Grace & Truth Ministries / Prescott AZ Conference 2019
April 5 - April 7. 2019
Session 1 / Friday April 5, 2019
Man is dear to God because he is like Him. As awesome as the Sun is, it cannot intelligently sympathize with God’s purposes. Without man the whole material universe is dark and mechanical. Matter is the stage for man. Creation was not done until man’s creation; therefore, man is incommensurable with the universe.
Man ate of the forbidden tree and was moved from innocence to moral manhood. Self-determination and obedience were now required, and there were choices.
The savage is innocent of the vices of the city and the child is innocent of the vices of adulthood.
Cain and Abel reveal immediately that there were choices.
God makes a covenant with Adam which is sealed in blood. The promise was that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent. Revelation over time would tell more and more of the identity of the Savior.
God could send no mere creature to save mankind. God the Son would take on flesh and His blood would seal the covenant.
History is a seemingly endless amount of time and energy. The history of man is comprised of millions of events of wonder and tragedy. The whole of history is crowned with the incarnation. It is an end worthy of all that is contained in the physical history of the world.
Abraham’s family would become Israel, elected by God, given the Law and the writings, from whom would come the Savior, God the Son.
Through Abraham, God called out a family that would become a nation to whom He would give His Law and from whom would come the Messiah, the Savior of the world, who is God blessed forever.
ROM 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
ROM 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
ROM 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
The Savior is God the Word, the Creator.
JOH 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
JOH 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
JOH 1:3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
JOH 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
JOH 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Redemption would be messy and violent because of the darkness that hated the light. Darkness would nail the life and light to the cross in a violent and ugly manner.
The Word became flesh.
JOH 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
He is before all things. The head of the church. The reconciler of all things.
COL 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.
COL 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him.
Col1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Col1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
COL 1:19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him,
COL 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
REV 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
REV 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
REV 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
REV 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
What is the human race and human history without this story of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the beginning and the end?
The Incarnation alone justifies the age of man. Remove the incarnation and history is only dark and unintelligible without a destiny or a meaning.
Yet, God saw sufficient object in the life of man (He did not give help to the angels), enough to justify millions of years of preparation leading up to the right time of Christ’s coming.
In the beginning of the Bible we find immediately the opening of the conflict. We find Cain murder his brother. We find Eve have another son through whom the promised line would come. We see the whole world become corrupted by evil except for one man and his family. Through Noah the world would be preserved, and through the flood the earth would be cleansed. We find the world again turn against God and seek to reach heaven on their own power through the Tower of Babel. God again acts, confusing their language and dispersing them throughout the world. We find God call out one man named Abram. God would tell this man to go out from his home in Ur and go to a land that God would show him. And by faith, faith that the One he heard as the One, true, living God, Abram left his home and went forth, taking the first steps towards the establishment of the elect nation of Israel.
The New Testament opens up with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. The revelation of the New Testament, the gospel, would begin with Jesus’ genealogical link to Abraham.
God became a Man, born of a virgin, born at the proper time, in the line of Abraham, in the line of David, who would pay the debt to God that all men possessed through His own death on the cross.
In Him was life, and the life became the light of men. That light shined in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend it. Darkness hates light because it becomes exposed. But some men did believe in Him so as to be saved from death, transferred from the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of God.
During the incarnation, the believers we know the most about are the disciples of Christ; the twelve as they came to be known, who would later include the Apostle Paul. These men soon came to find what a disciple of Christ would be.
The disciple would need a new birth. He would have to be born again through faith in Christ as His Savior. This faith would allow the justice of God, propitiated by the blood of Christ, to impute him with God’s very righteousness, justifying him, imputing him with eternal life. He would have the status of a son of God, and that could never change, not by sin, not by anything.
The disciple would need established and unchanging confidence in his relationship to God the Father as His son - justified, cleansed and forgiven from all sin.
The life that is Christ is holy and blameless, what we have been elected to.
EPH 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
EPH 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love
EPH 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
EPH 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
EPH 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
EPH 1:8 which He lavished upon us.
The disciple of Christ would have to know unequivocally that he was a son of God forever. He would then also have to know that the son of God is called to act like God.
The sons of God, called to be disciples are to live like Christ in His love, His peace, His joy, His virtue, His excellent, extraordinary character.
We can all imagine the angst that would enter the hearts of the disciples when they heard the Sermon on the Mount, hearing what was supposed to be the description of them, Jesus’ disciples. We can imagine the dread in them because we all find the same dread in us when we learn of it. Yet, we are already established sons when we hear of it. We have already entered into salvation when the character of a disciple becomes known. Our dread is calmed by knowing that our performance will not destroy our position as sons, but still, the performance is required.
The New Testament is written in order to show us how, give us the confidence that we do this with God and not independent of Him, that God is in us, and if we obey by faith then He will see us through. Still, the New Testament doesn’t say it’s going to be easy, and all Christians who have pressed on to do it will agree. There is tons of temptation to sin, obstacles that bid us to lay down our weapons and give up the fight, suffering and tribulation are promised as well as active, contentious warfare by Satan and his minions.
Yet, we are given another battery of promises revealing that if we fight the good fight, having faith in God to will and work, we will overcome; we will win the prize of becoming Christlike.
We must be determined to fight every day. Days that we waste can easily become months and years. We could find ourselves looking back over years, tens of years, discovering that we set God aside for the pursuit of sin, but then again, maybe it wasn’t obvious sin, maybe we set God and His service aside in order to put our energy into building a marriage, raising a family, establishing a career or financial stability. We must be determined to fight every day.
How do we protect ourselves against falling asleep in the plan that worships and serves God and living a worldly dream world? We must consistently learn and study God’s word. We must consistently learn wisdom and understanding by living God’s word. And, we must consistently, daily pray. We must pray as the Lord has shown us to pray. It must not be some vain search for current personal desire. It must be done as the Lord told us to, and that, every day.
C.S. Lewis: “The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”
The Lord’s prayer has the power to, in minutes, push back all of that natural wind and set you to listening to the voice of God.
Perhaps the disciples realized this when they asked Jesus to pray. Knowing their history, I think not. They were not as of yet ready to understand. They knew that John the Baptist had taught his disciples how to pray and they saw the Lord pray, and it is likely that they were curious. So be it. The Lord instructs us before we are ready to use His instruction wisely.
He instructed them in the way of prayer to be followed day in and day out; first thing in the morning and throughout the day as necessary. The prayer gives plenty of room for expansion, but not outside its simple and obviously stated boundaries.
The Lord’s Prayer
The prayer is short and to the point. There is no vain or heathenish babbling, as if the length of our prayer were to measure the value of its answer.
in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.
There isn’t any repetition or lengthy explanations as if God did not know what we really thought. At a glance the simplicity and purity of the prayer is discernible.
MAT 6:9 "Pray, then, in this way:
'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
MAT 6:10 'Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
MAT 6:11 'Give us this day our daily bread.
MAT 6:12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
MAT 6:13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
[“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”] Is not in the original manuscript.
Who could say they don’t have enough time or enough mental ability or enough spiritual growth? All of us are to pray in this way.
The Lord gives us a prayer with the barest possible clothing of words. Elaborate language, then, is not essential of pray; nor yet ingenious thought, nor deep penetrating insight as to why things happen the way they do. We are often lacking in our prayer lives, not because it is too difficult, but because it is too simple. We often make more of it than what it is. It is unlike any other requesting or receiving in the world.
LUK 11:1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
LUK 11:2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:”
“say” - lego = He tells us to say these words, but not parroting them without knowing and contemplating their meaning, all of which are deep and significant.
We are to use His very words, but obviously not simply in parroting them over and over. We are to know what the words mean. There is no getting past the evident precept here delivered, that we ought habitually to use these words. And as we use them again and again, learning their more deeper meaning as the years go by, we shall find that though we learnt them like a child at his mother’s knee, it takes a lifetime to fill their meaning, and all eternity to given them their full answer.