“One Person” ( Galatians 3: 26 – 28, KNOX, WYC ) by Carley Evans


“You are all one person in Jesus Christ.”

“For all ye be one in Christ Jesus.”

So, we are either one person or we are united as one in Jesus. Either way, we “who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ.” We are “clothed with Christ.” Paul implies we are dressed up in Christ as if we’ve put on a costume for a big party. Yet, he means so much more. The physical properties, the settings in which we dwell no longer matter. That I am female and you are male means little – if anything – in the kingdom of God. For the flesh can not inherit the kingdom. We will all be changed, in a flash at the sound of the trumpet. The mortal will fall away, and we shall be as He is – immortal.

Therefore, the petty differences between us – our gender, the color of our skin, our cultural backgrounds or ethnicity, our station in life, the money we have or don’t have – these things mean nothing. The only thing that counts is our relationship with Christ, that we are indeed one person.

“through faith in Christ Jesus you are all now God’s sons. All you who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ; no more Jew or Gentile, no more slave and freeman, no more male and female; you are all one person in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:26-28KNOX

“For all ye be the children of God through the belief of Jesus Christ. [For all ye be the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.] For all ye that be baptized, be clothed with Christ. [Forsooth whoever ye be baptized in Christ, ye have clothed in Christ.] There is no Jew, nor Greek, no bondman, nor free man, no male, nor female [There is not Jew, neither Greek; there is not servant, neither free man; there is not male, neither female]; for all ye be one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28WYC

 

“Whoever Has” ( 1 John 5:12, NIV ) by Carley Evans


“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Essentially, Jesus Christ is Life. Not having Jesus is death. Yes, the situation is that black and white. It’s sort of like Reese’s line to Sarah Connor in the first Terminator movie, “If you want to live, come with me.”
Jesus says, “If you want to live, come with Me.” He finds people – individual people – and tells them this same thing: “Follow Me.”

“Fuel For The Fire” ( Isaiah 9: 5, NIV ) by Carley Evans


5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

That little function word — the word ‘for’ in the amazing, glorious statement: ‘For to us a child is born’ says to us in the big bold Word of God that war and bloodshed are doomed because “the government” is no longer on the shoulders of men, but “on His shoulders.” The governing of men is now on the shoulders of the Son of God; therefore, we are at peace. We are at peace because Jesus is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

With this great truth in mind, I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

“The Same” ( John 1: 2, KJV ) by Carley Evans


“In the beginning, God creates the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

“In the beginning,” writes John, “is the Word, and the Word is with God, and the Word is God.” (John 1:1)

God speaks and the world comes into existence. John confirms the Son of God is the Word. “All things are made by Him, and without Him is not anything made that is made.” (John 1:3)

Paul tells the church at Colosse that the Son of God “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for by Him are all things created.” (Colossians 1:15-16) The author of Hebrews writes the Son of God is “the brightness of [God’s] glory, and the express image of His person.” (Hebrews 1:3) The Son “upholds all things by the Word of His power.” (Hebrews 1:3)

Jesus Himself says, “He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. And he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me.” (John 12:44-45)

And Jesus tells His disciples and us: “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends in My Name, He teaches you all things, and brings all things to your remembrance, whatever I say unto you.” (John 14:26)

“The same is in the beginning with God.” (John 1:2)

The Triune God is indirectly referred to in the Word of God; God implies He is “three persons in One” but never that He is a divided God. God is not three little gods in One. Praise be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Filled With Fear” ( Hebrews 10: 29, Darby ) by Carley Evans


“Of how much worse punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and esteemed the blood of the covenant, whereby he has been sanctified, common, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”

What is insulting to the Spirit of grace? How do I fail to show esteem to the blood of the covenant? How do I trod the Son of God under my feet? How do I call my salvation, my sanctification ‘common?’

Likely numerous answers to those questions exist — which is rather odd considering we each have the same Holy Spirit dwelling within. I know some believe it is our sins which insult the Spirit of grace, trod the Lord God under our feet, and call common our great salvation. I think it’s adding to the gospel.

Jesus calls the Pharisees and scribes a “brood of vipers” — persons who make it impossible for people to follow God by loading heavy burdens upon them. Paul complains of the legalistic Jewish Christians who demand from others — circumcision, refraining from certain foods, and celebrating certain days — to follow Jesus.

The disciples are bewildered when Jesus tells the rich young man who obeys all the rules and regulations, but refuses to give his all and follow after the Lord, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They ask Jesus, “Then who can be saved?” And Jesus, as always, gives them the perfect and only answer, “With men, this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.”

“To Speak Evil Of No Man” ( Titus 3: 2, KJV ) by Carley Evans


Paul tells Titus “to obey magistrates” and to “be ready to every good work.” (Titus 3:1) He also tells him “to speak evil of no man.” Instead Paul calls Titus to “show all meekness unto all men.”

Therefore, authority must be respected. Work must be completed with excellence. Gentleness and humility must be the standard of each day, and we must not speak evil of anyone. Paul encourages these behaviors by reminding Titus and us that “we ourselves also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3) But — and this is a huge ‘however’ —  due to “the kindness and love of God” we are washed by “regeneration” and renewed “of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5) We are “justified by His grace,” and “made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7)

Because we are regenerated, justified, renewed and heirs of eternal life — we are called to be merciful and gentle. How can we be anything but kind to others? We ourselves are the recipients of the undeserved and incredible kindness of God Himself. How can we behave in any other manner than the one Paul commends to us?

“We Were Children” ( Galatians 4: 1, ESV ) by Carley Evans


“In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith,” writes Paul to the church at Galatia. When you are baptized into Christ, you “put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26, 27) And in belonging to Christ, “you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

Now Paul is telling the Galatians that as long as the heir is still a child, he “is no different from a slave.” (Galatians 4:1) This heir, as a child, remains under the guardianship of the “elementary principles of the world” and under the management of the law. (Galatians 4:3,4) But God, at the “fullness of time,” sends His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ into the world “born of woman, born under the law, to redeem” you who are still children. At this point in time, you become heirs, “the owner[s] of everything” God has prepared for you. (Galatians 4:4,5,2)

You become sons of God by adoption. And with this adoption, you become brothers of Jesus Christ and also receive the promised Holy Spirit, who cries in your heart, ‘Abba! Father!’ (Galatians 4:6) “You are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:7)

An heir has rights to everything the Father owns. Paul exhorts that there is no reason “to be under the law” for Abraham has “two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.” (Galatians 4:21,22) You are born of the free woman, so why would you desire to be in the company of the slave woman? What have you in common with the slaves — with those who remain under the management of the law and enslaved to the elementary principles of the world? You, rather, “are children of promise.” (Galatians 4:28)

“Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” (Galatians 4:30)

“Before Faith Came” ( Galatians 3: 23, ESV ) by Carley Evans


“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.” Paul identifies the law as “our guardian until Christ came.” (Galatians 3:24) This guardian kept us under lock and key, safely shut up in a cell. Once Christ arrived, we became “sons of God, through faith.” (Galatians 3:26) Having been made new, and given our freedom; we “are no longer slaves, but sons, and if sons, then heirs through God.” (Galatians 4:7) We are suddenly able to “put on Christ” and step out of the purview of the law. (Galatians 3:27)

Once you leave the law behind you, once you throw off those chains that once bound you; you don’t usually “desire to be under the law” again. (Galatians 4:21) You are not of Mount Sinai, but of the Jerusalem above, says Paul. “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. So, brothers we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.” (Galatians 4:30-31)

“For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

“No Fear” ( 1 John 4: 18, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.”

Most importantly, “the one who has the Son has life.” (1 John 5:12) Secondly, “this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Fear is incompatible with love — if we are loved by God, what have we to fear?

“We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One — that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)

Fear is incompatible with eternal life — if we are “in the true One”, what have we to fear?

“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.” (Romans 8:31-33)

Fear is incompatible with the justification of God — if God has given us His Son, what have we to fear?

“Permanently Transferred” ( Colossians 1: 13, HCSB) by Carley Evans


“[God] rescues us from the domain of darkness and transfers us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.”

We are permanently transferred into the kingdom of the Son of God. This transfer originates not in us but in God, who rescues us. We are in a place so dark, we can not see the way out. For some of us, that darkness looks like light. We don’t even know we are in “the domain of darkness.” God reaches us and miraculously moves us from that prison “into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” We become the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

“For in bringing many sons to glory, it is entirely appropriate that God — all things exist for Him and through Him — should make the source of [our] salvation perfect through sufferings. For the One who sanctifies and [we] who are sanctified all have one Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call [us] brothers, saying: ‘ I proclaim Your Name to My brothers; I sing hymns to You in the congregation.’ Again, ‘I trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Here I Am with the children God gives Me.’ ” (Hebrews 2: 10 – 13)

Having been transferred (literally adopted) into the family of God; we obtain a room in God’s house. Jesus prays to the Father, “Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, for You give Him authority over all flesh; so He may give eternal life to all You give Him. This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You send — Jesus Christ.” (John 17: 1 – 3) And Jesus tells us, “I Am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I Am you may be also.” (John 14: 2 – 3)