Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk.
They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything.
They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings
and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ.
Everything of God gets expressed in Him, so you can see and hear Him clearly.
You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ,
and the emptiness of the universe without Him.
When you come to Him, that fullness comes together for you, too.
His power extends over everything.
This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you,
it’s not out of your reach.
It’s not on a high mountain—you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak
and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it.
And it’s not across the ocean—you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back,
and then explain it before you can live it.
No. The word is right here and now—as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as near as the heart in your chest. Just do it!
All that I am, I place in To Your loving hands, I am Yours for You are the Great I Am
The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah,
who then puts everything right for those who trust Him to do it.
Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God
soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print!
But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story—
no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah,
no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah.
So what exactly was Moses saying?
The Word that saves is right here,
as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest.
It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us.
This is the core of our preaching.
Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul,
God’s work of doing in us what He did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it.
You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God,
trusting Him to do it for you. That’s salvation.
With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it,
right out loud: “God has set everything right between Him and me!”
Everything was created through Him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without Him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.
Waiting for His enemies to be laid under His feet.
For by that one offering He made forever perfect in the sight of God
all those whom He is making holy.
There is a nice symmetry in this:
Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man.
Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.
But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with Him at His Coming,
the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition,
He hands over His kingdom to God the Father.
He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—and the very last enemy is death!
As the psalmist said, “He laid them low, one and all; He walked all over them.”
When Scripture says that “He walked all over them,”
it’s obvious that He couldn’t at the same time be walked on.
When everything and everyone is finally under God’s rule,
the Son will step down, taking His place with everyone else,
showing that God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive—a perfect ending!
1 Corinthians 15:21-28
Above All powers…
You Crush The Enemy
How to put your foot on the devil’s neck?
And may God, the source of encouragement and patience,
give you the same attitude among yourselves as the Messiah Yeshua had,
so that with one accord and with one voice you may glorify the God and Father
of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Holy Spirit, You are Welcome Here
On earth as In heaven
Come flood this place, fill the atmosphere
Overcome us with the glorious victorious presence of the Lord God Almighty,
the Father of all joy and peace in believing!
Psalm 110 may have been written to celebrate the coronation of one of David’s sons as king.
The Eternal invites the royal son of David to take his rightful place at His right hand,
the place of power and authority—not just over Jerusalem but over his enemies as well.
But the royal son is to be more than a king,
he is to be a priest according the order of that mysterious and enigmatic figure, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-24).
God promises to give this royal priest-king victory over his enemies
as he marches out to war.
This psalm is the psalm most quoted by early Christian writers in the New Testament.
As they considered the significance of Jesus,
they found that this psalm, more than any,
expressed their conviction
that the risen Jesus
now occupies a unique place at God’s right hand and will be victorious over His enemies.
The Eternal said to my lord,
“Sit here at My right hand,
in the place of honor and power,
And I will gather your enemies together,
lead them in on hands and knees;
you will rest your feet on their backs.”
Psalm 110:1 A song of David.
For everyone has heard about your obedience; therefore I rejoice over you.
However, I want you to be wise concerning good, but innocent concerning evil.
And God, the source of shalom, will soon crush the Adversary under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Yeshua be with you.
Overcoming faith Overcoming evil with the Overcoming One who’s coming back!
Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience]
be known to all people. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace]
which transcends all understanding,
[that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Christ Holds It All Together
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen.
We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created.
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,
rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him
and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence
and holds it all together right up to this moment.
And when it comes to the church,
He organizes and holds it together,
like a head does a body.
True Transcendence is being made complete in union with Messiah.
Going through a long line of prophets,
God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries.
Recently He spoke to us directly through His Son.
By His Son, God created the world in the beginning,
and it will all belong to the Son at the end.
This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature.
He holds everything together by what He says—powerful words!
The Son Is Higher than Angels
After He finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took His honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule.
Did God ever say to an angel, “You’re My Son; today I celebrate You”
or “I’m His Father, He’s My Son”?
When He presents His honored Son to the world, He says, “All angels must worship Him.”
CRUCIFIED, LAID BEHIND A STONE
OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT
STEP IN TO THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
IN TO THE RADIANCE OF HIS LIGHT
WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT
The reason the devil is fighting you this hard is that he is trying to keep you from coming
to the realization, this dawning of the true that it’s only in the Life-Light that we live, move and have our being in Jesus the Glorified Risen Christ who vanquished our foe
and the sin and death that brings loss and destruction but Christ came that you may have life and more abundantly—to the fullest and with the fullness of God the Father Almighty.
A New Life
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life
and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!
God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.
The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
I know how great this makes you feel,
even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.
Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure;
genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.
When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold,
that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.
You never saw Him, yet you love Him. You still don’t see Him, yet you trust Him—
with laughter and singing.
Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to:
The prophets who told us this was coming
asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing.
The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—
that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory.
They clamored to know who and when.
All they were told was that they were serving you,
you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—
through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled.
Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!
1 Peter 1:3-12
The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
He brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through Him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to His own people,
but they didn’t want Him.
But whoever did want Him,
who believed He was who He claimed
and would do what He said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”
We all live off His generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understanding—
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made Him plain as day.
But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—
to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do,
grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,
oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
All this energy issues from Christ:
God raised Him from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven,
in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments,
no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.
He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything.
At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.
The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world;
the world is peripheral to the church.
The church is Christ’s body, in which He speaks and acts,
by which He fills everything with His presence.
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD
Made Complete Forever Perfected in One Obedience in Christ Jesus
Since then, He has been waiting for the day when He rests His feet on His enemies’ backs,
as the psalm says.
With one perfect offering, Jesus has perfected forever those who are being made holy,
as the Holy Spirit keeps testifying to us through the prophet Jeremiah.
After he says,
“But when those days are over,” says the Eternal One,
“I will make this kind of covenant with the people of Israel:
I will put My laws in their hearts
and write them upon their minds,”
then He adds,
I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory
as though they had never existed.
When there is forgiveness such as this,
there is no longer any need to make an offering for sin.
So, my friends, Jesus by His blood gives us courage to enter the most holy place.
He has created for us a new and living way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh.
Glory Just Around the Corner
Friends, when life gets really difficult,
don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.
Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced.
This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
1 Peter 4:12-13
It is for this reason that I bow my knees before the Father,
after whom all families in heaven above and on earth below receive their names, and pray:
Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people.
Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit
so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts.
May love be the rich soil where their lives take root.
May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together
with all of Your people they will have the power to understand
that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep,
surpassing everything anyone previously experienced.
God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.
It is time that I wrap up these thoughts to you, my brothers and sisters.
Rejoice in the Lord!
(I don’t mind writing these things over and over to you, as I know it keeps you safe.)
Watch out for the dogs—
wicked workers who run in packs
looking for someone to maul with their false circumcision.
Circumcision has become a flash point for the early church.
Some are teaching that non-Jews have to become Jews to follow Jesus completely,
including circumcision, dietary regulations, keeping weekly and annual holy days,
and other Jewish practices.
Since the time of Abraham,
circumcision has been the mark of the covenant with Abraham’s spiritual children.
Things are changing: outsiders, non-Jews, are entering into the new covenant.
Do they enter by faith alone, or is it faith plus following God’s law for Israel?
Paul’s answer is clear: it is faith alone that makes Jews and outsiders right with God.
So he cautions the Philippians to watch out for those
who would chastise them into a false circumcision.
Real followers of Jesus know
that salvation doesn’t come from the blade of a knife
but from His cross.
We are the true circumcision—
those who worship God in Spirit
and make our boast in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King—
so we do not rely on what we have accomplished in the flesh.
If any try to throw around their pedigrees to you, remember my résumé—
which is more impressive than theirs.
I was circumcised on the eighth day—as the law prescribes—born of the nation of Israel, descended from the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew born of Hebrews;
I have observed the law according to the strict piety of the Pharisees,
separate from those embracing a less rigorous kind of Judaism. Zealous? Yes.
I ruthlessly pursued and persecuted the church.
And when it comes to the righteousness required by the law, my record is spotless.
But whatever I used to count as my greatest accomplishments,
I’ve written them off as a loss because of the Anointed One.
And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important
was nothing but yesterday’s garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord.
For Him I have thrown everything aside—it’s nothing but a pile of waste—
so that I may gain Him.
When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him,
not clinging to my own righteousness based on law,
but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One.
This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith.
I want to know Him inside and out.
I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.
The crucified and risen Jesus is the model that Paul desires to embody
by walking deep in His pathway of death and life—suffering and resurrection.
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect;
but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus,
has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me
and won’t let me go.
Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing:
I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission.
I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize,
and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
All of us who are mature ought to think the same way about these matters.
If you have a different attitude, then God will reveal this to you as well.
For now, let’s hold on to what we have been shown and keep in step with these teachings.
Imitate me, brothers and sisters,
and look around to those already following the example we have set.
I have warned you before (and now say again through my tears)
that we have many enemies—people who reject the cross of the Anointed.
They are ruled by their bellies, their glory comes by shame,
and their minds are fixed on the things of this world. They are doomed.
But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator,
our Lord Jesus the Anointed, to come and transform these humble, earthly bodies
into the form of His glorious body by the same power that brings all things under His control.