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Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; (Song of Songs 1:3 NKJV)

What is fragrance?

What does it do?

Here’s the thing. When our Song speaks of fragrance it is not talking actions. Not the visible actions of a Shepherd King, but rather the invisible features of thoughts and emotions – His passions.

When we talk about God and emotions we (the Church) have a strange box for God. We feel like God has this amazing joy when we are born again, and He spends the rest of our lives angry with us.

There is even a theological argument out there that says that God does not change so He cannot have emotions.

This is all so messed up. We are created in the image of God, emotions and all. If we learn nothing else from the Song of Songs, it is that we have an emotional Father.

There is, however, action in this verse and we don’t want to miss it. The fragrant ointment is poured forth.

Here we see the internal essence of Jesus, His thought life, His emotion, His passion, poured out by the declaration of His name. Last week we looked at His name, but today I want to draw your attention to this idea.

As His name is declared, His passion is revealed. [Tweet This]

Observe:

When He said His name was JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU  "The Lord is our righteousness" He was demonstrating His passion for transforming you into the righteousness of God in Him.

When He said His name was JEHOVAH-SHALOM  - Our perfect peace - He was demonstrating His passion for creating peace between you and God as the Prince of Peace.

When He said His name was JEHOVAH RAPHA  - I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer – He was demonstrating His passion for healing you to the uttermost.

Interestingly enough Paul talks about fragrance too.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB)

The fact is, as our life declares by word and deed the name of Jesus, His passion is poured forth on our circle of influence, and it has an impact. It may draw some to Christ, and it may push some away. In any case, when you stand for Christ your life will no longer be neutral.

Do you need that ointment poured forth in your life today?

Do you need that healing balm, that peace that defies understanding?

Let the name of Jesus wash over you even now. Declare His name out loud over your circumstances today.

If you are sick say out loud something like “I am yours, Jehovah Rapha – the Lord who heals me”

If you are stressed instead of blessed – declare “I am yours, Jehovah Shalom”

Hey – we are not talking magic words, or secret formulae here. But there is power in the name of Jesus.

That’s good, isn’t it? Share what you learned, or what fresh revelation you received, or even what made you mad here today. Has His name poured out in your life changed your reality? Share!

Come back next week for more of the Song. Believe me, we are just scratching the surface here.

Ben

I think you'll love this.

The Cause of Christ
by Kari Jobe, Benjamin Hastings, and Bryan Fowler

Verse 1

The only thing I want in life,
is to be known for loving Christ,
to build His church to love His bride
and make His name known far and wide

Chorus

For this cause I live
for this cause I'd die
I surrender all for the Cause of Christ
All I once held dear I will leave behind
For my joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

Verse 2

He is all my soul will prize,
regardless of the joy or trial
When agonizing questions rise,
In Jesus, all my hope abides

Chorus

For this cause I live
for this cause I'd die
I surrender all for the Cause of Christ
All I once held dear I will leave behind
For my joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

Bridge

Jesus my Jesus, for Your glory, for Your name
Jesus my Jesus, I will only sing Your praise x3

Chorus

For this cause I live
for this cause I'd die
I surrender all for the Cause of Christ
All I once held dear I will leave behind
For my joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

For my, Joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

Outro

It is not fame that I desire,
nor stature in my brother's eye
I pray it's said about my life,
that I live more to build Your name than mine

Thanks to MetroLyrics for the lyrics

BenHeadshotHave a great day!

See you again soon,

Ben

Yesterday, we looked at the fact that Jesus is the express image of God and to see God we should look at Jesus. But as I promised, I want to see where Jesus took this truth next as He answered Philip’s request:

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." - John 14:8

Here is the passage again, with my highlighting:

Again, it would be awesome if you would read this aloud:

Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him. ~ John 14:9-21

Jesus, the way to know God

So along with telling the boys how they could see God, how they could get to know God’s character and nature, He was going to take this conversation to another destination.

The first paragraph of His answer basically goes like this. You have seen God because He lives in Me, and you have seen Me, the things I do and the words I say, show you exactly who God is.

And as we saw yesterday in Hebrews 1, He is not just the “good parts version” of the immutable (unchangeable) God, He is the “exact representation of His nature” (from Hebrews 1:3.)

The Other Shoe

After making it clear to the disciples that He was how they were to see God, He explains that in the very same way, they were, and we are, a way for people to see and know God.

Each reason Jesus gives Philip for seeing the Father through Himself, He turns around and explains how they will have the same ability to present or should I say re-present the Father to those they touch.

The same Spirit that was in Christ, “will be in you.” The same works that Christ used to demonstrate the character and nature of the Father, “he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.”

Just as Jesus spoke only what He heard the Father say, His promise to the boys comes down like this:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. - John 14:26

Honestly, this revelation is a bit of a world rocker to me. I can be such a screw up at times. I hurt the people I love on a regular basis because my head is stuck where the sun does not shine, and I am thinking about my agenda, my needs, my…self, and that is NOTHING LIKE GOD.

But THIS is His plan. The master plan, set in place before the foundations, before time, before sin, before life as we know it.

If you are in a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, His idea is that when people see you, they would be looking at the Father. [Boy, that feels downright blasphemous, doesn’t it?] [Click here to tweet it anyway]

OK – let’s not get all arrogant-n-stuff, because we fall, we fail, and that’s on a good day. But the fact is, when men and women look at YOU and ME, because of the new creation, the new heart, the new covenant, God, using His infinite power, gives your circle of influence a glimpse of the Almighty.

When they look at you, they see God, and when they see you fall, and God lift you up, they see their own need for God, their own need for “my Glory and the Lifter of my head.”

I know, crazy, right?

Lord, today, this day, shine through my successes and my failures, so those around me can see You, and are drawn to the Lover of their souls.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you again soon. In the mean time…

Shine where you're screwed in.

Ben

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For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 NASB)

Christ

When the Angels told the shepherd to find Christ the Lord, they did not go to the mailbox with “Christ” on it and ask for a baby named Jesus.

Christ was not His last name – it was His job description. Here it is in His own words:

The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19 NASB)

You see Christ means anointed one.

Peter tells us again in Acts

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38 NASB)

Anointing is what makes all the difference in the world. Without anointing, you can preach, share, teach, pray, and it won’t do you any good.

It is the anointing that breaks the yoke.

Jesus did not do His works by the power He brought with Him, but rather by the power poured upon Him.

Here is the crazy thing. He is looking to pour His anointing on you!

The plan is simple – You can be Christ to those around you.

Isn’t that awesome?

BenI love Christmas!

Ben

photo credit: BloomKitty via photopin cc

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What follows here is one of the most moving works of art I have ever heard. At the bottom of the post is a link to the Youtube of this song, but i wanted to post the song lyrics here for those who "hear" better in written form. Misty Edwards is one of the most anointed ministers of worship of our day. Here you will find the gospel beautifully depicted in an encounter with Jesus. Please make time to read or listen this week as we move toward the Crucifixion and Resurrection celebrations this week.

 

The Harlot - Beauty Arise

I am broken
I am wounded
I am wretched and ashamed
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck
it's my name

She sings the song of humanity the song of you the song of me

They drag her through the city square
dragging her by her hair
she's kicking screaming and fighting

I'm broken I'm wounded
I'm angry and afraid
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck
it's my name

She's face down

There's tangled hair
everywhere as she's crying in the dust
as the dust turns to mud on her face

There's tangled hair
everywhere as she's crying in the dust
face down

Open up o open up o ground beneath me
how long does it take to stone one harlot down

I know the law as well as they do and I’m guilty, guilty
an adulterer, and I know I know

O will this day never end
how long does it take to stone one harlot

I am broken
I am wounded
I am wretched and ashamed
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck, it's my name

As the congregation of the righteous gather round
they are ready to stone her down

And someone from that frenzied mob
shouts out, "let's take her to the Teacher
let's test Him and see what He will say!"
An erruption of agreement

As they take her by her hair
they drag her through the city square
they're dragging her by her hair
she gave up the fight like a limp rag

They drag her through the city square
dragging her by her hair

She's faced down

I am broken I am wounded
I am angry and afraid
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck, it's my name
it's who I am

Open up o open up o ground beneath me

It wasn't supposed to end this way
but I am guilty and I know it
I've got so many plans so much to do
but now it's too late

Guilty and I know it

Face down

What is He doing?

As the congregation of the righteous gather round
they're ready to stone her down
they throw her at the feet of the Teacher

Dare I look up?
Surely they have brought me here to mock me..

There's tangled hair
everywhere as she's crying in the dust
as the dust turns to mud on her face

There's tangled hair everywhere she's faced down in the dust
in the mud
and there is a hush
in the congregation

What is he doing?

Time stands still

 

As the court of heaven was seated
there is a great throne of judgment
and there is the harlot and she is me

Face down

Looking through the tangled hair and the mud in my eyes
With a grimace I raise my gaze only to realize
I am surrounded by beauty that would never be mine
as regret like a wave came crushing over me

If I had only known that such beauty was available
if I had only known but now it's too late-

And the accuser of the brethren was pacing back and forth and back and forth and to and fro
as he spat out his words

He was going back and forth and back and forth
he was listing off my sins one by one
and the thing was he was telling the truth
guilty guilty guilty guilty

And the great count of witnesses and the angels o the angels
looked on the scene

As the accuser of the brethren was going back and forth
glee in his eye
guilty guilty guilty guilty
and resounded to the corridor of eternity and time
like a thunder in my soul

He was right I was guilty
guilty to eternal damnation for my soul
and there was nothing I could there was nothing I could do

Face down

Face down

Couldn't even open my eyes
the regret was so strong

There's a hand on my shoulder
a hand on my shoulder
and I hear a voice
like music in my ear

Dare I look up?

I couldn't lift my eyes but all I saw
were those beautiful feet
and I heard that voice like music
music to my soul

He said, "Father, I desire that she will be with me where I am.
show her my glory.

"Father, I desire this one
this one she is mine
she is mine
she is mine."

He was praying for my soul
He was pleading for my behalf
He was praying for me

I couldn't comprehend it
I couldn't understand what was going on

“Father, I desire that everything that's Mine would be hers and everything that's hers would be Mine.
Father, Father, I desire this one, this one,
she is Mine
she is Mine
she is Mine."

And all the heaven gasped unbelief
and I opened up my eyes
and I watched in wonder

This beautiful one stood to His feet

I looked up and there was a great throne and there was the Father
and He had a cup of wrath with my name on it
it had my name on it

And I was just about to rise to drink
guilty guilty guilty
but I watched in unbelief
As this Beautiful One
He walked over to His Father
and took of the cup

And before I knew what was going on
He drank of the cup
He drank of the cup

He drank of the cup of the Father's wrath
He drank of the cup of the marriage wine
He drank of the cup with my name on it
He drank of the cup
and oh the blood..

I jumped to my feet and I ran over to Him and it was too late

I tried to stop him but I didn't know it was too late

And oh the blood
and oh the blood
and oh the blood

It should have been me
and I was weeping and weeping
and I ran over forgetting where I was
and I fell down
face down
O please Father to crush Him
but it was too late

I began to plead it should have been me
it should have been me
but it was too late
why did he do it
but it was too late
and oh the blood

I was weeping and weeping and crying it should have been me
it should have been me
face down
Why did He do it?

It should have been me
was weeping and weeping
why did he gave his life
Oh the blood
was weeping and weeping
and I heard a whisper like music
"what's yours is Mine and what's Mine is yours"

I looked to the left
I looked to the right
and i was on a sea of glace like crystal

There was a great great great congregation dressed in white
from every tongue
from every tribe
from every people
and the music began
and a celebration erupted

and I opened up my eyes
and there was the Lamb
as though he was slain
and I was at a wedding
and I couldn't believe my eyes

I looked down
and I was dressed in garments
garments of beauty
and the music erupted and the angels sing hallelujah hallelujah the chorus broke out

And I looked out and saw the lamb with eyes like fire radiating radiating with desire
and he said what's yours is Mine and what's Mine is yours

Arise and sit on the throne, prepare for your beauty arise beauty arise, beauty arise

And we say with one heart and one voice
"Worthy is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world"

"Oh worthy is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world"

"Worthy is the Lamb of God yeah,
who takes away the sins of the world"

We will marry the Lamb
Halle halle hallelujah
Halle halle hallelujah
we will marry the Lamb forever amen

and worthy is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world
worthy is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world

hallelujah hallelujah

There's gonna be a wedding
There's gonna be a wedding
there's gonna be a wedding yeah people get ready

There's gonna be a wedding
There's gonna be a wedding
there's gonna be a wedding people get ready

There's gonna be a wedding
There's gonna be a wedding
there's gonna be a wedding

What's yours is Mine and what's Mine is yours
who can comprehend where this is going
He said, "Beauty arise, arise, arise"

Misty Edwards & David Brymer - The Harlot Lyrics

 

Misty Edwards - Beauty Arise (the harlot) - YouTube.

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Come Follow Me
Come Follow Me

 And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. ~ Matthew 10:7-8 NASB

I am back in these red letters one more time.

Here’s the thing – as you go – preach the kingdom of heaven and demonstrate the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus does not say debate the kingdom of God!

Preach it.

Demonstrate it.

Oh – and don’t be stingy with it. [Tweet This]

Freely you have received, freely give.

As my mentor used to tell me all the time:

Don’t debate, demonstrate.

Ben NelsonBe light today.

Ben

Thanks to Pastor J. Lillie from Lillie-put. Pastor J. is blogging all the time, and has a wealth of great writings and photography. This is his photo, which I have borrowed gratefully.

Body

There are a number of metaphors for the Church in the Bible. One of Paul’s favorites was the Body of Christ.

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. - Colossians 1:18

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. - 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  -  Ephesians 1:22-23

The thing that is so beautiful about this metaphor is that it explains how Christians can be so different from one another. We can be as different as an eyeball and an elbow. God has created us each with talents, and given gifts to each of us, and put us under the leadership (headship) of Christ, with the intention that we would be ‘Christ’ to this world. Jesus was in one place at one time. He probably never traveled more than a couple hundred miles in His earthly life, but now His body, doing His business is all over the globe.

We always look at this next verse as being about the individual believer, but notice that the pronouns here are all we. I understand that we can mean each of us individuals, but by the same token, as each of us are designed specifically for a purpose, so as we are fitted together, we as the body are able to walk in the works that were prepared beforehand for us to do.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10 NASB

As the Body of Christ we are the physical, tangible presence of God in people’s lives. You may be the only Christ your coworker ever sees. [Tweet this] They may never darken the door of a church, but they sit with you at lunch every day.

You are a part of the whole, and your part is critical for the Body to function. To reverse that thought, without you, the body is dysfunctional. A body with an eye that is not looking is dysfunctional. A body with a kidney that has stopped filtering its blood is dysfunctional. What are you called and gifted for?

Temple

Another metaphor for the Church, which can also refer to an individual Christian, is the temple.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.- Ephesians 2:19-22

I love this picture of the Father fitting us together. I read a novel once, which included a detailed explanation of how the old master craftsmen used to build rock walls and buildings without mortar. They would survey an array of stones, and carefully select just the right pieces, fitting them together, so that as a unit they would support one another. Each stone depends on the other stones it touches to give it support. Standing alone, the stone is not much to look at, and really provides little in the way of function. But assembled they are beautiful and functional.

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 2:4-5 NASB

We are the temple of the living God.

Lord help me be what you have created me, designed me, and gifted me to be today. Fit me into my place.

Ben Nelson

Thanks for stopping in – tomorrow we will look take a peek at the ordinances of the Church.

Shine today!

Ben

 

 

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question-mark

Ok – so I know that I am stepping into controversial territory here. As you can see from my home church’s statement of faith, those who formed this church and wrote this document clearly are in the 'once saved always saved' camp.

We believe that salvation is the free gift of God, entirely apart from human merit or works, and is received through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and that believers are kept secure in Him forever. Ephesians 2:8-9; John 10:27-30; John 3:16-18, John 14:6; Acts 4:12

It would be fair to say there are good solid passionate Christians on both sides of this issue.

I could (and have) argued this from scripture on both sides of this issue.

There are scriptures that sound a lot like you could walk away from faith, like this:

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. - Hebrews 6:4-6 NASB

Right on the other hand there are passages like this from Romans 8 that make it seem incomprehensible that anything could ever break a relationship forged by God Himself.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:35-39 NASB

I have known people who have been “Christians” for decades and later renounced Christ. So did they know Christ, or were they faking, or deceived into thinking they were something they were not.

Were they play acting all along, and finally just decided it was not worth playing games.

Here’s the thing. I think the problem is not with the Gospel, and the ability of God to hold onto Christians.

I think the problem is with our gospel and the fact that we are substituting lists of things to think (creeds) for relationship. We are convincing people of facts about Jesus, and they get passionate about this information, but eventually when someone comes along with better information, or a better argument, or more charisma, they finally give up and drop the argument.

Isn't that in effect what happened with Israel time and time again? At the outset God wanted a relationship with people, but the people He chose sent Moses, and said - you talk to God for us, and tell us what He wants us to do. That is the pagan approach to a deity. What He, God, wanted them to do is talk to Him and walk with Him. Over and over in Jeremiah and Ezekiel particularly God says, 'then they will be my people and I will be their God.' (Jeremiah 24:7; Ezekiel 11:20; 14:11; 37:23; 37:27)

I am not persuaded that someone who has genuinely received a new heart from the Lord, one who has gotten a heart of flesh, with the law of love written deep within could ever renounce that. I don't see how anyone into whom the Lord God almighty has breathed the breath of life, could turn their back.

We are not good at making disciples (learners under discipline) but we do OK with making converts.

Converts can be converted, disciples are ruined for life. [Tweet This]

I understand that the Bible is ambiguous in this area, and I am ok with that – in fact – I might be a tad ambiguous here too, just to keep it fair.

My plan for life and my advise to you:
Keep your relationship with the Lord real and current. Stay in His word, and obey what He tells you. Listen for His voice, and keep His Word.

Jesus only did what he saw the Father do, and only said what He heard the Father say, and that obedience served Him well. The disciple is not above His master, so you and I need to walk like Jesus.

The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. - 1 John 2:4-6 NASB

There is grave danger in the "Once saved, always saved" attitude as I learned when I went to share the gospel with a young man who I knew to be a womanizer at the time. He was living a loose life and boldly so. When I asked him about his faith, he told me he was a Christian. He had asked Jesus into his heart as a young boy, and was counting on that "prayer" to get him into heaven.

I told him the story of Nineveh, the city that repented and was 'saved' in the book of Jonah, only to be condemned in the book of Nahum without even the briefest opportunity for repentance. They had repented of their repentance. In Jonah, they repented out of fear, but they never believed, put their faith and trust in the God of Israel.

The only secure place is in the vine. If you will abide in the vine, in Jesus, and let Him abide in you, you will do well and your salvation is secure.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

Abiding in the vine,

Ben

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We are looking at this entry in my church home’s statement of faith.

We believe that salvation is the free gift of God, entirely apart from human merit or works, and is received through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and that believers are kept secure in Him forever. Ephesians 2:8-9; John 10:27-30; John 3:16-18, John 14:6; Acts 4:12

There are 5 words in this faith statement, which are more important than any of the definitions and questions we have been studying. They are:

“Lord Jesus Christ as Savior”

The most important thing to understand about salvation is the WHO of it.

It’s fine to understand all these doctrines and ideas, but Jesus actually answers all my questions.

Jesus – His name means Salvation.
Jesus – He is the Grace – the gift of God.
Jesus – He is the author and object of our faith.
We may be saved from sin, but we are saved to Jesus.
It is Jesus who promised never to leave me or forsake me.

Our Savior is given the title, Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s break that down.

First and foremost we must recognize Jesus as Lord. It is no mistake that Jesus is called Lord and Savior, not Savior and Lord. The church over the centuries has often turned this around to it own detriment.

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. - 2 Peter 3:18 NASB

Skye Jethani, [who is among other things the Executive Editor of Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal and one of the co-hosts of a great podcast, The Phil Vischer Podcast] says the gospel in its simplest form is ‘Jesus is Lord.’

As I have said many times before, there are many forms and stages our relationship with Jesus progresses through, but we must first come to Jesus as servants. When we are called to Him, we must respond with a resounding ‘YES LORD’ in our hearts.

In fact, that might just be the best practical definition of faith. Faith is a life that said ‘yes Lord' to Jesus. [Tweet This]

Kim Josephson, who led me to faith, often proclaims, “You must make Jesus, your Master, your Lord, your King, your Boss.”

Next we see His name, Jesus, means Salvation.

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. - Matthew 1:21 NASB

God has exalted Jesus to the highest place, and set His name, Jesus, above every name that is named.

… God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:9-11 NASB

which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, - Ephesians 1:20-22 NASB

Finally, He bears the title Christ. (No, Christ was not Mary and Joseph’s last name.) Christ means anointed one. It would be the Greek word used to refer to the Jew’s Messiah. When the woman at the well saw that Jesus was looking directly into her heart she ran through the city calling:

Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? - John 4:29 NKJV

So you see, when we say Lord Jesus Christ, we have said a mouthful.

Jesus is Lord – is He yours?
Jesus is Savior – is He yours?
Jesus is Christ – is He yours?

Will you bow your knee to this King of King and Lord of Lords?

It is the only path to Salvation – sozo.

He is the Grace of God.

A life long YES to Him is the only saving faith.

Ben NelsonThanks much for stopping in today.

See you again tomorrow.

Ben

If you missed the beginning of this series you can catch up here:

Salvation

From what do we need saving?

Grace and Faith

8

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:27-28

As I again ponder this passage I am struck by the stark contrast in these two back to back verses.

Jesus, states in one breath that NO ONE can know the Father except through the Son. Then He takes a deep breath, spreads His arms and welcomes all comers with the oft quoted “Come to Me, ALL who are weary …

I am so glad, that though the way is narrow, the path straight, and access limited to those who come by that single point of entry, still it is open to ALL.

There are a couple requirements for entry into the kingdom, into the way that leads to life.

First you must be weary.

Are you tired of trying you best to “be good” and just blowing it over and over?

You are qualified.

Next you must be heavy laden.

Has religion piled high upon your shoulders a load of “ought to”s that you can’t bear?

Or perhaps you have never been religious, instead you have tried by your own wits and efforts to be a good member of society, and find yourself repeatedly tripped up by greed, or indifference, or shocked by your own intolerance.

You are qualified too.

You who are weary and heavy laden, today is your day. Today is your day to come.

I don’t care if you have been a Christian for 100 years, if you are weary or heavy laden, today is a good day to come to Jesus.

Come.

Come.

Come.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Ben

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