CHRISTMAS IS CELEBRATING JESUS FOR LIBERATING US

KEY SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 2:14  “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

Many have said and even sang songs that says Jesus is the reason for Christmas. This is right. What is Christmas? Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Jesus Christ, yet the real issue is, why did Jesus come in the first place? It   is therefore then, the reason for His coming that brought Christmas to pass.

The Bible gives us a number of reasons for Jesus coming. Our key scripture had something amazing to tell us. Hebrews 2:14 “For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” The Bible teaches that because Adam sinned, death reigned over him and it passed on to every man born into this life (Rom 5:12). For men to be free from the power of death a man should die for all men and by His death overpower the devil. This is the reason Jesus became a man. Remember the Bible said Jesus is God according to John 1:1 and Philippians 2:5,6. If he had overpowered Satan as God, it would not be legal for men to claim liberty from Satan, because it would not have been men over powering Satan. He therefore had to become a man so his victory over the devil was men victory over him (Satan)

In Revelations 1:18, the Lord said “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”. Jesus through death seized the key or authority of death and hell from Satan’s hands: for all this to be possible he first had to become a man.

Another reason for Christmas or His coming is stated in John 10:10.  He said “The thief does not come, but when he comes, he comes to steal, kill and to destroy, but I am come that they might have life and have it to overflow”: He became a man so he could one day die for all men releasing His life for all men to experience life in abundance. Jesus has given His life for all mankind. Have you received this abundant life?                                           

The next reason is in 1st John 3:8, 9. He came into this life, that He might destroy all the works of the devil. This was another reason for his birth. The truth is He has already conquered for every mankind all these we see that His main reason for coming is to liberate all men.

 The true reason for Christmas is to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ for liberating us from Satan’s power.

CONFESSION

Thank God for giving Jesus for us. Because He came I am free from the power of death. I have an abundant Life, and Satan works cannot dominate me any longer. Hallelujah!

FURTHER STUDIES.

Galatians 1:4 ” 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:”

 Romans 5:17″  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”

PAULINE REVELATIONS: 98.

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 12:28 ” And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues”.

The ministry of helps is a very important aspect of the church of God. The Apostle Paul spoke about the household of Stephanus in 1st Corinthians 16:15 “I beseech you brethren (ye know the house of Stephanus, that it is the first fruits of Achaia and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints”. These brethren were given over to helping the saints. They showed hospitality to the saints, providing for their needs and also they attended and assisted the Apostles in their journeys. These brethren simply helpers of the church.

A lot would be achieved in the body of Christ if there were many of the children of God who would addict themselves to serving the body of Christ as the household of Stephanus did.. In Luke 8:3 the Bible spoke about certain women who used their substances or money to support the ministry of our Lord Jesus. The Lord had to take care of all the disciples including their wives and children. He therefore needed to be supported by others. In the ministry of helps brethren who are financially blessed play a great part. In Acts 4:36 we learn about Joses who was surnamed. Barnabas by the apostles. He was a great man who supported many. His name Barnabas meant the son of consolation. He was the one who stood by Apostle Paul in the early days and years of his conversion. Most of the brethren were afraid of him yet in Acts 9:27 the Bible said “But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way and that he had spoken to him…..” Indeed Barnabas was of great strength to him.

. This ministry of helps is an aspect that many children of God can play a part to make the body of Christ stronger. Praying for one another, looking out for needs in the life of fellow brethren and those outside the church are all part of this ministry of helps.. In Acts 9:25 some Jews waited at the city gate to attack and kill Paul. But some brethren put him in a basket and let him down over the city wall to save his life.

The brethren who helped Apostle Paul to escape, did not know they were saving the life of a man who would write about a half of the New Testament message.

CONFESSION

Father I commit my life to lifting, blessing and supporting all in various challenges and difficulties so they may fulfill their call mandate

FURTHER STUDIES.

Acts 9:25.  Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket”.

Luke 8:3.  And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

PAULINE REVELATIONS: 97

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 12:28 ” And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues”.

We now look at the ministry of helps. The New Testament is filled with many examples about the ministry of helps. The word “helps” in Acts 27:17 speaks of the rope-like cable that sailors used to wrap around the ship during a storm. This is a supporting ministry. The ministry of helps is what God wraps around us to hold us together in our stormy times.

The Bible mentioned seven people who ministered in this area of helps. For example, there is Phebe, in Romans 16:1-2 Paul said “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church, that ye receive her in the Lord, for she has been a securer (helper) of many and of myself also”. Phebe was a helper. She carried the book of Romans to Rome for Paul at his request. Though she was not a preacher Phebe helped to spread the gospel.

Lydia was another helper who supported Paul. We find in Acts 16:14-15, “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us”.

 She provided lodging in her house in Philippi for Paul and his group.

In Exodus 17:8-12, Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands during a battle. The victory of the Israelites depended on whether Moses hands was up or not. These men supported his hands which was getting tired to remain up. This made Israel win the battle.

Every man of God needs helpers to help him to succeed. Our Lord needed helpers who provided things like a place for his last supper, the Colt he rode on to Jerusalem, and even Joseph of Arimathea who gave him his tomb when he died.

These helpers normally make great sacrifices for most men of God. It may surprise some of us to know that in heaven some of these helpers would receive greater rewards than some of these men of God. Why would this happen? The truth is that a number of these helpers are so faithful and make more sacrifices than the man of God. It would therefore be just right that God who sees more than the human eye sees would definitely reward them more than the man under whom they served.

Let everyone play his role to the best of his or her abilities.

PRAYER

Lord I pray for all helpers who make various level of sacrifices to help God’s work move on very well. May you strengthen them to fulfill their services on earth.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Exodus 17:12  But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

John 19:38 ” And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus”.

PAULINE REVELATIONS: 96

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Timothy 3:8 ” Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;”

We would consider the qualifications of a deacon into detail. 1st Timothy 3:8-9 reads “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”

The deacon must be grave. This means they should act honourably or be honest in all their dealings. They should be men and women of strong conviction about the importance of leading an upright life.

The next virtue is that, they must not be double tongued. This means they must say the same thing at all times. They should not call a thing ‘.A’ today in the presence of Mr. D and at another time in the presence of Mr. F he says it is B. This is not a trustworthy individual. It is the character trait of a serpent. He must always speak the truth

The third qualification is that they must not be given to much wine. In the qualifications of a bishop or an Elder the Bible said he must not be given to wine. The qualifications of a bishop or pastor are no different from that of a deacon. It therefore holds that the deacon must likewise not be given to wine. In Leviticus 10:9 the Jewish minister were not to take wine in the service of God. Why should it then be anymore proper for a Christian minister to drink wine than for a Jewish priest to stay away?. Shall a minister of the gospel be less holy than the Jewish minister?

The next was that he should not be greedy of filthy lucre. He should not be greedy about money. The deacon by virtue of their functions,  are the ones who normally handle church monies, and therefore it is just right that they are people who are not greedy about money. Judas one of the disciple of our Lord Jesus betrayed his master because of the greed for money.

He must also hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. This means he must be sincere about the teachings of the bible. 2nd Corinthians 4:2 informs us that the Apostle Paul renounced all hidden things of dishonesty and as a result, did not walk in craftiness.

   PRAYER

Father I pray for all deacons, who serve in your house. May they be committed to you and discharge their roles to honour your name in Jesus name I have prayed.

FURTHER STUDIES.

2 Corinthians 4:2 ” But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God”.

1 Timothy 3:10. “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless”.

PAULINE REVELATIONS: 95

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Timothy 3:8 ” Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;”

We continue looking at other services in the house of God. We consider deacons in this study. A deacon is defined as one who executes the command of another. Another meaning for a deacon is a servant or an attendant.

In the book of Acts of the Apostles chapter 6 there arose some controversies among the brethren concerning the sharing of food. The apostles decided that they would maintain their role in ministering the word of God and prayer, whiles others were to be chosen who would man the affairs of the food. (Acts 6:1-10). These men were the first deacons of the church.

In 1st Timothy 3:8-12 apostle Paul made a list of the qualifications of a deacon. They were apparently not very different from that of the elder or pastor. These qualifications actually talked about the character of the individual. I do not see any of the supernatural gifts being said here. Many people are very fascinated about the gifts of the Holy Spirit without taking time to let the fruit of the Spirit bear in their lives. Please note this; in every kind of service in the house of God, the pure or real servants are those who manifest or bear the fruit of the Spirit. There are cases of those who live sinful lives yet the gifts do manifest in their lives.. If you are such a one do not take that as God’s approval for your wrong ways. God, out of love for his children would allow the gift to manifest so his children who, may be praying for healing would be healed, and those who need direction may receive a word of wisdom and have that direction they need.

Remember the story of Moses in Numbers 20:8. The Lord God asked Moses to speak to the rock, to give out water so the Lord’s name would be sanctified. Moses out of anger hit the rock. He did the wrong thing yet water came. The Lord said to Him in Numbers 12:12, that because he did not obey His instruction he would not go to the Promised Land.

 Good godly character is the only criteria to have an acceptable ministry or service before the Lord. May every servant in God’s house take heed to these things.

 PRAYER

Heavenly Father I pray for all servants in your house, especially the deacons. May they understand your ways, and yield themselves to you to serve you uprightly with no selfish motives.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Galatians 5:22-23 ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.

1 Timothy 3:11 ” Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things”.

PAULINE REVELATIONS: 94

KEY SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:8, 11 ” Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”;

Great teachers are those who practice what they teach. Ezra 7:10, reads “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach in Israel, statutes and judgements”. Somebody said talking is cheap. It is giving substance to what one says that gives the hearers something to hold and go by.

Ezra was a scribe, (Ezra 7:6). This means he was a recorder of the biblical truths from Moses times. Ezra 7:10 says he prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it and then teach it. The order is SEEK, DO and TEACH. This should be the practice of every teacher of the Bible.

Our Lord Jesus is the greatest teacher of all times. He gave great insight into the word of God and also demonstrated what He taught. He culminated it by offering His body on the cross for all humanity. Please look at the following scripture from the Easy English Bible. James 3:1 “My Christian brothers not many of you should be teachers. God will judge everybody. But at that time he will demand more from teachers than he will demand from other people”. This is a very serious message to all who teach. The Lord is only telling teachers to do as they teach or say.

Ezra’s decision and action is what every teacher must do. Ezra prepared his heart. It is a heart preparation culminating in a decision to be obedient. Many people pray asking the Lord to make them obey the scriptures. Well this is one of the deceptions of the enemy. God would put His word in your heart. He may even stir your emotion but decisions and actions are the sole responsibility of an individual. This is the reason God holds us accountable for our actions. “The decision always rests with us”.

 Actions are always a result of conviction. One may hold an information, a thought or an idea, yet he or she may not be fully convicted about it. Conviction comes by persuasion. Persuasion is a product of continual reflection or meditation. It is very necessary that every teacher of the word takes time to meditate or reflect over what he or she may be studying as well as what he teaches. This would enable him to be a doer of what he teaches.

PRAYER

Father, once again I pray for every teacher of your word. May the Holy Spirit stir in them a desire to know you personally and to yield totally to your word and ways.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Matthew 7:24-25.  “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock”.

James 1:25. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed”.

PAULINE REVELATIONS: 93

KEY SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:8, 11.  “Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.

We continue with our studies on the ministerial offices. This time we look at the Teacher. In all these discussions I have tried to make it clear that none of these ministerial gifts is made in a classroom. The scripture said “He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men, and he gave some pastors and teachers. All these offices are divine gifts. Nobody makes himself one. Your availability and devotion to God would allow Him to place that gift on you.

Although none of these gifts is made in the classroom, schooling greatly polishes the gifts of God. One’s ability to present these truths clearly, and understandably is all because of the training he obtained   from school. Schooling therefore is very necessary yet it is not schooling that makes anyone either an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor or a teacher.

A teacher happens to be placed at the tail end of the ministerial gifts, yet it is in no way the least. Please note this, a false teacher is more dangerous than a false prophet.

A prophet may deceive a person or group of people, whiles a wrong teacher will destroy generations. The teachings of Jehovah Witnesses about the Holy Spirit, blood transfusion and the deity of our Lord Jesus has influenced and affected generation of people. Dying people have refused blood transfusion because of their teachings

Teaching is programming an individual or a group of people to think, act in a particular way. It is a very important gift or office that God gives to men.

The Bible is the material for teaching. Every teacher of the bible must know the scriptures exceedingly well. He must be one who reads the Bible very well. 2nd Timothy 2:15 says “study to show thyself approved unto God, a Workman that need not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth”. The word study is not just telling to read the scriptures. It is the Greek word “Spoudazo” and it means, to be diligent, make haste, to exert one’s self. The teacher must be diligent to search for the truths of the scripture. Many Bible teachers realises that after they have studied the scripture, the Holy Spirit keeps expounding on them even when they are not in their study times. The teacher receives a divine insight into the scriptures as the Spirit compares scripture with scripture.

  PRAYER

I pray for all teachers of the word of God to gain more insight into the word of God to bring out truths that would affect our world and the lives of many.

FUTHER STUDIES.

Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

1 Timothy 1:7” Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.”

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