In over two decades of teaching, preaching, and pastoring, I have taught parishioners that any time you read a promise in the Bible, you need to start looking around for the conditions to obey in order to receive the promise. If you do your part in obeying the Scripture, God does His part, and the promise will be realized in you. It's a central theme throughout the Bible. The "Bible Promise" books that have been so popular over the years leave the conditions of the promises of God out, leaving people standing on the promises, but ignorant to the conditions to obey in order to receive them.
Now we have a book that explains how to read and understand Scripture finding the conditions that lead to fulfilled promises, and it is written by a friend and mentor of mine, Robert P. Holland, who has been pastoring since 1965. First a word concerning Pastor Holland, and then I will talk more about his book which I have completed reading and highly recommend for all those who are serious about understanding and receiving the promises of Holy Scripture.
Pastor Holland is one of my heroes of faith. I have known him for two decades and had opportunity to sit under his ministry for a short season prior to pastoring my first church in the early 1990s. Pastor Holland has a keen understanding of Scripture that is reflected in his life. He portrays the image of Christ more than any other person I have had the privilege of knowing. His ability to communicate and teach the Word is a gift given to us by God. Those who have had the privilege of sitting under his ministry have not experienced a famine of the Word under it, and have instead been given a bountiful feast that brings growth in the Lord.
I just finished reading his book, Some Understand 1 + 6 = 7, and highly recommend it. The book begins with an explanation of the title which is fundamental to the 44 chapters which follow. In each chapter, which Pastor Holland refers to as "Wisdom and Promise workshops", a Scripture promise and its conditions (Pastor Holland refers to as "Wisdom") are identified and proper exegesis, application and exhortation is given.
For those who will read the book, I believe that the Holy Spirit will bring attention to the areas of life where proper wisdom is not applied, and where promises are not being realized, allowing for proper application of Scripture to take place. I"m sure that every reader who has a desire to please God and live for Him will be able to properly apply wisdom and receive promises as they prayerfully read and glean from each chapter.
There have been some great books that I have read that I commit to reading again. With this book, I plan to incorporate it into my daily discipline of reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture, by reading a chapter each day for a while to come. In the days ahead, I will also be tweeting (@Gregory_Johnson) some quotes from the book and posting some quotes on my Facebook page (GregoryAJohnsonPage).
I encourage you to get a copy of the book today, read it, and let God speak into your life as you discover the wisdom and promises that God would have you receive. The book is available as a paperback and as an ebook on Amazon. Click here and get your copy today - Some Understand 1 + 6 = 7: Finding Wisdom and Receiving Promises.
Beloved, in the world there is sin, sickness, disease and disability. As Christ followers, we have citizenship in God’s Kingdom that Christ is ruling over.
Our citizenship is not of this world and we are to utilize our remaining days on earth putting our faith in action so that those in need can have opportunity to experience Jesus’ forgiveness of sins while seeing the Kingdom in action and desiring to be a part of it. In God’s Kingdom there is love, grace, peace and freedom with race, gender, health and economic equality for all.
Jesus, knowing what was in their heart, gave the physical evidence that verified that He had the authority to forgive sins. He gave the paralytic specific instruction and when the paralytic obeyed Jesus, physical healing took place. This man not only received the forgiveness of sin, but He could finally move and walk. The people were amazed and God was glorified.
Friend, we are sinners and Christ forgives sins. A church doesn’t. A pastor or priest doesn’t. Church membership or church attendance doesn’t. Christ does. I encourage you to allow Christ to forgive you of your sins today. Scripture tells us ”This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10 ESV)”
In the first five verses of chapter two in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is ministering in a house in Capernaum. He is preaching about the Kingdom, repentance and faith. The house is so full of people, not another person could get through the entrance. Mark tells us that there was a paralytic who was brought to the house by four friends. They had heard about the Kingdom that Jesus was introducing throughout the land in both His words and through His actions. If they could just get this paralytic friend to Jesus they knew that things would be different.
They didn’t let a packed house and blocked entry way stop them. They took the man up to the roof, removed the tiles and lowered the man down on his bed. This took much faith, both in the paralytic and his friends “and when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””
Don't allow any obstacles keep you and your friends from Jesus and His Kingdom that He is ruling over.
And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (Mark 2:1-5 ESV)
In this paragraph of Scripture, we see four friends of a paralytic believe in health equality for all. Their friend can’t walk and they desire that he can walk like they do. This desire compels them to go out of their way to make sure this friend gets to Jesus because they see through Jesus’ actions health equality. So they believe the message that Christ is preaching – the Kingdom is at hand, repent and believe. In their actions, Jesus see’s faith, but His next words are rather starting as he looks at the man on the mat and says “your sins are forgiven”. Jesus knows that the greatest need in this man’s life is the forgiveness of sins that follows repentance and belief. Jesus takes care of this greatest need and as God Himself, He forgives sins.
Beloved, our greatest need in life is the forgiveness of sin and only God can do that in our life. We can not do it, the church can not do it, denominations can not do it, church leadership can not do it and people can not do it. Only God can forgive sins as we repent and believe in Christ and His message acknowledging that He is ruling over His Kingdom that we desire to be participants in. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)”
More to come tomorrow... Your comments are encouraged!
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