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Saturday, December 8, 2018

God is Love
Jesus is the manifestation of that love

Our pastor usually assigns bible study topics and teachers at the end of one month for the coming month.  Of course, she asks for volunteers so no one person is bringing the lesson each and every week so we can get a variety of how the Holy Ghost has been speaking to people on a specific topic or on various topics.  You know, it’s like a quarterback spreading the passes out to multiple receivers, everyone gets a shot.  Now, our bible studies are interactive.  Someone has a question, they ask, if the Spirit has shown someone an insight pertaining to the subject, they can share it.  This past Sunday and this coming Sunday are “Celebrating Jesus”.  In light of the current season (Christmas) we are sharing something about our Lord and Savior and what the celebration of His birth may mean to us.  The following is basically what I shared last Sunday.

In celebrating Jesus, understand, that we also celebrate the fullness of God, including the Father and the Holy Ghost (the Godhead).

John 1:1-4, 14. 16-18

1          In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God
2          The same was in the beginning with God

We know that the “Godhead” consists of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Knowing that they are one is not the issue but ‘how’ they are one is often discussed.  What Father has shown me, briefly) is that when He created all things God (the Father) spoke the Word (Jesus) and the breath of God (the Holy Ghost) carried that Word into action.

3          All things were made by Him and there wasn’t anything made without Him
4          Life is in Him and that life is the light of men
14        And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as the only begotten Son of the Father full of grace and truth.

(Jesus is the only one without earthly dad since Adam (Gen. 1:26-27, Gen. 2:7)
Death came into the world with Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Gen. 3:1-24)
 All things were created through Jesus and Father sent Him to earth to show us how we can come back into the kingdom of God – John 3:16)

16        And we all have received of His fullness, grace for grace (by grace we are saved!, Eph. 2:8-9)
17        For the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ
18        For no man has seen God at any time except the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father and has declared Him

(Moses didn’t see God’s face.  Like us, Moses experienced Him Exod. 33:17-23) but he did ‘literally’ experience God.  Father allowed him to see His backside.  The glory of God is so awesome, that even Moses had to cover his face, after having been in the presence of God, when he came before Israel (Exod. 34:34-35)

That Word is the light of man.  He shows us and is the way into eternal fellowship with Father by Coming into this world and living as we do for a season.  He brought grace into this world.  He gave us grace, enabling us to attain that fellowship thereby experiencing the Father in our own lives.  
I got curious about that word ‘bosom’.  I know what I think about first so I checked out Strong’s Concordance.  The Greek word is kolpos (2859) means bosom or creek (like a bay).    Now when John lay his head on Jesus’ bosom (John 13:22-23) I assumed that the word meant ‘chest’.  I wasn’t totally wrong.  I understand Strong’s definition to indicate ‘running’ or ‘living’ ‘water’ yet ‘all encompassing’.  I envision like a Wellspring of Life with protecting arms surrounding us.  Then Father said take a look at Webster’s definition and as I did, the Holy Spirit said “what do you see?”.  I did and I said “oooh”.  The part of the definition citing ‘center of secret thoughts and emotions’ and ‘close relationship” caught my attention.  Can we get any closer in a relationship than that?  ‘Nuff said?

That explains the relationship between the Father and the Son.  Well, for me anyway and now we bring in the Holy Ghost

John 14:23-26

23        … If a man loves me, he will keep My words.  My Father will love him and we will come and make our abode with him
24        He who doesn’t love me does not keep my sayings.  But the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me
25        I’ve spoken these things being in your presence

Jesus said “I’ve spoken the things” trying to get the light to come on in our hearts that He wants the same type of relationship with us as He has with the Father.  which is why He says:

26        But the Father will send you the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, in my name and He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance whatever I have said to you

The NIocene Creed, which the church generally refers to as the Apostle’s Creed and is what the Christian church generally believes, states in part:
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
Thus identifying the fullness of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) which dwelled completely in the body of Jesus Christ (Col. 2:8-10) as He walked this earth.  
So in celebrating Jesus, we also celebrate all that God is.  That means abiding in His love for which he has given us His example.  So, as the Holy Spirit dwells in our lives (through salvation), Jesus has not only told what type of a relationship He wants with us, but through the Holy Ghost, He has given us the ability to accomplish this – as we yield our lives to Him. 

 So, in celebrating Jesus, there are some things we need to know and do.

1 John 4:7-19

7          Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.
8          He that doesn’t love doesn’t know God for God is love

Our connection with the Father is His love which He showed us in and through Jesus and shares with us through the Holy Ghost.  As we love God, we will show that love in our own lives – to some degree as we grow.

9          God’s love was manifested towards us because He sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.  (while we were yet sinners – Rom. 5:8)
10       This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atonement/replacement) for our sins  (no greater love than to lay our life down for our friends, John 15:13)

Don’t get me wrong here.  This doesn’t necessarily mean literally dying for someone else. It could but it also means setting our own egos aside and not withholding the Love of Christ from people.  It also means that when we interact with them, we do what is best for them and not ourselves.  We don’t forget ourselves but we consider others first (Phil. 2:3)

11        Beloved, if God so loved us, we should also love one another

How can we show this?  God told Abraham to sacrifice his most beloved son.  As Abraham readied to plunge the knife into his son’s body, God sent an angel to stop him and showed him a ram caught in the bushes nearby to use instead.  Earlier, Abraham had told Isaac that God would provide Himself a lamb for sacrifice (Gen. 22:1-14).  Abraham showed his obedience to God was more than even his love for own beloved son, Isaac.

12        No man has seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwells in us and His love is perfected in us

As God’s love abides in our hearts, He enables us to love those around us.  Need any further explanation?

13        This is how we know that we dwell in Him and He in us because He has given us His Spirit
(Ezek. 37:12-14 [God’s Spirit in us], John 15:1-12 [the vine], Acts 1:8 receipt of HG). 
We receive His Spirit with our confession of faith that Jesus is Lord and Savior as the Holy Spirit takes up residence within our heart (John 20:22-23).  But we receive power through the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4).

14        We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world (Apostle John speaking but ought we not do the same?)
15        Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God
16        We have known and believed the love that God has towards us.  God is love and he who dwells in love, dwells in God and God is in him.

Where does God live, and why?  In case you missed it – God (through the Holy Ghost) lives in our hearts to we can give our love back to Him  and share that love with those around us.

17        This is how our love is made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment because as He (God) is so are we in this world

We reflect who God is by living in Him and for Him in front of the world.

18        There is so fear in love because perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment.  He who fears is not made perfect in love.

Fear is being afraid and when we love God with all our heart, we fully trust Him for anything and everything.  If we are afraid to die in this world, our love for Father still needs perfecting because we aren’t trusting Him for everything.  When we truly love God with all our heart natural death is spiritual gain for when we die physically in this world we gain presence with Almighty God (Phil. 1:20-24).  It just might happen a little quicker with some than with others.  Martyrs, etc.  but we don’t take ourselves out of this world.  All is in God’s timing and for His purpose (Ecc. 3:1-14).

19        We love Him (Father/Son) because He first loved us


This lesson was presented to our fellowship on December second.  It is fitting that this lesson coincided with this day of this month.

December is the twelfth month.  Twelve is governmental perfection (authorities over us), God’s power and authority

It was the second day (#2) of the month.  Two represents union and/or witnessing
This reading from 1 John helps us to understand the Father’s power and authority, which He has given us, in partnering with Him to be witnesses for Jesus.

We celebrate Jesus because He is the Father, come in the flesh, into this world and after His departure He has given us the Holy Ghost so that the love of the Father can dwell within our heart. 

The best way we can celebrate Jesus is by living in His love and expressing that love towards those whom we encounter.  Christians are the only image of the living God the world sees – until they give their hearts to Him.  Once we’ve let Jesus into our heart and we seek His love, He will grow us and mature us so we can be His effective light in this dark world.  We celebrate Jesus with everything that we are and that we have (Psalm 150:1-6).

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