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As the mid-week service approaches the heart of any godly Pastor is searching for some precious portion of the Word of God to feed his people.

This week the Lord showed me something that I thought might be a blessing to some of you.

Someone let me know what you think!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE OF SHORT BIBLE STUDIES IS ABOUT FULL.  OTHER SUCH THOUGHTS WILL BE ADDED WEEKLY ... JUST AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS ON THE WEB-SITE.

 

APRIL 6, 2005 (ANOTHER WEDNESDAY):

A little while ago I was browsing through the Church library here and saw something I really liked!

I do not remember the Preacher's name, but his sermon was titled "He is able!"  Of course he was talking about our Lord Jesus!

Here are the verses the Lord had laid on his heart.

And since it is Scripture alone, I thought it would be all right to pass them along to some Preacher this Wednesday.

Jesus is able: 

"He is able to succour them that are tempted."  Hebrews 2:18

"He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."  Hebrews 7:25

"He ... is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."  Jude verse 24

"He is able even to subdue all things unto himself."  Philippians 3:21

"He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."  2nd Timothy 1:12

And ... "He ... is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."  Ephesians 3:20

My!

What an able Saviour we have!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

MARCH 2, 2005 (WEDNESDAY):

I was studying the Book of Hebrews.

I don't know that these were his exact words, but the Preacher said something like this: "The whole Epistle of Hebrews can be tied together with five "warnings" God there gave to His people!

I had never heard that before!

Five warnings to God's children!

To His saints!

I began an immediate investigation.

Here they are.

Now they rest among some of the most difficult Passages in the whole New Testament!

But they are there for sure!

Warning Number 1:  "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"  (Hebrews 2:1-4)  You can't "neglect" something you don't already have ... salvation in this text!  Here we Christians are given admonition to get (and stay) serious about living for God!  Here is the danger of drifting!

Warning Number 2:  "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."  (Hebrews 4:1-3)  As Israel in the Book of Exodus, even after being "under the Blood" at Passover, they failed in the wilderness (through sheer unbelief) ... so can Christians today, having been saved, fail through not entering into the rest of God's daily promises! Here is the danger of doubting!

Warning Number 3:  "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."  (Hebrews 6:1-6)  Here's a warning to go on to maturity in Christ!  And I DO believe in eternal security!  But, like old Dr. M. R. DeHaan years ago, I also believe this Passage deals with the saints, not lost sinners.  If we take this literally, sin is serious business in the lives of us Christians!  It can have dire consequences!  Here is the danger of deformity!

Warning Number 4:  "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."  (Hebrews 10:26-31)  Christian, do not sin willfully, carelessly, with abandon and recklessness!  This kind of extended activity can lead to the sin unto death for a Believer!  Here is the danger of despising!

Warning Number 5:  "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."  (Hebrews 12:15-17)  The verb "fail" means to come behind or to lack!  Notice what causes a man to so fail:  bitterness, immorality and/or profanity!  Esau had it all potentially ... yet he denied it for temporal worldly pleasure (food, for example)!  Here obviously is the danger of denying!

The alliterated outline is not mine.  I saw it elsewhere.  I believe it is attributed to W. H. Griffith Thomas.

Five warnings!

Do not DRIFT, DOUBT, DEFORM, DESPISE OR DENY the things of God!

And if a Preacher teaches all five warnings to his people ... he will have also taught the whole Book of Hebrews!

I though you Men of God might enjoy seeing this overview today!

Anyone wanting more detailed information can e-mail me.  I'll give you a web-site containing the full exposition.  Mine here is only a skeleton series of thoughts.

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JANUARY 26, 2005 (OF COURSE, A WEDNESDAY):

I was studying on the Ten Commandments.

A Preacher made reference to the six "antitheses" Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount (concerning the Commandments).

I thought, "What?"

(An "antithesis" is a contrast in ideas or definitions!  It in Latin means "to set against.")

Well, after some investigation, I found them!  Here they are.

Number 1:  "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."  Matthew 5:21-22

The antithesis begins with the words ... "BUT I SAY UNTO YOU!"

Number 2:  "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."  Matthew 5:27-28

Number 3:  "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."  Matthew 5:31-32

Number 4:  "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."  Matthew 5:33-37

Number 5:  "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."  Matthew 5:38-39

Number 6:  "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."   Matthew 5:43-45

Now, grouping these all together, I see several great things bout Jesus our Lord!

Notice His great POWER!  His Authority!  He is taking the very place of Moses and further amplifying Scripture!  Who could do that but God?

Notice His great PERCEPTION!  His Discernment into the meaning of the Word of God!  He is skillfully wielding the Sword of the Spirit, isn't He?  I guess He can!  He wrote It!  He saw not only the letter of the Law ... but the Spirit behind it also!

Notice His great PURITY!  His holiness of life!  Never did He sin.  He not only expanded these commandments, He lived by them!  Flawlessly!

Then notice His great PREACHING!  His declaration of God's Word!  No one ever spoke like He did!  His pulpit ministry consisted of the exposition of God's Word for sure! 

Lastly see His great PASSION!  His desire to reach souls! He is doing all this (giving us God's way of life) because He loves men and women!  He longs to see sinners saved!  That's why He came!  (The Law shows us we're all sinners ... and desperately need a Saviour!)

Would you agree with me? These "antitheses" of our Lord sure tell us a lot about Him ... both as a Man and as a Preacher!

Glory to HIS Name!

(I just thought some of you preachers especially might enjoy reflecting on this today, being Wednesday.)

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JANUARY 5, 2005 (WEDNESDAY):

While working on a Bible Study from Luke 13:31-33 (called "The Boldness Of Jesus") I came across some information about "spineless" creatures.

"Backbone" has become a synonym in a Preacher's world for "courage and strength and conviction!"

Every man of God needs "backbone!"

Perhaps I was not too surprised to learn that the common "fly" is an invertebrate, having no backbone.

It also is a filthy little thing!

To be clean in today's moral world one needs "backbone!"

I can remember when I was but a child back home, Mama hated flies.  If one got in the house ... out came her fly-swat!  And she didn't rest until she had committed "flyicide."  (I think a word has just been coined!)  She killed that thing.  Even now I can still hear her saying, "Those things are nasty!"

Well, they are!

Some flies lay their eggs and raise their young in dung!  (I am sorry ... but I need to tell you at least that much about them!)  Some Americans nearly do the same thing with their children nowadays!  Boys and girls need to be reared in a morally and socially clean environment!

Now I more fully realize that ... Mom sure was a smart lady!

No flies in her kitchen ... not for long anyway!

And flies vomit many times an hour too! ( Fact:  29.7% of its time the fly is vomiting, say the scientists!)

They "play" with and "blow bubbles in" and "spread" their putrefying mess everywhere too!

Those who study medical history tell us that flies have been known to spread more than sixty (60) diseases!

But ... how in the world did Brother Bagwell get on that subject?

I'm preaching about cleanliness!

Purity of life!

Holiness!

We Christians are to be unlike flies in two major ways. 

One, we are to have "backbone" and stand for what we believe and practice it fervently!

And secondly, we are to stay away from the filth of the world!

In Nehemiah 3, one of the "gates" of Jerusalem that had to be repaired was the "dung" gate.  That's where the filth of the city was removed and taken to the local garbage dump!  (Obviously that's how it got its name.)

"But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof."  Nehemiah 3:13  (The name "Malchiah" means "My King is Jehovah!" That's the kind of person who will live a clean life!)

Some Christians have not used the "dung" gate of their lives lately!  They have some things at home or on the job or in the office that need to GO! 

Paul tells us not even to touch unclean things!  "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."  2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Brethren, let's remind the people of God that the "filthy rags" of this world are NOT for the Believer in Christ Jesus!

We are to be different!

After all, we have been saved by and follow after a Saviour Who is ... "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens!"  (Hebrews 7:26)  And we are to walk "in His steps!"   1st Peter 2:21 says in part:  "Because Christ ... leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps ...."

The Holy Spirit of God (the gentle "Dove" of the Trinity) ... so unlike the "fly" ... has backbone and is clean!

And That's the precious Holy Spirit Who indwells you ... if you're saved!

He will produce cleanliness and purity within our hearts before He's through ... and some courage on top of that!

Amen!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

DECEMBER 15, 2004 (WEDNESDAY):

Last night I was reading a little commentary on the 23rd Psalm.  I bought it recently when preaching near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The writer was reared in the Holy Land and was a shepherd.  The front page of the book (with the original owner's name) is written in Arabic!

It has several beautiful "nuggets" of truth!

As the author was commenting on the clause "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness."  (Psalm 23:3)

He explained this from a shepherd's viewpoint.

He said that the sheep of that olden day had to be led (not pushed or driven) by their shepherd in a fashion that was proper and ethical.  It seems that during the spring and summer when the flocks were being moved to more "green pastures" and fresh "still waters" they walked on trails or paths that went right through people's farmlands (right between two fields ... unfenced ... just marked by stone corners)!

If left alone, the sheep would stray to the right or left into someone's fields and eat their crops!  That would have been wrong.  It would have been considered trespassing or even stealing. 

Therefore a wise shepherd had to lead his sheep straight through other people's property ... not allowing them to do wrong (stray and eat forbidden food) on the way!

Hence ... he lead the flock in paths of rightness!

 Here's some good news!

The LORD is our Shepherd.

We are the sheep of His pasture.

And He leads us in the paths of righteousness too!

He will not let me veer away from the right road (at least not too far)!

(Following Him puts one in a straight and narrow path!  He will NOT lead us into temptation!)

I next thought it would be good to see other Bible verses about "leading" people.

There is a way of Declension!  ("A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good."  Proverbs 16:29)

There is a way of Delight!  ("Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."  Isaiah 48:17)

There is a way of Destruction!  ("Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat."  Matthew 7:13)

There is a way of Deliverance!  ("Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  Matthew 7:14)

There is a way of Decision!  ("Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"  Romans 2:4)

And the way one takes ... depends on the Leader one is following!

Be sure to follow the Right Leader, the true Shepherd!

That's the only way to be sure you're in the right path!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

DECEMBER 8, 2004 (WEDNESDAY MORNING):

The Bible, from its very beginning, gives us "hint" after "hint" about the coming Redeemer of lost men and women.   A Redeemer sent from God!

It might be especially appropriate at this Christmas season to recall them!

Preachers, I used this line of thought several years ago in a sermon.  God seemed to bless it abundantly.  Today I share it with you.

God created the earth.  Genesis 1:1 tells us about the historical fact.

Next God made man ... but man sinned.

God, being Himself, planned for the salvation of now lost, spiritually dead mankind!

He, the Lord, would need to send a Redeemer!

But as of Genesis chapters 1 or 2 we know virtually NOTHING about the coming Saviour!

Then ... in Genesis 3, when God is clothing Adam and Eve with the skins of slain animals ... having covered their sins, He gives us the first "bit" of Messianic information!

To the deceitful serpent (satan) our Lord says:  "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."  Genesis 3:15

"Hint" number 1:  The Redeemer will come as a Child, the Seed of the woman!  He will not be an angel or alien from outer space!  No, He will have humanity!  And He will crush the devil's head!

Next Genesis 12 speaks.  "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3)  Now we know something else about the coming One.

"Hint" number 2:  He will be of the descendents of Abraham!  He will be a Jewish Saviour!

Then we are told in Genesis 49:10 that --- "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."  Wow!

"Hint" number 3:  The Forgiver of Sin will be from a certain Tribe of Israel ... from Judah!  His Name as "Shiloh" may mean "peace" or it may mean "One to Whom it belongs!"

Next we learn that He will be associated with a "star."  Balaam, of all people, preaches in Numbers 24:17 --- "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth."

"Hint" number 4:  Look for a star of some kind when He comes!  (And just as there was a sign in the heavens at His first coming ... so will there be at His second coming! See Matthew 24:30.)  He also holds a "scepter!"  He will be a King!

Now Listen to Isaiah as he tells us even more! In fact, he here gives us 2 hints! "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."  Isaiah 7:14

"Hint" number 5: He will be born of a Virgin!

"Hint" number 6:  He will be very God incarnate!  "Immanuel" means literally GOD WITH US!

And if all this isn't enough (although I'm just skimming the "high" places), Let Micah tells us another striking detail of His Birth.  "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."  Micah 5:2

"Hint" number 7:  We have been now told the very city of His Birth!  Bethlehem!

Put all the "pieces" together ... and one wonders how anyone could have "missed" Him!

Maybe the Pharisees and Scribes and Chief Priests were willingly ignorant!

Whatever ... there is NO EXCUSE today for anyone not to see!

JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, THE REDEEMER OF EARTH, THE MESSIAH OF PROMISE AND THE SAVIOUR OF REPENTANT SINNERS!

Thank God for "hints" that add up to the one greatest ANNOUNCEMENT ever made!

Here it is:  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:11

Glory to God in the highest!

(I just thought some Preacher might like to reflect on these thoughts this Wednesday in December.)

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

NOVEMBER 17, 2004 (WEDNESDAY MORNING):

Jesus says this of Himself in Revelation 1:18.  "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen."

This is an amazing statement!  What views of our Lord it shares with us!

It looks through the eye of the PAST ... Jesus was dead!

It looks through the eye of the PRESENT ... Jesus liveth!  He is alive!

And it looks through the eye of PROPHECY ... Jesus is alive for evermore!

"I am He That liveth" translates just 3 little words in the Textus Receptus (the Greek text from which our King James Translators worked):  kai ho zoe!  (And the Living One I am!)    The verb is a present participle.  Jesus was then alive and had been for all eternity!  I believe in the eternal Sonship of the Second Person of the Trinity! I'm pretty sure all of you do too!)  Zao (zoe here) means life ... life on the highest plane ... real life ... abundant life (not just biological life)!

Jesus at Creation could have said:  "I live!"

And during the Flood:  "I live!"

And during the Virgin Birth:  "I live!"

And right now, 2000 years later, He still can say: "I live!"

And ten billion years from now He will still declare: "I live!"

He is the eternally existent One!

I'm glad my God is The Great "I AM!"

(I'm so thankful my God's Name is not "I WAS!")

Next ... Jesus says that He "was dead."

This verb and adjective ... ginomai nekros ... tell us that Jesus became dead! (Ginomai = to be, to come to be, to come into existence as)  And this verb is an "aorist!"  That means that Jesus' state of being dead is over!  It's finished!  He is through being dead!  It will never be a state into which He enters again! 

Now none of us knows anyone who can say to our face "I was dead!"  No!  Those dead bodies still lie in their graves!  Death so far is a permanent state!  BUT NOT WITH JESUS!  He was temporarily dead!  He died to atone for our sins ... but God raised Him from the Grave!

(Even those raised from the dead in the Bible ... a little boy by Elijah and another by Elisha plus the 3 Jesus raised ... all died again!)

Only of Jesus can it be truly said: He was dead!

Glory to God!

And the verb "behold" literally means: "Look!"  And it's an imperative!  Jesus is commanding us to see that some other great truth is coming!

The Bible always uses "behold" (in Greek = "idou") for emphasis.

Then Jesus adds (the icing on the cake) these words:  "I am alive for evermore."

Yes!

Here Bible Prophecy reveals to us the very future!

Jesus will never die again!

No more Crosses!

No more devils!

No more battles!

No more funeral homes!

No more graves!

Just eternal life!

Twenty two (22) times in the King James Bible the words "for evermore" are found. I mean exactly in that order ... as a specific phrase. 

Here are just a few of them.  See what you think.

Psalm 16:11 --- "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

Psalm 89:28 --- "My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him."

Psalm 92:8 --- "But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore."

2 Corinthians 11:31 --- "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore ...."

SINCE GOD HAS BEEN SO GOOD TO US ... CONSEQUENTLY ... we should adopt the attitude described here by the psalmist:

Psalm 86:12 --- "I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore."

Psalm 115:18 --- "But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD."

What can one say to that?

Only one word ... the word our text adds ... "Amen!"

This is in Greek spelled "amen" (Amazing isn't it?) and means firm, faithful or true! Jesus is saying AMEN to His Own Preaching!

Excuse me while I holler AMEN too!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 10, 2004 (WEDNESDAY MORNING):

I just did not know there verse was there.  Somehow through the years I've simply missed it!

"And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him (the lord) with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about."   2 Chronicles 15:15

The people of Judah are having a revival!

Notice the verse says that they "sought Him (the Lord) with their whole desire!"

The verb "sought" means to look until one finds!

The adjective "whole" translates the Hebrew word "kol" that means ALL of something!

And the noun "desire" is "ratzson" and means pleasure or delight or favor!

They truly had a hungering for the Lord!

He was "thrilling" to them!

This "Revival" came under the leadership of godly King Asa.

So ... let's closely examine this verse together. 

Here it is again ... "And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought Him (the Lord) with their whole desire; and He was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about."   2 Chronicles 15:15

First, there is a PROMISE here.  The "oath" to serve God was taken seriously by the Jewish nation.  The Hebrew term "oath" is derived from their word for "seven!"  To make an oath grammatically meant to say it seven times ... to promise it faithfully!

Then, there is PRAISE here too.  They "rejoiced" at what God was doing!  This verb means "to brighten up!"  Their faces actually were shining with joy and gladness! Revival will do that to you!

There too is PRINCIPLE here.  They decided with all their heart to serve God!  No turning back now!  This is all based on conviction ... not feeling or popular opinion.

There is PLEASURE in this revival also!  "With their whole desire" means with all that which brought them delight!  They actually enjoyed serving God!  Jesus said once to His Father: "In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Psalm 16:11 (Wow!)

And notice there is PROSPERITY in their revival!  They sought the Lord and He was found of them!  The Lord wanted to be found and enjoyed by His people! (Need proof?  Read John 4:23 where Jesus said:  "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." The Lord is looking for worshippers!)

And lastly see the PEACE that resulted from this revival!   The verse closes:  "And the LORD gave them rest round about."  The word for "rest" means quietness and calmness!  He CAN give rest you know!  (In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says:  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.")

What a Revival this was!

Lord, send one our way too!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 3, 2004 (WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON):

It is often said that Paul does not emphasize the great doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Jesus.

I do not agree with that assessment at all.

Of course the "liberals" will pin you to the wall on this one!

They just say: "Show me (in reference to Jesus' birth) the word "virgin" in Paul's writings!"

Well, I can't.

BUT I can show you something rather interesting that seems to point to a Virgin Birth for Jesus!

Here goes ...

Every time Paul discusses the physical birth of our Lord (which he does 3 times), he expresses it in unique terms!

Here they are:

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law."  Galatians 4:4

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."  Romans 1:3

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."  Philippians 2:7

The verb here in each case for "made" is "ginomai" and means "to come into existence!"

It is NOT the word for a baby being "born!"

That word stem is "gennetos," denoting physical birth!

See the similarity in Matthew 1:18 where we are told that Jesus is born of Mary. "Now the birth (in Greek = "gennesis") of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

So, what is Paul telling us?

Is Paul who (truly) never writes the term "virgin birth" of "born of a virgin" or "a virgin conceived" teaching us in yet another way that Jesus' arrival on earth is via a miracle of God?

Galatians 4:4 says "MADE" of a woman.  That's nearly an awkward way of expressing birth!  But ... that's the point!  Paul did not want to say anything that would imply that Jesus' birth was normal or natural or commonplace!  So He worded it this way!  (Rather, the Holy Spirit did so!)

He speaks of Jesus' birth in a unique manner!  He's telling us there's something SPECIAL about it!

Again ...

Romans 1:3 speaking of Jesus says He was MADE of the seed of David according to the flesh!  Again, we have an unusual vocabulary here!

Paul is again deliberately avoiding all words that suggest a human birth.  Jesus as man came into being of the seed of David!  God sent him via the womb of a virgin, a once but only once event.

And thirdly ...

Jesus WAS MADE in the likeness of men!

Not born as men (millions of them) by husband-wife relationships.  But MADE (by a miracle of God ... via just a lady's womb) in the likeness of men!

See the distinction Paul is seeking to maintain here!

The word group he is avoiding ("gennetos") means physical birth only!

The word he is insisting upon using ("ginomai") strictly means "to come into being" or something like that.

Paul is showing us that Jesus' birth is NOT like normal human births!

He is miraculously sent from God  in a special way (virginal conception) to be the Saviour of the world!

And note this ... all three times "ginomai" is an aorist participle!  It is picturing for us an event that has occurred in the past and is a done deed!  The virgin birth does not have to happen ever again!

It is special!

Don't tell me that Paul does not in a number of ways teach the special birth of Jesus ... the Virgin Birth!

The Scriptures insist that one has to believe one has to believe it in order to be saved!

If Jesus had not been BORN RIGHT ... He could have never DIED RIGHT ... to save our lost souls!

Thank you, Paul!

Here's a thought ...

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law."  Galatians 4:4  THIS EMPHASIZES JESUS AT BETHLEHEM!  With Mary His mother according to the flesh!  (Here's Jesus and one woman!)

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."  Romans 1:3  THIS EMPHASIZES JESUS AT JERUSALEM! Sitting some day on the Throne of David!  (Here's Jesus and one man!)

And ... "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."  Philippians 2:7   THIS EMPHASIZES JESUS EVERYWHERE!  Where men are ... Jesus is, willing to save their lost souls!  (Here's Jesus and one world!)

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

 

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