The Eyes, the Ears, and the Face of the Lord

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” 1 Peter 3:12-16 (KJB)

 

Also consider reading 2 Chronicles 16 and note verses 7 – 10 especially: and Romans 8.

The Set Mind

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THE SET MIND

Colossians 3:1-4

OUTLINE –

I. RAISED TO LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST (v. 1a).

II. GIVE YOUR ALL TO SEEKING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE (v. 1b).

III. THE POSITION OF JESUS CHRIST (v. 1c).

IV. A SET AND REASONING MIND WILL BE ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO IT (v. 2).

V. BEING DEAD TO SELF, HIDDEN WITH JESUS CHRIST IN GOD (v. 3).

VI. THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST AND BEING WITH HIM (v. 4).

We have looked at the first two chapters and the apostle Paul dealt with the problems of the Gnostics who were involved and committed to teaching error. Denying the Deity of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ was/is God incarnate [in flesh]; teaching and believing that they were more knowledgeable than even the apostles who had spent time with Jesus, witnessed His resurrection, etc..

Paul has already instilled in the readers of this short and marvelous letter that Jesus is the supreme one; He is our sustenance; He is our sufficiency. There is no mystical message that we need to hear. The message of the Word spoken to us by the apostles and the prophets is the message for God’s people. There is no ritual or religious practice we need do to be right with God. It is solely by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and His resurrection.

I. RAISED TO LIFE IN/WITH JESUS CHRIST (v. 1a).

A. Since we have died with Him we have also been resurrected with Him, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5).

1. We were dead in trespasses and sin, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…” (Eph. 2:1).
2. Before Jesus came in there was no way for us to acknowledge God, nor to be near Him.

B. There is no question as to the salvation of those to whom Paul is writing; it is clearly addressed to believers.

II. GIVING OUR ALL TO SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE (v. 1b).

A. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

1. Why is it that some sports fans do not mind paying out a couple of hundred dollars for a three hour football game, but will complain when it comes time to give a little to support the cause of Christ?
2. Why is it that vacationers will spend a few hundred dollars, even thousands of dollars, to go away for fun and relaxation, but will not spend a little to take a trip and spend time and money for the cause of Jesus Christ?

B. The answer to these questions is, “Their heart is in the sports, the vacations, etc.”, and not in the things which are above. “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
C. Think of the time spent in the ball games, the vacations; the dollars spent.

1. In 1991 there was 2 billion dollars spent on golf, and that same amount was spent on missions within all denominations.
2. Golf has increased in popularity since then I would guess that that dollar amount has quadrupled for golf; but has either decreased or increased very little for missions since that time.

III. NOTICE THE POSITION OF JESUS CHRIST (v. 1c).

A. He has been exalted to the right hand of the Father.

1. Where does Paul say that the believer is in relation to Christ?

a. With Christ.
b. Seated with Christ, “…And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:6).

2. Stephen the deacon/evangelist saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55ff).

B. He has been given all things of the Father.

1. All power.
2. All glory.
3. All things.
4. Rule with a rod of iron.

C. Jesus Christ our sufficiency for all things; why should we be seeking anywhere else than those things which are above?

IV. THE SET AND REASONING MIND WILL BE SET ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO IT (v. 2).

A. We are commanded in verse 1 to ‘seek those things which are above’, and then, told here to “Set your affection on things above…”.

1. This answers the Gnostics approach to the physical, antinomian practice of loose living.
2. When the heart and mind are set on the eternal things, then the earthly things for living and life will be right as well.

B. Paul is not commanding something that is not possible.

1. It is possible by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within all who are born again.
2. Any one who does not have the Holy Spirit does not belong to God – that is; is not born again – “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any one have not the Spirit of Christ, they are none of His” (Rom 8:9).

C. The things of earth are only temporary; the things above are eternal – So which is most valuable?

V. BEING DEAD TO SELF, HIDDEN WITH JESUS CHRIST IN GOD (v.3).

A. Some people have or get the mistaken idea that this life, salvation, eternity, glory, met needs, problems, sorrows, sickness, disease, and such is all about us.

1. It is not: it is about God, His power, His glory, His grace, His will.
2. Originally made to glorify God Adam fell short of God’s glory – He failed to glorify God, and passed that on to us.

B. Jesus died to restore that glory that was taken away because of disobedience and sin.
C. When we die to self we are “Hid with Christ in God”.

1. Since all sin has been judged by Jesus’s death on the cross, there is no sin that will condemn us.
2. Since Jesus died for our sins, we die with Him.
3. Since Jesus rose from the dead, we rise with Him.
4. Since we are hid with Him we are one with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), we are partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), we have understanding (1 Cor. 2:14-16), and we are secure (1 Peter 1:4).

D. The greatest thing about what Jesus did is that we now walk in the glory of the Lord God who created us all.
E. There is certainly no need for the mystic teachings, the denials of the truths of Jesus and His identity as God in flesh for the true believer.

VI. THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST AND WE ARE WITH HIM (v. 4).

A. He is our life.

1. Jesus gives all life
2. Jesus gives eternal life.

B. Who or what is the center of your universe – your life? What does your world revolve around?

1. If it is not Jesus, and those things which are above, then you are lost, and headed the wrong direction.

C. Jesus is coming again; will you be with Him at His appearing, or will you be against Him?

SUMMARY –

I. RISEN WITH CHRIST GLORIFY HIM.

II. GLORIFY HIM BY CLINGING TO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE.

III. REMEMBER YOUR POSITION IN RELATION TO CHRIST – WITH HIM.

IV. WHO, WHAT AND WHERE IS YOUR AFFECTIONS – YOUR HEART – IN RELATION TO JESUS CHRIST?

V. LIVING FOR SELF EQUALS DEATH – LIVING FOR CHRIST YOU ARE HIDDEN WITH HIM IN GOD.

VI. JESUS IS COMING AGAIN; WILL YOU BE WITH HIM, OR WILL YOU BE AGAINST HIM?

-Tim A. Blankenship

What the Child of GOD Must Do with Evil in Their Lives

“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 1:16-20 (KJV)

It must by all means be put away.  The power of GOD to wash our sins away is described in the above verses.

Even the apostle Paul speaks of “Putting away”…

“But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Corinthians 5:13

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:25, 31-32 (KJV)

All evil begins in the heart of the individual (me and you).  That is the place to begin dealing with evil; in our own hearts, and minds.

When we truly know the LORD we will desire to grow in Him, in His likeness, and be holy; separate from the world, and unlike them in our desires, dress, love and speech.

“The mouth of the LORD has spoken it.”

 

 

Just A Thought 12/15/08

Here we are in the Christmas season of 2008, and my how things have changed from the past years.  It just seems that every religion or no religion wants to get their “hands in the pot”.

In the State of Washington, the State Capital has a Christmas exhibit, and would you know it even the Atheists want to put in their “two cents” or whatever it is worth.  The little plaque they want next to Christmas says something of reason, and evidently they have none, because they are standing on the popularity of Christmas to get out their unreasonable message.

Why can they not display their unreasonable message on the only holiday which they can be noticed.  Yes!  They have their holiday and it is on April 1 of each year.  Read Psalm 14:1.

That is my thought for the day.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Christian and Beverage Alcohol

The following articles are not new.  I wrote them a few months ago at The Watchman’s Trumpet, and will be updating and moving them to this site.  They will be posted on Wednesday of each week.

Alcohol and the Christian

 

In the coming days, the Lord willing, I will be writing some articles of alcoholic beverage in the Bible. It is not, nor will it be, my purpose to condemn, but to inform and instruct.

With the way alcoholic drink is being almost revered, and then, accepted by many Christians as an acceptable beverage for having with a meal, or to cool down after a hard days work; is it any wonder that we have families falling apart, children on drugs, and a powerless church. A church who will not stand against the tide of immorality.

A few years ago I had started being more agreeable with many concerning beverage alcohol. After a few years of Bible study, and reading, and seeing the peril and moral dilemmas of beverage alcohol my views have changed. It will be my goal, however to be Biblical in this approach. I can guarantee that my belief will not change. I hate beverage alcohol. I will say too, that I will pray for the leadership of the Spirit of God. I fully know that I have brothers and sisters in Christ who will not view it as I do, but I do see their view as being wrong. They are none the less my brother and sister in Christ.

Let me say right hear. There is no commendation for drinking beverage alcohol in the Bible, but there is commendation given for not drinking it.

First, Let me give you…

A Logical Reason

 

Before I begin dealing with Biblical reasons for abstaining from beverage alcohol, let me give you just one logical reason.

There are many parents who warn their children to stay away from drugs. There are legal and illegal drugs that they have been warned of. They are warned not to have anything to do with them.

At the same time some of these parents are warning their children they themselves have the drug of beverage alcohol in their homes, go to bars and drink, to parties and drink. Maybe you say, “Well, I only drink one little wine glass”, and what does this say to your child about the doing of drugs?

When you have the most dangerous drug on the street in your house, can you honestly look your child in the eyes and tell him/her to refrain from using drugs. Your drug, Mom and Dad, has killed far more on the highways of our land, ruined more homes, broken up many more marriages, killed more spouses, than these other drugs have.

Now, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, with that glass of wine in your hand, “Don’t use drugs”. Doesn’t that seem even a bit hypocritical? That is how your child will see you.

Just think about it.

-by Tim A. Blankenship