches of his grace.”

Justification

Rom. 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Imputation

God’s righteousness is imputed or credited to us because our sin is imputed or credited to Christ. 2 Cor. 5:21 (shown above). God looks at the believer and sees a righteousness equivalent to His own. This is possible because our sins were judged at the cross and we were given righteousness by grace.

Propitiation

Rom. 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:”

Cleansing and Restoration to Fellowship

1 John 1:7–9 “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Read Leviticus chapters 4 and 5 for an account of the two offerings related to restoration to fellowship.

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Judgment Seat of Christ

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There are three thrones on which the Lord Jesus Christ will sit.

  1. The judgment seat is in heaven after the rapture.
  2. The throne in Jerusalem during the millennium.
  3. The great white throne in heaven after the millennium.

There is a general principle of scripture that every member of the human race is accountable to God.

God will evaluate every man according to his deeds. Jer. 17:10; 32:19.

All unbelievers will be evaluated at the great white throne. Rev. 20:12.

All believers in Christ will be evaluated at the judgment seat. Matt. 26:34-40 and 2 Cor. 5:10

The judgment seat of Christ is an evaluation of a Christian’s production during his Christian life on earth. There is no judgment of sin at the judgment seat. Believer’s sins were judged at the cross and Christ was our atonement for sin. (2 Cor. 5:10)

In John 15 and Gal. 5, bad deeds (phaulos), refer to actions, which may not be sinful, but which are worthless in the sight of God. These are human choices which do not measure up to God’s standard of righteousness. These deeds are human good (wood, hay and stubble), which are produced by believers when they are in a carnal state, not filled with the Holy Spirit, during periods when sin is not being confessed on a regular basis.

Divine good (gold, silver and precious stones) is agathos, which is production by a believer who is walking in fellowship and who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. In fellowship, a Christian will be controlled by the Holy Spirit, will be occupied with Christ in his thoughts and speech, and will live in the Bible. The power for his production comes directly from God and not from himself.

All production of the Christian believer (phaulos or agathos) will be evaluated at the judgment seat of Christ. The instrument of evaluation is fire. The production which is not burned up during the evaluation (the gold, silver and precious stones) is the basis of eternal rewards for the believer.

1 Cor. 3:11-14

A believer should never try to evaluate another believer’s production. “To his own master he stands or falls…”

Matt. 7:1,2; Rom. 14:4

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Deity of Christ

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Jesus Christ is eternal God. As a member of the trinity, He is coequal with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit. That is, He has the same attributes as God the Father. See the Grace Notes topic: Essence of God) Jesus Christ has all of the divine attributes that God the Father has, including:

  • Eternity – Isa. 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 1:1,2; 8:58.
  • Immutability – Heb. 1:10-12, (cf. Mal. 3:6 and Ps. 102:25-27); Heb. 13:8
  • Omnipotence – Phil. 3:21; Rev. 1:8; I Cor. 15:25
  • Omniscience – John 2:25; 6:64; 10:15; 21:17.
  • Omnipresence – Eph. 1:23; John 14:23 (cf. Lev. 26:12); Mt. 18:20;
  • Life – John 1:4; 5:26; 10:10; 14:6; Heb. 7:16.
  • Truth – John 14:6; Rev. 3:7
  • Righteousness – John 6:69; Heb. 7:26
  • Love – John 13:1,34; 1 John 3:16.

In addition, the prerogatives of deity are ascribed to Jesus Christ:

  • He is the creator of all things, John 1:3,10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:10.
  • He is the preserver of all things, Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:17.
  • He pardons sins, Luke 5:24; Col. 3:13.
  • He raised the dead and He will raise the dead, 2 Cor. 1:9; John 5:21, 28,29; 11:25
  • He rewards the saints, 2 Cor. 5:10
  • The judgment of the world is committed to Him, John 5:22; Rev. 20:12
  • worship belonging only to God is freely rendered to Christ: 1 Cor. 1:2; John 14:13,14.

John 5:18-23 expresses the equality of Jesus Christ with the Father.

v .18, equal in being

v .19, equal in works (what the Father does, the Son does)

v. 20, equal in love and work

v. 21, equal in power (in terms of giving life)

v. 22, equal in authority,

v. 23, equal in honor.

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