With Jesus in Paradise

With Jesus in Paradise

Daily Reading: (Luke 16:22-24):

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores” (Luke 16:19-21).

Did you catch that last part? There was a beggar who was in need. His name is Lazarus (not to be confused with Jesus’ friend who He raised from the dead). I imagine where he slept and had his meals he encountered a lot of stray dogs. Have you ever met a dog before that liked to lick you? While Lazarus was ill-treated by man, the dogs showed kindness to him by licking the wounds on his body to help promote healing and reduce pain.

Jesus does a remarkable job of drawing us into the story of a man who is suffering and another who is extremely wealthy “dressed in purple”, the most expensive dye.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 19:22-24).

No matter how much you have there will be a time when death will come for all of us, except for the Rapture, but even then we are separated from our physical bodies. Jesus shows that the beggar is being carried by the angels whereas the rich man ends up in Hades. What is the message Jesus is trying to send? The message is that the blessings Israel had enjoyed in the Old Covenant are for all people moving into the New Covenant. The reason we know this is because we have to ask what do the two characters represent in this parable? 

The rich man must be Jewish as “he called to him ‘Father Abraham”. Only a Jewish person would have referred to Abraham in this way. The rich man in the story represents the nation of Israel (Luke 16:24). The nation of Israel had enjoyed dining at the table of the Lord’s abundance. Israel had been blessed because of God’s gracious promises to Abraham.

Abraham in his name reveals who he is. Genesis 17:5: “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a “father of many nations” have I made thee.” Abraham would be the father of many nations or as Paul put it in Romans 4:16, “the father of all who believe.”

Now, Lazarus represents the Gentiles who longed to eat the crumbs from the rich man’s table.This should bring our minds to another story with Jesus and a Gentile Caananite woman. “The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.”

Like the rich man, the nation of Israel had also received good things from the blessings promised to Abraham but they did not receive Jesus. In the story the rich man doesn’t have a name, why is that? The poor beggar is clearly known and Jesus calls him by his name, Lazarus. The reason Jesus does not say the rich man’s name is because he is one to whom Jesus will say, “Depart from me I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). The rich man is not lost because he was stingy with his wealth, he’s lost because he doesn’t know Jesus.

Why does Lazarus end up in a good place? Is it just because he is poor and suffered in life? Jesus provides clues as to why Lazarus’ fate is different. What did Lazarus do or say in the parable? Nothing. He did not say or do anything that would tell us why he was carried by angels. However, his name tells us the whole story, Lazarus means “God has helped”.  

Lazarus was found at Abraham’s side, but better yet we will be with Jesus. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Live in the Grace

Live in Grace 

Daily Reading: (Galatians 1:6-7):

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

Turning or metatithēmiin the Greek means to fall away or desert something, however, there is a more common usage of this Greek word. I believe Paul is saying that the church in Galatia is transposing (two things, one of which is put in place of the other) the Law in place of grace.

The reason I am so confident in this definition is because of the history of the church in Galatia. Instead of living in God’s grace you have put something else in its place. How is this possible? The church that Paul started had now allowed false teachers to come who were trying to implement the law in place of grace. These teachers were a group of Judaizers—those who sought to make living under the Mosaic Law a requirement of the Christian faith—and they had gained an influence in the Galatian churches. We actually learn about this from Acts 15:1-30.  

This all makes sense when you follow the very next verse in Paul’s letter in Galatians 1:7- “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7b). Paul says when you turn from the Gospel of grace, Jesus Christ, you are preaching and teaching something that is really no Gospel at all.

The word “pervert” (metastrephō) means to turn around. A perverted gospel is a turned-around gospel. It is a gospel which turns the focus away from Jesus onto something else. If the gospel of grace reveals Christ alone, then a perverted gospel is Christ plus something. Whenever it is Christ plus something else that is how we transpose or place the law in place of grace.

So, this “different gospel” was not Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam that they are trying to get people to convert to, it was an in-house distortion. It was promoted by men who called themselves Christian “brothers” Galatians 2:4, and the purpose is to get other Christians to try to live under the Law.

Now that we have studied what it means to desert the gospel of grace by transposing it for law-based living, let’s focus on what it means to live in the grace of Jesus.

The original manuscripts doesn’t say “live in the grace”, the Greek word for live isn’t present. Galatians 1:6 reads like this: “I am amazed that you are so quickly transposing (the law in place of grace), of the One who has called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel.”

So the big takeaway of the more accurate translation is that grace is your calling.It was God’s grace that called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. So, continue forward in His grace, don’t let anyone deceive you into believing a false gospel that there is something you need to do in order to receive the salvation of the Lord. To preach the gospel of grace is to preach the exceeding riches of God’s unmerited favor revealed to us through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:7). I am amazed Galatians that you would choose anything over than this amazing grace.

#Coming Out of Jerusalem

Daily Reading: (Acts 11:1-3):

“The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

Acts 11 has a profound effect on our lives and the purpose is to unite us together in Christ instead of divide us in the world. In Acts 11:1 “The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” So, we are going to do a what do you think happens next segment?

People are believing in Jesus Christ and the circumcised (law living) believers

  1. a) rejoiced and threw a party
  2. b) sent church leaders to help establish a church Caesarea
  3. c) a and then b
  4. d) criticized Peter

“So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” Nationality is not what gives you a right standing before God but faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is for all people (Acts 11:9). What a miracle to behold, hostile towards each other- now that wall of separation is broken in Christ and there has been peace brought to us (Acts 11:18, Ephesians 2:14).

As you continue reading Acts 11 there is a statement made, “the hand of the Lord was with them.” The Greek word means that God is present protecting and aiding one (Acts 11:21).

“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” In a Gentile Greek city, the name of believers in Jesus is born, Christians (Acts 11:26). As they ministered, we learn the hand of the Lord was with them in the present (Acts 11:21), but we also find God goes into the future and makes their path straight by warning of a coming famine (Acts 11:28).

 

 

 

 

#An Incredible Announcement

Daily Reading: (Acts 10:1-6):

“At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius! Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

In Caesarea, we are told that there is a man named Cornelius of the Italian Cohort or Regiment. Cohort is just a name of the archery unit of the Roman army.

God is working in two lives, Cornelius and Peter, bringing them together for Gospel purposes. God is going to use Peter, but Peter first has to repent (change his mind) about sharing the Gospel to all nations, otherwise Cornelius will not hear the Gospel (Acts 10:14). The journey God has Peter on is one of spiritual growth. The journey you and I are on is one of spiritual growth and sometimes the things we encounter in life are what we need in order to grow.

Here is an incredible announcement for your life: “The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” Acts 10:15). Now, apply that to your life, God has made you clean in Jesus. You are a saint. Celebrate it- praise God for it and don’t ever make the mistake that Peter made and buy into the lie that you are unclean when Jesus’ died to make you clean.

We can clearly see the vision Peter had is connected directly to Cornelius, because Cornelius would have been seen as an unclean Gentile, an Italian (Acts 10:17).

“You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile” (Acts 10:28). The announcement is that I am no longer under the law but grace because “God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.”

But accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all” (Acts 10:35-36).

 

The Shark Still Looks FAKE

Daily Reading: (Galatians 1:6-10)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
bible study, online church SLXLM

In the church of Galatia-there had been false teachers preaching a false message/Gospel (Galatians 1:6).
False teachers were trying to implement the law in place of grace and this is evident in 3 ways:
#1 (Verse 6) Deserting/(metatithēmi)-  to transpose (two things, one of which is put in place of the other) or desert from one person or thing. A group of Judaizers—those who sought to make living under the Mosaic Law a requirement of the Christian faith—had gained an influence in the Galatian churches. We actually learn about this from Acts 15:1–30).
#2 Different gospel/(euaggelion)- the glad tidings of salvation through Christ, the proclamation of the grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ (Galatians 1:6-7).
#3 Pervert/(metastrephō)- turn around. A perverted gospel is a turned-around gospel. It is a gospel which turns the focus away from Jesus onto something else. If the gospel of grace reveals Christ alone, then a perverted gospel is Christ plus something.
The Genuine Gospel:
To preach the gospel of grace is to preach the exceeding riches of God’s unmerited favor revealed to us through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:7).
So, Paul says, “Cursed — be those who lead people away from the curse-removing gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:9).
Two things are at stake when the gospel is perverted: one is the glory of Christ; the other is the salvation of sinners. If the gospel is turned around, the all-sufficiency of Christ’s work is dishonored, and the way to salvation for sinners is blocked.