Jesus’ Good News about God’s kingdom, chapter 4

     T0: God’s In Resident Churches, His 10th Mo. Tivet 28, 5,781,  1/12/21

    Fleshly speaking, it’s natural that Christians don’t consider their heritage ‘Israelite,’ Until the God of Israel reveals Himself. All people live and practice the way that seems right to themselves. Paul taught it.

     (1Cor 10:1-4; For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were all drinking from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.) All Israel was immersed in water and the care of Jesus.

      Israelites leaving Egypt were immersed in water when crossing the sea; water banked on each side and a heavy mist or cloud was over them. All were baptized unto Moses as directed by, ‘The Rock’ Jesus Christ.’ This foreshadowing the burial of the old self, and symbolic of a new life. That spiritual leading Rock, ’Jesus’ was teaching Moses and the Israelites, ‘the way to betterment.’ Immersion foreshadowed the new covenant physical baptism, instituted by Jesus through John the Baptist and so much more, our spiritual immersion and clothing in Jesus.)

    (1Cor 10:5-6; But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were cut down in the wilderness. These things happened as examples for us, so that we will not crave evil things as they did.)

    All that happened with Israel looked forward to this age. Paul wrote to the Hebrews. “After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days He has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He created the world.” Heb 1:1-2) COMPARE with John 1:1-5 and Col 1:15-20.        May we each be careful, not to twist His Word. May we grow in His grace and knowledge as He leads? Things that are an abomination to Jesus Christ from the time of creation, are to His followers. Times Jesus Christ made holy are holy to Christ like people.

    Heavenly Father: Make us mindful of the loving peace You have planned for all who are gifted with Godly love, in this age and in Your millennial age to come. We praise and thank You for Your righteousness and love, In Jesus name we pray. AMEN

    Idolatry can be things we’re overly concerned about, traditions we prioritize, objects looked to for blessings, things in awe of and things we think we own.

    Jesus recommended we evaluate ourselves in His Light. We could evaluate ourselves by use of a, ‘one to ten scale’ in determining priorities. For many, sports would scale a nine or ten, and the sports page would be priority reading. Likewise preparations for travel, purchasing annual tickets, tail gating parties etc. Other things are prioritized in similar fashion.

. Many idolize Hollywood; it’s actresses and actors, by emulating life practices, styles, fashions etc. While many others look to pastors, preachers, statues and church attendance in respectful awe, expecting blessings for their efforts. We should each ask ourselves, “what do I idolize?”         

      Considering the Israelites in Moses’ day: Jesus inspired His apostle Paul to addressed this subject.

     (1 Cor 10:7-13; “So do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” (Quote from Exodus 32:6) And let us not be immoral, as some of them were, and twenty-three thousand died in a single day. And let us not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. And do not complain, as some of them did, and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall. (13) No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.”)

        Love for one another and God has waxed cold in this latter age. Believers IN God are mindful of and appreciative of these Israelite examples that helps us be better servants. What a wonderful promise in verse 13. (With trials God will also provide a way out so we may endure.) Paul is thinking of the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Which season is set aside for evaluating ourselves, our fleshly nature’s pulls and putting sin out from our life practices.

      (1Cor 10:14-16; “So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I am speaking to thoughtful people. Consider what I say. (16) Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ?”) The Passover cup “wine” symbolizes Jesus’ shed blood, the breaking and eating the bread, “His broken body.”

      (1Cor 10:17-22; “Because there is one bread, we, ’followers of Jesus’ who are many are one body, for we all share the one bread. (18) Look at the people of Israel. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? Am I saying that idols or food sacrificed to them amount to anything? No, I mean that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. (21) You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take part in the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (22) Or are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we really stronger than He is?”)

      God’s people, “His church” is one body. A people looking to the same Shepherd. Unbelievers look to a Jesus of their imagination, “a Jesus they think authorized a Sabbath change and a pagan calendar. NOT the Jesus manifested in these pages.

      (Matt 24:3-5; “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many.”)

       NOW, the end of this age began when Jesus’ ascended! People groups divide the ages differently. Basically the ages consist of, (“Pre flood” “from flood to Abraham” “from Abraham to Jesus’ earthly ministry” “from Jesus’ ascension to His millennial reign” and “Jesus’ millennial reign to New Jerusalem coming down.” I don’t know that we can refer to the time after New Jerusalem’s coming down as an age.

      A short TIME after Jesus’ ascension, the wolves in sheep clothing began teaching a Jesus of their particular imaginations. We see that result all around us.

      (1Cor 10:23-24; “Everything is lawful,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is lawful,” but not everything builds others up. Do not seek your own good, but the good of the other person.”)

       This statement defines love. We must remember who Paul is writing to, “Believers IN - Christians.” SO, what’s the two greatest commandments? “Love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself.” If this love is gifted to our being “hearts” we don’t need a guardian law. The first four commandments are schoolmasters teaching people how to show love toward God. The last six are schoolmasters teaching people how to love neighbors. (NOW, unbelievers - non-Christians DO NEED and must be under the law.) Otherwise chaos would be rampant. Paul explained to the Galatians Believers IN - Christians.

      (Gal 3:23-29; “Now before “Jesus’” faith came we “Christians” were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners until the coming faith would be revealed. Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith. (25) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (WHY?) (26) For IN Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are One in Christ Jesus. (29) And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.”)

      Who can SUPPOSE that Jesus needed to be told “do not steal?” Did Jesus need to be told; “love God with Your whole heart?” LIKEWISE Believers IN, living by Jesus’ gifted faith. immersed in and clothed with Jesus don‘t need to be told, “do not steal.” THUS Paul could say “all things are lawful for me.” THEN Paul went on to say, (“but NOT everything builds others up, do not seek your own good, but the good of the other person.”) SEE this gifted imputed love at work in Paul‘s life? Such thinking molded to one’s character and does not allow idolatry! Love becomes a matter of Jesus’ conscience and character growing in His followers! Now see the working of this gifted love characteristic on display.

    (1Cor 10:25-11:1; Eat anything that is sold in the marketplace without questions of conscience, for the earth and its abundance are the Lord’s. If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you want to go, eat whatever is served without asking questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, this is from a sacrifice, do not eat, because of the one who told you and because of conscience. I do NOT mean yours but the other person’s. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I blamed for the food that I give thanks for? So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Do not give offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also try to please everyone in all things. I do not seek my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.)

     We should know, unbelievers have all sorts of ways to twist Jesus and His apostles words. Many minds are corrupted by naïve people, even people desiring to be Christians!

     Remember, God’s spirit in us is our teacher. He calls and gives the desire to be obedient, because His love is shed abroad in our hearts.

     (Romans 5:1-5; Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by ‘Jesus’ faith’ we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.) Also why we need a Mediator.

      Rom 5:6-11; For, while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by His blood; we will be saved through Him from God’s wrath. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by His life? Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.”)

      Jesus explained, “If you love me, you will obey My commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world CANNOT accept, because it does not see Him or know Him. But you know Him, because He resides with you and will be in you.” John 14;15-17/

     Followers of Jesus do not obey Jesus only from a mind, ‘what is in it for me?’ They’re given the desire to obey because, ‘the love of God is shed abroad in the heart.’ Also see Phil 2:13; “for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort — for the sake of His good pleasure — is God.”

     Converted believers are temple recipients of God’s spirit, and aren’t comfortable attempting to worship with those who don’t honor all God’s commandments. Jesus inspired His apostle Paul to write 2Coronthians on this subject.

     Why this web blog? God gifted faith normally comes through people’s hearing, ‘understanding’ it’s God’s opening what’s decimated to the mind. Jesus gave His apostles this revelation, ‘we share in hopes of encouraging God’s called to stay, His Way people. To called believers in Jesus’ deeds and sacrifice Paul wrote.  

    (Rom 10:14-17; How are they to call on One they have not believed IN? And how are they to believe IN One they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the Good News.” But not all have obeyed the Good News, for Isaiah says, “Lordwho has believed our report?” Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.)

     It’s about The Truth being miraculously understood, acted on as in turning from the old fleshly inherited mindset to God’s revealed Way. It’s yielding to God’s Word in awe, and obedience. Spiritually moving from being ‘as a minor to a guardian,’ to being as ‘born again, literally a Son of God. AT ONE relationship with God the Father and God the Son. Paul explains to the called to be Jesus’ followers. 

    (Galatians 4:1-7; Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. But he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his fatherSo also we, when minors were enslaved under the basic forces of the world. But when the appropriate time had come, God sent out His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as Sons with full rights. And because you, are Sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, who calls “Abba! Father.” So you are no longer a slave but a Son and if you are a Son, then you are also heirs with Abraham.) 

     Followers of Jesus are Sons of God now. Born again - fathered to inherit Jesus’ resurrection and eternal life as is Jesus. A good lesson on this subject is found in Paul’s letter to Philemon; regarding his runaway slave ‘Onesimus.’

    Paul became a mentor to Onesimus, ‘a born again fathered by God child.’ Became Paul’s co-worker, Onesimus yielding to Paul as a guardian. Paul wrote Philemon asking, that Onesimus be freed and saying his faith would be deepened by giving freedom. It’s our example of how we should feel toward a follower of Jesus.

     (Philemon 1:5-22; I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the Saints. I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ. I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the Saints have been refreshed through you, ‘brother.’  So, although I have quite a lot of confidence in Christ and could command you to do what is proper, I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love. I, Paul, an old man and even now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus; am appealing to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become during my imprisonment, that is, ‘Onesimus’ who was formerly useless to you, but is now useful to you and me. I have sent him (who is my very heart) back to you.

    I wanted to keep him so that he could serve me in your place during my imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. However, without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your good deed would not be out of compulsion, but from your own willingness. For perhaps it was for this reason that he, was separated from you for a little while, so that you would have him back eternally, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a dear brother. He is especially so to me, and even more so to you nowboth humanly speaking and in the Lord. Therefore if you regard me as a partner, accept him as you would me.’ Now if he has defrauded you of anything or owes you anything, charge what he owes to me. I, Paul, have written this letter with my own hand: I will repay it.

   I could also mention that you owe me your very self. Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Since I was confident that you would obey, I wrote to you, because I knew that you would do even more than what I am asking you to do. At the same time also, prepare a place for me to stay, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you.)

     Paul attempted to see things from spiritual and human perspectives, letter to Philemon and next study’s text in Corinthians are cases in point.  

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