2

He is Risen!

"Victor's Crown"
Darlene Zschech

You are always fighting for us
Heaven's angels all around
My delight is found in knowing
That You wear the Victor's crown
You're my help and my defender
You're my Saviour and my friend
By Your grace I live and breathe
To worship YouAt the mention of Your greatness
In Your Name I will bow down
In Your presence fear is silent
For You wear the Victor's crown
Let Your glory fill this temple
Let Your power overflow
By Your grace I live and breathe
To worship You

Hallelujah
You have overcome
You have overcome
Hallelujah
Jesus You have overcome the world

You are ever interceding
As the lost become the found
You can never be defeated
For You wear the Victor's crown
You are Jesus the Messiah
You're the Hope of all the world
By Your grace I live and breathe
To worship You

Hallelujah
You have overcome
You have overcome
Hallelujah
Jesus You have overcome the world

Every high thing must come down
Every stronghold shall be broken
You wear the Victor's crown
You have overcome
You have overcome
[x4]

At the cross the work was finished
You were buried in the ground
But the grave could not contain You
For You wear the Victor's crown

Hallelujah
You have overcome
You have overcome
Hallelujah
Jesus You have overcome the world

Every high thing must come down
Every stronghold shall be broken
You wear the Victor's crown
You have overcome
You have overcome
[x6]

Thanks to AZLyrics!
Thanks to you for coming by.
See you again soon.
Ben

3

It always does me good to set my affections on the Lamb slain before the foundations of the earth.

Thank you for the cross Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came and gave amazing grace

Thank you for this love Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus, Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Thank you for the cross Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came and gave amazing grace

Thank you for this love Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus, Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crown
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus, Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

So worthy, so worthy
So worthy Lord
So worthy Lord
We're praising the Lord
So worthy Lord
We'll worship You
[Incomprehensible]
My heart and my soul
Will sing for joy to [Incomprehensible]
[Incomprehensible]
To You, to You oh, Lord

Read more: Hillsong - Worthy Is The Lamb Lyrics | MetroLyrics

benheadshot1Thanks for stopping by.

Worship the Lamb.

Ben

4

In our Foundations class we were talking about the resurrection of Jesus and the some of the important things that transpired at that time.

It is important to understand that Jesus’ resurrection was a physical fact. His resurrection was not a just a spiritual reality. He rose from the grave as flesh and bone. He was not a ghost or ‘spirit-only’ being after His death, but actually conquered physical death.

The resurrection is documented in all four gospels, (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20 and 21.) We are going to look at some interesting ideas that stem from the account in John’s gospel.

First let’s notice this interchange with Mary.

Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" - John 20:17 NASB

As we have said often, the price for our sin was the pure blood of Jesus. This blood was shed on the cross, but coming out of the tomb, Jesus says to Mary, I have not yet ascended. To understand what was going on here, let’s look to Ephesians 4.

Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) - Ephesians 4:8-10 NASB

This passage is a description in somewhat cryptic language of what Jesus did during those three days in the grave.

Jesus teaches that the righteous dead, before His sacrifice on the cross, would live in a place referred to as Abraham’s bosom, or paradise. He tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. We will not read that here, but you can take a look at your leisure.

In the period of time when Jesus is in the tomb, we understand from this scripture that he descends to this place- this ‘Abraham’s bosom’ and leads those waiting there to heaven, where He would present His blood, the atonement for their sin, and there they would be with the Lord.

So while Jesus’ body is in the tomb, He is in Abraham’s bosom preaching deliverance to the captives. Upon His resurrection – I believe (and for the record, this is by no means doctrine I would ever break fellowship for. I would ask you to read here with grace) Jesus was headed directly to the Fathers throne to present His blood, and to lead the faithful dead to heaven.

This is what was going on in these odd verses in Matthew 27.

The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. - Matthew 27:52-53 NASB

It is as if Jesus was heading to heaven with all these men and women of God, and Mary caught Him. This gives us a glimpse of His priority for relationship. He was willing to delay this whole procession, and leave the faithful dead wandering around Jerusalem while He paused to comfort Mary. Finally Jesus says to her – Don’t cling to me, I must go to the Father. She lets Him go and the procession proceeds.

So what happens when He goes to heaven to present His blood?

I believe we get a glimpse of that in Revelation Chapter 5. John looked in on a massive ceremony of some sort.

And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. - Revelation 5:6 NASB

In verse 6 we see that He was a lamb having been slain – one translations reads ‘bearing the fresh marks of slaughter’ which makes me wonder if this is not the very moment when Jesus presents His blood to the Father. Whether this was before He went to Galilee, or after His ascension I can’t say for sure. But I do believe this is what we are seeing here.

That’s enough to digest for one day.

If this is too far out there for you to follow – don’t fret – just skip it and come back next time. This is just one of those ideas that swims around in my head from time to time.

Ben NelsonBless you today as you follow the RISEN LORD Jesus!

Come again soon.

Ben

photo credit: Silver Season via photopin cc
photo credit: Silver Season via photopin cc

I am sure you have heard that old saying, “There are only 2 things that are guaranteed in life…”

Let’s take a look at that idea today as we poke around in 1 Corinthians 15

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Now this is one of those passages I have actually read hundreds of times. I at least verse 21, since it is part of the text of Handel’s Messiah, which is a large part of my life.

But as the Lord loves to do, He pulled out His highlighter as I was studying this recently.

Look with me for just a minute at the structure of these two verses. Let’s focus on the second. He poses that which we know, and then links it to what will be. As if the part we know is a clear indication of how sure the second part is.

In Adam all die. You can trace the fact that you are going to die back to Adam’s sin. By Adam, sin entered the world, and through sin death. Paul goes into much more detail on this idea in Romans 5.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned ~ Romans 5:12

It would be worth reading Romans 5-8 to see this full progression of death to life.

But my point today is simply that just as sure as you were born with a sin nature, so sure is it that if you are in Christ, you will be raised from the dead.

Your resurrection is just as sure as your death.

I say again: Hallelujah!

So here is my re-write of the old adage.

There are only 2 things that are guaranteed in life…

Death and Resurrection!

Ben NelsonGlad you stopped by today.

Hope to see you again soon,

Ben

akabarley – Firstfruits?

Part Three of a study of 1 Corinthians 15:12-34

Depending on the translation you use, the word ‘but’ shows up 15 times in 1 Corinthians 15, and 8 of them are the first word of a sentence. (based on the NASB)

The one in verse 20 is my favorite though.

Time to Celebrate

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20

That’s a place to shout! HALLELUJAH!

Firstfruits

Now Paul mentions this idea of firstfruits. I heard a well know Christian speaker say the other day that firstfruits means the tithe. Hey, I believe the tithe should come off the top of your income, or increase. But in the Old Testament, the Firstfruits offering was actually an offering given during Passover week.

Since sin was covered by the killing of the Passover lamb, this was not a sin offering. Rather it was an offering of faith and thanksgiving. During Passover week they would bring a sheaf of barley, the first grain up, and offer it. It had to be the first gathering of their year’s planting.

Obviously there was an element of thanksgiving. Thank you Lord that the land you have given, again has produced sustenance for me!

Primarily it was a faith offering. It required trust and faith, because to give the very first that come up, is to say, I am not going to hoard this for fear that no more will come. Rather I am going to freely give it to God with open hands, trusting that He will provide a full harvest. Trusting that He will supply rain and sun and feed the soil as I till it, work it, and gather it.

My wife and I many years ago got in the habit of offering first fruits offering any time we stepped into a new venture. It was a way of saying, Lord, I trust you to take what little I have  now, and press it down, shake it together, and cause it to run over in my life.

But as God is want to do, there is a deeper meaning behind this beautiful offering of grain.

Let’s start with Jesus, a few short days before He would face the cross.

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. ~ John 12:23-24

It is easy to see in retrospect that He was talking about His own burial.

Then comes the end of the week. On the Preparation day, the day the precedes the Passover, Jesus has this meal with the 12, He washes their feet, and gives them the wonderful gift of the Lord’s Supper.

He is crucified, and there is a point made of getting Him off the cross and into the tomb before the Passover.

I want to you to think for a moment about what the Jews did with the blood of the Passover lamb. They took it and put it in a basin, and then took a bunch of hyssop and brushed it across the top of the door, and on the doorposts.

I love the picture below because it makes the point by connecting the dots. The Passover is a picture of Jesus, The Door, on the Cross, or should I say the Cross on the Door.

cross-blood-on-doorAs I have said before the narrow way to the Father is one man wide – just as wide as the cross.

But that is not the end of Passover week, only the beginning. The part that most Christians may not know is the offering of the firstfruits came on the first day after the Sabbath during Passover week, in other words, on Sunday morning. (See Leviticus 23:11)

And what happened Sunday Morning? Jesus rose from the dead – the firstfruit of many brethren.

Jesus resurrection is a demonstration that you will rise from the dead if you are in Christ.

Does that make you happy? When I saw that the resurrection was yet another fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrificial system, I was overwhelmed by my great God’s plan. And Paul’s many references to firstfruits take on a completely new meaning.

But wait, there’s more.

Ben NelsonSo come back tomorrow for another helping.

See you then

Ben

A couple weeks ago, I posed a questions about what "vain faith" was, and i wanted to come back to it and bring some resolution.

I wanted to circle back and touch it one more time. I was not happy with where it all landed last time, and have a bit more light on it now. It was one of those - Oh - that makes sense moments for me, and i just thought i would share it with you.

Here is the main verse I was puzzling over:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

What I had missed was this verse a bit farther down the page.:

 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Now in my study, I have found many who want to make the first reference one of working hard so your faith is not ignored in the grand scheme of things, but when i read this second part, i see that the "unless you believed in vain" in verse 2 is a foreshadowing of his argument in vs 14 where he comes right out and says: If Christ is not raised from the dead then your faith is vain.

Vain faith is faith that is placed in something that is worthless. Vain faith is misplaced faith or misplaced trust.

Faith in Christ is a gift of God - every man is dealt a measure of faith by God, as we are told in Romans 12:3

So how could faith that God has given in the first place, when it is place in Christ, the most secure foundations, ever be vain?

It could not.

If your life shows no fruit after a period of time, the question is not whether you have vain faith, but rather, do you have faith in Christ at all.

So - there you go.

What do you think?

Ben NelsonSee you again soon. I should be back to the pen (well - keys) next week. Thanks to you all for coming by and checking out my parade of favorites this week.

Ben

 

 

Pascack Bible Church PascackBible.org

As I said last week, I preached last Sunday and will preach again next Sunday, August 4th, at Pascack Bible Church, 181 Piermont Ave, Hillsdale NJ.

If you would like to listen to, or download the sermon from July 28 entitled "The Gospel According to Paul" taken from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. You can find it here.

If you can make it this week, I would love to see you there, and meet you in person. I will be preaching on the Resurection from 1 Corinthians 15:12-34.

For info about the Church including directions, you can go to the Church Web Site - PascackBible.org.

Ben NelsonHave a great weekend.

Ben

 

OK – today I need to ask you to read with grace, and hear me out. (Thanks – you guys are great!)

My text for today is one of the best verses of the Bible. It is filled with such victory and wonder.

It is finished! John 19:30

I want to talk about the fact that though it was clearly finished, it was not over. The book does not end here. The story of Jesus does not end here.

It is one of the most disappointing things about the play Godspell (which I love by the way.) Have you seen it? As I remember, Jesus Christ, Superstar is the same way.

They both end with a dead Jesus.

But like Tony Campolo famously said

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’!

So what was finished and what had yet to be done?

In my understanding it is the difference between mercy and grace.

The death of Jesus paid the price sin demanded, He drank the cup of God’s wrath, every bit of it.

Yet Paul says

Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied (most miserable. KJV) (1 Corinthians 15:12-19 NASB)

Clearly there is more to the story.

So what is the difference between Mercy and Grace?

Well – from a definition standpoint I like to say

Mercy is: Not getting what you deserve (ie. punishment – the wrath of God for a life lived in rebellion)

and

Grace is: Getting what you don’t deserve (ie. and abundant life here, and a glorious future in the presence of God)

Here – take a look at these 3 graphics and see if you get what I mean.

Life's Bill with out the Cross
Life's Bill without the Cross

In the first illustration you see man’s life without Christ. You have a bill to pay, and every day of your life, you have racked up a debt. It is in fact payable on demand, and you do not get to save up for it. There is no payment plan.

Life's Bill After the Cross
Life's Bill After the Cross

In this second slide you see that with the wonderful declaration of Christ, “IT IS FINISHED” your debt is paid, and you can go free.

Life's Bill with Grace Applied
Life's Bill with Grace Applied

But God does not stop at Mercy – He does not simply clean the house, He fills it with Grace, He fills it with Life, He puts food on the table with 12 baskets left over.

The grace of God provides for the abundant life Jesus promised!

So though the death of Jesus Christ states categorically that “It Is Finished!” and the Cross is the great and final exclamation point, It ain’t over! [Tweet This]

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

BenThanks for coming by, and thanks for the grace today.

See you again soon.

Ben

When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." (Luke 7:13 NASB)

I love this phrase – He felt compassion!

This Greek word for compassion comes up 12 times in the gospels and 8 times it is Jesus doing the feeling.

This is a big deal to me. Jesus, the unchangeable one, the one who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, can be moved.

And what moves Him?

Well, in this case, it was a mother’s morning for her son.

He heard her heart cry for the life of her son, and compassion welled within the One who created them both, and answered the heart cry of a mom.

Jesus is not done listening to the hearts of moms and dads. Today is a great day to cry out for the life of your loved ones.

BenDirector3CroppedCome back tomorrow and we will look at other things that move Jesus.

See you then.

Ben