The Faith of the Gospel

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been raised (spiritually) to an elevated position, seated with Christ at the right hand of God. This is why God can give to us, His beloved children, spiritual wisdom and understanding in the true knowledge of Him. Philippians continues on with this wonderful knowledge that continues opening our eyes that we may truly see.

Philippians 1:27 – Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

The word “conversation” is the word in the Greek Text for citizenship, for according to God’s Word our citizenship is already in heaven. The Scripture is imploring us to conduct our lives as heavenly citizens worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Paul says that whether he is present or absent that he wanted to hear that their Christian lives were being conducted as those who were standing fast in one spirit, and standing together in the knowledge of their citizenship. Paul wanted the believers to be of the same mind working together for the faith of the Gospel. The faith of the Gospel is our believing that God Almighty has indeed called us into the Gospel, and into His family, and that we can believe this together as members of the household of God.

Philippians 1:28-29:
-28:  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of {or from} God.
-29:  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

God’s healing Word encourages us not to be terrified, not to have fear about our adversaries, our opponents. In this life there are people who think we are off our rockers simply because we believe in that which is unseen (John 20:29). Our own personal adversaries sometimes scrutinize the way we walk before God, they even try to throw hurdles (by words or deeds) in our way to trip us up simply out of spite. This reminds me of the Psalm “They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah” (Psalms 57:6). This is to them the “evident token of perdition” for they reap what they themselves sow. However, for us who do believe and continue standing, we will be receiving proof of our own salvation, and spiritual wholeness, and that is from God.

We are citizens of heaven itself, and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course of this world. This is given to us “in the behalf of Christ” because he was our substitute for sin and all its consequences. Then verse 29 concludes with “but also to suffer for his sake.” This phrase has been used incorrectly and totally out of context, because the word “suffer” does not imply that we should allow our adversaries to cause us to suffer in any way. Rather the word means to endure with ever increasing experience, for not only are we going to heaven, but when we endure we will become stronger, setting even greater examples for one another who believe that God does deliver His children. When we have complete faith in the Gospel, knowing that God does deliver His children (I Corinthians 10:13; II Corinthians 1:10), and knowing that He has already given us a standing with Him, then our faith – our believing faith in the Gospel – will continue to strengthen and inspire us with godly blessings.

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.

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.”

The Walk of Love (The Shorter 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.

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 love. It is man’s personal baggage, his condemnations, 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, to show the way.  Paul was teaching that it was God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who guided, directed and showed 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 believing believers. This is not a “thou shalt” walk in love, but rather this is something Christ inspires within our own hearts. As we look to him, we will find his strength in us that increases and abounds in love so that we can apply his spiritual love in never-ending abundance. When we do apply the love of God we will realize how terrific it truly is, for the rewards will always return back to those who apply God’s 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 at this very moment as we stand pure in God’s sight, and our heavenly Father will see us this way until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This Is the Day Which the LORD Hath Made; We Will Rejoice and Be Glad (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

According to the Bible, each and every day is a day to rejoice and be glad because the LORD made this day for men and women, for boys and girls, for young and old, and for you and me.

Psalms 118:24:
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The Word of God encourages us to rejoice and to be glad in this day. Recognizing God throughout the day brings great gladness and joy into our lives. When we walk with God and recognize that He is with us, being grateful simply for the air we breathe, then we will also realize that the Lord indeed made this day for us. The Psalm continues:

Psalms 118:25:
Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

Save now is referring to this day that the LORD hath made, and in this day, the Psalmist is beseeching the LORD to send now prosperity. This passage is referring to the necessities that we need today, and thanking God for those things that we now have. Then, beyond the basics, what further abundance would bless our lives today? When we recognize that God indeed cares for us and we trust in Him, then the daily prosperity that we receive will cause our hearts to rejoice as it draws gladness out from our very souls.

Every person has different circumstances and daily needs, but God can and does care for each of us individually. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

God promises in His Word that He will meet our needs, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things {that we need to sustain life ― mentally, physically, and spiritually} shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). The true blessings of God come to us according to our believing His Word. By looking to God’s healing Word, and by prayer offered in the name of Jesus Christ, and with genuine thankfulness from the heart, we may also look for and expect that our God will be there for us with daily blessings, and we can in thankfulness recognize that His blessings have become reality for us.

John 6:11:
And Jesus took the loaves {5 loaves of bread}; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down {about five thousand people}; and likewise of the fishes {2 small fishes} as much as they would.

When Jesus gave thanks, he was asking for God’s blessings on what they had, that the blessing would go a very, very long way ― and it certainly did. This is the power of true prayer with the giving of thanks to God in prayer.

Many people “say grace” before meals but the Bible says to “give thanks” to God (in advance) for His blessings and grace upon us. Grace comes from God to man, thanks goes from man to God. In fact, did you know that the Bible never instructs believers (ever) to “say grace,” but rather His Word encourages us to enjoy and accept His graces that have been freely given to us in Christ and to give thanks, always ― even today, for this is the day in which the LORD made for you and me to rejoice and to be glad. Learning to enjoy an attitude of thankfulness in our prayer life softens the heart, squelches greed, and humbly accepts the grace of God without reservation for His abundance to begin flowing our way.

In John 6:11 above, Jesus did not see any lack in the limited amount of the food he had, but he thanked God to do miraculous things with the little they had for a multitude of people, for giving prosperity to those for whom Jesus was responsible, and everybody thankfully had as much as they would. This was Jesus living the true meaning of send now prosperity, as he was beseeching God with the giving of thanks for His care upon them this day. The place where this miracle took place became known as “. . . the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks” (John 6:23b). It is in our thankfulness for what we have that allows God to truly work miraculous things in our own lives, today and every day.

I want to tell you a story about a young man who was down on his luck, out of money, and very hungry. Someone explained to him about being thankful to God in his prayer life, and so he prayed, thanking God in Jesus Christ’s name for his little twenty-five cent bag of potato chips to somehow fill him up (about ten or twelve chips). Then he began to eat as he was reading his Bible; about a half hour later, he looked down into the bag and realized that the chips had miraculously filled his famished appetite. He saw a half of a bag of chips still in the bag, and he uttered, “gee, thanks God, I have had enough” as he then ate the last few chips! I believe this happened for him because he thanked God for the little he had. This man was blessed by God in order that he would rejoice and be glad on that day. This man did not just sit around waiting for a miracle to happen, rather he simply was thankful to God and gave his need to Him in prayer, and God became his sufficiency.

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” in the Hebrew Text, Psalms 118:24 poses this question: Will we rejoice and be glad in it?” The answer is, yes, yes when we recognize this day’s Maker, for then rejoicing and gladness in this day bubbles up from within! Note the ending word in the verse is “it,” and when we realize that This is the day which the LORD hath made, then the “it” becomes HIM, because we become glad to be in and with HIM!

When we believe: This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will be living a lifestyle in daily thankfulness and we will rejoice and be glad in HIM, not just for one day in the year but for always. If we have food to eat and a place to sleep, we will have every good reason to be thankful today for the blessings bestowed upon us, and our God will give us great expectations for all our tomorrows.

I Corinthians 15:57:
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Corinthians 2:14a:
Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ.

II Corinthians 9:15:
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Hebrews 13:5 (The Amplified Bible):*
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Philippians 4:6 (The Amplified Bible):*
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

Colossians 2:7; and 3:15 (The Amplified Bible):*
-7: Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
-15: And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

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