The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST-PART II (Hebrew 5:5-6; 7:1-8)

OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST-PART II (Hebrew 5:5-6; 7:1-8)

June 5, 2022

OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST-PART II (Hebrews 5:5-6; 7:1-8)

Sometimes, people say that Protestant denominations like Baptists, or Methodists, or Presbyterians don’t believe in priests.  Oh, but we do! We have a great high priest, and His name is Jesus.

Now, God wants us to learn, and so God gives us His Word, the Bible. The Bible is a great book in many ways, and it has many figures, pictures, and illustrations to help us learn about God.  One such illustration of Jesus as our high priest is a man named Melchizedek, and he has a lot to do with you.  He is a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament that pictured and prophesied our Savior in the New Testament and for ever and ever.  I say, he pictures Jesus, however, he may indeed have been Jesus. Some expositors believe that Melchizedek was just another name for a pre-incarnate appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ when Jesus came to earth and appeared for a little while and then went back to heaven before His birth at Bethlehem. Now, whether or not Melchizedek was a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus, or whether he was just an incredible, wonderful illustration and picture of the Lord Jesus, the truth is there that when we learn about Melchizedek, we’re going to learn about our High Priest, Jesus Christ.

Now, you may feel that you don’t need a high priest, but you do. A high priest is a mediator. You see, a priest is someone who can bring God to you and someone who can go to God for you. Now isn’t that what you need? Don’t you need somebody who will bring God, and make Him real to you, and mediate Him to you? And don’t you need somebody who can plead your case for you? Well, that is a priest. That is our great high priest, the Lord Jesus.

Click on the link to hear a message on how we protestants find out that we do have a priest, and He is so much better than any earthly priest.  Better than Aaron, and better than any other local priest at a church.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 4:13-5:4)

JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 4:13-5:4)

May 29, 2022

Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest, that is the role that Christ is playing in our lives today.  He has completed His work of salvation, and now He is in heaven as our Great High Priest.  

In the Old Testament, one of the functions of the priest was to hear the confession of sins so that a sacrifice could be made to obtain forgiveness of that sin.  Un-confessed sin was and is a burden upon the person who sins.  However, as a believer that has made Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, in this age of grace, we know that all of our sins have already been forgiven.  We already know that we will not have to face the penalty of our sin, for Christ has already done that for us.  Yet, sin is still a burden on our spirit, and we are certainly told to confess our sins. 

We confess our sins out of obedience and a desire for cleansing.  If we do not acknowledge our sin, it becomes like a malignancy which spreads to consume our energy, our spiritual zeal, and it is always present with us draining our ambition to serve the Lord.  It robs us of the joy of being in God’s will, and for the Christian, being in God’s will is the zone, it is that special place we want to be.

Hebrews 4:16
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
KJV

This is telling us that we can come with great freedom unto the Throne of Grace.  We can speak freely to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can tell Him things we wouldn’t tell anyone else.  He already knows everything there is to know about us, so why not speak freely with Him.  Christ understands us; He knows all of our weaknesses.  And when we approach that throne of Grace it is so “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We can come with full confidence that He will hear us, and He wants to extend to us His Grace, and Mercy, when we are in a time of need.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the fact that our sin is not a secret, God sees it all, and God expects us to confess that sin.  The message today is about the One who now stands in the office of High Priest, and to whom we must confess.  Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the Supreme High Priest.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

THE WORD OF GOD (Hebrews 4:8-12)

THE WORD OF GOD (Hebrews 4:8-12)

May 15, 2022

God’s favorite characterization of His Book is the phrase, “The Word of God.” God’s favorite title for the Bible is the Word of God.  Did you know that nowhere in the Bible will you find that God calls this book “The Bible?”  Now, I am not saying that the Bible is not an appropriate title for this book, because it is.  It recognized the world over as God’s book.  Yet, it is not what the Bible calls itself.  Over and over and over again you can find where the Bible calls itself the Word of God. 

Now, that’s very important because when it is the Word of God, then it is what? God speaking. Now, if it is God speaking, then we have to pay attention to it. You see, God gave the same name to His own dear Son. Jesus Christ is called the same thing that the Bible is called. Jesus is called the Word of God. For example, in Revelation 19, verse 13, speaking of Jesus when he comes again:

Rev 19:13
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
KJV

Now, that’s also very important because the character of both are linked together. The Bible is called the Word of God; Jesus Christ is called the Word of God. One is the written word; the other is the living word. The Bible is the Word of the Lord, and Jesus is the Lord of the Word. And so, the living word, Jesus, honors the written word. The written word, the Bible, presents the living word, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Click on the link below to hear a message that tells us there is no way possible that you are going to be a growing Christian if you neglect the one book that God has provided to give you energy, power, sustenance, and strength, wisdom, knowledge, and faith; and that book is, the Word of God.  If you do not spend time daily in the Word of God, then you cannot lead a victorious Christian life.  

Amen.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church in Wichita, KS.

THE PERIL OF UNBELIEF (Hebrews 3:13 to 4:7)

THE PERIL OF UNBELIEF (Hebrews 3:13 to 4:7)

May 8, 2022

Have you ever asked yourself what is one of the most serious sins that we as either, a lost person, or a believer, can commit against God?  As a believer, we know that our salvation is secure, we cannot lose it no matter what we do, but we can still sin.  So, what do you think would be one of the worst sins that a believer could commit? Murder, lying, stealing, adultery, worshipping idols, all very serious, but what could be more serious?

The sin of unbelief, the sin of not trusting God with your whole life, is one of the most serious sins that a believer can commit.  It is serious because your unbelief will keep God from using you to do His work, and from blessing you.  A Christian that does not trust God, is totally useless.  For the lost person, unbelief is even more tragic and dangerous.  It is the one sin that will close the door to salvation.  Unbelief leads to denial and rejection of God, which leads to judgment and an eternity in darkness without God.

The writer of Hebrews is warning believers not to make the same mistake.  Don’t doubt God.  Come enjoy the rest of obedience, the rest of enjoyment of a Christian life.  Learn what it is to have the full joy that comes with being in the Will of God.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the great failure of believers today is unbelief.  They have received the rest of salvation, but they have not trusted God to do everything He says He will do.  They still want to handle their problems all on their own.  They have not found the peace and comfort, the rest, that comes from living a life of obedience and faith.  The rest of obedience that an all powerful God can give you.  

Amen.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church in Wichita, KS.

THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION (Proverbs 18:21-22)

THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION (Proverbs 18:21-22)

November 28, 2021

Outside of loving the Lord, I believe communication is one of the most important things in our homes.  Whether it is between you and your spouse, your children, your married kids and their spouses, or just people that you know, how you communicate is very important to that relationship.  

Now, it may be that you think you married the wrong person, but it may also be that you have not married the wrong woman at all. It may be, instead, that you never really learned how to communicate with your wife and vice versa.  I am convinced that the number one problem in marriage is communication. Now, whether you’re married or not, let me just say one of the biggest problems in life is communication, because many times, whether it is with our spouse, or our family, or our friends, many of us deliberately miscommunicate.

Prov 18:21-22
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.
KJV

The highest form of fulfillment is sharing with someone else.  Being fulfilled is not having things; it’s not doing things; it is sharing, whether that be with God or with someone else. Sharing is the highest form of communication.

Click on the link below to hear a message about what the Bible says about the power of communication.  The secret to communication with anyone that you care about is to first get right with Jesus Christ.  Accept Him, accept that He has accepted you, accept yourself, then accept others as Christ has accepted you.  The power of communication is not about power at all, it is about using communication to share your love with others, the same love that Christ has shared with you.  

Amen.

DISHARMONY IN THE HOME (Proverbs 15:13-22)

DISHARMONY IN THE HOME (Proverbs 15:13-22)

November 7, 2021

When a man and woman are married, there is to be what is called the “The Music of Marriage.” You have the husband, or the father, who is the leader of the band.  It is the father who sets tune in the home. He is the leader of the band.  Now the Music of Marriage requires that there be “Harmony in the Home,” and if there is to be harmony in the home, then husbands and wives must sing the same song, but they sing different parts. That’s what makes it harmonious, and not a mere melody, but wonderful harmony.  

Now, this harmonious Music of Marriage occurs when we play the part that God has equipped us to play. So, husbands and wives are singing different parts of the same song, but hopefully they are singing in the right rhythm, so they sing it together. But, the message today is on this subject: “Disharmony in the Home” I’m really talking about tension in the home, and what can we do to deal with it.  How can we have the harmonious music of marriage that God wants us to have?

As a young man I tried to learn to play the guitar, and I have dabbled trying to play the piano.  I was not successful in either endeavor.  I can’t seem to tap my foot to keep time and play the notes at the same time, and a metronome drives me crazy.  But, playing the guitar did teach me a few things besides having sore fingertips.  I learned that in order for the music coming from the guitar to sound harmonious, each of the strings have to be in tune.  Now, to tune those strings you have to adjust the tension on it.  If the string is not tight enough, then the music is flat and dull.  But, if the string is too tight, then the music is shrill and high-pitched. But if the string is even tighter, the string will snap.    

One of the major obstacles to the harmonious Music of Marriage is tension in the home caused by stress and strife. Stress is related to raising your voice, to raising your pulse, and raising your children. Listen, if you’ve got children, then you have stress just built in, and being in today’s home, the string can get mighty tight, and sometimes it can snap.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how God intends for you to deal with the stress in your home, and how you can have that harmonious Music of Marriage that God wants for your home.  

Amen.

TO WALK GOD’S PATH (Proverbs 3:23-35)

TO WALK GOD’S PATH (Proverbs 3:23-35)

May 2, 2021

God wants us, as believers, to be free from the bondage of the world so that we might live a life that follows God’s chosen path for us.  But, have you ever asked yourself, how do we walk that path, and what should we expect as we walk that path?  That is the focus of today’s message, what does God’s Word say about what it is like to walk God’s chosen path for each of us.  God wants you to know that it is a peaceful life.  It is peaceful in the good times, and it is peaceful in times of stress. 

God’s path requires that you give the Lord your love and loyalty, and to put Christ first in all that we do. If we do these things, then we will have God’s peace.  As a result, we know that, come what may, all will be well.  There is no greater gift this side of Heaven than to have the peace of God standing watch over our hearts. 

Phil 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
KJV

When we walk along God’s path for our lives, His wisdom tells us that we can have peace in good times and times of stress because we know the place where faith stands:

Prov 3:26
26 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
KJV

Faith takes its stand in the Lord.  Never believe that this struggle between good and evil, light and darkness, and truth versus lie, is a mighty battle between equals.  It is not.  It is not even close.  God is the omnipotent, omniscient, Creator of all things.  He has but to speak and all evil is defeated.   

Click on the link below to hear a message on what we should expect when we walk God’s path for our lives. The answer is that God does not ask us to walk that path without His promises to bless us with His wisdom and power to succeed on our course. The key to finding these promises, and to accomplishing His will, is to put Christ first in all things, and to hold dearly to the wisdom that comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. 

Amen.

ARE YOU IN FINANCIAL BONDAGE (Proverbs 3:7-10)

ARE YOU IN FINANCIAL BONDAGE (Proverbs 3:7-10)

April 11, 2021

Have you ever had a time when you were sitting there working through paying your bills, and you just thought “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never have to worry about whether there would be enough?”  What if something happened to my health, or a family member’s health?  What about losing my job, with no prospects of finding another?  What if your brother-in-law came back, again, needing to borrow more money?  I mean, he is your wife’s only brother, and it really doesn’t matter that he has never paid back the other loans you have made to him.

One of the leading causes of divorce is financial stress.  If you allow it to, worrying about having enough money to meet your needs can consume you.  Dreaming about financial freedom is a natural result of that worry.

God knows that these things are all true, problems occur, you have needs, and so the question is, what does God have to say in His word about true Financial Freedom?  Does God have a financial plan for you and your family?  Well, of course He does.  God has a plan for every aspect of your life, and your finances are part of His plan.

Well, in this section of verses God has a very important message for each of us, as believers.  God wants you to know that He has a plan for you, and His plan for you is not to be in bondage; God’s plan is for you to have liberty and freedom. God does not want His children in bondage to anything or anybody other than the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you’re in bondage to the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s perfect liberty, for the Bible says,

John 8:36
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
KJV

Click on the link below to hear a message on how you can determine if you are out of God’s will for your life and in financial bondage.  God loves you and He does not want you to be in bondage.

Amen.

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE (John 16:25-33)

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE (John 16:25-33)

April 4, 2020

We are certainly living in a difficult time. We face a deadly enemy. It is silent and invisible. It moves from one person to the next, often without the host even knowing that they are a carrier of this enemy. It appears to randomly select how it will affect each of the people it attacks. Some will have mild symptoms, while others will die within days of the enemy attacking them. Much of the fear it causes is because of the unknown qualities of this enemy. How will I catch it, who will give it to me, and what will it do to me if I catch it? This fear has caused almost a complete shutdown of our worldwide economy and way of life.

We all deal with difficult times in different ways. Some face them head on, and some try to run from them. Some will share their feelings and hardships openly, while others will keep them inside. Some will depend on family and friends for support, while others chose to face these challenges alone.

As Christians we have something that others do not. We have the power and presence of the Holy Spirit of God residing in our hearts and lives. We never have to face these challenges on our own, and we never have to fear them, for we have the almighty Spirit of God to face these difficult times with us. We are never alone. If you have made Jesus Christ your Lord and Master, and then, if you have taken the next step and made the Holy Spirit, not just a resident in your heart, but the President of your life, then you have the strength, the wisdom, and the presence of the Holy God to get you through any challenge, and any trial.

But most of all, we have the knowledge that God determines when we live, and when we die. This enemy is not invisible to God. He sees it plainly. He decides when there is more for us to do to fulfill His purposes, and He decides when it is time for us to come home to be with Him. God is in control. Trust in God, and you will never be alone again.

Click on the link below to hear a message where Jesus tells us not to fear tragedies such as this virus that is attacking our very way of life. He says plainly that we are to be at peace, because He has already overcome the world.

John 16:33
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
KJV

We have nothing to fear because Jesus has already overcome the world.

Amen.

TRUST IN JESUS (John 6:25-36)

TRUST IN JESUS (John 6:25-36)

January 27, 2019

Have you been looking for true happiness, true joy, true peace, and just not been able to find it? It is because you are looking for the wrong things in the wrong places. If you want true happiness, and joy, and peace, then trust in Jesus Christ.

Happiness, joy, blessedness, and satisfaction, are never things that you find by searching for them. They are the things that you stumble over when you serve the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to seek Him preeminently. It is Jesus that you need, and it is in Jesus that you will find all that you have been searching for.

The people of this world want fame. They want fortune. They want friends. They want fashion, and they want fitness. Jesus tells us that they are seeking after the wrong things. Yet, these are the things that most people want. They are what they seek most of all in their lives. Jesus tells us that they are looking for satisfaction in the wrong places. Listen now, none of these are wrong in themselves. Fame and food and fashion and fitness and friends, they're all fine in their place, as long as that place is second place.

Matt 6:33
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
KJV

Jesus tells us to seek God first, seek God preeminently, and all the things that God has planned for you shall be added unto you.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to find the satisfaction, the happiness and joy, that you have been searching for. Most people today are working hard at changing their lives, trying to make them better using the things of the secular world, but all they are doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. All they are interested in is making the world a better place to go to hell from. What our Lord Jesus Christ is offering, is everlasting life. He is talking about getting a person saved. Jesus is spiritual bread that gives everlasting life.

It is in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone, that you will find what you are looking for.

Amen.

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION (Revelation 1:4-8)

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION (Revelation 1:4-8)

March 19, 2017

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION

In the day of text messaging, Skype, Instagram, Snapchat, emoji’s, and Twitter, the art of writing a salutation to a letter is not even a concept that is used. The word salutation is defined as a greeting at the beginning of a letter, or even at a meeting of two, or more, people. In today’s text world, it would be something like saying "Hey, 😊." However, prior to the advent of email, when letters and snail mail, ruled the day, the words at the beginning such as Dear Mr. Jennings, or To whom it may concern, were used as salutations. Often it extended into the first sentence or two and it let people know who the letter was written to and why they were getting it.

In the day of the New Testament writers, the salutation was important for establishing who the letter was being written to, who it was being written by, as well as the authority for the words of the letter. The New Testament books were often written as letters that were carried from church to church, read by the messenger to the congregation, and then sent on to the next church. Establishing the authority of writer, be it the apostle Paul, or Peter, or John, or any of the other writers was incredibly important to the people hearing the letter read to them.

As appropriate for a book that describes the Almighty God’s plan for the consummation of the ages, the salutation of the Book of Revelation is important for us to read, and it sets the stage for all that comes after it.

Here is the message that we have before us today. Jesus is coming again, and it may happen at any moment. And when it does, you will be caught unaware. You may be living the successful life of this world. You may not even know about the sufferings of the Lord Jesus when He came the first time as the Savior of the world. You may even use His name in vain. This is your hour, but one of these days, the hour of the Lord will come.

1 Tim 6:15
15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
KJV

John declares the victory from the beginning of the book. It is no mystery. You don’t have to skip ahead and read the last chapter to find out how things are going to work out. He says, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Click on this link to hear a podcast describe the salutation of the Book of Revelation written by the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE (2 Peter 3:13-18)

GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE (2 Peter 3:13-18)

February 19, 2017

In this final lesson of our study of the book of 2 Peter, Peter will complete his exhortation to believers. He has told us what authentic Christianity is. He has warned us about apostates, and their false doctrines, who want to distract, disrupt, and destroy, the efforts of true believers to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. He has reminded us of the promises of the Second Coming of our Lord and the new heavens and the new earth that will be our home in the day of God. And then he has said that knowing these things to be true, we are to be found blameless and without spot, as we work diligently to accomplish the tasks that the Lord has given us. The corrupt and tragic events of today’s world are not what our eyes should be focused on, but on the coming of our Lord.

In the nineteenth century, there was a world famous tightrope walker by the name of Charles Blondin. He would stretch his tightropes across great structures and natural wonders. One was Niagara Falls. When the press was interviewing him, they asked him how he could do this, how did he keep from falling or getting distracted. His response was, “When you see my tightrope set up someplace, look at the platform at the other end. Above that platform is a great big silver star. I keep my eyes focused on that star and I do not look away.”

This is the lesson that Peter has for us as we close out this wonderful epistle, keep your eyes focused on the coming of our Lord. In fact, look beyond that day to the day when Jesus Christ will create a new heaven and a new earth that we will spend eternity with Him on and in. Focus on that day and do not look away to the things that are happening all around you.

Listen to this podcast as we discuss how the world is full of darkness. Yet, it is the light of Jesus Christ that should occupy your mind and heart. Join us next week as we begin a study of the book of Revelation. We are in the last days, and it is important we understand what the Bible says so can be ready and encouraged by Who is coming.

THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

October 10, 2016
We live in a world full of apostasy.  False teachings abound.  Satan is seeking to destroy the church from within.  The Christian life is more than just a birth.  It is a growth, and it is a development.  The key to a victorious Christian life in the midst of apostasy is found in the last verse of the book of 2 Peter. 

2 Peter 3:18
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
KJV

You will not be able to live for God unless you have a knowledge of the Word of God.  Yet, we need to have more than simple knowledge about Christ, the kind of knowledge we find in a library book.  Rather, we are to have a super knowledge of Jesus.  To have this kind of knowledge of Christ is to know Him better than your closest loved one.  To know Him, is to know life eternal.  First comes salvation by the grace of God, then as we begin to know Jesus, we gain peace in Jesus.  

In our lesson today, we find that in just the first two verses of this book we are told of some truly marvelous benefits of being a Christian.  We have a like precious faith, made precious by the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is through our faith in Christ that we have obtained all the righteousness of God.  Our sins have been wiped clean, and we have a standing before God as completely righteous.  Then, by the grace of God we obtained our salvation, and being justified by God’s grace we can have the peace of God because we have a super-natural knowledge of God.  We have a personal relationship with the Creator of all things, the almighty God.  But not just any personal relationship, we know Christ better than we know our own spouse because the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts.  He constantly speaks to us of the things that Christ tells Him to share with us, and He speaks to us when we are all alone.  

Amazing, huh?  Listen to this new series of podcasts to see the rest of what God has in store for us in this little book.
THE KEYS TO A HAPPY LIFE (1 Peter 3:8-12)

THE KEYS TO A HAPPY LIFE (1 Peter 3:8-12)

July 24, 2016
When I chose the title to this lesson, I decided to do an internet search on the phrase, The keys to a happy life.  If you can imagine, there were lots of people out there who are ready to tell you what the keys to a happy life are.  I saw titles like, 14 keys to a happy life, 10 keys to happier living, 21 keys to a happy life, and one from Psychology Today saying The key to living a happy life today.  As I looked at these my first thought was that for there to be so many results in this internet search, there must be a lot of people looking for happiness.  That may seem obvious, and I didn’t need to an internet search to know that this was true, it was just a confirmation of my thoughts.  Happiness, true happiness, can be elusive in this secular world that we live in.  

The thing that all of these sites had in common was that it hinged on you, how you thought about events, what you focused your thoughts on, how you were to let the less important things go by and not worry about them.  Living for the “now” as one site put it.  It was all about you, and what you could do for yourself.  You were in control of your happiness, and I am not going to deny that some of this is true, we are in control of how we deal with life’s tragedies.  But the wonderful thing about being a Christian is that we don’t have to face life alone.  We have the Holy Spirit of God living within us.  We have His power to depend on.  We have His wisdom to guide us, and we have His love and joy to fill our lives with true happiness.  Yet, many Christians totally ignore this benefit, and look to the secular world for their happiness.  If I were to be able to see the hits on those search results, I would bet you find just as many Christians looking at them as you do non-Christians.  

Let me tell you something really important here, they are all looking in the wrong place.  There is no true, eternal, happiness away from God.  He alone can give us the type of joy that overwhelms us.  We just have to look to Him for that happiness which already exists within us.  The wonderful good news is that we already have the key to happiness within us, we just have to activate it.  So in today’s lesson we are going to close out this section on how a Christian is to live a life of submission to the various authorities and laws with the goals of glorifying God and winning others to Christ, and then we are going to talk about God’s five keys to a believer’s happy life.  I say a believer’s happy life, for it is only the believer that has the Holy Spirit of God living within them.  

How many men and women today, who are involved in living for the things of this world, suddenly wake up and find that it’s not worth it? Life is monotonous, and life is not worth it. No wonder they commit suicide in growing numbers every day.  It is not until you come into a right relationship with God that you can live life to its fullest, and find the happiness that we all seek after.  
REDEMPTION THROUGH GRACE (1 Peter 1:2c-d)

REDEMPTION THROUGH GRACE (1 Peter 1:2c-d)

January 24, 2016
So when we are facing times of terrible persecution, or difficult trials, when things are so bad that they are out of our ability to control, what are you most grateful for?

Certainly, I am grateful for a loving God who cares for me, watches over me, and provides for me.  I am grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit living within me.  I am grateful for the promises of God that we find in His word, such as, that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So this verse is interesting because it doesn’t promise that all things work together for the good of all men, it puts a qualifier on this promise.  What is that qualifier?

You have to be someone who loves God, and someone who is called according to His purpose.  This means that if you want to claim the promise of this verse, that no matter what you are going through, that it will work out for your good, then you must meet the requirements of this promise.  And in order to meet those requirements you must be saved, a born again child of God.  

So, the first thing that you need to have in order to face persecution, trials, or difficult times in your life, is the certain knowledge that you have been redeemed by God, and that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Master.  This is the basic minimum for this promise to be true.   

The next most important thing that I believe we need is the grace of God.  When I am facing a difficult time, the one thing that I cherish most from God is His grace.  It is His grace that allows me to be forgiven.  It is His grace that allows me to be justified freely before God.  It is His grace that allows the blood of Christ to wash my sins away, in spite of the sin in my life.  That is God’s grace.  

This leads us to the third thing that we must have to face persecution.  The result of knowing that we are saved, and that God’s grace has been bestowed on us, is the peace of God in our hearts.  When we have God’s peace in our heart, we have comfort in the knowledge of God’s provision for us.  

So salvation, grace, and peace, are what I consider the three most important things that I must know, claim, and be sure of, when I have hard times.  Everything else that God is going to do for me flows from these three Biblical truths.  The presence and power of the Holy Spirit resides in my heart because of the redemption and grace that God has given me, and it is because I am redeemed, and that I am the recipient of God’s grace, that God’s peace is there, as well.   

Listen to this podcast to learn what it means to be redeemed by God, and to have God’s grace and peace, to give us comfort during times of persecution. 
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