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"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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Friday, January 25, 2019

Philippians 1:20-21 - (L 09)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                 Published Weekly on Friday

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1Timothy 2:3-4)

Greetings, and welcome to HBS.

For those of you who are somewhat new to our Bible study please know the most recent
Bible lesson always appears first on the website.  The lessons then line up in sequential order after that.  The search window may be used to look up a specific Bible topic or subject you’re interested in such as justification, reconciliation, redemption, and my doctrinal statement.  One last thing; I recommended re-reading the prior lesson before studying the new one.  This repetitious activity will help you mature in the faith:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians 1:9-10).

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished (To fix; to settle in a state for permanence; to make firm) in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7).

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In the previous lesson we learned whether out of contention or like-mindedness the gospel of grace was preached in and about the city of Rome and our Apostle Paul rejoiced.  It’s worth mentioning again, Paul uses the word “joy” or “rejoice” sixteen times in Philippians, and thus it’s known as the epistle of joy.  I find this remarkable since he’s not only in prison unjustly he’s facing a death sentence for “the cause of Christ.” Paul believed the prayers of the saints and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ combined with the gospels’ positive influence would result in his deliverance or salvation from prison.  You see, Paul believed the Lord would see him through this ordeal and out the other side.  Why?  Paul was sold out for Jesus Christ, i.e. serving the Lord was his life.  Paul was confident he would be allowed to continue preaching the gospel of grace in Rome and elsewhere (Philippians 1:21).

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Please open your Bible at Philippians 1:20-21.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified (to make great or greater) in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, (1:20a) - this comment is connected to Paul’s previous statement in 1:17b:  “…knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.  We’ve talked about why Paul defended his gospel.  But I haven’t mentioned since its inception, God’s gospel of grace has been subjected to ridicule and rejected by those who defiantly proclaim “That’s not how it’s done.”  Many people adamantly believe salvation is accomplished by means other than faith alone in Paul’s gospel (Acts 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).  For instance, a lot of people believe salvation is achieved by something they do such as performing good works, water baptism, joining a specific church, etcetera.  They believe the essence of religion is doing something good for God and that good work becomes the vehicle by which they are saved.  But if that’s the case, how many good works must a person do and what about the “wrong things” people continuously do?  Does one good work nullify one sin or does it take many good deeds to erase one wrong doing?   The muddied waters are cleared by the fundamental teaching of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and the gospel of grace (John 14:6; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).   

Returning to verse 1:20a where Paul said “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed…  The word ashamed means:  to dishonor, or make ashamed.  It conveys the meaning of being put to shame.  This same word appears in 1 Corinthians 10:8: 

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

And again in 1 John 2:28:  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Why is Paul concerned about being ashamed?  We find the answer in verse 1:20b “…but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Even though it was his heart’s desire, to magnify the Lord in his body in defence of the gospel of grace, Paul was concerned when the time came he might not share the gospel boldly.  Instead, the possibility existed he would remain silent and by his silence disgrace the gospel and the Lord.  Therefore he asked the believing saints to pray specifically that he would make known the mystery of the gospel, boldly whenever the opportunity arises:  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that (specifically) I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:16-20).

Even though Paul demonstrated a Christ-like spirit, he’s still human.  I mention this because there are people who think certain biblical figures such as Abraham, Moses, Paul, Peter, James, John, the Virgin Mary, etc. were wired differently while in their mother’s womb, that is to say they were super-spiritual at birth.  However all the examples listed above, and many others I did not mention had and experienced human emotion.  They were no different than you and me in this respect. 
 
Our Apostle Paul is but one example.  In the scripture passage below, he openly expresses the emotion of trepidation:  And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

Why was Paul uneasy?   People describe 2 Corinthians as Paul pouring out his heart to the Believers in Corinth.  Specific references to his emotions are found no less than thirty-five times in this communication.  It’s been said the bravest are not those who do not experience the sensation of fear, but rather those who are keenly aware of danger and yet face it boldly.  One Viet Nam veteran I knew long ago said to me, “There are no heroes in war only ordinary men doing extraordinary things for the good of their brothers-in-arms.  When Paul arrived in the pagan city of Corinth, Greece, the people were busy exploring and surrendering to numerous fleshly (carnal) indulgences.  Talking to like-minded Believers about God’s grace is not difficult.  But taking God’s Word to the streets, literally, where taking care of self is the primary goal, and the world and its fleshly delights are paramount, you’ll find the road not only less traveled, but a rough one indeed.  However, Paul seized the moment or “took the bull by the horns,” and preached the gospel to both the Jew and the Gentle and experienced the human emotions of weakness, fear, and trembling.  Bearing this in mind, Paul knows his appointment (trial) before Nero is drawing near.  If you know anything about this Roman emperor then you can understand his unease.  Not only is the meeting itself unsettling, the outcome of it will determine whether he lives or dies. 

Born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, (37-68 AD), Nero took his familiar name when he was adopted at age 13 by his great-uncle, the emperor Claudius.  As Rome’s emperor (circa 54-68 AD), Nero made a villainous name for himself right up to the moment of his death.  Nero is known for his debaucheries, political murders, and his passion for music and for persecuting Christians.  Nero introduced “twilight executions.”  Christians were dressed in wax, affixed to crosses, and set afire to light up the night.  So, Paul’s apprehension stemmed from the possibility he would shrink from his God-given responsibility of defending the gospel of grace before Nero at this divinely ordained meeting:

But the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he (Saul/Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and (who) kings, and the children of Israel:  For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake (Acts 9:16-16).

And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome (Acts 23:11).

Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee (Acts 27:24).

So, in verse 1:20a, Paul reveals human characteristics.  His future is uncertain (clouded over) and this made him nervous.  But I don’t find one instance in scripture where Paul is so overwhelmed by emotion he permits his emotions to control him.  This tender-hearted man was utterly devoted to his calling despite the difficulties (Romans 1:1): 

Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:  And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:  Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:18b-24).

Paul’s earnest desire to serve God faithfully, bolstered by the prayers of the saints, and strengthened by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ allowed him to take the gospel of grace to places other people had not visited.  Caesar’s palace was one of these places.

Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from  Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.  Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:  But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.  For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you (Romans 15:19-22).

Verse 1:20c

“…as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

When I see the word magnify, I think of a laboratory microscope.  Blood cells are placed on a glass slide and slid into place on the magnifying instrument.  With the aid of a bright light and a series of optical lenses a greatly magnified image is revealed.  Thus, the word “magnify” here means:  to be brought into the light so as to be clearly seen and understood; to make great or greater.  Paul is telling the Philippians (and us) whatever the outcome of his trial he wanted Christ Jesus to be magnified in his body, whether it be by life, or by death.   

Whether in life or in death, Paul wanted people to see the Light of Christ Jesus in him:

Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth (Acts 13:46-47).

Do all things without murmurings and disputing:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom (what) shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life… (Philippians 2:14-16a).

Once again, we see Paul exemplifying what he believed and taught the Body of Christ:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your (what) bodies a living sacrifice (an offering), holy (set apart), acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1)

When the Lord Jesus Christ is magnified in one’s body, it enables people to better understand Him, His love, His ways, and subsequently His will for them.  There’s nothing quite like a biblical example so please turn with me to the Acts 11:25-26:  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.  And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.  And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Those of you who have been with me for awhile understand I refrain from using certain words in my Bible lessons and the word Christian is one of them.  This word has been hijacked (stolen); it no longer retains its original meaning.  Permit me to explain.
The word Christian means “a follower of Christ.”  The Believers at Antioch didn’t invent the term Christian.  These Believers magnified the Lord in their bodies, meaning they displayed Christ-like qualities in their day-to-day living and this lifestyle was noticed   by the Romans who had contact with them.  It was meant to be disrespectful term.  The Romans thought their behavior was strange.  They couldn’t understand why people would want to imitate someone who died on the cross. 

 So Paul’s recognizing Caesar may choose to have him executed soon, so he added “whether it be by life, or by death.”  His overall objective, to magnify Jesus Christ, is the most important thing on his list of things to do.  If he could do this in living, fine and dandy; but if he had to die, then so be it.  God will be glorified either way. 

Verse 21:

Paul stated in verse 1:20 he’s content to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ by death or by life.  He follows that comment by effectively saying, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  Another way of saying this is Jesus Christ is my sole reason for living.” 

Our Apostle Paul wanted to live as Jesus Christ desired him to live, and if he had to die for Christ, then so be it.  Either way, Paul wanted to live so other people could see Christ Jesus in him.  Joining these statements together we come up with the idea, whether in life or in death, Paul wants the Lord to be clearly seen and understood by all.  The only way this can occur is if one chooses to die to self and allow the Lord to be evident in their life.   Plainly said, God expects true Believers to model His Son or to walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called (Ephesians 4:1-3).

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved






























Friday, January 18, 2019

Philippians 1:18-19 - (L - 08)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                 Published Weekly on Friday

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1Timothy 2:3-4)

Welcome to HBS.

FYI:  Sometimes (not always) I present a brief review of the teaching points from the prior lesson before starting the next section of Scripture.  I perform this repetitious activity simply because it is an effective training tool.  So in our study of Philippians 1:14-17, we learned the majority of the brethren in Rome, depending on the Lord for enablement, became more courageous than ever before.  They preached the gospel in and around Rome, which resulted in more people hearing God’s good news of salvation then if Paul had been free to preach himself.  However, some other brethren operating with ulterior motives preached out of envy, strife, and contention, i.e. self ambition, aiming to add affliction to Paul’s bonds.  They hoped when the news of their activities reached Paul it would upset him greatly.  In this lesson, one of the things we’re about to learn is how our Apostle Paul reacted to their jealous behavior.

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Please open your Bible and meet me at Philippians 1:18-19.

What then?  notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.  For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

This passage doesn’t convey the idea Paul was upset by the envious brethren’s attitude, instead, Paul rejoiced.  Paul said, “…whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do (what) rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

What then?   Another way of saying this is, “What is my conclusion?”  Paul is summing up his previous comments here.  However, it’s a rhetorical question, meaning he’s not expecting an answer from his audience.  He provides the answer to this question:        

…notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth,
The word “pretence” is Prophasis (Prof-as-is), Noun, Feminine, Strong’s Greek #4392, and it means:  alleged reason or pretended cause; a cloak of covetousness.  Pretence means operating with false motives.  Thus, pretence concerns those brethren who were pretending to preach the gospel of grace for the right reason but in actuality were doing so out of envy, strife, and contention. 

…or in truth - the flip-side of all falsehood is the truth.  In the Greek, truth is Aletheia (Al-ay’-thi-a), Noun, Feminine, Strong’s Greek #225, meaning:  true to fact or reality.  Truth means sincerity and it refers to the brethren of the household of faith who preached Paul’s gospel with the right motivation.  Said differently, if one is holding to the Truth then they are sincere in the dealings with others.  Some of the brethren were properly motivated in preaching the truth re:  God’s free gift of grace or heralding God’s policy in the Dispensation of Grace (1:16) and some others not so much. 

The truth spoken of below is based on fact or reality for example: 

Fact:  God desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy 2:3-4). 

Fact:  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:4-5).

Fact:  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Romans 10:4).

Fact:  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26).

When these truths (facts or reality) are shared with sincerity, you’re operating with the right motive.  And this brings me back to my original thought.  Many people today do not readily accept facts or reality (See Creationism vs Evolution for one).  The biblical things you speak of are “relative” to most people.  This comes as no surprise because “relativism” is becoming the norm in our culture.   Over simplified this term means “there are no absolutes.”  What‘s true for one person, doesn’t necessarily translate as truth to someone else. 

An example from Scripture just came to mind, so we’re going to look at it.  The Lord Jesus Christ said He is the only way to the Father, that is, to be saved and that by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).  So, here’s our first example of truth and it brings to mind a church incident that occurred several years ago.  The sermon that Sunday morning was about salvation and during that talk the pastor informed the congregation there are many ways to heaven, not just one.  A man in the audience immediately turned to John 14:6 in his Bible and read it again, and again.  After church, he stopped as he was exiting the building and showed this truth to his pastor who replied, “That doesn’t mean what it says.”  Obviously, this church leader had his own opinions about what is truth and what is not and in this case, it certainly was insincere. 

While we’re here I may as well mention one of the largest churches in the USA today is the New Age church.  More than 20 million people are counted as members.  Why is it so popular?  Basically, they appreciate its teachings.  This church denies many of the fundamental truths of the Bible.  One of their beliefs is there are many ways to heaven.  They like the sound of this proclamation because it gives them options.  The very idea that there is but one way to the Father is too restrictive.  So, in a nutshell, truth is relative to these folks (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

The truth was also relative to Pontius Pilate.  Please turn to John’s gospel at chapter 18:37-38.  Let’s begin at verse 37.  Here we have Jesus Christ standing before Pilate.         

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then?  Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king.  To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?  And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews (or mob), and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
   
Here Pilate asks the most important question of his life, but he doesn’t wait for the answer.  After he asked Jesus, “What is truth?” he turned his back on Him and walked away.  Pilate’s cynical response reveals truth is relative to him (i.e. changing with circumstances, not permanently fixed, but having a meaning or value that can only be established in relation to something else).  

Jesus said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.   Pilate stood face to face with Reality or the truth on this day and provides one of the most significant episodes of relativism in Scripture.  Jesus’ remarks are spiritual truth, but instead of asking him to elaborate, which would demonstrate he was interested in the truth, he simply said, “What is truth” and left it at that.  In effect he not only dismissed Jesus’ words, he dismissed Jesus Himself.  You see, Pilate wasn’t interested in truth, as Jesus presented it.  He was preoccupied with his concern about the charge of insurrection which the Jews had brought against Jesus and how the Roman emperor would respond to his decision in this matter.  In this exchange we learn Pilate, like Cain, was destitute of faith the key factor required in pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6). 

The only source of divine truth in the world today is the Bible.  Jesus spoke the truth.  He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  From this we learn faith is believing the truth.  

And with that I offer these two points regarding faith:  1) The Bible is not addressed to reason; but to faith.  Thus, faith is being convinced of the truth and being certain of reality, despite having not seen.  This principle reminds me of Paul’s observation in 2 Corinthians 5:7:  (For we walk by faith, not by sight).

I like biblical examples so let’s all turn to John 20:19-28.  Here we have the Apostle James meeting with his fellow disciples and receiving the information they’d seen Jesus alive.  But James didn’t believe them.  What’s more he wanted proof of life.  He said he believe when he saw Him in person and felt His lethal wounds.  I’m won’t take the time to examine the entire passage; I suggest you do this on your own.  Our purpose for being here is located in verse 28:

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:28). 

This brings me to my next point of interest.  2) Faith believes, hopes in, and is in total agreement with the truth, and stands firm therein.  I’ve selected a few Bible passage to help explain what this means:    

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  (Romans 8:23-24).

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, and in which you stand firm.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.  Otherwise, you have believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).

That we henceforth be no more children (spiritually immature), tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.  But speaking (what) the truth in love, may grow up into him (the Lord Jesus Christ) in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:14-15)

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil (Hebrews 6:19). 

Relativism is the philosophical view that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual.  This means all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc. are truths that are relative to each individual.  Some expressions you may hear are:  That is your version of truth, not mine;” “It is true for you, but not for me;” and the most popular “There are no absolutes!” But in the end folks, all of these statements are illogical.  Why?  Our society, our economy, our schools, and even our homes are being invaded by this mentality.  Society, as a whole, cannot flourish or survive in an environment where everyone does what is right “in their own eyes.”  That’s chaos or better said anarchy. 

And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.  In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:24-25).

Let’s move on to verse 1:18b.

Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

The Greek word "rejoice" means an inner joy.  Paul’s attitude of selflessness and his sincere concern for the cause of Christ Jesus is on display here.  Whether the preaching came from proper or improper motives, he rejoiced in the fact Jesus Christ was being heralded in and about Rome. 

Here Paul teaches the Philippians (and us) a valuable lesson.  Paul didn’t respond in kind; he responded in love.  Paul’s motive remained fixed.  He desired to be a faithful servant (steward) of the Lord in all things, despite his circumstances.   

Verse 1:19:

For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

Paul’s not talking about his personal salvation here; that’s a done deal.  Once saved, always saved, per this book.    

Please turn to the book of John chapter 13:6-11.  Here we find Jesus Christ preparing to wash the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper:  Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?  Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  Simon saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet.  Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.  Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.  Jesus saith to him, He that is washed (past tense) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.  For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

The lowliest household servant (slave) was responsible for washing the feet of a guest or visitor to the home.  The roads and streets were not paved and there was no indoor plumbing or outhouses back in the day which means people relieved themselves and the waste was tossed out into the street.  You were sure to find garbage lying about as well.  I pray you’re getting the idea.  People wore sandals or walked barefoot, so the feet became more than just filthy they were contaminated.  Cleaning feet was the custom of the day.  Perhaps Jesus sat there waiting for one of His apostles to tend to the task, but we also note they were busy discussing “who was greater.”  You have to review Luke 22:24-27 to pick up this vital piece of information.  John doesn’t mention it.   By the way, Jesus performs this task to set an example, not to introduce a church doctrine.  Big difference!  In verse 15 He said, “For I have given you (a doctrine, no, look at what He said) an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”  The example He speaks of is adopting the heart of a servant towards one another and their countrymen, the Jews.  Gentiles (that’s us) aren’t in the Lord’s salvation picture yet.  I know the churches put us there, but that is inaccurate. 

Jesus said, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit (way),” confirming what the Bible teaches in other places, that is, once saved, always saved.  He also mentions the fact that one among them (namely Judas) was not only His betrayer, but he was spiritually unclean or destitute of faith.  Hanging out with godly people no more saves an individual then sitting in a garage 24 hours a day makes you a Chevrolet.  Placing your trust (faith) in what God has said will.   

So Paul’s not speaking of his salvation here.  The phrase this shall turn to my salvation said differently would be “this evil act intended to cause me great harm shall instead turn to my deliverance.”  Paul said he rejoiced in knowing the gospel was being preached, even in Caesar’s palace, and this activity could influence the outcome of his trial. 

This refers to Christ is preached back in verse 18.   But that preaching was being done by properly motivated brethren.  Here it refers to Paul’s future preaching.  So he’s saying, and believes, God intends for him to continue preaching, so this will lead to his deliverance or salvation from his bonds. 

… through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Here, again, we note Paul’s belief in prayer.  He’s in a tight spot.  He doesn’t believe his release from prison will occur automatically.  He believes his freedom will come by way of persistent prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ or the help provided by the third member of the Triune Godhead.

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved