Glory and Praise to God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Paul wrote Philippians from prison; he was there simply because he made known God’s Word. We can be so blessed that today we are not cast into prison simply because of our beliefs. Paul was not put in prison just for a stay – they wanted him executed! As we know, he was eventually released to continue his mission of making Jesus Christ known to others so that others could also have the joys of walking with their Savior.

Philippians 1:8 – For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

God knew the heart of Paul, and when Paul said that God was his record, it is like our saying, “as God is my witness”; Paul’s desire was to preach and make known the Gospel to others even while in captivity. As God was Paul’s witness, God is also our witness today. “The bowels of Jesus Christ” represents their unity within the body of Christ. Paul was positive and hopeful that their standing with God was remaining strong even in his absence because they themselves were witnesses of Christ and Christ leads one to God.

Philippians 1:9 – And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge {of God and His healing Word} and in all judgment {in all discernment};

Paul prayed that their love may abound more and more, yet this was not simply a prayer to continue loving one another. Beyond that he prayed they would learn to love more and more the precious knowledge of God, for this knowledge can help the believers discern between good and evil, between light and darkness, and between that which is truth and what which may be in error. In Paul’s absence he was instructing the believers further into the ways of God so that they could stand together rooted and grounded in the Word.

Philippians 1:10-11:
-10:  That ye may approve {prove} things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
-11:  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

God gives us things that are truly excellent such as the promises of God, yet without the love of the knowledge of His Word, which is the knowledge of truth, believers cannot prove to themselves whether or not it was God Who blessed them, or if they simply were lucky enough to have a good day. The Bible reveals more than nine hundred promises. How many promises do we know, how many promises do we believe for, and how many do we receive? “Sincere and without offence” means that we can know and receive from God with a genuine heart of understanding and sincerity that it is indeed our God Who truly blesses us. We are “being filled with the fruits of righteousness,” by Jesus Christ. “Fruits” represent the product, the result of cultivating. The fruit of righteousness can be savored and enjoyed every day, for Christ is at work within our hearts and lives. As our love abounds in the knowledge of what God has given, and knowing that Christ is at work within, then we can spiritually offer up to our God spiritual fruits of our righteousness in glory and praise to Him, and this will indeed warm the heart of God.

Hebrews 13:15-16:
-15:  By him {Jesus Christ} therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips {spoken by those who are righteous} giving thanks to his name.
-16:  But to do good and to communicate {fellowship} forget not: for with such sacrifices {of glory and praise spoken to Him}, God is {very} well pleased.

To Be Called His Saints

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

There are seven Church Epistles – Romans through Thessalonians (I refer to these as the magnificent seven). All seven of these Epistles strengthen our fellowship with the heavenly Father. Romans is first and is the foundational doctrine teaching us how to commence walking with God in biblical understanding of our complete justification in Christ. I and II Corinthians are combined as one in this respect: they follow an underlying theme showing men and women how people error when they do not adhere to the practical teachings of Romans. Corinthians also teaches us how to strengthen and maintain our fellowship, union, and serenity with God.

I and II Corinthians are written to encourage the hearts and souls of Christian men and women (who have strayed from grace) back to believing the principles contained in the practical side of Romans chapters 12-16. Corinthians was written to Christian believers who were not following (walking) the principles revealed in Romans, either by not knowing them or by wrong teaching. Obviously, God knows that people inevitably will make mistakes because we are not perfect, and so God inspired the writing of I and II Corinthians to help inspire men and women back to right believing.  This biblical inspiration brings us safely into a way of life that God calls a “more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31). Corinthians brings believers back into the fold (so to speak) so that they may live charitably as Romans details.

Contrary to some popular thought, I and II Corinthians was not merely written to a group of individuals who were living nearly 2000 years ago in Macedonia (today called Greece). This kind of wrong thinking would nullify our ability to believe in Corinthians, which has delivered to humanity some of the greatest instructions and inspirations ever recorded in God’s wonderful Word. A direct result of casting aside Corinthians has, through the years, caused multitudes of people to miss out on some of the most notable teachings and godly-inspired revelations that the world has ever known. Let us carefully read to whom Corinthians is actually addressed to:

I Corinthians 1:2:
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth {and}, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours {emphasis supplied}:

Corinthians, as well as all the other Epistles, are written to all believers who call upon the name of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-13), and this we have done. So the instruction, blessings, and deliverance contained in Corinthians is directly addressed to us today, for we are members of the Church of God. Thus we are members along with all of “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,” and we are called in verse 2, “saints.” A saint biblically means someone who is sanctified, and sanctified means “set apart,” and set aside for heaven, and that my friend is our predestination. Predestination does not mean that the things we are doing and the things we will do in the future are already decided by God, rather what it means is that God knows in advance where we will end up (heaven).

Being called a saint is our God-given right and is a privileged title we have as His sons and daughters, and so now we are sanctified and have the God-given right and pleasure to be called His saints, for we are heaven bound.

A More Excellent Way (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31 – But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

“But covet earnestly the best gifts.” This is the “way” that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying, sure you can try your hardest to get the best spiritual gifts, “yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” Paul was writing to an entire Church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, “a more excellent way.” This way is the way of love. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because it is God’s way. The very next verse begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity.  The love of God (charity) is the “more excellent way” because it will bring the most needful and “best gifts” right to you.

I Corinthians chapter 13 unfolds to the believers some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance, “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6 – {charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

“Iniquity” means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who just wronged us fall down and we think “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or being happy with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing abundantly.

I Corinthians 13:8a – Charity never faileth: . . .

How often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never! How do Christians avoid being failures? “Charity never faileth.” When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, “charity never faileth.”

Our loving Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly be rejoicing in the truth, for you will tap into a new spiritual love that will never fail you.