Bible Study Notes:
These notes are from a transcript of the
postings during Bible Study on Friday Nights at 7 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
|Father God we thank you for this opportunity to
meet together to worship you. In YOU is light and there is no darkness at all. We worship
you O mighty God. There is none like you. We give you praise, for YOU are our
righteousness... We praise your name Father, In Jesus name. AMEN
Lord, we turn this Bible Study over to you. We ask you to bless the teachers and listeners to hear your Word deep into their hearts.
satan we come against you and all of your crafty schemes! We bind you and rebuke you and command you to leave this instant!
Holy Spirit we invite you to be our teacher and pray that you will bring all things to our remembrance that You've taught us. AMEN and AMEN. In Jesus Precious Name we pray!
The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). This was written to Christians and ALL means ANY thing you do wrong. So the question is WHY DON'T YOU ASK JESUS TO FORGIVE YOU NOW????? You know you're ready for forgiveness when you want what God has more than anything else in the world, more than the occult, more than being thin, more than being friends with certain people. Jesus said, "If you keep on seeking, you will find, if you keep on knocking, the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
OK, last week we were talking about the mystery of the Church, a mystery in the Old Testament because it had not been revealed to God's prophets. The Church is not a mystery now because God has revealed it to us. Then we talked about the occult and how it promises us knowledge and "mysteries", but that knowledge is false and leads to destruction. I guess a lot of us have felt the attraction of the occult, the chance to learn "hidden knowledge" is enticing. But all that is at the back of it is emptiness, deception and lies.
As I said, what God wants us to know is plainly revealed in these last days in His Word, but to those that are lost, it is like a veil is over their minds and they cannot see clearly. Paul said "If our gospel be hid, it be hid to them that are lost". I don't think that the occult IS more attractive than the gospel in actuality, but to those who don't fully know the Lord Jesus Christ and His beauty and love for us, it SEEMS attractive, especially to the young that are so impatient for answers! They don't see the need to take the time to get to know the Lord. They want a quick fix, an easy way out. satan is a liar, and makes it seem oh so charming!
When you really understand Who Jesus is, His love for you, His plan for you, you won't need the occult. The Bible is clear to those who through faith see Jesus clearly, and the light becomes clearer the closer we get to HIM. I was once at that place where the occult seemed attractive. And you can be where I am now, and even closer. Just be patient with yourself, and learn about Jesus. That's how you start: by reading the Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word. And faith is trusting in Him despite your doubts.
Ephesians 3:6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
Remember Paul was talking about a mystery? Here is the mystery solved. What is the Church? The Gentiles and Jews as members of one body because of Jesus! I like mysteries and solving puzzles. Look at the Bible as a puzzle you need to solve, it has a lot of pieces and takes some trying to see how they all fit together! Here's a piece of the puzzle that the Jews couldn't get to fit in with their thinking - the Gentiles (that's us) are also part of God's plan in Jesus. You know sometimes when you are fitting a puzzle together, you put a piece in the wrong place, and it's only later that you discover it.
V. 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.
Paul, remember, was a fierce enemy of the church, he tried to put its members to death! So how did he become a Christian? The same way we did - by the gift of God's grace. He had a rather dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, when Jesus appeared to him. But he still had to believe Jesus and was saved by God's grace just like we are.
Ephesians 2:8: It is by grace you are saved through faith, it is the GIFT of God lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness that we have done but according to HIS MERCY he saved us.
Now when we are born again, we are raised from the death of sinfulness to a new life in Christ, by the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead. You know a lot of us don't find it hard to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, but we have a lot of difficulty seeing that SAME power at work in us! The Amplified puts it this way -
Of this [Gospel] I was made a minister according to the gift of God's free grace (undeserved favor), which was bestowed on me by the exercise - the working in all its effectiveness - of His Power.
You see, it's not God's power that is lacking - it WORKS in all its effectiveness - it is us who limit God by not believing in Him and allowing Him to work in our lives. But Paul somehow was able to accept God's power in his life, and although he was not perfect, he achieved mighty things for the Kingdom of God and the Church. This SAME power works within us as it did in Paul, and as it did when it raised Christ from the dead. The next verse clues us in (remember the mystery idea?) on why Paul was so effectively used by God:
Vs. 8-9 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
Paul was humble man, a mighty man of God, but a humble man "less than the least of all God's people". He knew on his own he was nothing, and he received the grace, the unmerited favor of God and through this grace became minister to the Gentiles (us). Where would we be today if Paul had not been obedient to what the Lord told him to do? His task was to preach the "unsearchable riches of Christ" What do you think this means?
The Amplified says: " unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable and exhaustless) riches of Christ - wealth no human being could have searched out". No matter what your need is, Christ can supply it. No matter how deep your hurt, Christ can heal it.
His wealth is not measurable by any standard man has! God is the God of restoration. The word "restore" means to set bones, mend nets or bring factions together. It is a healing of relationships, between people and between God and us. Some may at times feel like God has betrayed them because of circumstances. Been there, done that, wasted a lot of time being mad at God for something the DEVIL did!
God is a God of love; He does NOT bring pain into our lives. When someone we have trusted has hurt us, we need to realize that God did NOT motivate him to do it! GOD never betrays you...satan can make you FEEL those feelings. Although God is all powerful, realize that there is another factor involved - the will of man! God has voluntarily limited himself so that we can have free will. Otherwise, we are no more than robots. Most of our troubles come from PEOPLE who do not listen to God when He tells them to love us, who back off when the going gets rough, who sometimes even abuse and hurt us.
When you do bad things, is that God's fault? Or are you listening to satan, or letting him push your buttons? God answers ALL prayers...sometimes right now...sometimes after a few weeks...sometimes His answer is wait, you are not ready yet.
What if every time you tried to do something bad, God stopped you? How would you then be free to make your own choices? And if God DOESN"T stop you from harming someone else, is it His fault you made that choice?
When you are hurt, or someone you love is hurt, don't be guilty of blaming the wrong one. God does not motivate people to hurt each other, or cooperate with it or cause it. You need to get mad, nail-spitting mad at the devil! Not only for hurting you or your loved ones, but also for causing you to doubt God!
Interaction with other people who are rejecting God's will cause the problem to persist until that particular person gets back into God's will. Sometimes when we get involved in these kinds of situations, not understanding WHY something happened to someone we love in spite of our prayers, we're just going to have to "duke it out" with God. Yell at him and tell How you feel, and let Him sort it out. Maybe read the book of Job. All his children were murdered, all his wealth was destroyed and he was eaten by running sores. God is in control, but with out free will, we would all be little robots running around at the beck and call of some Supreme Being. Many struggle with this issue - I can tell you what I've learned, but you have to read the Word and sort it out for yourself.
The important thing is not to take up others offenses - against either other people or against God. Awful things happen to good people because we live in a fallen world, brought about by man's sin and the devil's hate, not by God. I can't explain why bad things happen to good people, but they do...lots of them, but good things happen too, the best is God's grace and love...you know this life is only temporary...but God made a place for US.... a place where there is no pain...a place where there is no sorrow. When troubles come, seek answers from God. He's the only one who can give them to you. The devil can't, he's a liar and can't be trusted. I can't because I don't know all things.
Paul goes on to say: "and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. "
God's will is to make things plain to us. Part of His plan is to reveal Himself to us. And Paul was God's servant in revealing His mystery of the Church, which in the past was kept hidden in God.
10-11 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God's intent was through us - the church - to reveal God's wisdom! Manifold - means variegated or multifaceted in the way that the many facets of a diamond reflect and enhance its beauty. God's wisdom glitters from Heaven like a diamond, we can't contain it, but flashes of it can enter our heart and we can share this with the world. Not only to reveal His Wisdom to the world, but to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms - the same principalities and powers that are UNDER OUR FEET in Jesus. God is saying, "devil you thought I was stupid when I redeemed man, you accuse my children day and night before the throne. But I was wise to love them, to redeem them, to bring them back from your kingdom of darkness!" God has an eternal purpose for us, we sometimes don't understand it, and we sometimes get mad at Him! But an eternal purpose that we won't fully understand until the Day of Christ's coming!
Now Paul says, "according to his eternal purpose which he ACCOMPLISHED in Christ Jesus our Lord" - that's past tense...as in already done When Jesus said, "It is finished" it was a done deal! God has accomplished in Christ what He set out to do! Now it's our job to cooperate with His plan, even when we don't fully understand it. It will be revealed to you. I believe that there is a place of ministry for us all! Our "modern" idea of a church only having one minister doesn't add up to what the Word says. We are ALL to be His witnesses and ministers of His grace to everyone we meet!
We all are to reveal God's wisdom to the powers of this dark age - to reveal it we have to know it - and God has revealed it through His Word. "Give me the Word! Make it real and plain to me; Give me the Word! Open my eyes that I can see! ! In every situation, Give me the WORD!"
Oh Holy Father, give us a thirst for your Word, a hunger after righteousness! Father, let it be our first thought in the morning, our last prayer at night. Let us feast on it daily! Desire it more than our daily bread. Oh Jesus! Pour a holy longing over your children tonight! Show them the false glitter of the world's offerings. We yearn in the Spirit for your presence Father. We want to be with YOU. Even so come, Lord Jesus!
V. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Sometimes we take this privilege and honor for granted - through Jesus we can approach God! The Holy God, the maker of heaven and earth, the Righteous One, the Omnipotent! Through Christ, through His sacrifice, we are made worthy to approach God. IN HIM means that Jesus made the way POSSIBLE through His death on the cross. THROUGH FAITH IN HIM means that we have to believe this and take advantage of what Christ has so dearly bought for us with His blood. And do we approach God's throne groveling in our unworthiness, grinding our face in the dust, fearful that a lightning bolt will rip us apart? NO! With FREEDOM and CONFIDENCE! How glorious! Not only has Jesus made access to God through a new and living way. We come in freedom - not as slaves, not as unworthy - as sons - as children - and confidence! Confidence that He hears and answers prayer. Confidence that we are at home. THIS is where we belong; THIS is who we are!
OH the weariness of this flesh! Such a hindrance at times in our walk with God. Our pain often darkens our foolish hearts and we see everything BUT our glorious Lord.
Father wash our eyes with pure water that we may see YOU. Clean the rusty wax of doubt out of our ears that we can hear you. Soften our hearts, remove the hate and loathing that the enemy has brought upon us. Cleanse us so we can serve you! Lord Father God, we lift up our brothers and sisters tonight, who the devil has inflicted with pain. Loose them and set them free in Jesus Name! Let them see Jesus who suffered on the cross, shedding His lifeblood as an atonement for men!
Look at Jesus on the cross; see his kind eyes saying "I love you". Hear Him say, "I died for you, so that you would have a wonderful future. Won't you accept my love? Totally and completely?" He is saying, "I suffered in the flesh, so that you can be free! Won't you accept my freedom?" Look up to Jesus .Do you REALLY want to be free? Let Jesus be your sole means of salvation. Jesus is saying " I conquered the devil for you. Why do you keep believing satan's lies?"
I can tell you on the authority of Gods Word, that any psychic is a liar, like her father the devil. The only thing she can offer is lie after lie and more temptation and confusion. God is NOT the author of any of those. The people that sponsor these psychics get people off the street, teach them how to ask questions so you will reveal information about yourself and then give you the answers you want to hear!
Are you ready to totally commit yourself to Jesus? Are you willing to give up your option to ask help of the occult? She has nothing to give you but the devil's lies, nothing but more bondage. Only the Prince of Peace, Jesus, can give you peace. Unless and until you take authority over satan, he will continue to torment you. If you REALLY want to be free, free from fear, free to love again and be truly loved, free to serve Jesus out of a pure heart, you MUST do t his. If you want to be like Jesus - you can't serve the devil too! To be set free, make this declaration:
SATAN, I bind you in Jesus Name! I rebuke you and all your demons and cast you out of my life in Jesus Name! I close access to any doors I might have opened through the occult - slam them shut in Jesus Name! satan you have nothing in me according to God's Word!
Father God I come against the strongholds that satan has erected in your child's mind - the low self-esteem, the manipulations of others, the lies of the occult. I come against you strongholds in the mighty Name of Jesus and smash you with the Word of Truth!
SATAN, I command you to take your hands off God's children NOW. I cast you out in Jesus Name. Take fear, doubt, timidity, low self worth and all your other filthy demons with you! Loose them devil and set them free in the Name of Jesus.
Jesus I plead your blood over your children! Loose them by your mighty power. SET THEM FREE! I come against the occult, and all its trappings. In Jesus Name. Jesus, show your children the lie from hell that is trying to infect their spirit. AMEN
Father God, show your children how to please you. Show them satan's traps in Jesus Name. Let them understand the spiritual danger from following the occult and help them to overcome the temptation to see answers from the wrong source. In Jesus Name AMEN.
Remember, whenever God
gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate
on what you've learned!
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