Monthly Archives: September 2016

Shared Bible Study: Jesus Christ – Who He Is

I recently completed this in-depth Bible study, from College of the Open Bible, and it blessed me so much, I’d like to share it with you.

It begins with the statement, “The most significant question in human history continues to be: What think ye of Christ?”

After “the day I’ve had today,” I really wanted to share what happened to me, personally, today, and how God “got me through it,” even singing by day’s end.

Well … I couldn’t have done that … without knowing Jesus … without knowing Who He is, and What He is … What He is to me, and what He can be to you … Regardless of the headlines, the news, “our day,” it is true …

Oh, my! It is true! Even seen the bumper sticker … yet, it’s still true … To know peace … you must know Jesus …
Know Jesus.
Know peace.

I know people who know Jesus.
I know people who don’t know Jesus.
Guess which group is at peace?

I don’t care if it’s a person … a family … a group … a city … a country … a nation … If you don’t know Jesus …
If you don’t know Jesus … well, there’s a lot things you won’t know … but, for sure … you won’t know peace …

So … instead of writing about the problems … let’s write about the solution …  Not solutions (plural), but solution (singular).
There will always be problems. Especially among people.
Especially among people.
There will always be a (singular) solution:
Jesus.

Of all the things I’ve written about life, one constant remains:
How can you have a relationship with someone you don’t know?

I will never, ever forget what my Brother-in Law said one time:
“Why are we so surprised that people who don’t know Jesus act like they don’t know Jesus?”

 Jesus Christ – Who He Is

The most significant question in human history continues to be: What think ye of Christ? Your answer to this significant question will not only determine your eternal destiny; but also reflects how you live now. One of the most powerful thoughts a Christian possesses is knowing Jesus Christ can never be less than who He is, HE IS LORD.

The Preexistence of Jesus Christ as God

  1. As taught by John the Baptist – John 1:15.
  2. As taught by the apostle John – John 1:1.
  3. As taught by the apostle Paul – 1 Timothy 3:16.
  4. As taught by Christ Himself – John 8:58

What was Christ Jesus the Savior doing before His Bethlehem appearance?

  1. He created the universe – John 1:3; Colossians 1:16. This creation included everything, from electrons to galaxies, and from angels to Adam.
  2. He was controlling this created universe – Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17.
  3. He was communing with the Father – John 17:24.

The Incarnation.

That God the Son could take upon himself the full nature of man and yet retain the full nature of God. The Bible declares that Christ was as much God as if He had never been man, and as much man as if He had never been God. When God the Son joined himself to a body at Bethlehem, it was an eternal arrangement. He will continue to manifest Himself in this body (its resurrected state) throughout eternity. Amazingly, when Jesus Christ was born, He was older than his mother and the same age as His Father (heavenly Father).

The prophecies concerning the incarnation.

  1. Old Testament

* By Isaiah the prophet – Isaiah 7:14.

* By Micah the prophet – Micah 5:2.

  1. New Testament – Heavenly announcements were given to at least eight individuals or groups concerning the incarnation in the New Testament.

* To Zacharias – Luke 1:17,76.

* To Mary – Luke 1:31-35.

* To Joseph – Matthew 1:20,21.

* To the shepherds – Luke 2:10-12.

Why the virgin birth (incarnation)?

God never does anything without a good reason, and in this case, there are profound reasons for the incarnation.

  1. To reveal the invisible God – John 1:18; 14:9.
  2. To fulfill prophecy – Genesis 3:15.
  3. To guarantee the Davidic covenant – Luke 1:31-33.
  4. To make a sacrifice for our sins – 1 John 3:5.
  5. To reconcile man to God – 1 Timothy 2:5,6.
  6. To provide an example for believers – 1 Peter 2:21.
  7. To provide the believer with a high priest – Heb 2:17.
  8. To destroy the devil and his works – 1 John 3:8.
  9. To escape the historical curse – Romans 5:12.
  10. To heal the brokenhearted – Luke 4:18.
  11. To set a liberty the bruised – Luke 4:18.
  12. To give abundant life – John 3:36.
  13. To glorify the Father – John 13:31; 17:4.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ. He was a real man!

  1. He had a human parentage – Luke 1:31; Gal 4:4.
  2. He had a human body, soul, and spirit – Matthew 26:12; John 12:27; Matthew 2:8.
  3. He looked like a man – John 4:9; 20:15.
  4. He possessed flesh and blood – Hebrews 2:14.
  5. He grew – Luke 2:40.
  6. He asked questions – Luke 2:46.
  7. He prayed – John 17.
  8. He was tempted – Matthew 4:1.
  9. He hungered – Matthew 4:2.
  10. He thirsted – John 4:7.
  11. He was weary – John 4:6
  12. He slept – Matthew 8:24.
  13. He wept – John 11:35.
  14. He suffered – 1 Peter 4:1.
  15. He bled – John 19:34.
  16. He died – Matthew 27:50.

The Deity of Jesus Christ – Jesus Is God!

  1. Christ is omnipotent (all powerful).
  2. Over disease – Luke 4:39.
  3. Over demons – Matthew 8:16,17.
  4. Over men – Matthew 9:9; John 17:2.
  5. Over nature – Matthew 8:26.
  6. Over sin – Matthew 9:1-8.
  7. Over traditions – Matthew 9:10-17.
  8. Over death – Luke 7:14,15.
  9. Over all your problems – Romans 8:28.
  10. Christ is omniscient (all knowing) – John 2:24; 16:30.
  11. Christ is omnipresent – John 3:13; 14:20.
  12. Christ is worshipped as God:
  13. by the angels – Hebrews 1:6.
  14. by men – Luke 2:15; Matthew 2:2,11.
  15. Christ forgives sins – Mark 2:5,11; 1 John 1:9.
  16. Christ judges – John 5:22.
  17. Christ saves – John 10:28.

The death of Christ has the prominent place in the Word of God. Indeed, the death of Christ is the foundation in Christianity and is the subject of supreme interest in heaven and in the hearts of believers.

The Old Testament and Jesus Christ

The Old Testament reveals the plan of Christ crucified; while the New Testament reveals the man, Christ, crucified.

  1. The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) foreshadow Christ crucified.
  2. The Prophets foretell of Christ crucified.
  3. The Psalms express the feelings of Christ crucified.
  4. The Gospels give the facts of Christ crucified.
  5. The Epistles give the fruit of Christ crucified.

The death of Jesus Christ is important for three significant reasons:

  1. Christ crucified satisfied our sin debt.
  2. Christ crucified satisfied the holiness of God.
  3. Christ crucified satisfied the human heart (those who receive Christ).

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – The importance of the resurrection – 1 Cor. 15:12-19. If one denies the resurrection, he is forced to six horrible conclusions:

  1. All gospel preaching has been, is now, and always will be completely useless.
  2. All past, present, and future faith is futile.
  3. All preachers become notorious liars.
  4. All living Christians are still in their sins.
  5. All departed Christians are in hell.
  6. All reason and purpose for life itself is destroyed.

The order of the resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ is represented here (1 Corinthians 15:20-24) as being the first of its kind, thus indicating that previous miracles, such as the raising of Lazarus, were more on the order of restoring a dead mortal body to a living mortal body. True resurrection carries with it glorification.

There are three such resurrections:

  1. The resurrection of Christ – Matthew 28:5-8.
  2. The rapture / resurrection – 1 Thess 4:13,18
  3. The pre-millennial resurrection of Old Testament and tribulation saints. Rev 20:5,6.

The Ascension and Present ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. The fact of His ascension and ministry – Mark 16:9; Acts 1:9; Romans 8:34.
  2. The purpose of His ascension and ministry:
  3. To be our Forerunner – Hebrews 6:19,20.
  4. To prepare a place for us – John 14:2.
  5. To give spiritual gifts to His followers – Eph 4:10-14.
  6. To offer encouragement to His follower – Heb 4:14.
  7. To make high priestly prayers for us – Romans 8:34.

The theme of God’s Word is Jesus Christ Crucified, God Satisfied, The Believing Sinner Justified.
Dr. Arthur Belanger

https://www.collegeoftheopenbible.com/jesus-christ.html

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“Double Debit Indebtedness”- Part Two

Hi Friends:

It was this past August, and Carol and I were returning from a trip to Georgia. As we traveled up Highway 93 North, we stopped at the newly remodeled/rebuilt New Hampshire Visitors Center in Hooksett. They did a great job on it, making it a combination of shopping/dining/gas stations and a New Hampshire History Museum. I spent a long time at the exhibits, and wanted to spend more time, but we wanted to get home by dark, as we have to travel through moose country on the last leg of the journey home.

As I stepped off of the curb, into the parking lot, I glanced down at the pavement … yes … always on the lookout for that penny … but, this time, I saw something much more: It was a shiny Bank Debit Card. As I reached down and picked it up (sub-consciously looking around to see if I was noticed), I saw that it was a Business Debit Card. I noted that it looked fairly new, and it was still well within the expiration date. I then took my wallet out, and placed it inside, for safe-keeping.

Here’s the first thought that I had:
I was glad that I was the one who found it.
I was glad that the owner didn’t have to worry about someone using their lost card.
I know full well, as I never carry cash and always use the same type of card for transactions, which, these days, if the amount of the debit is under a set amount, you don’t even have to sign the receipt.
As a “card-carrying” businessman myself, I know full well the possibilities, and the concern which a lost card can bring.

I thought about how long we were at the Welcome Center … I would safely guess that it was the longest period of time we’d ever spent at one of these stops. It seemed to “be arranged” that we would step off that curb at just the exact, right time. It’s hard to imagine someone seeing the card and not picking it up … regardless of motive. It must have “just been dropped” … just before we headed out.

Anyway, I am thankful, as I wrote in Part One, that I was raised to be honest. I remember, as I thought about the “coincidence” of us finding the card, how thankful I was to have been given the opportunity to bless someone we didn’t know, just by being honest.

First thing the next morning, I called the telephone number listed on the back of the card, and explained about finding the card. The Bank was in Massachusetts, and no one had called, yet, about the card being missing. Somehow, that made me more grateful to have found it. If the wrong person had found the card, and it wasn’t noticed to be missing for a while … well, I was glad I found it.

I really didn’t want to give my name or any information; I just wanted to report the card. However, there was something else that moved me to at least give my name and telephone number. I wanted whoever owned the card to know that there are still honest people in the world. You just never know how your actions, even small, may affect someone else in a positive way. I know that regardless of how I am treated by someone, or I see people who act in a negative way, how much it blesses me to see someone who was “raised right.” It encourages me to “keep on keeping on.”
So, I gave my contact information, and explained to the man at the Bank why.

Later that day, when I came back in the house from Summer chores, there was a message on the answering machine. I recognized the name from the name on the Card. He left his telephone number. Again … I thought about not calling … I really didn’t want to. It was no big deal to me, it was just something you do. Period. But, I got that same feeling about someone else knowing that there are still honest people in the world … so I called.

What are the chances? The man’s Bank was headquartered in Massachusetts, but he lived in New Hampshire. He had been traveling to spend some time with his son in college. Somehow, he noticed something about me, just from the way I talked: That I was a Christian. Then, he confirmed that, he too, was a Christian. What are the chances? In our conversation, of course, he thanked me. Right off the bat, I told him how thankful I was to have been “raised right,” and explained to him my motive for wanting him to know that, yes, there are still honest people in the world.

That was in late August. Now, it’s the Labor Day Weekend. It’s the Saturday of the Holiday, and of course, I spent the day at School. Leaving the School, I did something I hardly ever do: I stopped at the local Bank branch to take some cash out of the ATM. By the way, do you know why they call it an ATM? Because that’s where All The Money is. Anyway, as I put my card into the slot, it wouldn’t go in. I tried it again. Still wouldn’t go in. Then, I saw why:
You guessed it … there was a Debit/Credit Card left in the slop. Shiny and new … and, it was Saturday … Banks wouldn’t be open until Tuesday … Long, Holiday weekend. Yet, again, I felt that same feeling. How it was the first Saturday I had worked at School this School year. I know it was the first Saturday of the School year, but you get the idea. I hardly ever stop at this Bank’s ATM, as I don’t carry cash as a rule … even if I plan to spend it all on the next stop …

I was so glad I was “raised right.”
Raised to be honest.
And, that I was taught the difference between right and wrong.
And, yes, taught to work hard.
By the living examples of those who raised me, who were as hard-working as they were honest.
I may have strayed, but they never did.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 17: “Double Debit Indebtedness”- Part One

Hi Friends:

I am so thankful to get back to writing, and to this series. I looked at how I began the last installment in this series, posted a while ago, and this is how it started:

“It is good to be back to writing. With job, business, and other writing responsibilities, it’s funny how “your first love” gets pushed “to the back.” Plus, the opportunity to travel has also figured into the time equation. We’re back to our series, in which, yes, we are thankful for what our Heavenly future holds, but, let’s not forget all of the benefits … all of the blessings … There are just so many blessings we have, in our life right now, which, often, we take for granted … “

When this series goes to print form, I am sure that I will use sub-titles for each chapter.
I had originally planned to write this as a separate, “stand-alone” post, but, I felt led to include it as a much-appreciated chapter in the series … At first, I was going to include this in our “Travel” series, but the exact same thing which prompted me to include it as part of “Travel” happened again … locally …

So, here goes: “Double Debit Indebtedness:”

I am so thankful that I was “raised right.” While this may mean different things for different people, what I mean is that I am so glad … and, so proud … and, so thankful … to have been raised “right.”
In a Christian home.
Taught the difference between right and wrong.
By honest parents.
Who taught me to be honest.
Hard working parents.
Who taught me to work hard.
My first job was at 14.
I haven’t stopped working.
Ever.

I was taught to be grateful for everything I had.
Somehow … I just knew that, regardless of how “poor” we may have been, there were so many others who were so much worse off.
I’ve learned that the best advantage I had, growing up, were my parents, and what they taught me.
What they showed me-by how they lived their lives.
I strayed … they didn’t.
Ever.
Again:
I strayed.
They didn’t.
Ever.

They taught me that the “important” things I wanted to have … in order to have them … I must work for them.
Period.
Period.

They were a moral foundation which I could build my life upon. Because … they built their life upon the same foundation.
I strayed.
They didn’t.
Ever.

They were honest. They were hard-working. They were respectful.
They were great.
The best kind of great.
The kind of great which influenced all who knew them.

Examples of how they lived their lives would fill many pages.
What drove me to write this installment of the series was just one example I was taught:
Honesty.
Being honest.

I can honestly say that I really don’t know how to not be honest. I don’t. I don’t know how to be dishonest. I never saw it in them, and I never learned how to be anything but honest.

Oh yeah … I am human, and there are certain traits which are “built into” all humans.
Like telling a lie.
You don’t have to teach a child how to lie:
“Who broke the lamp?”
The ability to lie is part of our sinful nature which you don’t have to teach. We are all born with it.

However … the ability to be honest … that is something which has to be taught.
We aren’t born to be honest. That would go against our sinful nature. We must learn to be honest.
Honest!
If we don’t “learn” to be honest …
We won’t be.
Yes, we can learn to lie. I won’t “lie” about that.
But, in order to “learn” to lie … if we have to learn to lie … that means it would have to go against what we have been taught. We’d have to “learn.”

I think back to what I wrote about what I’ve written about my Dad. How honest he was, and, still is. He is the only person I’ve ever known who, if he found money in the change slot of a pay-telephone or vending machine … he would put it back.
I’ve seen this.
He would, literally, put the change back into the machine.

It looks like it may be possible to have a “Part-2” as a part of a “part of” a series.

I am just so thankful that I had parents who taught me right from wrong.
Who were honest.
It is the “honesty” part which has driven me to include this installment as part of the series.

I am so thankful that I had parents who “raised me right.”
As a teacher in Public Schools … well … let’s just say … well … you know what I am saying.
I can honest say that I have heard the old saying about “the apple not falling far from the tree” many times in my time in the Public Schools. However, I can honestly say that I have never, ever heard that saying used in a positive way.
Never.
Ever.

This series is about being thankful for what we already have.
I realize there are so many, which Jesus has saved out of disastrous circumstances and upbringings. That there are many who have “turned away” from a Godly upbringing. I realize this. Yet, how often have those of us who were blessed to have been “raised right” thanked God for their upbringing? I mean, being thankful every day. When, every day, as you list what you are thankful for, that you praise God for the way you were raised?
I must admit, that, while I make a point, every day, to thank God for things I don’t want to take for granted, like electricity and running water (and always add “running hot water”), but I have failed to be thankful for the first real blessing of my life:
To be raised in a Christian home.
To have been taught the difference between right and wrong.
To have been taught to be honest.

What a blessing, “freely bestowed,” to have been “raised right.”
To know that, regardless of how I may have strayed …
They never did.
Ever.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s a direct link to the entire series so far:

Wealth Stored for the Righteous

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