(Go To Meeting)

Albert Jones—September 1, 2023

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We're going to talk about a very important topic for us as member's of God's Family. The central and most important aspect of our relationship with God begins and ends with Christ and the work that He is doing in our lives.

As a topic Christ in us, the Hope of glory is something that we think about and we've heard sermons about. It's the essential theme of the Gospel, that is Christ and the work that He is doing in our lives.

God's message to us is very loud and clear. We should be walking in His ways with diligence, watchfulness and focus on the one thing: life in the Kingdom of God with Him! God lets us know very powerfully what He is doing in our lives, and how important it is both to Him the Father and Christ our elder Brother.

When we really think about the work of God and what They have structured for us as Their sons and daughters, it really humbles us. It is more than the human mind can comprehend; that the Great God is working in our lives the way that He is.

Yes, He has called us to be very much about the business that He has called us to. Christ let's us know that His love and the Father's love is with us at all times. He wanted us to understand that when He was here; He made that point very poignantly to the apostles so that they could convey it to us. I think we've gotten the message that God loves us. The Father Himself loves us, and that Jesus Christ demonstrated His love in what He did in our lives.

Let's read some things about the love of God. He expresses His loves to us and He has instructed us to be like kind toward one another. He has set the standard for us in terms of how we are to treat each other. He Himself demonstrated that for us.

1 Corinthians 13:7:"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…." (vs 7-8).

He wants us to understand that God is love, so God will never fail us. His love demonstrates God's commitment to us every single day of our lives in ways that we take for granted sometimes. God is there and He's demonstrating that love and commitment to us. But He tells us that there are things that will fail:

"…But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease; whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is Perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside" (vs 8-10).

We have the Perfect Christ in our lives, and we have been instructed by God the Father that we are to become perfect, even as He is perfect! (Matt. 5:48). He wants us to grow in this understanding of His relationship with us:

Verse 11: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man…"

Let's put this in perspective. God is instructing us so that we can grow up into maturity in Christ, to grow up in maturity in our spiritual relationship with Him. We don't need a tutor anymore, we have Christ within us. He says:

"…I set aside the things of a child. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known" (vs 11-12).

As God knows us, we're going to know Him. He made us, so that is a in intimate knowledge of the created thing a the Creator. As He knows us, we're going to know Him

Verse 13: "And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love"—because God is love!

God is calling us and giving us His love so that we can experience His love, but also so that we can share that love with one another. Yes, we understand that God's love never fails! It never fails us!

The Light and hope, and the face of Christ is shining upon the darkness of this world.

Psalm 118:26: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD; we have blessed You out of the house of the LORD. The LORD is God and He has made His Light to shine upon us…." (vs 26-27).

That is true; we have a comprehension of the great things of God. He is working in His Church and in each and every one of His called and elect in a way that the world will be able to comprehend Who He is by what He is doing in us. We won't be fully realized until that day when we're changed to spirit beings. But even today, His Light is in us, because He dwells in us. God is allowing His Light to shine in us today.

2 Corinthians 4:1: "Therefore, having this ministry, according as we have received mercy, we are not fainthearted."

So, they were very much enthusiastic, committed and holistically committed to this calling that God had given them, and making sure that they fulfill the calling that God gave them.

Verse 2: "For we have personally renounced the hidden things of dishonest gain, not walking in cunning craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the Truth… [which was revealed to them] …we are commending ourselves to every man's conscience before God. But if our Gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the Light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (vs 2-4).

But that Gospel, that glory has been revealed to us. We understand the greatness of God and the things that God has promised us. That we are to be with Him and that we're to be born into His Family.

Verse 5: "For we do not preach our own selves…"

No! The hope that is in us is not ourselves; the hope that is in us from on high, from Jesus Christ Himself, and the Father Himself! There is no salvation in any man or woman; there is only salvation through Christ and from God the Father to us. It is a gift from Them to us!

Look at the incredible Plan of God as has been unfolded for us, as it's being revealed for us. The 'god of this world' has all of mankind blinded to the Truth. God has a plan to conquer all of that, and He is fulfilling that plan. Part of that work is through us and what we're going to be doing in assisting and helping, as we will see.

Verse 6: "Because it is God Who commanded the Light to shine out of darkness…"

For God's own purpose; that He would reveal these mysteries in His own due time.

"…Who shined into our hearts the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now, we have this treasure in earthen vessels…" (vs 6-7).

Yes, we are flesh, and it has an expiration date; we have a limitation in the flesh. We have a set time of life and God wants us to take advantage of every single second of it and not waste any time, especially now that He has called us maybe in our later years. He's working with us. Many of us senior citizens came into the Church late, but God has a purpose and plan and He is fulfilling that in us.

"…in order that the supremacy of the power… [that makes it all possible] …may be of God, and not from us" (v 7).

We know that there is no power within ourselves to create perfect, Holy, righteous character. To overcome sin in the flesh; to be able to conquer the flesh. But we have hope because Christ did it, and He is helping us to do it. He does it on a very intimate, very close and a very personal way. So, we have much to be thankful for! Yes, our hope is in Him!

We are called to be beacons of hope in a world full of darkness. I think you would agree with me that the world that we're currently living in is becoming darker and darker every day. You see things that are being considered and thought of and we know they're from Satan the devil. Mankind has given itself over to Satan in ways that even in my lifetime I wouldn't have thought would have been so open, bold and brazen, that Satan does not in any way have any shame for the things that we see in this world.

Again, God is aware and Jesus Christ is on His Throne at the right hand of the Father. They know what's going on here upon the earth, and Their Plan is still on time. They are going to fulfill Their purpose upon the earth. All mankind will come to comprehend the greatness of God. Yes, we await that day; eagerly awaiting that day!

God is allowing His Light to shine in us! We are called to beacons of hope in the world because it is full of darkness. Christ told the disciples that they were to 'let their light shine,' because the world is so dark! He wanted that light to be a part of the fabric of life in our society, that there wouldn't just be pure darkness and evil in the world. But the children of God are bringing some light into the situation.

Matthew 5:14—Christ says: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a mountain cannot be hid."

No, it can't! You have this bright light high upon a hill and you can see that city! He also says:

Verse 15: "Neither do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket…"

Who does that? I have several lights for lighting here in the room; it would do no good if I covered them up.

"…but on the lampstand; and it shines for all who are in the house. In the same way also, you are to let your light shine before men…" (vs 15-16).

He doesn't put us on a soapbox; He doesn't have us running through the city streets screaming at the top of our voice, 'Repent! Repent! Repent!'

I wish that was affective, but it would be a short period before you were arrested and put in handcuffs if you did that. No, God wants us to be wiser than that. He wants us to be 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.'

"…so that they may see your good works, and may glorify your Father Who is in heaven" (v 16).

A quiet consistent example for the world to see. That the good works of God will manifest themselves. God has called us to do that. Yes, we are the temples of God, temples of earthen vessels in which this Light is dwelling!

We know the Father sent Jesus Christ to bring that Light into the world.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Here is the Plan of God already drawn up and prepared to go forward. He is expressing a Truth about Himself and the Father. Christ is saying that:

Verse 2: "He [Christ] was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him."

We exist, the world exists, the universe exists because God made it! He is the Author of life and all things.

Verse 4: In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 4-5)—blinded by Satan!

Kept at bay from the Light! Any little Light that gets through, Satan cuts it off!

Verse 6: "There was a man sent by God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, that he might testify concerning the Light… [here's an example of one shining forth]: …so that through him all might believe" (vs 6-7).

Yes, He brought the message of hope, that Jesus Christ was there and on the scene, and that He would fulfill the promises that were given.

Verse 8—it says of John: "He was not the Light, but came that he might testify concerning the Light. The True Light was that which enlightens everyone who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, but the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him; but as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name; who were not begotten by bloodlines… [it is not a physical or fleshly work] …nor by the will of the flesh… [it is not a work of men] …nor by the will of man, but by the will of God" (vs 8-13)—the great God Who:

  • made all things
  • sustains life
  • is above all

This is Who gave us this great opportunity that we are privileged to be a part of through grace!

Verse 14: "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth." That is the God that we worship and the God that we serve!

Let's lay a foundation regarding this Truth that is strong and broad.

Isaiah 42:1: "Behold My Servant, Whom I uphold; My Elect, in Whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He shall not cry out, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoking wick He shall not quench; in Truth He shall bring forth justice. He shall not fail nor be discouraged until He has set justice in the earth; and the isles shall wait for His Law" (vs 1-4).

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD God, He who created the heavens and stretched them out, spreading forth the earth and its offspring; He who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it. 'I the LORD have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand… [a sure help] …and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a Light to the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness out of the prison house'" (vs 5-7).

Verse 8: "I am the LORD; that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images."

God is God, He doesn't share that existence with other things. He doesn't share that existence with other ideas. You understand that I'm not saying other 'gods' because there is no other god but the One God! There are other things, ideas, concepts of men, which that they have brought to bear, which the Bible refers to as nothing!

Verse 9: "Behold, the former things have come to pass. And new things I declare; before they happen, I tell you of them. Sing to the LORD a new song; His praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and its fullness; the isles and their people. Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages where Kedar dwells. Let the dwellers of the rock sing, let them shout from the mountain tops. Give glory to the LORD and declare His praise in the isles. The LORD shall go forth as a warrior, He stirs up zeal like a man of war; He shouts, yea, roars; He overcomes His enemies" (vs 9-13).

Verse 14: "I have held My peace for a long time; I have been still and refrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in pangs of labor, I will pant and gasp at once. I will make waste the mountains and hills, and dry up all their plants. And I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. And I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and rugged places plain. I will do these things to them, and not forsake them" (vs 14-16).

This is the God whom we serve! Read the rest of Isa. 42.

Isaiah 43:6: "I will say to the North, 'Give up'; and to the South, 'Do not keep back'; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth; even everyone who is called by My name; for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him" (vs 6-7).

God is doing a great work upon the earth! We have Him to call as Father, and we have His Son Jesus Christ to call as Brother.

  • They made that possible in us
  • They chose us
  • They called us to Them

They will fulfill Their purpose for all mankind, but today They are working with the few!

Ephesians 1:2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ" (vs 2-3).

This is a standing, a truth, a position that we have in this relationship with God that we need to grow in our understanding of. We need to grow in the understanding of this relationship because it's not something we can just work up. It is something that you need to be zealous about, but you need to hold onto  that. That needs to be your focus, your determination, that everything you do is from that knowledge:

  • that you belong to Christ
  • that you belong to the Father
  • that They are doing a great work in you

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ, according as He has personally chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love" (vs 3-4).

This is the calling that God determined from the beginning to do! He is working that out within us.

Verse 5: "Having predestinated us for sonship… [that He would have begotten sons and daughters that would be firstfruits of His] …to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son" (vs 5-6).

  • what company to be in
  • what a privilege and blessing to have God see us this way!
    • Do we comprehend the greatness of our calling?
    • Do we truly understand that the great God is working a great miracle in our lives?

Yes, every single day of our lives we are very much important to Him!

When we call out to each other 'to pray for me'—God instructed us to do that for one another—we also understand that when we bow on our knees before God that our prayers are before the Throne of the Father. We understand that through Christ that that is made possible.

Verse 6: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son  in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence" (vs 6-8).

The great God has a great plan and He is working it out in His created beings! We are His! Each and every human being that exists are his, but we are His as firstfruits. He called us today!

Verse 9: "Having made known to us the mystery of His own will…"—we comprehend the mystery of life:

  • Why were we born?
  • What is the purpose of life?
  • What are we doing every single day?
  • What is this life about?
  • Are we just 'striving after wind' (as Solomon says)?
  • Is everything 'vanity of vanities' in our lives?

NO! We know that there's a purpose and our God is working it out.

He's made a great investment in us, brethren! An incredible investment in the life of His very own Son Whom the Father sent so that we can have this relationship with Him.

"…according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself; that in the Divine plan… [of God] …for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will; that we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ" (vs 9-12).

We are the first, and Christ is our Forerunner, the First of the firstfruits. But we are the first of human flesh to be called as firstfruits. We are the first who trust in Christ, but we won't be the last.

Verse 13: "In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (vs 13-14).

In that day when we are manifested in glory with Christ, yes, there will be praise! Not only from us, but even those who see us will praise God for what He has done for us. We have a responsibility today to be lights, for surely we will be lights in God's Kingdom.

Let's add just a little bit more, and here's where we are to be in our understanding, in our life, in our conduct and ways of living. It is not a forced things, it's becoming who we are. It is not something that we just practice. You have to do a thing for it to become a part of who you are.

God's Spirit moves you to these things. Our way of life, our condition and existence before God is one that is made possible through the indwelling of God's Spirit within us. It becomes more than just activities, more than just actual obedience. It is really can be defined as acts of love, outward back to God, because that love was given to us. His Laws are now ingrained or burned into our heart and mind so that we:

  • think like Him
  • become like Him
  • reason like Him
  • reason with the Word of God

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God" (vs 5-6).

He didn't see His status as something to be greedily held onto as to say, 'Who Me reduce Myself down to pinprick of life and be born of the virgin Mary and become flesh'? He didn't see that as being robbery or something that He would be losing. He willingly divested Himself to do a greater good.

Verse 7: "But emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (vs 7-8).

We were reading His proclamation of Himself in Isa. 42. This is the same God Who divested Himself so that He could come and save us. Because He was willing, willingly did this the Father raised Him from the dead and exalted Him above all that is, back to His original standing with God, His existence with God.

Verse 9: "Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; took the form of a servant, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 9-11).

There is a little bit of that glorifying the Father when we are born into the Family of God!

Verse 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure" (vs 12-13). God is doing this great work!

These are the great mysteries of God, and they have been revealed to us through God's Spirit, which He has given to us! We have this magnificent calling and opportunity. I pray that God gives us the power to make it sure.

Romans 8:19: "For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God."

All of creation itself, both which is on the earth and that which is in the heavens.

Verse 20: "Because the creation was subjected to vanity… [we see that] …not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (vs 20-21). This is part of what God has called us to!

Verse 22: "For we know that all the creation is groaning together and travailing together until now. And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves, awaiting the sonship—the redemption of our bodies. For by hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is not hope; for why would anyone still be hoping for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we ourselves wait for it with patience" (vs 22-25).

Verse 26: "Now, in the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses because we do not fully understand what we should pray for, according as it is necessary, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning that cannot be expressed by us. And the One Who searches the hearts comprehends what the strivings of the Spirit are because it makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (vs 26-27).

Verse 28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, because those whom He did foreknow He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son… [that's our destiny; that is what God has called us to] …that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren" (vs 28-29).

Yes, He is alive and at the right hand of the Father! He is in heaven and has been given the work that God has given Him to do in our lives.

Verse 30: "Now, whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also grant us all things together with Him? Who shall bring an accusation against the elect of God? God is the One Who justifies. Who is the one that condemns? It is Christ Who died, but rather, Who is raised again, Who is even now at the right hand of God, and Who is also making intercession for us" (vs 30-34).

That is the state of reality in our lives every day. That our Lord and Savior is there at the right hand of the Father making intercessions for us. Yes, when you pray to God, your words—through the cleansing blood of Christ—come before the Father directly.

Verse 35: "What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Accordingly, it is written, 'For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.' But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us" (vs 35-37).

Verse 38: "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 38-39).

Put that in perspective! Any other created thing! Our trust is in God. Our relationship is with God, not just a God, but the one and only God! He has called us to be part of His work! A part of His Family! God is for us, who can be against us? There's no power that exists, no power in the physical realm that can supersede God's love for us. That's what that Scripture is saying to us. Hold onto that! Remember faith, hope and love!

Luke 11:27: "And it came to pass that as He spoke these things, a certain woman lifted up her voice from the multitude and said to Him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that You sucked.' And He said, 'Yes, rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it'" (vs 27-28).

This way of life that we are walking in we pray that God will give us discernment so that we can

  • stay on His path
  • do His will
  • obey His commandments, laws, statutes and judgments

Not as a matter of routine regiment, but out of love and a desire and commitment and way of life. This is who we are! This is the way of the people of God! This is the way of people who have the Spirit of God dwelling in them, the mind of God.

This is our prayer, that God would give us more of His mind! That He would dwell in us even more.

Verse 29: "Now, when the multitudes had crowded around even more, He began to say, 'This is an evil generation… [I think we can say that today] …seeking after a sign… [wanting to do their own thing] …but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, in the same way also shall the Son of man be a sign to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here'" (vs 29-31).

Verse 32: "The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at Jonah's proclamation; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Verse 33: "Now, no one who lights a lamp sets it in a secret place or under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who are entering may see the light. The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is without guile, your whole body is light; but when your eye is evil, your body also is dark. Therefore, beware that the Light that is in you is not darkness. Now then, if your whole body is light, not having any part dark, it shall be full of light, as when a lamp shining brightly gives you light'" (vs 33-36).

Verse 37: "Now, while He was speaking, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him; and He went in and sat down."

Christ was revealing Himself that He is the True Light and He is the standard to Whom we are to attain to. He is the key to success and eternal life! Christ is our witness, but will anyone hear?

God's message to His Church is loud and clear. Christ is the greatest example that we can keep our eyes and attain to! God called us and refers to us a 'the elect and begotten of God.'

Romans 9:20: "Yes, indeed, O man, who are you to answer against God? Shall the thing that is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me this way?' Or doesn't the potter have authority over the clay to make from the same lump of clay one vessel unto honor, and another vessel unto dishonor? And who dares to question His purpose if God, willing to show His wrath and to make known His power, chose in much long-suffering to put up with the vessels of wrath, which were created for destruction; in order that He might make known the riches of His glory unto the vessels of mercy, which He prepared before for glory, those of us whom He also called, not from among the Jews only, but also from among the Gentiles?" (vs 20-24).

Verse 25: "Accordingly, He also said in Hosea, 'I will call those who are not My people, "My people," and those who were not beloved, "Beloved." And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, "You are not My people," there they shall be called the sons of the living God'" (vs 25-26).

Verse 27: "But Isaiah cried out concerning Israel, 'Although the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.'"

God is working out His Plan and He is determining the phases of it, the stages of it, the processes of it. We are products of His work and we are yielding to Him in His great work in our lives.

Verse 28: "'For He is accomplishing and limiting the matter in righteousness; because the Lord will limit the matter He is doing upon the earth.' Accordingly, Isaiah also said before, 'Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a seed, we would have become as Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah'" (vs 28-29).

Verse 30: "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not follow after righteousness, have attained righteousness, even the righteousness that is by faith. But Israel, although they followed after a law of righteousness, did not attain to a law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by works of law: for they stumbled at the Stone of Stumbling, exactly as it is written: 'Behold, I place in Sion a Stone of Stumbling and a Rock of offense, but everyone who believes in Him shall not be ashamed'" (vs 30-33).

Where us is our faith and trust? It is in God and the work that He is doing in us!

Colossians 1:2: "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colossi: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you continually since hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love that you have toward all the saints, because of the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel, which has come to you, even as it also has in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, just as it is among you, from the day that you heard and knew the grace of God in Truth" (vs 2-6).

Verse 7: "Even as you also learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ for you; Who has also informed us of your love in the Spirit" (vs 7-8).

So, God is working out a great work there!

Verse 27: "To whom God did will to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles…"

This mystery has been opened up and made available to all men, because the Father is calling from every walk of life, every nation of people around the world. God's Church is broad and purposeful, and is being perfected in Christ among the Gentiles there.

"…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; Whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. For this cause I also labor, striving according to His inner working, which works in me with power" (vs 27-29). That is all the work of the ministry!

Brethren, we are God's Light, God's wisdom in the sight of the world today!

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:7-13
  • Psalm 118:26-27
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-7
  • Matthew 5:14-16
  • John 1:1-14
  • Isaiah 42:1-16
  • Isaiah 43:6-7
  • Ephesians 1:2-14
  • Philippians 2:5-13
  • Romans 8:19-39
  • Luke 11:27-37
  • Romans 9:20-33
  • Colossians 1:2-8, 27-29

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Matthew 5:48

Transcribed: 9/24/23

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