Four Ways God Reveals Himself To Humanity

Four Ways God Reveals Himself To Humanity

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. If God exists, how does he reveal himself to us? Here are four ways the Bible identifies.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through scripture.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (ESV, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Humans wrote the Bible. But God’s Spirit supernaturally inspired each author to write exactly what He wants us to know. Its absolute truth addresses all matters of life. And it describes how to live in a manner that glorifies God.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (ESV, Hebrews 4:12)

In addition, scripture is more than ink on paper. God’s words are alive and active. And meant for you to read, meditate on, and saturate into your heart and mind. So, when you engage them in your thoughts and actions, they manifest a life of holiness and righteousness. Not perfectly, but in one that honors God.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through creation

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (ESV, Romans 1:19-20)

God’s fingerprints mark all of creation. However, belief is a choice. And you can deny his existence and instead, believe in evolution. But you’ll miss the beauty, majesty, and splendor of an Almighty God. And the sense of wonder his creation inspires. A pageantry beyond our comprehension. And a masterpiece of intelligent design. Or, if you prefer, dumb luck.

But that choice is a life characterized by pride, dominated by sin, and without hope.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through His church

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (ESV, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

Is the church an organization or a building? Neither. It is the body of Christ. A congregation of Christ-followers indwelled and unified by God’s Spirit. And a melting pot of race, culture, language, socioeconomic, and political differences with one thing in common–the desire to love and follow Jesus Christ.

The church gathers to worship, fellowship, and support one another. And when it ministers in Jesus’ name, the church displays God’s love through his people.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (ESV, Galatians 5:22)

The fruit of the Spirit is visible evidence of God’s presence in the lives of His people. Broken due to sin. But as believers imitate Jesus and honor God through righteous living, it reflects, in a small way, the righteousness of God.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (ESV 1:1)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV, John 1:14)

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (ESV, Colossians 2:9)

Who is Jesus Christ? Scripture provides a clear answer. He is the Son of God. Fully human and fully divine. He lived a perfect life. Taught God’s truth. Performed miracles. Died on a cross for our sins, and rose from the grave three days later. And those who believe in and follow him by faith are granted eternal life.

Jesus Christ is God’s complete revelation of himself to humanity. And if you miss this one, probably, nothing else will convince you. But when you recognize Jesus as God, confess him as Lord, and follow him, your life is changed forever.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

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A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of second chances, willing ministry workers, and Christian support.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of second chances

V.10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him and Jesus who is called Justus.

Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, appears in Acts 19:29 with Paul in Ephesus, and in Acts 20:4 and 27:2 as one of Paul’s travelling companions. Here Paul calls him a fellow-prisoner indicating he’s also confined with Paul.

The Greek word for “welcome” is dĕchŏmai, which means to accept and receive. But why did Paul ask the Colossians to accept and receive Mark? Perhaps because Mark had abandoned Paul and Barnabas on a previous missionary journey, which earned him a black mark with Paul. And Paul had possibly told others about Mark’s unreliability in ministry. But apparently, Mark had redeemed himself so Paul let the Colossians know Mark was back in his good graces.

Redeeming a Christian brother or sister

Mark was Barnabas’ cousin who caused a rift between Paul and Barnabas recorded in Acts 15:36-41. Barnabas wanted to take Mark on another missionary journey, but Paul objected since Mark abandoned them on the last one. The two men disagreed so they split and went separate ways. Paul took Silas and Mark accompanied Barnabas.

You’d expect Paul to show Mark a little more grace. Especially considering how much he wrote on the subject.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (ESV, Galatians 6:1)

Granted. The context in Galatians is about restoring a Christian brother that sinned. But the truth is we all sin, make mistakes, and disappoint others. But we serve a God of second chances. And that’s the whole idea behind Grace. Barnabas seemed to get this. Of course, Mark was also family and that probably helped. Although we don’t know how, somewhere along the way Mark proved himself and Paul’s faith in him as a ministry worker was restored.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of willing ministry workers

V.11 These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God…

“Men of circumcision” is a literal translation of the Greek word pĕritŏmē. It is another way of calling them Jews, which is how the NIV and other Bible versions translate it.

“Fellow workers” is the Greek word sunĕrgŏs, which means a co-laborer, companion in labor, and workfellow. In other words, Paul affirms the positive work ethic of his fellow workers. They rolled up their sleeves and assisted him in his ministry effort.

Today, it’s commonly said that twenty percent of a church congregation does eighty percent of the work and gives eighty percent of the money. The others occupy pew space. And Jesus appears to support the idea when he said, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (ESV, Matthew 9:37)

The church, however, should function like a beehive of ministry where everyone participates. Paul describes it as one body with many parts in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14. We all have gifts and abilities to invest in God’s Kingdom and for His glory. And we experience the highest sense of purpose and fulfillment when we do.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of Christian support

And they have been a comfort to me.

“Comfort” is the Greek word parēgŏria, which means consolation, comfort, and an address alongside. The point is discipleship is a lifestyle of serving alongside others for the Kingdom of God. Not just when and where it’s convenient. But sacrificially.

But Jesus also said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (ESV, Matthew 16:24)

So, discipleship goes beyond donating money, inspirational social media posts, and encouraging words to the pastoral staff. It is a personal and sacrificial investment of time and energy. And working together in ministry as a body of believers.

And sometimes coming alongside another has very little to do with your gifts, abilities, or profound words. But simply the power of your presence. Because your presence as a Christ-follower includes the comforting presence of God’s Spirit.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group??

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Are You Saved?

Are You Saved?

Are you saved? It’s a question Christians often ask. But if you’re unfamiliar with Christianity it may seem strange to you. Saved from what? Here are three Bible teachings that explain its meaning and why the answer is important.

Are you saved? The Bible teaches sin is the main problem.

Let’s start with a fundamental question. Is humanity basically good or evil? The answer is debated. Some people are kind and generous. Others mean and vindictive. But no one is good or bad all the time. Our behavior changes based on circumstances, desires, relationships, and emotions. And they all fluctuate every day. So, in reality, everyone is both in different times and situations.

The Bible says this is because of sin.

Are you saved? The Bible teaches we all sin and it separates us from God

Sin is moral behavior that disobeys God’s law. And we are all guilty of it. The most familiar sins are the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. But both the Old and New Testaments discuss other forms of sin too. And it includes both our actions and our thoughts.

Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (ESV, Matthew 5:28)

Furthermore, sin has a penalty, which is eternal separation from God.

For the wages of sin is death. (ESV, Romans 6:23)

So, we all sin, which carries the penalty of eternal death, And it’s why we need salvation. But how?

Are you saved? The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is Savior to the world

Jesus Christ is God’s provision. And scripture calls him the Son of God. In other words, God in human flesh. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on a cross for our sins, and rose from the grave three days later. What we call Easter. Why is this significant? Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and conquered death. So, we can conquer it too.

Therefore, you are saved by confessing your sins, asking Jesus for forgiveness, and receiving him as Savior and Lord.

Eternal life is not a matter of whether your good deeds outweigh all the bad. But if you believe in and trust Jesus for salvation. And it takes us back to the first question.

Are you saved?

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Biblical worldview.

A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A Study Of Colossians 4:6-9

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms gracious words and wholesome conversations, brotherhood and servant leadership in ministry, and encouraging one another.

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms gracious words and wholesome conversations.

V.6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Seasoned with salt: Salt was used to preserve and keep food pure, add taste, and it also increased thirst. All that can apply to Paul’s meaning. As Christ-followers, we should maintain pure conversations using wholesome language. Especially within a secular culture that embraces profane words and sexual innuendos. But we don’t have to be seriously dull and lack personality. Rather, we should exude joy and enthusiasm as people who live zestfully and share a positive message of hope.

Know how you ought to answer each person: Many Christ-followers claim exact opposite. Fear in witnessing and lack of Bible knowledge silence them when God’s power is readily available. Because “perfect love casts out fear” ( 1 John 4:18) and “God’s power is made perfect in your weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9). Furthermore, God will supply your words. (Luke 12:12)

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms brotherhood and servant leadership in ministry.

V.7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.

Tychicus and Onesimus delivered Paul’s letter to the Colossian church. Tychicus is mentioned in Acts 20:4 as one of Paul’s traveling companions. And Onesimus was a runaway slave that Paul led to Christ.

Paul commends Tychicus as a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant. “Beloved brother” combines the Greek agapētŏs, which means dearly, well, and beloved with adĕlphŏs, which means brother or much like a brother. “Minister” is the Greek diakŏnŏs, which means deacon, minister, and servant. In this context, Paul likely means it as someone who ministered in God’s name rather than a church position title. “Fellow servant” is the Greek word sundŏulŏs, which means fellow slave to either a human or divine master. Paul uses the word doulos in Philippians 1:1 to describe himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. So ascribing the same word to Tychicus suggests a close kinsmanship between the two of them.

Jesus likewise, taught the importance of servant leadership, and demonstrated it when he washed the feet of his disciples. It is regularly preached from today’s pulpit, but not always practiced in church, hierarchical structures that function in a top down, authoritarian chain of command.

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms encouraging one another.

V.8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts.

Paul was writing from prison and the Colossian church probably wanted to know how he was doing. Most likely expecting the worst, which makes this verse an unexpected surprise.

The Greek word for “encourage” is parakalĕō, which means to exhort, be of good comfort, and call near. So rather than bad news, Tychicus was delivering encouraging news from Paul. Why? Maybe because Paul’s focus was not on himself, but on spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

V.9 And with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

Notice Paul does not call Onesimus a runaway slave. But presents him as an equal, Christian brother. One of you. Confirming what John says: But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (ESV, John 1:12)

Of course, we are to treat everyone–Christian or not–with equal respect because each person is made in the image of God. And God loves us all. But Christians also share a spiritual and eternal relationship as adopted sons and daughters of God. And therefore, all earthly titles and distinctions, are replaced with brother and sister in Christ.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group??

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A Study Of Colossians 4:1-5

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 teaches the importance of steadfast prayer in balanced relationships, for effective Gospel sharing, and walking in wisdom towards unbelievers.

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 teaches the importance of steadfast prayer in balanced relationships

Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Balanced relationships involve a fair exchange of give and take. Except our selfish nature “takes” much more than it “gives.” Although Paul is specifically addressing the Roman practice of slavery in this passage, perhaps the supervisor and subordinate relationship in today’s workplace is a modern comparison.

“Justly” is the Greek word dikaiŏs, which means equitable, right, and just. And “fairly” is the Greek word isŏtēs, which means likeness in condition or proportion and equity. Although slaves under Roman law were considered property with no human rights, Paul called for higher standards from Christ-followers by reminding them of their heavenly master. Likewise, bosses should treat subordinates like equal human beings and not production units for the organization.

“Continue steadfastly” is the Greek word, prŏskartĕrĕō, which means to continue in, be earnest towards, persevere, and be constantly diligent. “Watchful” is the Greek word, grēgŏrĕuō, which means to keep awake, be vigilant, and watchful.

In other words, we should persistently pray for God’s help to diligently live out our faith at work. And while we may command authority in an organizational hierarchy, we are still under God’s authority and expected to manage those relationships according to Biblical principles.

“Thankfulness” is the Greek, ĕucharistia, which means gratitude, and thankfulness to God as an act of worship. It carries an expectation for God to guide our relationships in ways that glorify him.

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 encourages prayer for effective Gospel sharing

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Although Paul was in prison as he wrote this letter, he still looked for ways to share the gospel. Read Philippians 1:12-14 where he describes a creative method he used with prison guards.

And keep in mind that sharing the Gospel doesn’t always mean a complete Gospel presentation. It’s okay to share nuggets of Biblical truth when there’s a small opening and moment to share. Maybe a scripture verse or story, answer to prayer, or personal experience from your Christian walk.

Also notice that Paul carefully considered the words he used and the manner he spoke. Because sharing the Gospel is more than dumping the Roman Road to salvation on someone like an evangelistic firehose. It’s considering every person as a unique individual, seeking to understand their perspective, and offer them clear Biblical truth.

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 teaches walking with wisdom towards non-believers

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

The gospel message is the crown jewel for salvation. The difference between heaven and hell. A priceless treasure for all who receive it. And we should freely share it with all who will listen. Unfortunately, many won’t.

Walk in wisdom— The Greek word for “walk” is pĕripatĕō, which means to walk at large, to live, and deport oneself. “Wisdom” is the Greek word sŏphia. And “outsiders” represents unsaved people. In order to share the Gospel, we must be willing to engage the secular culture. But we need to be careful about what we say and how we act. In other words, our walk should match our talk.

Tips on sharing the gospel

Best use of time–I admire Christ-followers who articulately defend the gospel. But an ongoing debate with people who obviously reject Christianity is not the best use of time. As Jesus said, it is “casting pearls before swine.” (ESV, Matthew 7:6). Especially when there are many others open to hearing the Gospel. So listen to God’s Spirit for when it’s time to move on. Because the harvest is plentiful, workers few, and time is short.

Gracious speech seasoned with salt— “Gracious” is the Greek word charis, which means graciousness of manner, acceptable, and the divine influence upon the heart. It is from where we get the word “charm.” It is not our job to “save” someone because only God’s Spirit can convict sinners. However, salt increases thirst. So we should strive to present the gospel in a persuasive manner that gains a person’s interest.

How you ought to answer people–The best way to answer people is with scripture. It is, after all, God’s word. He can best speak for himself. And don’t let feeling inadequate in Bible knowledge stop you either. Satan always whispers that in our ear to keep us quiet. We all have at least one powerful witness. Our own story of what God has done in our life.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group??

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identities God’s prescription for the family, for parents and work relationships, and our calling for vocational purpose.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identifies God’s prescription for the family

V.18-20 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord

What does a healthy family look like? Paul offers a prescription that he repeats in Ephesians 6:5-9. But since we’re all sinners, there’s messiness in every family. Still, it’s God’s natural design for human procreation, development, and experiencing love, belonging, and satisfaction.

A description of today’s modern family includes many variations. But Paul centers his discussion on the original family described in the second chapter of Genesis. And he focuses on three words: Submission, love, and obedience. Rather than mandates, they are volunteered by family members.

SUBMIT: The Greek word is hupŏtassō, which means to put under, subordinate, be in subjection to, and be under obedience. Although it does not sanction complete male domination and authoritative rule. In fact, Paul describes a new sense of equality that should operate within the body of Christ in Galatians 3:28. However, husbands should take the family leadership role and on decisions where there’s not complete agreement, wives should defer to their husbands.

Submission is a regular part of discipleship for all Christ-followers.

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” In Ephesians 5:21, Paul encourages mutual submission of husbands and wives. And Luke describes Jesus’ submissive relationship to his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, using the same Greek word hupŏtassō.

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. (ESV, Luke 2:51)

In other words, the perfect Son of God willingly submitted to his imperfect, human parents.

LOVE: In today’s modern culture, sexual attraction and romance are the popular feelings that drive the relationship between men and woman considering marriage. And these feeling are best represented by the Greek word, Eros. Although Eros is never used in the New Testament, its expression is addressed in New Testament teachings and clearly present in the Song of Solomon. But here, Paul uses the Greek agape, which describes God’s unconditional love for us. And the Godly love we should demonstrate to others as well. But why for marriage?

Perhaps it’s because the sexual desires and romantic passions that drive youthful relationships are not reliable for lasting marriages. Is this not what we see consistently in our sexually driven culture? Rather, it’s the profound and substantive agape love that builds a meaningful, lifetime commitment. One that doesn’t just satisfy its own desires, but seeks the other person’s welfare.

OBEDIENCE: The Greek is hupakŏuō, which means to hear under as a subordinate, listen attentively, and conform to a command or authority. Obedience both honors parents and expresses trust in them. And children who are secure in their parents’ love are more willing to accept parental decisions as made with their welfare in mind. Especially when love and concern works both ways between parents and children.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identifies God’s prescription for parents and work relationships

V.21-22 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

But parental expectations for a child’s obedience can also be abused. And Paul quickly warns about carrying parental authority too far and “provoking” children, which is the Greek ĕrĕthizō. It means to stimulate to anger, and can “discourage” them, which is the Greek athumĕō. It means to be spiritless, disheartened, and dismayed. In other words, parenting requires a balance. It should exercise loving discipline and correction along with encouragement and loving support.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identifies our calling for vocational purpose

V.23-25 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Although Paul speaks in the cultural context of the Roman practice of slavery, the principle he offers applies to us as well. Especially in how we approach our vocation. Because today, there is much emphasis placed on achieving a personal sense of purpose and fulfillment through our careers. And while scripture supports the idea of taking pride in and finding satisfaction in hard work, Paul suggest a higher calling. To work in a way that pleases not just an earthly boss, but our heavenly father. And that in doing so, there are also eternal rewards.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.