The Lord, our Rock

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord Jesus, is our Rock and our salvation.  The Bible refers to the Rock, our Savior, in several passages.  Here are just a handful.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!  (2 Sam 22:47)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.  (Ps 18:46)

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—  (Ps 144:1)

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

 And “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Lord gave them water from a rock to quench their thirst and to meet their needs.  (Neh 9:15; Isa 48:21)  The Lord proved Himself more than once to His people as their Provider and their Deliverer.

As the Bible passage shown above demonstrate, Christ is called the Rock, our Savior.

In this day and age, many are offended at the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why He is also prophesied to be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”  There are so many religions and ideologies being espoused around the world, that the true path to salvation can be obscured and undermined.  Present-day Christianity is under attack.

Jesus was considered a criminal and a blasphemer—so as His followers, we can’t expect much better treatment than what our Lord received.  His sentence, unjust though it clearly was, was death.  Pilate was so disturbed by it that he washed his hands of all responsibility for it. 

However, the Lord lives!  Hallelujah!  We drink in His glory, holiness, and goodness.  We are made righteous by the sacrifices that Jesus made on our behalf.  We are reconciled to our Father God, and have a multitude of reasons to exalt and to praise the Lord!

Remember that the Rock is our foundation for faith and for eternal life!

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29)

“Irrevocable” means that God won’t change His mind about what He has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling is still there, whether or not you’ve obeyed. And if God gave you a gift—if He gifted you along a certain line—that gift is still in you.

Therefore He says:  “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  (Eph 4:8)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ . . .  (Eph 4:11-12)

There are gifts that God has given to the church, and these are referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts:  apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.  There’s also a gift of helps that we all can get involved in. 

As believers, we’re all called to share the salvation story (gospel) with others and to encourage them to trust in Christ for themselves.  It’s a matter of explaining how Jesus reconciled all of mankind to God, and sharing our own testimonies freely and joyfully.

Each member of the church of Christ has a role to play.  (1 Cor 12:27)  Maybe God has called you to the full-time ministry; or to be a businessman or an artist or a musician.  The list can go on and on, but whatever gifts, talents, and skills that He has given you—use them!  Appreciate them and enjoy them, and use them to bring glory to God. 

If you didn’t obey God, and haven’t responded to His call upon your life in a certain area, it’s never too late with the Lord!  Just turn to Him, talk with Him about your change of heart, and ask Him to open doors for you to walk through.  He will answer your prayers and bless you.

 

Proclaiming His Death

Proclaiming His Death

. . .  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.   (1 Cor. 11:24-26)

To proclaim means to announce, declare, make known, broadcast, or state publicly.  In the verse shown above, Jesus tells us to remember Him through the Communion ceremony.  He also says that as often as we take Communion, we proclaim His death till He comes.  Why is it important to proclaim His death?

As often as we announce Jesus’ death, we are making known the New Covenant He established by His blood.  (1 Cor. 11:25)  We are declaring the Good News that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus. 

We are broadcasting Jesus’:

  • Resurrection (Acts 4:33);
  • Triumph over sin and evil (2 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:8-10);
  • Soon return. (1 Cor. 11:26; John 14:3)

We are stating that we:

  • Are united together in the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5);
  • Abide in Christ and He abides in us (John 6:56);
  • Are under the covenant of grace (2 Cor. 13:14);
  • Live in covenant with the One who has destroyed the works of the devil.  (1 John 3:1)

The Bible teaches us the importance of declaring the Truth in Christ:

He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit.  (Pro 12:17)

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.  (Pro 18:20)

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”  (Isa 43:9)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . . (Rom 10:8)

Partaking of Communion is a prophetic act—a declaration.  Did you know that actions can speak?  They announce our faith, obedience, and allegiance to Jesus Christ.  It’s good to remember when we take communion that in doing so, we proclaim His death in obedience to the Word of God.