Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 15 The New Revelation

I’ve spent a lot of time sort of hammering the idea of right dividing, the gospel of grace, and Paul as we press on to a richer understanding of just what God is doing today. You might be wondering why Paul is so important to us today, and it’s a very good question. You see, Paul received new information directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus shines down upon him from heaven and raised the chief sinner who was persecuting Christ’s followers up to take salvation to the gentiles.

This information was only given to Paul by the way, it was a mystery hid in God until he decided to reveal it through the Apostle Paul. This information is described in Scripture as a dispensation.

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:”  (Colossians 1:25-26)

Paul describes this new information as a mystery given to him because it was hidden in time past until God made it known through Paul. And my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ that is a glorious mystery for us today! It is the mystery that brought grace to lost sinners the world wide, it is the gospel of Christ’s death burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins that is the gospel of grace through faith that we are saved by today.

Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 14 Our Motivation

Knowing that we are no longer bound by the law yet are also not free to just dwell in sin what exactly is it that helps us to live as Christ would have us. What’s our motivation to do right? That’s an easy one actually – love and gratitude for all that Christ has done for us.

He suffered and died for our debt, a death he neither earned nor deserved yet we absolutely did, He took our place on the cross and died for us, that is why we live for Him! It is the least we can do to show the depth of our gratitude for our Savior, our Redeemer, our Jesus. It’s a heart thing, He not only bought our debts with His precious blood but our hearts as well. The love we feel for Him who first loved us is what motivates us to live our lives in a way that brings only honor and glory to Him. If we attempt to go back to the law for our motivation then we are in a sad and pitiful condition Paul called “fallen from grace.”

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”  (Galatians 5:4)

That’s not where we want to be in this glorious time we live in, this dispensation of grace!

Jesus Himself committed the dispensation of the gospel of grace to Paul, which answers the question asked 13 posts ago as to which set of instructions in Scripture believers today should follow in regards to their diet. We should follow Paul’s instructions because we live in the dispensation of grace and he’s the only one who received the revelation of this dispensation.

We know that the dispensation of grace is the age we live in by looking at the principle of progressive revelation which we spent several messages in this series covering. Under this principle we should follow the most recent information that God has given to man on how to live, both in this life and eternally. We cannot just pick and choose the parts of Scripture we like or want to follow and we certainly shouldn’t just live how ever we want as the heathen do. The program we should be following today is the one Jesus revealed to the Apostle Paul, our apostle, the apostle to the Gentiles.

Which is where we will pick up tomorrow night, looking at the new revelation Paul received from the Lord. Until then my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ rest knowing you are forever gripped in His glorious grace.

Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 13 Not A License To Sin

I talked last night about how we are no longer bound by or under the law during this dispensation of the age of grace. That’s a good thing since it’s impossible to keep the law perfectly according to God’s standards. Instead of having to keep the law its role today is to show us that it’s hopeless, we can’t. We are lost as a ball in high weeds because we can never live up to God’s standard revealed to us through His Law. The law is what shows us our dire situation and points us to the only solution God’s grace and forgiveness through the finished work on the cross of his son Jesus Christ.

We are under grace not the law, but let’s be real clear – grace is not a license to sin or just keep on living like a lost person. Yes, we are saved by grace through faith alone without observing the law, however we still should refrain from sinning because of the consequences with respect to our heavenly inheritance. If we sin once we are saved it doesn’t mean we need to once again fear eternal damnation but that when we appear before the judgement seat of Christ for our works to be judge in the fire we don’t want to be left with just a pile of ash because all we had was wood, hay and stubble. No, we want a tidy pile of precious stones left behind to show that we served Christ not our flesh.

When a saint is under the law it constrains his behavior. The law tells him what to do and not to do. But it is different for the saint under grace and that’s what we will be looking at tomorrow Lord willing.

Posted in Prayers, The Word

Rightly Dividing: 12 – What’s the use…

Of the law today since we don’t need to keep it now? It’s main function is to act as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

The law shows us for what we really are -jacked up, messed up, depraved, doomed, damned sinners. It does this by making it very obvious that there is no possible way for us to fulfill that law, I mean have you seriously read some of it, it’s crazy! Especially after Jesus gets through fully explaining it: I you just look at someone with list you’ve committed adultery with them in your heart and are guilty before God, or what about how if you hate someone it’s murder to God. Don’t lie steal or covet. Don’t take God’s name in vain, keep the sabbath which sounds easy till you really realize that when God said no work he meant none, don’t even kindle a fire or pick grain . If you failed at most of theses you received the just punishment too, death. (By the way that’s not just spiritual death either, it was physical by most likely by stoning Israel’s preferred method and one brutally horrid way to die).

So once the law points out to us that we are lost like a ball in high weeds it becomes clear we need redemption, and thus the law has fulfilled its purpose today in our lives. Cause when we realize we need redemption we turn to Christ our Redeemer.

That does not mean we are free to sin though so don’t think just cause your in Christ you can act however you want. No way baby, but I’ll go more into that tomorrow when I talk about our motivation to do right as believers.

Posted in The Word, Uncategorized

Rightly Dividing: 11 Law, Nah! It’s All About Grace Today

Since Peter had a gospel that required works under the law are we bound by that law today? Nope, we are not under the law in any sense.

I know you’ve probably heard someone say that Paul is just referring to the ceremonial law there not the moral law, right? Well, that’s just not what the Bible says. Nowhere in the Bible is there a distinction made between the moral and ceremonial laws. Those who are under the law are bound by every single statute, they cannotThe pick and choose which part to obey

Praise God that we live today during the dispensation of grace, and are saved without having to keep any aspect of the law. None of it, nadda, zilch.

Just think about the amazing difference between the Law and grace. For example, notice the difference in regard to the sabbath under the law and under grace.

“Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.”  (Exodus 31:14)

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”  (Colossians 2:16)

Under the Old Testament dispensation of the Law, you could be executed if you failed to keep the Sabbath. Today though we are told that no

man can judge us if we choose not to observe the sabbath. That’s a pretty obvious difference, wouldn’t you say? Now you see why we have to be sure to rightly divide the Word and make sure we are following the correct dispensational program operating today- the dispensation of grace!

Tomorrow night Lord willing we will look at what the purpose of the law is today under grace. As always my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ my prayer for you is that you always know you are forever gripped in His grace!

Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 10 What’s the Differences

So we looked last night at the different gospels of Paul and Peter, tonight I wanna look at some of the specifics of these differences. I really want to focus on the two main ones, if you understand these correctly the rest sorta fall into place. The are water baptism and the Old Testament commandments or the Law.

Let’s start with the water baptism. Peter’s gospel of the circumcision is this:

“But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.”  (Luke 7:30)

Paul’s gospel of the uncircumcision is quite different though, as we will see.

“I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;”  (1 Corinthians 1:14)

See under Peter’s gospel of the circumcision water baptism was a required expression of faith, but under the gospel of the uncircumcision given to Paul no water is required. If water baptism were necessary for salvation under Paul’s gospel he would never have said “I thank God that I baptized none of you.” Clearly the two gospels have very different requirements concerning water baptism.

What about keeping the commandments or the Law of the Old Testament. Is it the same in both gospels.

Peter’s gospel of the circumcision:

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  (Matthew 19:16-17)

Paul’s of the uncircumcision:

Peter’s gospel requires the keeping of the commandments while Paul’s does not. It is thus very clear that the gospel of the circumcision and the gospel of the uncircumcision are not simply two different names for the same message (synonyms.). In order to properly understand the scriptures rightly divided we must understand which gospel applies today so that we can do what God requires of us. That’s where we will pick up next time Lord willing. As always my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ rest securely knowing you are eternally gripped in His grace.

Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 9 – Peter vs Paul

Or we could call it Old Testament vs New Testament. See the Old Testament saints didn’t know all that we know today. I know you may have been told that everyone in the Old Testament was saved by looking forward to the cross as we are saved by looking back to it, but that’s just not so.

Paul described today’s gospel as the “preaching of the cross” in 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Jesus Christ’s death for our sins, burial and resurrection is the good news for today,

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”  (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

but that’s not how Peter understood the cross during the Old Testament period of the Lord’s earthly ministry.

“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.”  (Matthew 16:21-22)

When Jesus explained that He was to be crucified, Peter acted in typical Peter style and opened his mouth to change feet. He rebuked Jesus and told Him that such a thing shouldn’t happen. (You know anytime I feel like I’m really stumbling and making a mess of following Jesus I go read about good old Pete, then I realize I’m doing ok, I mean seriously this dude denied Him 3 times after swearing he would die with Him, it just shows that we can all fall short and Jesus forgives and loves us anyway.). Today though we know that Christ’s death as a sacrifice for sins was necessary to redeem mankind. We are such a jacked up mess that it took God with meat on Him in the form of His only Son taking our sins upon himself and dying for them thus paying what we owed to fix us. That includes Peter and the rest of the gang of 12, who didn’t understand this.

They obviously didn’t understand the death, burial, and resurrection. Yet, Christ has already sent them out preaching the gospel of the kingdom.

“And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”  (Luke 9:2)

How’s that possible when they obviously didn’t get what happened on the cross? Well, they weren’t preaching the cross; nope, they preached something other than the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

If the apostles taught by Jesus himself didn’t get the cross, then it’s a sure thing Noah, Abraham, Isaiah or any other Old Testament saint didn’t get it as we do today either. Those who lived before the cross could not understand what is made so clear in hindsight. It would be a terrible mistake to think that those living in times past understood everything that was going to take place in the future. Different people in time having different amounts of the developing information is a natural consequence of progressive revelation.

Which is why Peter and Paul had different messages. Paul had the gospel of the uncircumcision while Peter the gospel of the circumcision.

“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;”  (Galatians 2:7)

Peter was taught the gospel of the circumcision by Christ during His earthly ministry, Paul got taught the gospel of the uncircumcision by the Lord Jesus Christ after his ascension to glory. Paul’s gospel is also called the “gospel of the grace of God,” while Peter’s is also referred to as the “gospel of the kingdom.”

Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 8

Let’s talk about some good news, or the gospel. We can talk about the gospel of the kingdom:

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”  (Matthew 4:23)

The gospel of the grace of God:

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”  (Acts 20:24)

And the everlasting gospel:

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,”  (Revelation 14:6)

The word gospel in scripture does not always mean the exact same thing as Paul clearly states in Galatians.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”  (Galatians 1:8-9)

The word gospel simply means good news and during different periods of history the content of the good news has differed. We already looked at several examples of this. Since God’s word means what it says and says what it means then there is obviously more than one gospel given.

The key is understanding how people are saved under each one and which one applies to us today. But before we look at there differences let’s look at how they are the same because some aspects of salvation are always true.

Everyone who has ever or ever will be saved is saved by the shed blood of Christ.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

Everyone who has ever or ever will

Be saved is saved by grace through faith.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The differences come in the content of faith required and whether works are required as an expression of that faith. In this age of the dispensation of grace works are not required as the Ephesians verses clearly state. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. But in the past and in the future, after the body of Christ is caught up, works are required as an expression of faith.

Look at Noah for example. His faith wasn’t in Christ so the content of his faith was different, his faith was in what God told him about the coming flood. God gave Noah the good news that he and his family would be saved from the coming judgement if Noah obeyed God and built a boat. Noah showed his faith by being obedient and building the Ark, if he hadn’t of well I wouldn’t be writing this tonight now would I have.

A yet future example of a works based salvation through faith will be during the Tribulation period after the body of Christ is caught up to be with Him in the air. During this time believers will show their faith by refraining from taking the mark of the beast or worshiping the beast and or his image. According to Rev 14:11 the act of this worship is unforgivable and the work of avoiding it will be required.

Praise God though that during this age of grace salvation is simple, easy, and the biggest and best choice we will ever make, to accept this fee gift of the good news, that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all the world on the cross at Calvary, was buried and rose again the third day securing the free gift of salvation to eternal life by the grace of God. Salvation today is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

It makes sense that just as during different times God has dealt differently so too would he save people differently . So while Jesus Christ is the Savior for all the world for all time not everyone is saved by believing the exact thing


Next time we will look at just what the Old Testament saints did believe. Here’s a hint they didn’t know everything we do today! Until then may you my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ remain gripped forever in His grace.

Posted in Daily Devotionals

Sweet Liberty

The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” — Gal 5:1

This “liberty” makes us free to heaven’s charter-the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, “When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee.” You are free to that.

Here is another: “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee”; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Father’s love-token; thou art free to it at all times. Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believer’s privilege to have access at all times to his heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead his promise that he will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach his throne at all times-in midnight’s darkest hour, or in noontide’s most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege. Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ-wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a “freedom” is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!


Posted in The Word

Rightly Dividing: 7 – The New Testament

The other night we clarified what the Old Testament portions of the Bible actually are; it starts in the middle of Exodus and excludes Genesis and Job as well as the first part of Exodus. So in light of understanding what the Old Testament is between God and mankind, the law if you will, let’s look at the New Testament.

First of all it didn’t begin when Jesus was born even though our Bibles are broken into man made divisions that make it seem that way. According to Scripture the New Testament couldn’t have begun until after the death of the mediator of this New Testament; Jesus.

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”  (Hebrews 9:14-17)

Since Christ didn’t die until the end of each of the four gospels, These four books contain mostly Old Testament information. I know they are in the grouping called the New Testament but they are Old Testament doctrinally. Basically God was still operating the universe according to the Old Testament principles (the law) during the 33 years Jesus walked this earth.

So what about the New Testament isn’t it the same as the new covenant ? Nope, as the passage from Hebrews points out the New Testament is a last will and testament. The new covenant however, is a contract between three specific parties: 1) the Lord, 2) Israel, and 3) Judah.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:”  (Jeremiah 31:31)

Notice that this new covenant belongs only to the houses of Israel and Judah. Gentiles have no part in this new covenant, which is why Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, never refers to it. He does, however, describe himself as an able minister of the New Testament.

The New Testament benefits not just Israel and Judah, but also the body of Christ, as Jesus death on the cross was sufficient to redeem all three.

And that cross hadn’t happened till the end of the Gospels so the New Testament hadn’t begun while Christ was alive before that. So what Testament did Christ live under you ask? The law, the old one.

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”  (Galatians 4:4)

This conclusion is confirmed by the dialogue between Jesus and the rich young ruler.

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  (Matthew 19:16-17)

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the only way to obtain eternal life was to observe the Old Testament law by faith, including the offering of animal sacrifices as a temporary covering for sin. God has not yet given the revelation of the gospel of the grace of God. Everything that we find in the Bible confirms that the Lord Jesus Christ lived under the Old Testament dispensation of the Law.

Let that settle for tonight and tomorrow Lord willing we will begin to look at the gospel and eternal salvation. As always my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ may you remain forever gripped in His grace.