Thank You Father, for Your Word. I thank You for the message You have given us for 2018.
I pray that today, Your Word would come forth and speak to us that we might hear, understand, and develop in You, Lord. Our desire is to prepare our hearts for Your work this year. Let Your Word have its way in us and in our lives. Holy Spirit, come and be
our Teacher. Come and open our hearts and minds to receive the treasures of Your Word. In Your precious and Holy Name, amen.
We have spent months studying one of the most important books of the Bible. If we had access to only one of Paul’s
epistles, today I’d say it is kind of a toss-up between Galatians, Ephesians and Romans, because they each lay such a solid foundation for our walk. We could chew on the meat contained within these three epistles day after day, month after month, year
During my time away, I began studying Ephesians and Galatians; I am going to incorporate some of this here, especially in light of what we are seeing today with the Unity Movement. We need to understand what caused
Martin Luther to take his 95 Thesis and nail it on the door of that church 500 years ago. We need to grasp hold of the revelation he gained, pouring over the scriptures—this is a man who was tormented deep within. He knew there was more to God, he knew
that Jesus was a man, but God did come as a man, did He not? As Jesus. He knew intimately what we were experiencing. Jesus came, He walked this earth, He died on the cross and He rose again that we might have life. Not just life abundantly, not just eternal
life, but infinite relationship with God. That is what Jesus provided: our salvation and an intimate relationship with God.
Martin Luther poured over the book of Ephesians and the Lord exposed the
truths contained therein. Through the Word, Martin learned that we are not saved by works, we do not receive forgiveness upon completion of a confessional, nor are we saved because we donate money to a church. Our loved ones are not granted a heavenly eternity
due to a deposit of gold or silver into the treasure chests of the church. We are saved by grace and grace alone. How? Through faith. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
given to each a measure of faith. He deposited it within us when we were formed in our mother’s womb and our cells began to multiply. Faith is a part of us at the cellular level. It is part of the fabric of who we are. God has given to each
a measure of faith! It may seem dormant, but there is that moment, that divinely appointed time when faith is ignited and that is the moment we turn to God and finally bow the knee.
was created to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. When he wrote his letters to the Romans, the Ephesians, the Galatians, and the Colossians, one of the key elements he was dealing with was the merging of the doctrines. The Judaizers were certain Jews who had
incorporated Jesus into their belief system, insisting that the Gentiles who want to enter into the fullness of salvation be circumcised and enter under the Law of Moses. It was a merging of their belief system into a new religion.
Paul understood the Jews better than anyone—remember, he was saved by the Lord Jesus Himself while carrying his letters to Damascus to arrest the Christians—he understood the heart of one fighting for what he believed.
Paul was not just a Jew, he was a zealot. He thoroughly knew what we call the Old Testament, as he was trained from very young, and he believed that by pursuing the Christians, he was carrying out the will of God. He believed it with all of his heart so when
Jesus appeared to him and said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” (Acts Chapter 9) he fell on his face before the Lord and the faith that had been imparted to him was ignited—he saw the truth of the Gospel and that truth set him free!
They took him into the city and he neither drank nor ate for three days! Ananias, sent there by God, came in fearful but obedient. Why? Because Saul had been persecuting and arresting Christians. However, the
Lord instructed Ananias to go and pray for him. Saul, who would from this point be called Paul, needed confirmation of what God was doing and Ananias’ obedience allowed the scales to fall from Paul’s eyes, completing the work the Lord had done
in him during those three days he was without sight.
Just like Jonah in the belly of a whale, God did significant work in him while he was in the belly of darkness for three days. A zealot entered but three
days later a humbled man with a passion for the Gospel exited. Galatians teaches us that Paul was taught by the revelation of Jesus Christ for three years. What does that mean? Jesus personally taught Paul, bringing forth powerful revelations of His Word in
preparation for the ministry he was called to. When Paul’s time was complete, he launched out in ministry.
To be continued next week…
Blessings and Love,