Colossians – Revealing Our Completeness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Epistle of Colossians, we can discover the completeness that God has given to us through all that Jesus Christ accomplished.

We have been made spiritually complete so that we walk with God as we enjoy His presence in our lives. Colossians helps correct wrong practices that people sometimes fall into and shows the way back to right believing in the spiritual power that God has given to every believer in Christ.

Colossians 1:27-28:
-27: To whom {believers} God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
-28: Whom {Jesus Christ} we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Noting what Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:4 is interesting: “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” The mystery in a nutshell is that the Jews and Gentiles who believe today become equal members in the body of Christ. Paul wrote that by reading we may understand this mystery of the one body.

Whereas in Colossians 1:27 we have the next spiritual step, for it continues on and connects us to the spiritual side of life because God Himself reveals the riches of the mystery, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

What it really is to have Christ in you is not my job to explain, nor is it anyone else’s, because only God can reveal to the heart of our understanding what it is to actually have Christ in us, what it means to our lives, and what the riches of the glory of the mystery is, and it is all based upon God making it known to us.

Paul then goes on to say that he preaches Jesus Christ. Why? Because as the preached Word of God reveals Jesus Christ, Christ then reveals his heavenly Father to us, and as the Father becomes known, He then reveals to our lives the greatness of the mystery and the riches of the mystery, showing us individually that we absolutely have completeness because we have received Christ within.

The word “warning” in verse 28 above does not have anything to do with impending danger of any kind, but rather it means to admonish, exhort, and to prepare one to receive something quite wonderful. Paul in his teaching ministry as an Apostle prepared believers with the teaching of the mystery of the one body of Christ so that each member would be able to become more intimately acquainted with their heavenly Father Who would then reveal the riches of having Christ within.

Paul’s masterful teaching presented God’s heart so that God could begin revealing that in Christ Jesus we have a heavenly standing in God’s household. Then God Himself could further reveal the dynamic realities of walking daily with the spirit of Christ within.

Colossians 2:10 reads “ye are complete in him.” We are spiritually completely, completely, complete in Jesus Christ, and it is God Who will show to the heart of our understanding this spiritual reality.

The preached Word always reveals Jesus Christ who is the living and incarnate Word, and the living Word always reveals God Who is the source of the Word. As we come to experience the learning process that it is our heavenly Father Who reveals to our understanding the “riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you,” then we will know without any doubt that we have been taught of God (I Corinthians 2:7-14).

“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard {what God teaches}, and hath learned {to the point of believing} of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). “Cometh unto me” represents coming to know with godly insights the spiritual riches of having “Christ in you.”

Colossians 2:6-7:
-6: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
-7: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught {by the preached Word, by knowing Christ, and by hearing God’s still small voice}, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

As we become more rooted and spiritually built up in Christ, we will become established in the faith, and this will effortlessly cause our lives to abound with thanksgiving to God Who is the source and giver of the riches of Christ within.

God gives us Our Completeness, allowing us to have fellowship with Jesus Christ and inspiring our fellowship with one another, so we may abound daily in thankfulness.

Obadiah – Revealing Our Deliverance

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Obadiah, Jesus Christ is the deliverance that shall be on Mount Zion. He is the hope of Israel, and the Savior of the world.

In the Old Testament, there were no references to the mysteries of the current Church of God living in His grace and enjoying the freedom that would come with Christ and the Church of God which has now become immersed in the grace of God.

The Epistles call the grace period of today a mystery, and it is not recorded in any detail in the Old Testament Scriptures, yet the prophets of old knew beyond any doubt that something was coming between the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow (I Peter 1:10-12).

The sufferings of Christ can be followed throughout the Old Testament, and are written in explicit detail in the Gospels, while the glory of Christ can also be seen throughout the Old Testament, and in the Book of Revelation, as well from many passages now recorded in the New Testament.

In Obadiah 17 we read, “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness.” This is a reference to the times of the glory of Christ and of Israel, still a future event.

Luke 4:17-21:
-17: And there was delivered unto him {Jesus} the book of the prophet Esaias {Isaiah}. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
-18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
-19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
-20: And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
-21: And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

These verses that Jesus read are recorded in Isaiah 61:2-3, but after Jesus read “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” he stopped reading, he closed the book, he sat down, and then said, “this day is this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.”

In Isaiah where Jesus was reading he stopped right in the middle of a verse of Scripture, which continues “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Why did Jesus not finish the verse? Because the day of vengeance has yet to happen, and if Jesus would have read “the day of vengeance,” then Jesus would have been wrong. However, at that moment in time the acceptable year of the Lord was happening right before the eyes of those living in the first century.

The day of vengeance is a period of time in the future and we should note that that day (which is an entire age, not simply one single day) is specifically a day of vengeance against Lucifer and his legions of Devil spirits, and unbelievers. However, the vengeance of God is not imposed against us in the Church of God, or the believers who will be living on earth during those days.

The conclusion to the day of vengeance was the period of time that Obadiah was speaking of, the deliverance in Zion; it would be the time that the glory of Christ is manifested with his personal presence again on earth when he reigns supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Something incredibly wonderful happened after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, and that was that a new age of divine grace began to be enjoyed by believers.

The age of grace will remain in effect until our gathering together, when we meet Jesus Christ in the clouds above (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Isaiah 61:3 reads, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” The acceptable year was when Christ was physically here. The day of vengeance is still a future time, but the current time in which we live is represented with only a single comma between: “. . . the LORD, and the day of vengeance. . .”

When Jesus proclaimed the acceptable year, it certainly was; however, he was rejected and eventually crucified. The acceptable year concluded with his sufferings on the cross and then his resurrection ushered in our current age of grace when anyone can be saved.  Today in God’s grace is the day of Our Deliverance because we have believed in our Lord and Savior’s completed work.

Ecclesiastes – Revealing Our Duty

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Ecclesiastes is really written to men and women who think with their hearts, who have had the deepest desire to understand and walk with God. David’s tenth son, Solomon, the second child born to Bath-sheba wrote Ecclesiastes.  He was the richest man in the Bible.  Solomon was also someone whom God greatly loved.

In I Chronicles chapter 1, God asked Solomon what he wanted, and God would give it to him. Solomon only asked for wisdom and knowledge, and because he didn’t ask for riches God gave to him both riches in extraordinary amounts of abundance, and wisdom with the knowledge to apply the wisdom of God.

There were many times that Solomon disobeyed God’s Word and did what he felt like doing, yet towards the end of his days he again began searching and finding his God because he found his Savior Christ in the Scriptures.

In Ecclesiastes, as Solomon looks back upon his life and reflects on all that he knew, all that he did, and all that he had, he finally came to the conclusion that without Christ and God in his life ─ life itself was just not exciting.

In Ecclesiastes he writes of the heart of the matter, finding reason and purpose to life itself, and today we will see the conclusion of all that Solomon’s wisdom had discovered:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“Fear God” is a term that some people use to imply that without being genuinely fearful of God, His wrath and vengeance, then they say that God cannot and will not bless the believer’s life. Yet this is totally untrue, God always loves us.  The word “fear” means to have respect, to give reverence with honor to God. Never does God want His children to be afraid of Him for any reason whatsoever!

When we look to Jesus Christ as the way to the Father, he can teach us how to genuinely love God without fear. He said in John 14:31, “But that the world may know that I love the Father.” Jesus wanted us to know by his example that he also loved, and he knows how to not only love, but also he knows how to teach us how to love and respect our heavenly Father.

Then verse 13 says, “and keep his commandments.” Again as we look to Jesus we see that in Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus combines all the Laws and commandments into two and the two are to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and without knowing Christ we would become totally burnt out trying to keep all of God’s commandments. However, when we walk in love toward God and our fellow man, then we can only be pleasing to God.

Thirdly the verse says “for this is the whole duty of man,” this is not some of the duty, not the best part of our duty, but our only duty is to love and respect God, and walk in love.

There was a time in Solomon’s life that he refused God’s instruction, and misinterpreted the Word of God, and as a result of that he lost his duty to God.  Solomon spent years contemplating the essence of life without God, yet when he again began looking to Christ, he found his way and finally recognized his duty and began enjoying life again.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He {God} hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world {the ages} in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning {of the ages} to the end {of the ages}.

God gave man the heart to quest and realize that there is a spiritual force and power behind life (Romans 1:20), yet that force (Who is God) is just out of man’s reach until he comes to know his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John 1:17 teaches us that “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he {the Son} hath declared him.

Jesus Christ’s mission has always been to make known God (to know Him Who was in the beginning of the ages) and he assures us that (in the end of the ages), our final resting place will be eternally with our heavenly Father.

Romans 11:33-36 teaches us that man of his own abilities cannot discover God’s judgments, nor His true ways, nor can he fully know God’s thoughts or be His counsellor. But when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and lives, we can put on in our minds the thoughts of Christ who in turn reveals the Father. I Corinthians 2:16 reads, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? {The answer is no one can.} But we have the mind of Christ.”

When we put on the mind of Christ by putting on God’s Word, then we will receive the “mind of Christ,” and his mind gives understanding to us so that we may discover our true duty before God.

To honor, respect, and love Him and to love our fellow man. This is the only heartfelt conclusion to life that we have in Jesus Christ and this is what will satisfy the believer’s inner quest for true spirituality.

Proverbs – Revealing Our Path of Righteousness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Proverbs has thirty-one chapters with over 560 proverbs. Many people read proverbs on months that have 31 days, a chapter per day. In Proverbs we can find Jesus Christ as “the wisdom of God,” for he is our “path” (to God) and the “light” lighting our pathway to the Father. When we discover Jesus Christ in Proverbs as him who lights our path, he begins revealing himself as our Path of Righteousness to the right hand of God. Rather than simply finding common sense knowledge, when Jesus Christ comes to light in Proverbs, then true spiritual wisdom will appear and direct our path having the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it {without being hindered}, and is safe.

“The name of the LORD” represents everything that God’s name stands for, such as His strength and power, which gives the believer a refuge.  The Lord is our “strong tower,” which is our elevated position with Him in the tower of His strength. The word “safe” means to be set up on high, for this is where the righteous safely thrive with God in Christ. We have been given the righteousness of God through the completed work of the righteous one, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:9 – And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Once our lives were lost, but now in Christ Jesus we have been (thankfully and gratefully) found.  The believing faith of Jesus Christ has given us God’s very own righteousness. On the path of our God-given righteousness we can come to know Him as our strong tower of strength. The more we recognize Christ in the Scriptures, the greater our God-given righteousness will shine in our hearts.

Proverbs 12:28 – In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

“In the way of righteousness is life,” because with the righteousness of God we can know that we have received eternal life. In the pathway of righteousness “there is no death,” means that we being righteous will receive a future immortality. Today we have the absolute guaranteed promise of receiving our complete redemption, our total immortality, and our heavenly home in eternity to live forever with God, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:23).

Proverbs 4:14-15; 18; and 26:
-14: Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
-15: Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
-18: But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
-26: Ponder the path of thy feet {“feet” represent our standing with God}, and let all thy ways be established {by following Jesus Christ who reveals the way to our God}.

“The perfect day” means the brightest time of the day when the sun seems to pause still in the sky above as it reaches the highest point on the meridian around noontime, this is the example of our elevated position in the light of our being the children of God. The more we walk with God, the brighter our future is realized. This is our Path of Righteousness, and is the way that Jesus said we should follow him: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). For example, in the time of Noah, he and his family out of the world populous were the “few there be that find it.” When we look to Christ Jesus, he begins leading us through the gate of the straight way, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father of lights, and along our way Jesus reveals our Path of Righteousness.