Jesus’ Good News: His coming kingdom, chapter 5

To: In home churches of God, His 11th month, Sh’vat 1, 5,781. 1/14/21

    Jesus’ apostle Paul stressed his freedom in Jesus; as all recipients of His Holy Spirit of Truth may do. Paul and Holy Spirit recipients aren’t under the law because Jesus’ indwelling faith spirit making each at one with Him, one another, and yet like Paul servants of all. 

    (1Cor 9:19-23; For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew to gain the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) to gain those under the law. To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God’s law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law. To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some. I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.) Paul isn’t saying; he personally saves or gives salvation, but by being diplomatic, he may cause some to listen, ‘understand’ and believe.

    Personal commitments, promises and pledges are important to people’s conscience. Dwell on that! To an Israelite schooled in keeping the law, Paul didn’t dwell on changing him. Paul understood; (a person believing IN the reason Jesus came and died, would grow in grace and knowledge of God. To those not accustomed to keeping the law in Israelite fashion, Paul didn’t dwell on pressuring a change for the same reason. Let’s re-visit chapter two of this letter to discern Paul’s humbleness and clarification.

    (1Corinthians 2:1-5; When I came to you; brothers and sisters, I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony of God. For, I decided to be concerned about nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.)

    Denominations are opposite; they want parishioners to believe in their theology above all else. That’s why we dwell on particular scriptures, and repeat often, so it’s understood that Jesus’ Good News is our total aim. Believing that people grows when they practice Jesus’ commands.

    Jesus’ teaching through Paul concentrates on, (1) Jesus’ love, (2) God’s calling for His purposes, (3) walking in Jesus’ Light, (4) believing IN Jesus as He is manifested; Re-creator, Creator, Redeemer, Mediator, the resurrection, and coming king of kings, (5) knowing through Jesus eternal life is gifted.

    To the Philippians Paul wrote; (So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of His good pleasure – is God. Phil 2:12-13.)

     When gifted with a desire to be obedient to Jesus’ commands, we’re made to be at one with God the Father and God the Son, knowing that desire came from above. That desire is a gift and calling. We need to know; ‘if we love God it’s because He loved us individually first.’

    Think of the awesomeness of such grace and mercy. So, let’s examine ourselves in His Light, asking; ‘do I have the desire to prove all things and grow in the grace and knowledge of God?’ Do I have a desire like Jesus’ apostle Paul did? Our Christian life of overcoming is likened to running a race.

     (1Cor 9:23-27; I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it. Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.)

     How should we spiritually subdue our bodies? Practice self control of the mind. Even in situations where people around us are practicing worldly entertainments, we can subdue our minds by being instant in prayer. 

    Paul’s regard and understanding of our inherited nature is beyond most of ours. He knew fleshly minded people liked making others merchandise, by telling them what to do; when in reality most don’t do what’s recommended to others. Politicians and teachers of religion are good examples. Though writing to mixed congregation, mostly gentiles, Paul referred to ancestors as, ‘our fathers.’ Why? The God of Israel is the only true God and all followers of Jesus become spiritual Israelites. All Christians are heirs with faithful Abraham!  

     Righteous in God’s View people are miraculously made Family, revealing His righteous nature and giving the desire to be AT ONE with Him. Each were going, ’living’ the way that seemed right to themselves before His spiritual revelations,  and living according to the dictates of that inherited from Adam fleshly nature. We can’t become members of God’s family, nor be righteous in His view, ‘by personal choice.’ Let’s review Jesus teachings through Paul and John.   

    (1Cor 6:9-11; Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.) Jesus reveals same overcoming need through John, adding the result if not repented of.

      (Rev  21:7-8; The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My Son. But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death.)

     Unbelievers include people attempting to understand spiritual things, from within their fleshly nature and other’s theology. It’s the reason professing Christians are in denominational movements. God refers to each, as idolaters and spiritual adulterers. That is, ‘people claiming to be brides of Christ while in fact serving gods of their imagination.’

     Speaking of self evaluation from last study; grading one’s self on a one to ten scale. Think on efforts people put into idolatrous pagan practices, worshiping gods of their imagination, according to what seems right to their fleshly nature. Such oppose efforts to obey all Jesus’ commands. Over and over Jesus speaks of, the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Yet professing Christians condones many ways that make light of scripture, theorizing we’re all trying to get to the same place.

     After Jesus’ resurrection and before His ascension; His apostles were joyfully surprised when He was waiting, ‘to give their commission and open their minds to understand the scriptures.’

    (Luke 24:41-49; And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy and were amazed, He said to them, Do you have anything here to eat? So they gave Him a piece of broiled fish, He took and ate it in front of them.) Then He said to them, these are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled. Then He opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’) Jesus’ promises are rooted in Jeremiah 31:31 and Ezekiel 36:26.

      Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ life and the traditions He established through His apostles are foundations for God’s family, ‘His church.’ In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he was dealing with people who had went back to immoral practices. His mission was to teach Believing IN Jesus people how to maintain purity in Christ, and keep God’s churches pure. Recognizing the connection of God’s planned authority in family order was one of these. Another was to keep people practicing Jesus’ Way, expect His return, judgment, keep His set aside weekly and annual Sabbaths that foreshadow His planning. Now back to Jesus’ teaching through His apostle Paul.

    (1Cor 11:2-3; I praise you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I passed them on to you. But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.)

     Jesus was begotten ‘fathered’ by the spirit of God and as such, ‘in the flesh’ He inherited the nature of God. Likewise when people are made Christ Like by the imputation of His spirit, they inherit the God family nature. Likewise God set the order of authority for family units, particularly people to whom God reveals Himself. Christians joyfully submits to the authority of Christ through God the Father.

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