Paul explains true Christian behavior. The old nature is dead. We are to accept Jesus as our Savior and put on the new nature. When we let Christ in our hearts, He changes us into what we should be.
In verses 1-4:
“For ye are dead.” Simply put, we died. We should have little desire for this world and what it has to offer. Our old nature has been removed. We that have been born again are dead to sin; its dominion has been broken. Our real home is in Heaven with Jesus.
“Your life is hid with Christ.” The world cannot see our life. It looks dull to them. We know Christ and Christ knows us. The world does not know Him.
“When Christ, who is our life.” Jesus lives in every believer through His Spirit.
Jesus helps us to live and gives us hope for the future.
“Shall Appear.” As we realize that Jesus is corning again, we should continually look up. We must keep watching for His return for we do not know the hour that He will come back.
“Ye shall appear with Him in glory.” Upon Christ’s return, all believers will be gathered up together with Him in Heaven, those whose life is now hid with Christ.
Paul is reminding us to remember who we once were, who we are at this moment, and who we will be when Jesus returns. Are we truly looking for Jesus to return? What do we focus on?
In verses 5-9:
If we are truly believers of Christ, it will show in our personal holiness and our fellowship with others. In other words, our actions will display what is in our hearts. What does our relationship with Jesus, if any, show in our everyday life? On our daily “to do list,” living holy should not be there. Living holy should be a way of life!
Mortify means to subdue, control, restrain, discipline, or put to death. Look at the different “works of the flesh” that Paul is specifically pointing out in these verses; fornication (sexual immorality), uncleanness (thoughts, words, etc.), inordinate affection (unbridled passions and lust), evil concupiscence (evil desires), and covetousness (envious, greedy, desirous, idolatry). We should be unresponsive to all of the above, or anything that can come between our spiritual lives and God. Just as gardeners prune dead branches from trees and bushes, Christians should prune away the dead things of this world from our lives.
Lay aside the old self and put on the new. Put off old habits and begin new habits, living for Christ and be guided by the Holy Spirit.
“Mirror, Mirror of the Book. Please tell me how I look.”
In other words, what fruit do we bear that others see? Does God need a microscope to see any fruit that we bear? In Galatians 5, we are told what to avoid and what to cultivate. We are not only to cease from doing evil, but we are also to seek to do what is right in the eyes of God. Get rid of the old rags sin, then put on the new clothes of righteousness.
In verses 9-10:
When Christians lie to one another, it disrupts unity and destroys trusts. It can also lead to breaking down relationships and disharmony within the church. Discipleship is a continuing education, a learning process. The more we know and learn, the more we begin to change for the better. People will see Christ in us. We must never give up in obeying God. Practice, patience, reexamination, and attentiveness will help keep us in line with God's will.
In verse 11:
There should be no barriers in the Christian church such as nationality, social standing, religion, race, etc. Christians should accept all people that come to Christ, for it was Christ that broke down the walls of division (race, education, social standing, nationality, religion) and merged all believers into one family.
In Paul's day, many of these people were led to Christ. The Gospel had reached out and touched many lives. Our Christian life is to walk out everywhere showing Christ in all we do. It is believers’ duty to live as He lived. Christians ought to focus on constructing bridges rather than walls.
Song of Solomon 2:1
Song of Solomon is about a man and a woman, their love, courtship, and marriage. It is an allegory of God's love for Israel and/or the church. Here we look at the “I am” of 2:1-2.
Why the comparison?
Unlike some areas where flowers are planted, there are NO signs posted for us to “Keep Out.”
Here Paul is writing to the Philippians, instructing them to be humble like Christ.
This passage is comparative to Isaiah 53, the prophecy of the suffering servant. There are several characteristics of Christ that are brough about in this passage of scripture:
The case of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. We should take after Him in His life, if we would have the advantage of His death. There are two natures of Christ: one Divine nature, and one human. Who being as God, shared the Divine nature, as the endless and just generated Son of God, had not thought it a theft to be equivalent with God, and to get Divine love from mankind. In human nature, Jesus became like us in everything aside from wrongdoing.
Of His own will, He stepped down from Heaven, where he had been with the Father before the world was. Christ not just took upon him the resemblance and type of a man, yet of one of a very low state; not showing up in grandeur. His entire life was an existence of destitution and languishing. In any case, the lowest state was His passing on the cross, the demise of a criminal and a slave; presented to open disdain and contempt. Christ's human nature was exalted in association with the Divine.
At the name of Jesus, and the authority of Jesus, all should pay reverence. It is to the magnificence of God the Father, to admit that Jesus Christ is Lord; for it is his will, that all men should respect the Son as they respect the Father. (John 5:23). Here we see such intentions to self-denying love as nothing else can supply. Do we in this manner adore and comply with the Son of God?
In verses 5-8:
We See the Steps Down:
In verses 9-11:
We See the Steps Up:
What was Jesus’ attitude? Did He complain and murmur? Who has never complained or murmured when told to do something that we didn’t want to do?
He Was Cursed:
He Learned Obedience:
He Was Exalted:
Believers should have an attitude that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve others. If we say we are believers of Christ, then we should want to live as he lived. We should also develop an attitude of humility as we serve, just as Christ did; even though we may not get recognized for our service. Can you accept the fact that the pain involved in obedience may benefit those you serve and not you?
Even those condemned will recognize the authority of Jesus at the last judgment. Everyone can decide to see Him as Lord now, in loving and willing commitment, or be compelled to recognize Him as Lord when He returns. Who among us is prepared to meet Him?
What does it mean to have a purpose without power? Are we talking about having power or having a purpose? Or is there power in purpose? Sounds a bit confusing, does it not? There is an old story from roughly over 20 years ago about an elementary teacher. I do not know who the author is, so let me tell you my interpretation of the story and then we will go from there.
His name was Mr. Ed, and as he stood in front of his fifth-grade class on the first day of school, he told the children a lie. Like most teachers, he looked at his students and said that he loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Tommy Sullivan.
Mr. Ed had watched Tommy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children. His clothes were messy, and he constantly needed a bath. Tommy could be a bit unpleasant at times. It had gotten to the point to where Mr. Ed would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red marker, making bold X’s, and then putting a big red ‘F’ at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mr. Ed taught, he was required to review each child’s past records and he put Tommy’s off till last. However, when he reviewed his file, he was in for a surprise.
Tommy’s first-grade teacher wrote, “Tommy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”
His second-grade teacher wrote, “Tommy is an excellent student, well like by his classmates, but he is troubled because his father has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”
His third-grade teacher wrote, “His father’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his mother doesn’t seem to show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”
Tommy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Tommy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”
By now, Mr. Ed realized the problem and he was ashamed of himself. He felt even worse when his students brought him Christmas presents, wrapped in nice ribbons and colorful paper, except for Tommy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mr. Ed took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when he found a rhinestone tie clasp with some of the stones missing. But he stifled the children’s laughter when he exclaimed how nice the tie clasp was as he put it on his own tie.
After the children left Mr. Ed sat solemnly with tears in his eyes for at least an hour. On that day, he quit teaching the basics and instead began really teaching the children. He paid particular attention to Tommy. As he worked with him, Tommy’s mind seemed to open up. The more encouragement he gave, the more Tommy’s mind seemed to come alive. By the end of the year, Tommy had become one of the smartest pupils in the class. And despite what he said about loving them all the same, Tommy had become one of the teacher’s pets.
A year later, Mr. Ed found a note on his desk from Tommy, telling him that he was still the best teacher he ever had in his life.
Six years passed before he received another letter from Tommy. In this letter, Tommy wrote that he had finished high school, and that he was still the best teacher he had ever had.
Four more years passed, then he received another letter. It said that although things have sometimes gotten rough, he stayed in school and that he would soon graduate from college with high honors. He assured Mr. Ed that he was still the best teacher that he had ever had.
Four more years passed and then another letter came. This time it explained that after he had finished college, he went further. It still read that Mr. Ed was the best teacher that he had ever had. It was signed, Dr. Thomas Sullivan.
The story does not end just yet. You see, there was another letter that came. Tommy said that he had met a young lady and was to be married. He explained that his mother had died recently and was wondering if Mr. Ed would sit at the seat that was usually assigned to the parents of the groom. And of course, Mr. Ed did, while wearing the tie clasp with the missing rhinestones.
Dr. Sullivan gave Mr. Ed a hug and thanked him for believing in him and making him feel important and showing him that he could make a difference.
Mr. Ed replied, “Tommy, it was you who taught me that I could make a difference. I was not truly teaching until I met you.”
Now this story may sound a bit outlandish but there is a point to it. But you see God has a purpose and a plan for all people. though we may face problems that may go against God’s plan, there should not be walls to prevent us from believing in his Word (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
God’s purpose cannot be defeated. Regardless of if we choose to admit it, do not use what we do not understand as an excuse for not trusting in God (Job 42:2).
God’s purpose endures. Man will make plans based upon decisions and motives that he has determined for himself. Many times, these will lead us toward the wrong direction. Regardless of whether we choose to or not, God’s plans are what prevails in our lives (Proverbs 19:21).
Every Christian has a purpose. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, a purpose for us is planted. We may not know and understand what it is. But as we grow in the knowledge and in faith in Christ, that purpose will be revealed (Proverbs 20:5).
God’s purpose is brought to fruition. To transform our desires to be more like to Christ, we need the power of the Holy Spirit (1:19), the impact of loyal Christians, dutifulness to God's Word, and to serve sacrificially (Philippians 2:13).
God’s purpose is fulfilled regardless of the situation we may face. The Christian’s goal is to be like Christ (1 John 3:2). As we become increasingly more like him, we will find our true selves. We can be seen in his image by the reading and the studying to his Word, by examining his life on earth through the Gospels, by being filled with the Holy Spirit, and by performing the Lord’s work here on earth (Romans 8:28).
Paul changes from the suffering for the gospel to the blessed life to which Christians are called. Both Paul and Timothy had been saved and were given a calling to serve others in ministry. Salvation is not based on our extraordinary deeds, yet by God’s power (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is also true for those for a calling to serve others in the ministry: it is not due to the aftereffect of our efforts. The calling of each individual who serves in a ministry is backed by God’s grace and purpose (2 Timothy 1:9).
We all have sinful desires (flesh), but in order to follow the Holy Spirit, we must deal with these. We cannot ignore them. The spontaneous works of the Holy Spirit is fruit. We cannot get them unless we allow Christ to work in us through the Holy Spirit.
In verses 16-18:
Paul depicts the powers at work inside us, the Holy Spirit, and the evil tendencies. The Holy Spirit is of course stronger, yet we are frail. If we are left to our own knowledge, we will settle on inappropriate decisions. If we attempt to stroll in the Spirit by our own human exertion, we will come up short. The best approach to freedom from our human wants is through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Being driven by the Holy Spirit includes the longing to hear, the willingness to comply with God's Word, and the capacity to observe between your emotions and God's promptings. At the point when we live every day guided by the Holy Spirit, that is when the expressions of Christ will be in our hearts and minds. The love for Christ will appear in our activities and the intensity of Christ will assist with controlling ourselves from common wants (Colossians 3:3-8; Ephesians 4:23-24).
In verses 19-21:
We have regular wants, and we cannot overlook them. With the goal for us to follow the Holy Spirit's direction, we should manage them unequivocally (Galatians 5:24). These wants incorporate clear sins, for example, black magic and extramarital perversion, and more subtle ones, for example, desire, outrage, and jealousy. The individuals who disregard such sins or decline to manage them uncover that they have not gotten the gift of faith that prompts a changed life.
Works of the flesh:
In verses 22-23:
The fruit of the Spirit is the unconstrained work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit creates these characteristics which are found in Christ. They are the side-effects of Christ's controlling our lives. We cannot get them by attempting to acquire them. For the fruit of the Spirit to develop in us, we should get our lives together with Christ. We should know Him, love Him, and endeavor to resemble Him. The outcome will be that we will satisfy the expected purpose behind the Law, cherishing God, and man.
Since God sent the Law, He likewise sent the Spirit. The consequences of a Spirit filled life are in concordance with the plan of God's Law. An individual who is wealthy in the fruit of the Spirit satisfies the Law obviously better than an individual who watches the customs yet has little love in his heart. Which of these characteristics do we want the Spirit to create in us?
Fruit of the Spirit:
In verses 24-26:
To acknowledge Christ as our Savior, we must abandon our wrongdoings and readily nail them to the cross. That does not imply that we will never observe those wants again, because Christians, despite everything, still could sin. Be that as it may, we have been liberated from the power of sin and we no longer need to surrender to it. We should day by day submit our corrupt wants to God's control and consistently draw on the Holy Spirit's capacity to defeat them (Galatians 2:20; 6:14).
God is keen on all parts of our lives, not simply the spiritual aspect. As we live by the Holy Spirit's capacity, we must present each part of our lives to God, that includes the emotional, social, professional, physical, and intellectual parts of our lives. The Holy Spirit is the wellspring of our new life, so we ought to stroll with Him.
We need a specific measure of endorsement from others. The individuals who make a special effort to make sure about distinctions or to win ubiquity with others show that they are not following the Holy Spirit. People who seek God for endorsement will not have to look for it from others. As children of God, we have His Holy Spirit as the assurance of His endorsement (Galatians 5:16; Philippians 2:3).
We should set ourselves vigorously to mortify the deeds and desires of the flesh, and to stroll in our new life. Not being covetous of vain-greatness, or unduly wanting for the regard and adulation of men, not inciting or begrudging each other, yet looking to deliver all the more plentifully the good fruits of the Spirit, which are, through Jesus Christ, to the acclaim and wonder of God.
What is a person to do when they fall down? Does he or she stay down, or does the person get back up?
The genuine soul falls as an explorer may do, by faltering at some stone in his way; however, he gets up, and goes on his way with more consideration and speed. The writer might be utilizing “falls” not in the feeling of falling into transgression, yet in the feeling of being overpowered by disaster. The righteous ought to emerge from whatever transitory disaster is brought upon them.
Undoubtedly, many preachers have discussed how a good man may fall into trouble or sin, but that just man never gives in. He looks to God in repentance and rises back up into service. God never forsakes a repentant sinner but will deliver him out of his transgressions. (Job 5:19, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 37:24)
Seven times refers to often or plural. The number seven is also the number for completeness. (Proverbs 6:31, Proverbs 26:16, Genesis 4:24, Matthew 18:21-22)
A just man does not fall from his righteousness for it is an everlasting one, nor from the grace of God.
However, he may fall into temptation and sin, as every just man does.
Every day man stands in need of freshly applying the pardoning grace of God, for which he is directed to pray daily.
Interestingly with the recuperation and restoration of the just man, when the wicked endure calamity there is no recovery for them. (Proverbs 14:32, Psalm 6:8, Psalm 119:115)
The wicked shall fall into mischief where they will lie in it and never rise from it. They will fall into punishment to which there is no delivery.
How many believers have fallen and how many looked up to Jesus and were able to get back up and continued to serve the Lord? Simon Peter fell many times, and yet he got back up. (Matthew 14:29, Matthew 26:69-75, 1 John 1:7-9, Hebrews 13:5)
The purpose of the teaching is not the risk of good men to fall or stumble, yet God’s continued grace and mercy for man.
2 Corinthians 4:6-17 (17)
What good comes out of trials? This is the second letter from Paul to the believers in Corinth to defend his position as an apostle and to denounce false teachers who twisted the truth.
Romans 5:3-4 – but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope
Romans 8:18 – for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us
Job 23:10 – but he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold
1 Peter 4:16 – yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf
What tool will He need:
Malachi 3:17, And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
When people see you go through trials, do they view it as a sign of weakness, a sign of instability, or the inability to cope? Do they view your trial as a sin manifesting itself? How should we portray ourselves during trials? Should others see our inner travailing? Should we hide our trials?
Our troubles should not lessen our faith. There is a purpose for the suffering. We should our troubles as opportunities to let the Lord's light shine through us.
Job 1:7-8, Job 2:2-3, Job 38:1, Job 39:1
Undoubtedly, everybody has heard about Job at some point in time. The book was written to discuss the age-old question, “Why do the righteous always seem to suffer?” The purpose of Job is to give a demonstration of the sovereignty of God and the value of true faith.
Introduction to the book of Job:
Suffering can be a punishment for wrongdoing, however that is not generally the situation. Success is not generally a compensation for being good. The children of God (born-again Christians, believers) are not excluded from tribulations. We might be unable to comprehend the trial and torment we are experiencing, but it might be the catalyst to draw us closer to God. We need to learn how to perceive Satan’s assaults and not to be apprehensive about it. God sets the constraints of what evil that Satan is allowed to do to us. We should try not to let any experience make a divider that would separate ourselves from God. We cannot govern what Satan does, however, we can control how we respond and react when things begin turning out badly.
How do we respond?
Now turn to 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Jesus’ words are brought to mind by Peter: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11). Christ will send His Spirit to help those whose faith is being attacked. However, this does not imply that Christian behavior causes all suffering. When it is abundantly clear to everyone else that the individual’s own unfavorable behavior is the root of his or her problems, a person may occasionally complain, “He is just picking on me because I am a Cristian.” To identify the true cause of our suffering, it may necessitate careful consideration or wise counsel. However, we can rest assured that Christ will be with us throughout any suffering we endure as a result of our devotion to Him.
Being a Christian is not something to be ashamed of. At the point when Peter and John were mistreated for proclaiming the Good News, they cheered in light of the fact that such oppression was a sign of God’s endorsement of their work.
We should not attempt to avoid suffering or seek it out. Instead, we ought to continue doing what is right despite the potential for suffering.
Now look at Job 38:1.
God spoke out of a mighty wind or storm. Job's questions were not at the heart of the issue, so it was surprising that He did not respond to any of them. Instead, God revealed Job's ignorance of God's moral order by utilizing Job's ignorance of the natural order of the earth. How could Job possibly comprehend God's mind and character if he did not understand how God's physical creation worked? When it comes to judging, there is no higher standard or criterion than God Himself. The standard is set by God alone. The only option we have is to rely on Him and submit to His authority.
Then Job 39:1.
God demonstrated Job's limited knowledge of the animal kingdom by asking him a number of questions about it. Job did not answer God's questions. Instead, He was persuading Job to acknowledge and submit to God's sovereignty and power. He could not hear what God was really saying to him until that point.
God speaks but we might not know the answer. If we do not comprehend the workings of creation, how can we comprehend the mind and manner of God? We must identify and surrender to God's might and ruling, then will we be able to hear God. Are we worse off than Job or are we more righteous than he was? Do we plead our innocence to God or offer our humility? We are not to question God’s justice, but we are to repent of our attitude. True faith begins with our submission to the Lord and being humble.
If God had not restored Job, would the message have been any different? No, I do not think so. Our restoration may not be on this earth, but it will be completed. We are to be prepared for trials, persevere through those trials, and give praise to God continually.
1 Corinthians 5:7
Because they did not have time to wait for the bread to rise, the Hebrews were instructed to make bread without yeast (“unleavened bread”) as they prepared for their exodus from slavery in Egypt. They were told to remove all yeast from the house because it was also a symbol of sin. (Exodus 12:15, 13:7). Christ is the perfect sacrifice for our sin. He is our Passover. We should not have anything to do with any past sins (“old leaven”) because He has freed us from the shackles of sin.
In the Old Testament, a lamb had to be used as a sacrifice to temporarily cover the sins of man. This is due to the sin brought onto man in the Garden of Eden. On the night that the children of Israel were to leave Egypt, the family was to sacrifice a lamb without blemish and sprinkle the blood on the doorposts. As the Angel of the Lord went through destroying the first-born Egyptians, would Passover the homes where the blood was applied to the door posts.
The blood represents life.
Where is the lamb?
Behold the Lamb:
Worthy is the Lamb:
Have you been chosen? Esther is an illustration of God's care and direction for our lives. In order to effectively serve God, we must have faith that God is in control, working through both good and bad times, despite the fact that we may question certain aspects of our lives.
Persian rulers gathered immense measures of gems, goods, wealth, and numerous young ladies. These women were taken from their homes and made to live in a structure close to the palace, called a haram. Their sole intention was to serve the ruler and to anticipate a call to enter his bed chamber. They rarely visited the king, so their lives were confined. In Chapter 1, King Ahasuerus, had a party to show off his queen, Vashti. She refused so the king banished her and stripped her of royalty.
In Chapter 2, verses 1-4:
After banishing Vashti, the king sent officers out to gather fair young women of all the lands to choose a new queen. Not only did Persian kings collect a lot of jewelry, but they also collected a lot of women. These young virgins were taken from their homes and forced to live in a special structure called a harem near the palace. They were there to serve the king and wait for his call. Their lives were restricted and monotonous, and they rarely saw the king. If she were dismissed, Esther would have been one of the numerous young ladies the king had seen just a single time and rejected. But the king liked Esther's presence and beauty so much that he made her his queen instead of Vashti. The queen had more freedom and authority than other members of the harem, and her position was more powerful than that of a concubine. Yet, even as a queen, Esther did not have many privileges, particularly since she had been picked to supplant a lady who had become excessively strong-willed. (Esther 1:9, Esther 1:1-3)
In verses 5-7:
Mordecai was a Jew that worked in the palace of Shushan. The Israelites had been exiled from Jerusalem one hundred years earlier, and as such, their numbers had grown. They were given freedom in the Medio-Persian empire, so they could own businesses and hold government positions. Mordecai had raised Esther, his uncle's daughter, so in a sense he was a stepfather.
In verses 8-11:
Esther had been chosen to be placed in the king's harem for purification and beautification; to be trained in how to be a queen. Mordecai had instructed her to keep quiet about her heritage during her training. There are times when it is better to keep silent and let God work through our lives to work His will. For Esther, this was the case.
In verses 12-17:
The women were given whatever they wanted to wear before the king. Esther followed Hegai's guidance and chose nothing extra. We cannot see the end of the road, but God does.
When we let God drive, He will not hit the potholes in the road of life like we do.
The king loved Esther above all others. According to Esther 3:5, God put Esther on the throne before the Jews were in danger of being completely destroyed so that when trouble struck, someone would be able to assist. God's plan to send the Messiah to Earth as a Jew was foiled by no human effort. Know that God is in charge even if you cannot see God's plan for your situation when you change jobs, positions, or location. It is possible that he will put you in a position to assist other people when they need it.
In verses 18-23:
Mordecai learned of a threat against the king of two men, as Mordechai was in a position at the king's gate. Mordecai told Esther, who in turn told the king. After the investigation was made, the two men were hanged. Good employees must not conceal any bad situations they know of with their employers.
Although Mordecai was not rewarded at the time, the deed was recorded. This typifies servants of Christ. Although recompense may not be shown at the time, an account of our actions, work of faith and love is recorded. We must remember that reward may not come now, but it will be remembered in the hereafter.
Although God's name is not mentioned, we can see:
The Presence of God:
The Providence of God:
The Power of God: