Sunday, February 28, 2010

Holy Water

I have decided that on occasion I will interrupt my regularly scheduled program of topics to share something that the Spirit of the Lord has recently revealed to me and given me inspiration. Such was the case earlier this week as I had one of those rare nights in which I was barely able to sleep. I have found in the past that when this happens, the Lord seems to either have planned it or at least takes advantage of the opportunity to speak to me.

Before I tell you what He spoke and revealed to me that evening, I need to give you a little history.

The religion of my youth was basically a weekly visit to a large, ornately gilded and hush quiet cathedral to go through a ritualistic routine of which was neither enlightening nor inspiring. Upon arriving, just inside the entrance was a small bowl of “holy water” that had been “blessed” by one of the “priests” of which we were to dip a finger and then with it, touch our forehead, belly, and then the left and right breast. This was called making the sign of the cross. It was just one of those things that you did without much thought and which did nothing for you. Religious tradition. Vain ritualistic repetition.

As time went on, I saw the ridiculousness of all of that, and eventually, having read through the entire Bible, discovered that there was no such thing as holy water. Then, just a few days ago, in the middle of the night God showed me otherwise.

His speaking began with a verse from the Bible, First Corinthians 12:13. Actually, it was just the last phrase which says, “All were given to drink of one Spirit.” After that, it seemed like the heavens were opened, like the flood gates were released, and I was being caught up with and submerged in an outpouring of the truth concerning holy water.

“We were all given to drink one Spirit.” Jesus told a women that “whoever drinks of the water that He will give shall by no means thirst forever” (John 4:14). What kind of water was this? He called it living water and told her that all she had to do was ask for it (John 4:10). Then later on in chapter seven, Jesus, on the last day of a great feast stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink,” and that “whoever believes in Him would have rivers of living water flowing out of his innermost being.” Wow! Then He explained, “This He said concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39).
The Spirit! The living water is the Spirit! This Spirit has been given for drinking! And what kind of Spirit is this? The Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the living water. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the HOLY WATER!

The Lord’s speaking did not stop there. He had something more He wanted to show me.

In Revelation chapter 21 verses 2, 9, and 10, John is shown the bride of Christ. According to the symbolic nature of this book, His bride is seen as a holy city. Back in chapter 19 verse 7, the bride had made herself ready for her marriage with Christ, the Lamb of God. How did she make herself ready? How did she become this holy bride? The answer is found in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 26 and 27.

The church is the bride of Christ of whom He loves and for whom He died that He might sanctify her; make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word. He plans to present her to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish. How is she made holy? She is made holy by the Holy Spirit, by the living water in the word, by drinking the holy water.

The Lord’s speaking that night ended with this phrase from First Peter 1:2: “the sanctification of the Spirit.” Sanctification is of the Spirit! It is only the Holy Spirit that can make us holy. We have all been given to drink of this one Holy Spirit, this Holy Water. According to the book of John, all we have to do is come to Jesus believing in Him and ask for this holy living water. The more we come, the more we believe, the more we ask, the more we will find ourselves enjoying and being refreshed by this wonderful LIVING HOLY SPIRIT WATER and becoming holy as He is holy to one day be presented to Him as His holy bride.

I wanted to jump out of bed and share this with everyone. So, this is my attempt to do so. I hope you will be both enlightened and inspired to become a regular drinker of this true, genuine, living, holy water.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010


In the previous seven lessons, we have seen that the main content of the Bible, which is the word of God and a revelation of His eternal purpose, is the gospel, the good news concerning Jesus Christ. This good news includes His incarnation, that is, the divine Son of God becoming flesh, and the redemption accomplished by shedding His blood on the cross. Based upon this redemption, we can now be justified by God and reconciled to Him. As we saw last week, because of propitiation through faith in the blood of Christ, we can have boldness to come forward to God to meet and fellowship with Him. Now, we must go on to see and realize that this is all possible not because of anything we have done to deserve it, but absolutely and one hundred percent because of, and by, the grace of God.

Note: "Grace" in the Bible is very crucial and sometimes misunderstood. A survey of this topic in the New Testament will reveal its different aspects, such as something of God toward us at the beginning of our salvation, and something of God working in us during the ongoing process of salvation. In this lesson, I will only deal with the first aspect.

charis, has various uses, (a) objective, that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard, (b) subjective, 1. on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly acts proceed, graciousness, loving-kindness, goodwill generally, 2. on the part of the receiver, a sense of favor bestowed, a feeling of gratitude, (c) in another objective sense, the effect of grace, the spiritual state of those who have experienced its exercise.
(From The Expanded Vines, by W.E. Vine)
(a) that which gives joy, pleasure, delight, loveliness, graciousness, (b) grace, undeserved favor, (c) a sign of favor, benefaction from men to God, (d) theologically, grace equals all that God the Father is free to do for His chosen people on the basis of His sovereignty and the finished work of Christ.
(From The New Englishman's Greek Concordance and Lexicon, by Wigram-Green)
Note: I have included these somewhat extensive definitions to show that grace is complex, rich, and deep in its biblical usage and its spiritual application. Although this word is used about 150 times in the New Testament, I will focus on three particular portions that address grace as that which comes from God for our initial experience of salvation.
Romans 3:24 says that we are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." Based upon redemption, we can be freely justified by God. We become the recipients of God's favor, not based upon anything we have done or could do, but based upon what Christ has done. This is the grace of God.
According to Ephesians 2:1-9, we were all once dead in our offenses and sins, living in the lusts and desires of the flesh, and under the authority of evil forces. As such, we were children of wrath. But because of God's great love and His rich mercy, He made us alive, raised us up with Christ, and saved us. Once again, this was completely a matter of God's grace. Paul was emphatic, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works that no one should boast."
In Titus 3:3-7, Paul reminds us that it was the kindness and love and mercy and grace of God, not our own works of righteousness, which brought us from our lost and wretched condition to be justified, saved, and become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Along with the matter of redemption then, we could say that we are saved because of who God is and what Christ did, and we believed and freely received.
So then, let us be clear and never forget that we did not deserve salvation and could do nothing to obtain it. It is a free gift from God based upon the redemption accomplished by Christ on the cross that we receive through faith by the grace of God. May we all have a sense of favor bestowed and a humble heart of gratitude, as those who have become the recipients of the grace of God. By grace we have been saved through faith!
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Monday, February 15, 2010


In the previous lesson, we saw that based upon the work of redemption accomplished by Christ on the cross, we were not only justified by God, but also reconciled to God; having been enemies, we became friends. This new restored relationship is possible because of, and is maintained by, propitiation.

hilaskomai, to appease, to atone for, to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of, to conciliate, to propitiate.
hilasterion, a noun, propitiatory, place of propitiation, mercy seat.
hilasmos, a noun, an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted.
hileos, an adjective, propitious, merciful.
(From The Expanded Vines, by W.E. Vine; The New Englishman's Greek Concordance and Lexicon, by Wigram-Green; Webster's)

In the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, the writer in chapter eight begins to make a comparison between the old covenant and the new covenant in order to show the superiority of the latter. Part of his comparison, in chapter nine, involves the tabernacle of the old covenant. In brief, the tabernacle was a large tent which contained special items related to coming to God to worship and serve Him; to meet and commune with Him. In the innermost part called the Holy of Holies, was the ark of the testimony, the ark of the covenant (Exo. 25:8-22). The ark was a large box containing specific items related to God and His relationship with His people. It was covered with a lid and this area was called the mercy seat (Exo. 25:17-22; Heb. 9:5). It was here, with the blood of the sacrifice sprinkled on it, that the high priest, representing the children of Israel, could meet and commune with God.

That was God's arrangement in the old covenant. How about in the new covenant? Where is the mercy seat today? Where is the place that man can come to God to meet with Him; to commune with Him? We find the answer in Romans 3:25. It is Christ Jesus Himself through faith in His blood. He made propitiation for the sins of the people (Heb. 2:17); He Himself is the propitiation for our sins (I John 2:2); God sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins (I John 4:10). Now, through Christ, as established in the new covenant by His blood, God is propitious to our unrighteousnesses; He remembers our sins no more (Heb. 8:12)!

God has been appeased! Our sins have been forgiven! There is now a place where all can come to meet with God, to fellowship with Him. This place is actually a person, Jesus Christ Himself through faith in His blood. This is the new and living way of the new covenant. We can now come forward with boldness and enter into and remain in the presence of God. So, let us rejoice and be glad and come forward to God, for He has been propitious to all who truly believe!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010


Based upon the redemption accomplished by Christ on the cross, we are not only justified by God, but also reconciled to God.

katallasso, to change, to exchange; hence, of persons, to change from enmity to friendship, to reconcile.
apokatallasso, to reconcile completely, to change from one condition to another, so as to remove all enmity and leave no impediment to unity and peace.
katallage, the noun form, reconciliation, a change on the part of one party, induced by an action on the part of another.
(From The Expanded Vines, by W.E. Vine)
According to the Bible, those who have not been redeemed by the blood of Christ and therefore, justified in His blood by God, are not only sinners, but even enemies of God. There are two portions in the New Testament that deal specifically with this situation. Let's take a look and see what they have to say:
In Romans 5:6-11, the unredeemed are seen as weak ungodly sinners. As such, they are enemies of God. But God loves us. He created us for Himself. He desires to be our friend and us His. The problem is not with God, but with us. As we saw in the previous lesson, we were not right with God. But through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and faith in Him, we can be justified by God. Because of this accomplished redemption which results in being justified by God to all who truly believe, we can now be reconciled to God. Our situation can be changed from enemy to friend. He has removed all the enmity and has left no impediment to unity and peace with Him. We can once again, and for eternity, be friends of God; not because of anything we have done, but because of what Christ has done and our faith in Him.
Colossians 1:21-22 is the other portion that makes known our condition as enemies of God before redemption. At that time, we were both alienated from God (see also Eph. 4:17-18), and enemies of God in our minds because of our evil works. Once again, the problem was with us, not with God. But glory be to Him, "He now has reconciled us in the body of His flesh through death". He paid the price that was necessary to restore our friendship with Him!
As a concluding word for this topic, I give you my highlighted version of Second Corinthians 5:18-20:
"But all things are out from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God in Christ was reconciling the world to Himself, not accounting their offenses to them, and has put in us the word of reconciliation. On behalf of Christ then, we are ambassadors, as God entreats you through us; we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
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Monday, February 1, 2010


Being justified by God is one of the immediate results of redemption. Apart from this redemption which is in Christ Jesus, there is nothing anyone can do to be justified by God.

Greek - dikaio, to render innocent, to justify, to pronounce righteous.
dikaiosis, the noun form, means acquittal, justification.
Related words:
dikaios, righteous, just.
dikaiosune, righteousness, justice.
(From The Expanded Vines, by W.E. Vine; The New Englishman's Greek Concordance and Lexicon, by Wigram - Green)
Therefore, to be justified by God is to be rendered innocent, to be pronounced righteous, that is, to be made right with Him.
The two books in the New Testament that deal most directly with the matter of justification are Romans and Galatians. Let's see what they have to say.
According to Romans
The problem:
1. Through Adam's disobedience, sin entered into the world and through sin, death (5:12, 19).
2. The result is that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory (3:23).
3. This offense of sin led to the condemnation of all men (5:16, 18).
4. Mankind as a whole became wrong in their situation with God (3:10).
The solution:
1. Christ died for us (5:6, 8, 10).
2. His death on the cross was a righteous act in obedience to God (5:18-19).
3. Just as Adam's one offense of disobedience led to the condemnation of all men, Christ's one righteous act of obedience on the cross through which He accomplished redemption, leads to justification of all men (3:24; 4:25; 5:9, 16, 18).
4. Justification restores man's right place and standing with God. We can now be right with God (5:19).
The application:
1. Justification is a free gift given by God in grace through Christ (5:15-17).
2. This free gift is given to and received by all those who truly believe, to those who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (3:22, 26, 28; 5:1, 17).
The result:
1. Being reconciled to God (next week's topic) (5:10-11).
2. Having peace with God (5:1).
3. Having access to God's grace (5:2).
4. Being saved from wrath (5:9).
5. Reigning in life (5:17).
According to Galatians
The main point of justification in the book of Galatians is that it is by faith, and not by works of the law.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (2:16).
But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith" (3:11).
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith (3:24).
Note: Both Romans and Galatians use Abraham as an example of justification by faith. Read Romans chapter four and Galatians 3:6-9.
At this point, some of you may be asking why I have not included the verses in James 2:14-26. The topics that I am presently dealing with: redemption, justification, reconciliation, etc., are being considered in respect to the beginning of our salvation, that is, our entrance into the kingdom of God, our transfer out of Adam into Christ, from darkness to light, from the authority of Satan to God. I do not believe that these verses in James are referring to this initial entrance into God's kingdom, but the practical application of our faith, the fruit of the Spirit as the good works that are manifested in a life of faith. Therefore I am leaving this section of the word for another time, another topic.
The biblical evidence is clear and strong. We are made right with God (justified), not based upon anything we have done or can do, but wholly, completely, absolutely, one-hundred percent, based upon what Jesus Christ has done for us. Our faith in Him and His redemptive work on the cross, is our only possibility of justification, of our being made right with God.
I now conclude with these verses from Acts 13:38-39:
Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this Man [Jesus] is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
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