Habakkuk – Revealing Our Joy in God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Habakkuk, Jesus Christ is the marvelous wonder whom God would send to redeem, and he is our joy in God. The marvelous wonder of Jesus Christ’s life is so thrilling to our lives as we come to know him more and more, the greatest and most marvelous wonder of all is his Resurrection and our subsequent new and eternal life that we receive through him.

Habakkuk 1:4-5:
-4: Therefore {because of strife and contention} the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for wickedness doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
-5: Behold ye {Israel} among the heathen, and regard {look and behold}, and wonder marvellously {in astonishment}: for I will work a work {miraculous miracles} in your days {in the days that the Messiah would be present}, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Israel was living among the heathen, i.e., the unbelievers, and they refused God’s Law that was written and spoken to them, and they refused the righteous judgment that only God’s Word could reveal.

Verse 5 is a prophecy regarding the coming of Jesus Christ, whom Israel would behold with their very eyes. They would see him and be completely astonished with utter amazement at the miraculous ways he presents himself and his Father to them, and still not believe that he was the Messiah.

This prophecy is also written in Acts 13:41 in the past tense, because Christ came, and today we can be astonished in his completed work on our behalf and rejoice in him.

Following are only a few examples of Israel’s astonishment in the miraculous work that Jesus would do.

Matthew 7:28-29:
-28: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, {the Sermon on the Mount}, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
-29: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 5:42 – And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

The damsel in Mark 5 was dead and Jesus raised her, which was nothing short of a miracle. When the people saw this miracle they were greatly astonished.

Everywhere Jesus walked he gave infallible proofs that he was the true Messiah, yet in the end of his ministry they refused to believe on him, and so Israel as a nation rejected and crucified him. There were some who always believed in hope, but they were few, and the few had great joy because of their steadfastness in their believing God’s healing Word.

Habakkuk was a prophet of the Most High God, and Habakkuk in the midst of Israel’s unbelief received joy from his God because he believed.

Habakkuk 3:18-19:
-18: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
-19: The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

A hind is a deer that places his two back feet in the exact place his front feet were, and his front feet went first to check and make sure that the ground was safe.  What Habakkuk was saying is that when we believe and look to God through our Savior, then we will also be walking in the steps of Jesus Christ, who always walked perfectly with his heavenly Father.

Walking with God will always bring to us joy and rejoicing in the God of our salvation, and in our Lord who made our salvation a reality, and today our “high places” are at the right hand of God.

You are Accepted in the Beloved

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Ephesians is the greatest revelation ever given to the Church of God, and believers collectively make up the Church of God – we are all members within the spiritual body of Christ. Ephesians shows us the greatest present ever presented to mankind and contains the doctrine (the right believing) of what God has currently given to us. Ephesians shows us how to conduct our lives within the framework of having received the love of God. The first three chapters of Ephesians lays out in great detail what God has given to us, showing us how we are permanently accepted in the beloved, and that we are endowed with the riches of God’s lovingkindness. The last three chapters are the prACTical side of the doctrine showing us how to utilize and walk within the magnificent graces of God that is upon our lives.

Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

“Heavenly places” means all heavenly things, God has blessed us with all heavenly things and it is the Epistles that show us these heavenly things. Romans shows the believer that he was raised with Christ to a new life with God. Ephesians, being the second Epistle of doctrine, picks up where Romans ended and shows the believers that they are blessed in and with heavenly things because we are spiritually seated up where Christ is at God’s own right hand, for we are “in Christ.”

Ephesians 1:4 – According as he {God} hath chosen us {to be} in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in {His} love:

God Himself chose us before the foundation of the world with a purpose, and that purpose is that we “should be holy and without blame before him in love,” and this we are. The word “should” is in relation to the attitude of our hearts, the attitude that God desires that we should see ourselves as God does, holy and without blame, seated before Him in His unending love. When we begin to see ourselves in this elevated and esteemed state in which God has placed us, then life truly begins to take on a whole new meaning, knowing that we truly are blessed with all spiritual blessings immersed in the wonderful love of God.

Ephesians 1:5 – Having predestinated us unto the adoption of {God’s} children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Predestination relates to our calling, our being chosen before the world began to become God’s children, and this happened because of the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Becoming God’s own children is the good pleasure of His will, which is freely offered to us in grace.

Ephesians 1:6 – To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein {God’s grace} he hath {past tense} made us accepted in the beloved.

God made us totally “accepted in the beloved”; the beloved is Jesus Christ, for we are now eternally in Christ. The words “made us accepted” means highly favored. These are the same words in the Greek Text that the Angel used for Mary in Luke 1:28, for she conceived the Son of God. We also have received the seed of Christ, (not for 9 months, but forever), thus we are highly favored of God. This is the greatest present that God ever gave to humanity, and is our joy and privilege to know that we have received the greatest gift ever given, and it is ours for eternity.

God’s Grace and Goodness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Romans is an Epistle of doctrine, a setting forth of things to believe in and trust. Romans chapters 1 through 8 expose the sin nature of man, and its motions (or sins) in man, and how Christ delivered us from that horrible nature. One impression you may have when reading the first 8 chapters of Romans is similar to having a feeling of yuck, followed by an over-abundance of joy (read the first 8 chapters of Romans and you will see what I mean).

Romans chapters 9 through 11 are the business end of the Epistle, showing us how God dealt with the Jews (Israel) and Gentiles (unbelievers) in times past, and present. Wrapping it all up, Romans chapters 12 through 16 is the prACTical side (of doctrine), showing what to do with the knowledge of the doctrine contained in the first 8 chapters of Romans; this combines the entire Epistle of Romans into a complete whole, revealing the threefold goodness of God.

Romans 1:5 – By whom {Jesus Christ} we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations {all people}, for his name:

The words grace and apostleship represent all seven of the Epistles given to God’s Church (us), we also know this as “apostolic grace,” and the apostolic grace (all the Epistles) combined promote the “how to” enjoy God’s grace upon our lives. The Epistles energize and give genuine life to the Christian faith and the Christian lifestyle, based not on our works, but on the believing faith of Jesus Chris, who is our substitute for sin and all its consequences. As we believe the Word of God, His divine grace will follow without restraint, confusion, or compulsion.

Romans 5:1-2:
-1:  THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
-2:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The Epistles, commencing with Romans, reveal to men and women the goodness of God (Romans 2:4). For it is the goodness of God (rather than His wrath) that leads us to true repentance, and then on to the throne of God and into eternity, to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”! When we begin relying on the grace of God we will further discover God’s goodness on our lives. God has given to us peace with Him and He gave us total and personal access to stand upon His grace.  This is an exciting daily journey in our walks before the Father as He continues to reveal His loving heart of goodness to us throughout the Epistles.