Our Lively Hope

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Timothy 1:1 – PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

An Apostle is one who brings new spiritual light to his generation. In the Epistle of Timothy, Paul first revealed who our hope is, Jesus Christ! Christ returning for the children of God, for you and me, can become our innermost hope. There are great fears about his coming that are truly unfounded because according to the Bible the return of Christ brings great rewards, and they will be given out, rather than any Christian ever receiving wrath, condemnation, hell-fire, etcetera.

Colossians 1:4-6:
-4: Since we heard of your faith {believing} in Christ Jesus, and the love {of God} which ye have to all the saints,
-5: For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
-6: Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Anticipating the hope of Christ’s return brings to the heart and soul of believers great understanding as it continues to enlighten our knowledge of “the grace of God in truth.” This wonderful hope can become the first thing that we think about when rising from bed (Psalms 63:6), and hope can give us comfort even at night. The hope of Christ’s return rejuvenates our love and our believing faith. The hope is inspiring and exciting, and when we recall our hope throughout the day, it reveals to us the hope of our Savior’s speedy return! (The return is most definitely closer today than yesterday: Romans 13:11) When the hope of his return becomes a reality within the heart, it will bring to our souls spiritual fruit, fruit that we can currently receive that will enlighten the human heart with wonderful godly qualities of reassurance and inspiration that we are blessed of God with His pure hope, and that we will be blessed of Him forever more.

I Peter 1:3-4:
-3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
-4: To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Along with an abundance of mercy we have been given a “lively hope.” This “lively hope” can assure our searching hearts of an incorruptible inheritance reserved and prepared for our reception of it at our arrival into heaven’s gates.  The hope: Christ’s return presents a wonderful future, worthy of our anticipation. Like Abraham who against hope believed in hope, we too can walk in his shoes bringing the hope directly before our very eyes, and constantly into our believing minds.

God has given you a “lively hope” that no worldly circumstance can ever change or take away from you (Romans 11:29), because you are already God’s child and heaven-bound.

Being in Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

From the Scriptures we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. When we look to the Word of God, we will recognize that being in Christ is the foundation of continuous joy and spiritual growth. We have a real premise on which to invigorate our minds as we carry the Word in our minds and God’s love in our hearts ― then we will begin to understand God’s approval of us.

II Timothy 2:15 encourages believers to, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Some people think that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the word of truth, because God has already approved us in Christ. If a premise begins in error, then the conclusions will be no closer to the truth than the original error. We cannot approve ourselves by works, for we are already approved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:410) because we are accepted in the beloved, and the beloved is Christ; To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved- Ephesians 1:6. II Timothy 2:15 is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will come to know just how much approval we have before God because we are in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the word of truth.

God does not shame us in the Scriptures; rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ ― daily. God’s Word indeed reveals the magnificence of the new man, the Christ within and in whom we may aspire to become like, as the Word says we are in “Christ’s stead” (II Corinthians 5:20). God approves of us through His grace, “To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), and the beloved is Christ Jesus, and through him we are approved, and being with him in our understanding is being in Christ.

II Corinthians 4:15–16:
-15: For all things are for your sakes {all the things promised to us in the God’s Word}, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound {to give in thankfulness} to the glory of God.
-16: For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish {although we continue getting older}, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The abundant grace we have upon our lives causes us to be bountifully thankful in our giving glory back to our God. We faint not means that we will never get tired of thanking God for His abundant grace. The greatness of being a believer is that no matter our current age, we can always aspire to His healing Word as we are continuously renewed in the spirit of our minds with truth. In the Bible, the children of God who walk before Him are never called “has-beens” or considered “over the hill,” for the inward man (the Christ within) can always grow as we think on and speak of God’s Word.

I Timothy 4:8 records, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Bodily exercise profiteth little means that it primarily benefits oneself, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Godliness is having a meaningful relationship with God as our heavenly Father. Godliness is enjoying the renewed mind, being spiritually fit. Godliness is learning how to be in Christ as an athlete of the spiritual realm. Godliness is proving the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2), which brings profit into a believer’s heart, a heart that can then reach out of themselves and help others with God’s Word. Godliness is profitable, not only at any age in this life, but will be beneficial through all eternity. Everlasting rewards will be received by a life lived in godliness, and thus, I Timothy 6:6 expresses, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Galatians 4:19: My little children {from God’s point of view we are always His precious children}, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Having Christ formed in you represents the time span that it would take from the point of your salvation until you begin truly realizing your own spiritual light (the new man), and its source, “that the excellency of the power may be of God” (II Corinthians 4:7). After learning and knowing of the Christ within (created and placed there by God) comes your realization of this miracle of having Christ formed in you. When the Word of God really begins lifting your life up and out of the old nature and you begin relying on God’s Word as the words of life and your daily spiritual food, then Christ will be formed within your conscious mind and divine inspiration will direct your path into a life of godliness.

Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature {new creation}.

This “new creation” is the spirit that God created in us, it is our “new nature in Christ,” and this new nature places the Christian believers on a spiritual journey with God that continues until the return of Christ when we receive our new spiritual bodies that will be totally renewed in spiritual perfection. The word availeth literally means that we can become strong in our spiritual life, the new creation strengthens plus enhances our walks with the heavenly Father, for the new creation shows us the true strength that Christ within continues giving to us (Philippians 4:13). The phrases neither circumcision and nor uncircumcision refers to an outward appearance of the works of man, for our new creation is an inward gift received by God’s grace, and the best we can do is appreciate the work of God in that He hath made us accepted in the beloved and renew our minds to this inherent truth.

I could take the time to tell you how sinful the old man nature is, but I would not be telling you anything new (Isaiah 59:12), because we have lived with this nature our whole lives. Indeed, the world is full of very good people and kind deeds, but the nature of sin is also everywhere, just pick up a newspaper or watch the news and you know what you will find. Focusing on sin and its motions is the diet that the world feeds itself on, and the more they do the worse the outlook and apparent destiny of man looks. But because of the new creation there is an escape, it is in Christ, and it is much more profitable to tell you that most assuredly we have a getaway that leads us out from that old nature. We have a new and eternal nature in Christ, one separate from “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2); it is our promised emancipation to be in Christ, and he earned this for us in the first century! It is time that we accept it, it is time we, as the Apostle said, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40); it has been waiting in store, and all we need to do is believe to not only acknowledge it but to enjoy our heavenly nature. This is offered from above, from the right hand of God (James 3:17–18), and this is ours in the present now, in the perfect tense of every day till forever.

II Corinthians 5:21 reads that Jesus became “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus did not have to identify with mankind ― souls born into the nature of sin (Romans 5:12–14). Jesus was sinless, he was perfect, but for us he became sin, the righteous one for unrighteousness ones as he totally identified with man and literally tasted death for all (Hebrews 2:9). Jesus did this unselfishly because he loved you and me! We may now identify with him, yes we can ― we have been enabled to because of the love of God in us, which when applied will place us directly in Christ. We have been called to a new beginning, a rewrite of our personal histories that places us as being members in his-story, a new story of us in Christ that is being recorded down in the book of life, i.e., the living memory of God, for we have received a heavenly destiny in Christ. We will be in Christ in the eternity of heaven, as we can also be today, even though we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Philippians 2:15). Jesus our Savior takes us to a whole new dimension as we begin fellowshipping with him, coming to know all that he delivered us from and rejoicing in all that he presents to us now in grace.

I Thessalonians 1:10 says that now we are to “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Our deliverance from the future wrath is thankfully based on the awesome grace of God and is received by answering the call of salvation (Romans 10:910). There will be wrath coming in the future; the Bible says so, so it must be true. However, and thank God that you are totally exempt from all that wrath and you will be rescued by God’s son from heaven who will take you back to heaven with him (I Thessalonians 4:1318). Romans 5:9 states, “being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him,” and since you are justified you are equally saved from wrath. In the meanwhile, you have the blessed opportunity to allow the reality of Christ to be formed in you, as you are evermore becoming a new creation in Christ, renewed by the Word and nurtured in the light of God’s unending love.

Now, at this moment in time, we are the recipient of a heavenly call to be in Christ that was first made known and answered in the first century by the Christian church. This is a call of unparalleled proportions as we become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (see Romans 8:1617). Philippians 3:20 says, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word conversation means our citizenship (see Ephesians 2:1822). This is a call to daily walk in Christ, knowing we are saved forever. “For God hath not appointed {or called} us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us” (I Thessalonians 5:9–10). God has called you to Himself even before the foundation of this world.

Ephesians 1:4–5:
-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:
-5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

II Thessalonians 2:13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, and He hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation! Could you have a greater calling? There is only one response to this calling ― answer! But how do you reply to such an awesome call? Paul wrote, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1) “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (I Thessalonians 2:12). You answer the calling by first believing He called you to be His child. This is then fulfilled by believing in and loving His Word, by seeing your approval of God Almighty, and by enjoying the truth that this calling was and still is according to the good pleasure of his will. By not doubting that you are dearly loved by both your heavenly Father and your wonderful Savior and that you are exempt from the future wrath, this is walking worthy of your calling.

II Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things {in the mind, the old nature} are passed {are passing} away; behold, all things are become {are becoming} new {in our understanding}.

God loves you so much that He calls you His Beloved in I John 3:2! Let us start from this perspective, let us realize His outlook, let us accept His viewpoint, and let us enjoy His approval as we accept His endearing love for us that is so enduring! Being in Christ is walking with the healing Word of God in our daily lives. As we continue aligning our minds with the mind of Christ, then the true impressions of Christ will rise to the surface of our understanding and reason, and this will present to us inspirations that will unmistakably reveal in our hearts that we truly are in Christ.

Ephesians 2:19–22 (The Amplified Bible):**
19: Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
20: You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
21: In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
22: In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

I John 3:1–3 (The Amplified Bible):**
1: SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
2: Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.
3: And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

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

The Day of Days

“The multitude of believers that this world has been blessed to have, the souls who have passed away in hope, are too numerous for us to count, but they will easily outnumber any living generation fortunate enough to be alive at the time of Christ’s return. For the living, the return of Christ will be a spectacular day because only the living believers will see and feel what the past ages could only have hoped in and dreamed of with anticipation, because only the living will know and experience the changing realities of that glorious day of all our expectations coming to pass, the day of days of hope’s fulfillment, when Christ shall change our earthly bodies to be fashioned like unto his glorious body- Philippians 3:21!” ~LMJ~

Treasures of the Heart

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

As we have been reviewing, I and II Corinthians are clearly a treasure chest of knowledge and wisdom of God’s loving heart. It is ironic to me that the Epistles of Corinthians have received such a bad rap through the years to the point that these two Epistles are the most rejected and scorned of all the Epistles in the Word of God. Corinthians contain so much wondrous truth, and believe me when I say that we (including anyone who has researched the Scriptures) have just begun to scratch the surface in our quest for the treasures of God’s wonderful Word. I sincerely pray that the Bible bytes regarding Corinthians have helped your understanding God to a much greater degree.

You may notice when you are reading from the Epistles that many of the verses appear to be somewhat difficult to understand, and you may also wonder why this is; after all, the King James Version is not really too far off from our modern day English. It is not because something is wrong with your comprehension and understanding; rather it is because God reveals His Word in precious increments (or like a Bible Byte), only to the meek and tenderhearted. In a lifetime one could not fully grasp all of God’s Word; however, God opens a genuine understanding from His pure heart day by day as we continue looking into the Scriptures willing to receive heavenly nurturing.

II Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We have received a heavenly treasure deep within our souls, in mortal earthen vessels, a treasure that reveals the words of God to our minds and understanding proportionately to our acknowledgment that God has given us the power to receive from Him, and He alone reveals His precious treasures (I Corinthians 3:6; Colossians 1:27). In II Corinthians 4:7, God wants us to understand that the ability and power to receive from Him is at His own discretion rather than ours, but which He freely gives according to our believing. As we continue receiving an understanding of the Word of God, the treasures therein will become manifested out into our lives simply by our believing as His Word instructs.

II Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The light that God commanded to shine out of darkness is spiritual light shining out of our hearts and is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The “face of Jesus Christ” means the countenance, the radiance, and the power of Christ that is laden within our earthen vessels is released just in the same way it was when Christ himself physically walked on this earth (John 14:12).

The treasures of the heart that God has given to us are phenomenal and as we continue walking with God, the true spiritual life of His Word will continue growing in the tender and fertile ground of our earthen vessels. So today as we continue living with this heavenly treasure in our lives, let us continue to allow God’s Word to water and stimulate the implanted and treasured healing Word in our hearts with the eternal blessings of the divine graces of our heavenly Father.

The Epistle of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Scriptures, especially the Epistles, are written to us and they fulfil a deep yearning that we have for spiritual wholeness and understanding. Often when people first come to the Scriptures looking for salvation and purpose in life they can sometimes overlook the Gospel (good news) written directly to them, which are the Church Epistles.

II Corinthians 3:2:
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

If we read the New Testament Epistles without heart and the quest for righteous judgment, then all we will ever find are the Epistles of Paul. However, as we earnestly search for real glimpses of divine truth, something of a supernatural nature begins to happen in our inner souls, because astonishingly we begin to realize that the Epistles are not only written to us, but they are also written about us! Knowing this we can begin to understand that the Epistles of Paul do become transformed into the living Epistle of Christ, and they are written directly to our hearts.

II Corinthians 3:3:
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

We can study and systematically learn the history of the Bible, or we can find the true heart of the Bible by way of God Himself teaching as the eyes of our own understanding become more in tune to the heart of God’s Word. When we were saved by confessing Romans 10:9-10, God placed in our very hearts the Epistle of Christ, written “in fleshy tables of the heart,” and what is written in our hearts is revealed to us in the magnificent seven Church Epistles.

II Corinthians 3:18:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass {a mirror} the glory of the Lord, {we} are changed into the same image from glory {the glory of the Lord} to glory {the glory of Christ within and the glory of the Epistles that are now written on fleshy tables of the heart}, even as by the Spirit of the Lord {Who accomplished this}.

If these verses above are true, and I believe they are – then God truly gave us something special, creating nothing less than a miracle deep within our very own hearts. Our lives can and will spiritually reflect what is written in our hearts to the point that we become a genuine Epistle that is “known and read of all men.” The Epistles reflect like a mirror that which is currently in you — “the glory of the Lord” for you are “manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Christ.”