Archive of Daily Bible Lessons
April 1-8, 2004
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4.1.04

New Creatures in Christ

4.2.04

Every Spiritual Blessing is Yours in Christ

4.3.04

God *Enlightens* You about Your Spiritual Resources

4.4.04

Proclaiming Christ for Maturity in Christ

4.5-6.04

Jesus Christ, Your Great High Priest

4.7.04

Jesus Christ, Your Only Foundation

4.8.04

Christ in You, the Hope of Glory

Bible Lesson for 4.1.04
New Creatures in Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Everyone who is "in Christ," through faith in His name, is a "new creation." All Christians are a new people.

  • As a Christian, you are no longer who you were before you put your trust in the Lord Jesus.
  • You are not the old person reformed or improved; you are a "new creation."
  • Yes, you have the same body, but that is a mere *tent* in which you dwell. "For you know that if your earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, you have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1)

Some day in glory, you will trade your temporal, earthly tent for an eternal heavenly one. Meanwhile, though you live in the same old tent you had in Adam, you are a new tenant, a "new creation."

  • You may have the same old physical brain, but you are learning to think an entirely new way. "You have the mind of Christ... be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2 and 1 Corinthians 2:16)
  • Christ lives in you, and His Spirit also dwells in you. His Spirit takes the word of God and unfolds the thinking of your Lord for you.
  • As you embrace God's way of thinking more and more, you are transformed to walk in the newness that is yours in "in Christ."

In all the ways that matter before God, "old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

  • Your old guilt is replaced by new forgiveness. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus... in whom you have... the forgiveness of sins" (Romans 8:1 and Colossians 1:14)
  • Your old foolishness is replaced by new wisdom. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God... But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for you wisdom from God" (1 Corinthians 3:19 and 1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Your old unrighteousness is replaced with new righteousness. "All your righteousnesses are like filthy rags... For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for you, that you might become the righteousness of God in Him" (Isaiah 64:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • Your old hope of changing yourself (self-help) is replaced by new hope of being changed by God (sanctification). "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength... You are in Christ Jesus, who became for you... sanctification" (Jeremiah 17:5 and 1 Corinthians 1:30)

In Jesus, EVERYTHING about you is new! The *New You* is a work of God. He isn't finished with perfecting you, but rest assured -- He WILL get the job done!

"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6)
O Lord, my hope, I thank You for making me a new person in Christ. Please strengthen my heart to spend time in Your word that I might hear more of these grand truths. Lord, I yearn to walk in more of this rich newness of life, in Jesus name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 4.2.04
Every Spiritual Blessing is Yours in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

Living day by day by grace is essentially about developing an intimate relationship between you and your Savior, Jesus. "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2.13)

  • This *IN Christ* personal relationship is one of the most glorious distinctives of being a born-again child of God.
  • Through this profound uniting with Christ, astounding spiritual riches are now yours. "You also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead" (Romans 7:4)
  • That is why Christianity is NOT a religion. Instead, Christianity is an intimate, personal relationship between you and the living Lord Jesus. You and Jesus, one on One -- THAT's Christianity!

This *up-close relationship* that you have with God is the reason why today's Bible verse encourages you to offer grateful praise to your Heavenly Father: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

  • This joyous thanksgiving is for what the Father has given to you: "who HAS blessed you."
  • I capitalized the word "HAS" so that you will notice that this word is in the past tense this blessing has ALREADY happened. It is yours now and forevermore!
  • What is the extent of God's blessing that He has already given to you? It is "EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places." Think of it! This truth is staggering in its implications. Every grace resource that heaven has to offer is already yours!

The reason that these rich blessings are yours is that they all reside in Christ. Because you belong to Jesus, you are *IN Christ* -- Halleluyah!

  • *IN Christ* is forgiveness, righteousness, and wisdom. Also, love, joy, and peace are found IN Him.
  • *IN Christ* dwell victory, discernment, and courage. Moreover, compassion, strength, and perseverance are part of who He is.
  • All this and far more is found *IN Christ* -- "For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2.9-10)

Now, you dwell *IN Christ* where all of this richness resides: "who has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."

In light of all that God has done {and is doing} for you *IN Christ*, the Bible encourages you always to strive to Walk Worthy of your calling...

"...Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1.10)
Dear Father, I too want to bless You for bestowing all of this richness upon me. Lord, forgive me for the spiritual poverty that I too often experience. Teach me to draw upon these limitless treasures of Your grace. I want to honor You with an abundant walk in Christ's fullness, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 4.3.04
God *Enlightens* You about Your Spiritual Resources

Blessed be the God and Father of your Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ... the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling. (Ephesians 1:3,18)

You have seen that all the grace resources God has for you to live by here on earth are already yours *IN Christ.* Now, your need is to have these comprehensive spiritual treasures revealed to you by the Lord Himself: "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling."

In order to draw upon these heavenly provisions, you need the Lord to enlighten your understanding concerning what is yours in Christ Jesus. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to you through His Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

As the Holy Spirit uses the word of God to reveal these matters to you, your faith develops so you might access them by faith. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

The scriptures teach you to pray for spiritual enlightenment. "Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law" (Psalm 119:18).

  • In the word of God, you are told of the wonderful things that God has for you, and for all His people.
  • If you prayerfully seek the Lord concerning His insight into these blessings, the Lord WILL enlighten you.
  • His willingness to respond to your requests for enlightenment is evident in His word. "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3).
  • The Lord delights to give spiritual insight to the humble of heart, BUT NOT to those who trust in their own wisdom and prudence. "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, 'I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes' " (Luke 10:21).

Luke 10:21, quoted above, leads me to the conclusion that God most fully reveals His spiritual truths to those who manifest the innocence, humility, and faith of small children. Do you agree?

"Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.' " (Matthew 18.2-4)

In a nutshell...

  • God seeks to enlighten you.
  • To be enlightened, you must be humble. "When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11.2)
  • Why must you be humble? Because you must be humble in order to be teachable AND you must be teachable in order to be enlightened. "...receive in meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls." (James 1.21b)
Dear Lord, fountain of every heavenly blessing, I humble myself before You. On my own, I could never discover the richness You have given me in Christ. Please enlighten me by Your Spirit, as I search Your scriptures. Build my faith to draw upon Your grace resources day by day, through Christ I pray, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 4.4.04
Proclaiming Christ for Maturity in Christ

Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 1:28)

In the verse quoted above, the word translated as "perfect" is the Greek word *teleios* -- defined by Strong's Exhaustive Concordance & Lexicon as follows...

5046 teleios: complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character)

In Colossians 1:28, the phrase "perfect in Christ Jesus" means *Spiritual Completeness*.

*Spiritual Completeness* is a primary goal that God has in mind for you "that we may present every man perfect [mature] in Christ Jesus."

  • As you grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus, you are being built up so that you will move from spiritual childhood to spiritual maturity.
  • God's goal for you -- and for all of His family -- is that "we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, ... but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:14-15)
  • Jesus is your standard of *Spiritual Completeness*. God wants you to mature spiritually into the likeness of the character of Christ.

In order for you to mature in Christ, you must be instructed by preaching that proclaims and explains the Good News of Christ. "Him we preach... that we may present every man perfect [mature] in Christ Jesus."

  • Being instructed in the Word of God is an important means whereby the Holy Spirit will grow-you-up to spiritual maturity in Christ: "Him we preach."
  • You need to know who the Lord is, what He has done, and what He wants to do in your life. Why? Because these truths are the means by which Holy Spirit "...causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:16b)

The Bible abounds with many beautiful revelations of such truths about Jesus.

  • He is the Son of God: "And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God" (John 1:34)
  • He is the Son of Man, Immanuel, God manifested in the flesh: "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head... Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel... God with you" (Matthew 8:20; 1:23)
  • He is the lamb of God: "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! " (John 1:29)
  • Jesus is your Mediator, bringing you the new covenant of grace. "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant" (Hebrews 9:15)
  • Jesus is your Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, supplying all that you need from start to finish. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13)
  • Jesus is your All in All. "Christ is all and in all" (Colossians 3:11).

Such truths about Jesus are the "solid food" that your spirit MUST have in order to grow to *Spiritual Completeness*. Read and heed...

For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5.13-14)
Dear Lord Jesus, I long to mature in Your likeness. There is so much about my life that is immature and carnal. I hunger to see who You are and all that You want to do in and through me. Please reveal Yourself to me through Your word, that I might know You better and be conformed to Your image. This I pray in Your holy name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 4.5-6.04
Jesus Christ, Your Great High Priest

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

The fact that Jesus is your High Priest is a magnificent truth that God has given you, so as to mature you in the faith and draw you more intimately to Him.

  • When you realize the greatness of Jesus as your High Priest, your steadfastness is strengthened. "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession."
  • Jesus was completely successful in His mission of redemption. He came and died as the sacrifice for your sins. He rose victorious over sin and death. He ascended to the Heaven of heavens, where He is now seated in authority at the right hand of the Father.
  • Knowing all this, you have great cause to remain steadfast in your confession of hope in Him.

Furthermore, your great High Priest is not aloof from your needs or impervious to your frailties. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses."

  • Satan threw all of His tempting devices at Jesus. Jesus faced what you face, so He understands your battles in a very personal manner.
  • Another matter of even greater significance is that Jesus never yielded to Satan's attacks: "yet without sin."
  • Thus, Jesus not only understands the daily hardships and temptations that you endure, but He can also provide you with victory over them.

Today's Bible passage endows you with *authority* to boldly approach God, through your great High Priest, Jesus, without hesitation or apprehension to find the help you need. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Your Savior rules this universe from a throne characterized by grace.

  • God's amazing grace is infinitely sufficient to justify and to sanctify you.
  • God's grace covenant is over and beyond the grace whereby you were granted eternal salvation.
  • Rather, God's grace covenant is bestowed upon you, IN Jesus, so that you -- as God's own child -- will have strength to confront the lusts of the world, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4.13)

Accordingly in Hebrews 4:14-16 God commands and exhorts you to...

  • Hold fast to your confession of belief and trust in Jesus
  • Come boldly, in prayer, to God's throne
  • Draw freely upon the limitless, amazing power of God's grace, to help you in time of need.
Dear Jesus, my great High Priest, I praise You from the depths of my soul for Your understanding, compassion, victory, and grace. I know you understand my needs because You, too, have tasted the worst kinds of temptation, trials, and suffering. Yet You were without sin -- never faltered; never quit; never gave in. Halleluyah, praise Your Holy Name!

Because You live, I live. Because You triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the devil, so can I -- IN You, Lord, always IN You.

Lord, I have so many needs in my life. You -- You only! -- understand what I am enduring. According to your Bible, I come boldly in prayer, to receive Your amazing grace. Please give me hope, faith, wisdom, and strength -- Your strength -- to go on. Amen.

Bible Lesson for 4.7.04
Jesus Christ, Your Only Foundation

According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10-11)

Another wonderful blessing in Christ is the foundation that He provides you, as you live safely within the sheepfold of His grace. As with buildings, your life also needs a solid foundations. Your foundation is a person, Jesus. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

With the Holy Spirit's inspiration, Apostle Paul ministered the gospel of Jesus Christ. "According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation."

  • In preaching and teaching the Gospel, Apostle Paul was laying the only reliable basis whereby you can enjoy the spiritual fulness of life as God intended. Jesus alone is the foundation-rock of your salvation: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer" (Psalm 18.2a)
  • So many people attempt to lay worldly foundations for their life. Some turn to earthly riches. Others hope in human wisdom. Others put their confidence in personal power and influence. Such vain pursuits are like attempting to construct a building upon shifting, sinking sand.

Your life needs a rock foundation. It has always been the Father's purpose to provide such for His people. David experienced this through his pilgrimage, as he trusted in the Lord. "From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2).

  • In the most extreme situations on earth, when circumstances were overwhelming him, David cried out to His God. He looked to the Lord to be *The Rock* upon which he could stand above the rolling waves of impossibility. "He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved" (Psalm 62:6).
  • David stood on the Lord alone as his solid spiritual ground. Standing by faith he would not be destroyed.

Of course, the ultimate expression of God being a rock to His people would be in the coming of the Son of God to earth as a man. This great plan the Lord promised through Isaiah. "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily" (Isaiah 28:16).

Jesus is *The Rock* that God has provided to you, so that your faith shall ALWAYS have a proven, priceless, and secure foundation.

As Jesus said: "Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock." (Matthew 7.24-25)

O Lord my rock, You are the only foundation that I will ever need for my life. I have tried to stand on so many things that proved to be sinking sand. Lord, I want to place all of my hope for spiritual stability in You. When circumstances threaten to inundate me, be to me my rock of refuge in the storm, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 4.8.04
Christ in You, the Hope of Glory

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

Colossians 1:27 is one of several New Testament Bible verses that refer to a "mystery" revealed by God.

  • Among cults and other false religions, a "mystery" is some bit of secret mumbo-jumbo that is revealed ONLY to select members of the sect.
  • In the Bible, a "mystery" is a Spiritual Truth which God ordained "before the ages," and is now revealing to ALL the world -- not to just a privileged, select few. "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory" (1 Corinthians 2.7)
  • God's mysteries cannot be discovered by intellectual investigation. God Himself must make them known. The Lord does this through the grace-empowered, Spirit-empowered proclamation of His word.
  • In Colossians 1:27, the great mystery that God unfolds is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

You have been considering the wondrous truth that, when you believed on Jesus, God instantly and forever reckoned you to be *IN Christ*. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
All that God has for you is yours *IN Christ*. You can now enjoy the benefits of who Christ is and all that He has accomplished for you, because you are in Him.
Today's Bible verse adds another extraordinary dimension. Not only are you *IN Christ*, but Christ is also in you:
"Christ in you, the hope of glory."

God wants this joyous Good News to be proclaimed, not just to the Jews, but among all the Gentiles as well:
"to make known... among the Gentiles."

  • The Good News that God reveals is glorious in spiritual richness: "the riches of the glory of this mystery."
  • Here, the mind-boggling Good News is no longer a mystery, but is now God's gift to all who receive Jesus -- "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
  • What a grand hope this message brings. Jesus, the Son of God, dwells within you, and within all others who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior!

The indwelling presence of "Christ in you" is your "hope of glory" -- God's unbreakable promise that you WILL make it to glory (Heaven).

Lord Jesus, my hope, I praise You for the hope You give anticipation of Your return, assurance of heaven, and daily confidence in Your working in me. Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have placed my hope and confidence elsewhere. Teach me, help me to put my hope in You alone, in Your faithful name I pray, Amen.

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