Together with Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Romans reveals that Jesus Christ was our complete substitute for sin, and that in Christ we were (spiritually) baptized with him, and that we were raised with him to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Romans shows us that the sinner is totally forgiven from the sin nature, and that we will never again be separated from God, from Christ, and from their love. The first three chapters of Ephesians continue with the newness of life that Romans reveals, further accentuating that we are spiritually quickened, raised, and seated together with Christ at the right hand of God. Ephesians shows us that God has set us up on high with Christ Jesus. Yes, we are physically here upon this earth. However, Ephesians also reveals God’s true spiritual viewpoint of us, that we are already spiritually seated in the heavenlies with Christ. Ephesians guides us with heavenly insights on how to enjoy our new life together with Christ having all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 2:4-5:
-4:  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
-5: {This next verse shows the immensity of the great love that God has for us:} Even when we were dead in sins, {God} hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Although we originally came to God as sinners and were on a course that would eventually end without God and without hope in this world, yet with God’s mercy and great love He has “quickened us together with Christ.” “Quickened” here means to be made spiritually alive. We are spiritually alive, and saved, being now eternally made whole with Christ before God in His love. This is a wondrous gift given to us by the divine grace of God.

Ephesians 2:6a – And {God} hath raised us up together, . . .

We were first quickened with Christ, then Ephesians says that we have been raised up together, and that is to our rightful heavenly position in Christ as the children of God. Spiritually we are already quickened and raised up together to be with Christ. When we begin to see ourselves through the eyes (with spiritual understanding) of what and whom God’s Word says we are, then we will freely partake of the true spiritual life that we have and share together with Christ!

Ephesians 2:6b – and {God} made us sit {at rest} together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

As we believe God’s healing Word regarding our true heavenly standing, we will begin walking with tremendous understanding and power, for God will literally enable us to enjoy the spiritual truths in all that we are in Christ, and in all that we have together with Christ. We were first quickened (made spiritually alive) to live together with Christ. We next have been raised up together with Christ to a heavenly standing, equally proportionate to that of Christ Jesus’ own standing with God. We then have been seated together with Christ in the heavenlies, giving us inner rest that comes to us without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). God will continue to reveal to us our perfect union and serenity because we are finally and truly at home together with Christ, and spiritually we are already at the right hand of God Almighty.

God Sent His Word

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Gospels there are many references of Jesus healing people, and what gave him the ability and the power to heal was the healing Word that he spoke, applied, and believed. When we receive God’s healing Word and discover Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior ─ our believing will rise to the standards that God’s Word sets forth, and genuine spiritual healing can become a reality.

Psalms 107:20 – He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

The healing Word and will of God is given to us with a purpose, a reason, and that is for healing, for mental healing, for physical healing, and for spiritual healing with a view to deliver us from destruction. Man on his own is a master of destruction in his own ways, because man is not perfect. However, God’s healing Word is perfect, and when we follow the instructions within God’s Word with a believing heart, then true spiritual deliverance can follow.

Proverbs 3:5-8:
-5:  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
-6:  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
-7:  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear {respect} the LORD, and depart from evil.
-8:  It shall be health {healing} to thy naval {meaning that healing can begin at the center of our lives}, and marrow {moisture} to thy bones.

The word “fear” in verse 7 means to have respect, awe, and reverence of our heavenly Father, which we learn from the Scriptures. The “world” usually teaches us that we need to fear God, and that He will only care for those who are genuinely afraid of His power and judgments. However, this is simply not true, God loves us and His desire is for us to respect Him, for He has total admiration and respect for us who believe in Him. The word “marrow” means moisture that nurtures the human structure of life.

In the Gospel of John 1:14 it says “And the Word was made flesh.” This is in reference to the birth and life of Jesus Christ, for he lived and spoke the Word of God: “I have given them thy word” (John 17:14). Jesus spoke God’s healing Word and as people believed on him, healing followed.

When God becomes clearly understood from the Scriptures, then His healing Word becomes a reality. Just as God sent His Word and healed them, so God sent Jesus Christ and he healed them, because Christ is inseparable from the wonderful Word of God. In the Gospel of Matthew, we will see that when Jesus spoke the Word of God, healing became a reality before Jesus’ eyes for he “taught them as one having authority” (Matthew 7:29), and his authority came from the healing Word of God.

Matthew 4:23-24:
-23: And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching {the Word} in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
-24:  And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had palsy; and he healed them.

Today the Word of God still reveals Jesus Christ, who reveals God, and when we truly find God in our lives, “the more abundant life” (John 10:10) becomes a daily reality. As God’s healing Word begins to permeate and uplift our believing and searching souls, we can say (and receive) with believing conviction: “He sent His Word and healed them.”

A More Excellent Way (The Longer 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 is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) 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, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 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 needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of 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 wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction 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. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“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 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, 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, heavenly 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 and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Rejoice and Be Glad in Salvation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In Habakkuk 3, we see the subject is on struggling through days of trouble and hardship, not unlike today when at times things may not seem perfect. Yet even when times are rough, our God can give to us rejoicing and gladness in knowing that we also have salvation, just as He did for the Old Testament believers.

God is always with us; we only need to trust in Him. Did you know that when you become saved by confessing Romans 10:9–10 that you are saved even today? It is true, even today, we are already on the journey of eternity, and we may enjoy living with the knowledge that we will live throughout eternity.

Habakkuk 3:18–19a:
-18: Yet {through difficult times} I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. {Whenever life seems too difficult, a wonderful key is to look to our God through Christ rather than focusing even more negative attention upon a currently awful situation.}
-19a: The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make {cause} me to walk upon mine high places . . .

A hind is a mother deer that first checks the rocky cliffs with her front feet to insure that her back feet will land safely on solid ground. This is the promise to believers: our God can watch our steps like the hind, so that even through a difficult time we do not fall. Thus, the lesson here is to still rejoice in the LORD through a difficult time and we will be brought to our high places, to the place where the desire of our hearts will take us. And now, God in Christ in us is like that hind, checking our steps before we ever walk into danger and placing our steps on firm ground, up on high.

Psalms 37:4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Galatians 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

We can dispel darkness by focusing of the light of God’s Word, rather than on a current dark event. In Philippians 4:12–13, Paul taught that whether he had to endure lean times or times of abundance in his life he always looked to God and the strength that his Savior Jesus Christ gave him, just as Christ strengthens us today and we are blessed.

 Matthew 5:11–12:
-11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
-12: Rejoice and be exceeding glad {and this is why}: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Well, we certainly are in good company! And God gives us great expectation of receiving a great reward in heaven, for looking to Him and confessing His healing Word.

Psalms 40:16–17:
-16: Let all those that seek thee {God} rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually: The LORD be magnified.
-17: But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me {Can you imagine, you are upon His mind and in His thinking, see: Jeremiah 29:11.}: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying {come to my aid speedily}, O my God.

As the Psalmist prayed for God’s speedy deliverance, so can we, and we can be assured that God hears our requests (Philippians 4:6–8). Our God truly loves us; we are forever in His thoughts. He has given to us salvation, today, in the here and now to comfort our souls through life’s difficult times. He is with us, so:  Rejoice and be glad in His salvation.