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Marriage Between Man and Woman is a Picture of our Relationship with God

All through Scripture we find how the marriage union between the man and woman is a picture of the relationship between God and His children. In the Old Testament, Israel is pictured as the wife of Yahweh. When Israel became adulterous and worshiped other gods, she was described as a harlot – Jeremiah 3:1 “They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.” ( See also Ezekiel 23)

Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness became so disgusting in God’s eyes that He issued a writing of divorcement – Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” This was actually more of what we might call a separation, because God in His great love for His chosen people could not bear to cut Israel off without a promise of renewal – Hosea 2:14-20; 5:15 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”; “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”

The Book of Revelation and the Epistles, describe the church as the Bride of Christ. The experience of taking a bride is similar for both Adam and Christ–Adam was put to sleep; Christ was laid in a tomb. When Christ came to earth in human form, He left His Father. When He began His earthly ministry and ultimately died on the Cross, he left his mother. This was for the purpose of cleaving to the object of His love–His people. As each sinner receives Jesus into their heart, they become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” 1 Corinthians 6:15 “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.”

The entire focus and course of a life is changed both by marriage and a personal experience with Jesus Christ. Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:3 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.”, and becoming a child of God – Mark 8:34 “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”; 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”; 1 Corinthians 7:23 “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”

Both marriage and becoming a child of God demand death to self and accountability to God and to others. A wife or husband cannot be faithful to more than one partner, just as a Christian cannot serve any other God – Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

When we become believers, we ought have no hesitation in giving ourselves completely and totally to God, because of the high price He paid for our souls – 1 Peter 1:18, 19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” God has given ALL He has to give; He now rightly expects our ALL in response – Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

In marriage two hearts are grafted together, making them dependent on each other for life. This is illustrated in John 15, with Jesus as the vine and believers as the branches. Through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, and His control in the life of both partners, this picture of marriage and the parallel relationship of Christ and his Bride come into focus. The Holy Spirit fills and fulfills both.

When we compare our relationship with our LORD to the marriage relationship, it makes it so much easier to understand His great love for each and every individual soul and life of the human race.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Are You a New Creature?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Tells us: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Notice how the words be and he is are italicized to note their importance. If any man is truly IN Christ or saved by the blood of Christ, and Christ is his master, then he is a new creature! Old habits and bad choices are passed away and we are become new IN CHRIST. I know that when we are first born again, we are babes in Christ and we need time to grow in Him and to become more like Him with each passing day. We grow by staying close to Him just as a newborn baby stays close to its Momma and its family.

I am referring to those who claim to be bought by the blood of Jesus, but we see no fruits or evidence of that. It appears that some choose to stay in their old sinful ways even though they may have accepted God’s free Gift of Salvation from Hell. They have their “ticket” to Heaven, but they do not want to know or remember that Jesus said, “Go and sin no more,” and “feed my sheep.” The Great Commission that Jesus gave when he went back to Heaven was for all of us, not just our Pastors and Spiritual Leaders. What was the Samaritan woman’s first instinct after Jesus told her “all that ever she did?” She went and told everyone she knew about Jesus and brought them to Him. If you do a study on how the apostles were chosen by Jesus, you will find the same reaction to their knowing Him. They brought others to Him.

I know that, for the most part, we all have our times of backsliding. I know I had mine when the world dealt me what I thought were “raw deals.” The biggest reason that happens is that we become centered on our selfish flesh, choose to go away from our fellowship with other believers and “the assembling of ourselves together.” Then we just cannot find the time to fellowship with God, nor to spend time in His Great Guidebook, the Holy Bible. Before we know it, we become comfortable in a sinful lifestyle and numb to the prompting of the Holy Spirit’s sweet voice who is constantly, softly calling us back to a relationship with our Saviour. When we choose to ignore that prompting for very long, God will let us wallow in our sin and face dire consequences of it. While Jehovah God is truly a loving God (I mean, He continually forgives us and welcomes us back into His arms over and over again), some forget that He is also a Just and Holy God and His very presence commands justice and righteousness. This world, of which satan is the ruler, offers many temporary delights to get us hooked to it. Then, when the evil one knows he does not need to be threatened by us and our witness, he tosses us out like garbage. He wins!

The thought that God has laid on my heart over the past couple of years is that even though we may have our “Ticket to Heaven,” we will still stand before Jesus and give account to Him, face to face, of all our actions after we said yes to His Saving Grace. Others who reject Him will be thrown into Hell, kicking and screaming, and most definitely some will look each of us in the eye and ask, “why didn’t you tell me this would happen?” It is so very important that we all remember that when we claim the Salvation of Jesus Christ, the lost world watches every move we make. Our actions could bring some to Jesus, or we could pacify satan and let our sinful lifestyles help them to eternal torment in Hell. And there is a Heaven and there is a Hell and they are for ETERNITY! We are going to one place or the other, FOREVER!

So, if we truly be in Christ, we are NEW CREATURES! Old things have passed away, let’s leave them there and let God make all things new in our lives. “They will know us by our fruits!” Are we living as new creatures so as to lead others to Christ, or are we backsliding or, God forbid, not truly bought by the precious blood of Jesus.

MAKE YOUR CALLING SURE!! And if it is sure, stay under the protective wings of your Creator, Jehovah God! Enjoy the strength that is found in gathering with other strong and mature believers who are truly letting their lights shine for Jesus. Stay in His Word daily. We have no protection of our own from that evil destroyer who prowls to and fro in this world seeking whom he may destroy and devour! But oh, the power in the name of Jesus and the reminders of God’s truths from His Word! When Jesus was tempted by the destroyer, what did He do? He reminded that evil being of truths from God’s Word by quoting Scripture. Do you know God’s Word well enough to do that?

One last thought – Christmas is all about Jesus. We call it His birthday. Have you thought about giving Him a birthday gift? I wonder how you would feel if someone gave you a birthday party and everyone but you got a gift. Hmmmm.

Perhaps Christ would really love the gift of our commitment to truly being the NEW CREATURES in Him that His Word says we are when we are truly Saved by His Sacrifice.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 12

IX. Atonement

A. Atonement means “restoration” or “divine favor.”

B. A Laymen’s Definition of Atonement: “At-one-ment” or “At-one-with-God.”

We are made “at-one” with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Note: Leviticus is the bloodiest book in the Bible. Blood is mentioned 84 times. Seventy-one times it is referring to a sacrifice to be made for sins. But the word “atonement” also appears in Leviticus more than any other book in the Bible (49 times). Thus, there is a parallel between the blood of Christ and the doctrine of atonement.

“Atonement” is found almost exclusively in three books: Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It is only found once in the New Testament – Romans 5:11 above.

A further definition of atonement is “to appease, to ally resentment, to expiate, to placate, to cancel the obligation to punish the crime.”

Illustration: A just judge must condemn the guilty or let the innocent go free. He would not be just if he did not. God is just – Isaiah 45:21 “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”

Seeing it is against the nature of God to be unjust, He must punish all, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). He is obligated to punish, thus there must be a place to punish the guilty.

Jesus was punished for us, and — through the shedding of His perfect blood — made atonement for us, thus canceling the Judge’s obligation to punish us for our crimes. That is atonement. God is no longer obligated to punish the believing sinner. Jesus satisfied that obligation for us. When lost sinners reject Jesus and His atonement, they deserve the just punishment.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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