Thursday, March 1, 2018

Welcome

August is now posted.


Jack J. Davis, age 82, passed from this life and is with Jesus (January 21, 2018).

Beside being pastor of Grace Assembly in Wichita, Kansas since June,1965, the Lord granted him the
privilege of a printing ministry  in June of 1982; the Glorious Gospel magazine (as printer and editor).
Through the years, many have expressed how much this magazine means to them personally.
With modern technology it can also be read on the web site (www.gloriousgospel.org).
It is still mailed out in printed form for those with no computer or those wanting to keep a printed copy.
The Lord willing and by His enabling the magazine will continue. Several volunteer their time to help in this ministry. Jack's sermons will still be printed from our vast library.


We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. The previous month's publication will be found under the Archive tab as pdf's. We will begin posting some studies, as pdf's and as ebooks in the coming months.

There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

PLEASING GOD


Jack Davis


“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

THE PURPOSE
This subject found in scripture sets before us the highest standard, which demands sincere focus, offers a most pleasant occupation and personal privilege. Thank about it. Why were we created? Born? What is God’s reason for your being? Why were you divinely purchased by the blood of the Lamb? Rev. 5:9-12. Who has creative and redemptive rights to all of you and yours? He or she that lives to please oneself alone, is a very unhappy, empty, shallow, unfilled person. A real sense of wellbeing and supreme satisfaction is enjoyed by one who pleases another. We each decide who we will please and where we can find lasting satisfaction.

Purposing to please God is not a passive but an aggressive attitude. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Eph. 2:10. Read also Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10, and Rom. 9:14-23. By presenting ourselves (bodies) a living sacrifice, we prove in experience what gives our dear Lord pleasure. Rom. 12:1-2.

The accomplishment of this purpose involves the Trinity, as well as the will, the word and the work of God. The Father promised that which He purposed. The Son has paid for and provided it. Then we find this being wonderfully performed and produced in the lives of yield believers by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy” Ps. 149:4; 147:10-11.

Is it possible that our Father takes pleasure in pleasing us? That is in our finding our pleasure in Him? Oh yes, where better could we find such profitable pleasure? “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” Ps. 16:11. “Delight thyself also in LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” Ps. 37:4. The Psalmist asked, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” Ps. 116:12-13. We please Him by taking all that He offers, and seeking all that He has for us. Jesus said, “Fear not, Little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” Luke 12:32.

The pleasures of sin are temporary and costly. Rom. 6:23; Heb. 11:25; Gal. 6:7-8. “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man” Prov. 21:17. But who can tell how profitable it will be to have pleased God while we are here? Is it cost effective? Can we set the price over against the profit? We are able to sing by faith, “It will be worth it all.” The Apostle Paul lets us know that it will be far more than worth it all, Rom. 8:17-18; II Cor. 4;17-18, beyond comparison.

Twice in first Corinthians we find the expression, “as it hath pleased him.” Read I Cor. 15:35-49. Often our Father uses the things of the natural creation to illustrate for us spiritual truth. God determines the seed of all creation, and gives to every seed its own body. It is important for us to know that in all creation He has indeed a great over all design. In His precious Word He has laid out His blueprint for us. This great design is not something to which we try to make ourselves doggedly resign, such as saying, “Oh I hate this, but if I have to, I guess I have to.” He has made His pleasure for us a joyous privilege, counting on Him, and submitting to Him to bring us completely in line with His good pleasure. He plans to give us an eternal, glorious, heavenly, spiritual body that will radiate the evidence of how well we have pleased Him in these temporary, natural, vile bodies of humiliation. Glory, Glory, Glory to God!

POSITION
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath please him” I Cor. 12;18. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men … For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Eph. 4:7-8,12.

It is good for us to realize that God does the setting and gifting of the members of the body of Christ according to His good pleasure, where we can best function, benefit and be a blessing to the rest of the body. We please our dear Lord as we faithfully fulfill the place that He has given us. We are to grow in our place as we feed on the Word and drink in of the Spirit. Thus the greatest accomplishment of our lives individually is found in doing God’s will for each of us. We can’t please God by fretting over what some one else is or is not doing. When Peter asked Jesus, “What shall this man do?” Jesus answered him, “What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” It is the way we fulfill our place presently that will determine the manifestation of God’s pleasure permanently.

PART OF THE FAMILY


Anita Clark – Pastor

Carbondale, Kansas



“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” Ephesians 3:14-15.

We, the believers, in Jesus Christ are part of the Family of God. The Greek word (pat-ree-ah’) used for the word “family” in the above text means, “ a group of families, or whole race or nation - kindred, or linage.” Those individuals who have experienced the New Birth by believing in Jesus Christ are born into this family of God.

Note that the above Scripture says, “Of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” God is the Father of this new race and He has named each of His children. The word “named” in the Greek means, “assign an appellation, profess and call a name.” The word “appellation” means the action of giving a name to a person or thing.” Meditate upon what God has called those who through the new birth have come into His family. He calls them children of the Living God, His sons, saints, believers, His Love (and probably many other names you can think of). A child born into a family receives the family name.

Note that the Scripture says God’s family is “in heaven and earth.” Some of God’s children have already gone to dwell with Him. Their time on earth is over. They are in the presence of their Father right now. We are a heavenly people! Others are still remaining on the earth, waiting to be taken to heaven one of these days either by death or translation to live forever with our heavenly Father and the rest of the family.

How does God become our Father? Jesus said (John 16:27), “For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” John 3:1-16 tells us that to experience God as our Father, we must be born again. This new, spiritual birth places us into the family of God. Hebrews 2:9-10 tells us that Jesus Christ suffered death for every man, to bring many sons to glory.

Apostle Paul refers to God being our Father in many of his writings. Galatians 1;3-4, Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” In Galatians 4:6, he says, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father.”

In Ephesians 6:23 Paul speaks of “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “brethren” has a wonderful meaning in the original Greek - It is the word “ad-el-fos” which means “of the womb - a brother literally or figuratively, of the family.” Paul repeatedly calls the believers, “Brethren.” There is a Divine Connection because of the new birth into the family of God. I John 3:1 states “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”

This kinship as family or brethren is seen in Paul’s example of our being the “body or church of the Lord Jesus Christ.” We are Spiritual parts of the same body. We have Spiritual DNA, so to speak, because of the blood of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 12:12-14 tells us that the mystical body of Christ is made up of many members - believers in Jesus Christ. Vs. 24 -25 tells us “... God hath tempered the body together...That there be no schism (division) in the body.” The word “tempered” is a Greek word which means “to co-mingle, put together, or combine.” The Amplified Text, says “harmonized.” This is how close we are to be as members of the family of God - each part severally and distinct - each with his own place and function, and yet one in purpose.

II Corinthians 5;15 says, “...they which live should not thenceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again.” Our first allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, but as members of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Family of Almighty God, we should care for one another as a family. As I Corinthians 12:26 says, “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honoured; all the members rejoice with it.”

Isn’t it a precious thing to know that wherever in this world there are believers in Jesus Christ, they are part of our family. We enjoy praying and ministering to the members of our heavenly family.

Refuge


“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9

The meaning of the word “refuge” is “A high place, a stronghold, a defense.” David certainly understood the need for and value of a refuge. He had, on many occasions, needed to find refuge from his enemies. A hiding place to find safety and shelter.

When we have conferences at my place of work, the first thing that has to be done is to show all participants where the shelters are in case of storms and where to go in case of fires. It is very important to know where the shelter is. As God’s people, we have a shelter, and sometimes we need to be reminded where or refuge really is. Going to the wrong shelter could be dangerous.

We find in our God, a place of refuge. First, He provides us a refuge from His wrath. The blood of Jesus covers us and provides salvation from God’s wrath. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9. “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1Thessalonians 1:10. What a place of refuge for us.

As God’s children, He provides a refuge for our soul. When the world begins to overwhelm us, we have a place of refuge to go to. “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.” Psalm 57:1. “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul.” Psalm 69:1. None of us is immune to the pressures and cares of this life, but we need not be completely overwhelmed by them. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock [that] is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

God also provides a refuge for our minds. Satan is always attacking our minds. Whether it be through the things we see and hear around us, or just things that he puts into our thinking. We need to be constantly sheltered in God’s refuge. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7

More and more, we need our minds to be guarded, and we will find that in God’s Word. “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.” Romans 12:2. Our minds need to be renewed continually through God’s Word.

As we consider our great refuge in our God, let us not be lax in praising Him for His strength, shelter and care. “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59:16. He  is worthy of all praise and honor and glory.
Gordon Crook

RUTH


Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri


Ruth 4:17 – “And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.”

In this verse we see the continued importance of the women, Naomi’s neighbors, in the part they play. They had shared in both Naomi’s sorrow and joy, now they declare and confirm this child’s place in Naomi’s life.  They gave the child the name of “son of Naomi” and the name of “Obed.” In the first they declare that this child is a descendent of Naomi, one who will carry on the family name. The word “son” in the Hebrew” can also be translated “descendent.” They see in Obed the fulfillment of the kinsman-redeemer’s responsibility. This child was not only the heir of Boaz but of Mahlon. He would unite both families. Through him Naomi’s son’s line would continue and through him Naomi would receive honor as a mother or nurse. 

These women next name the child; it’s interesting that they name him and not Ruth or Boaz, or even Naomi.  Somehow they see in this child a testimony of all three, and it is the testimony of a servant, for the name Obed means “serving” or “servant.” This is the testimony of Ruth and Naomi for both began as servants, they learned to serve, though they were forced into it by circumstances there was no struggle or resistance, only an acceptance. Boaz too, had this testimony as a servant, one willing to serve, for he fulfilled his responsibility as their kinsman and redeemed all that needed to be redeemed. Both these women and Boaz will pass on to this child this testimony and it will become a part of his character. Somehow these women saw this! This is also a prophecy concerning the descendents of this child, one of who is named. He will be the father of Jesse, who will be the father of David, whose testimony as a servant was that he fulfilled all God’s will (Acts 13:22). And from David’s line will come their Messiah, who did His Father’s will (John 6:38), the Perfect Servant. Ultimately this is what will be the description of the nation’s character as they become true servants of the Lord, it is the testimony of the New Creation! Sister Mary Bodie writes the following concerning this name Obed:

 “Obed — “servant” the name given to the child by Naomi’s women friends (type of the nations that rejoice with Israel in her renewal of life). The Messiah is constantly brought before us in this role in Isaiah 41-53: but after Isaiah 53, with its clear view of Christ’s sufferings, we read no longer “My Servant,” but “My servants,” to the very end of the book. These servants are the remnant, and are from now on owned by Jehovah according to the value of the atoning work of Christ. Therefore that little babe in Naomi’s bosom, figures both the Messiah of Israel and the beginning of the nation of Israel.”

In the following verses are listed the names of the lineage of David, of whom Obed plays such an important role, for with Ruth and Boaz there would be no Obed and without Obed there would be no David and without David there would be no Messiah, no Savior, no Christ.  But God is in control and He knows what He is doing and He plans all things. He knew Ruth’s heart before she knew it.  He knew Naomi’s circumstances before she knew it. He knew Boaz’s heart before He knew it. He knows everything. Here in these final verses we have a list of the line of David beginning with Pharez who was mentioned earlier, the son of Tamar who played the harlot. I would like to simply give you the teaching from Sister Mary Bodie concerning their names and the meanings and the wonderful types they represent and let the Spirit bless this to your hearts and He has blessed my heart. I can think of no better way to present this and to do it in simply a historical way is not enough, it is the typical teaching that becomes a blessing that we can apply to our lives. May you find the following teaching by Sister Mary Bodie a blessing. It can be found in the Ruth study book.

Vs 18: “Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, Phares – “a breaking forth,” is not difficult of interpretation as relating to anyone in whom resurrection life is implanted. They must “break forth on the right hand and on the left.” (Is 54:3)

Hezron – “to be green,” the second name in the series, surely is indicative of the vital energy that will be pent up in the nation. The green blade will come after the “breaking forth” of the seed. Then the next result:

Vs 19: “And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, Ram – “exalted,” surely harmoniously informs us of growth, just as the blade increases into the stalk with its “ear,” finally in evidence. So is the unfolding of divine life in the soul whether in the individual, or in Israel. The next name shows us more.”

Amminadab – “my willing people,” is the result of true spiritual growth. It manifests itself in a spontaneous delight in God and in His will. The Perfect Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, so beautifully exemplified this delight and so expressed those sentiments in His words, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight” [Mat.1:26]. It is into this joyous obedience that every child of God is sanctified [2Pe.1:2]. It is that submission of will that brings rest [Mat.1:29]. It is a sign of perfect redemption in its result, whatever the dispensation, when the rebel, man, thus can be brought into such harmony with God. It is fruit in full ear.

Vs 20:  “And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, Nahshon – “to shine,” teaches that the one who grows will shine. (This name continues to emphasize experience). The “willing people” are always the luminaries in their day. It is so now; and it will be so in the time of Israel’s re-gathering. They will be the light of the whole world. Their city set upon a hill cannot be hid in the millennium. The next name emphasizes another phase of salvation.

Salmon – “raiment,” speaks of the garments of salvation with which the people are clothed, waiting the Kinsman-Redeemer to whom they will be united.

Vs 21: And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, Boaz – “strength,” is He. They will recognize and accept Him as the One willing and able to redeem – their Lover and Husband. And then they will serve as none ever served, as the next name indicates.”

Obed – “servant,” becomes their happy occupation. They will say, as the Psalmist, “O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.” [Psa.116:16]. Redemption is thus the power of service. It gives character to the ministry of the saints in any and every age.

Vs 22:  “And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Jesse – “Jehovah is,” tells the reason of the exaltation of service. Jehovah becomes a servant. He is linked up with those that serve. We see Him thus in the Gospel records. Especially in Mark’s narrative, do we view Him in this character. Then the following name is in fullest harmony.”
David – “the beloved king,” most wonderfully prophetic, not only of Christ, God’s beloved Servant and King, but also of Israel, the nation that will reign over the world. They will be exalted on the earth when Christ as King is on His throne in the heavenlies.

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES


Verta Giddings


Chapter 15:36-41 & Chapter 16
Work In Philippi

After Paul and Barnabas had been in Antioch for awhile, Paul spoke to Barnabas about going back to the places where they had ministered before to see how the new believers were doing. That was all right with Barnabas, but he wanted to take his nephew Mark along. Paul remembered how John Mark had left their missionary party before – Acts 13:13 – and didn’t want to have Mark go. Barnabas was displeased. Now Paul needed a different helper, and he close Silas to go with him. Barnabas and Mark went to Cyprus, while Paul and Silas went back over some of the old territory. Paul and Silas went with the blessing of the believers in Antioch.

The second Missionary Journey: They came to Derbe and Lystra. Here they found young Timothy – Acts 16:1-3. He had a good report. His mother was a Jewess but his father was a Greek. We read in II Tim. 1:5 that his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were firm believers. He had learned the scriptures from the time he was very young – II Tim. 3:14-15. Let us be like young Timothy and hide God’s Word in our hearts, also. You might not know at this time how the Lord wants to use you. But if you take the time to learn the Word and let it work in you life, you too, could have a good report and be ready when the time comes for you to serve the Lord, no matter where.

They made several stops and helped the people become established. It says in Acts 16:6 that they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia. In V. 7 we learn that when they tried to go into Bithynia, on the northern edge of Asia Minor, that was forbidden also. Then they came to Troas, a seaport. Notice how Paul and Silas listened to the Lord. They were obedient. Young Timothy was with them. This was a good learning experience for him, also. It was in Troas that the Lord gave Paul a vision in the night. When the Lord closed doors, He could and did open another door. In this vision, Paul saw a man of Macedonia, asking them to come into his country and help them. Luke wrote the Book of Acts. When he said “we” in V. 10 it is understood that now there were at least four in this missionary group – Paul, Silas, Timothy and Like. It was agreed that they should go into Macedonia. They sailed to another seaport and then up to Philippi. The group went west instead of east. This is our modern Europe. At a much later time, the gospel came to America from Europe.

What took place in Philippi, the chief city of Macedonia: Apparently there was no Jewish synagogue there. When the sabbath day came they went out of the city by the river side. People were gathered there to pray. They sat down and spoke to the women who met there. A woman named Lydia, from Thyatira, who sold purple (material) listened to what they had to say. The Lord opened her heart. She even invited them to stay at her house.

The group continued to go to prayer. There was a demon possessed girl who kept following them. Demons know who Jesus is and who His followers are. This girl said things which were true, but the Lord didn’t tell her to say them. That is why Paul after hearing this for many days, finally rebuked her. She was delivered of those demons. She could no longer tell fortunes and her masters were angry with the missionaries. They caught Paul and Silas and took them to the authorities. They were spoken against, were beaten, thrown into prison, and put into the inner prison, with feet fastened in the stocks. The jailor was charged to keep them safely.

God was not finished with them. They were not defeated. Instead of crying and asking “why,” They sang and praised God. It wasn’t done quietly either. The prisoners heard them. Suddenly at midnight there was an earthquake, the very foundation of the prison was shaken. The doors were opened and everyone’s bonds were loosed. Yes, they all could have escaped, but they didn’t – not then. Since the jailor had received this charge, he knew his own life was in danger, so he figured he might as well end his own life. V. 28 – Paul cried with a loud voice telling him not to do this. The man called for a light. He at once knew that he needed to be saved. He even asked them what to do to be saved. They said – V. 31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and they house.” They meant, of course, that his whole household could be saved as well as he. The jailor took them home to his house, washed their stripes, and fed them. Best of all, they all believed on the Lord Jesus Christ after Paul had preached to them, and they were baptized. They all rejoiced. Wouldn’t you?

The next morning the rulers sent word to free them. They wanted them to just go and not cause them trouble. Paul, however, told them that it wouldn’t work that way. They were beaten openly when they hadn’t really had a trial; now they would have to come and openly take them out. This caused the officials to be afraid. This was a Roman colony, and Paul was a Roman citizen. So they were asked to leave. They did, after awhile. First they spent some time with Lydia and with the other believers.

You can see how the church was started in Philippi. The church must have been made up of the business woman Lydia and her household, the girl who had been demon possessed, the jailor and his family, and who knows how many others. The same message fit them all. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” This means believing that Jesus is the Lord (Master), that He is the Savior, that He is the Christ (messiah, anointed One) Whom God sent, that He was raised from the dead. Believing this and accepting Him into the heart brings salvation to you and to all who will believe. Have you asked Jesus to save you? No matter what you have known or believed in the past doesn’t matter. Right now ask Jesus to save you and give you this wonderful salvation. Paul and Silas knew Jesus so well that they could be happy in any situation. You can, too.
Continued in the next issue.

Monday, January 1, 2018

PRIVILEGED PARTAKERS


Jack Davis


Let us notice some blessed benefits in the believer’s relationship with the Lord. It is a priceless and personal privilege to be partakers of and identified with Him, our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Phil. 1:3-6.

OUR POSITION – IN CHRIST: the Apostle Paul begins this epistle by addressing the saints “In Christ.” Oh, what a position! It is so important that we be currently aware of and living in the enjoyment and power of it. Realization of our position should make a great difference in our spiritual condition, and should affect our disposition. Sometimes we seem so prone to forget, or we ignore or take it for granted. This ought not to be. Thank God, Jesus Christ is indeed our Ark of safety. There is no better place, nothing more secure, than being in Him. There is no condemnation, and from Him there is no separation. We have been crucified with Him, raised up and seated in heavenly places. Glory to God! What a lofty place we have “in Christ Jesus!”

OUR PROVISION – BY CHRIST JESUS: “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ…But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil. 1:19; 4:19. Full salvation, complete deliverance – body, soul, and spirit – is wrought for us, being worked in us; and we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us – 4:13. Happy is the man that finds in the Spirit of Christ his satisfying portion. Lord, help us look nowhere else.

OUR PRIVILEGE – PREACH CHRIST: “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the Word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to by bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the Gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice” Phil. 1:14-18.

Preaching Christ was not a privilege given exclusively to Paul alone. Thank God, we each may be partakers in the ministry of the Gospel, sharing the labor and the rewards alike. Preaching Christ is not all done from the pulpit. Paul did not try to exclude any, even though he knew that not all had the right attitude or purpose. Yet, we read of real victorious rejoicing, on Paul’s part. We, to, when fully following Paul and are in fellowship with Him, can also rejoice when and wherever Christ is truly preached.

OUR PURPOSE – LIVE CHRIST: In order to live Christ, we must let self cease, and allow Him to do the living. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die in gain” – Phil. 1:20-21. This is such a special privilege. It is indeed awesome to consider. “I am crucified with “Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” – Gal. 2:20. We may also enjoy this earnest expectation of Christ being magnified in our bodies. Our Apostle Paul here expressed the attitude of a real living sacrifice. We are enriched and shall be eternally rewarded by surrendering the control of our life to the Lord.

OUR LIFE’S PRODUCT – BY CHRIST JESUS: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruit of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel” – Phil. 1:9-12.

God desires from us productive lives. The Apostle wrote that he desired that fruit abound to the saints’ account. We also, as we fall deeper in love with the Lord, want to be fruitful “unto the glory and praise of God.” The fruit spoken of here is produced out of a righteous life. “The fruit of the Spirit,” that Paul speaks of in Galatians 5:22-23, is also traits of the life of Christ being reproduced in us. The only fruit that can possibly come froth from us “unto the glory and praise of God” is by Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us wholeheartedly trust Him for truly productive lives.

OUR PROSPECT – WITH CHRIST: In verse twenty-three, Paul spoke of “having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ,” Oh, how Jesus wanted this, He had real joy set before Him. In Proverbs 8:30-31, we read of Jesus as wisdom personified, being daily His Father’s delight; and yet His delights were also “with the sons of men.” Oh, how much He wanted us with Him. He prayed for it in His high priestly prayer, recorded in John 17:24. This was His will on the way to the Cross where He paid for it. Jesus has so fully provided for and prepared the way that we be “with Him” forever.

Paul’s desire to depart, and ours, is not just to get out of our troubles or away from the presence of sin and corruption which serve to make us very, very homesick. II Cor. 5:1-8, We groan, we who have the earnest of the Spirit (a little foretaste of Heaven) a token of that which is better in the world to come. We groan, yet our groaning is not just to get out of these limited, corrupt, decaying, dishonorable, weak natural bodies. Oh, yes, that too! What a relief! But that is added, extra.

Paul speaks of being “willing rather to be absent from the body.” The real yearning, the deepest longing from within, is to be “with Him” (Present with the Lord). Because we love Him, we want to see Him face to face – “Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together WITH HIM” – I Thess. 5:10. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” – I Thess. 4:17.

OUR PRIZE – WIN CHRIST: “what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. I press toward the mark for the Prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” – Phil. 3:7-8,14.

This winning Him is very clearly above and beyond that of Savior. There is going to be a wedding. At the marriage supper of the Lamb there will be blessed guests, there will be precious powerful servants. Some gathered there will enjoy Him as the most gracious Host ever. Some there at that glorious feast will really appreciate Him as the most kind, gentle, and generous Master. But, to the winners, He will be their Bridegroom.

OUR PERFECTION – LIKE CHRIST: – “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” – Phil. 3:15-16, 20-21.

In whatever measure and in whatever way we have come to partake of the mind of Christ, having His attitude of heart, let us keep going on in the same way; for in Him in perfection. This is why God would have us “grow up into Him in all things” – Eph. 5:15. Christ is formed in us – Gal. 4:19. We are being changed inwardly into His likeness – II Cor. 3:18. So we can see that some will be more like Jesus than others.

The purpose of Him who “hath made us accepted in the Beloved” is that we be “conformed to the image of His Son” – Eph. 1:6; Rom. 8:29. He “who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” has purposed also that we “be to the praise of His glory” – to the praise of the glory of His grace – Eph. 1:11-12.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” – I John 3:1-2. When we receive a body “fashioned like unto his glorious body,” this will be the final touch of perfection into His own likeness.