That Your Faith Grows – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

Faith means (continues): Absolute dependence upon and reliance on the Word of God and Christ (Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1 – 12:3). Full surrender, yieldedness, and obedience to all known truth (Rom. 1:5; 6:11-23; 16:26; Jas. 2:14-26; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6). Trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God (Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; Luke 12:28-31; Eph. 1:13; 1Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1Cor. 10:13). Give one’s self over to a new way of life (Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Heb. 12:1-15; Tit. 2:11-14; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 3:8-10; 4:17; 5:1-5, 18). The attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into unseen existence things (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Luke 17:6; Heb. 11:1-40). The whole body of revealed truth (Luke 18:8; Jude 1:3; Rom. 10:17; 1Tim. 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17). Joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Eph. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Matt. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

‘So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God.’ We hold you up as an example to other congregations to show what grace can do in honest and open hearts.

‘Glory’ [Greek: kauchaomai] to boast or vaunt oneself. Translated “glory” (1:4; Rom. 5:3; 1Cor. 1:29, 31; 3:21; 4:7; 2Cor. 5:12; 10:17; 11:12, 18, 30; 12:1, 5, 6, 9; Gal. 6:13-14); “glorying” (2Cor. 12:11); “rejoice” (Rom. 5:2; Php. 3:3; Jas. 1:9; 4:16); “joy” (Rom. 5:11); and “boast” (Rom. 2:17, 23; 2Cor. 7:14; 9:2; 10:8, 10:13-16; 11:16; Eph. 2:9).

‘Patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations.’ From Acts 17:5, 13 and 1Thessalonians 2:14 we learn that the Thessalonians had suffered much persecution from the Jews and their own countrymen, but being fully persuaded of the gospel, and having the actual power of it working in their lives, they would not turn aside from it. Persecution has never hurt true believers and never will.

That Your Faith Grows – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

‘Bound to thank God always for you.’ – Christian obligation: [Greek: opheilo] be under an obligation to do a thing. Translated “bound” (1:3; 2:13); “be guilty” (Matt. 23:18); “behoved” (Heb. 2:17); “must needs” (1Cor. 5:10); “need so require” (1Cor. 7:36); “duty” (Luke 17:10; Rom. 15:27); “should” (1Cor. 9:10); “ought” (John 13:14; 19:7; Acts 17:29; Rom. 15:1; 1Cor. 11:7, 10; 2Cor. 12:11, 14; Eph. 5:28; Heb. 5:3, 12; 1Jn. 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; 2Jn. 1:8); “owe” (Matt. 18:28; Luke 7:41; 16:5, 7; Rom. 13:8; Phm. 1:18); “due” (Matt. 18:34; 1Cor. 7:3); “be indebted” (Luke 11:4); “debt” (Matt. 18:30); and “be a debtor” (Matt. 23:16). Most all these ideas could be understood here in 2Thessalonians 1:3.

‘Because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds.’ Fourfold praise for the Thessalonians: for growing in faith (1:3); abounding love; patience in troubles (1:4), steadfastness and faith in trouble.

‘Grows exceedingly’ [Greek: huperauxano] to abound beyond measure; to grow exceedingly healthy and fruitful, as a good tree planted in good soil. Faith is one of the seeds of grace that should grow normally in everyone until he has a genuine work of faith with power (1:11; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24).

‘Charity’ [Greek: agape] Not only a few of them had abounding love, but everyone had it (1:3; 1Thess. 3:12).

Faith – The word “believe” denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7; 1Thess. 5:8; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38; 2Pet. 1:5-10). It can be lost (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8; Jude 1:3; Rev. 2:13).

Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12). Place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14). The substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24).

To be continued…

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Part 1

1Corinthians 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 

‘Manifestation’ [Greek: phanerosis] making visible. The visible manifestations would be the visible healing, miracles, manifest prophecies, tongues, interpretations, and even the giving forth of wisdom, knowledge, and discernment of various kinds.

‘Given by the Spirit’ – Facts and questions about the gifts: Their names and number (12:8-10). By whom imparted? The Holy Spirit. (12:4, 8-11). Who operates them? The Holy Spirit. (12:4-6, 11). Purpose: To confirm the Word of God (1:7; 12:11, 28-31; 14:1-40; Mark 16:17-20; John 14:12; Acts 1:1-8; Rom. 12:3-8; 15:18-19, 29; Heb. 2:3-4). Who may have them? Every believer (12:8-11; 1:7; John 7:37-39; 14:12; Mark 16:17-20; Rom. 1:11; 12:3-8). Can one have all of them? Yes (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12; 15:7, 16; Eph. 3:19; Jas. 1:5-8). Has anyone ever received all of them? Yes (John 3:34; Rom. 15:29). Were they manifest in Old Testament days? Yes (Num. 11:16-25; 1Kin. 3:12; 17:1 – 2 Kin. 13:25; Luke 1:17; Acts 3:21; Heb. 11:1-40). Can gifts be misused? Yes (Eccl. 2:9; Num. 20:7-13 with Deut. 32:48-52; 1Cor. 13:1-3; 14:1-40). Can gifts be exercised in a backslidden condition? Yes (Eccl. 2:9; 1Cor. 13:1-3). Are gifts permanent or temporary? Permanent if received as a personal gift (Rom. 11:29). Are gifts exercised at will? Yes (14:15, 23-32; 1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6). Can gifts be neglected in use? Yes (1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6). When should gifts be used? When needed to edify others (12:7; 14:3-6, 12, 17, 26; Rom. 12:3-8). Where should the gifts be used? Where needed (12:7, 12-31; 14:1-40). How can they be received? By faith and prayer (12:31; 14:1; Matt. 7:7-11). Do we need gifts today? Yes, for the same reason others of old needed them (1:7; 12:1-31; Mark 16:15-20; John 10:10; Acts 1:8; 10:38; Rom. 1:11). Can we choose which gifts we need today? Yes (12:31; 14:1, 12). How can we know when we have received them? When the Spirit operates them through us to accomplish their intended purpose (12:4-11, 28-31; 14:1-40). Are gifts to continue throughout this age? Yes (Matt. 3:11; 28:20; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; 16:15-20; John 7:37-39; 14:12-17, 26; 15:26; 16:13-15; Acts 1:4-8; 2:38-39; 5:32; 1Cor. 1:7; etc.).

To be continued…

The Righteousness Which is of Faith

Romans 10:5-7 For Moses described the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 

‘That the man which does those things shall live by them’ – perfect obedience was required by the law. Since no man could accomplish this, all people were condemned by the law and cursed by it (Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10-13; Rom. 3:19-20). This shows the impossibility of being saved by the law and the fact that all can be saved by the gospel (10:6-13).

‘But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above)’ Law righteousness demanded perfect obedience; faith righteousness asks only confession of sins and surrender to God who, by the Holy Spirit, sets free from the law of sin and death (8:2), transforms the nature and life (1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 5:17-18), fulfils in man the righteousness of the law (8:3), and makes man righteous in Christ (4:1-25; 10:6-13; 1Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 5:21;).

‘Who shall ascend into heaven? … Or, Who shall descend into the deep? … But what said it?’ This is quoted from Deuteronomy 30:12-14. Paul here simply shows that people do not have to search for Christ or the Word of the gospel, for it is near them and only needs to be acted upon. It is like the law in Deuteronomy 30:12-14: they did not have to search for it; they already had it if they would recognize it. So people have the gospel that will save their souls if they will accept it.

‘Deep’ [Greek: abussos] meaning bottomless, unbounded by any definite known limits. Christ did descend into the lower parts of the earth to liberate the righteous dead and take them with Him when He ascended on high (Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:14-15).

Into This Grace

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

‘Access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ We are not merely introduced to God by Jesus Christ for an interview, but we are to remain with Him as part of His household (Eph. 2:18-22; 3:12).

‘Grace’ the primary meaning of grace in connection with God is: free, eternal, and unmerited love and favour of God toward free moral agents who are the product of His own creation, whether human or spirit beings, and who are capable of God; consciousness and moral responsibility. Grace is the spring, source, and the very fountain-head of all the manifold benefits and blessings of God to all of His creation (3:24; 5:17-21; 11:5, 6; John 1:14-17; 3:16; 2Cor. 9:8; Eph. 1:6,7; 2:5-8; Jas. 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5). Grace is also used to mean the favour and friendship of man with man (Gen. 32:5; 33:8-15; 34:11; 39:4; 47:25, 29; Ruth 2:10; Esther 2:17).

All of God’s great benefits come through His marvellous grace. We deserve nothing but He gives us everything. Grace moves God to act in behalf of and for the best and eternal good of the whole creation. Grace is seen in acts of judgment as well as in acts of mercy. It works for the benefits of the few as well as of the many. All living creatures have an eternal guarantee of God’s benefits and loving providence through grace. We get through grace “every good and perfect gift” and “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (3:24; 5:2, 17-21; 6:14; 8:32; John 3:16; 2Cor. 8:9; 9:8; Jas. 1:17; 4:6; 2Pet. 1:3-4). Such benefits are received solely by free moral agents upon the principle of humiliation and entire dependence upon God by faith, realizing that the creature is nothing, and the Creator is all and the source of all Such blessings are wholly apart from works (3:24-31; 4:1-4, 16; 5:15-21; 6:14, 15; 11:6; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-12; Eph. 2:7-9).

Four secrets of continued grace: Live and walk in the Spirit (8:1-13; Gal. 5:5; 16-26; Col. 3:5-10). Be patient in hope (8:24; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:19). Continue in Christ (Gal. 5:6; John 15:1-8; Col. 2:6-7; Heb. 3:14). Continue in faith (Gal. 5:6; Col. 1:23).

‘We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience’ we have grace to endure trials without sustaining loss or deterioration. We are like silver and gold when refined (Pro. 17:3; 1Pet. 1:7). Just as silver and gold are purified by fire, so the Lord purifies the hearts of men by fiery trials (Jas. 1:2, 12; 1Pet. 4:12; Rev. 3:18). Fire only separates all the foreign and impure materials from gold. It loses nothing of its nature, weight, colour, or any other property. Gold has been kept in a state of fusion for months without the smallest change. Genuine faith also will be proved by trials.

Being Justified by Faith

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘Justified by faith’ The Greek word for justified dikaioo means to declare righteous or not guilty; justify. It is translated “freed from sin” (6:7); “justifier” (3:26); “be righteous” (Rev. 22:11); and “justify” 33 times. One is justified the moment he repents and is forgiven (Luke 18:14; Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:24, 28, 30; 4:5; 5:1, 9; 1Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16-17; 3:8, 24; Tit. 3:5-7).

Proofs when people are justified: When they are washed and sanctified (1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 5:17-18). When they repent (Luke 18:13-14); and believe (3:24-31; 4:5; 5:1; Acts 13:38-39; Gal. 2-3). When redeemed (3:24; 5:9) and when they partake of grace (3:24-25; 5:1-2; Tit. 2:11-14; 3:4-7). When they accept God’s call (8:30) and when they are born again (Tit. 3:4-7; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:1-4, 18; 2Cor. 5:17-18). When brought to Christ (Gal. 3:24; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Gal. 3:27) and when reconciled (5:9-11; 2Cor. 5:17-21; Col. 1:20-23). When all sins are blotted out (Isa. 43:25; Acts 13:38-39; 1Cor. 6:11).

Justification is used of the final settlement between people (Job 11:2; 13:18; 27:5; 32:2; 33:32; Pro. 17:15; Luke 10:29; 16:15); of people clearing God of all wrong (Ps. 51:4; Luke 7:29; Rom. 3:26); and of people justifying themselves of all guilt (Jer. 3:11; Ezek. 16:51-52; Job 9:20; 13:18; 32:2; Luke 16:15). Thus the meaning is clear: to declare not guilty. The justification of man by God simply means that God washes, sanctifies the believer, and declares him no longer guilty (1Cor. 6:9-11; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Acts 13:38-39). God cannot declare one not guilty before he is cleansed from all sin and made holy by the blood of Christ. Sanctification makes the sinner not guilty; justification declares him not guilty.

‘We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ this is the peace that is described in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Ten Blessings of Romans 5:1-21: Justification (5:1, 9); peace with God (5:1); access by faith into grace (5:2); standing in grace (5:2); joy in God (5:2-3, 11); grace in tribulations (5:3-5); love of God in the heart (5:5); the Holy Spirit (5:5); salvation from wrath (5:9-10); reconciliation by blood (5:10-11).

Abraham Justified by Faith

Romans 4:1-8 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; but not before God. For what said the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that work not, but believe on him that justify the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also described the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputed righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 

‘What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found? … For what said the scripture?’ Paul here (4:1-3), after proving in Romans 3:21-31 that both Jews and Gentiles could only be saved by grace through faith, shows by examples how Abraham and David were justified. Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, was a heathen, an uncircumcised Gentile, before God pardoned him by grace through faith. He could not have been justified by obedience to the law, which was not until 430 years later (Gal. 3:17). Paul points out that Abraham was pardoned the same way the gospel saves Jews and Gentiles. Why should the Jews condemn Christianity and oppose Gentiles when they were included in the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3; 17:4)? Paul also proves that this blessing did not come through circumcision, for Abraham had it many years before he was circumcised (4:9-12; Gen. 12:1-3; 15:6; 17:1-14). If Abraham was blessed before and without circumcision, then Gentiles also could be.

‘Our father’ Jews claimed Abraham as their father (9:5; Luke 1:73; John 8:39; Acts 7:2).

‘Believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness’ before he was circumcised (Gen. 15:6).

‘Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt’ if Abraham worked for and merited justification, then it was not of grace because God owed it to him. But if he believed God for it instead of working for it, then faith was counted for righteousness and God gave it to him as a favour. Since he was called when he was a Gentile idolater and he was justified freely by faith, then all other sinners can likewise be justified (3:21-28; 5:1-11). ‘Even as David also described the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputed righteousness without works’ now the apostle proves his point by showing how David, a man under law, was justified by faith without the law and works (4:6-7; Ps. 32:1-2). Quoting Psalm 32:1-2 “…Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” A fourfold blessing is noted here of the blessed man: His sins are forgiven; his sins are covered; his forgiven sins are no longer imputed to him and his spirit is cleansed of guile (Ps. 15:1-5; 24:3-5).

Salvation

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

‘Ashamed’ [Greek: epaischunomai] Paul here fulfils Isaiah 28:16: “he that believes shall not make haste” – he that confides and trusts in the sure foundation is secure and will not make haste or be ashamed (Rom. 9:33; 1Pet. 2:6).

‘Gospel of Christ’ another term for “gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1). ‘Power’ [Greek: dunamis] inherent power; the ability to reproduce itself, like a dynamo. The Gospel is God’s power: To produce the new birth (1Pet. 1:23); to give salvation (1:16; Eph. 1:13); to impart grace (Acts 20:24); to establish people in the faith (16:25); to generate faith (10:17); to set free (John 8:31-36); to nourish spiritual life (1Pet. 2:2); to cleanse the church (Eph. 5:26); to search the life (Heb. 4:12); to make partakers of Christ (Eph. 3:6); to impart immortality (2Tim. 15:29).

‘Salvation’ [Greek: soteria] translated “salvation” 40 times; “saved” (Luke 1:71; Rom. 10:1); “deliver” (Acts 7:25); “health” (Acts 27:34); and “saving” (Heb. 11:7). Salvation is the all-inclusive word of the gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes. It is used 119 times in the Old Testament. There are 7 Hebrew and Greek words for “salvation.” They are used 388 times and are translated by 23 English words, some with various endings, which mean salvation, deliverance, save, health, help, welfare, safety, victory, Saviour, defend, avenge, rescue, and preserve.

Salvation is used of: Deliverance from danger (Ex. 14:1-31); victory over enemies (1Sam. 14:1-52); healing of the body (Acts 3:6; 4:12); forgiveness of sin (Luke 19:9; Rom. 10:9-10; Ps. 38:18-22; 51:1-13; 79:9); freedom from prison (Php. 1:19); deliverance from captivity (Ps. 14:1-7); deliverance from wrath (1Thess. 5:9).

Salvation from sin comes through: Confession (Rom. 10:9; 1Jn. 1:9); grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9); sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2Thess. 2:13); godly sorrow (2Cor. 7:10); faith in His blood (Rom. 3:25); faith in His name (Acts. 4:12).

‘For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith’ God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel on the ground of faith as the absolute condition of salvation, and is only effective in those who believe.

‘The just shall live by faith’ quoted from Habakkuk 2:4. It means that the just must live by continued faith, and go from faith to faith (grow in trust) as light (knowledge) is received (1Jn. 1:7).

Grace

1Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 

‘The end of your faith’ the Greek word telos meaning the end of a thing. It could also mean the consummation of being admitted or initiated into religion, marriage, etc. If this is what Peter has in mind it refers to believers being initiated into salvation by their faith (1:8-9). He could also have had in mind the end of salvation itself, which is at the end of a life of faith. 

‘Enquired’ [Greek: ekzeteo] to search out. They carefully and diligently sought and examined the truth of the things they were prophesying.

‘Grace that should come unto you’ they had salvation, grace, fillings, and gifts of the Spirit. It was the fullness of grace they predicted (John 1:16-17). Remember that the receiving of the fullness of grace is conditional.

God cannot give grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel. Grace teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now (Tit. 2:11-12). If people do not obey its teaching grace can go no further.

Anyone may: Receive grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1); frustrate the grace of God in his life (Gal. 2:21); fall from it (Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4); fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15); turn it into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4); sin in spite of it (Rom. 6:1); continue or discontinue in it (Acts 13:43); minister it to others (1Pet. 4:10); grow or not grow in it (2Pet. 3:18); receive or reject it (John 3:16; Heb. 12:15; Jas. 4:6; Rev. 22:17).

‘Searching’ [Greek: ereunao] to search for; examine (1:11; John 5:39; 7:52; Rom. 8:27; 1Cor. 2:10; Rev. 2:23). They did not know the time of the sufferings of Christ or by whom, neither the glory to follow the sufferings.

‘Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven’ it was the new covenant – that is the New Testament that was established with Christ’s crucifixion, (Heb. 9:15-18) and its full blessings that the prophets foretold. The fullness of grace (John 1:16-17), the fullness of the Holy Spirit anointing upon believers (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8), the full gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-11; Gal. 5:22-23), and the complete redemptive acts and processes of which the law was a shadow (Heb. 10:1) were all predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament. The way into the holiest by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:19), power and authority of every believer to do the works of Christ (John 14:12), and many other truths and experiences were unknown to the prophets. ‘Desire to look into’ angels are no doubt amazed at the wonderful plan of redemption and of the eternal exaltation of the redeemed. Even now they are being taught by the body of Christ the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:9-11). They observe saints constantly (1Cor. 4:9) and desire to look into the wonderful truths of the gospel.

Agree in One

1John 5:8-12 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son. He that believes on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believes not God has made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life. 

‘Three’ there are three witnesses of humanity and sonship: The Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus at His water baptism (Matt. 3:13-17). The water – a threefold witness: (1) Water baptism symbolizing His own death, burial, and resurrection (Matt. 3:13-17); (2) Water of the Word bearing witness to the incarnation (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:34-35); (3) Water and blood at the crucifixion testifying of His humanity (John 19:34). The third witness is the blood, testifying not only the humanity and sonship of Jesus Christ but guaranteeing redemption from sin (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 9:14-26; 10:1-23; 1Jn. 1:7).

‘Agree in one’ agree to the one point of the humanity and sonship of Jesus (4:1-6; 5:5-9).

‘If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son’ if we receive witness of sinful men who can so easily deceive, we should gladly receive the witness of God who cannot possibly deceive. God’s witness of His Son is greater than all men.

‘He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself’ every believer has a personal witness from God to his faith (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 5:6; 2Cor. 5:17).

‘He that believes not God has made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son’ every unbeliever receives the fruit of his own rejection of God (John 3:36).

‘And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life’ – eternal life in Jesus Christ is the great truth of which the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the water, and the blood bear testimony.

‘This life is in his Son’ eternal life is only in Jesus. All who are in Him have this eternal life and all out of Him do not have it. Blessings in Jesus Christ: No condemnation (Rom. 8:1); freedom from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2); the love of God (Rom. 8:39); truth (Rom. 9:1); union in one body (Rom. 12:5); wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1Cor. 1:30; Rom. 3:24); resurrection of the body (1Cor. 15:22); triumph (2Cor. 2:14); abolishment of the Old Testament law; new creation (2Cor. 5:17); simplicity (2Cor. 11:3); liberty (Gal. 2:4); sonship (Gal. 3:26); brought close to God (Eph. 2:13); high calling (Php. 3:14); faith and love (1Tim. 1:14; 3:13); grace (2Tim. 2:1); salvation (2Tim. 2:10); eternal life (5:11; 2Tim. 1:1); preservation (Jude 1:1).