November 1, 2015 Increasing Light From Dawn to Noonday

Increasing Light From Dawn to Noonday

In our last study, we learned from John 1.1-5 that the ‘Word’ came to Earth to give ‘life’ and, through life, unquenchable ‘light’.  ‘Life’ came through our belief in ‘Jesus’, as John 1.12 & 3.16 say and Apostle Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 5.17-21.  We ARE new creation; sons and daughters of God the Father!  (2 Corinthians 6.18; Ephesians 1.5-6)  Thus, we will only die once (James 2.26; Hebrews 9.27-28; Revelation 20.6, 15), as we depart this Earth for Paradise (Luke 23.42) or to join Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4.17-18).  And, ‘life’ gives ‘light’, just as the potential for growth begins with spiritual birth and increases with intentional nourishment from Bible study, prayer, and meditation with Jesus the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 5.11-6.2).

A.  What is ‘light’?

  1. King David stated that God’s word is light, in Psalm 119.105.
  2. Solomon restated this in Proverbs 6.23.
  3. Jeremiah 8.9 states the contrast bluntly.  [So, what sources do you listen to?]
  4. Paul reminded of this in 1 Corinthians 3.18, quoting Job 5.13 and paraphrasing Psalm 94.11.
  5. Also, Paul illustrated Jeremiah 13.10 in Romans 1.22-23 (which acts violate Exodus 20.4-6).
  6. So, whatever words agree with God’s words are light, like Jesus said in John 12.49-50.
  7. And, we might paraphrase Hosea 14.9 by substituting ‘words’ for ‘ways’ of the Lord. Read aloud to hear.

B.  How does this ‘light’ become brighter?

  1. Solomon gave a good word picture in Proverbs 4.18: from faint to full, dawn to noonday!
  2. Faint light comes from the simple, casual reading of Scripture.
  3. Full light comes from the study of Scripture led by the Holy Spirit.  Metaphor is 1 Corinthians 13.12.
  4. Paul discussed this in Ephesians 1.15-22.  Notice the level of understanding at ‘noonday’.  Who is the Teacher?
  5. Jesus told His disciples that this would be the primary work of the Holy Spirit, in John 16.8-11. What similarities do these verses have with Jeremiah 9.24?  How had Jesus the Son lived these?  John 5.19.
  6. It is important to understand that Jesus the Father defined what was meant by understanding of Himself, that Jesus the Son demonstrated this (Matthew 10.7-8; Acts 10.38), and that Jesus the Holy Spirit continues this teaching and manifestation (Mark 16.15-20).
  7. The lost are to receive the ‘light’ revealing their sin (John 3.18-20; Romans 8.5-8; Galatians 5.16-21).  The saved are to receive the ‘light’ increasing their righteousness (2 Peter 3.18; Galatians 5.22-24; Proverbs 6.16-19).  The ‘light’ of mature believers becomes the weapon for overcoming the devil (2 Corinthians 10.3-6; Ephesians 6.10-18; James 4.7; 1 John 5.4-5; Revelation 12.11).
  8. The work of Jesus the Holy Spirit is to spark the ember and to fuel it into a roaring flame!  Light!

C.  Are you listening to the right voice?

  1. We listen to lots of ambient sounds until one captures our attention.  It may be someone calling our name or talking about a subject of our interest.  (Think: E.F. Hutton commercials of old TV.)  What sounds get your attention?  For how long do you listen?  You control the content, depth, and duration of your engagement with that sound!
  2. Jesus often exclaimed: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11.15, 13.9; Mark 4.24; Revelation 3.2.)
  3. 1 John 4.1-6 instructs us to ‘test the spirits’ to determine truth from error.  What is the determining question?  Indeed, the anointed name, ‘Jesus’, has come into the world, giving life and light and, as Paul wrote, power and wisdom (1 Corinthians 1.24; Philippians 2.9-11; Colossians 2.8-10)!  satan wants you to think ‘Jesus’ has not come (2 Corinthians 4.3-4; Matthew 13.18-22).  If satan can steal ‘Jesus’ from you, he can destroy your faith (Romans 10.17) and, then, kill your body and mind.
  4. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice….”  (John 10.1-16; my paraphrase)  Was this the same voice Who spoke Isaiah 30.21 and Jeremiah 6.16?  Does He speak these words to you today?
  5. Elijah had to separate Jesus’ voice from the noise around him, just like you and I; 1 Kings 19.11-13.
  6. What was His question to Elijah?  So, how will you answer?  How will you hear?

D.  Testing spirits.

  1. In Revelation 2.7, 11, 17, 29; 3.6, 13, 22, Jesus repeats the same imperative: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
  2. There are two possible meanings to understand.  First, listen carefully to the message from the Holy Spirit through this letter, addressed to a specific church but applicable to all.  Second, listen carefully to discern the Holy Spirit from the deceiving spirits that speak in the world today.
  3. Paul commented about this in 2 Corinthians 11.13-15 with a representative illustration.  It is important to understand that “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”.  So, how can you know the true from the fake ‘light’?  Their deeds reveal them, like Jesus spoke in Matthew 7.15-20.
  4. Apostle John sheds more light on the ‘fruit’ in 1 John 4.1-6, 13-15 and 2 John 7.  What is the confessional: Jesus is the Son of God and has been born on Earth.  This is the message of the Bible. Thus, any mixture of philosophy is weeds sown among wheat and can destroy the harvest, as Jesus discussed in His Parable of the Sower: Matthew 13.18-23.
  5. How will you know philosophy from ‘Jesus’: 1 Corinthians 12.3. Similarly, in Matthew 16.17, Jesus identified the Source of truth and understanding.  In 1 Corinthians 12.8-11, Paul discusses the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Note the work of the Holy Spirit and distribution of gifts at the time when faith-to-receive is applied to the need to be overcome.
  6. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth in John 14.17, 15.26, and 16.13.  Paul contrasts truth and lie in 1 Corinthians 2.12 and 1 Timothy 4.1.
  7. Jesus said the Spirit of truth would take from ‘Jesus’ and give it to us; John 16.14-15.  The Spirit will not magnify Himself.  This is another test of genuineness.
  8. So, how did the believers in Berea know that Paul’s teaching was the truth?  What was the work of the Holy Spirit in this?  See Acts 17.11.
  9. In Revelation 12.11 are the two confessions that the Holy Spirit confirms in and through us.  Note the illustration of ‘life’ and ‘light’.

E. Do you hear Who I hear?

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015.

October 18, 2015 What a Name IS Jesus!

What a name IS Jesus!

In the previous study, we learned that the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – all share the same name, ‘Jesus’.  This was the ‘name’ that David used against Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.45, that Jesus the Son used against the demon that was destroying the father’s son in Mark 9.25, and, I believe, that brought Apostle Paul back to life in Acts 14.19-20.  I also think this was Paul’s understanding of ‘Jesus’, for he wrote in Hebrews 13.8 that “Jesus Christ [that is, the Anointed name ‘Jesus’] is the same yesterday and today and forever” and in Philippians 2.9 that ‘Jesus’ is “the name that is above every name” that could be called in any physical and metaphysical place!

So, is ‘Jesus’ the ‘word’ that Apostle John wrote about in John 1.1-5 and Revelation 12.11?  I think so.

A. Life: John 1.1-5.

  1. What similarity is seen when comparing John’s writing to Solomon’s Proverbs 8.22-31?
  2. Note the similarity of thought in John 1.3 with what Solomon wrote.
  3. What is the connection between the ‘word’ and ‘power’ and ‘wisdom’?  Consider what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1.24 about this connection, remembering that ‘Christ’ means anointing and, I believe, when used alone implies ‘Jesus’.  The ‘word’ IS wisdom; the ‘word’ IS power!
  4. John continues with an interesting thought: ‘word’ has life; verse 4.  How does Jesus explain this in John 6.63?  So, the ‘word’ is Spirit, which is what John 1.1 says.
  5. We speak about Jesus-followers being ‘born again’, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3.3-7.  Paul described us as ‘new creation’ in 2 Corinthians 5.17.
  6. We have been born of the Spirit; that is, we have been given ‘life’!  The ‘word’ of life has given us eternal life!  John 1.12 shows how this came about and what it means.  We ‘received’ the ‘word’; that is, we believed in ‘Jesus’.  By receiving ‘Jesus’, we became children of God!  John 3.16!
  7. Paul clarifies John 1.14 in Philippians 2.7, 1Timothy 3.16, and Hebrews 2.14.  The ‘word’ took on flesh and became the Son of God, visible to mankind.
  8. Why did the ‘word’ take on flesh?  Jesus told Apostle Philip one important reason; John 14.8-11. Paul gave another important reason in Hebrews 2.14-15.

B.  Life leading to Light: John 1.1-5.

  1. John 1.4 says that the life in the ‘word’ gives light to Jesus-followers.
  2. King David taught the importance of this in Psalm 119.105; Solomon repeated this in Proverbs 6.23.
  3. Jesus said the same in John 8.12, 9.5, and 12.46.  Note how John 1.9 prefaced Jesus’ words: when life came through the ‘word’ taking on flesh, this life was the light that David had seen in the Scriptures and was to be seen, now, by everyone…clearly; by example.  (See John 1.4,17b.)
  4. Jesus the Son said that one of the tasks of Jesus the Holy Spirit would be to continue to provide light to mankind.  This He explained in John 14.26, 15.26, and 16.13.  John amplifies in 1 John 2.27.

C. Summary statements about the Holy Spirit.

  1. He is the third member of the Trinity of God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
  2. He, too, is named ‘Jesus’.
  3. He teaches us what we need professionally, relationally, and Spiritually.
  4. 4.     Now, we need to walk with Him (Romans 8.14) and learn His voice (Isaiah 30.21).
  5. 5.     Hebrews 3.7-13.

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015.

October 11, 2015 Jesus Never Leaves Us Alone

Jesus Never Leaves Us Alone

         That’s what He said and meant!  Apostle Paul reminded his readers of this in Hebrews 13.5-6 by illustrating what Moses had declared in Deuteronomy 31.6.  How should this reality energize your life?  Hear, again, God’s assurance in Isaiah 44.8.  Jehovah-shammah is “The Lord is There.” (Ezekiel 48.35)

Jesus the Father was present at Creation.  Jesus the Son revealed the Father, Who is Spirit (John 4.24).  And, Jesus the Son asked Jesus the Father to send Jesus the Holy Spirit when He returned to Heaven.  Yes, the Trinity shares the name ‘Jesus’, from what Jesus the Son said in John 17.12 (Luke 1.31; Matthew 1.23, 21; Isaiah 7.14, 9.6).  Note that Luke referred to Jesus the Holy Spirit in Acts 16.7; Paul, too, in Philippians 1.19.

Paul reminded of the reality of the anointing of the name ‘Jesus’, which is what Messiah means; Colossians 2.9-10“And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power…].”  (Colossians 2.10 AMP; my underline to point out the reality of the anointed name, ‘Jesus’, you bear; Colossians 1.27!)

So, you cannot ever be alone!  You just need to be aware of His presence, as Jesus the Father reminded Jeremiah in 1.5!

A. Never alone: presence of Jesus the Father.

  1. Genesis 1.1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
  2. Genesis 3.8: God walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.
  3. Genesis 6.13: God gave plans for a boat to save Noah and animal species.
  4. Exodus 3.4: God spoke with Moses about delivering Abraham’s descendants from Egypt.
  5. Hebrews 1.1: God spoke through the prophets of the Old Testament of the Bible.

B. Never alone: presence of Jesus the Son.

  1. Hebrews 1.2-3a: God spoke through His only Son, the Savior of the world.  See John 14.8-11.
  2. John 1.31-34: God identified Jesus through John the Baptist, who introduced Him to the world.
  3. Matthew 4.23-25: Jesus the Son saved the people from their sin (Hebrews 11.6) and its effects.
  4. Mark 16.15-21: Jesus is present with disciples who preach, to manifest the power of His name. How?

C. Never alone: presence of Jesus the Holy Spirit.

  1. John 14.16-17: Jesus the Son asked Jesus the Father to send Jesus the Holy Spirit to be with us ‘forever’.  How do you know He is with you now?  Numbers 23.19 and Titus 1.2.
  2. Isaiah 30.21: hear His voice so Romans 8.14 becomes a personal reality.
  3. John 14.26: Jesus the Holy Spirit teaches all the professions and explains the things of God.
  4. 1 John 4.1-6: Jesus the Holy Spirit tells us how to confront erroneous philosophies; Colossians 2.8-10, 5.  Substitute ‘philosophies’ for ‘flesh’ in Romans 8.5-9 for a better understanding.

D. Another important point to remember.

  1. Jesus the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have not been overcome, as John 1.5 states!  Exodus 6.3 explains why: Jesus is the name of the Lord!  Isaiah 42.13 and Jeremiah 20.11-13! Psalm 23!
  2. From 1 Samuel 17:45, what was the weapon David used to defeat Goliath?
  3. What saved Jesus from the angry crowds in Luke 4:28-30?
  4. Who resurrected Paul, and what protected him from angry crowds in Acts 14:19-22?
  5. How does 2 Corinthians 2:14 state points2-4: “But thanks be to [Jesus the Father], who always puts us on display in [the anointed name ‘Jesus’] and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (HCSB; my substitution for God and Christ, respectively; ‘Christ’ means anointed; ‘Jesus’ is the name anointed with power and authority!)
  6. How do Jesus’ words in Mark 9:25 illustrate point 5? If you were speaking to the demon, what prepositional phrase would you add to produce the same effect? Why? How would this “spread the aroma of the knowledge of [Jesus] in every place”? What is the aroma?
  7. Paul amplifies this reality in Philippians 2.9-11!  ‘Jesus’ gives comprehensive victory!
  8. What does Paul mean in verses 12-13?
  9. Exodus 12.12: the plagues were defeats of Egypt’s gods. Did the people shout ‘Jesus’; Joshua 6:20?
  10. 1 John 3.8b and Acts 10.38: Jesus the Son defeated satan’s oppressors in people; Matthew 9.36.
  11. 1 Corinthians 2.4-5: our faith must be in the Spirit of Jesus described in Isaiah 61.1-4.

E. You are in Jesus, and He is in you!

  1. This is what Jesus the Son said in John 17.20-23.
  2. Notice that His reason for this is that we, too, might display Jesus the Father’s glory. We do this when we overcome by the name of ‘Jesus’! Notice that ‘overcome’ is the action word common to all seven churches to which Jesus sent letters in Revelation 2-3.
  3. How is Ephesians 3.10 like 1 Corinthians 2.4-5?
  4. How is Mark 9:25 an illustration of this? How important is the name ‘Jesus’ to your success?
  5. Jesus the Holy Spiriot is in you for this purpose! Ephesians 1:13-14.

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015.