Knowledge, Faith, And Persuasion

2 Timothy 1:12–I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

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I know whom–This is a personal knowledge.  Everyone needs this knowledge that comes from a personal experience of Jesus Christ.  Our experience with Jesus is meant to grow and therefore our knowledge of Him is meant to grow.  We must not let our relationship with Him become stagnant.  We must keep the lines of communication open and continue to be aware of His presence with us.

I know whom I have believed–The greater our experience with Jesus, and our knowledge of Him, the greater will be our faith in Him.  Our faith and trust in Him is the product of our relationship with Him. If we have a strong relationship with Jesus then we will have a strong faith.  We are promised that if we “draw near to God He will draw near to us” (James 4:8).

I am persuaded that He is able to keep–This persuasion is that “Blessed Assurance” that we sing about.  “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine”!  Being persuaded is the result of what the Lord has done for us and continues to do for us. It is the result of that relationship we have with Him. He is able to keep whatever we commit unto Him.  Whatever we give to Him and trust Him with He will keep it.  He will protect it, guard it, defend it, and preserve it.  All power in heaven and earth is His.

Let us work on our relationship with Him each day by spending time with Him and in His word.

God’s Universal Salvation

1 Timothy 2:3-4–God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

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God our Savior–We have already been saved and have come unto the knowledge of the truth.  God is our Savior.

Would have all men to be saved–This is the all inclusive will of God.  His salvation is universal.  It is for everyone. When we get to heaven we will rejoice and worship God.  We shall proclaim, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).  The saved will be out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Would have all men to come unto the knowledge of the truth–This truth is the gospel.  It includes man’s lost condition in sin, God’s love for them, Him sending His Son Jesus Christ, Jesus dying to pay the wages of our sin, His resurrection and His coming again.  God wants everyone to be saved.  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  Will you be saved today?

God’s Plan For Savlation:

1. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

2. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

3. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

4. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The Power Of God’s Word

1 Thessalonians 2:13–When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

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The word of God–God’s word is nothing like the word of mankind.  Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  Words spoken in the flesh profit nothing but words spoken in the Spirit are spirit and life.  The word of God is life and power.  It works effectually meaning it produces a desired effect.  God said, “So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).  God sends forth His word and it accomplishes great and wonderful things and succeeds and thrives where He sends it.

You received it as it is in truth, the word of God–Many receive it as the word of men, they don’t’ believe it, and it does not effectually work in their lives.  However for those that receive it as the word of God and believe it, the word of God will accomplish great and wondrous things in them, in their lives, and through them.  When God sends his word to a person and that person receives it and believes it, God is able to work in their lives.  To receive it and believe it is to open the door to our lives and to say unto God, come in and take up residence, for you are welcome here.

It is all in how we approach the word of God–If we approach it with true understanding that it is indeed the word of God then we have to expect something to happen.

God open our ears that we might hear, our eyes that we might see, our minds that we might understand, and our hearts that we might believe, in the mighty name of Jesus we pray.  Amen!

Letters From God–Book of 2 Peter 1:16-21

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My child, beware of people who are clever and skilled in developing false truths.  They will present their own ideas about the things contained in My word.  My word is to be your one source of truth.  I delivered it through those whom I chose and they presented it under the inspiration of My Holy Spirit.  No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation for it did not come by the will of man but My chosen ones spoke as they were moved by My Spirit.  One day your Lord Jesus Christ will come in power and majesty.  He receive honor and glory from Me when I spoke from heaven declaring that He is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  This was witnessed by Peter, James and John when they were with Jesus on what is referred to as the mount of transfiguration.  My child, study My word, hide it in your heart, let it guide you and be your one source of truth until that day when everything will be made clear in the fulfillment of it. 2 Peter 1:16-21

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The New Man

Colossians 3:10–Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him

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Put on–This means to clothe, cover, and surround.

Put on the new man–We are to clothe, cover, and surround ourselves with this new man.  “Your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).  Our old nature is to be hid and covered with Christ in God as we walk in the Spirit. This new man is the new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It is new; it was not there before.  We are his (God’s) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.  This new man is a glorious work of God “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).  This new man is created after the spiritual image of God in Godly righteousness and true holiness meant to be displayed by us for all to see.  Let it shine! Let it shine!

Renewed in knowledge–This knowledge is more than a mental knowledge.  It is a knowledge acquired through the experience of God and His work in us and through us as the Holy Spirit enlightens and renews our minds so we understand God’s word and how it applies to our lives. It is a glorious experience and a glorious knowledge.  This knowledge is after and according to the image of God.  “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).  God, who began a good work in us, will continue to perform it, day by day, until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

Be United Spiritually, Mentally, And In Purpose

Philippians 1:27–Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.

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Stand fast–This means to be firm, loyal, and devoted in and to our unity.  God has united us together in one spiritual body; the body of Christ.  On the night Jesus was betrayed as He prayed to the Father, He said,  “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:21-23).

Stand fast in one spirit–United spiritually.  We are to all walk in the Spirit which is the source of our unity. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).  If some are walking in the flesh then we cannot keep the unity.

Stand fast in one mind–United mentally.  God seeks to renew our minds that we might have the mind of Christ and so to transform our lives and thereby cause a unity.  As God renews our minds we will have unity in the decisions we make.  We are to be united in the faith and God’s will for us as the body of Christ.  “We should have the same care one for another (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).

Striving for the faith of the gospel–United in our purpose.  We are to put forth great effort to defend and to spread the gospel.  Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mathew 10:16).  We are to be wise in the way we defend and spread the gospel and do it in a way as to bring no harm to others in the process.

A Gathering Together

Ephesians 1:10–In the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.

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In the dispensation of the fullness of times–God, in dispensing and ordering the events or periods of time ultimately brings them to full completion.  First there was the ordering of events during the Old Testament times wherein God had a physical people.  When these times reached full completion under the divine authority of God, He began the New Testament times; referred to as the church age wherein God has a spiritual people.  This New Testament was initiated “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).  There are future times wherein the events will be ordered by God, but for our examination of this scripture we will not get into them.

He might gather together in one all things in Christ–God the Father is working by Christ, to carry out His will and good pleasure through the body of Christ which is the church.  Those that are in Christ are a part of the spiritual church of which Christ is the head.  Right now part of the body of Christ is in heaven and part of the body of Christ is on earth.  At the end of this dispensation (the church age) everything in Christ will be gathered together in one.  “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).  The spiritual body of Christ will be gathered together in one and we shall ever be with the Lord.  What a reunion this will be as we are gathered together with all our friends and loved ones.

I Am Crucified With Christ: Nevertheless I Live

Galatians 2:20–I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live–”We are dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4).  “We are dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).  When we were baptized into Jesus Christ we were baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3).  “We were buried with Him by baptism into death and raised to walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).  He died to the physical life and was raised to the spiritual life.  We also must die to the physical way of living and live according to the spiritual way of living.  We were buried with Him and raised to walk with Him in the Spirit.

I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me–The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in us.  We must decrease and He must increase. We must yield ourselves unto Him who lives in us.  We must yield our mind, our will and our emotions.  We must yield the members of our bodies unto Him; our eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet.  We must let Him be Lord of our lives and put Him in control.  He will teach us and guide us into all truth.  He will renew our minds, and transform our lives.  His character (the fruit of the Spirit) will be manifest in our lives and His power will be manifest in our service to God and our fellow man.

The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God–We must walk in faith trusting the Christ within to lead us.  We must trust Him in the decisions we make.

The Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me–He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13); and then he died for us.  He died for us that we might live for Him.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

God’s Grace, Peace, Mercies, And Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:2-3–Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

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God’s Grace–Grace is an expression of God’s love for us.  It is not based on our works or merit but on the divine character of God.  It is not because or our goodness but it is the result of the goodness of God.  It is free and universal. It is for everyone regardless of our position in this life.  It is for the Jew and the Gentile as well as the rich and the poor. Praise God it is for me and it is for you.  God’s grace is expressed through what he does for us.  Here we see three expressions of God’s grace–peace, mercy, and comfort.  Let us examine these and see what God wants to do for us.

God’s Peace–God’s gives us a freedom from conflict and strife, bringing harmony and concord in our life.  It is also a state of mind and emotions.  Being God’s peace, it is supernatural, exceeding that normal peace which man experiences, and it passing all understanding.

1. It is a peace related to our relationships with God and with others. He gives this peace that our relationships will be harmonious; that they will be orderly and pleasing through the unity of our feelings, thoughts, ideas, and interests.

2. It is also related to our inward feelings. It is an experience of calmness, quietness, and serenity beyond anything we have experienced naturally. It is a freedom from fear, anxiety, and worry. It is a peace given to us by God; it is God’s peace.

God’s Mercy–Mercy is an expression of God’s kindness and blessing in excess of what we might expect.  God’s mercy has two aspects.

1. What He feels for us–He is touched by the feeling of our infirmities, suffering, and misfortune because of His deep love for us. He has sympathy and empathy with the misery we are going through. Because of His love for us there is an intellectual and emotional identification with us on God’s part.

2. What He does for us–He is MOVED to act on behalf of us because of the compassion He has for us. It is the outward manifestation of His pity for us. He ministers to us to take care of our needs. And his resources are more than adequate to meet our needs.

God’s Comfort–God soothes us during our distress and sorrow, bringing relief and ease of mind.  He does this in two ways.

1. He does this through the awareness of His presence. God’s presence has a calming effect on us that brings relief from that which is bothering us.

2. He also does this through His word; both the written word and that which the Holy Spirit speaks to us and brings to our remembrance.

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

On What Does Your Faith Stand

1 Corinthians 2:5–Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

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Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men–The wisdom of men is limited.  Man’s wisdom is not all encompassing and perfect.  Man’s wisdom is not always in agreement with the wisdom of others.  The wisdom of men is always changing from generation to generation.  Our faith needs to stand on a more sure foundation.

Our faith should stand in the power of God–God’s power is constant and unlimited.  God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and His power is the same.  God’s power created everything that exists, both that which is seen and that which is unseen.  God’s power can calm storms, multiply food to feed thousands, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out evil spirits.  God’s power can protect us from the forces of nature, and from the evil of mankind and the devil himself.  God’s power can supply all our needs.  Our faith needs to stand upon this sure foundation.  This faith is received and strengthened through our interaction with God and His word.  Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).  This happens when the Holy Spirit speaks the word to us directly or when the word of God is presented under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Let us place our faith in the power of God and we shall not be disappointed.

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