Two Sides of the Same Coin

Two Sides of the Same Coin

John 10: 7  So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9  ”I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (Observation) Jesus is the door to the pasture. The “pasture” is abundant life. The sheep know Him. There is no one else that the sheep know. (Interpretation) I suggest to you that the sheep in the pen are those who are waiting for their “shepherd,” the promised Messiah. Further, I suggest to you that the sheep will know Jesus when he calls, because they were predestined by God to be saved “and go out and find pasture,” in other words, eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus explains further in John 10 below that there are “other sheep” who also are destined to hear His voice, that is the gentiles, who will join “the fold” when they hear the good news about Jesus and believe it. (Cross-reference) Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. John...
Not By Sight

Not By Sight

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.  3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.  4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.  5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.  6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him…39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (Observation) Faith is the assurance and conviction of things not seen.  The faith of “men of old” gained them approval from God. The “men of old” listed in Hebrews 11 are pleasing to God because they “believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  The “men of old” believed God and acted on His word even though the result of their actions was not within their control, but in the hands of God....
Ambassadors for Reconciliation

Ambassadors for Reconciliation

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Observations) God, out of His love and mercy, rescued transgressors against Him through Jesus Christ.  This rescue from death is undeserved.  It is a gift to those who will believe. We who are “saved, through faith” have “good works” prepared by God “in advance for us to do.” (Interpretation) God’s rescue of transgressors from the death they deserve to eternal life with Him in heaven by faith in His Son Jesus Christ does not transport the new believer immediately to heaven.  I suggest to you that God’s purpose for the new believer includes “good works” that are to be revealed as the believer lives out the rest of his life on earth.  Further, I suggest that these “good works” include the sharing of the good news about Jesus Christ as He presents opportunities “prepared in...
Conviction

Conviction

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. (Observation) Paul says He is “free from all men” and follows with a list of people groups, to whose outlook, Paul has subjected himself in order to “win” them to a saving faith in the good news about Jesus. Lastly, Paul adds the motive that he “may become a fellow partaker of it.” (Interpretation) I suggest to you that Paul’s intentional subjection to others is motivated by his desire that everyone whom God brings across his path have a chance to be a “fellow” with him by faith in Jesus. like his Father in heaven, Paul is not willing “that one of these little ones perish.” So, Paul becomes a “fellow” with those not of his own kind in order that he may,...
Defiled

Defiled

Mark 7: 14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:  15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.  16 [“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]       17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable.  18 And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.  23 “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Observation) In verses 14-16 Jesus answers the charge of the Pharisees and scribes that the disciples were violating the traditions of the elders by eating without washing.  The explanation of the parable decries the wickedness of those who keep their traditions while sinning against their fellows. (Interpretation) A man is not defiled by what goes into his belly, but by what comes out of his heart.  The words and actions of a man reveal what is in his heart; whether good or evil. (Cross-reference) Matthew 12: 33 “Either...