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Archive for March, 2013

Verses 11-12: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,”

I marvel at the miracles I get to see when I’m participating in Carpenters for Christ mission trips. You see, not everyone is a carpenter by trade; our main leaders on the jobsite are experienced contractors/builders. Some of us have specialized skills that God uses. For examples, most of our men can’t wire a building…that’s up to the electrician on our mission who has the skills, experience, and know-how to show others how to wire the building for electricity. Not all of us know how to hook up plumbing…that’s up to those men on our team who have that knowledge, experience, and skill. Some of us (like me) couldn’t drive a nail with a 10-pound hammer! 🙂 However, God uses my abilities with video equipment and computers to record the mission, assemble the story on a DVD, and use it to tell others about the mission purpose (whether it’s to those who benefitted from the mission or prospective churches in the future who have the right to ask, “do you know what you are doing?”)

God equips us as to His purpose. Not everyone is a Billy Graham. Not everyone is a Tony Evans. Not everyone is an Amy Grant or a Sandi Patti or a George Beverly Shea. Then again, not everyone is a Scott Smith or a Richie Ashburn or a Dexter James. Not everyone is a Gene Harden or a Rebecca Patrick or a Carlvin Shirah or a Wason Carroll or a Jeff Brogdon. And not everyone is my wife or is me. Do not envy others as to what they can do; it’s okay to compliment them on what they do (especially if they do it for the Lord), but praise God that they use their gifts for God. Thank God for the gifts He has given you, and make sure you use those gifts for “the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”.

Happy Easter!

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Verses 9-10: “(Now this “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

I work in a building that is 2 ½ stories tall…in other words, the bottom-most floor is only half a floor and built into the side of a hill. Our front entrance is actually on the second floor. This can be confusing, especially to those visitors who don’t know which floor they’re on, since there are 3 floor buttons in the elevator. Funnier than that, is the time I entered the elevator on the first floor, and pressed ‘1’. Nothing happened; this device was supposed to ascend and take me to the floor with the front entrance on it! (forgetting, of course, that it was the 2nd floor I wanted). The elevator, had it had a voice, probably would’ve said, “I’ve done all I was supposed to do.” Finally it dawned on me which floor I really wanted…I pressed ‘2’, the doors closed, and the elevator ascended to the 2nd floor.

Little did I know what God had in store for me concerning today’s verse. I felt Him lead me to this verse, and the Holman commentary even had extra verbiage on the controversy some historians have had about what this verse means. I consulted with my pastor, Bro. Dexter James, who was very instrumental in discussing these verses; he had run into such discussion before regarding these verses and companion verses in 1 Peter 3:18-20. He loaned me his copy of A Pilgrim Priesthood – An Exposition of the Epistle of First Peter by Dr. Paige Patterson (publisher T. Nelson, 1982); within was a good dissertation on these theories and what could be interpreted (my wife and I had an intense Bible study that afternoon! :-)). There has been much discussion of just where Christ was after He died and before He arose on the third day. Without going into a lengthy disposition of theories (did He really descend into Hell, etc.), the bottom line is…He died. He said on the cross “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit (Luke 23:46)”; God had His spirit. His body lay in the grave, and on the third day, when the sacrifice was complete….when the plan was fulfilled, God raised Him, and He lived again, our Savior! For the sacrifice to be complete, a lamb couldn’t run away from the altar; it was killed, and laid on the altar. The fire destroyed it, and the smoke was a “sweet aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:13) (Some of the research on the ritual of the sacrifice I got from the following Society of Biblical Literature website article by William K. Gilders: http://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/TBv2i5_Gilders2.pdf .) Death was the act of destruction here, but once done, it was finished! Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, and no more did someone have to sacrifice animals for sin offerings…Jesus paid it all! He descended down to earth, became the perfect sacrifice; He was dead and when God raised Him after 3 days, He ascended back to Heaven. We only have to accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and believe that to be saved.

Again, the bottom line is, is that the verse is about Jesus. He came down and lived a perfect life as a human being like us, yet He did not sin. He died for us, and God raised Him back to life, alive! He did all He was supposed to do.

Now that is something to think about!

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