Monday, June 27, 2022

Gifts For The Church

Christianity is not a mere philosophy, obedience to commandments nor the acceptance of God's promises. It is much more. Christianity is the appearance of God to man in time and space. The significance of Jesus' death, not only His physical death on the cross, but what He accomplished for man in the spiritual realm especially in the regions of death, which is beyond what we could ever comprehend. He took death captive. The reality of His death is this. When death slew Him, death slew itself. "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil." (Hebrews 2:14) "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Revelation 1:18)  

Jesus liberated those, who in death, waited His coming. Jesus took them from the control of Satan and in His triumphant victory over sin, death and Satan, transferred them to glory. David the king prophesied this very thing one thousand years before it came to pass. "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, even from the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell there." (Psalm 68:18) The Apostle Paul reiterated the same and then tells us the gifts that Jesus gave to men, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers." (Ephesians 4:11)

Jesus is not only the founder of the church, "...I will build My church..." (Matthew 16:18) but He is the foundation of the church, "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:11). The Bible gives a further revelation that Jesus wanted His followers to understand concerning Himself and the foundation of the church. "...the household of God (the church) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:19-20) 

Most in the Protestant Church, from seminary to the pulpit, have been taught that the apostles and prophets were only given to get the church started and after that, they were no longer needed. That once the New Testament was completed and accepted by the church, the foundational role of the apostles and prophets was completed. Therefore, all biblical references to apostles and prophets should be understood as a historical record rather than a continuing reality for the church. Any teaching today contrary to such is to be considered heretical. But, is this kind of teaching consistent with scripture or is it presumption?

First, there is not one verse of scripture that can support the the departure of either the apostle or prophet from the church because they were only needed to start the church. Think about this from this perspective. When a builder builds a house, the foundation is the first and most important part for the structural integrity of the entire house. Is there any builder that would build the foundation, complete the rest of the construction on the house, and once it has been accepted by the building inspector and the owner as completed, remove parts of the foundation? Absolutely not! If the foundation loses structural integrity then whatever is placed on top is in jeopardy of failure and even collapse. It is the same with everything that is build, even the church. Jesus warns, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matthew 7:24-27)

The Apostle Paul tells us, "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29) In other words, the Lord is not going to revoke, change, undo or alter the gifts that He has given to the church.  Paul also tells us, "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues." (1 Corinthians 12:28) Notice, "God has appointed these in the church" not man. If God appointed, then how can man un-appoint without any scriptural foundation to do so? Also, notice in this verse, the absence of evangelist and pastor and yet today the church has placed a higher premium upon them than the Lord. Also, and equally unfortunate, a greater portion of the church has also un-appointed "...miracles, gifts of healings, and varieties of tongues."

Now, let us look at the following passage of scripture to see the reason why these gifts were given to the church. "And He (the Lord) Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Notice, "till we all (the entire church) come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (mature, complete) man." Very few, if any Christian leaders would dare claim that the Body of Christ has reached the stage of perfection described in this passage. This being true, not only would it be right, but it would also be logical that there is still a need for apostles and prophets in the church until Jesus returns. Could the rejection of the apostle and prophet in most sectors of the church be one of the main reasons why the church is so fragmented with its numerous denominations and doctrinal differences? Could this be why the church is not knitted and working together? Could this be why there is a lack of growth of the Body of Christ? Could this be why the church lacks in loving one another as brethren?  Maybe it is time for those who reject the gift of the apostle and prophet to reconsider their position and let the Lord do what He said He would do, "...I will build my church..." The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you...

Monday, June 20, 2022

Let Us Pray

Prayer is a very important aspect of the Christian life. Simply put, prayer is communication or communing with God. The Bible reveal various types of prayer, prayers, supplication, intercession and thanksgiving. Each type has its own place, but we should always expect our prayers to be heard and answered anytime we pray . The Apostle John tells us, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15) God's Word is His will, so to be effective in prayer, we should decide what we are going to pray and then pray according to His Will (Word).

The Apostle James also tells us, "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:6-8) There are two main ideas that we should glean from this. First, we must always pray in faith. To pray in faith is to be fully convinced that what God's Word says is absolutely true and then act upon it even when the circumstances are completely contrary. You must resist doubt and believe that you have God's answer. Next, we need to have our mind made up as to what we desire from God. We must be decisive and not waver. James tells us that when a person wavers they are double minded and unstable in ALL his ways, (ouch), and should not expect to have the prayer(s) answered.   

Jesus gives us an important key that unlocks the doors of heaven and grants our every need. "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23-24) Jesus is the believers Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25), Advocate (1 John 2:2) and He is Lord (Philippians 2:10). He stands between us and the Father. Therefore if we want to be sure our prayers reach the Father's ears we must prayer according to the conditions that we find in His Word.

When Jesus said, "And in that day you will ask Me nothing" He was referring to the day when He would be seated at the right hand of God as our Mediator, Intercessor and Advocate. It is from this position that believers are to ask the Father in the Name of Jesus. Also notice that Jesus says, "Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." So, can believers be filled with joy when they have a financial burden lurking over them or some other need that needs to be met? Well, according to Jesus if we ask the Father in His name "you will receive, that your joy may be full." Let us remember that we must also exercise faith when asking and ask according to God's Will.

The Father's desire is to meet every need of His children because He wants them to be full of joy. However, if we are going to worry or fret over the situation, we will find ourselves hindering God from helping us and be rob of the joy He wants for us. The Apostle Peter tells us, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) The Apostle Paul tells us, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7) The fact is, if we are going to worry instead of letting the Lord have the problem, it will do little good to pray because we will not be praying in faith. 

There are many things to pray about, but in our prayers let us not forget to pray for Israel and especially, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem..." (Psalm 122:6) As we apply the principle shown hereon to our prayers do not be surprised when you are filled with the joy of the Lord even when the circumstances look mountainous. So do not lose heart, for Nehemiah said, "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) PTL

Monday, June 13, 2022

Life In The Spirit

Everyone likes to receive gifts. When we receive a gift, it should never be received in a prideful way as though we are somehow deserving of such. A gift is something that is given freely, voluntarily and without compensation. So, due to what a gift is, we should receive it humbly because they are meant to be a blessing. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preaches his first open air message to the crowds that had gathered in Jerusalem. Toward the end of this message he is asked by many of those who listened, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) Peter responds by saying to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

Responding to the call to repentance and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ has opened the door for receiving "The Gift of the Holy Spirit." Titus tells us,  "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5) The Greek word for regeneration means "to be birthed again." This is what Jesus had spoken to Nicodemus concerning what one must do to see the kingdom of God, "Jesus said to him, assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)  Therefore, it is vitally important that believers be equipped with the Word of God so that they fully understand why they are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The following will shed some light on this.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2) "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man." (Ephesians 3:16) The Holy Spirit is given to liberate the believer from the power of sin and death. The believer is no longer limited to natural power in order to live up to God's standard, but rather, God has placed within the believer the Holy Spirit. Now the believer has the very ability of God dwelling within. 

"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit constantly bears witness of our relationship with God that we are born again and He is the believers guarantee of this inheritance.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23) The moment that one is born again and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, their human spirit is supernaturally recreated. The recreated human spirit is instantly filled with these nine endowments which when depended upon by the believer keeps them from living in the old nature and walking in the lusts of the flesh. Walking in the Spirit simply means to walk in the fruit of the recreated spirit.

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The Holy Spirit equips the believer for service in fulfilling the Great Commission. 

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit makes it possible for the believer to communion with God through prayer; "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24) and also through worship. 

"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (John 16:13) The Holy Spirit will guide the believer into all truth. Jesus said, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17) This is one of the vital functions of the Holy Spirit in the believers life. Knowing God's Word will build the believers faith and assure the believer that all of the other attributes of the Holy Spirit shown above are indeed true. So let us give thanks to the Father for drawing us to Jesus (John 6:44); Give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for bringing us to the Father (John 14:6) and let us give thanks to the Holy Spirit for being with us and in us (John 14:17) even until the end of the ages. Amen (Matthew 28:20) 

Monday, June 6, 2022

The University Of Love

A university is an educational institution of higher education and research designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning. It provides academic degrees upon the completion of any variety of subjects offered. It also provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. God has a university. However, it is small and very few enroll and even fewer graduate. He has this university because He has very few broken men and women. Instead, what He seems to have is people who claim to be broken but really aren't.   

David, son of Jesse is a great example of one who not only enrolled but also graduated God University. Shortly after David defeated Goliath and returned home, "the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him..." (1 Samuel 18:6-8) "The next day that the distressing spirit came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice." (1 Samuel 18:10-11)

What do you do if someone throws a spear at you? Would you pick it up and throw it back? Well David did not throw Saul's spear back at him nor did he go out and make his own spear to throw at him. David simply escaped Saul's presence. If David were to respond to Saul by throwing a spear at him, David the shepherd boy, anointed by God to be king would have grown up to be nothing more than King Saul II. Although Saul sought to destroy David, he actually became the very instrument of God that would eventually mold David to become a man after God's own heart. (Acts 13:22)

David accepted his fate. He embraced the circumstances although unfair and even cruel. He lifted no hand nor offered any resistance. Even when David had the opportunity to retaliate and take Saul's life he would not. He would not return evil for evil even when prompted. "Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time! But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?" (1 Samuel 26:8-9)

How about you? When others throw spears at you in the form of evil speaking, gossip, slander or when they treat you with disrespect; how do you respond? Do you throw spears back? or do you exercise the most potent characteristic of our God, which is love, toward those who may do these things? The Bible tells us, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) 

Believers that walk in this kind of love, agape, the God kind of love are those like David who have enrolled and graduated from God University. The Apostle Paul tells us, "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5) The God kind of love is a part of the recreated human spirit that becomes a part of the believer the moment they confess and believe the Lordship of Jesus Christ. However, just like David had the choice to retaliate but chose not to, walking out the God kind of love is the same. In the mind of God, those who choose this path truly understand brokenness and selflessness. They have graduated God University because they know the power of love.         

Monday, May 30, 2022

Every Day is Memorial Day

Today, is the fourth Monday of the month of May and in the United States it is a national holiday entitled, Memorial Day. It is a day in which Americans remember the service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives so that others may have freedom. They did not give their lives for the United States alone, but as they fought and died in the numerous conflicts throughout the world, they did it to bring an end to demonized dictators who enjoy(ed) killing, like Satan their father, have only one desire, to have power. They fought and died to turn back these satanic ruled people whose only objective was to steal, kill, destroy and or hold in bondage to slavery their fellow man in efforts to promote their tyrannical reign. Let us never forget those in the armed forces who have gone before and those today who are ready to do what it takes to defend and protect the citizens of the United States of America.

In a similar way, Christians also have a Memorial Day. However, our Memorial Day is not only a day of remembrance, but a day of celebration. We celebrate the day that we "confessed with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believed in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and were saved." (Romans 10:9) We celebrate the fact the Jesus Christ also paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life to save (redeem, heal, deliver, make whole) all humanity from Satan, the most evil, murderous tyrant known to man. The Bible reveals to us, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) and "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)

When we consider what Jesus did for mankind the mind can hardly comprehend it. The apostle Paul reveals to us through the Holy Spirit, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned  (Romans 5:12) and speaking of the state of all men since the fall, “…having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) This means that not one person in all of mankind had the ability to provide redemption. God Himself must provide man’s redemption. God must redeem man from the dominion of Satan. Death must be destroyed and man’s authority over the Satan must also be restored. We also must keep in mind that God is just, "…God is abundant in justice…(Job 37:23) and therefore mankind could only be redeemed on absolute legal grounds. Even though God's love for man is unfathomable and the fact that He is also sovereign, He could not redeem man outside the realm of justice.

God would have to provide a substitute who would not have man’s satanic fallen nature but would be like Adam. He could not be mortal or immortal, but a perfect man as Adam was before the fall. He must fulfill the entire Mosaic Law, withstand the onslaught of all the devils attacks without sin, meet the demands of justice, (meaning that He would have to pay the penalty for man’s crimes against God) by suffering in man's place by becoming sin, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us..." (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being make sin the Redeemer would be separated from the presence of God by going to hell, which is the ultimate penalty for sin, until mankind had been fully and legally acquitted for their crime. In other words, Deity must suffer for humanity.

As Adam die both spiritually and physically ("a death you shall die," or, "dying you shall die." Genesis 2:17  Hebrew) and "and they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death..."(Isaiah 53:3 deaths in the Hebrew) Jesus too would have to experience both to reverse Adam's transgression. If Jesus' physical death was all that was required to redeem humanity, then sin is nothing more than a physical condition. If physical death deals with the sin issue, then every person that physically dies pays the penalty of his/her own sin. If sin is only a physical condition and can be dealt with through physical death, then we must conclude that God has no right to send someone to hell because the physical death of every person would be sufficient to satisfy justice and give them a pass to eternal life.

However, we know that this is not true. Jesus must suffer in both realms, physically and spiritually. Physically because that is the only way that spiritually dead humanity could eliminate the Son of God; spiritually, because it’s the only way that God could legally redeem man taking away Satan’s claim to humanity. It also stops man from accusing God of being unjust when they reject His way of redemption. Jesus indeed went to hell and suffered as a substitute for all mankind.  His physical death was infinitesimal to what He suffered in the spiritual realm. If humanity could have been redeemed apart from Christ, then Jesus becoming a substitute for humanity and being sent to hell would have become the most heinous crime ever committed in all of creation.

But thanks be to God who was willing to take upon Himself man's liability by suffering an incomprehensible death in two realms as man's substitute. So let us never forget what the Father did through Jesus to give humanity complete freedom from Satan's power. Let us never forget and rejoice continually on our Memorial Day. The day you and I were born again. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

I Am Independent of My Circumstances

Did you ever take a particular amount of money and intentionally put it aside for some reason, but forgot that you did it and also where you put it? I know I have and probably many of you have done the same. However, sometime later, you decided to do some extended cleaning or maybe just going through some personal items and found the money that you had put away and in your surprise you thought, "Where did that come from" or "I did not know that I had that."

Interestingly enough, you really cannot say "Where did that come from" or "I did not know that I had that" because you actually had the money. The only issue is, the money did not do you any good because you did not know you had it. Although this is something that happens in the natural, for many the same thing happens to them in the spiritual. When it come to spiritual things the thinking is, "If the Bible says it, it is automatically mine." This is only true to a point. The Apostle Paul states, "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20) Yes, the promises of God through Christ belong to believers, but have believers exercised faith to receive them, or are they only hidden somewhere in the Word of God.

God has given us His Word so that we would take the time to discover what we have been given through our faith in Jesus Christ. A good example of this would be eternal life. A person can have eternal life because one day they confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart the Lord Jesus Christ and not really know depths of eternal life. Their thinking maybe, "Thank you Lord that I am saved and now when I die I'll go to heaven." This is true, but you will not enjoy the reality of eternal life in this life because you do not know its depths or what it is suppose to do for you.

Many of the lyrics in our hymns and songs today speak of eternal life as a destination and not an instant transformation of ones old nature to the new nature in Christ. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18) This is the miracle of becoming born again. The Apostle Paul is not talking about ones body or soul, he is talking about the spirit, "the hidden man of the heart." (1 Peter 3:4)  

According to scripture, Jesus came to earth for many reasons, "to seek and saved that which was lost" (Luke 19:10); "To bear witness of the truth" (John 18:37); "To give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45) and so on. But He also came for another incredible reason that many have not come to understand nor walk in the reality of, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) The word "life" here is the Greek word, "Zoe." That is the God kind of life; eternal life. The reality is, the moment that one is born again, God imparted His very nature into our human spirit. We are in Christ. Christ is in us. We have the nature of God. We have the life of God.

The Apostle Paul tells us, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) Notice that Paul tells us how to fully come to the understanding of and how to take advantage of the believers new life, eternal life, in Christ. We are to live by faith in Christ. In other words, what God says in His Word is one hundred percent true. It does not change with time because He does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8) and we can put our faith in the integrity of His unchanging Word and not only understand what abundant life in Christ is, but also live in it in this life.

In short, living in abundant life is believing on and acting upon God's Word no matter what the circumstances of life may try to dictate, especially when they are contrary to God's Word. The Apostle Paul tells us how he lived in Christ, "For I, however I am placed, have learned to be independent of circumstances." (Philippians 4:11 TCNT) We can experience the abundant life that Jesus gave His life for, by exercising our faith and as Paul did, "learn to be independent of circumstances." It really isn't as difficult as it may seem, if we can remember as Paul, "I can do everything in the strength of Him (Christ) who makes me strong." (Philippians 4:13)     

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Blood of The New Covenant

The greatest covenant in the history of mankind was made, established and fulfilled by God Himself. It is called the New Covenant. In short, God the Word became flesh (John 1:1, 14) and we called Him Jesus. (Luke 1:31) He stepped our of eternity and into time with a purpose, " give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28) However, in the purpose of God, covenant between Him and man required the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22) We see the first covenant established at the fall of man, where an innocent animal was sacrificed to cover man nakedness. (Genesis 3:21)

Looking forward, we see a man named Abram, a man in whom God would cut covenant with. God appears to Abram and proclaims, "I Am Almighty God." (Genesis 17:1) However, before God entered into covenant with Abram, He changed his name to Abraham (a prince of God). (Genesis 17:5) He then set the conditions of the covenant, "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you." (Genesis 17:10-11)

The covenant was sealed by the blood shed in circumcision. This covenant bound Abraham and his descendants by indissoluble ties to Almighty God and it bound Almighty God to Abraham and His descendants. As covenant partners, all that was Abraham's was also God's and all that was God's would be Abraham's. Also in the Old Covenant, God gave Abraham's descendants the Mosaic Law. Within this covenant God appointed a priesthood with a High Priest. The priesthood was given the atonement offering known as The Day of Atonement. God appointed a special sacrifice through which the blood of an animal was to cover the broken law so that God could dwell in the midst of His people Israel. This occurred only once a year where the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle of Moses and pour the blood of a goat upon the Mercy Seat to make yearly atonement for the sins of Israel. (Leviticus 16) The word "atonement' in the Hebrew means "to cover." As it was with Abraham, so it was with Israel. As long as Israel upheld their side of the covenant, God was obligated to uphold His side. However, if Israel did not uphold the covenant, God was no longer obligated to make good. (Deuteronomy 28) 

Looking back to the Abrahamic Covenant once again, we find one of the most remarkable things concerning covenant. It came by-way-of the promise of a son made by God to Abraham. Sarah, Abraham's wife who was barren would bear a child, and his name would be Isaac. However, as Isaac became older God called upon Abraham to uphold his side of the covenant. Remember, as covenant partners, all that was Abraham's was also God's and all that was God's would be Abraham's. "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested  Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. And He said, take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)  

Abraham would not hold back his promised son. In obedience to God the covenant maker and keeper, Abraham took Isaac his only son, to the place that God showed him, to sacrifice him to God. As Abraham raised his knife to slay his son, "the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Genesis 22:11-12) This very act set the stage for the covenant of all covenants. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Jesus brings us a New Covenant having displaced and fulfilled the Old Testament (Hebrews 10:9). With the fulfilling of the Old Covenant, everything connected with it was set aside. As the Old Covenant was sealed with the blood of circumcision in Abraham and the blood of animals under the Mosaic Covenant, the New Covenant is sealed by the very blood of Jesus. Just as God stood behind the Old Covenant and was its surety, Jesus is the surety of the New Covenant. (Hebrews 7:25) As the covenant between God and Abraham bound Abraham and his descendants by indissoluble ties to Almighty God and Almighty God to Abraham and His descendants,  the same applies to the believer today through Jesus Christ.  Also as in the covenant between God and Abraham, all that was Abraham's was also God's and all that was God's would be Abraham's, the same is also true for the believer today through Jesus Christ. 

The Apostle Paul tells us,  "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Almighty God has purchased the believer for Himself. Next, we also see, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ..." (Romans 8:14-17) Not only has God purchased the believer, but He has adopted the believer and has made us His children and His heirs. By definition, an heir is one who inherits or is entitled to inherit the estate of another. 

The following are but a few of the believers inheritance as the children of God. "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20). "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3). "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness..." (2 Peter 1:3). "And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life." (1 John 2:25)

 As we can see, believers have a wonderful inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ and it has all been provided through the blood of New Covenant, the blood of Jesus Christ. "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:11-15) PTL...