Category Archives: Bible Study

Time For A Change!

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

If I have heard Him, and been taught by Him, then it’s time.  I should not wait any longer. He is the truth, and He can not lie.  It’s time for me to put away the old things in my life, and all the corrupt thoughts and lust of my past.  Put it away for good.  We all know that’s easier said than done, right?  It seems just when I get my head clear f that baggage, it pops back up again.  Then I feel like I’m stuck on stupid, as my friend says.

Here’s what I see as a key way to get that old man put behind me.  Ignore him.  Every time those bad thoughts come wandering my way, just ignore them and focus on God.  If I spend my time worried that the old thoughts are back, I just give them a place in my head. So when they come rushing in, and they will, I just don’t fret or stew about it, I go about my business and praise God, focusing on the praise instead of the delusion in my mind.  Once I can master that, the thoughts will eventually fade away and become irrelevant.  I believe they will always come.   It’s how I cope with them that matters.

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

I need to renew my mind  Romans 12:2 says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  This is so critical once we have been born again.  Our minds need to be put right,  We have been in the world for so many years (I got saved when I was 24) and that old worldly mindset needs to go.  The mind has such power over he rest of our body and soul.  If we can be renewed in the spirit of our mind, the  rest will follow.  And that is done through reading and studying the word, getting grounded in a good church where we can fellowship with other believers, and learning how to pray and praise.

The new man is created in righteousness and holiness.  Those that think they can get saved and just go about their merry little lives the same way they were before being saved are deceived.  It is very clear in this passage that God asks us to change.  We should not be the same person after we accept Christ, if we have taken the time to learn Him, hear Him and be taught  by Him, as our first verse says.  His desire is to bring us to the place where we take His love to a lost and dying world.  And we can only do that effectively when the old man is gone, and the new man has taken up residence.  Has he come  alive within you?


It’s All About Jesus!

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

These are the gifts to the church.  God gave these gifts as He saw fit.  We should never question someone else’s calling unless they are obviously going against God’s will, like a prophet who is always wrong. These are men and women appointed in various offices to contribute to the vibrancy, growth and spiritual well  being of the body of Christ.  And they are still in operation today.  Let’s look at each office individually.

The apostle was a messenger sent for a specific purpose.  The twelve apostles of Jesus and Paul are prime examples.  Some say the office of apostle is no longer needed in the church, but  disagree.  I look at apostles as the church planters.  They see the need for a church in a particular area or  community, and they start the work.  Maybe in a basement, or a storefront, but they start it.  In the New Testament they were usually authenticated by signs and wonders, and they still can be today.  An apostle, unlike a pastor, would not stay a long time and pastor that church.  Rather, he would find a pastor (As Paul did), and then go on to the next town.  We knew a man who was an apostle.  He started dozens of churches in Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri before passing away in 1986, so I  know the office is still in use today, although some say it is not.

Prophets are those who speak for God.  This can be revelation or expounding on what God has already said.  This is not to be confused with the gift of prophecy, which is available to all.  This is an  office of prophet.  Prophets, like apostles, are typically not restricted to a particular church with their ministry, although they may have a church body they call home.  They minister from church to church, similar to evangelists, but having a different type of message.  I have known a few prophets in my time. The one that is dearest to my  heart is a man named  Robert Miller from Breezewood, PA.  He took me under his wing at an  annual camp meeting encouraging me as his worship leader and instructing me in things if the kingdom.  His prophecies always came true, and were very specific.  I miss him dearly.

Evangelists are itinerant preachers who bear the good news to various places. Phillip  is a real good example in the bible.  Each of us probably have our own favorite evangelists.  This is one that is familiar to us because this office is one of the most prevalent today.  I have friends who are tent evangelists across the country, Bob Newton and Sean Strong.  If you ever have an opportunity  to go to one of their tent crusades, tell them I said hi!  These are men who  are on the road most of the year and are working hard for Jesus.  They need our prayers!  Tent evangelism is rare today, and these two  are carrying the mantle to he word.  I love them dearly!

We are all familiar with the office of Pastor, and some who read this blog are wither in that office now or have served in that office.  I have never been a pastor, but in most of the churches I have attended,  was the closets thing to an assistant pastor.  I am familiar with, but have never experienced first hand, the weight that is on the pastor.  I know that burden can be heavy, and he has few he can really share it with.  My church is currently looking for a pastor, and some think I should put my name in  the hat.  But with my health situation, it would be extremely risky to do that.  I am praying about it, and would appreciate your prayers as well.  My wife she would not make a good pastors wife, but I believe she would be a real blessing in that role.

The teachers are the grass roots of all of the gifts to the church.  Sunday school teachers instruct by age group.  And they are truly gifted at what they do.  Putting together a lesson plan that will reach inside a 5 year old’s heart and mind in an hour a week is something that would be foreign to me.   I applaud all the teachers.  They deserve our utmost respect.  The office of teacher can also be similar to an evangelist, going to various churches and instructing in he ways of the kingdom.  I believe this is my calling at this time.

I also believe God can move us from one of these offices to another as it suits His purpose.  We need to be open to where God is leading us on a regular basis, and not get so stuck in our ways that He can’t move us to the next office.  Only our pride can keep us from accepting that call, and we all know how bad that is!  Be ready to hear the call of God and obey.

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The offices listed above had a specific purpose, which is outlined in verse 12.  I am going to look at each of these three statements separaelty, then bring them together.

For the perfecting of saints.  How many of you will raise your hands and say you are perfect?  Christ told us to be perfect (Matt 5:48), so why aren’t we all raising our hands right now?  I believe it’s because the art of perfection in God’s kingdom is  an ongoing journey.  2 Cor 3:18 puts it this way: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  If we are open and maintain a teachable, humble spirit ,then God will bring us closer and closer to the perfection He ordained in us through Christ.  Each of the offices are involved n bringing people closer to that perfection

For the work of the ministry involves revealing to us the ministry that God has for each one of us as individuals.  You do have a work of ministry hat is specifically d signed for you.  It might be one of the five-fold ministries above, or it might not.  The work of the ministry tales on all different tasks.  Worship leaders,  band members, deacons, elders, ushers are all in a specific ministry.  But so are custodians, grounds keepers, cooks, and play ground monitors.  One I left specifically for last,  because I believe they are the  most critical ministry i any church  is the prayer warrior.  I know several who have this role, and I admire their dedication to prayer.  They are unsung heroes, except in God’s eyes.  Whatever your ministry is, it’s no less important than anyone else’s.  You are vital in His kingdom, and in the church.

For the Edifying of the body of Christ.  Now we bring the other two together and see the whole purpose.  The five-fold  ministry is given so that the saints will be perfected, that they might do the work of their ministry and edify the body of Christ.  It is all one thought.  There is no other purpose for these gifts.  They are not given to raise me up and bring me gory.  They are not given for entertainment.  They are not given so that their ministry can become large and famous.  They are given to build up (edify) the body of Christ through the work of the ministry that is  being perfected.

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

I realize this has been a long post, so I will try to be brief on this last verse.  The whole purpose is unity of our faith, and knowledge of Jesus Christ,  It’s all about Jesus.  If you ever have a person supposedly fulfilling one of the offices listed, and they are not exalting  Jesus, get away from them.  The sole purpose of these five offices is to bring us into a measure of the fullness of Christ.  His desire is for us to come to perfection.  That should be our goal as well.


If you have friends that might enjoy this type of Bible Study, please recommend this blog or reblog this post.  I believe it can minister to many in the church.  I hope you feel that same way.


Unity and Grace

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul wants to make sure that the Ephesians understand there’s only one God. Ephesus was where the temple of Diana was, and she was the God that most of them worshiped. Now Paul is telling them that his God is the one true God.  This was a very big change for them that is why Paul emphasizes the singularity of God.

He then says there is one body. By this he is talking about the church. Today we see the church split into hundreds of denominations, but it is still one body in God’s eyes. You might not know it by all the different doctrines that are running around. And you might not recognize it because the church unfortunately it’s not that much different than the world in many cases. Many churches have taken stances on social issues that contradict the Bible. A church based on Christ would never contradict the Bible. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is one body, one Church. We always have to remember that we have brothers and sisters in Christ. I would love to see the church unite and then start talking about moral issues.
There is one spirit.  The Holy Spirit is sent from God to come into each one of our lives when we get saved. There is one Lord – that is Jesus Christ Our Lord. It is one faith. We are all Christians. We call ourselves by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. There is one baptism. We are all baptized into Christ. When the old man goes do into the water he dies, and the new man comes out. And there is one God who we call Father. He is above all and He is in us all and He works through each and every one of us. The Ephesians have to come to grips with the fact that there is only one God and he is above all the others.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

I put verse seven by itself because it fits better that way and because  verse 7 gives us a whole lot of information. We are all given grace. By now, after our study of Philippians and this far through Ephesians, you should know that everything you’ve been given by God you’re supposed to give away. God does not give us his grace so that we can hold on to it and not do anything with it. He wants us to experience His grace in our lives and apply it to the areas where it needs to be applied, but then He wants us to give grace to those around us.
So how do I give grace? Well it starts by loving your neighbor as yourself. It starts by forgiving those that have wronged you. It begins when you take interest in those that are less fortunate than you are. It begins when it doesn’t matter to you if your favorite NFL team is playing in the afternoon and you also know that somebody need your help – you pick the helping part. The grace that He gives us is in high demand!  We must give it to other people. Now keep in mind that He talks says according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Some people may receive a larger portion of this grace to give away and you should never ever be jealous of that person.  Just because he’s helping other people faster than you are doesn’t mean you’re any less important to the kingdom of God.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

This is a very interesting scripture and I am not goiing spend a whole lot of time on it. It says He ascended up on high and led captivity captive and then gave gifts to men.  Verse 9 and 10 clarify that statement He led captivity captive a little bit because they mention that He descended into the lower parts of the Earth before He ascended to heaven. There are many who believe that Christ went down to Hell to get the keys of death and hell. This was not the time to open the gates, but it will be coming. I kind of like that interpretation of these verses.  One day we will rise to meet Him in the air but until that day we have to carry on do our best to bring others to Him.


Walk Worthy

Ephesians 4:1-3

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

When I first read this verse quickly, I have to ask myself how can I possibly walk worthy of all that God has done for me? When I was a young Christian I thought this would be impossible. But as I grow in the Lord I realized that nothing God tells us to do is impossible. Therefore there must be a way to walk worthy in God’s eyes. So we have to try to see ourselves through God’s eyes, and figure out what it would take for us individually to walk worthy in the vocation where we’re called.

The important thing to remember in this is he is talking about walking in your vocation. Do you attribute your job situation as a blessing from God? Do you thank God for the job that you have, which is the vocation that you have? The first thing we have to do is acknowledge that God has put us where He wants us. The vocation that you are called into is the job that you currently have. If God opens up a door for a different vocation, than that is where you’re called. So now we can put this in a little more perspective. He wants us to walk worthy in a job situation, or in a ministry.
What exactly does that mean? There are many admonitions in the Bible to obey those in authority over you. Are you praying for your bosses and not talking about them behind their back?  Are you doing the tasks that they give you as good as you possibly can? If you are then you’re walking worthy. Do you always get there on time and not take extra time for breaks or lunch?  Do you respect your time when you’re using the computer? If you are then you’re walking worthy. Do you do the task your given without grumbling or complaining and do you do them to the very best of your ability each and every time? If you do then you’re walking worthy.
You see it is a testimony to the world when we work hard and do it with joy. People notice and they will ask, especially if you have a difficult boss and difficult coworkers. Now if you happen to be the boss, walking worthy entails being respectful to your employees, treating them as you would want to be treated, and supplying them tasks that they can accomplish. The work that we do, the vocation we have, should be a testimony to the Lord and should bring him glory. Remember we are a light on a hill, and God says we should  do our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. When we do that we’re walking worthy

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Now here’s the hard part.  You might be doing all those things above, but are you doing them with loneliness, which is humility? Are you not being prideful about them, but doing them in a total sense of servitude, not looking for any Glory or any praise.  You are just making sure you’re getting the job done. Are you doing your job or your vocation with meekness. I define meekness as having the power but knowing where it comes from. The power comes from God and it is not ours. When we are meek we are not showing off and being boastful because it is God that supplies our strength and not us.
The next one is longsuffering, or patience. Do you have patience with your coworkers when they might not get a piece of work done that needs to get done before you can proceed? Do you have patience to carry out a task,  or maybe a machine is broken down, or your computer doesn’t want to work right? Do you have patience with you boss?  Or if you’re the boss, with your employees?  Can have patience with their imperfections, because we all have them. And forbearing one another in love.  Do you see others as more important than yourself?  Do you try to solve disagreements instead of causing disagreements?  Do you put up with all the other people’s imperfections?  Remember that they have to put up with yours! And all of these things should be done in love. Remember it’s a testimony to the lost.

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

And why do we have to do all these things? To keep Unity. Whether it’s in the church or in the workplace, we have to do everything we can to bring peace to that atmosphere. Remember as Christians we have been given a peace that passes all understanding. We should carry that with us wherever we go. If it’s in the church then we must make sure that we are an element of Peace, not partition.  We must make sure that we are not causing conflict in our church, or in our home, or n our workplace. When Paul talks about walking worthy of the vocation that we’re called, this is relevant to the church and the workplace and the family. In each one we have a different calling, a different vocation, and we have a responsibility to carry it out. The way that we carry it out will either bring unity or division. Let’s make sure that we’re bringing unity in all of our situations. That will be a much better testimony for God.


All About Love

Ephesians 3:17-19

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. I have talked to so many people and told them how Christ changed my life. Some of them will tell me that they were glad that I found religion, but it was my decision to make these changes that made the difference. That is so untrue. They just don’t understand the difference that Christ makes when we accept him into our hearts by faith. Faith in the transforming power of Jesus Christ, and the fact that he comes and dwells within us when we ask him to, is the power behind the transformation in a Christian. And it doesn’t just last for a few days. It lasts the rest of our lives. As long as we have a desire to grow, God will continue to move in our lives and increase our faith and our knowledge of Him. By faith Christ lives in our hearts.

 We Are rooted and grounded in love. If your spiritual walk is not rooted and grounded in love then you’re going the wrong direction. Jesus and God are all about love. It was God’s love that sent Jesus to this earth. And it was Jesus love that brought Him to the cross. We need to be all about love. Everything we do for Christ needs to be about love.

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

Do you comprehend what is a breath, the length, the depth, and the height of that love? How far do we really need to reach in love?  God reached all the way down from heaven! Should we do any less?  Can you tell me anybody that you know that doesn’t need love?  Our mission, and God’s will, is that we spread the love of Christ to all we meet.If we don’t understand how far we need to reach out and love then we will never reach far enough. God requires us to reach out to everybody and share His love. That’s what we have to comprehend. Now I don’t know that I will ever be able to fully comprehend why he loves us so much. I mean, we are His creation but we are so undeserving of His love. I was a wretched sinner before I came to Christ. I did not deserve any bit of His love. But He loved me while I was still a sinner. How much more should I love others on this Earth with the love He has given to me.  He did not give me His love to just hold onto it.  He gave me His love to share!

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

I need to know the love of Christ. It is much more important than knowledge. I was one who strove after knowledge when I got saved. I started reading the Bible and reading all the books. I started studying my Bible, doing word studies and history studies. I started listening to all kinds of preachers to learn more and more. I got so stoked up with knowledge that I also got full of pride. I was so concerned with gaining knowledge that I forgot to apply the love that God told me to have for those around me. See it’s much more important to know the love of Christ and to practice love with those around us then it is to have knowledge. If you are striving after knowledge I suggest you start striving after love instead.
If we know the love of Christ then we can be filled with the fullness of God.  That is because God is all about love. I want to be filled with God’s fullness. I want everything I can get from God and sometimes that will mean getting into difficult situations. Those situations are my proving ground and my training ground. That’s where God sees what I’m made, and He can see if I would treat other people with love even if they’re coming against me. Those are the times that God really knows what we’re made of.