That Your Faith Not Fail
(satan steals the word of God from you so he can destroy your faith so he can kill you.
John 10.10, Romans 10.17, Jeremiah 13.10, Matthew 10.28.)
These were Jesus’ words to Apostle Peter before He was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane; see Luke 22.31-32. Is it possible for your faith to fail? Apparently, failure is possible, or Jesus would not have stated this. Verses 54-62 detail the pressures that led to Peter’s faith-failure. The contrast is Apostle Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4.7: ‘I have kept the faith.’ Uncertainty about the faith of believers in Thessalonica had caused Paul to send Timothy there, since Paul had been forced to leave before he had completed disciplining them (1 Thessalonians 3.1-5; AD 50).
Driven out by jihadists!
- Acts 17.1-15 tells the story of Paul’s visit to Thessalonica after leaving Philippi.
- What could Paul have preached that caused such a ruckus? After reasoning with Jewish and Gentile listeners for three weeks, some Jews were not persuaded that Jesus was Messiah and became ‘envious’ and ‘set all the city in an uproar’ (verse 5). Perhaps, after persuading some (verse 4), Paul used Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in John 8.42-47 on the rest (John 3.16-21). Rationale for this possibility is that Paul had preached the return of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.11) and used Jesus’ words to warn them of the wrath to come on unbelievers.
- Likewise, Paul’s appeal to Gentiles was probably similar in content to what he preached on Mars Hill. Acts 17.22-31 presents his conclusion that God would no longer overlook their ignorance in worshipping idols but would condemn them to wrath for not accepting His salvation through Jesus.
- Are the arguments Paul heard the same that are stated today? If so, does this mean that non-Messianic Jews will suffer the same wrath as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others that reject John 14.6? Consider John 3.18, 5.24, 6.40 & 47, 20.31. How much does this reality bother you?
- Paul knew well the arguments of Jews and Gentiles, as is evident from 1 Corinthians 1.22-25 (written in AD 55-56; also see Matthew 12.38-40). Acts 17.3 states that Paul ‘demonstrated’ that Jesus is Messiah. This, apparently, was his protocol, as he stated in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5. Evidence of such signs is found in Acts 14.8-10, 20.7-10, 28.8-9.
- Acts 17.10 states that Paul was sent to Berea before the jihadists could get to him. There, he found Jews and Gentiles ‘more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica’. What made them more ‘fair-minded’?
- The Bible is the absolute truth for comparing philosophies (John 17.17; Colossians 2.8-10; Jeremiah 13.10; Proverbs 14.12).
- But, jihadists caused a ruckus in Berea, and Paul was sent to Athens (Acts 17.13-15).
The jihadists’ goal: destroy your faith in Jesus; then, oppress you to death!
How will you answer Jesus’ question in Luke 18.8? That is the issue. Romans 10.17.
Praise God!!! Copyright (c) by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com
Working at a Job You Like
About 70% of people employed do not like their jobs, as an author said recently in a podcast interview. How is it that satan has diverted God’s intended path for so many when the Scriptures state that God birthed each with a purpose (like Jeremiah 1.5) and that that purpose would bring satisfaction? Are you among these? Jesus’ Parable of the Sower gives an overview of how satan might accomplish this today. Keep Matthew 13.18-23 in mind as you study how others found satisfaction in their jobs.
Paul’s Divine Encounter
- Let’s backward map with the Apostle Paul from Acts 26.16-18, where he described the job he was given to do. The job was only overviewed by Jesus in Acts 9.1-19, especially verses 15-16. But, Paul did not receive the details until Acts 13.1-3.
- What was Paul doing when the Holy Spirit gave the details?
- What does this divine protocol teach you about Jeremiah 29.11-13? Which is the most important verse in this passage? Why?
- How can you apply this now, since you probably have a job? What about changing jobs or future careers?
- How will you advise friends and family members?
John the Baptist’s Divine Encounter
- Like you, John was birthed with a purpose. Isaiah 40.3-5 and Mark 1.1-8 discuss this purpose. Note the additional information the Holy Spirit gave John about Jesus that the people needed to hear.
- How did John know when it was time for his new, next task? John 1.29-34, 3.27. How can you know? (repeat the protocol of Jeremiah 29.11-13 illustrated by Paul in Acts 13.1-3).
- John illustrated the courage you sometimes need on the job, in Luke 3.7-9. (Note Jesus’ use of the same terms in Matthew 12.34 and 23.33.) How did John have such courage? How can you, also, when similar words are to be delivered into the situation you are in? Whose words were these, anyway? See Matthew 10.19-20.
Your Divine Encounter
- Will you respond like Paul in Acts 13.3 when Jesus enlists you for another assignment?
- What will you do if this new assignment does not fit what you plan (Proverbs 19.21) or what others might think (Ecclesiastes 11.4)? How will you respond to their pushback? Consider James 1.5-8 in your answer.
- Meditate on Jeremiah 29.13 when you believe God is speaking a new purpose (verse 11) to you. Like Paul in Acts 13.3, all will become clearer when you do.
- “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey” (John H Sammis).
Then, Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com
Led by the Spirit of God
In Romans 8.14, the Apostle Paul gives a defining characteristic of true Christians. It compels a deeper look within and a measuring of activities that confirm or deny the characteristic personally. How do you compare? About five years after writing Romans in 55 AD, Paul brought this ‘walk’ up again in his doctrinal treatise, Ephesians, and explained it. In Ephesians 1.15-23, he gives the protocol he must have followed and which explained his simple characteristic in Romans.
Reduced to a simple statement
- Paraphrased, Paul prays ‘that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in Jesus’ knowledge so you may know the hope to which He has called you, the inheritance He has given you, and the power which He uses daily on your behalf.’
- Paul wrote that Jesus’ knowledge includes your life. Thus, you should want to grow into His knowledge; Ephesians 4.13. Jesus knows God’s plan for you (Jeremiah 29.11), and the sufficient resources already allocated to complete your plan, and the power you need for success! All of the first fourteen verses of Ephesians chapter one are included in Jesus’ knowledge.
- In John 14.26, Jesus said that one job of the Holy Spirit, Whom He would send as He arrived in Heaven, would be to reveal this knowledge to you…when you would ask (Jeremiah 29.12-13). But, you have to ask! Have you asked lately? Could that be a source of your problems? Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7.7-8.
- The Holy Spirit IS THE Spirit of wisdom and revelation. He is the Spirit that rested upon Jesus, according to Isaiah 11.2, 61.1-3, and John 1.29-34.
- The Holy Spirit ‘enlightens the eyes of your understanding’ (i.e., your mind/heart). Paul explained this somewhat in Hebrews 6.4-5. This was contrasted by Jesus with the condition of lost people in Acts 26.18. Even you can become complacent like Jesus described in Revelation 3.17-18. Do you need some salve for your eyes?
- Jesus described being led by the Spirit of God in John 16.7-15. Notice that He ‘convicts’ people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Paul said in Ephesians 6.17 that the Holy Spirit’s ‘sword’ is the Bible! In Hebrews 4.12-13, Paul told about this sword convicting in your life. Incisive, isn’t He?
- Jesus said you would receive ‘power’ when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, in Acts 1.8. Remember that Paul wrote in Ephesians 1.13-14 that the Holy Spirit became your ‘guarantee’ of salvation when you received Jesus as Savior. He is upon you now; John 14.16-17!
How can you be better led by the Holy Spirit?
Praise God!!! Copyright © Maurice L. Painter, 2014 www.sozoclass.com
Baptized INTO Christ Jesus
Romans 5.1-5 are robust in meaning for you! Apostle Paul connected a progression of benefits in verses 3-5 that are yours along with those he wrote in verses 1 and 2: peace and access to God. He said these result from ‘this grace in which we stand’. What is the ‘grace in which we stand’? It is our baptism INTO the anointed name Jesus! You do not deserve this name, and you have not earned it. You are being transformed into it day by day, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3.18. Thus, we rejoice in the hope of seeing the glory of God displayed (Romans 5.2).
You are a product of Matthew 28.18-20.
- According to this passage, the Holy Spirit pointed you out to someone whom He tasked with telling you about John 3.16.
- You said, ‘I want that salvation’, and your transformation began.
- The Ordinance of Baptism was your witness to others of this transformation.
- ‘The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B. C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptised’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e. g. Mark 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.’ (ESV Strong’s Bible). Not just washing the outside, but transforming the inside over time. Ephesians 4.13. Note Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew 23.25-28.
- You were not just baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’, you were baptized ‘INTO the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’! INTO the Name ‘Jesus’, as Jesus explained in His Lord’s Prayer, John 17.11-12 (ESV and NASB). ESV Strong’s Bible shows that ‘into’ is used in the original language more often than ‘in’, contrary to your Bible, thus emphasizing the anointing of the Name.
What does it mean to be baptizoed INTO the Name ‘Jesus’?
- In Romans 4.23-25, Paul wrote that your faith in Jesus (John 3.16) ‘will be accounted’ to you by God, when you stand before Him in judgment! 2 Corinthians 5.21.
- In Galatians 3.27-29, Paul wrote that you have ‘put on Christ’ (also in Romans 13.14). That is, the transforming work of the Holy Spirit from within you has reached your outer appearance, so that verse 28 is true. (See 2 Corinthians 5.16-17 and 1 Samuel 16.7.)
- Paul continued in Galatians 3.29 with another benefit of being baptizoed INTO ‘Jesus’. You are considered beneficiary of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17.7. Read these benefits in Galatians 3.1-29 and Jesus’ illustration in Luke 13.16.
- You are saturated with the name ‘Jesus’ and its power and authority! With this in mind, reconsider Philippians 2.9-11, Luke 10.17-19, Zechariah 4.6, 1 John 4.4, 2 Chronicles 32.7-8, Romans 6.3-5, and Ephesians 3.20-21!
- And, finally, Revelation 12.11!
God’s instructions to Joshua (1.7-9) are for you who are baptizoed into the Name Jesus!
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com