Devotional for October 2022

“Now the God of  Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep – through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, (21) make you perfect in every good work to do His will – working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ – to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” [He.13:20-21]

We now continue to consider this wonderful text of scripture concerning our Lord Jesus Christ as being theGreat Shepherd of the Sheep”. This final descriptive of the Christ of God is also highly significant when it is put in conjunction with the opening statement of the epistle. From where Christ is also exalted as being God’s perfect representative and spokesman — declaring the things of God – to us who are His chosen sinner/children whom He has singled out of all of fallen-in-sin humanity to be made perfect by His great grace! These two statements are like bookends unto the whole context of the message of the epistle of Hebrews. It’s all about the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In the center of the epistle we find the astounding announcement of He.7:12-13 – which concerns all of us, His sinner/children in this law-cursed world – having been made perfect in order to be divinely approved and accepted into God’s all glorious and heavenly presence for all eternity. That great descriptive statement is: For the priesthood being changedthere ismade of necessitya change also of (the) law. For He of whom these tidings are spokenpertaineth to another tribe of which no man gave attendance at the altar.”  Hence, the Lord Jesus – the Christ of God – is also forever titled – not only – the Great Shepherd of the sheep – but also as being our Great High Priest! [see: He.4:14]  This makes all the difference where all of God’s eternally loved and chosen are concerned! This descriptive declaration is that which connects God’s eternal purpose (for us) with His eternal performance making what He has done (on our behalf) to be entirely perfect!

Jesus, our eternal Savior and Surety, is – in every way – God almighty. Yes, Jesus is all-knowing, all-present, all-glorious and all Holy God. Col.2:9-10 plainly says: For in Him dwells all the fulness of the GodheadBodily…”! And, the next revealing statement of this text is just too wonderful for fallen human words – “…and Ye are complete in Him which is the Head of all principality and power.”

The preaching of the Word of the Cross declares dogmatically that this has all been done – finished – by our Great God, Jesus the Christ. It was all done when He – voluntarily – shed His own Blood and purged us from all of our sins (which the epistle of Hebrews declares dogmatically at it’s very beginning). Having eternally accomplishing the purging of all our sins – He rightfully occupied the sovereign, over-ruling throne of His Great Grace – from where He sovereignly rules over all His sinner/children throughout the generations of fallen humanity. [see: He.1:3;8-9]

This preaching of the Word of the Cross – according to 1Co.1:18 is: to them who (lit.) are perishingfoolishnessbut unto us (lit.) which are being savedit is the power of God.” And, this is why our Savior is titled: “(that) Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) inthe Blood of the everlasting Covenant…”  His sheep being all those whom He knows and all those whom they have – by His grace – come to know Him (Jn.10:14)! Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider [or, more lit., fully behold] the Apostle and High Priestof our profession [or, more lit., “confession”] Christ Jesus[He. 3:1]. Praise His All Glorious Name!

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Devotional for September 2022

“Now the God of  Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep – through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, (21) make you perfect in every good work to do His will – working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ – to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” [He.13:20-21]

The epistle of Hebrews is – by itself – a strong declaration of the sovereignty of Christ, our Savior. These two verses at the end of Hebrews once again, without reservation herald out the Truth that if our eternal salvation be not all Christthen it is all wrong! The God of all peace dogmatically says that our Lord Jesus is – that Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) in the blood of the Everlasting Covenant! There is only one – Great Shepherd. This speaks volumes unto us!

The incarnated eternal Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ – is as He.1:3 describes — the express imageof the very person of Almighty and Sovereign God. And, it is Him who speaks unto us the soul-quickening and life trans-forming Word of God. Praise His Name! When He – that Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) in the blood of the Everlasting Covenant” – “by Himself purged our sins”, [i.e. by Himself – He purified us from all of our sins; see 2Co.5:21] He, then sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High! It is from this, Most High vantage point –  that He sovereignly reigns over all those whom the Father has given Him [see: Jn.6:37]. It is these who are the sheep of His pasture. The sheepthat He leads. The sheepthat He loves and cares for. The “sheep” that He knows personally – and who know Him. The “sheep” for whom He died!”

The Great Shepherdof He.13 is the Good Shepherdof Jn.10. Jn.10:11 proves this to be true. From there Jesus says: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”  By the eternally accomplished atonement of Christ – the Great Shepherd” – eternally secured Peacebetween God and all His sinner/sheep – by having purified them from all their sins in His shed blood! That’s why our text says that, Now the God of Peacethat brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus(lit.) in the power of the blood of the Eternal Covenant”. This is the Covenant between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – the Everlasting Covenant that concerns the Everlasting Salvation of each and every one of our Lord’s sinner/sheep. And, what’s more — our Lord Jesus is also the Lamb of God – the One Great Sacrifice! He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Re.13:8]

Then Jesus goes on to say in Jn.10:14: I am the Good Shepherdand know my sheep and am known of mine.” And, eventually our Lord plainly clarifies for the unbelieving Jews by saying to them vs.26-30: But ye believe notbecauseye are not of my sheepas I said unto you. (27) My sheep hear my voice and I Know them and they follow me (28) and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perishneither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father which gave them me is greater than alland no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and my Father are One.” How absolutely wonderful is that!? Praise the Savior!

Remember, the Shepherd doesn’t drive His flock – He leads it. This points to the fact that wherever we end up – our Shepherd was there first. Our Great Shepherdis also our Great High Priest”.He.4:14 substantiates this truth: Seeing then that we have a Great High Priestthat is passed into the heavensJesus the Son of Godlet us hold fast our profession.”

We will look more deeply into these things next time.

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Devotional for August 2022

“It is the Spirit that quickeneth – the flesh profiteth nothing – the words that I speak unto you – are Spirit and are life!” [Jn.6:63]

“…God hath chosen…things which are not – to bring to nought things that are – that no flesh should glory in His presence. (30) But of Him – are ye in Christ Jesus – who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (31) that according as it is written – He that glorieth – let him glory in the Lord.” [1Cor.1:29b-31]

“I will cry unto God Most High – unto God – that performeth all things for me. (3) He shall send from heaven and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up! Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His Truth.” [Ps.57:2-3]

Not only does the pure truth of the gospel of the glory only of the Lord Jesus Christ include God’s Wisdom, Christ’s Righteousness and the Holy Spirit’s Sanctification – but it also includes all of our Eternal Redemption. And, this can only be done through the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ! Beloved, if it’s not all Christ (in whose body dwells all the fullness of the Godhead) it’s all wrong!

We can’t be redeemed by ourselves. The Word of God makes it clear – we need a “Kinsman Redeemer”. And, that person can only be our Lord Jesus!

It has been most accurately taught and brought into the Light of the Truth concerning the historical expression of Triune God’s Everlasting Love and Mercy for all His chosen sinner/children.  Throughout the time of the Old Covenant — it was perfectly and prophetically demonstrated that there was an absolute necessity for a “Kinsman Redeemer” to be our only Savior from our sin.  This truth and mandate was firmly laid down — in and throughout — the formally installed Mosaic sacrificial system. I quote:  “The theological foundation for the expression of God’s chesed under the Old Covenant was the satisfaction of God’s perfect righteousness – through the elaborate system of animal sacrifices that taught Israel – that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins”.  Because that system of animal sacrifices could never take away sins (cf. Heb 10:4, “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins”), the inadequate OT system of animal sacrifices previewed the coming of the Lamb of God whose once for all sacrifice would take away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). This pictured future sacrifice of the Lamb of God became the foundation for the expression of God’s chesed in the OT.”  “Chesed” is the Hebrew word for God’s eternally Love, Mercy and Grace! Read and heed what God’s Word declares:

He.9:11-15: But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to comeby a greater and more perfect tabernaclenot made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (or, creation) (12) neither by the blood of goats and calvesbutby His own bloodHe entered in once into the Holy Placehaving obtained Eternal Redemption (for us). (13)For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the uncleanSanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (14) how much more shall the blood of Christwho through the Eternal Spiritoffered Himself without spot to Godpurge your conscience from dead worksto serve the living God? (15) And for this causeHe is the (eternal) Mediatorof the New Testament (or, Covenant) that by means of death for the Redemption of the transgressions (lit.) under the First (or, the Old) Testament (or, Covenant) they (lit.) who have been called might receive the promise of Eternal Inheritance.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is not just the  Provider of these things, but He is the Performer of them.

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

 

 

Devotional for July 2022

“It is the Spirit that quickeneth – the flesh profiteth nothing – the words that I speak unto you – are Spirit and are life!” [Jn.6:63]

“…God hath chosen…things which are not – to bring to nought things that are – that no flesh should glory in His presence. (30) But of Him – are ye in Christ Jesus – who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (31) that according as it is written – He that glorieth – let him glory in the Lord.” [1Cor.1:29b-31]

“I will cry unto God Most High – unto God – that performeth all things for me. (3) He shall send from heaven and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up! Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His Truth.” [Ps.57:2-3]

We are now ready to look at the rest of  1Co.1:30 in regards to Christ Jesus being made unto usrighteousness and sanctification and redemption”. First of all – the three words, But of Him” – who is this referring to? It is referring to God – the Three in One God! In fact, the God/man, Jesus Christ, is said from Col.2:9-10 to be full of the Godhead in His human body — and, we are complete in Him! Which, in essence, is declaring the same wonderful truth that is being brought forth in 1Co.1:30. So, by God’s doing are we in Christ Jesus who is made unto us everything else!

God’s perfect Righteousness” – that makes us approved and accepted to be allowed into God’s holy, holy, holy presence is – in His perfect Wisdom” – included. Christ is our all and in all(see: Col.3:11). This is the magnificent context that explicitly describes what this means. And, this is all brought to pass by Christ Jesus. For He (God in His Three Persons) hath made Him (the God/man, the Lord Jesus Christ) to be sin for uswho knew no sinthat we (all His chosen lost sinner/children) might be made the Righteousness of Godin Him.” (2Co.5:21) This is how He becomes to us: The Lord our Righteousness(Jer.23:6).

Next, 1Co.1:30 tells us that Almighty God has made Christ Jesus unto us – our Sanctification”. The scriptures tell us from 2Thes.2:13 that, God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through Sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth.” And, remember Jesus tells us from Jn.15:16 that we — have not chosen Him – but He has chosen us –  and ordained us that we should go and bring forth fruit –  and that our fruit should remain — that whatsoever we shall ask of the Father in His NameHe may give it to us! We have been set apart in His Holiness! How great and wonderful is that! How does our Lord God do this for us? Jesus also prayed to the Father from Jn.17:17 Sanctify them through thy Truththy Word is Truth”. And, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life  – no man cometh unto the Father, but byChrist. Then He says in Jn.17:19 And for their sakesI sanctify myselfthat they also might be Sanctified through the Truth.” Hence, it is Christ’s Sanctification that is also our Sanctification! Why are we Sanctified? We are Sanctified – not because of our will, but because of God’s Will – 1Th.4:3> For this is the Will of Godeven your Sanctification…”. Every aspect of our eternal salvation – is not a religious work, method, or maneuver of some sort, it is entirely a Person. The Person and Work completely and entirely by the only Sovereign Savior Substitute that there ever – was – is – or ever will be the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise His Holy Name! For by One offering He hath perfected forever them that are Sanctified.” If it’s not all Christ – it’s all wrong!

Next time – we will look squarely at how our Savior is also entirely our eternal Redemption.

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Devotional for June 2022

“It is the Spirit that quickeneth – the flesh profiteth nothing – the words that I speak unto you – are Spirit and are life!” [Jn.6:63]

“…God hath chosen…things which are not – to bring to nought things that are – that no flesh should glory in His presence. (30) But of Him – are ye in Christ Jesus – who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (31) that according as it is written – He that glorieth – let him glory in the Lord.” [1Cor.1:29b-31]

“I will cry unto God Most High – unto God – that performeth all things for me. (3) He shall send from heaven and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up! Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His Truth.” [Ps.57:2-3]

As we have already observed in regards to these three texts of Holy Scripture – they declare the absolute sovereign control and complete accomplishment of the Lord Jesus Christ as far as our eternal salvation is concerned! Our Lord truly is the Lord of lords and the King of kings”!  And, He is this unto all those that are with Him – whom He describes as all His called and chosen and faithful[Re.17:14]. It is these – and these alone – that are the living, regenerated spiritual children of Almighty God. These are the ones that spiritually walk through this carnal world — in and by the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ according to His accomplished personal work.

And, what exactly is His accomplished personal work?

This is exactly what the 1Cor.1:29b-31 text describes. It says (lit.) “out of” Him, the Spirit of God the Father, are we in Christ Jesus”. This is precisely what Eph.1:3-4 tells us: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ – (4) according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…”. Hence, 1Co.1:30 goes on to tell us that having been placed in Christ, He being God: is made unto usall the wonderful benefits of the blessings of, wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” . This makes up the sum total of our eternal salvation! Christ’s accomplished personal work on our behalf is all the performance and provision of all the requirements that that we personally need – in order to secure our eternal acceptance with the Triune God! Eph.1:6 says that all this is done to the praise of the glory of His gracewherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved”.

Concerning wisdomPr.9:10 tells us: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. And, it goes on to add: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” Pr.16:22 says that: Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it”. This echoes that which Christ Jesus said from Jn.17:3: And this is life eternalthat they might know thee the only true Godand Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Plus, Col.2:3, speaks of the hearts of all who are His receiving the riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

So, you see, it’s really true: If it’s not all Christ – it’s all wrong!

We will look further at righteousness and sanctification and redemptionnext time!

For Christ’s Glory Only!  – John Carpenter

Devotional for May 2022

“It is the Spirit that quickeneth – the flesh profiteth nothing – the words that I speak unto you – are Spirit and are life!” [Jn.6:63]

“…God hath chosen…things which are not – to bring to nought things that are – that no flesh should glory in His presence. (30) But of Him – are ye in Christ Jesus – who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (31) that according as it is written – He that glorieth – let him glory in the Lord.” [1Cor.1:29b-31]

“I will cry unto God Most High – unto God – that performeth all things for me. (3) He shall send from heaven and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up! Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His Truth.” [Ps.57:2-3]

These descriptive statements of holy scripture comprise one of the most explicit declarations of the absolute sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ that there is in all of the Bible! These three texts bring forth — from all of God’s elect unto eternal salvation – a most heartfelt – “Praise the Lord!”.

The first one is from the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself! And, from this text He makes it plain and clear that He – and He alone – is the God of true Spiritual Life which He can simply speak into existence! Think about it – His words are Spirit and are Life!”

The second portion of scripture — from first Corinthians one — boldly declares that our Lord God Almighty has chosen — from the reality of this inglorious world of fallen human flesh – that through the holy glory of His Son, Christ JesusHe has accomplished all the divine requirements for Eternal Salvationfor all of those whom He has chosen and placed in His eternal and onlybegotten Son, Jesus Christ! It is He – and only He – that is our Wisdom and Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption! This sums it all up quite nicely! What else could any of us needy sinners possibly need. Col.3:11b declares: Christ is all and in all”.

And then from Ps.57:2-3 we have the prophet David descriptively declaring that he will cry “…unto God Most Highunto Godthat performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up.” Which, ultimately would be that common enemy of the Lord God and all His children – that old devil-serpent Satan!

1Pe.5:8-9 without reservation declares: Be soberbe vigilantbecause your adversary the devilas a roaring lion, walketh aboutseeking whom he may devour: (9) whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” So, then, successful resistance of the devil-serpent Lion is performed through the steadfast performance of the faith of our Lord and Savior! Even – our being led by the Holy Spirit — in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ (see: Ro.8:14 and Gal.2:16)! For we walk by faithnot by sight.” [2Cor.5:7]  Remember, a close relationship and walk with the “Lion of Judah” is the best safekeeping we can have from a growling, bloodthirsty, devil-serpent Lion that seeks to devour us! We are no match for him — but he is no match for Christ, our God! We will look more into these wonderful scriptures and relish more of the wonderful treasures of the Word of God. Praise His Holy Name!

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter