A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

 

The Seed of Christ

Jhn 1:13   Which were born, no of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

We’ve all tried to recall our earliest memories.  If we’re honest, not many will be able to summon up reminiscences before age three or four.  Some claim to be able to regress your memory through therapy all the way back to the womb to help you isolate the personality difficulties that may emerge as an adult.  In reality, the only isolation taking place there involves dollars and a wallet. 

Not remembering anything in those formative years does not mean we were not alive.

The scriptures teach the natural birth is the illustration or pattern for our new birth. It comes at a time we don’t know: Jhn 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The spiritual birth is strongly compared to the natural birth.

Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. :4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? :5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. :6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. :7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

We suspect therefore, based on not knowing the time or the season of the new birth, and comparing it to the natural birth, that we are born again and have been so for some time before we are aware of the fact.

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

And, we understand that in the new birth, our old Adamic nature is not repaired, nor is it replaced. Rather, God places His spirit, the regeneration of our soul, the new nature, in beside our old sinful nature. It is this that begins the battle that lasts us the remainder of our time here on earth.

Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. :16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. :17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. :19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. :21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. :22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: :23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. :24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?


So the warfare begins:

Gal 5:16-17 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

But let us keep in mind this is a birth – it’s not a full grown, mature spirit that is placed beside our natural man. It’s not capable of hearing, seeing, understanding or knowing what it one day will. It too must grow.

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

In order to grow, there is a need for the nourishment of spiritual milk, food and exercise.

1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.


And this growth process of the Spirit appears also to last our lifetime:

Phl 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

In a grand sense, God is recreating the birth of Christ in each of His elect children.

And so 1Cr 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Jo 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

As children, we show some attributes of the heavenly parent.

1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

We use the example of being alive for several years before we realize it to convey the meaning of John 3:8. We have been born again and “alive” spiritually for a period of time before we can react to the preached gospel and begin to bear fruit. As we mature and grow, we show evidence of our birth. Love, knowledge, belief and a desire to overcome sin and the world.

1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jo 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.
1Jo 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.


Perhaps this was the Old Testament hint the Lord gave us:

Lev 19:23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
Lev 19:24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD [withal].
Lev 19:25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I [am] the LORD your God.


Brother Royce Ellis
 


The Power of God – His Omnipotence

No doubt there could be and has been volumes written about the power of God. It is not my intent to write all about the power of God (which I am not capable of) but only to introduce the subject and perhaps encourage others to search the scriptures on this very important subject.

Perhaps the most obvious illustration of the power of God is this material universe in which we live. Countless millions of hours of search and research have gone into trying to discover the origins of the universe. God's word plainly tells us, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Creation goes beyond the grasp of human reason, for man has never created anything! To "create" means "to make something from nothing." Only God has this power and amazingly the creation of the universe (as astronomical and magnificent as it appears in our eyes) was not a great exertion of God's power as we read in Psms. 8:3, "When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained." Thus, God only considered the creation of the universe as his "finger" work!

What many people fail to realize is that God's power in creation goes beyond the natural universe in which we dwell. In addition to the natural universe, all of God's children are created when they are "born again" to a spiritual realm. In fact, the new birth is called a creation in Eph. 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Also in II Cor. 5:17 inference is made to those born of the Spirit as being new creatures, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature..."

Next, we see a manifestation of the power of God in the life of Jesus Christ as he lived on the earth. He gave sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, cleansed the lepers, caused the lame to walk, restored the withered limbs, cast out all manners of unclean spirits, and cured diseases of every type. He also raised the dead on three occasions. The disciples marveled when he calmed the stormy sea by simply saying, "peace, be still." The Lord demonstrated power over all things including death: John 10:17, 18, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." In some places in the scriptures it may appear to us that man took Jesus life, but while it was man's intention to do so, yet ultimately Jesus had to lay down his life for him to die, then through the marvelous power that only God possesses he arose a victor over death and the grave on the third day.

Similarly, it took the same power of God to enable us to believe as it took to raise Jesus from the dead: Eph. 1:19, 20, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead..." Thus belief is not something we muster up from our sinful carnal nature, but it is something we possess after God's mighty power has worked on us, both to give us spiritual life (Eph. 2:1, "You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins) and to enable us to believe. Belief, therefore, is an evidence of the working of God's's great power in you. That the power of God is necessary in the giving of eternal life is proven in John 17:2, "As thou hast given him power over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

In addition, the power of God is present when a God called minister preaches the gospel to God's waiting and seeking people: I Thes. 1:5, "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost, and much assurance..." Also we read in Acts 4:33, "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." Have you ever had the preaching of the gospel to stir you into action? If so, then the power of God was working in you to stir you to action. That same power was working in the preacher as he preached the word of God. Just a word of caution here a lot of emotion people feel comes from stories men tell to arouse emotion. This is not the power of God. The power of God is manifested in the preaching of the gospel, not through artificial means to arouse emotion!

We may ask ourselves, "What application does the power of God have to us in our daily lives today?" Major applications are found in contemplation of the "promises of God." For instance, God promised in Psms. 12:6, 7, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Here God promised to preserve his words in a pure form forever. Paul so believed in this promise and ultimately the power of God that he taught a great doctrinal truth based on the preservation of a single letter in Gal. 3:16, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Paul was so convinced of the power and veracity of God that he knew that what he read in the scripture concerning Abraham's "seed" could not possibly have been inadvertently copied that way instead of "seeds."

God has made wonderful promises to us such as:
a. The resurrection of our bodies from the dead (I Cor. 6:14; I Cor.
15).
b. To provide for our natural necessities (Matt. 6:33).
c. To never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
d. To intercede for us (Rom. 8:34).
e. To never withdraw his love from us (Rom. 8:35 39).
f. To care for us (I Pet. 5:7).
g. To help and intercede for our infirmities (Rom. 8:26, 27).
h. To deliver and not forsake us in time of trouble (Job 5:19).
I. To give us a throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find
grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).
j. To give us rest (Matt. 11:28 30).
k. To give us peace (John 14:27).
l. To give us comfort (II Cor. 1:3, 4).
m. To give us hope (Tit. 1:2).
n. To strengthen us (Col. 1:11; Phil. 4:13; Eph. 3:16; I Pet. 5:10).
o. To give us joy (Rom. 5:11).
p. To give us spiritual treasures (Matt. 6:20; Col. 2:3).

When we understand and believe the power of God, then His promises become real to us in our experiences and become a great help, comfort, and encouragement to us as we face the trials and problems of life. May God bless your efforts to learn more about His astonishing power.

Elder Vernon Johnson
 

Primitive Baptist