Jesus:

Understanding God's Love For Us

The Author and Finisher of Our Faith

Notes:

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Scripture References:

I Cor 3: 10-15

Isaiah 66: 1-2

Isaiah 61: 1

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Research References:

King James Version

Amplified Version

New International Ver.

Quotes:

King James Version

Understanding God's Love For Us ... Part II (as shown in His Precepts)
Lesson 20)

In the last study I stated that I would address 'faith and works together.'

First ... the subject of 'works' is one that is tossed around constantly in discussing doctrine and salvation. I found a scripture regarding our works and did some word studies and discovered some things I'd not seen before. I believe it was a direct result of prayer. I had been asking the Lord to help me understand our relationship with Him in regards to His love for us and how we live our lives because of that love.

I Cor. 3: 10-15 reads: (KJV) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, sliver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every; man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The passage goes on to explain that we are the temple of God and the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. And that we are Christ's and Christ is God's.

In this passage Paul explains that he had laid the foundation of the Gospel to the Gentiles and established the churches among the believers. He was addressing a problem which existed at the time. Believers were dividing into factions, following various leaders, preferring one's teachings over another, presumably having to do with building new precepts upon the foundation of the basic doctrine of Christ, 'The One and Only True Foundation.'

Notice that Paul warns every one to 'take heed' (meaning be careful and pay strict attention) to how he builds on the foundation of the doctrine of Christ crucified, the risen Lord, our atonement, our salvation. Then he talks about works as being laid on that foundation. Works such as gold, silver, precious stones which do not burn up in fire. Works such as wood, hay, stubble, those works burned by fire. In researching it was plain that this is not a literal fire, it is rather a test of the merit of the works, whether they will stand or not. It's important to note that whatever does not stand will be burned up while that which does stand will be grounds for a reward. But the person himself will be saved, yet suffer loss.

What could the works be which will not stand the test? And what could be the works that will stand? That question lead to more research and study.

One thing that stood out among all the passages I studied was Isaiah 66:1, 2.

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

The Lord is stating here that it is not possible to build (or do) anything on this earth to contain Him, or do justice to Him by our own hands or means. After all, what could man do FOR God? The second part of the passage states clearly what He looks for in us and what causes Him to regard us with approval. As mentioned in the last lesson He loved us when we had nothing to give and were unlovable, so His love and His approval of our actions are two different things. Nevertheless, we all want God's approval. He made us that way. Just as He created all of us with a place in our spirits that would cause us to know that He exists, He created within us a desire to please Him. Those attributes take on life as we belong to Him and are His children. Sometimes though, we try to please Him and gain His approval by attempting things which are not possible in ourselves. Even meekness, humility, gentleness, and the like are fruits of the Spirit and are not of our own doing, but a work of the Holy Spirit in us. All good things come from Him!

"... him who is poor" poor - aniy {aw-nee} 'humble, meek, or lowly'
"... of a contrite spirit" contrite - nakew {naw-keh} 'stricken or broken'
"... tremble at my word" tremble - chared {khaw-rade} reverential fear or excitement

These attributes were preached by Jesus in the 'Sermon on the Mount' in Matthew, chapter 5. In fact, Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah "... The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; ... Isaiah 61:1

"Meekness and humility are very similar in meaning. Jesus was sent to proclaim the Good News to the meek, the poor in spirit, the broken (contrite) ... no one could receive the truth without the ability to be 'teachable' and the humility to recognize complete dependence upon and the need for forgiveness and reconciliation with God. A contrite spirit is one which is broken with the realization of sinfulness and sorrow because of the sinful state. The Word is embraced by the humble with reverential awe and respect. These are the things that get God's attention. He looks at our hearts to see if we've received and treasure those gifts which He's so graciously given. According to these passages, He's not impressed by our attempts at perfection and our many 'works' done in ourselves, rather He's pleased with our heart's condition and our willingness to lean on Him in complete dependence.

So, we must think seriously about building upon the foundation of the Gospel, lest we add anything that is not truth, or anything else than what Jesus has done for us already. We should strive to build upon the foundation things that will last, things of the heart and pure worship of the Lord, things done out of loving obedience to the response of the Holy Spirit as he leads us to do what we are called to do.

The subject of 'justification and sanctification' was part of the last study. I think most of us understand 'justification' (see lesson # 19) so the rest of this study will address the process of our 'sanctification.' This concerns our pleasing the Lord by our behavior and our walk with Him as we grow in grace and mature in the Lord.

Our Father, gracious and merciful, does not want us to take Him for granted because His salvation is free! He has certain laws and precepts in place so we can abide in His blessings .. His best for us. These laws are not negative. They are His way of blessing us and providing for us, His way of showing His love for us. There are different types of laws that the Lord has given. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. That can be confusing if we look at things with a legalistic mindset. But with an understanding of our relationship with God we can see that these laws are not in conflict with grace.

God has provided a way for us to know Him and a way of reconciliation with Him. Beginning in the Old Testament and continuing throughout the New Testament is a record of His laws and precepts in accord with His Grace. All the things which lead to Jesus our Savior were a part of the Master Plan. Every 'jot and tittle' were in place for our redemption and eternal life.

There are six basic laws that Paul wrote about in the Book of Romans. I had planned to cover them in this study, but I decided to make them the subject of the next lesson for the sake of time and space. I will complete the next one sooner than usual so we can continue with the subject while it's fresh in our minds.

Thank you for joining with me as we study God's Word. I'm sure it pleases Him for us to desire to know Him better by studying His message to us. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested in the lessons. Remember, all the past lessons are kept on this site and can be viewed and/or printed by clicking here .. To the ARCHIVES.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement this past year or so. We've had many challenges and many things which looked like BIG hindrances and obstacles to this ministry. But God is faithful and what He calls us to do, He equips us with what is needed to accomplish those things. He also sends precious believers, sisters and brothers, like you, to stand with us.

Bless you as you come in and as you go out .. in all your ways acknowledge the Lord!

Love in Jesus,

Genelle and family

P.S. Don't forget that most of our theme pages .. holiday, poetry, inspirationals, patriotic, etc. have been moved to the new site:
"Genelle's Christian Inspirations" at http://www.genelletennant.com. Please visit and invite your friends and loved ones to visit too!

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Love In Christ,

Genelle

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