Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Covenant Gospel and Paul's Gospel of Grace - Part IX


Home Bible Study: Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2:15

Is there more than one gospel in effect today?

Part IX

I want to extend a hearty welcome to those of you who have decided to join our Bible study.  Even though you’re not physically here with us on class night, please know we are aware of you.  And there are many of you.  We give the Holy Spirit the credit and the praise for the work He is doing in that area.  Thank you for taking the time to study God’s Word with us.  We pray you’ll find this home Bible study to be a blessing and become a regular visitor.

FYI: archived Bible lessons are located at: HBSGroup.blogspot.com

Before I begin lesson nine, I think it’s best to review the reason why I chose to teach on this subject and bring it into the light. 

A few months ago, after one of our Bible studies here in Florida, this question was brought up before the class.

“Does it really matter what we believe (pertaining to our salvation) so long as we believe in Jesus?” 

My response was immediate and absolutely, “YES!”
Why, because the Bible says so. 

I believe God, which means a whole lot more than just believing in God…
You see, even the devil believes IN God. 
The problem is the devil does NOT believe God. 
The majority of people on this planet have the same problem today.
They believe in (a) god but they do NOT believe God.
More to the point they do not believe in what God has said. 
Read your Bible.  Man has always experienced this problem.   …Nothing new here.

I believe the Bible is 100% accurate in its original form. 

There are certain things in Scripture that God has chosen not to reveal to mankind.
That’s His prerogative.  He is God.  We humans need to accept this, and trust God.
Those things which God has chosen to reveal to us (See Deuteronomy 29:29) belong to us Believers.  We need to believe and act on them accordingly. 
Having said that please know this.

I believe that God says what He means and means what He says. 

There are no “grey areas,” when it comes to your SALVATION or mine.
There are no Bible “mysteries” to be found surrounding this subject material.
The Lord Jesus Christ has spoken and His message is quite simple and it’s quite clear.
Consequently, we must follow His plan.  It’s as simple as that.

I’ve read this book.  Nowhere in it does it give us leeway to freelance.  We cannot change the Lord’s salvation plan to suit us or because we think we have a better one.

I find it remarkable that humans have taken this process (salvation) which God has made so simple a small child can comprehend it and complicated it to such a degree that almost no one understands it.  In fact, they have people wondering if they are good enough to make it into God’s heaven.

Here’s an example.  I’m not going to get too specific.  I try not to attack people or organizations.  There’s nothing to be gained from such behavior.  We Believers should strive to build up the Body of Christ and not diminish it in any way.  Amen.

I worked with an RN for a number of years.  This individual was very intelligent.
He was a professional.  We had much in common, which is why we sort of hit it off from the start.  We were both raised in the same faith.  We both went to the same faith-based school.  We were both altar boys, etc.  I had changed denominations. 
He remained faithful to his.  He had been a member of this faith for over 50 years.

This man knew I taught a Bible class and yet we never talked about such things.
In fact, he avoided the topic.  I’m not one to hit people over the head with the Bible.
The Holy Spirit opens doors.  I’m prepared when that happens.

One day a patient was at the reception desk, checking out, and we were discussing life after death.  I did not bring the subject up the patient did.  When you work in a hospital, the subject of life and death come up often.  This patient asked me my opinion about life after death and I gave it freely.  At that exact moment this RN arrived at the front desk to assist this patient.  The patient asked the RN did he believe in life after death and did he think he was going to heaven.  The RN said he believed that there was life after death.  But he wasn’t sure he was going to heaven.  He said, “I hope so.” 

I hope so?”  Fifty years a Believer and he isn’t sure he is going to heaven?
Who failed this man?  It wasn’t the Scriptures?

I know I’m going to see my Lord and Savior one day.
I know this for a fact!  

God said, “For by grace you have (that’s past tense) been saved (how is that accomplished these days) through faith; and that not of yourselves, (there isn’t anything we can do to earn salvation) it is the gift of God; not as a result of works (works = anything you think you have to do to earn God’s favor), so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

You may want to read those Bible verses again.  They are telling you that salvation is a gift from God to anyone who believes that Jesus Christ shed His blood on that Roman cross for their sins, was buried, and rose again on the 3rd day, according to the Scriptures.                     

If you believe the Gospel of Grace, the Apostle Paul’s gospel, and this is where you stand, in other words, you have no intention of changing your mind, or waiting for the day when some man or woman approaches you with a better deal, then you are truly saved, and then immediately baptized with the Holy Spirit.

You do not need to join a particular church group, be baptized with water, tithe a certain amount “religiously, climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea, walk a thousand miles barefoot, or fast for a thousand days.  These things are works!

If people truly understood the Lord Jesus Christ’s plan of Salvation, believe me, they would stop trying to EARN salvation.
 
The twelve apostles, chosen by Jesus, were sent out by Jesus to preach only to the Jews, “that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  This is in accordance with the Covenant Gospel in keeping with the covenant promises God made to Abram in the Abrahamic Covenant.  (See Genesis chapters 12; 15). 

Jesus came to fulfill the promises made to the fathers.  (See Romans 15:8).

The nation of Israel rejected this gospel and its Messenger.
Therefore, God chose a man named Saul to be His apostle to the gentiles and the gospel message changed as well.  Saul became Paul and Paul preached Jesus Crucified.
God has not forsaken His Covenant people.  Remember this.

I want you to open your Bible, and search the four gospels for anything, even a hint, that salvation was dependent upon believing that Jesus Christ shed His blood for their sins.  I can save you some time.  It’s not in there. 

But people put it in there…all the time.
It doesn’t belong in there. 

This is why I keep saying you must learn to, “Rightly Divide the Word of Truth. 
You already do that, partially, when you proclaim that you must separate Law from Grace.  I want to know why you stop there. 

The risen Lord Jesus Christ gave The Gospel of Grace by revelation to the apostle Paul and commanded him to preach it to the gentiles and the Jews because NOW there is no DIFFERENCE.  Before this there was a difference. 

Our Grace Age Doctrines come from the Apostle Paul and NO WHERE else.                            I cannot understand why people choose to ignore his teachings or his writings.                     

But they do – TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.    
These are the Apostle’s Peter’s words, not mine.

 Acts 9

Saul Begins to Preach Christ

19b: Now for several days he was with the disciples (these were not the apostles) who were at Damascus. 

20: and immediately he (Saul) began to proclaim (who) Jesus (where exactly) in the synagogues, (note the plurality) saying, (read carefully) “He is the Son of God.” 


Now the casual Bible reader will reach verse 20 above and skim right on over it. 
There’s quite a bit going on so we’re going to park here for a minute or two.

You read that Saul immediately began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues. 
You’re not going to find gentiles in any synagogue.  That’s one. 
Another thing you should understand is this.  Saul preached “Jesus is the Son of God.”
This is the message of the Covenant Gospel. 

What gives?
Saul was saved under the Covenant Gospel program.
How do we know this to be true?  The message of this gospel was believe in Jesus. 
And who is Jesus?  He is the Son of God.”
 
Saul Knew His Old Testament.  He’s familiar with the prophets and the prophecies concerning the Promised One.  But this is all the information Saul has to work with.
God hasn’t revealed anything else to him yet.

One more thing about Saul’s conversion you should know.
When does a Grace Age Believer receive the gift of the Holy Spirit once he or she becomes a Believer?  The answer is immediately.  I Corinthians 12:13.

When did Saul receive the Holy Spirit?
Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ sent Ananias to the house of Judas (not that Judas) to lay his hands on Saul so that would regain his sight.  But that’s not all.

Acts 9

17: So Ananias departed (as the Lord commanded him) and entered the house, and (read carefully) after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and (what) be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

Saul did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit until a disciple of the Lord, living at Damascus, laid his hands on Saul.  We see this marvel over and over again taking place in the book of Acts.  Phillip in Samaria is one occasion.   Phillip preached Jesus Christ to these folks but they did not receive the Holy Spirit until Peter and John left Jerusalem and began to pray that they would receive the Holy Spirit.  Until this, after professing their faith, and believing that Jesus is the Christ, they had simply been baptized.
It wasn't until Peter and John actually laid their hands on them in Samaria that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (See Acts 8: 13-17)
 
18: And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he (Saul) regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized (by Ananias);

The Covenant Gospel is still the law of the land. 
Let’s return to the Bible text.

Acts 9

 21: All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name (Jesus), and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”

22: But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by (doing what) proving (that Jesus died on the cross for their sins?  NO! What does the book say?  Saul proved to these Jews that) this Jesus is the Christ. 

And consider this no small feat.  Saul had built up a reputation as a persecutor of anyone who confessed to believe in what he was now preaching.   

23: When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,

24: but their plot became known to Saul.  They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;

(To be continued)


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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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