Oxford Bible Church - Living in the Last Days (audio)

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In-depth Bible Teaching from Derek & Hilary Walker, Pastors of Oxford Bible Church, Oxford, England.

The Oxford Bible Church

    • Jan 8, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 30m AVG DURATION
    • 846 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Oxford Bible Church - Living in the Last Days (audio)

    Drawing Water from the Springs of Salvation (Isaiah 12)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2023 30:02

    Isaiah 12 is a prophetic song describing how New Covenant believers have a spring of everlasting life within them. Derek explains how we can draw water from these springs of salvation by praise, prayer, witnessing, singing and shouting.


    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 28:49

    After the Rapture, all believers will stand before Christ to give an account of our lives. This is not a judgement to determine our salvation or condemnation, but to receive our eternal rewards. Derek discusses the 4 classic passages on the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-13, 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, 1 Corinthians 4:2-5, and 1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

    Christian Foundations (4) – Developing a Devotional Life with God

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2023 28:30

    When we received Christ, He (Christ in us) became our firm Foundation (1Corinthians 3:11). In order to build our whole life on Christ, we must develop a strong Devotional Life with Him, in which we put down our roots of faith deep into God, and turn away (repent) from our old life of depending on self. In this way we increase our heart connection with Him. This is where we cultivate our FAITH toward God, and deepen our REPENTANCE from our old dead ways. The whole Christian life is centred on our LOVE relationship with God through Christ. We have been brought into a New Covenant, which operates by us receiving love from God and giving our love to God (Matthew 22:37). A good acrostic for your prayer-life is: A.C.T.S *A = ADORATION – start your prayer time with praise and worship. *C = CONFESSION – when you sin confess it to God (1John 1:9). *T = THANKSGIVING – acknowledge God as the Source of every good thing in your life. *S = SUPPLICATION – don't just pray for yourself, but pray for others too. Our Devotion to God also consists of our public worship in CHURCH. Pat of our honouring God in our life is to worship regularly at a Bible-believing CHURCH that honours Jesus Christ as Lord (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42-46). By cultivating a strong devotional life through Prayer, Bible Study, and Church, we are implementing the first 2 foundational doctrines of Hebrews 6:1-2, developing our FAITH in God, and REPENTING from a life lived independently from God. This is GODLINESS (orienting our life toward God), resulting in more of God's Presence coming into our heart, bringing HOLINESS and TRANSFORMATION (spiritual growth). God changes us from the inside out. He transforms us (metamorphosis), like a butterfly comes forth from within a caterpillar. Transformation is the process of an inner life and reality being manifested outwardly. Likewise, we have the life, love and wisdom of Christ in our spirit through the New Birth, and metamorphosis is the process whereby that new life within us comes into our heart and changes it, so that we can then express it in our life by our words and actions. Pastor Derek completes his message by sharing how God transforms us (John 2:1-10, Romans 12:1-2, 2Corinthians 3:16-18, James 1:23-25).

    GALATIANS (40): The Israel of God and Conclusion of Galatians (Galatians 6:15-18)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2022 55:00

    Galatians 6:16 is a key verse in the theological debate about Israel: "as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, AND upon the Israel of God." Replacement theologians, who teach that the Church has now replaced Israel in God's purposes, point to this verse (in fact this is the only verse to which they can point) and use it to say that the Church is now the Israel of God. This is reflected in the NIV, which substitutes the AND for EVEN, translating it as: "Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, EVEN the Israel of God." However this is an invalid interpretation because the word 'kai' means 'and' rather than 'even' 99.8% of the time. If Paul wanted to imply that the Church was the Israel of God, all he had to do is not write the 'kai' at all. We see that this interpretation also contradicts the consistent use of 'Israel' in the New Testament (with over 70 examples) as meaning the Jewish people and nation. The New Testament was written in a time when both Israel and the Church existed together, and it rightly distinguished between them. It always describes saved and unsaved Gentiles as still being Gentiles', and both saved and unsaved Jews as being part of Israel. Paul however does talk about the subset or remnant of Israel, who are also true believers, as being the true Israel (Romans 2:28, 9:6), so the natural interpretation of what Paul means by 'the Israel of God' is the Jewish believers in Christ or Messianic Jews. This is supported by a plain reading of Galatians 6:15-16: "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a New Creation. And as many as walk according to this rule (salvation by grace through faith), peace and mercy be (1) upon them (saved Gentiles), and (2) upon the Israel of God." In 6:15, he introduces 2 groups - the Circumcision (the Jews) and the Uncircumcision (the Gentiles) - see Galatians 2:7-8, saying that as far as becoming a New Creation (salvation by grace through faith) is concerned, it makes no difference whether you are a Jew or a Gentile. Then Paul says that all those who live as New Creations in Christ have God's mercy (forgiveness) and peace upon them, whether they be (1) Gentiles or (2) Jews. The fact that he is speaking of 2 groups within the Church is confirmed by the double use of UPON, and the use of 'kai' (AND). Paul describes the saved Gentiles as 'them' because he was a Jew. Paul himself was part of the Israel of God: "the remnant (of Israel) according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5). Understanding this removes any basis in Scripture for replacement theology. Since most of the Galatian Church was Gentile, perhaps Paul perceived the danger of the Church becoming anti-semitic and turning against Jewish believers generally, in view of Paul's strong words against the these false Jewish teachers of the law. This is probably why he affirmed 'the Israel of God' in their midst. Paul finishes as he began in Galatians 1 by affirming (1) his apostleship (6:17) and (2) his message (6:18). (1) To establish his apostleship he points to the marks of the Lord Jesus on his body, received through his persecutions, as if to say, since you are so impressed by the outward mark of circumcision, look at my marks, which prove I am a true slave and soldier of Christ, rather than a self-serving man-pleaser, so let no one trouble me any more with attacks on my apostleship (6:17). (2) "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit" (6:18) summarises the Gospel of salvation by grace. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord, then as a free-gift, His grace (purchased on the Cross) goes into your spirit, making you a New Creation in Christ, and now that grace continues to work from your spirit, changing you from the inside out. In the Greek, this is followed by 'brethren', reminding them that although he has had to correct them, they are family. This is a final tender appeal, assuring them of his love, holding out his arms to them to be reconciled. Then, by his final word 'Amen' ,he was saying 'let this issue be settled once and for all now.' God indeed used this letter to set the Galatians free from legalism, but this same issue has reared its head again and again in Church history, whenever man-made religion overshadows Divine Grace, and God has used Galatians to set the Church free from legalism so that it can live under grace (for example Galatians was central to the Reformation). The key revelation, the starting point for the whole Christian life, is justification by grace through faith alone (apart from works), and everything else flows out from that truth. Tim, John and Derek conclude their study of Galatians by sharing their favourite scriptures from Galatians.

    GALATIANS (39): Boasting in the Cross (Galatians 6:11-15)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 55:05

    Paul generally dictated his letters to a scribe, and then wrote the greeting at the end in his own handwriting, to personalise and authenticate the letter. But in Galatians 6:11-18 he wrote his whole conclusion in his own handwriting, using large letters (v11). He clearly wanted to put great emphasis on these final verses. In them, he contrasts the 2 kinds of religion (the 2 ways of salvation and living) represented by his opponents and himself. On the one hand, the legalists promoted a religion of human accomplishment, emphasising the keeping of externals, focusing on the outward form of godliness, but denying its power, making a good showing in the flesh to gain the praise of man, and to avoid persecution (6:12-13). On the other hand, Paul preached the Gospel of Divine achievement (grace), centred on the Cross of Christ, which is is the power of God unto salvation, able to make us New Creations, and change our hearts with the love and grace of God (6:14-15). These 2 ways oppose each other because legalism encourages self-righteousness, but the Cross declares that everything that a man can produce from himself in his external works and law-keeping is only worthy of judgment, and therefore he cannot save himself, because he continually breaks the law of God in his heart (v13). Therefore, preaching the Cross to the self-righteous often results in persecution, because it bursts their bubble. The true faith is based on the Cross, and true believers embrace and boast in the Cross rather than in themselves and their own achievements (6:14), because they know all their righteousness and salvation comes through the Cross of Christ. We are saved through personally receiving Jesus as our Lord and trusting in His perfect work on the Cross. When we trust in Christ for our salvation, we were put (baptised) into Christ; our old man was crucified with Christ and we are risen with Christ as a New Creation - this is a work of God's grace, independent of our works, or whether or not we are circumcised (6:15). This truth of salvation by grace through faith (6:15) is described as the fundamental rule, which characterises and governs the life of all true believers (6:16). That is, our whole christian life flows out from the foundation and well-spring of our salvation by grace through faith. When we accept the Cross and are crucified with Christ, we are born again into the Kingdom of God. This fundamentally changes our relationship with the world, as Paul says: "by whom (Christ and His Cross), (1) the world has been crucified to me, and (2) I have been crucified to the world" (6:14). The Cross created a separation between us and the world. (1) Now we see the true nature of the world through the standpoint of the Cross, as being under God's judgment - so we no longer love the world, or get our values from the world, but instead we find our meaning and value from our relationship with God. (2) Like a man hanging on a cross, we are in this world, but no longer of it (John 17:14-18). We are still alive in this world and it can still tempt us, but we know that we no longer belong here - we are outsiders, not insiders. A crucified man is no longer enmeshed in the world-system. The world can offer him nothing. He knows his time is short here, and he is just passing through, for he is on his way to a different destination. Likewise, through embracing (boasting in) the Cross, we lose our attachment to this world, knowing that our destiny is with God, and so we look for His praise, rather than the world's praise. In this way, Paul contrasts himself with the motives of the egotistical false-teachers. Whereas Paul seeks the praise and glory of God and the triumph of His grace in the lives of the Galatians, his opponents want them to be circumcised, so that they would look good to their fellow Jews (for turning the Galatian believers into Jews), and so be praised by the Jewish world. Therefore, they reject the message of Cross, which glorifies God and condemns all man-made righteousness, because identification with the Cross would mean rejection and persecution from their world.

    GALATIANS (38): Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 6:6-10).

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2022 55:00

    Galatians 6:7 sets forth the general spiritual law of sowing and reaping: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." This applies to sowing financial seed (6:6), and it also applies to every area of our lives. God has built this law into the nature of reality, like Newton's 3rd Law of action and reaction - whatever you put out will come back on you, both good and bad. The Bible speaks of SEED-TIME and HARVEST (Genesis 8:22) abiding forever. Because there is a time-period between sowing and reaping (harvest), when the seed is invisible, it is possible to be deceived into thinking that our words and actions will have no consequences. God warned Adam and Eve that if they sowed sin they would reap death, but satan deceived them by saying: "You will not die." Your harvest is determined by the quality and quantity of your seed (2Corinthians 9:6). As far as our salvation is concerned, Christ has taken the full curse (harvest) of our sin upon Himself, so that in Him we can eternally enjoy His full harvest of righteousness - the blessing that flows from His perfect life of righteousness, which He sowed. However, in our life on this earth, the law of sowing and reaping still applies to us, in every area of life. We discuss the difference between the penalty and consequences of sin. Even when we are forgiven of a sin, it still carries consequences (Luke 15:31), but thank God for His grace which is able to turn things around for good (Romans 8:28). We either sow our seed (thoughts, words, and actions) to (1) the flesh, from which we reap corruption, or to (2) the Spirit, from which we reap a greater level of everlasting life, both now and eternally (6:8). Jesus said everlasting life is knowing God personally (John 17:13), so the more we sow to the Spirit, the greater will be our fellowship with God, and we will possess and enjoy a greater measure of everlasting life. When interpreting the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said to take heed to what we give our attention, for whatever we focus on will increase in us. Therefore, our first priority should be to keep on hearing and doing God's Word, for it will produce much good fruit in our lives (Mark 4:23-25). "With the same measure (of attention) you use, it (fruit) will be measured to you; and to you who hear (the Word), more (blessing) will be given." Sow a thought, and reap an action. Sow an action and reap a habit. sow a habit and reap character, so character and reap a destiny. Since sowing and reaping is a law, that governs the whole of life, we should not grow weary in sowing to the Spirit in our thoughts, words and deeds, for in due season, we shall surely reap a wonderful harvest (6:9). Whenever we obey God, we (1) reap greater holiness in our soul, making us more receptive to His grace, (2) the grace (blessing) of God is released through us resulting in a harvest of righteousness in our life, and most importantly (3) we will reap eternal rewards. Therefore let us keep fulfilling the Law of Christ, doing good to all, especially to those in the family of God (6:10).

    Christian Foundations (2) - Introduction to the Christian Life

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 28:30

    The Foundation of Jesus Christ was laid in us, when we heard and responded in faith to the Gospel of Christ by receiving Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour (1Cor 3:11). Once the Foundation of Christ has been laid, we need to build upon that Foundation by hearing and obeying (doing) the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament (Matthew 7:24-27). The first 2 foundational doctrines in Hebrews 6:1-2: (1) REPENTANCE from dead works, and (2) FAITH toward God, together describe the basis for a whole new way of living, built on a new Foundation - Christ in us. We must REPENT of trusting in ourselves, and instead live by FAITH in the indwelling Christ, trusting in Him as our Foundation and Life-Source. Thus we are to change our whole base of operation from ourselves (our own strength, understanding and soul-life) to the Living God, and His Grace at work within us through the Holy Spirit. The foundational doctrines of repentance and faith do not just apply to our salvation, but to our everyday Christian life (Colossians 2:6). To live by faith in the indwelling Christ, it is necessary to understand the miracle of the rebirth (regeneration) of our spirit, making us a child of God, so Derek shares the Scriptures on the New Birth in John 1:12-13, John 3:3-16, Ephesians 2:1-10, Ezekiel 36:26-27, 2Corinthians 5:17-18, John 4:13-14, 7:38-39, Romans 5:5, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 4:24, Philippians 4:13, Galatians 2:20). Now we are born again, we have the choice to walk by the indwelling Holy Spirit or by our flesh, from our independent soul life (Galatians 5:16-18). We either live by faith, under GRACE (living from the grace of God flowing from our spirit), or under LAW (keeping rules and principles in our own strength, living out from our soul, producing dead works) - Romans 6:14. “Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself (his independent soul life), and take up his cross (God's will), and follow Me (live a life of intimate fellowship with Jesus). For whoever desires to save his soul-life will lose it, but whoever loses his soul-life for My sake will find it (we will find our real life, identity and individuality, through the life of the Spirit)” (Matthew 16:24-25). We only please God, when we submit our souls to live under grace by faith, trusting in the Holy Spirit within us as our life-source. When we walk in the flesh, independent from God, living out from our own souls, in our own strength, we cannot please God, and we only produce dead (useless) works, which have no value to God (Romans 8:2-6). Therefore faith toward God and repentance from dead works (Hebrews 6:1) are the essential first foundational teachings undergirding our whole Christian life. Once we have been born again, we have His Spirit within us, but now we must learn to lean upon God's grace as our base of operation (Romans 8:5). Then we will experience life and peace (v6). If we submit to the abundance of grace that flows through His gift of righteousness, we will reign in life over sin (Romans 5:17). Our spirit is dead to (free from) sin and alive to God, but sin (the sin-nature in our flesh) still wants to reign over us (Romans 6:11-12), but as long as we live under grace (by God's Spirit within us, through faith), sin will not have dominion over us (Romans 6:14). That is, the power of the Spirit is greater than the power of sin in the flesh, so that as we trust and walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). This is confirmed by Romans 8:2: “The law of the Spirit of life (grace) in Christ Jesus makes me free from the law of sin and death." In this way, the righteous requirement of the law (love) is fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (under Grace)” (v4).

    Christian Foundations (1) - The Gospel

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 28:30

    In this Series, we study the Foundational Doctrines of Christ. By hearing and doing the teaching of Christ, we build our lives on the ROCK - Christ Himself, the only true and firm foundation (Matthew 7:24-27, 16:18, Isaiah 28:16, 1Corinthians 3:11). Hebrews 5:12- 6:3 define the 7 key Foundational Doctrines of Christ, the Elementary Principles of God, the Milk of the Word, that we need to master before going on to the solid food. This is how our lives are to be built on the Foundation Rock – the Person of Christ. The FOUNDATION of JESUS CHRIST is laid in our lives by the GOSPEL, which reveals who He is, and His love for us, demonstrated by what He did for us in His death and resurrection: “No other FOUNDATION can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST” (1Corinthians 3:11). When we believe the Gospel and receive Christ, the foundation (Christ) is laid (established) in us. Thus, the GOSPEL is the central, entry-level foundational Message of the Bible: “the Gospel of Christ is the Power of God unto Salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). In this video, Pastor Derek shares the Gospel and explains how you can personally receive Jesus Christ and His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. The video ends with a prayer you can pray to receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you need to make sure that you are saved, and will go to Heaven when you die, then please pray this prayer with Pastor Derek, saying it from your heart to God, and you will be saved, for: “ALL who CALL on the Name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be SAVED” (Romans 10:13).

    GALATIANS (37): Fulfilling the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-6).

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2022 55:05

    In Galatians 5:13-24, Paul revealed how the Holy Spirit empowers us to fulfil God's Law of Love, and in v25 he applies this to our life together in the Church, saying: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk (march together) in the Spirit." This requires us to not be focused on ourselves, always comparing ourselves and competing with each other, but rather through humility of heart we can enjoy healthy, harmonious relationships (v26). In this way, we should see and support one other as members of the same team, all working together for Christ, and all playing our own special part, like soldiers in an army. In Galatians 6:1-6, Paul develops this military idea by giving a number of specific applications. (1) If a soldier is injured, the others do not gloat over him, but rush to his aid to restore him (v1). (2) If a soldier has an unbearable load, then others will help him to carry it (v2). Likewise, when people are in crisis we should be there for them. (3) If a soldier thinks himself too important to help his fellow soldiers, he is a useless solder (v3). Likewise, if we in pride and have no love, then we are nothing (1Corinthians 13:2). (4) Each soldier must focus on accomplishing the task his commander has assigned to him, and get his satisfaction from that, rather than focusing on other people's business, and gloating over their failures (v4).(5) Each soldier must carry his own load (backpack). Likewise, we must all fulfil our responsibilities, for one day we will have to give an account to the Lord (v5). (6) Each Christian soldier plays an important part in the central work of of the Church - the ministry and propagation of God's Word. Pastoring, teaching, and other evangelistic and missionary ministries require some people to dedicate their working hours to their ministry. But they can only do this successfully is all the others partner with them in the ministry through encouragement, prayer and financial giving (v6). In this way, the whole body works together to glorify Christ and spread His Word. In all these ways, we fulfil the Law of Christ (6:2), which is defined in the New Testament as (1) loving God with all our heart, (2) loving our neighbour (all people) as ourselves, and (3) loving fellow believers in a special way, as Jesus said: "love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34).

    The Winner's Attitude

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2022 28:33

    Two keys to success in God are (1) connect with His will and grace by having a willing (submitted heart), and (2) when He speaks to you obey with all your heart and refuse to quit, until it is done. Derek illustrates this WINNING ATTITUDE from 2Kings 13:14-25, with special application to Prayer and Intercession.

    Psalm 2 and 110

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 28:52

    Both these Psalms reveal the spiritual warfare that is taking place in the time between Christ's Resurrection and Ascension and His Second Coming, and the part that we can play in enforcing His victory, as we represent Him in the earth. We need to learn to operate from His position of victory as we deal with the forces of darkness.

    Psalm 23 - The Lord is my Shepherd

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2022 27:42

    This inspirational Psalm reveals the goodness of the Lord. As we submit to the lord and our Leader and Owner and listen to Him and stay close to Him, He will protect us and lead us into all His covenant provisions. Derek shows how all 8 of the Covenant Names of God are represented in the Psalm. When Jesus said: "I am the Good Shepherd" in John 10, He was claiming to be the fulfilment of Psalm 23. Having died on the Cross (Psalm 22) the risen Lord now leads us into every blessing that He has purchased with His blood (Psalm 23), as we stay close to Him and keep our eyes on Him. this is a great Psalm to declare out loud.

    Galatians (36): Walking in Step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25 - 6:5)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 55:00

    Having compared the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit (v16-23), and described our proper attitude to the flesh (v24), Paul concludes by describing the attitude we should adopt towards the Holy Spirit, saying: "If we (1) LIVE in (receive our life from) the Spirit, let us also (2) WALK in (line with, keep in step with) the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). These describe the 2 keys to bearing the fruit of the Spirit: First (1) we need to realise that in Christ we are born again and the Spirit lives within us, so that He is our continual source (fountain) of life and love. Knowing this we can receive His love into our hearts by faith. Then (2) we are to walk in step with Him in love and obedience, as He leads us (see v18). In so doing, we will release His Spirit, and bear much fruit for His glory. We will know His Presence abiding within and upon us, filling our hearts and lives. Walking in step with Him describes a disciplined life of obedience to the leadership of the Spirit, as we seek to honour Him. A great example of walking in step with the Spirit is Israel marching into their Promised Land. We look at God's instructions to Israel in Joshua 1, where He says He had already given them the Land (by covenant), but that He would also give it to them in their experience as they walked step by step with Him into the Land. He promised that His Presence was with them to lead them into the Land to possess it, so that as they followed Him every place they placed their feet would become theirs. As long as they obeyed His leadership, His Presence was with them, and they enjoyed good success in possessing their Land. Again and again, He told them to be (1) strong (in faith, through meditating in the Word) that He was with them and leading them to victory, and (2) courageous (to obey His leading), and then they would see His power at work and His provision. This is a picture for us, for God has given each of us a Promised Land of blessing, and He is leading us step by step into our Land, so that as we follow Him, He will give it to us in our experience. We share some exciting archaeological discoveries from Israel that confirm the Biblical account, especially Gilgal and the Footprints of Yahweh, leading up to Joshua's altar on Mount Ebal (near Shechem), where also a highly significant discovery has recently been made of a curse tablet from the time of Joshua, written in ancient Hebrew, mentioning the name of Jehovah twice, confirming Deuteronomy 11:26-29, 27:11-26, and Joshua 8:30-35. The picture of us walking in step with the Spirit, evokes the image of a disciplined army under its commanding officer. This implies we do not just walk in step with the Lord under His command, but also in step with each other, maintaining our unity in the bond of love. Likewise, Israel possessed her Land through following the Lord all together in unity. Paul then develops this corporate aspect of walking in step with the Spirit in Galatians 5:26 - 6:5, starting with "Let us not become conceited (vainglorious), provoking one another, envying one another" (v26). When our flesh rules us, we become proud and self-centred, comparing and competing with one another, either asserting our superiority or feeling inferior. Either way this poisons our relationships and we become out of step with each other. In an army, when a soldier falls, the others help him up, likewise we should gently restore those who fall, rather than gloat over them (6:1). Likewise, when one soldier has to carry a weight too heavy for him, the others will help him lift it. Likewise, when people are overwhelmed, we should be ready to help and so fulfil the law of Christ - love (v2). We should not think of ourselves as too important to help others (v3). We should not compete with one another, but rather focus on carrying our own responsibilities (load), for in the end, God will judge each of us according to how well we have fulfilled His will for our own life (v4-5).

    Galatians (35): Fruit - not Flesh (Galatians 5:22-24)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2022 55:24

    We continue our study of the 9-fold fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, the character of Christ that the Holy Spirit is forming within us, as we are led by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit. The first 3 (love, joy, peace) are primarily to do with our relationship with God, the next 3 (long-suffering, kindness, goodness) describe out attitude toward others, and the final 3 (faithfulness, meekness, self-control) describe who we are in relationship to ourselves. Having studied the first 3 last time, we complete our study of the fruit of the Spirit by discussing "long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness), and self-control." We describe these wonderful qualities, which together fulfil all the requirements of the Law of God, which is why Paul concludes by saying: "against such (fruit) there is no Law" (v23). We also explore the meaning of what Paul means by saying that believers have crucified the flesh (v24). God's verdict and judgment on our flesh is crucifixion, which has been accomplished in Christ. Believers accept and agree with God that our flesh cannot be improved or rehabilitated, and so is only deserving of death. Therefore, knowing that our flesh is sinful by nature and cannot contribute anything good, we have put all our trust instead in Christ for our righteousness and salvation, and in His Spirit of grace for our sanctification. Thus we have no confidence in our flesh for our salvation and life. Although we have submitted to God's revelation and nailed our flesh to the Cross with Christ (metaphorically), so that its death is inevitable; like a crucified criminal, it is still alive and wants to express itself. So, although we decisively repented from trusting in ourselves, when we trusted in Christ for our salvation, we must daily maintain this decisive attitude toward our flesh (Luke 9:23), seeing it as sinful, rightly crucified under God's judgment, and therefore refusing to pander to it, yield to it, and give it the right of expression in our lives. In conclusion, Galatians 5:16-25 says that in order to walk in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit, we must consistently choose to say: 'Yes' to the Holy Spirit, and 'No' to the flesh.

    Galatians (34): Love, Joy, and Peace (Galatians 5:22-23).

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 55:12

    The Fruit of the Spirit is formed in us through the working of the life of Christ within us, through the Holy Spirit flowing out from our reborn spirit. This fruit of holiness is formed by the initiative and grace of God, but our co-operation is necessary. God works in us both (1) to will and (2) to work His good pleasure. He (1) forms the attitude of Christ in our soul, and then (2) empowers us to act accordingly, so that we bear fruit in our life. We must (1) receive His love into our heart, which changes our inner motivations, and then (2) release that love in our life, by yielding to it through loving words and acts (of obedience). In this way, by our obedience, we work out His salvation (saving life) into our soul and life, which God has already worked within our spirit (Philippians 2:12-13). God continually pours out His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit, enabling us to love God and others (Romans 5:5), and when we yield to that love by obeying His command to walk in love, the fruit of love grows and is developed in our soul (John 15:9-10). In this way, although we are not constrained by an outward law, we are constrained by the love of Christ working within us, causing us to no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ, who loved us (2Corinthians 5:14). We make a special study of "love, joy and peace", describing the wonderful nature of these realities that only the Holy Spirit can produce in our us - see also Romans 14:17: "The Kingdom of God is righteousness (love) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Love is rightly mentioned first, as love (agape) summarises the perfect moral nature of God, and is therefore the ultimate requirement and fulfilment of the Law. All the other 8 flavours can be seen as different aspects of love (see 1Corinthians 13:4-8,13).

    Galatians (33): The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2022 55:00

    After describing the ugly works of the flesh, Paul describes the beauty of the fruit of the Spirit - the beauty of holiness that the Holy Spirit in union with our reborn spirit will produce in our life. In contrast to the many works of our flesh, the Spirit in us produces one fruit with many segments or flavours (Paul lists 9 manifestations of this one fruit). Fruit only grows as a result of life. Thus the fruit of the Spirit is the result of the life of Christ working within us through His Holy Spirit. Our spirits were born again by the incorruptible seed of God's Word, so that they have been recreated with the love-nature of Christ (1Peter 1:22-25), and are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, who now pours the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5) We look at other Biblical passages that describe the fruit of the Spirit and how we can co-operate with God and bear much fruit, especially Jesus' foundational teaching in John 15:1-16. We can only bear fruit if we are in Christ (the Vine) and abide in Him (fellowship), (1) looking to Him as our Source of life and love and drawing upon the sap of His Spirit by faith, and (2) yielding to His Spirit of love within us, by obeying His commandment to love others. From the depths of our heart in prayer we can call upon the depths of God's grace to fill us with His fullness and He will (Psalm 42:6-8, Ephesians 3:14-21).

    Galatians (32): The Works of the Flesh - Part 2 (Galatians 5:20-21)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 55:22

    Paul lists the works of the flesh in v19-21 to reveal the true nature of the flesh, motivating us to refuse to yield to the flesh and express it in our lives, but rather be led by the Spirit. We note the 4 categories of these works: (1) sexual sins, (2) religious sins, (3) social sins, in the area of personal relationships, and (4) intemperance. We study the meanings of the Greek words used by Paul to describe the following works of the flesh: heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries. Paul indicates that this is by no means a complete list, and other manifestations of the flesh are described elsewhere in the Bible. It is helpful for us to understand the nature of the flesh, so that we recognise the voice the flesh when it speaks to us, or tries to express itself through us. When the flesh rises us we should turn to Christ and declare His Word, trusting in Him to give us the victory over the flesh. Paul adds a warning that: "those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God" (v21). We show that those who do not inherit the Kingdom are the same as those who are not in Christ, and who are not sons of God. This does not mean that believers who sin will necessarily lose their salvation. Rather it speaks of those who embrace and practise these sins as a lifestyle, expressing their true inner nature (of fallen flesh) in their life. Although born-again believers will on occasion yield to the flesh and sin, when they do so they are acting against their true inner nature of love in their reborn spirit, and are convicted by the Holy Spirit. As a result they do not embrace these sins of the flesh as their lifestyle, but rather they struggle against them. Thus a true believer cannot be happy or at peace while living in sin.

    Galatians (31): The Works of the Flesh - Part 1 (Galatians 5:19-20)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 55:00

    Paul encourages us to submit to the Spirit rather than the flesh, by contrasting the ugliness of the works of the flesh, with the beauty of the fruit of the Spirit. It helps us to see the true nature of the flesh, by what is evidently manifested when people yield to their flesh. When it says: "the works of the flesh are evident" (v19), it speaks of the flesh having its own nature, mind and desires. The nature of the flesh cannot be changed, and the flesh of a Christian is just like the flesh of the unsaved. The difference is that our spirit has been born again and we have the Holy Spirit within, who enables us to overcome our flesh. Even if we do not yield to the flesh in these various areas, the sins which Paul describes (v19-21) are still latent in our flesh. This motivates us to make no provision for the flesh, but rather put on Christ through the Holy Spirit (Romans 13:14). We study the meanings of the Greek words used by Paul to describe the following works of the flesh: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, and dissensions.

    "Lazarus - Come Forth!"

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2022 28:56

    In raising Lazarus from the dead after 4 days in John 11, Jesus validated His claim to be (1) the Resurrection and (2) the Life, the One who will raise us from both (1) physical and (2) spiritual death, if we believe (trust) in Him.

    Stories of Salvation

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 27:55

    Derek shares 3 true stories that paint vivid pictures of the wonderful salvation that God has provided for us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His death on the Cross.

    The Mount Everest of Prophecy (Isaiah 53)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 28:29

    The Mount Everest of Prophecy (Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12). This majestic prophecy from 700 BC reveals the perfect saving work of the suffering Messiah in dying for our sins and rising again. We see how Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled this prophecy in all its details.

    GALATIANS (30): The Flesh v the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18).

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2022 55:11

    We discuss the nature of the flesh according to the Bible, and how it is implacably opposed to God and His work in us. Our flesh cannot please God and only deserves crucifixion. Therefore to please God, we must walk in the Spirit. There is a battle between our flesh and the Spirit, and both desire to gain control over our souls. In our born again spirit, we desire to do God's will, but the covetousness of the flesh pulls us in the opposite direction, to prevent us living the life that God desires of us. However, the Spirit is stronger than the flesh, and gives us automatic victory over our flesh, when we trust in Him, for if we will walk in the Spirit, and we shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. In our soul, we must choose to trust and obey the Spirit of grace within us, and then victory over sin will be automatic, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death (see Romans 8:1-9). Thus if we are led by the Spirit (living in submission to the leadership of the Spirit of grace), then sin will not have dominion over us. To be led by the Spirit and to live under law are 2 incompatible ways of living. therefore to enjoy the life and freedom of the Spirit, we must first be set free from the Law.

    GALATIANS (29): Free to Love (Galatians 5:13-15)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 55:00

    In Galatians, God's Magna Carta of Christian Liberty, Paul emphasised justification by faith first (chapters 1-4), because it is foundational, and puts us in position, where we can receive and walk in His sanctifying Spirit, who empowers us to overcome sin in the flesh (chapters 5-6). First, God sent His Son to set us free from the Law by His death on the Cross, and then on that basis, He sent His Spirit into our hearts to set us free from sin (see Romans 6:14). Christ has set us free from the Law's dominion, curse and condemnation. Having been justified by faith, we are now under grace and are at peace with God on the basis of the perfect righteousness and work of Christ. We have been set free from the Law, in order to enjoy a life of liberty under grace (v1,13). Therefore, we must not submit to a yoke of legalism - trying to get right with God on the basis of our works (v1-12), for while we remain under legalism, struggling in the flesh to fulfil God's Law, we cut ourselves off from the liberating Spirit of grace, and as a result sin will have dominion over us. We have been called by grace into a life of liberty from (1) the Law and (2) sin (the sin-nature in our flesh). He set us free from the Law, so that by His Spirit within us, we might live a life of freedom from sin. Therefore Paul says in v13 that we must not use our freedom from the Law as an excuse or basis to indulge our flesh, because that is just another form of bondage - slavery to sin. Christ did not come to give us freedom to sin, but freedom to not sin. God graciously set us free from the tyranny of the Law, so that we might be set free from self (the flesh), to serve others in love, and so fulfil God's law of love, through His Spirit of love within us. There are 2 ditches of bondage on either side of the road of freedom: legalism and license. Both involve bondage to different aspects of our fallen flesh.

    GALATIANS (28): Who hindered you? (Galatians 5:5-12).

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 54:59

    First, we take a closer look at Paul's wonderful description of the Spirit-filled Christian life in v5-6: "We through the SPIRIT eagerly WAIT for the HOPE of RIGHTEOUSNESS by FAITH. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but FAITH working through LOVE." We live by the grace of the indwelling Spirit, who enables us to believe (rest) in His promises, so that with assurance we eagerly wait in hope for Him to bring us into their fulfilment and manifestation, as we trust His leadership in our lives. The hope of righteousness speaks of our confident expectation that God's grace in us will produce a continual and increasing manifestation of His imparted righteousness (the fruit of the Spirit) in our lives (sanctification), based on His imparted righteousness (justification). Our hope of righteousness is also that this process of sanctification will ultimately result in our glorification, when we will be perfected, and become just like Jesus, with His righteousness perfectly manifested in our being for all eternity (see Romans 5:1-5). The basis, value and reality of our life with God has nothing to do with outward rituals like circumcision, but rather what matters is our FAITH, which first of all rests (sits) in Christ and His grace, and is then expressed in a life of LOVE toward God and man (our Christian walk). A genuine FAITH unites us to the GOD, who is LOVE and the Source of all LOVE (1John 4:7-8). Therefore, the natural FRUIT that flows forth from our FAITH is LOVE, through the Holy Spirit within us (Romans 5:5). Thus, the true RIGHTEOUSNESS of (from) God that is of real value in our life is the LOVE that issues forth from our FAITH, or in other words, FAITH working through LOVE, expressing itself through our works (actions) of love. Having contrasted the life of believers under the law with the life of believers under grace (v1-6), Paul then contrasts the false legalistic teachers of God with true teachers of grace, like Paul (v7-12). The Christian life is like running a race. We run well as we obey (live step by step in accordance with) the truth of grace. But false teachers are like those who cut across us, causing us to break our stride, hindering our progress in grace (v7). Paul points out that the origin of their doctrine cannot be God, who originally called them into His grace (see 1:6), since their message of human merit contradicted this Divine call (v8). He also points out the effect of their doctrine is to hinder, trouble and contaminate the church (v8,9,10,12). Also, one has to be on guard against it, because it can spread quickly like an infection, until it affects the whole church as well as one's whole life (v9). For example, although circumcision seems a small thing, it opens the door to you having to keep all the law (v3). Paul points out that God will judge false teachers (v10, see James 3:1), although he is also confident that the Galatians will eventually come to their senses (v10). Paul also answers false information spread by these teachers that Paul actually agrees with them and still preaches circumcision (v11), by saying that if that were the case he would not be continually persecuted by the Jews. His persecution came because of the offence of the Cross, which declares that fallen man cannot contribute anything to his salvation, which offends man's self-righteousness, so if he in fact agreed with the legalists, this offence and its associated persecution would cease (v11). Paul concludes by expressing his wish that these false teachers, who were so into cutting the flesh (circumcision), would go all the way and castrate themselves, so that they could no longer reproduce, limiting their ability to spread their harmful doctrines further (v12).

    GALATIANS (27): Fallen from Grace (Galatians 5:2-6).

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2022 55:07

    In these verses, Paul contrasts the false man-made and man-centred religion of man's achievement (salvation by good works in obedience to the Law) in v2-4, with the true God-centred religion of Divine initiative, grace and achievement (v5-6). In this context, circumcision represents embracing the Law as one's life and salvation, and Paul warns them that if they do that, Christ will profit them nothing, and that if they attempt to be justified by law, they will become estranged from Christ, and they will fall from grace. Thus if they choose the way of the law by cutting their flesh in circumcision, they will also be cutting themselves off from the grace of Christ. We discuss what this means. It certainly means that by trusting in the flesh, they will cut themselves off from the supply of God's sanctifying Spirit in their lives, leaving them to struggle on in the flesh, but is Paul also warning them that they could be cut off from Christ and lose their salvation? We discuss this controversial issue. Paul also points out that being circumcised obliges a man to keep the whole law, thus dooming him to the curse of the law (3:10). Then Paul contrasts this by describing God's way of grace (v5-6). First, the basis for our relationship (right-standing) with God is simply that we are 'in Christ.' He also describes the true Christian life in terms of faith, hope and love, which flourish by the Holy Spirit through our fellowship with God. Therefore externals rituals like circumcision are irrelevant both for our justification and for our sanctification.

    GALATIANS (26): For FREEDOM, Christ has set us FREE! (Galatians 5:1).

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 55:39

    Galatians 5:1: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." (NKJV). Galatians 5:1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (NIV). This key verse is transitional, moving the letter of Galatians into a description of Christian life of liberty through the Holy Spirit, moving the emphasis from justification to sanctification. He starts from the conclusion of the last chapter: "Christ has set us FREE", and declares that He has done this, so that we might live and enjoy a life of FREEDOM. Therefore, we should refuse to allow ourselves to return to a life of slavery by embracing legalism. First, we discuss what the Bible means by FREEDOM. It is not freedom to do whatever we want, or to sin as we please. We are not set free to sin, but we are set free from sin. Living under the flesh results in bondage. Freedom means being free to be and live as God created and intended us to be. We were made in God's image to belong to God and to be filled with God's Spirit, and to glorify God by expressing His nature and abilities. There are 2 main aspects to our freedom: (1) Freedom from the Law, and (2) Freedom from sin and self. (1) First, Christ set us free from the external restraint and condemnation of the Law, by bearing our sin and condemnation on the Cross, and then by giving us His imputed righteousness when we believe in Him. On this basis, He justified us and set our conscience free from the guilt of sin. There is therefor no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). Thus, we have been set free from the tyranny of having to keep the Law to win acceptance and favour with God, and access to God and His grace. (2) Second, Christ sets us free from the power of indwelling sin (in our flesh) and our independent self-life, by the gift of His imparted righteousness through the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is, He sets our will free from bondage to sin (the sin-nature in our flesh) - this is sanctification by the Word and by the Spirit, for where the Spirit is there is liberty (2Corinthians 3:17). He initially sanctified our spirit (set it free from sin) in the New Birth, when the Spirit came to indwell it. Now He is progressively sanctifying our soul as we walk in the Spirit, rather than in the flesh. Our justification (freedom from the Law) is the basis for our sanctification, for it gives us legal access to the grace of God in the Spirit, which sanctifies us (Romans 5:1-2, 8:1-6). Thus, in order to enjoy a life of freedom in the Spirit, our hearts must first be established in our justification by grace through faith, which is why Paul first of all emphasised this truth in Galatians 1-4, before moving on to describe our new life in the Spirit (Galatians 5-6).

    LIFE after DEATH

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 28:55

    The Bible alone holds the secrets to life after death. It reveals that all humanity is divided into two groups after death, and is set apart unto 2 opposite eternal destinies - Heaven and Hell. While God-rejectors, who die in their sins, go down to Hades to await their resurrection unto final sentencing and everlasting condemnation, those who die in Christ, go up to Heaven, to be with Christ, their Lord and Saviour, forever. A God Day programme.

    ETERNITY (Revelation 21-22)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2022 27:46

    God has prepared a wonderful eternity for all those who receive His salvation in Christ. We see what the final chapters of the Bible reveal about our everlasting life in the heavenly City. A God Day programme.

    The 4 FACES of the CHERUBIM

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 28:27

    Derek shows how the 4 Faces of the Cherubim (the Ox, Eagle, Man and Lion) represent 4 ways that our soul is designed to function, under God's 4-fold anointing, symbolised by the 4 rivers flowing out of Eden. These correspond to the 4 Gospels (Mark, John, Luke and Matthew), each of which emphasise Jesus operating in one of these aspects. A God Day programme.

    GALATIANS (25): Casting out Ishmael (Galatians 4:28 - 5:1)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2022 55:20

    We look at Genesis 21, which is the basis for Paul's thoughts in this passage. In Genesis 21, Isaac ('laughter') is born, speaking of the rejoicing in Heaven whenever someone in born again. When Isaac was weaned, there was a feast in his honour (v8), which resulted in Ishmael manifesting his insecurity by mocking Isaac (v9). Ishmael, who was 14 years older, was used to being in the ascendency, but now his position was threatened, by Isaac, the child of promise. Paul says this is a picture of how the children of the flesh always persecute the children of the Spirit, and we give examples of this from history. This is also a picture of how the work of the flesh resists the promise of God and the work of the Spirit in our own lives today. Sarah realised that because of this antagonism, Hagar and Ishmael had to be cast out in order for Isaac's promised inheritance to be established, and God agreed with her (v10-12). Likewise, the flesh and the Spirit are mutually exclusive, like bondage and freedom. They are always in opposition (Galatians 5:16-17), and cannot coexist. For the work of the Spirit to be established in our lives, like Abraham, we must cast out the works of the flesh. Otherwise, they will continually resist the fulfilment of God's promise and the work and fruit of the Spirit in our lives. One application to the Galatians is that although the legalistic false teachers were physically Jewish, they were spiritually like Ishmael, bound to Hagar (the Law). Therefore, they were hindering the work of God in the assembly, and so the Galatians should cast them out. Abraham's act of obedience in casting out Ishmael and establishing Isaac as his seed (at the age of 5) marked a significant step forward in God's plan for his life (compare Genesis 15:13 and Acts 7:5 with Exodus 12:40-41 and Galatians 3:17). We know that God revealed this to him, because soon afterwards, he called on the name of 'El Olam', 'the Everlasting God' or 'the God of the Ages' (v33) - the first time this Name of God is revealed. Likewise, when we are obedient to cast out the work of the flesh, the Lord of the Ages, will move our life forward into a new season. Paul concludes that as born again believers, we are by nature free - our spirits have been set free from sin by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and we are free from the Law and its condemnation and curse (4:31).

    GALATIANS (24): Mount Sinai in Arabia (Galatians 4:23-29)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 55:28

    Paul compares the Old Covenant and its children to Hagar and Ishmael, pointing out that by its nature the Old Covenant (Hagar, the bond-slave) gives birth to children of bondage (Ishmael). He strengthens this identification by pointing out that the origin of the Old Covenant, Mount Sinai, is in Arabia, where Hagar and Ishmael settled after being cast out, from whom came the Arabs. Thus it is clear that the real Mount Sinai must be in Saudi Arabia, rather than in the Sinai Peninsula (a late tradition established during the Byzantine Empire). This agrees with earlier Jewish writings, and with other Scriptures, especially those that locate Mount Sinai in the region of Midian. We discuss the location and discovery of the real Mount Sinai and the split Rock, as well as the place of the Red Sea Crossing, pointing out that scriptures that speak of Yam Suph (translated as Red Sea) point to the Gulf of Aqaba, not the Gulf of Suez or its shallow marshy lakes, which means the parting of the waters was indeed a mighty miracle, just as the Bible describes. Although, the New Jerusalem (like Sarah) had been desolate of children (no one was born again before the New Covenant was established), now she is giving birth to an ever-increasing number of children, as Galatians 4:26-27 points out, by quoting a prophecy from Isaiah 54:1. Thus immediately after the classic prophecy of Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection to establish the New Covenant in Isaiah 53, Isaiah 54 describes the wonderful results of His Sacrifice, including the new birth of multitudes of spiritual children in Christ. Finally, we see that, as always, those who are just born according to the flesh (like Ishmael) persecute those who are born according to the Spirit (like Isaac).

    GALATIANS (23): Ishmael and Isaac (Galatians 4:22-26)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 56:45

    We continue our study of Paul's analogy of Ishmael and Isaac. We take a more in-depth look as how God made it possible for us to receive a supernatural birth like Isaac, through receiving the promise of God in the Gospel, causing us to become the seed of Abraham and heirs of eternal life in Christ. God accomplished this through Christ, the greater than Isaac, the ultimate Seed of Abraham, who, like Isaac, had a supernatural birth, and who, through His perfect life, death and resurrection purchased and received the full blessing of Abraham on our behalf. We look at how God revealed this through the typology in Genesis 22, when Abraham offered up Isaac on Mount Moriah, and received him back from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19), resulting in the promise of Abraham's blessing coming upon all peoples in Christ, the Seed of Abraham, who would ultimately fulfil the type (Genesis 22:18). When we believe and receive the promise of God through the Gospel, we are put into (union with) Christ and become the spiritual Seed of Abraham, and thereby inherit the blessing by grace (3:26-29). In this way, Isaac, the initial seed of Abraham, is firstly a type of Christ, the greater Seed of Abraham, and secondly of all of us who are in Christ, and who are heirs of the covenant blessing. So when we are born again, we are no longer like unto Ishmael, but new creations made like unto Isaac, children of grace (promise) and inheritors of eternal life. We also discuss how Genesis 22:14 makes it clear that the location of Christ's death and resurrection must have been on Mount Moriah: "Abraham called the name of the place, 'the-Lord-will-Provide'; as it is said to this day: “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” or better: “In the Mount, the Lord shall be provided.” This is a prophecy that God will provide the ultimate Sacrifice of His Son to fulfil the type, on the same Mount (Mount Moriah - see v2) where Abraham offered up Isaac. We see how this confirms the truth of Gordon's Calvary and the Garden Tomb. Although Jesus died and rose again in the earthly Jerusalem, the origin and centre of operation of the New Covenant, is now the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22-24), especially since the risen Jesus took His Blood there to establish the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:11-15). Thus the New Covenant operating from the heavenly New Jerusalem is our Mother, who is free - corresponding to Sarah in Paul's allegory (see also Psalm 87). By contrast, the origin of the Old Covenant was the earthy Mount Sinai in Arabia, and its centre of operation (at the time Paul wrote Galatians) was the earthly Jerusalem, who was in bondage - corresponding to Hagar.

    GALATIANS (22): Who is your Mother? (Galatians 4:21-24).

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 56:23

    In these verses, Paul illustrates his message with a symbolic allegory, based Abraham's 2 sons, (1) Ishmael and (2) Isaac, born from 2 different mothers, (1) Hagar (the slave) and (2) Sarah (the free woman). The 2 sons derived their nature and status from their mothers, either (1) slavery (bondage) or (2) freedom. These 2 mothers represent (1) the Old Covenant (Law) associated with Mount Sinai, and (2) the New Covenant (Grace), associated with Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. (1) Just as Ishmael's birth was according to the flesh, by human initiative and effort (Genesis 16), so the children of the law are the product of their own effort and works. (2) Just as Isaac's birth was supernatural, through receiving God's promise (Genesis 17), so the children of the promise (Gospel) are born of the Spirit, the product of God's grace. We make a special study of God's supernatural work of grace by God's Spirit in bringing Isaac to birth, when Abram and Sarai believed His Word (promise), a picture of our supernatural New Birth by God's Spirit, when we believed His promise through the Gospel. Whereas (1) Ishmael, the man of the flesh, was cast out, (2) Isaac, the man born of the Spirit by grace, inherited the covenant, including the blessing of eternal life. Every person is either (1) an Ishmael, or (2) an Isaac. Who is your Mother?