And Ye Shall Know the Truth

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 John 8:31b–32:
-31b…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
-32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Jesus is teaching that “if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” As disciples of Jesus, we will come to know the truth, for the truth itself shall make us free to be his disciples. I once saw a poster illustrating an arm garbed with a robe and an outstretched hand that we were to assume was Jesus setting a bird free, and the caption below said, “The truth will set you free. John 8:32.” This Scripture was not even quoted accurately. The kind of freedom that Jesus was teaching was freedom to choose to walk with him; believers are never set free in the sense of being just simply freed to aimlessly wander around. Rather we were made free from the world, to be able to follow and become true Disciples of Christ, through the words of God that Jesus Christ spoke.

Galatians 5:1:
STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made {not “set”} us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1 shows us a further development in the freedom that is available for the believers. Here it says that “Christ hath made us free,” and he did so by giving his life freely for us. Now that we are free to become his disciples, we can also further begin to enjoy this freedom that enables us to be truly free in order that we may completely know our freedom with spiritual abilities.

The “yoke of bondage” in Galatians 5:1 has a twofold meaning. First, the Old Testament Law was a yoke of bondage. Secondly, the world itself has hidden traps of enticements to prevent the non-Christian, and even some Christians, from truly walking with God in the truth, and this is a yoke of bondage (Ephesians 2:1-10). However, and thankfully, we have been given liberty by God to actually “stand fast” upon His Word. The Words of God not only continuously keep us free from the devices of this world and the Law, but the words of God continuously reveal to our inner understanding the enormous freedom we have in Christ, in his accomplishments for us.

The truth of the words of God became the words which Jesus Christ spoke because he had made God’s Word and will his very own word and will (John 17:8). Today, believers – you and me, have the same blessed privilege to allow God’s Word to also raise our believing standard to be that of God’s Word for us – because He thinks the Word of us!

Whenever any believer continues in the words of God their lives become a showpiece for the glory of God, and they themselves become Disciples of Christ who enjoy the benefits and blessings of being made free to stand fast in the true spiritual liberty of our God.

A Merry Heart (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Often we hear it said that it is best to not talk about religion, however, I do not agree with that statement, for when God lives in our hearts and we talk about the truth that is in our hearts and in our thinking, then “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). The outpouring of our inner joy composes a merry heart that becomes personally inspiring from within, and harmonizes our lives to God’s very nature (II Peter 1:4). When we Christians allow “the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” into our minds and hearts, we cannot help but share the treasures of God’s lovingkindness towards us, and of His “grace and peace,” which has been “multiplied” in our lives, as this tenders a merry heart in believers.

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

This knowledge compels us to thoroughly enjoy a merry heart as we speak of the graces of God. Another wonderful verse of Scripture is, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). When God comes into our lives and we begin thinking His Word, we literally become what His Word says we are, “Keep {or guard} thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The issues of life are those thoughts that define you as a person: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (and you and me).

Nevertheless, if we cannot talk about the inner joy we have experienced in God’s Word, then we might unintentionally begin to suppress what we have received and felt in our hearts from knowing our Savior’s love for us. “He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15). The continual feast is the enjoyment of life to its fullest, walking hand in hand with God, with our Savior, and with fellow believers, so, on with the festivities!

Proverbs 27:19:
As in water face answereth to face {gives a reflection}, so the heart of man {reflects what is in the heart} to man.

Paul said of Jesus “he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2:13); Jesus never denied who he was to anyone or what he believed, rather he lived with confidence in who he was, and he is our example (Philippians 2:5). We have the God-given privilege to believe and to conduct ourselves as those who have allowed Jesus Christ and God along with their joy into our hearts.

II Corinthians 5:20:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech {call} you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We are ambassadors for Christ, regardless of whether or not we ever share God’s Word with anyone. It is true that at certain times it may be inappropriate to share God’s Word, for instance, when we are being paid to work; however, there are times when it is appropriate to talk about God’s wonderful Word with our families, friends, and acquaintances. Besides, everyone else is speaking up to tell us what they think and believe, while what we Christians think and believe is in regard to the salvation of our souls and our being reconciled to God and that we are in Christ’s stead ─ these are certainly things worthy to speak up about while we fulfill our calling.

King David in Psalms 16:9 wrote: “my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth” as he spoke of his coming Savior. Knowing and speaking of Christ causes our hearts to greatly rejoice, and a glad heart comes to us by speaking about the accomplishments of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Witnessing to others that Jesus died for our sins (and theirs also), that he was resurrected and seated at the right hand of God, that he is returning for us at some future moment to take us home, surely causes one to experience and enjoy a merry heart.

Today, so many believers feel hesitant to even acknowledge that they are Christians when an appropriate time to speak the Word presents itself. Often believers feel guilty by association because they see other Christians behaving incorrectly or hear unbelievers make fun of religion or of God’s people and so many Christians do not speak up. We are not in God’s secret service wherein we hide the joy of our hearts from the world around us until we arrive in church on Sunday morning, but we are in God’s family, with God-given permission to speak and conduct our lives as the ambassadors of Christ. This is our heavenly commission!

When Christians suppress godly issues of the heart, Christianity becomes more of a subculture rather than mainstream. God’s wholesome Word shines in our hearts and this we can speak about with God-given authority (Philippians 2:16).

Life’s spiritual principles and gifts are evidenced by receiving and giving, but if a Christian believer begins to suppress the free course of God’s Word, the receiving end of his or her life can become limited ─ stifled even. Nothing on this earth can quench a believer’s merry heart more than inaction to the truths he has learned and believed from within the Scriptures to be true. Jesus Christ has made us free (Galatians 5:1), and has given us many reasons to enjoy a merry heart, including eternal life (I John 5:10-11).

Proverbs 15:13:
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance {makes one glow with excitement}: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22:
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

To genuinely experience God and our Savior’s presence, let us seek to enjoy the benefits of having and maintaining a merry heart. Presently in grace, we have and enjoy a union with our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, giving us every reason to experience the heavenly panacea that comes into our inner souls from the Physician of the human heart ─ Jesus Christ.

We can invite God’s healing Word into our homes and fellowship with Him around the accomplishments of Jesus Christ for us, as we bask in the love of God. We may then reach out to other people who come across our paths with the words of life that have been so graciously given to us. In Isaiah 55:11, we read “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” You see, when we speak of God’s Word, of His love, of His grace, and of our salvation, He will prosper and watch over those words that we have placed into our hearts to speak so that we may be assured of speaking words that will reach out with prosperous blessings to others who then also receive a merry heart.

True, some may shoot the breeze just to kill time, but we Christians can share the Word of life from our merry hearts and actually lead someone into eternal life, because when we speak the words of God, we are never alone, for Christ the Lord works within us to confirm the Word we speak.

Mark 16:20:
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

Just in knowing that Christ the Lord works with us gives us every reason to radiate a merry heart, especially when we realize that he confirms the Word we speak. Now, what are the signs that follow? This can be something different for every believer; it is a personal blessing for talking in Christ’s stead, and God will become your “sufficiency” in this life as II Corinthians 9:8 promises, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, {so that you} may abound to every good work.”

Acts 14:3:
Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Philippians 2:16 reads, “Holding forth the word of life” for it is God’s Words that give us purpose, reason, and vitality (and also offers these benefits to those to whom we speak), and provides us with all the spiritual treasures needed to enjoy our lives with a merry heart.

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” ~Celia Thaxter~

“If we have the opportunity to be generous with our hearts, ourselves, we have no idea of the depth and breadth of love’s reach.” ~Margaret Cho~

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” ~Helen Keller~

“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” ~Washington Irving~

“God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” ~Izaak Walton~

The Walk of Love (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Sometimes Christianity can become confusing when external tagalongs fasten themselves to the believer’s walk. There are many things that appear to be a part of the Church of God yet only hinder the believer from walking in the light of God’s Word. For instance: Have you ever been told “the Bible says that you have to do this, or you need to do this?” However, the Epistles never say “thou shalt, or thou shalt not,” regarding laws or commandments, rather the Epistles give the believers almost unimaginable freedom by offering to give us whatever we need to enjoy our eternal lives with God in Christ which has already begun in our lives.

Galatians 5:1:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Anything and everything that the Epistles reveal to the believers is offered by God’s grace, and it is literally God’s love that activates our believing to receive from God. God never made the Christian lifestyle to be burdensome but rather easy to know, to live, and to enjoy. In God’s family, He is the provider for our needs, and gives us His love so that we may walk with Him being well pleasing before Him in His unending love.

Ephesians 1:4:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

It is man’s personal baggage, his condemnation, his own inability to be perfect which slows and hinders his personal walk and fellowship with God. But when the believer can recognize the truth that God looks at the heart and blesses our lives for believing in our Savior Jesus Christ, and that God loves us just as we are — then we can begin walking and growing in the spiritual nurturing that emanates out of God’s love for us.

I Thessalonians 3:11:
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

The word direct means to guide and show the way. Paul was teaching that it was God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who guides, directs, and shows the believers the godly way in which to walk before God in His family.

I Thessalonians 3:12;
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, being in us, can inspire the desire within our hearts to walk and conduct our lives within the love of God. The purpose is so we may increase and abound in love toward each other (toward every believer) and for all other people. It is true that most people have the inability to love others outside their sphere of influence, either believers from other Churches or unbelievers in their communities.

This is a great lesson in learning that God’s love transcends all human barriers, for God’s love is spiritual and is for everyone, “for God so love the world” (John 3:16). God has given to us His love and this love can only be spiritually ascertained when manifested by loving believers.

This is not a “thou shalt” walk in love commandment, but rather this is something Christ inspires within our own hearts.

As we look to God and Christ the Lord, we will find their strength in us that increases and abounds in love so that we can apply this spiritual love in never-ending abundance. When we do apply the love of God in Christ in us we will realize how terrific love truly is, for the rewards will always return back to those who apply spiritual love.

I Thessalonians 3:13:
To the end he {Jesus Christ} may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Jesus Christ is always at work within our hearts to help us recognize and acknowledge our God-given rights of being unblameable in holiness before God our Father. This is how we are viewed (in the sight of God) at this very moment as we stand purely in God’s love, and our heavenly Father will see us this way until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when he gathers us up to take us home in the eternity of God’s love.

The Right to Our Redemption

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Peter 2:24a – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree . . .

Previously we saw that Jesus gave himself for our sins, offering himself in place of man, and that because of his unselfish act we have received the complete right to God’s sanctification – we are set apart for heaven! Today we will further see that after Jesus gave himself for our sins, that he indeed received them, bearing them all the way to his cross (Colossians 2:14); this now gives us the absolute right to claim our whole and complete redemption.

Galatians 3:13 – Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians shows us that our redemption came by Christ hanging on that tree, and I Peter shows us that when he was on that tree (the cross), he himself was bearing (carrying) our sins in his own body. The result of this completed work of Jesus Christ was to present humanity with the spiritual and eternal right from God to be legally and permanently redeemed. Redemption is now our right as the children of God because of the suffering that Jesus Christ went through when he gave himself, bearing our sins in his own body, giving of himself completely, the righteous for the unrighteous, the sinless for the sinful, so that the unredeemed may be totally redeemed. We are now redeemed and have the God-given right to claim our redemption. Redeemed in Galatians 3 above means to buy up (or back) from the power or possession of someone (the Devil, Acts 26:18), to purchase, and then to also release the purchased possession (us; Ephesians 1:14, 2:2) from bondage, so that we may live our lives immersed in God’s divinely given grace.

Galatians 5:1 – STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Jesus Christ made available to us almost unimaginable freedom to walk with our heavenly Father to a much greater degree than ever before, because we are redeemed. Have you ever redeemed a coupon or a token for a prize? Well Jesus Christ carried our sins across the threshold of extreme pain and torture to redeem us completely back to God (we are the prizes he sought after and won) from the powerful grip of the Adversary. Jesus received unimaginable beatings and whippings before he even went to the cross in order for him to be our complete Savior and now we forever belong to God. Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption (Hebrews 9:22) and so our lives have been bought and paid for with the price of redemption: the life and blood of Jesus, the most perfect man to ever walk on this earth and grace it with his presence and life.  We now can stand before God or the Adversary without fear because we have the right of redemption.

Ephesians 2:18-19:
-18:  For through him {Jesus} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
-19:  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints {God’s consecrated and redeemed children}, and of the household of God;

Jesus Christ has redeemed us by bearing our sins: so we do not need to bear them any longer! Now and forever we are no more estranged to God, for we are fellowcitizens of His household, and have complete access to the Father, as complete as any child would have to his own father.

Galatians – Revealing Our Liberty

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Epistle of Galatians Paul gives us tremendous understanding regarding our liberty that we have received in Christ. The liberty that we have is founded upon the foundation of God’s divine grace, and is a pleasurable lifestyle that we can enjoy without the rigorous commandments and laws that were mandatory during the Old Testament times, which have been done away since Jesus Christ. This is why Paul wrote “I do not frustrate {reject} the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21).

Paul also wrote “whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). The grace that God has given to us is on a much higher plane than the law ever was, for the grace that God gives is spiritual rather than being based on or controlled by physical actions that people can undertake.

Galatians 2:4-5:
-4: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily {secretly} to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
-5: To whom we gave place by subjection {submission}, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

These false brethren brought in unawares had only one goal in mind and that was to prevent believers from enjoying the liberty that they really have in God’s grace, given to us by the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. However, Paul did not, for even one second, allow their teachings to put them back into bondage.

It is almost unbelievable that when we believers begin to really enjoy God’s grace and “our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus,” that someone comes along and perhaps says “that is not the Christian way, you are not supposed to have any fun in life, you need to suffer your way up to heaven.”

This is basically what happened to Paul and his company, and from time to time this may happen even today.

Galatians 5:1 – STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

God always wants us to accept the freedom and liberty with which Christ Jesus has made us free. We are God’s very own children, and He absolutely wants us to enjoy our liberty and our lives with Him. God has been waiting since the beginning of time for us to walk into this liberating grace that Christ made available.

Men and women who become engulfed in wrong biblical teaching, who unwittingly refute God’s grace, seem to want to keep themselves and others in bondage of one form or another. This really is a struggle for some people to accept their spiritual liberty because they have been “hell-fired” and “brim-stoned” half to death so that it is difficult for them to allow the freedom of God’s wonderful healing Word to speak directly to their hearts.

The only real requirement for God’s children is that they try to the best of their ability to walk in love, and this takes living with the freedom for which Christ gave his own life.

Galatians 5:13-14:
-13: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion {opportunity} to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
-14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Sometimes people can take God’s liberty a step too far, using liberty for an opportunity to serve their own ambitions that can at times be the opposite of God’s calling to walk in love. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with ambition and desiring to get ahead; in fact, God’s Word encourages us to be our best at whatever endeavors we pursue in this life. The folly only comes into play when ambition prides itself against God’s own will, which is always to have His children walk in love.

We can sometimes fall into rigorous bondage (apart from God’s grace), and can get tricked into condemnation, not enjoying our liberty in Christ. While on the other side of the spectrum, man can sometimes abuse his God-given liberty simply to serve himself and forget that he was given liberty to serve in love before his God and man. There is a balance in life to walking with God with real spiritual liberty and spirituality. Thankfully, God’s Word continues revealing to us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (II Peter 3:3).

Whenever and wherever we walk in love we will be most pleasing to our heavenly Father, and be happily enjoying true spiritual godliness. Let us daily enjoy learning to love Our Liberty while we experience the freedom that we have received in Christ Jesus.