Grace and Peace!
I pray that these brief commentaries will bless you,
"till we all come
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 fullness of Christ:" Eph
4:13-Pastor George D. Cutler
If one takes the position that the entire Bible is equally for us today, he is standing on a very broad platform. It was pointed out in earlier writings that the Bible contains many specific messages for given individuals and nations. Some of these have either been, are being or are to be fulfilled.
If the entire Bible is equally for us today, then the question is raised, what part of its message should we consider most important? My former Pastor, Elder Clyde Colbert Sr. once said, "Stop reading other folks mail"! The content of Romans 15:4, are certainly true, "It was all written for our learning", but if we violate the principle of to whom" and for whom its parts were written, we are confronted with inescapable contradictions (Acts 21:20-26, Galatians 1:6-9, 12:12, 3:19-25; 5:2-6, and Colossians 2:13-19).
In light of this we are forced to come face to face with the fact there are no contradictions in the Bible as long as its contents are kept in their intended historical setting. In other words, the scriptures cannot be rightly divided unless they are arranged by dispensations. Those things, which are true and relevant to Adam in the dispensation of innocence, may or may not be applicable or relevant to Adam in the dispensation of conscience. The policy for Noah in the dispensation of human government is distinct from the covenant that is made to Abraham in the dispensation of promise. The Law and its ordinances as given to Moses exclusively for Israel are not transferable to other nations in the dispensation of the Law. The Kingdom Gospel introduced by John the Baptist though rejected by Israel, is yet reserved for the Jews during the tribulation and the Kingdom Age (Romans 11:22-32). The gospel of the grace of God as revealed to the Apostle Paul is given solely for the elect, the Church, who is the body of Christ, in the dispensation of grace. The sacrificial death of Jesus upon Calvary covers the spectrum of all dispensations as the only remedy for the sin nature of mankind.
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry is committed to exegetically analyzing the scriptures according to dispensations and covenants. Revised 10/31/03b
#2-Some Resist the Concept of Grace
There are some that resist the concept of grace and the writings of the Apostle Paul with the assertion that the grace doctrine is too lenient and not strict enough to instill discipline in those who follow it. For one to take this position, it completely exposes ones total ignorance of the teachings of Paul's gospel of the Grace of God.
According to II Timothy 3:10 that which Timothy believed and taught encompassing his whole life-style, was patterned after that which Paul had taught him. Observe what Paul says to Timothy, "But you have followed my teaching, life-style purpose, faithfulness, long-suffering, love, endurance". The Greek word "ahg·o·gee" translated "lifestyle”, literally means "leading", "mode of life" or "way of life". Accordingly, what Timothy thought and the way he lived were governed by Paul's teaching.
In using scriptural evidence to confirm the priority of Paul's gospel for today, we observe that Paul uses portions of the Old Testament, not as the source from which he derived the salvation aspect of his gospel, but to corroborate what the Lord had independently revealed unto him (Galatians 1:12). In II Timothy 3:14-15, Paul states, "But you remain in what you learned and were entrusted with knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from a baby you have known the sacred writings that are able to make you wise unto salvation through faithfulness in Christ Jesus". Observe the translation of the Greek word "pees·teh·os" as “faithfulness” in this context. Faithfulness is not something one is, but something one does. In this case, faithfulness is in the sphere of Christ Jesus (Romans 3; 22,26; Galatians 2:16; 3:22; Philippians 3:9). The main emphasis is on the continuation in what Timothy learned and had entrusted to him, recognizing from whom "para teen·on" he previously learned it (II Timothy 1:13-14; 2:2; 3:10).
The emphasis in the preceding context is definitely on the fact that Timothy had followed Paul's teaching and lifestyle; therefore as far as possible the interpretation should conform to this emphasis. The key phrase "from whom" or "from which ones" is in the plural and is open to two feasible interpretations. First, it may refer to Paul and the many witnesses associated with him in the conveyance of his gospel to Timothy (II Timothy 2:2). Second it may primarily refer to Paul and to the Old Testament scriptures taught to Timothy by Lois and Eunice (II Timothy 1:5). Regardless of the interpretation one may prefer, one thing comes through loud and clear, Timothy's responsibility to continue in that which he had learned from Paul (I Timothy 4:11-16). Revised 10/31/03b
#3-Recieve One Another In Love
One of the greatest testimonies of the oneness of the Church is emphasized by the need for all believers, regardless of their diverse backgrounds and heritages, to receive or accept one another as those whom are loved by God and are therefore precious. This is both desirable and necessary for unity in Christ, both because of the fact that we are called into one, and regardless of the fact that as individuals we have differences from time to time (I Corinthians. 1:10-13; 11:18).
In Paul's epistle to the Romans, he states (from the Greek Text), "Wherefore you receive one another, even as Christ also received you, unto the glory of God" (Rom 15:7). Here the conclusion Greek conjunction "thee·o" translated "wherefore", suggests that because of some previously known statements of facts, we are to receive one another. Next we observe the compound Greek phrase "pros·lahm·vahn·ehs·theh ahl·Iee·loos", translated "receive one another", as it literally means “to take one's self”, “to receive as a close associate” or “partaker”, or “to have a nothing-between-relationship”. Note that the reciprocal Greek pronoun "ahl·Iee·loos” means that each one is to take the initiative in receiving the other. Paul uses this same reasoning to describe how strong believers are to receive weak believers (Rom 14:2) and also how God receives or takes to Himself weak believers (Rom. 14:3). Furthermore, Paul uses this same verb in writing to Philemon, wherein he states, "If therefore you hold me as a partner, receive (pros·lah·voo) him as me (Philemon verse 17). Here Paul desires that the close fellow-partner relationship, which existed between himself and Philemon, might also exist between believing Jews and Gentiles in the body (I Corinthians 12:13).
In Romans 15:7 we note the supreme example of how God's people are to receive one another is, "even as Christ also received you". Notice that this same verb (pros·eh·lah·veh·to), in its appropriate from, is used to depict how Christ received us unto Himself, unto a nothing-between relationship. Thus if we follow the pattern of Christ, there is no room for discrimination against any believer regardless of ones characteristics, race, environment, heritage or ability (I Corinthians. 1:26-28).
Finally, this mutual receiving of one another into a close caring relationship results in the glory of God. The reason believers are to have a close reciprocal relationship with one another, is not an end in itself, but for the spiritual benefits it provides, such as the maintaining of the unity of the Spirit, which glorifies God (Ephesians. 4:3-16).
Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that the essence of glorifying God
is to magnify His weightiness, majesty and sovereign choice of electing those
who He has called into the Body of Christ. We believe that all the workings of
God are flawless, including the positioning of all those whom He has placed into
Sonship. Thus when we fully love and accept one another, it proves in practice
the oneness that is invested in Christ (Psalms- 133:1; Ephesians 4:3, 13).
#4- Know God. Know Peace!
The single most desired state of mind of all men is the status of peace. God's people, who are adequately informed know of a surety that this is not possible outside of the realm of God. Peace is defined as a state of perfect harmony of the mind as it relates to ones surrounding environment. Thus if God is the center or nucleolus of the mind, then all that surrounds Him will effectuate what one perceives as ones surroundings.
In Paul's epistle to the Romans, he states (from the Greek text) "And the God of peace be with you all. Amen" (Romans. 15:33). Note the Apostle Paul refers to God as the "Theh·os tees ee·ree·nees", rendered "God of peace", some seven times in his epistles (counting Hebrews). This suggests that "ee·ree·nees", rendered "peace”, “harmony”, “concord” and “unity" are prime characteristics of God. He is the creator and sustainer of an unfathomable universe, the parts of which are perfectly synchronized and function in harmony with each other.
Notice, twelve times peace is spoken of as coming "ah·po Theh·oo", rendered "from God" in Paul's epistles. In other words, He is the source from which peace emanates to all believers. Even as He is the God of peace, likewise as His children, we are to be characterized by peace. Thus drawing upon the peace, which God graciously makes available to us, we have the potential to be at peace within ourselves and with one another. Paul, in speaking of fellow members in the Colossian church, states (from the Greek text), "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, unto which you were called into one body” (Colossians. 3:15).
In the context of Romans 15:33, we need to recognize that when Paul expressed his desire that the God of peace would be with the Romans believers, he himself was facing disbelieving, disobedient men who were bent on murdering him (Acts 21:31). It is comforting to know that even while Satan continuously attacks the children of God, there is peace provided by the God of peace for His elect (Ephesians. 6:11).
The Grace Gospel church Ministry believes and teaches that peace is ultimately realized by God's people in direct proportion to the essence of God being the center of our existence. We believe that as He is our life, He also is our peace (Romans. 5:1; Ephesians. 2:14,17). Revised 10/31/03b
#5-Teachers of the Word of God
Those who correctly administer and teach the word of God to the Church in this age of grace must be held to certain qualified standards for dispensing the truth of the gospel.
According to I Timothy 4:6, there is a condition which must be met if one is to be a good minister of Jesus Christ, namely the conveyance of the essence of the good teaching which Paul gave to Timothy. In reference to that which he was writing Paul commands Timothy, "Command these things and teach" (I Timothy 4:11), and he goes on to add, "Be concerned about these things, be in them that your advancement might be manifest to all" (I Timothy 4:5).
In I Timothy 6:2-3, Paul charges Timothy, "These things teach and exhort. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not consent to sound words to those of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the teaching according to godliness, he is deprived of the truth” (I Timothy 6:5). The phrase "sound words" is synonymous to “sound teaching"' mentioned in I Timothy 1:10, which is identified with the glory entrusted to Paul. In II Timothy 1:13, Paul uses the same phrase to depict the message, which Timothy had heard from him (II Timothy 4:3). Thus we see, the sound words of the Lord Jesus Christ are the words that Jesus Christ revealed to the Apostle Paul for the Church (Galatians 1: 12). Paul warns Timothy against those who teach other than these sound words (I Timothy 6:3-5). In II Timothy 2:2, Paul makes it crystal clear that the message which has been received from him is the message which is to be passed on to others in this church age. My former Pastor, Elder Clyde Colbert Sr., who I consider to be my mentor in the gospel; use to always quote to me from this passage and it reads, "And what you have heard from me through many witnesses, these things commit to faithful men, who shall be qualified to also teach others". Summarizing, teaching which does not conform to Paul's gospel is Heterodox Teaching. The requisite for a good minister is to teach the message (as received by Paul) and to be aggressively involved in its advancement.
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry takes the word of God literally for what it teaches. This truth compels us to make Paul's Epistles the heart of our ministry curriculum. We truly believe that if one is not thoroughly immersed in the truth of Paul's fourteen epistles (Hebrews included); he is not adequately qualified to teach others the message for the Grace Church, the gospel of the grace of God. Revised 10/31/03b
#6-Unspiritual Illusionary Mindset
In this age of quick-fix problem solving and philosophical solutions for all things, many of God's people are unfortunately drawn into this unspiritual illusionary mindset. It is essential for God's people to dwelling accordance with the dictate of His sovereign arrangements. We must all understand that we exist and move at the pleasure of God's will (Acts 17:26-28; Eph. 1:5,9).
In the Apostle Paul's second epistle to the church at Thessalonica he states, (Greek text) "Because of this also we at all times are in prayer for you, that God may consider you worthy of His calling and may fulfill all the good pleasure of (His) goodness and the work of faith in power (If Thess. 1:11). Note the Greek expression "ee o keh", rendered "because of this also" or "wherefore also" or "to this end also"; as it basically gives reference to the antecedent verse's (II Thess. 1: 10) testimony of God's ultimate purpose in us. Of a surety, the day will come when our Lord is glorified in the saint (ahy-ee.ees) and he will be supremely admired and marveled at among all those who have believed.
It is to this purpose that our calling (klee-seh.os) is designed. In verse eleven Paul's continuous prayer (petition) is God's imputation of His righteousness which results in God's elect worthiness in receiving the culmination of that initial act of the "good pleasure of (His) goodness.
Here note the Greek phrase "plee.ro.see pahs.ahn ehv.thok.ee.ahn ahg.ah. thos.ee.ness", translated "fulfill all the good pleasure of goodness". Note the genitive of possession connotes that all is God's good pleasure (ehvthokeeahn) and "goodness" or "generosity" (ahgahthoseenees).
This "all" (pahsahn) entails the following: 1. The goodness of God, i.e. His own innate eternal kindness that has led Him to elect some in eternity and in time calls us unto salvation. 2. It is the please of His goodness to save (deliver) us unto eternal life and 3. It is the good pleasure of God to receive us and retain us in an everlasting relationship and fellowship in the ending phrase of II Thess. 1:11, Paul describes how God accomplishes His purpose, (Greek) "ehr.gon peest.eh.os ehn theen.ahn.ee", rendered "the work of faith in power". Here he delineates the faithfulness of God in exercising His power to bring to pass or fulfill that, which obviously pleases Him.
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that God has called His elect in this dispensation by our gospel (the Mystery) to the acquiring or possession of the glory of our lord Jesus Christ (II Thess 2;14). We believe that our eternal existence (in Him) transcends all other thing that may be incidental to our eternal state in Him (I Corth. 8:6; I Thess. 2:12).
#7-The Successful Spiritual Walk
The testimony of the successful spiritual walk of God's people is directly linked to the perception of the truth as it is conveyed by the gospel of the grace of God. In order for one to fully possess the benefits that are afforded by God's word; the elect of God must have more than just some sense of the truth, but a deep comprehension or insight into the essence of what the gospel of grace entails in this dispensation.
In Paul's epistle to the Philippians, he states (from the Greek Text), "Unto the end that you may prove the thing differing, that you may be sincere and without offense unto the day of Christ" (Phil. 1: 10). Note the Greek phrase "ees to thookeeomahozeen eomahs", translated "Unto the end that you may prove". Here the thought flow posits obedience to that which precedes it, i.e. "the perception of truth" thus it is implied as a pre-requisite to the fulfillment of that which will automatically follow. Note the Greek infinitive "thookeeomaho zeen", translated "to prove" as it is also rendered, "to test, try or examine" the validity of something. It must be fully understood that it is spiritually acceptable to test or examine with the intent to verify, the veracity of the message of grace for this Church age (I Thess. 5:21).
Observe the Greek phrase "to theeoahophehroonodah" translated "things differing". Here this Greek noun consists of an article and a compound word that comes from the preposition "theeoah", and the verb "phehoro", which literally means to "bear or carry through". Some Bible translations, i.e. King James Version, have rendered the expression "excellent" but its intransitive meaning is "to differ". However the thought progression is that as things differ they excel one another, thus when something is deferent, it may also be excellent. But it is established by the Greek grammar that in this verse (Phil. 1: 10) as well as other verses in Paul's epistles, the basic meaning and translation is differ (Rom. 2:18; I Corth. 15:41; Gal. 2:6; 4:1).
Here Paul is obviously referring to the fact that there are different messages in the word of God and that some excel over others. An overview of the Bible revels that through the ages, God has related to men in different ways. The three major dispensations, which differ according to their messages are, the Mosaic Law (past), Grace Mystery Truth (present) and Kingdom Millennial (future). Note, it is essential for these messages to be arranged accordingly and applied to God's elect for the intended ages (Church or Kingdom). It is a given fact that the message of the present Church age (Mystery Truth) is far superior to the message of prior and future ages (Law-Messianic Kingdom).
The reason believers (of this Church age) are to prove and distinguish (after proper examination) the things differing is clearly stated. In order or "that you may be sincere and wlth- out offense unto the day of Christ", Here the Greek word "eeoleeokreeonees", translated "sincere" has the basic meaning "unmixed", "pure", "uncorrupted" or "perfect". The Greek word "ahoproosko.pee", rendered "without offense", means, "not to cause stumbling", hence "not to be mislead into error".
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that to the degree that God's elect for the dispensation of grace abound in perfect knowledge and discernment of the truth for the Church; we will be able to prove the things differing. (Grace Mystery Truth) is regulated to and in accordance with truth.
#8-Comprehending the Grace Gospel Mystery
It is of the utmost importance that God's people comprehend the essence of that which is conveyed in our contract with God, i.e. the Mystery, the gospel of the grace of God. Those who are able to internalize this message; will be victorious throughout all of the many challenges of life.
In his epistle to the Colossians, the apostle Paul states (from the Greek text) "That their hearts might be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and unto all the riches of full assurance of understanding, unto a perfect knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ" (Col. 2:2). According to this verse, there is a threefold purpose in comprehending the truth of the Mystery. First, it is that the hearts of believers might be "pah.rah.klee.tho.seen", rendered "encouraged", "exhorted", and "comforted". Here the idea is set forth that it is through the teaching and understanding of the truth of the Mystery that our hearts are exhorted and comforted. The Greek word "kahr.thee-eh", translated "hearts" actually denotes a meaning comparable to the English word "mind"; which expresses the idea of a balance between the intellectual and the emotional. Thus believers are encouraged as a result of intellectually comprehending the truth of the Mystery; which mentally and emotionally comforts the heart (mind).
Second, those who leam the truth of the Mystery are knit together in love, as we are able to comprehend all the riches of full assurance that belong to understanding. The fact of "seem.vee.vahs-thehn-dehs ehn ah.gah.pee", rendered "having been knit together in love", is expressed by the aorist tense and passive voice as it refers to the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in our lives. Thus, as we are united in love with other believers who understand the wisdom of the Mystery, we rejoice in the riches that come from being fully assured, convinced and persuaded in Mystery Truth, which is truth for the body of Christ.
Third, those who perfectly know the Mystery of God (Christ), as a result of the knowledge of the Mystery, are able to abide in the truth which involves our relation to Christ as head over the church and how we are to live in him.
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that God's people are thoroughly enriched and comforted as we are fully assured in the truth of the Mystery, which is the message for the Church today. We believe that "plee.ro.pho.ree.ahs", rendered "full assurance", that comes from understanding; results in our full conviction and persuasion to stand in the face of the many adversities that we encounter daily.
#9-Traditional Easter Holiday
During this season and for a short time afterwards, there is much discussion concerning Jesus Christ's crucifixion upon the cross and His subsequent resurrection and ascension into Heaven. We will hear terminology i.e. " The sacrificial death of Jesus", "The blood of Jesus", and "Christ's redemptive work upon Calvary"; each correctly expressing what was required to purchase the salvation of all of God's elect.
focus will be short lived beyond the season and attention will soon
shift to the much less important aspects of Jesus' ministry upon the
earth. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) give us a brief
historical sketch of Jesus and His disciples presenting Messianic
Kingdom truth to Israel. These accounts all record the ministry of John
the Baptist, the feeding of the five thousand and Christ's offer of
Himself as King to Israel. The religious leaders those responsible for
governing Israel according to the Law, rejected this Kingdom and were
the instigators of the death of its King, Jesus Christ (Matt. 26:15,
47,57,65-67: Luke 19:14,27). The truth, which Jesus revealed during His
incarnate-in-human flesh ministry, is very important. It is truth
according to which the Kingdom will be established and governed.
The most important testimony of Jesus is the betrayal by Judas, the denial by Peter and the trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ. These records are documented to attest that the death of Christ was the supreme business which brought Him into the world; that all which precedes that death is but preparation for it, and that from it flows all the blessings which God would ever bestow upon mankind.
In I Timothy 6:3, the Apostle Paul speaks of "sound words" obviously referring to the truth revealed to him by "our Lord Jesus Christ". The lack of dependence on the message of the Synoptic Gospels is best illustrated in II Corth. 5:16, which states "That we from this present time (grace dispensation) know no man after the flesh; though we have known Christ (Kingdom Age), we no longer know him" (as such).
We who are of the Grace Gospel Church Ministry, believe that Jesus' message to Paul for the Church is different and has nothing to do with the historical contents found in the Synoptic Gospels. We encourage all under this ministry to stay focused on the distinct truth that is revealed for the Grace Church as detailed in the Epistles.
#10-Value Rating the Epistles
There are those who are determined to formulate doctrinal teaching and direction for God's elect in this dispensation outside the boundaries of the epistles of Paul. They asset that the book of Acts establishes and charts the course and direction for the Church; choosing to ignore the fact that Paul's truth is distinct and different from that given in the Kingdom message. They also assert that Paul's writings are not more significant than those found in the other New Testament epistles.
When we look at the first eight chapters of the book of Acts, we have a continuation of the story begun in the Synoptic Gospels, which is based on the resurrection and ascension, focusing on the potential return of Jesus Christ to establish His Messianic Kingdom (Acts 3: 18-26). Now taking literally what is said in these chapters' forces us to recognize that they are Kingdom and not Church (body of Christ) related. What happened during this period covered by the first eight chapters made no contribution to the gospel of the grace of God, preached by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:24;Gal. 1:11-12; 2:6-9). Paul's gospel, the Mystery, did not evolve out of this portion of the book of Acts; therefore it has nothing to add to its understanding except minor information about Paul himself (Acts 7:58).
As we look at Acts chapter nine through twenty-eight, it gives us historical information surrounding the writings of Paul's six earliest epistles (I & IIThess. Gal. I & II Corth. and Rom.). Also, these chapters afford us background data which eventually led to the writing of the first prison epistles (Ephesians, Philippines, Colossians and Philemon). This portion of the book of Acts throws a great deal of light on the books which Paul wrote during this time and must be considered the most valuable adjunct to understanding the epistles of Paul.
The value rating of the non-postal epistles and of John's writings must be determined by their alignment to truth for the church as recorded in Paul's epistles. Note that none of the writers boldly affirm, like Paul does, that they have been given a special revelation of truth for the Church, the body of Christ (Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3-9)
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes that these epistles and the writings of John align with the distinct revelation of truth for the Church and that they are saying the same thing as the Holy Spirit is saying through Paul. They are to be diligently studied and mastered by all members of the body of Christ. However, the main focus is and must remain on the Mystery i.e. the grace of God as revealed to the Apostle Paul.
#11-Understand the True Function of the Bible
When one reads or studies the word of God, he must be moved by two intentions; first, the right motives and seconds the correct purpose. All that expect to benefit from it must understand the true function of the Bible. When the scriptures are used properly, they are our greatest source of blessing, but when they are improperly applied, they can become our greatest source of confusion.
Every portion of the Bible has been given by God to accomplish specific purposes in given eras. When each portion is properly applied to its specific period of time i.e. the dispensation or economy, for which it was given, it should have a high value rating. For example, when truth given through Moses was taught to Israel during the economy of the Law (from Mt Sinai to the Cross), it would have top rating for that time; for it would be teaching God's word to those for whom it was intended. When this is taught during the present economy of grace, on this side of the cross, Paul speaks of it as being the "Commandments and teachings of men" (Col.2:14-22). So that which is of supreme value when properly applied, may produce detrimental confusion when improperly applied.
There is an important statement in Romans 15:4, which is pertinent to our subject, namely "For as much as was previously written, it was written for our teaching, that through the endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope". In Paul's discourse the portion of the Old Testament cited in Romans 15:3 was taken from Psalm 69:9, which Paul uses to prove that Christ did not please himself. Likewise, believers in this church age are not to please themselves, but through the examples of endurance and encouragement previously recorded in the Old Testament, they are to be taught and have hope. This quotation suggests that there are universal principles in the Old Testament, such as in the Psalms, which emphasize the endurance and encouragement that is in Christ, which believers are to emulate (Hebrews 11:4-38).
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry is committed to the premise that a rewarding motive and true purpose can be realized from allowing the word of God to function according to God's intended plan for dispensing truth in the various dispensation or economies.
#12-Dwelling On the Vertical Plane
Unfortunately much of Christendom has not grasped the solid foundation of the truth of God’s word. Many exclusively abide in the surface aspects of engaging the daily activities and circumstances of this present earthly abode, thus relegating God’s greatest workings and power to the physical-natural phenomena. Those who dwell in this limited sphere of relating to God, prioritize the physically inspired portions of the Bible while mostly ignoring or lightly esteeming the root of the gospel for this dispensation, the Mystery.
In his epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul states (from the Greek Text), “ To the one who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept silent in times eternal” (Rom. 16:25). Here it should be noted that even though the so-called majority Greek Text does not include this verse in its writings, extensive examination and evidence of the original manuscripts recognize it to be genuinely authentic. Here Paul emphasizes the distinct message which he likewise identifies in Rom. 2:16 as “my gospel”; as he does in this verse (Rom. 16:25).
Here the expression of this scripture is in the form of a prayer. Thus Paul’s desire is that God might establish His people in accordance with the truth revealed in the gospel that was committed unto him. Here Paul expresses that this truth has been manifested in the current (dispensational) Prophetic writings, particularly through his writings and those of others associated with him (Eph. 3:5).
Note that this verse opens with the words, “To the one who is able to establish you”. The addressee is God the Father, who alone is “thee·nah·meh·no”, rendered “able”, i.e., has the ability and the power to establish believers. Notice the consistent testimony of Paul’s epistles is that God, in the process of establishing His elect, transmits this ability and power through the Holy Spirit, who is commissioned to enlighten this revealed message to those who are members of the body of Christ (Eph. 1:17-19).
Here in the phrase “establish you”, note that the Greek infinitive “stee·ree·zeh”, translated “establish” denotes that Paul is committing believers to the one who is able to cause us to “stand fast”, “be steadfast” and “unmovable” in spiritually relating to him in eternal things. In light of those whose focus is on the physical sphere of earthly blessings, which is contrary to the emphasis of the gospel of grace (Rom. 16:17-18); there is an urgent need for prayer that we might be made solid and firm in the truth (Rom. 1:11; II Thess. 2:17; 3:3).
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that it is very important that we are established in the right truth, the Mystery, the revealed volume of truth for the Church in this age, which is the gospel of the grace of God (Col. 1:25-28).
#13-Delineating the Various Covenants
Many of God’s people do not differentiate between the various messages of the Bible when they read God’s word. However, the Bible specifically identifies and delineates the various covenants (contracts or agreements) set forth by God throughout the ages as He spoke to certain individuals, groups and nations. It is also important for one to understand that God’s method of communication in this age is exclusively through His written word as recorded in the Holy Scriptures (the Bible).
In the Hebrew epistle, the Apostle Paul states (from the Greek Text), “In these last days he has spoken to us in the Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the ages” (Heb. 1:2). Here we note the Greek phrase“ehp ehs·khaht·oo ton ee·mehr·on too·ton”, rendered “in these last days”, as it denotes the period subsequent to the era of prophetic utterances, signs and visions; that were almost exclusively relied upon for communications from God in previous times.
As we examine the clause, “eh·lah·lee·sehn ee·meen ehn yee·o”, translated “he has spoken to us in the Son”. We note the two distinct messages spoken “in these last days (ages)”, namely (1) the gospel of the Kingdom, during His ministry while he was on earth and (2) the gospel of the grace of God that He revealed from heaven (Matt. 4:17; 10:7; Gal. 1:12; Acts 20:24; Eph. 3:2-9). It should be understood that this line of demarcation is clearly established by the fact that the gospel of the Kingdom contained a pre-Cross message, as contrasted to the gospel of the grace of God which contains a post-Cross message; which is based solely and entirely upon what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross.
Observe the Greek phrase“on eh·thee·kehn klee·ro·no·mon pahn·don”, translated “whom he appointed heir of all things”, as it denotes that the Son receives, inherits, and comes into possession of all things. Also note the Greek phrase “thee oo keh ehpee·ee·sehn toos eh·on·ahs”, rendered “through whom also he made the ages”. Here the thought is conveyed that God made the worlds or ages (toos eh·on·ahs) or universe through His Son, Jesus.
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that all of God’s communications to His elect (the Church) in this age (dispensation) is through the revelation of the Mystery, the volume of truth revealed to the Apostle Paul and others whose writings are aligned with his. We believe that the gospel of the grace of God as it relates to salvation, begins at the cross where Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the scripture (I Corth. 15:3).Print: 112600-revised 112303
#14-Overcoming Adversities of Life
The most rewarding of all practical lessons that can be experienced, is the exercising of ones faith in embracing the spiritual provisions of armor afforded to God’s children, for the purpose of overcoming the many adversities of life. There are many testimonies recorded in the word of God documenting the many triumphs and victories proclaimed by those who have trusted in His spiritual armament to conquer the evil forces of nature.
In the Ephesians epistle, the Apostle Paul states (from the Greek Text) “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14). Here the need for the believer to stand firm is emphasized. Observe the usage of the imperative mood, commanding God’s people to stand firm and unmovable. Note the Greek participle “oon”, translated “therefore”; it implies that with God’s provision of adequate armor, believers are ordered to stand. The inference is that regardless of how fierce the enemy may be, there are no alternatives, God’s elect are to unflinchingly stand (II Corth. 1: 24).
In this verse (Eph. 6:14), Paul begins to describe the various parts of spiritual armor and the figurative positioning of them on the believer’s body. The first piece of spiritual armor identified is “ahl·eeth·ee·ah”, rendered “truth”. The thought is that as we have our loins girded with truth or in the sphere of truth, we can undoubtedly stand in the midst of trouble. Here Paul’s usage of the Greek word “ahl·eeth·ee·ah”, (truth), refers to the truth revealed to him for the Church (Gal. 1:12; Eph. 3:2-9). This message or volume of truth is what we are be girded with as indicated by the locative case of the Greek phrase “ehn ahl·eeth·ee·ah” (the truth). The essence of this information is that God’s people are enabled to stand as we are endowed, encircled or supported in the sphere of God’s word.
The second piece of spiritual armor which believers are to put on is “theek·eh·os·een·ees”, rendered “righteousness”. This aorist participle indicates that believers are to be those who “have put on the breastplate of righteousness”. This term “righteousness” refers to that which is “apart from the Law or works” (Rom. 3:21; 4:6), thus that which is out of faith and God (Rom 9:30; Phil. 3:9). This is a righteousness which God freely gives to His elect on the basis of faith in Christ (II Corth. 5:21; Eph. 2:8). Hence we are to be clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ as the figurative expression “breastplate” indicates. In Thess. 5:8, the substance of the breastplate is “faith and love”.
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teaches that God’s people have more than significant provisions, to not only survive but triumph over all the contentious forces of spiritual evil. As we are properly “armed” or “clothed” and “endowed” with the spiritual armament of God, i.e., truth and righteousness, we are empowered with spiritual weapons far superior to that of our adversaries (II Corth. 10:4). Reprinted 110903
#15-The Age of Mega Ministries
In this age of mega ministries, national and international television evangelistic media and mega churches, there is great temptation and a dangerous tendency to compromise the word of God in an attempt to effectuate mass appeal and thus minister to large crowds.
Every true and dedicated ministry of God must endeavor to set forth a hermeneutic principle, which is essential for accurately interpreting the word of God. It is important for us to recognize compromise and the manner in which it limits insight into the truth (John 7:17). It usually begins small, but like a rolling snowball, it increases and grows until it becomes a way of life. In many respects it has the characteristics of a spiritual disease. In view of this we must shun this very crippling hermeneutic principle of compromise as a very malignant sin.
We must understand that the impact of compromise severely affects the spiritual progress of godly ministry. Compromise may assume many different forms, but it will always be in the area between God and Satan. The reference to compromise does not necessarily constitute an all or nothing situation, but it may indicate slight, small, partial, mean and considerable deviation from the truth. Compromise, where there is an empty profession, will ultimately expose the imposter as being all for himself and nothing for God. There are many religious charlatans today, particularly in celebrity circles who are not compromises in our defined sense of the word, for they are nothing more than subtle self-style emissaries using the prestige of a denomination or church to further their own diabolical ends.