Previous Bible Studies
To This Man Will I Look
"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Isaiah 66:1-2
Where No Oxen Are
Albert Barnes noted "Labor has its rough, unpleasant side, yet it ends in profit. So also, the life of contemplation may seem purer, ‘cleaner’ than that of action. The outer business of the world brings its cares and disturbances, but also ‘much increase.’ There will be a sure reward of that activity in good works for him who goes, as with "the strength of the ox," to the task to which God calls him."
A Faith That God Calls Righteousness
Confession is an easy thing in sunny weather, but it is during the storms of adversity that genuine faith is tested for what it is. Do you believe in your heart during these dark times? Abraham did, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Righteous faith is deeper than the theologians head knowledge of God, it is a personal relationship with the Creator.
And the Door was Shut
There are few scripture more descriptively final than this. They that were ready went in, and then the door was shut sealing the fate of countless millions for all eternity. Solomon made it just as plain when he said, "...in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." Ecclesiastes 11:3
Of all the Christian virtues, hope is in the top three. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (1 Corinthians 13:13). So great a virtue is hope, that without it Paul says, "we are of all men most miserable" (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Such As I Have
Peter then goes on to make one of the most profound statements of the Bible. His simple words reveal a power in humility. Listen to what he says, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee". Here is the defining point between the natural world and the spiritual.
Taking the Name of the LORD in Vain
I believe the third commandment to be the most misunderstood of the ten given to Moses upon Sinai. I've heard everything from, "don't use God's name when you cuss", to "be reverent in God's house", to "don't make foolish vows". While these things are all true, there is a far greater truth to this commandment.
Unbelief in the Presence of God
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." The unpardonable sin of unbelief. And how could it be pardoned, for the scripture says, "without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is..."
Christ is in You... YOUR Only Hope
"Christ in you", is nothing short of absolute dependence upon His strength, wisdom and sacrifice. Nothing we are, have, or ever shall be will satisfy God's demand except Christ in us. Why then is man so quick to jump out ahead of God as though he could accomplish anything in the spirit realm, or make an entrance through heavens gates by his own works.
Constrained by Love
Through the question of a cold religious Pharisee, came forth an answer from our Lord so profound as to separate all religious activity from true fellowship with God. "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" To this deep "theological question" Jesus gives this simple answer, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22:36-38)
The Wise and The Foolish Virgins
"And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Matthew 25:2-4
Power comes through moral excellence, in our case, power through holiness by the Holy Ghost. My answer to those who ask me why the Church has no power, no miracles, I tell them, "because her ministers are powerless with God."
Contempt in the House of God
Men no longer regard the Word of God as the rule by which to govern the house, rather have gone altogether out of the way. "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13
Standing in the Light
Moses walked so close to the light that he became a fearful sight, "And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him" Exodus 34:30.
Called, But Not Chosen
"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14) There is no way that a vessel full of the filth of this world can bear the holiness of God. The vessel must be emptied and purged, seperated from the world, these are the chosen.
The Church, the Body of Christ
"He is the head of the body, the church..." Colossians 1:18 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5
Omitting the Weightier Matters
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." Matthew 23:23-24
The Want for True Leadership
"Where are the apostolic leaders who can put God's people to praying? Let them come to the front and do the work, and it will be the greatest work which can be done. None but praying leaders can have praying followers. Praying apostles will beget praying saints. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews." — E. M. Bounds
The true Christian life is not for the faint hearted, nor the spiritual sluggard. Every line of scripture breathes with a violent spiritual assault against darkness, and a militant pressing into the kingdom of God. The apostle Paul calls the Word of God our sword, and our faith a shield.
Awake thou that Sleepest!
You would have to be spiritually numb not to comprehend the spiritual significance of world events today. It is a freighting, yet exciting time we live in. The Bible is literally unfolding prophecy before our very eyes. Yet their are countless millions who profess Christ as their Lord who have little to no understanding as to what is going on around them, who are asleep to spiritual things.
A Zeal of God
"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." Romans 10:2 The church today is literally a smorgasbord of religion. There is something for everyone, of course to make it palatable, we had to cut away the excess truth that was too hard to swallow.
"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,"
Enter into the Holiest
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;" Hebrews 10:19-20 The sacrificial work of Jesus made it possible for the child of God to enter into the holiest. But have you ever really thought about an entrance into that most holy place, standing before the God of all the universe?
He That Hath The Son
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:12 This scripture alone rules out the idea of there being any other way into life. "He that hath the Son", the Son alone. But there is more to this, much more. When we say the Son, we mean all that He is as compared to all that He is not. He alone is life, everthing else is death.
The Imitation of Christ
Heart faith cannot deny truth nor will it act contray to truth. This true faith of the heart will act, it is never idle, it always moves in the direction of holiness and obedience to the truth, it imitates Christ. "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (I John 2:6)
How Big Is your God
Our effectiveness in the work of God is in direct proportion to our faith in how big our God is. When God promised Abraham that his seed would be as the stars of the heavens, there was more to this great revelation than just a number of descendants promised,
The Heart of God... Missions
Jesus said, "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..." Matthew 28:18-20. The Lord gave the command to go and teach, then He gave the boundries. "...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 1:8.
The Mystery of Faith
Open your Bible to the very first book and read the very first verse, it reads, "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth." Now to the carnal man this is ludicrous. How can a man grasp the improbability of such an impossible task as to create the heaven and earth, and do it all out of nothing? Herein lies the mystery of Faith.
Abide in Me
The life of the Christian is in the abiding life of Christ, we in Christ and Christ in us. Few really come to understand and live this kind of abiding life. Yet it is its simplicity that aludes most who would go there. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7). The power to ask and recieve is in the abiding, the answer to all life's perplexing questions are in the abiding... Eternal life itself is in the abiding. Why then are there so few who abide?
Preach Christ Crucified
The message of the cross is death to self (carnal nature), and life to the new (born again) man. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; (is made alive) the flesh profiteth nothing..." (John 6:63) The true Church is spiritual, but she is suffocating because she is so full of self, she is without power to do spiritual battle.
The Great Commandment
Man has made the will of God so very complex through his arguments and debates over scripture. But in a single verse Jesus sums up the whole will of God toward man; to Love Him. It is only through this genuine love for God, that all other commandments can be obeyed to the satisfaction of God. Jesus said, this is the greatest commandment of all.
The question is often asked, how we can count others better than ourselves, when we see that they are far below us in wisdom and holiness, in natural gifts, or in grace recieved. The question at once proves how little we understand what real lowliness of mind really is. True humility comes when, in the light of God, we have seen ourselves to be nothing, have consented to part with and cast away self, to let God be all. The soul that has done this, and can say, So have I lost myself in finding Thee, no longer compares itself with others.
The Word of God
Expect to recieve from God when we have placed Him on the throne of our heart as the supreme Lord of our life. When we walk in fear of such a Holy One so near to us, when we obey out of a heart that weeps should we ever grieve Him. When faith outshines the dark doubts and fears within us, when we step out in complete confidence that Jesus Christ and Him alone, is our answer to everything.
As many as are led by the Spirit of God
By A. B. Simpson
The blessed Holy Spirit is our Guide, our Leader and our Resting-place. There are times when He presses us forward into prayer, into service, into suffering, into new experiences, new duties, new claims of faith and hope and love. Then there are times when He arrests us in our activity and rests us in the secret place of the Most High.
He teaches us some new lessons, breathing into us some deeper strength or fullness and then leading us on again, at His bidding alone. The Holy Spirit is the true Guide of the saint, and the true Leader of the Church. He is our wonderful Counselor, our unerring Friend.
He who would deny the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit in order that he might honor the Word of God as our only guide must dishonor that other word of promise, that His sheep shall know His voice, and that His listening and obedient children shall hear a voice behind them saying, this is the way, walk ye in it (Isaiah 30:20).
Chosen to Salvation
By A. W. Pink
"But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2 Thessalonians 2:13
There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God's elect are "chosen to salvation": Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to "salvation" itself that God has chosen us.
Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through "sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who "chose unto salvation", decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth.
Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle express this - "we are bound to give thanks always to God for you. brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation", etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.