Holding the Head—the Heart of Worship

A Study of Colossians 2:16–23

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:16-23)

Since in Christ all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in His body, and we who have believed in Him and received Him by grace through faith are complete in Him, let us talk about “worship”.

Continue reading “Holding the Head—the Heart of Worship”

Christ and His Body

stamBy Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/part-5-christ-and-his-body/

(This is the fifth and last of a series of articles that first appeared in 1950 in Truth magazine, published by Milwaukee Bible Institute/Worldwide Grace Testimony, now the Grace Gospel Fellowship. These articles have never before appeared in the Searchlight.)

“Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular” (I Cor. 12:27).

The most wonderful truth in all the Word of God is that which concerns the relationship between Christ and the Church of this dispensation, called “His Body.”

Continue reading “Christ and His Body”

Imagine No Religion

A Study of Colossians 2:16–23

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:16-23)

Since in Christ all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in His body, and we who have believed in Him and received Him by grace through faith are complete in Him, what does adding religion accomplish?

Continue reading “Imagine No Religion”

Complete in Christ, Part 3

A Study of Colossians 2:8–15

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:8–15)

The last study was specifically about the identification of the Christian (not the adherent of the “Christian religion”, but of the believer in Christ and His finished redemption of and for him/her) with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Continue reading “Complete in Christ, Part 3”

Complete in Christ, Part 2

A Study of Colossians 2:8–15

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:8-15)

We left off the last time dwelling on the fact of our completeness in Christ and how the rudiments of the world and the traditions of men will lead you away and “spoil” you.

Continue reading “Complete in Christ, Part 2”

Romans 6:1-11, An Overview

In writing the studies in Colossians, there have been several times where I pointed to Romans 6 as a starting point regarding the believers identification with Christ.  I also noted on a number of occasions the necessity of getting the doctrines that are taught by Paul in Romans correctly in order to properly move on and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.

In this study, which is more of an overview, my intention is to get the point of this most important chapter in Paul’s fundamental “establishment” epistle.  My comments will be in italic type to distinguish them from the scripture quoted. Continue reading “Romans 6:1-11, An Overview”

Complete in Christ, Part 1

A Study of Colossians 2:8–15

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:8-15)

Now we come to another summit in this epistle:  Paul is teaching us how complete we are in Christ, and that any trying to add “the things of this world” to the completeness in Christ is much like an opposing troop utterly defeating us and carrying away our goods captive.

Continue reading “Complete in Christ, Part 1”

Stand Your Ground

A Study of Colossians 2:4–7

And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:4-7)

_42341380_police_ap.416jpgNow we come back to the thought that Paul began in 1:23: “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel”.  In the last several studies we looked at the second part of that verse and how Paul expanded the second thought of “whereof I Paul am made a minister”.  Now we look into this “beholding your order”, which really does sound like a military inspector, something like when the platoon is visited by a general, or another high ranking officer.  And this is what Paul longed to see:  a well disciplined troop standing firm against the enemies of the gospel:  those who would move them away from the hope of the gospel, and their completeness in the finished work of redemption and reconciliation found in Christ, and only in Christ.
Continue reading “Stand Your Ground”

The Apostolic Labor of Love

A Study of Colossians 2:1–3

For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-3)

613896239-dirt-track-sport-100-metre-sprint-tartan-track-sprintingNow Paul begins to discuss the work that he labored fervently for throughout his ministry.  The one thing that he does let the saints know, is that it is a great conflict “for you”, and for as many as had not seen his face in the flesh.  This term “conflict” is the same word translated “race” in Hebrews 12:1.  The Greek word is ἀγῶνα—agōna, which is related to our English word agony.  It is a daunting task that he is undertaking, but it was an undertaking for the saints, because the Apostle has great love for his Lord, and for those that the Lord calls His own.

Continue reading “The Apostolic Labor of Love”

The Synonymous Expressions For “Kingdom”

E.W._BullingerThe following is Appendix 112 from Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible.  While many have sought to keep distance from being associated with Dr. Bullinger over the last century or so, it must be acknowledged that he was an astute and careful student of the Word of God.  He was a lover of God, of Christ, of God’s people, and of the Bible.  He did, in some instances in my understanding, come to erroneous conclusions, but I would urge you to look into why he arrived at the conclusions that he did.  While in the past, most fundamentalists decried Bullingerism and practically used his name as a “curse word”, his work is very valuable to true students of the Word.  I have come to many (not all) of the same conclusions as Dr. Bullinger, independent of what he wrote.  I have also come to some that differ.  We should be careful in all cases to “rightly divide” our teachers, and compare them with Scripture, but we should also acknowledge the value of those on whose shoulders we stand.

Continue reading “The Synonymous Expressions For “Kingdom””

Paul’s Commission, Part 2

A Study of Colossians 1:23–29

…whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church: whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily. (Colossians 1:23-29)

So now two studies that I have been working through and sharing are coming to a convergence.  We left off in the apostolic commission series discussing Paul’s commission and the longsuffering of God of which Paul is the pattern (1 Timothy 1:16).  We left off the Colossians study in verse 23 of chapter one where Paul urges the saints to continue in the faith “grounded and settled”, and “not moved away from the hope of the gospel…whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Continue reading “Paul’s Commission, Part 2”

Christ our Reconciliation

A Study of Colossians 1:19–23

For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; 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. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister… (Colossians 1:19-23)

This wonderful Person that the apostle just spoke of who in ALL THINGS is preeminent now is shown to take upon Himself the reconciliation of His enemies.  Make no mistake, the world that we live in is no friend of God, yet God, Who owes nothing, and in fact is the one that we owe much that we cannot pay, took it upon Himself in the Person of our Lord Jesus to reconcile us to Himself.

Continue reading “Christ our Reconciliation”

David and the Kingdom

stamBy Pastor Cornelius R. Stam, founder of Berean Bible Society

https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/part-4-david-and-the-kingdom/
(This is the fourth of a series of articles that first appeared in 1950 in Truth magazine, published by Milwaukee Bible Institute/Worldwide Grace Testimony, now the Grace Gospel Fellowship. These articles have never before appeared in the Searchlight.) Continue reading “David and the Kingdom”

The Preeminent Christ

A Study of Colossians 1:13–19

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.  For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell…(Colossians 1:13-19)

Yes, over the past few weeks I have had a lot to say regarding this passage of Scripture.   It is quite likely never enough will be said about the exalted state of our wonderful Lord and Savior. Continue reading “The Preeminent Christ”

Christ the Beginning

Who is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18b)

The beginning of this verse told us of the position that our Lord Jesus Christ has in His ascended, exalted position far above all as the Head of the body.  Now we are going to see Him as the beginning.  As the beginning, it must be remembered what the first half of this verse is about—it is Christ as the Head—the Head of the new creation.  He is also the beginning of this new creation.  Perhaps, I say perhaps, this is the answer to the question of the meaning in Revelation 3:14 where He calls Himself the Beginning of the creation of God.  He could truly be called the beginning of the first creation as well, because of His position as Creator, but here in this verse in Colossians, it is absolutely referring to the new creation, the one new man (Ephesians 2:15), the Body of Christ.

Continue reading “Christ the Beginning”

Christ the Head

And He is the head of the body, the church…(Colossians 1:18a)

Here in our study of the glory of the person of Christ, we see that in His assembly, He is also first.  The assembly which we speak of here is “the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22-23).  To speak in precise terminology, and to speak of things in the way that God’s Word speaks, the important term to use to describe the group that Christ calls His own should not be “church” or “Church”, but σῶμα Χριστοῦ—”Body of Christ”.  When we see this term, we know exactly what group is being spoken of.  If only the term ἐκκλησία is used, it is important to know which ἐκκλησία (usually translated church, see end note) is being addressed.  Often it is a local group or assembly of people.  It is that simple.  It has unfortunately turned into a theological term, and with that, the dogmatic assertions about the “Church” that follow.

But here, we are not talking about the body, but the Head.

Continue reading “Christ the Head”

Paul’s Commission, Part 1

As I wrote in previous studies about the Apostolic commissions, no study would be complete without writing on Paul’s great commission and where it fits within the entirety of Scripture.  Witness from his own testimony the commission and apostleship that he received from Christ our Lord:

Acts 26:13–18—At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.

vlcsnap-2015-05-18-11h17m18s44Three times in the book of Acts, there is a retelling of the story of the Lord Jesus’ “arrest” of Saul of Tarsus.  While there are many important events in the Acts account, this event gets the most mentions.

Continue reading “Paul’s Commission, Part 1”

The Person of Christ

This portion of Pastor C.R. Stam’s commentary on Colossians is very relevant to the study that we are continuing in Colossians, as well as the recent response to criticism that I recently posted.

Do We Belittle Christ

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

colossians-new-2015-250x358Again, as with the crucifixion and resurrection, the Old Testament presents Christ, the Son of God, only in veiled phraseology and in types.  The Trinity is only hinted at.  This is one reason why the Jew insists there is but one God and that He did not, and will not, have a Son.  True, Psalm 40:7 says:  “In the volume of the book it is written of Me” but, again, who is the “ME”?  We do not find out until some time after the Son of God has appeared incarnate.

Continue reading “The Person of Christ”

Answering Bob DeWaay

I have added a page to my site that has received a pretty good amount of traffic from search engines.  This page is answering a critic.  He is not a critic that has come to Distinguishing Truth, but a critic that seems to be the “go to guy” when someone is looking to speak against Bible believing Christians such as myself, who recognize the distinctiveness of the revelation that the Lord Jesus gave to Paul as the distinct revelation for the Body of Christ in this Dispensation of Grace.

It is a rather long essay, because it includes the entire article that Mr. DeWaay published as well as my comments.  The article by Bob DeWaay in Critical Issues Commentary goes back to 2008, but came to my attention in 2015, as it was used as the most important article in discrediting certain doctrines that I held and continue to hold.  It is not a quick read, which is why I did not add it as a blog post.  He writes from what seems to be a “Reformed Dispensationalist” perspective, or what seems to be “dispensational in eschatology only”.  That means that he understands a future for Israel, and that is about it.

DeWaay, an “antihyperdispensationalist”, and it seems a disciple of John MacArthur, wrote an appallingly unscriptural and misrepresentative attack against people he determined to be “hyperdispensationalists”…

The page on Distinguishing Truth is here: Answering Bob DeWaay

Christ the Sustainer

He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:17)

We left the last verse discussing the greatness of our Lord Jesus as the creator of all things.  Continuing on that thought, we will begin by looking at just what it means that He is before all things.  Does it mean before all things in time, or does it mean that He is before all things in position?

Continue reading “Christ the Sustainer”

Grace Enthroned

Chapter 4 from Forgotten Truths by Sir Robert Anderson


church-history-graphicIt is extraordinary that any student of Scripture can miss the clearly marked difference between the gospel of the opening clause of the Epistle to the Romans, and the gospel specified in the characteristically “Pauline” postscript at its close.

“Sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,” were among the multitudes who heard the Divine amnesty proclaimed at Pentecost. And it was “to Jews only” that in those early days the word of that gospel was preached. (Acts 11:19) In Rome therefore, as elsewhere, Jews and proselytes constituted the nucleus and rallying centre of the Church. And we read the Epistle to the Romans amiss, if we fail to recognize what an important place its teaching accords to those Hebrew Christians. The word which had won them to Christ was that “gospel of God which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son who was born of the seed of David.” Language could not more definitely indicate that it was the fulfillment of the hope of every true Israelite. Hence his words to the “Chief of the Jews” in Rome “For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.” (Acts 28:20) And, as already noticed, his answer to the charge on which he was imprisoned was that his preaching to the Jews was based entirely on the Law and the Prophets. (Acts 26:22)

Continue reading “Grace Enthroned”

The Testimony of Paul

church-history-graphic{From The Lord From Heaven by Sir Robert Anderson, Chapter 8.  This book has been one of my favorites over the years since my parents gave it to me years ago. I have shared it with with others since, and then hunted down new copies to replace those that I gave away. This particular book is available from Amazon, and it looks like there is a new edition available:  Click this link if you are interested. This chapter fits well into the study on Colossians, so this week I will share it with you.  Enjoy!} Continue reading “The Testimony of Paul”

The Ten Virgins

I, along with others who listen in and attend weekly online Bible studies received a challenge from Pastor Steve Ellis of the Church of the Servant King about an article in the January/February 2017 issue of “Grace in Focus”, the monthly magazine of the Grace Evangelical Society.  The feature article is about the ten virgin parable of Matthew 25:1-13, by Bob Wilkin.  Below, I have shared my thoughts regarding this parable:

Continue reading “The Ten Virgins”

Christ the Creator

For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him…(Colossians 1:16)

Now we will look at a truth in Scripture that when properly understood, will satisfy at once the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the manifestation of God in the flesh.  The very first verse in all of Scripture states:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Continue reading “Christ the Creator”

Understanding the Commissions: Part 7

Welcome back to our series on the Apostolic commissions.  As we go forward through John’s record on this commission please allow the scriptures to truly speak about the authority that was truly committed to these men:

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:19-23)

Continue reading “Understanding the Commissions: Part 7”

Christ the Image of God

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature…(Colossians 1:15)

As we continue looking at this most glorious revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, we learn about how we can see the invisible God.  We learn how the image of God in man, as man was created, is restored in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Son of Man.

Continue reading “Christ the Image of God”

Understanding the Commissions: Part 6

In the last study, we looked at the commission in Luke, which had its main point that repentance and remission of sins would be preached in the Name of the Lord Jesus among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.  In this study, we will look at Luke’s “latter treatise”, to shed further light on the apostolic commission, and the call of them as witnesses:

When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:6–8)

Continue reading “Understanding the Commissions: Part 6”

Christ the Redeemer

In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins…(Colossians 1:14)

Continuing this study in Colossians, we will look at the position of our Lord Jesus Christ as redeemer.  As we consider mankind’s greatest need, what could be greater than forgiveness of sins?  As we get to verse eighteen of chapter one, we see that the Father’s goal is that in all things, Christ would have the preeminence.  And how great is that preeminence in our redemption?  He is first in redemption because He is the Redeemer!

Continue reading “Christ the Redeemer”

Understanding the Commissions: Part 5

As we study the commission that our Lord gave to His apostles before He left to take His place at the right hand of the Father, we come to instructions at the conclusion of The Gospel According to Luke that further shed light on carrying out their divinely appointed task:

And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:44–49)

Continue reading “Understanding the Commissions: Part 5”

Christ the King

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son… (Colossians 1:13)

In the study of Colossians 1:12-14, we left off with Paul expressing his thankfulness to the Father, and then he begins bringing us into the wonderful revelation of the person and preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This portion of scripture is indeed the high-water mark of revelation concerning Christ, and could be well-thought of as a singularity, for those of you familiar with mathematics.  (A singularity is when the value of a function “explodes” to infinity.) Continue reading “Christ the King”

Understanding the Commissions: Part 4

In the last study, we began looking at the Lord’s apostolic commission at the end of Mark’s Gospel account:

Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:14-18)

In the last study we discussed the gospel spoken of in this passage and how the baptism spoken of was related to this gospel. Now this command has a second part as well.  It speaks of how

Continue reading “Understanding the Commissions: Part 4”

Redeemed, Forgiven, Delivered, Translated, and Worthy

A Study of Colossians 1:12–14

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins… (Colossians 1:12–14)

As Paul continues writing to the Colossian assembly about his prayer for them, he lets them know again that he is thankful to God, the Father.  In verse 3 he speaks to the saints regarding his thanksgiving, and leads in to what he is thankful for about them.  Here, when he seems to be continuing his thought about what he prays for concerning them, he goes off on an “inspired tangent”, which really brings us to the object of this epistle:  HIS DEAR SON!

Continue reading “Redeemed, Forgiven, Delivered, Translated, and Worthy”

The Maker

The Maker of the universe
As Man, for man was made a curse.
The claims of Law which He had made,
Unto the uttermost He paid.

His holy fingers made the bough
Which grew the thorns that crowned His brow.
The nails that pierced His hands were mined
In secret places He designed.

He made the forest whence there sprung
The tree on which His body hung.
He died upon a cross of wood,
Yet made the hill on which it stood.

The sky that darkened over His head
By Him above the earth was spread.
The sun that hid from Him its face
By His decree was poised in space.

The spear which spilled His precious blood
Was tempered in the fires of God.
The grave in which His form was laid,
Was hewn in rocks His hands had made.

The throne on which He now appears
Was His from everlasting years,
But a new glory crowns His brow,
And every knee to Him shall bow.

—F. W. Pitt

The Apostle Prays for the Saints

A Study of Colossians 1:9–11

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness… (Colossians 1:9–11)

Now we will continue this study in Colossians looking further into the content of Paul’s prayer for these dear saints that he has learned about through Epaphras, his fellowprisoner.  The previous study concentrated on knowledge of the will of God.  Knowing the will of God is the first step to walking worthy, because we cannot walk the path before we know the path.  Indeed, it is also true that we cannot know the path until we walk it, so this is again an iterative process.  We learn, know, and walk, and we learn more as we walk.  The Lord teaches us as we walk.

Greater Riches than Silver and Gold

By Russell S. Miller

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (IICor.8:9).

When the “wise men” came to Bethlehem with “gold” and “frankincense” and “myrrh” to honor the newborn King, the Lord Jesus was hushed away to Egypt.  Herod sought to murder the “young Child” (Matt.2:1-10)!  He was “despised and rejected of men” in the land of Israel, and amongst His own people, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from Him;  He was despised, and we esteemed Him not” (Isa.53:3).

“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.  He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:10-12).

 The Lord Jesus, Possessor of Heaven and earth—the One who created the gold and the silver and the precious stones, and all the wealth of all the earth that men greedily covet after, became a man, and suffered and bled and died, as a common criminal—such poverty!—for the sins of all mankind.  Jesus Christ was betrayed into the hands of wicked men for “thirty pieces of silver.”  The very One who dwelt in indescribable GLORY subjected Himself to the plight of common humanity, and worse:

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

“But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil.2:6-8).

In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul declares “THAT CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS” (ITim.1:15).  God wants to give you greater riches than silver and gold, greater riches than all the treasures in this world, greater riches than money can buy;  God wants to give you eternal life, and the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in knowing Jesus Christ as your Saviour.

“For the wages of sin is death;  but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23).

What a predicament, “guilty before God” (Rom.3:19), and bankrupt—we had nothing with which to pay the debt of our sins against God!

“But God, who is RICH in mercy,” sent His Son to pay our debt of sin, “that ye through His poverty might be rich” (Eph.2:4; IICor.8:9).

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, [Christ] who knew no sin;  that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (IICor.5:21).

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (ICor.1:30).

This is the gospel by which ye are saved, “how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures;  And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (ICor.15:3,4).

If you will simply believe this wonderful good news, and trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, God will save you from your sins and He will give you the “riches” of His grace.  And a Blessed Christmas will be yours indeed.  Won’t you do it today?

“BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

Bethlehem and Calvary

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

“Sweet Name come down from Heav’n above,
To win our heart’s deep tender love;
As Bethlehem and Calv’ry prove:
My Jesus.”

How true this old hymn is! Bethlehem and Calvary do indeed prove that the Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven to win us to himself.

St. Paul’s declaration that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (ITim.1:15) takes in both Bethlehem and Calvary. At Bethlehem Christ showed His love for man, not merely by coming to be with us, but by becoming one of us.

Luke, “the beloved physician,” wrote the famous “Gospel According to St. Luke” to show how truly man the Lord Jesus Christ was. Apart from sin, our Lord experienced all the emotions, the sorrows, the joys, the pains, the pleasures that we do. The Son of God actually became the Son of Man that the sons of men might become the sons of God.

But His life alone could not save us. His holiness would only expose our sin and condemn us. This is why the Apostle Paul declares that “Christ DIED for our sins” (ICor.15:3), and that “WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE”(Eph.1:7).

Those who believe this and trust Christ as their personal Saviour rejoice in the truth of the above poem. Their hearts have been won to the Blessed One who came from heaven to Bethlehem and Calvary because HE loved them.

From Berean Bible Society
www.bereanbiblesociety.org

The Knowledge of His Will

A Study of Colossians 1:9

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (Colossians 1:9)

Paul’s first ministry for these saints is this one: he earnestly and sincerely prays for them.  This unceasing prayer truly helps to understand the imperative to “pray without ceasing”.  We never stop praying. The Apostle of Grace then lets them know the contents his prayer for them.  After hearing their love for him in the Spirit from Epaphras (Colossians 1:8), he began to pray without ceasing for them from the very day.  What great praise must have filled the heart of the jailed apostle—the ambassador in bonds!  But it did not end with praise, but with desire for their good and desire for their growth in the Lord. Continue reading “The Knowledge of His Will”

Understanding the Commissions: Part 3

Now we begin the third installment in this series on the commissions.  In the last two installments, we mainly studied the commission in the end of Matthew’s Gospel account.  This installment will mainly focus on the commission given at the end of Mark’s Gospel account:

Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:14-18)

Continue reading “Understanding the Commissions: Part 3”

Thanksgiving-for the Fruit of the Gospel

A Study of Colossians 1:3-8

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:3-8)

Continue reading “Thanksgiving-for the Fruit of the Gospel”

Understanding the Commissions: Part 2

In the last study, we discussed this commission of our Lord to His apostles and this ending to Matthew’s gospel which does not reveal the ascension.  I stated that the reason I believe that the Holy Spirit left this important fact out was because of the emphasis in the Gospel According to Matthew of our God’s Christ reigning on the earth.  The passage reads as follows:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Continue reading “Understanding the Commissions: Part 2”