Announcements and/or Pinned Posts

📣 TBP Online Bible StudyEvery Wednesday at 12pmAnyone is welcome to attend. Simply click the link here.
📌 The Bible still has SECRETS! There are parts of the bible that we will never fully understand. We all know in part! Surely this means therefore that we need each other; to learn from each other, and through fellowship of God's Word, we can gain the bigger picture together.
🎬 Bible Study Q&A: Latest video now on YouTube is: Christian living in lockdown.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Christian Living in Lockdown

Christian Living in Lockdown

Christian Living in Lockdown

See video of this article here.

The Big Picture (TBP) is all about understanding God's 'segmented' PLAN of redemption. It's about understanding how God has revealed Himself in the different stages of this PLAN, and what He expects of the people living in these stages of His PLAN. It is therefore important for us to know where we are positioned in this PLAN in order to determine how God is working today, and what He is expecting of us today!

With this in mind, let's investigate the concept of "Christian Living in Lockdown" in relation to our position in the redemption PLAN. Let's start with the following verse,

Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a YOKE UPON THE NECK of the [Gentile] disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

This verse in Acts 15 is at the pinnacle of the transition (from Law to Grace, from Israel to the Body of Christ). Based on what Peter said, there are 2 things I'd like to highlight from this verse that relates to our topic: Christian Living in Lockdown

  1. The YOKE is the law (or works). If we believe we must work to please God, we will fail (just like Peter confessed the Jews did).

  2.  The works based relationship was a program for Israel. Work is NOT a requirement in our grace age! Any works we do should flow from our love for God, not as an appeasement of our conscience!

So, let's ask, "What is it NOT!"

  • Our relationship with God is not under terms of perform-to-be-accepted.
  • Our relationship with God is not under terms of obey-the-law-to-receive-promises.
  • Our relationship with God is not under terms of work-to-be-rewarded.

We do find this relationship in the bible, but it's Israel's relationship with God. They are the ones under a covenant of obedience and works and blessing. All the way through the Old Testament and the Gospels we read regarding Israel, 

  • IF YOU DO my commandments, I will bless you and heal you and deliver you. 
  • IF YOU DO NOT my commandments, I will bring upon you curses and destruction and wrath. 

Religion tells us that WE must make our Christian life work; that we must constantly fix ourselves, that we must perform properly, or achieve or earn credits in order to please God. RELIGION relies on self-effort, which is completely opposite of TRUE CHRISTIANITY, which is simply the believer's utter dependence upon Christ's life within.

Let's never fall into the trap of thinking,

  • Am I doing enough to please God?
  • Am I succeeding in my Christian duty?

So, with this in mind, let's ask, "What IS IT?" What does the Bible have to say about our relationship with God today?

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Act 17:28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; ...

The Grace program is directly opposed to the Law program. In the Grace program, Jesus has done all the work on our behalf to have a relationship with God. The good works that flows from us is not work that helps us stay connected to God but rather it is God who works His desire in and through us, according to Php.2:13. The good works that result is a natural result of our love for God and our response to His Spirit within us. There is no effort or necessity involved. We simply live and move and have our being in Him.

As a final though regarding living as Christians in Lockdown, let's consider what does God expect of us? What is His WILL for us? You might think it would be a long list of necessary things to do for Him, but according to the Word written for the Body of Christ, it is the following,

  1. For you and other people to be SAVED.
  2. To GROW in the Word, coming to a knowledge of the truth of His Word.
  3. To GIVE THANKS to God in and for everything.

To confirm this, see these two verses which specify what God's will is for us today:

1Ti 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Col 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Beyond this is where God places His trust IN YOU to know His Word and to put your faith in His Spirit within you and to believe that He will work out His will in your life and bring about that which is for your best and for His glory.

Let me end with this,

2Co 5:17-19 KJV  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION;  19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Whether we are in lockdown or not, it does not change what God expects of us. Our service to Him flows from His energy and Spirit within us and not by our own efforts to please Him. God can use us irrespective of the limited contact we have with our colleagues, friends and family. It is not a burden we must carry to try and do works for God, which inevitably will lead us to condemning ourselves. Its a matter of being moved by His desires within us, obeying our heart and allowing His grace and love to flow out of us towards others with every opportunity we have to edify, encourage and bless others in the work of reconciliation.

It is crucially important to recognize that God works in this manner today; by grace, through faith. Do not place yourself into the program of works that was for Israel. God is not operating in this manner today, and you will not find any blessing in trying to appease yourself or God by your own strength.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

What is the Greatest Miracle?

What is the greatest miracle that one can give to another?

Is it the opportunity to heal their bodies?

Is it the ability to bring them wealth?

Is it the capacity to change their circumstances?

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Bible still has SECRETS!

The Bible still has SECRETS

The Bible still has SECRETS!

With regards to the gospel of our salvation, there is absolutely no doubts about the clarity of the message that we all need to hear and respond to. But, there are other parts of the bible that we will never fully understand. There will always be several interpretations, by several different persons, on certain passages of scripture. Which passages you might ask? That's easy to answer. Passages that deal with trans-dispensational events, and passages that deal with future events. Since these parts of scripture deal with happenings in the past or the future, there will never be perfect consensus on these, so we don't know exactly how things developed, or will play out. Anyone is welcome to dispute this (heeding the advice in 2 Tim.2:23), but for me, it is a fact that settles it.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Gospel Transition vs. Gospel Dispensation

Gospel Transition vs. Gospel Dispensation

Gospel Transition vs. Gospel Dispensation

Handling Gospel Transition

Paul and John the Baptist taught two distinct gospels, both given by God: the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God. John the Baptist taught the good news of a coming Messiah to establish the long-promised kingdom to Israel. Anyone with sin could not enter the kingdom. He water baptized for the remission of sins and the promised priesthood, (Mark 1:3-4). Paul's gospel taught Christ's blood payment for our sins and righteousness without the law.    

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Q-A: When did the Grace Dispensation Begin?

When did the Grace Dispensation Begin?

The dispensation of grace has less to do with it starting at a specific moment in time, and more to do with the proclamation of a new salvation message from God. It's not so much linked to the event of Pentecost in Acts 2, or the conversion of Paul in Acts 9, or him turning to the Gentiles in Acts 28, and more to do with receiving a message of God's abundant grace without the need of works and endurance. I'm not declining any reasoning that the message of grace started being proclaimed somewhere in the transitional book of ACTS, but I also hold true the point that grace started in each person individually when they hear, and received the good news that God declares them justified through the absolute and completed cross work of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Paul's Credibility (P6)

Paul's Credibility
(Part 6)

Paul made some incredible claims in his writings. He claims to be the "mater builder", "the Apostle to the Gentiles" and encourages his converts that they should "imitate and follow him". In this short series we will investigate these claims and determine how Paul could say such bold things.

This study will bring validity and confirmation to the credibility of Paul and to the scriptures he was inspired to write to the Body of Christ.

This is Part 6. To gain the full context of this article, start in Part 1 here.

Interesting similarities between Abraham and Paul

With all the evidence and scriptures I have shared in the last 5-parts of this study, I'd like to end it with an interesting list of similarities between Abraham and Paul. I'm not going to try and prove anything with this list, except to draw your attention to the patterns and connections in the comparison. You can look into it for yourself and see if God's design is in this.