Archive for September, 2012

Titus – a letter written with a fix for broken churches

Men whose lives display the power of the Living Word and the Presence of the Living Christ!

Paul had left Titus in Crete to shore up churches that were “broken” and had gone renegade.

What is a “renegade” church?

  • Church that has allowed self-focus and self-interests to negate the Power of the Word and the Presence of Jesus Christ
  • A self-focused Church is a deserter from the “Body of Christ”

Titus 1:5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

These churches had not been started by Paul. A short two or three month stop before heading to Rome in Acts 27 was not sufficient to start churches. Besides, Paul was under guarded arrest, awaiting appeal before Caesar. This trip to Crete mentioned in Titus was probably after Paul was released for a couple years. Paul had seen a need among the churches on Crete, and made a point to return and work on fixing the problem. Paul and Titus probably visited Crete sometime between AD 63-67. They preached among the many cities, where churches were already established. What Paul saw led him to leave Titus there to straighten out the “renegade” churches. Paul went on to Greece and sent this short business-like memo to Titus via Zenas and Apollos (3:13). The Letter to Titus is meant to encourage Titus, and to reinforce his mission there on the island of Crete. This memo reveals Paul’s vision of the church, and is foundational for us as we begin GraceLife Community Church. There is no room for churches that do not show forth the power of two spiritual realities-The Power of the Word of God and the Presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. This is the test that Paul applied to healthy churches, and the churches on Crete had failed. They were not influencing the culture of Crete with the power of the Gospel. Rather, the churches were becoming infected with the Cretan way.

Paul charged Titus with an “Elder-Fix”

Two Forces were at Work on Crete

  • The Cretan Island Culture
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ

These first churches started on Crete when those who were saved at Pentecost returned home. Acts 2:11 records that Cretans were in the audience when the tongues of fire fell upon the disciples. They heard the mighty rushing wind. They cried out “what must we do to be saved?” They repented, came to Christ and were baptized. They went home, told other Cretans, and churches were born.

Something happened to these churches. Instead of growing into Christ, and effecting the culture of the communities around them, the Cretan island culture crept into the churches. They became “broken” as far as demonstrating the power of Christ. Churches went renegade, and Paul wanted to correct the problem.

Crete was called the island of a thousand cities. Evidently they could not get along with each other, could not trust each other, and as a result, would get mad and move and start a city somewhere. This happened with the churches as well. People would get upset and leave to form their own church in a city nearby. Because the churches had become infected with the Cretan Island culture, they were benign when it came to changing people’s lives. The Gospel of Christ had become of no effect.

The character of Cretans was well known in Paul’s day. Just as saying to Corinthianize meant to prostitute, to call someone a Cretan was to say they were liars and not to be trusted. Putting labels on people is nothing new. There were no red-necks in Paul’s day, but there were Cretans.

God’s solution to confront godless culture has always been MEN! God used Noah to rescue His creation. God used Abraham to counter a society of idol-worship. God used Judges to restore order and worship to people who had forgotten the power of God. God used Elijah to stand against a godless nation. God used John the Baptist to prepare a nation for His Son. God

The Church combats Culture & Division with Christ-Led Elders

Set things in ORDER – things that are lacking, failing

„  Picture of a Physician setting broken bones.

Elders were needed because things were broken, things were lacking, things were absent and the churches were failing.

If you have ever broken a bone, you know how painful it can be. I was moving a concrete stop block that weighed over 80 pounds, and dropped it on my foot. It shattered my big toe. The ER Doctor showed me the X-Ray and said there was not much he could do, as it was shattered in several pieces. So he molded it back together as best he could. Now if it had been my arm or leg, you know they would have used as many pins and screws to get it back to normal.

These churches may have known something was wrong, but they needed Dr. Paul to set things right!

In Paul’s short stay on Crete, he saw that the churches were failing to present the true LIFE of Jesus Christ on the island. The churches were failing to impact the culture around them.

1. Christ-led Elders were the “fix” to broken churches.

Titus 1:5-9 indicates how “elders” are the fix to a broken/renegade church. More correctly, an elder team is the solution. But these elders should be of a certain mold. They must be cut from the same cloth. They must exhibit the LIFE of Christ that is within them. Elders are to be the spiritual “Father’s” of the church. They are to be examples of the Living Christ to their people. The Elders are to be the watchful father’s over the church family, fiercely loving and fiercely protective.

If you think of the church community as a flock of sheep, the elders are a team of pastors, shepherds who make sure those sheep are fed by day and protected by night.  They ensure the nourishment of the sheep.  They will kill any wolf that comes near.

Furthermore, the elders will serve as the vanguard for the invasion of Christianity on Crete! The Cretans had an ugly reputation, and it was showing in their churches. They were not influencing the culture, but the culture was impacting the churches.

Do your actions and personal habits, honesty at work bring curiosity to others about the God you worship?

2. Churches need Men who Live in Christ if they hope to manifest a Living Christ to those around them.

Paul described these men as “blameless” or “above reproach”.

The Greek word for without one single fault (above reproach) is: anégklētos, it means making legal charges against someone in a court of law, but the person is not convictable when a person is properly scrutinized.

Titus 1:6-7(ESV) if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,

Titus 1:6-7 (KJV) If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

There are several Greek words for blameless

  • amémptōs <G274>, unblamed.
  • ámōmos <G299>, unblemished, unspotted.
  • áspilos <G784>, without spot;
  • anégklētos <G410>, legally irreproachable;
  • anepílēptos <G423>, irreprehensible, one who cannot be caught and accused[1]

Who is Blameless in the Bible?

„  Noah was blameless – Gen 6:9 (upright, perfect)

„  Abram was blameless – Gen 17:1

„  Jews were to be blameless when it came to following sorcery and fortune-tellers in the Promised land.

Deuteronomy 18:13-14 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

„  David described himself as blameless – 2 Sam 22:24-33

„  The Eyes of the Lord run to and fro looking for the man whose heart is blameless toward Him (2 Chron 16:9)

„  Job was a blameless man – Job 1:1

„  Satan was blameless before God, until sin was found in him – Ezekiel 28:15

„  Daniel was blameless – Dan 6:22

„  Zechariah and Elizabeth were blameless – Luke 1:6

„  The Corinthians were called blameless by Paul

1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

„  You and I are even called blameless

Ephesians 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Paul described himself as blameless under the righteousness of the law  (before he came to Christ) – Phil 3:6, yet described himself as the chief of sinners after he came to Christ.

From the list above, we can become confused about who is blameless. Clearly some of these people had serious character defects. Noah got drunk, Abram lied twice to protect himself, and had sex with Sara’s handmaid, David was an adulterer and a murderer, the Corinthians were divided and tolerating gross moral sin. The one man whom I would consider the most blameless, Paul, considered himself the worst sinner alive. Who then is blamless?

About Blamelessness

Hebrews 11 is a great chapter about blameless men, men who knew the Living God, men and women who saw Him by faith. Anyone of these men (or women) I would love to have as an elder in my church (except Samson, because he scares me).

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

They are giants of the faith because they dared to see the invisible. They dared to believe the impossible. They set God before them in their life’s journey.

They were not perfect, they made their mistakes, but they were blameless because they lived by faith in God and they did not allow the godless culture around them to drag them down. In fact, their home was not of this world. They looked for the city of God! But something amazing and even unbelievable is written in Hebrews 11:39-40.

As blameless and upright as they were, they cannot be made perfect without you and me!

Hebrews 11:39-40 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Why? Because none of us is blameless and perfect without Jesus Christ! He is the something “better”! We share in the heritage of these giants of the faith when we by faith walk and live in Jesus Christ. We are BLAMELESS in Christ!

Blameless Men are first and foremost Living in Jesus Christ!

Jesus was called amomos-no internal sin and aspilos-no external sin, but was never called amemptos (without accusation or reproach), because Jesus said in Luke 6:26 – “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you”

Although our Lord in 1 Pet. 1:19 is called ámōmos, without internal sinfulness and spot, and áspilos, without external sin or spot, He is never said to be ámemptos, without accusation or reproach, as He Himself taught in Luke 6:26: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you.” Although He Himself was without internal and external spot or blemish, yet there were those who spoke evil of Him or who brought momphé <G3437>, blame, against Him which led to His death.[2]

With regard to Titus, he was to ordain Elders who had exemplary lives as far as their civil obedience and family commitment. The Overseers of the Church are to be living examples of the blamelessness of Jesus Christ.

„ Any righteous man regardless of faith in Christ can pass an FBI ‘vetting’ process. „ But can you pass the GOD vetting process? Only if you are living in the power of the righteousness of Jesus Christ!

 1.  True Blamelessness is only in Jesus Christ (on the inside)

  • 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless (amemptos) in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

2.  True Blamelessness is only through Christ (on the outside)

  • Colossians 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless (amomos) and above reproach (anenkletos) before him,

3.  True Blamelessness is to those who are diligent to abide in Christ (before men)

  • 2 Peter 3:13-14 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
  • Jude 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless (amomos) before the presence of his glory with great joy,

Elders are diligent to abide in Christ

Five descriptors tell what blamelessness is not; while seven descriptors tell what blamelessness is.
  • „Blameless as a man, and blameless in his office (bishop is an office)

Paul puts these in the form of a list, because he’s talking to Greeks.  Paul’s list shows his awareness of how the Greeks communicated virtues.  Had he been talking to a predominately Hebrew culture, he would have communicated this in the form of a parable (as Jesus did in Luke 12:42, “Who is the faithful and wise manager?”).  Elders were to be upright, not liars; holy, not evil brutes; and disciplined, not addicted gluttons. They were to be examples of what the culture was not.


Titus 1:6-13 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

It may sound ironic, but when a leader puts his family first, the community benefits.  When a leader puts the local community or the church community first, both his family and the community suffer.  Titus 1:6 insists (along with 1 Timothy 3: 5) that starting at home is always the key to affecting others in a positive way.  Leading one’s household well gains credibility to lead the family of God.  You don’t need an MBA to manage God’s church; but you do need a mature marriage and strong parenting skills.  (Maxwell 2007, 30)

It is inaccurate to think of the elders primarily as a board of directors overseeing a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization; or some religious version of a for-profit corporation.  It is misguided to think of the eldership like the United States Senate, or some power-based body.  When we do that, we will inevitably get frustrated at the comparison because the church will seem so back-woods.  We read Titus 1 about the elder being the husband of one wife and children who must not be incorrigible.  We think, “What’s up with that?  What’s Paul got against women?   And what does parenting have to do with knowing how to run an organization?”

Fundamentally, the church is a family.  In Titus, local churches met—not in mortgaged facilities—but in homes!   Titus 2 lists the typical groups in a family structure!   So, the church is a family.  God’s plan for the organization and leadership of the local church family is derived from His plan for the organization and leadership of the nuclear family.  As husbands/fathers in marriage/family have been divinely called as servant-leaders to initiate in providing and protecting the family entrusted to them, so such godly husbands/fathers are divinely called to the stewardship of providing and protecting the spiritual church family.   The family and the church family are the only two places where God has called and expects godly, Cross-bearing, Christ-focused husbands/fathers to be the initiating servant-leaders.   Headship is not about “calling the shots” or being “bossy” or “getting the final say” or having the “final word”; headship is the divine calling to be the first to be nailed to the cross.  To be the first to feed the sheep, protect the sheep, and stay up all night to watch the sheep; and if need be, lay one’s life down for the sheep. Furthermore, a spiritually healthy eldership will ensure that all the gifts from all the believers—children, students, women, men—are being fully utilized for the building up of the entire church family! 


For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God;


    • „ not self-willed,
    • „ not soon angry,
    • „ not given to wine,
    • „ no striker,
    • „ not given to filthy lucre;

b.  THE DO’S

    • „ But a lover of hospitality,
    • „ a lover of good men,
    • „ sober,
    • „ just, (conformance to man’ laws)
    • „ holy, (conformance to God’s laws)
    • „ temperate;


„ Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Elders are to protect believers from false teaching by teaching sound doctrine and refuting inaccuracies about Christ and the Gospel. The Gospel that has transformed these elders!  They’d better master that which has mastered them!   Those who were once foolishly enslaved, and deceived (3:3) have been changed by the best news ever—the Grace of God has appeared!  Grace has come to prodigals and predators—and now some of them are elders!  Only Jesus can do that!  


Only a transformed liar can reach other liars. Only one who stands against the culture can transform the culture.

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Our culture needs rescuing. Our society is failing. We need men and women of faith, not afraid to see Him who is invisible, Not afraid to follow Him who the world mocks and jeers at. Not afraid to stand counter to their culture, to show them the way to Jesus Christ.

The people are going down a slippery slope, after money, after themselves. They need to see visible evidence of the power of Jesus Christ!

Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England in the early 1500’s was known as the man for all seasons, for he stood against King Henry VIII who made a mockery of the church and divorced Catharine of Aragon for Ann Boleyn. His stand cost him his head, but his influence upon the politics of England endured for centuries. He was called the man for all seasons!

Elders are men for all seasons! In season, out of season, they stand upon Jesus Christ. They hold fast to His Word. They follow Him who is invisible!

Reinhold Messner became famous as the first person to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen. In fact, he has climbed all 14 mountains over 26,000 feet without oxygen.

Yet, one day between his conquests, he found himself locked out of his house, and was climbing his fence to reach an upstairs window when he fell, injuring his leg. I thought to myself, here was a man who could conquer mountains, but could not conquer his home. We need men of God who lead their homes in following God, and in so doing, they conquer the world with the Power of Christ!

What good does it do if he succeeds in the world but fails at home? God needs men of the Word who conquer at home, live Christ at Home, raise families devoted to God’s Word and change the godless culture of the world around them!

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “ámemptos”.

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “áspilos”.

God is a Life or Death choice…

God is the definition of life. God is all about life. When he created this world He placed life on it and said go forth and be fruitful and multiply. He set a tree of life at its center. Satan came along and struck at the very heart of God by setting death loose. Satan is all about death and decay. Sin is death and decay. When man lives without setting God before Him as God, man is apart from life. Whether you are Christian or not, Muslim or not, Mormon or not, the choice as far as God is concerned, is life or death. God’s way always leads to life. Man’s way always leads to death. LIFE IS A CHOICE!

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land.

Christ is the Life of man!

Jesus said that He is the life, that He is the only way to God the Father. While many of us have come to Jesus Christ to obtain eternal life, many of us have failed to take hold of the LIFE that Jesus wants us to live NOW! It is a life that is not dependent upon your sight, your flesh, your strength, or your wisdom. It is a LIFE that through faith and the Word sees Jesus Christ ever before you, living in you, living through you and living for you.

Galatians 5:25 says that if you have life by the Spirit, then walk by the Spirit!

I want to begin a study toward the end of the New Testament. Today we look at Titus. If the Lord leads we will spend the next two years walking toward Revelation. Wednesday’s we will begin in Genesis and walk through the Old Testament. From time to time we will join the two together, as I will this morning, as I tie Hosea 4:6 to Titus 1:1-4

Destroyed (silenced) for a lack of knowledge

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge[1],[2]; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. 

Spoken to the PRIESTS! They were not making sure the Jews were experiencing God in the reality of everyday living! (This knowledge used is that which comes from an encounter and experience. They probably knew scriptures, participated in memory drills, had the scriptures hanging on their walls, but they had long ago stopped having a fresh encounter with the author of the Scriptures.)

The background of their sin was a lack of an encounter with God through His Word. “My friend, if you are a Christian, the minute you get away from the Word of God, you are doomed to failure in the Christian life. Regardless of the number of conferences or seminars you attend that tell you how to be a success in your home, in your business, and in your social life, you will be a failure”.[3]

Man’s way – failure and death

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

My people are silenced for lack of knowing me!
  • (knowledge and discernment which comes from an experience or encounter)
1. The people are lacking in their relationship with God.

Hosea 4:1 …There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;

  • „ Neglect, busyness, priorities, excuses, hurts.
  • „ God is ignored, forgotten, neglected and even spurned.
2. Neglect turns into rejection of God and His ways
  • „The pull of this world system is too powerful
  • Our hearts are too deceptive
  • Our heart gets cold, our faith is stale.
  • We go through our day without a fresh touch from God.
  • We barely hold on to believing faith
  • We live the majority of our lives without Him.
3. Rejection of God leads to Him rejecting you.
  • „ No longer a priest, able to go directly to Him
  • „ You have lost your standing, your voice.
  • „ Your heart has become a barrier to a living relationship with God.
  • „ Your pride has become a brick wall.
  • „ God is a jealous God. He must be first, or He will move on.
 4. You will be Silenced
  • „ Overcome, cut off, made to cease– silenced.
  • „ No longer have a voice
  • „ Doesn’t necessarily mean death-but rather you have lost your significance with God.
  • „ The Jews would lose their voice and blessing from God.
  • „ God left them to their own devices.
5. God will forget your children.
  • „ Through your forgetting of the Law of God in your life and home…
  • „ God will forget your children.
  • „ Your children will not matter with God.
  • „ His grace will not be at work in their lives.
  • „ They will not hear God’s voice.
  • „ They will not encounter God in their lives.

Hosea 4 indicates what happens when we forget Him. Our worship becomes comfortable and convenient. We worship other things. The family breaks down. There is great immorality among the youth. Wives become immoral. Marriage becomes a joke. The family breaks down.

Proverbs 1:29-31 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.

What is God’s Way? – Success & Life!

The major thrust of Titus, while bearing on our relationships, is really upon  personal character and lifestyle which grow out of the truth. God’s Word is to be encountered, for it will change your character. Christ in you will result in a new Jim or Larry or Beth or Mary. God’s Word is never empty, but always leads to LIFE!

True LIFE is never apart from God, but in God!

Titus 1:1-4 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

A. Paul-Focus on the Living Savior

Paul opens the veil of his life. He wants Titus to know the motivation of his life and ministry. He reminds Titus that he has the imprint of two indelible marks upon his life.

1. He is a bond-servant to God

2. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ, personally commissioned by Him.

Everything about Paul’s life bore those two marks. Everywhere he went, people knew that Paul belonged to God, and that he was representing a living Savior, whom Paul personally knew and spent time with. People could ignore the message, but they could never forget the man. Paul belonged to God, and Paul knew Jesus Christ. There was no denying that Paul was not his own. You had to be impressed with the effect that Jesus had on Paul’s life. This message to Titus is all about how the truth of Jesus Christ changes your life. The Life of Jesus impacts your life.

Paul once though he was alive. But he realized he was dead to God.

Eph 2:1 –you were dead in trespasses and sin.

Paul saw Jesus Christ on that road to Damascus. When he saw Jesus as the Christ, his life was forever changed.

B. Paul-with a Message of Life

1.    For the sake God’s elect

a)  For their faith

b)  For their knowledge of the truth

Paul desires us to see God, to see Him at work in our lives. This only grows through fresh encounters with the Word of truth.

What are you facing in your life that has you boxed in? Instead of your problem driving you to God’s word, you spend your time arguing, your sleeping time frustrated. There is no peace. Faith opens your eyes to see God in whatever situation you are struggling with. Without the Word of truth, your eyes will be shut.

2.    For the hope of Eternal Life

a)  Promised by God

b)  God never lies

God has always focused on LIFE God is jealous for me to experience life! Not a frustrated, defeated life, but a victorious, joy-filled life!

Look at God’s Love for LIFE!

  • In the Garden of Eden

„ God guarded against all that which of Life would destroy life.

„ After the fall, God had to guard life by casting man out

  • The Tree of Life will be in heaven-yielding fruit once a month

„ Sin has been dealt with

„ Only those who know life through Jesus will be allowed to eat.

  • Cain and Able

„ Blood cries from the ground

„ Cursed Cain for taking life

  • Noah

„ Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

„ You will never gain by taking a man’s life. You will lose

  • Enoch

„ Walked with God and had life

  • Abraham & Isaac

„ Isaac must come into death so death can be destroyed,

„ God’s purpose is that death is past, and not future.

„ God wants us to always have life without fear

„ In Christ, death is past, life is now and in the future

  • Job

„ Satan: “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.”

„ God: “… Only spare his life.”

„ Controversy for life is the theme of Job

„ Satan could only indirectly try to take Job’s life: Satan’s indirect method is to move Job to break with God by cursing Him, so that his life is forfeited and destroyed

„ With God is life, even from trials.

„ Trials with God always lead to increase!

„ Trials always lead to Revelation 22

Revelation 22:1-4 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

  • The Exodus

„ Life in the face of death

  • Levitical Laws of Life

„ Always about protecting life and health

„ Guarding the life of the family and nation.

„ Don’t drink blood…

Life Is Sacred To God, And He Is Intensely Jealous Over It.
God wants us to LIVE, but LIFE is in GOD! In order to know true LIFE, we must die to our self and LIVE to God through Jesus Christ! This way, death will be past. There is no more fear of death, for we will experience God’s LIFE forever!
Sin And Death Always Go Together Just As Righteousness And Life Go Together

There is a way that seems right to a man.

I was asked to go talk to a step-father-in-law by one of the gals at EBC. He was a KS Highway Patrol officer, close to retirement, whose job it was to investigate accidents. He had seen every imaginable thing-gory, bloody and horrendous. He was a functional alcoholic. It was 9:30 Saturday morning, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. We started talking about God in his front yard, where he was doing some yard work. He very quickly turned the conversation to his standard answer-God is everywhere. God is in the trees, in the flowers. He felt close to God when he was working in his yard.

When asked about his relationship with God’s Son, he said that he has God and that is good enough. In reality, while he though God was all around him, God had forgotten him, and life was escaping him. Death was his life now, for he did not know God in reality. His sins had not been forgiven. The pain of his life was being drowned out by alcohol. He was fooling himself. His ways seemed right, but they were the ways of death. He had been deceived.

Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Satan is a deceiver. Eve ate because she wanted to be like god. Instead she became like the serpent, cursed and with a death sentence upon her.

Chose life or chose death. You may think you have life, even surround yourself with life, but you are deceived. You are facing death.

There is only one who faced death and conquered it. There is only one who defeated sin, and satisfied the righteous demands of our Holy God.

Jesus Christ, the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Life of God but through Him!

If life is in Christ, don’t you want to know more of Him?

If you are not satisfied with your life, you need to know Jesus Christ in a living way! Christ is the Life of Man!

[1] daʿat̠: A feminine noun meaning knowledge, knowing, learning, discernment, insight, and notion. The word occurs forty of its ninety-one times in Proverbs as one of the many words associated with the biblical concept of wisdom. The root meaning of the term is knowledge or knowing. In Proverbs 24:3, 4, it is the third word in a chain of three words describing the building of a house by wisdom, the establishment of that house by understanding, and finally, the filling of the rooms of the house by knowledge.

The word is also used in the sense of knowing by experience, relationship, or encounter. For example, Balaam received knowledge from the Most High who met him in a vision (Num. 24:16); the knowledge gained by the suffering Servant of Isaiah justified many people (Isa. 53:11); and to truly know the Holy God leads to real understanding (Prov. 9:10). This moral, experiential knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to the human race in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9, 17). Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 245.

[2] The word meaning “knowledge” in Hebrew is daʿat, a noun coming from the root of the verb yadaʿ, “to know,” “to experience,” “to acknowledge.” This key word in the Old Testament includes both intellectual and experiential knowledge. The noun for knowledge, daʿat, also has this range of meaning.. Carpenter Eugene E. and Comfort Philip W., Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 106.

[3] J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Chapter 4”.

1. Life with Christ is an exchanged life, not a changed life.

Change is good, but with God, exchanging is better. We are new creations in Christ. The old man is crucified. The life lived in the flesh cannot please God. If we are Christ’s we must crucify the flesh with its affections and desires. We must learn to walk in the Spirit. This is the power of Paul’s life. Paul, though his outward man perished, his inward man was renewed day by day. This is how he could boast that

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This was no boast, for it was reality from necessity. There was no way Paul could keep doing what he was doing without exchanging his life for the life of Jesus Christ.

Paul was an overcomer not because of his abilities or resolve, but through the exchange of his life for the life of Christ. Are you stuck in your walk with Jesus? Is your life more about defeats than victories? Then you must be honest with God and tell Him you cannot overcome. You must die to your self-effort, and exchange your life for the victorious life of Jesus Christ.

2. Life with Christ is a gift, not a reward.

 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We never struggle to receive the new birth. We simply believe we have it when we repent and by faith trust in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. If our life with Christ begins with the acceptance of His free gift, why should our walk with Christ be any different? If life in Christ is living in the Spirit, what makes us think we can maintain our relationship through fleshly efforts? Our walk with Christ is not one of constantly reaching for the golden ring. Our walk with Christ is one of simply seeing the ring is already in our hands. We have the gift of victory already. To strive to win is an exercise in fleshly futility! This life is lived in the victory already secured! We walk by faith in Christ, not by sight!

Just as a sinner cannot save himself by his works, neither can you become a saint by your works! As Paul realized, all his works were as filthy rags! If you want victory in your life, open your eyes to the power of Christ which is at work in you by faith! The victory is yours by faith!

3. Life with Christ is obtained, not attained

Spiritual Overcomers realize victory is obtained, never sought after. As soon as you try to win, you have lost, for you are relying on your fleshly efforts.

Romans 5:17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Reigning in this life can only be through faith in the finished work and victory of Jesus Christ. How can you be so conceited that it is up to you to obtain. When an Overcomer looks back upon his life, he realizes it was all through the grace of Christ. This is the revelation of 1 Corinthians 1:30. Everything we need to live this Christian life is provided to us IN CHRIST!

1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…

We have already obtained victory, righteousness and sanctification IN CHRIST!

4. True Life with Christ is a Miracle

 Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

An Overcomer sees the power of God at work in his life. An overcomer realizes that this life is an ongoing miracle of God’s grace at work! His eyes have been opened to see “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly place,” as Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:19-20.

God is actively at work in our lives, so that we might be trophies of His grace, and not our self-effort. Our effort must be submitted and join with His. Our eyes must be opened to the daily miracles He is working in our life. We can never overcome unless God performs a miracle!

Take your struggles with anger. No matter how many times you count to ten, the anger is still resident within you. It is suppressed; it is affecting your health. Only God can take that anger away. When you realize it is a miracle of God, and that He is able to overcome that sin, indeed, Christ has already overcome that sin; you can rest and rejoice in the miracle of God’s deliverance. Life with Christ is a miracle when our eyes are open to see it that way!

5. Life with Christ is expression and not suppression

Most Christians experience victory over sin by “suppression.” It is not a matter of deliverance, but of control. Our inward life is unaffected. We seem changed on the outside, but within there is a struggle. Suppressed living for a Christian results in “internal bleeding” which can go on for years, until something happens to reveal the seriousness of condition. This is not the life that Christ wants us to experience. Christ wants to express Himself through our life. Christ lives within us, and He wants to manifest His peace, love and joy in reality to those around us. There is no such thing as tight-lipped Christianity. Our lips are to be free to express, for Christ is expressing His life through us.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

We are set free in Jesus Christ! “For freedom Christ has set us free!” Life with Christ is freedom and expression, not suppression. If you are fighting for control of your soul, then Christ does not reign over your soul.

Can you see this victory you have in Christ? Can you believe in His word? Becoming an overcomer is as definite as becoming a Christian. There is no maybe about it. When you pass from death to life, you know it. When you pass from defeat to trusting in the victory in Christ, you know it!

Do You See Jesus?

Posted: September 1, 2012 in Jesus Christ
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John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

When Jesus spoke these words in the Temple, there was no New Testament. He was speaking of the Old Testament. What could He have been referring to?

Certainly we see “Types”, Christophanies, prophecies and even Messianic Psalms. Is there something more that He is referring to, something more than simple scriptural references? After all, he told the Pharisees, “you will not come to me that you might have life!” Is He referring to something the people in the Old Testament world could see?

Paul makes an amazing statement about the rock from which water burst forth when Moses struck it with the rod.

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Paul makes a statement overlooked by most, that this rock “followed them!” This would have to be a huge rock from which millions of gallons of water would flow. How could it have followed the Jewish wanderers? How could they have seen the Rock as God’s Son?

Jesus makes another “wild” statement in the Gospel of John.

John 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

He says that Abraham “saw His day”, meaning that Abraham saw the coming of Jesus Christ! What did he see?

Moses “considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”(Hebrews 11:26) What did the writer of Hebrews mean? Did Moses see Jesus Christ like Abraham?

Peter preached on the day of Pentecost that David “foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.”(Acts 2:31) Did David see Jesus like Moses and Abraham?

Even the Prophet Isaiah prophesied “these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (John 12:41)

God revealed His Son throughout the Old Testament, but only those with eyes of faith could see Jesus Christ. Christ appealed to the Pharisees who were diligently studying the Scriptures, but were blind to His very presence. Millions upon millions have been exposed to the Scriptures, but how many have truly seen Jesus Christ? What about you? Have you seen Jesus Christ? Has your life been changed by that heavenly vision? Does He live in your life? It matters not your intelligence or knowledge of Scriptures. What matters is “have you seen Jesus Christ?” He has been throughout the world for all time, yet few there are that have truly seen Him. You cannot see Jesus without your life being eternally impacted. Just ask the thieves crucified beside Jesus. One looked and blasphemed. One saw and was saved. Are you looking or are you seeing? Jesus is LIFE only to those who truly SEE Him!Image