The best of life

By Charles Box— The theme of the Bible is salvation through Jesus.

Man was created for fellowship with God. Before sin came, Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s companionship. But, after they sinned they hid themselves.

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8)

The best of life comes when men walk with God. God does not force His fellowship upon mankind. He has always given man the choice of life or death.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The Lord has shown His love for us by giving Himself for our sins. Jesus died on the cross to make atonement possible. We need Jesus! God bless you today and always. I love you.

#charles-box, #jesus, #salvation

Jesus’ tomb opened? It never closed!

This story is headlined with the words, “Jesus’ Tomb Opened for First Time in Centuries.”

I know what they’re trying to say, but my first thought was, “Jesus’ tomb hasn’t been closed in nearly 20 centuries.”

Humanity has a habit of desiring material spiritual shrines (almost sounds like an oxymoronic statement there). We seek to make the intangible something tangible.

I’m not saying God has never asked his people to make something that is physically visible and spiritually important at the same time. God indeed directed the children of Israel (and several others before them when it came to altars) to build the Tabernacle and all of its complementing features such as the altar, the washing basin and the rest of the furniture that went inside the most important tent that fleshly Israel traveled with from the wilderness right into the promised land. But God had a purpose for the Tabernacle’s meaning that went far beyond what could be seen with the eyes. And that purpose was fulfilled after God-in-the-flesh came and tabernacled among his people in person, and then atoned for their’s and our sins, ultimately leaving behind an empty tomb that has refused to be closed two millennia.

My point is that when it comes to us (as spiritual Israel), God has not asked his people to make a shrine out of any supposed “holy-site” today. God has not asked for this because we do not need this. And the reason we do not this is because our holy-site is a sight that has yet to be beheld.

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:6-12 -NKJV)

#empty-tomb, #jesus, #news, #types-and-shadows

The 3 declarations of 1 John chapter 1

Here’s a trend involving the word declare in 1 John chapter 1 (NKJV) that I noticed last Sunday night during the scripture reading.

John’s first declaration is that eternal life was personified in Jesus Christ:

  • the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us –” (vs. 2)

John’s initial declaration is made for the purpose of declaring to others that we are able to enjoy the same fellowship that he has with God:

  • that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (vs. 3)

John’s final declaration is that this fellowship opportunity being made available through the gospel is a relationship with an ever holy and unchanging God:

  • This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (vs. 5)

Summed up, 1 John 1:1-5 is declaring that the message of salvation is meant to be 1) shared, 2) understood and 3) life-changing.

Such may be the reason why John ends his letter by saying:

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:20-21)

#1-john, #bare-bones-outline, #basic-principles-of-the-gospel, #jesus

Self-centeredness is cast aside in Christianity

The cross of Christ was in the center of the three crosses the day Jesus was crucified (John 19:17-19), but it’s not because Jesus was self-centered (Mark 15:27-28).

From his birth to his death, Jesus led a life of self-denial (Philippians 2:5-8). This self-denial wasn’t denial for the purpose of denial in-and-of-itself. Nor was Jesus’ self-denial for purpose of making himself the center of attention (John 14:10). Jesus’ self-denial was for the purpose of helping others and glorifying his father in Heaven (Acts 10:36-38; Matthew 5:16).

Self-centeredness must be cast aside to follow Jesus. Look at the context of Paul’s, “Let this mind be in you…” statement in Philippians 2:5. The context is getting rid of self-centeredness (Philippians 2:1-4). It’s then that Paul proves his point by using Jesus as an example as to why the church at Philippi (and us today) should look beyond their own circle of self when it comes to dealing with others.

But in case you have some unreasonable reason that causes “Paul’s words” to carry no weight with you – keep Luke 9:23 in mind and get over yourself.

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:1-7 – NKJV)

#following-jesus, #jesus, #jesus-christ, #self-denial, #self-centered

The day Calvary’s crown was made

Do you know the day that Calvary’s crown was made? Continue reading

#calvary, #consequences-of-sin, #jesus, #jesus-as-king, #jesus-christ

Self-Righteous need not apply

In God’s true kingdom, an individual is not turned away from being served, or from serving, based on his or her ethnicity, birthplace, race, spoken language or nationality.

In God’s true kingdom, the only individual that need not apply (which is different from not being wanted) is the self-righteous; for the self-righteous will never realize how bad he or she needs Jesus…who just so happens to be the only way one can find his or her self in God’s kingdom to begin with (Colossians 1:12-14).

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-8)

#jesus, #kingdom-of-god, #self-righteous

Jesus helps us even to this day

In order the show the superiority of trusting and following Jesus over the former covenant, the writer of Hebrews makes a comparison between the service of Jesus as our High Priest and the Levitical priesthood by saying:

Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25)

Many of us may think Jesus accomplished everything he sought to accomplish after he ascended to the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:229-36), but the writer of Hebrews enlightens our mind by showing us that Jesus still helps us even to this day as our High Priest before the Father in Heaven.

By the time the Hebrew letter had been written, thousands of Levitical priests had come and gone, but now, for nearly 2,000 years, Jesus has unchangeably stood as an intercessor for us, his people, and until the day the Father decides to send the Lord back, Jesus will continue to stand as the sole High Priest for our soul.

For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.” (Hebrews 7:26-28)

#jesus, #jesus-as-priest, #levites, #priesthood