Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2: Saved by Grace through Faith

                Paul explains that we are saved by grace that we might “…sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 4:8-9)

                We are indeed saved by grace, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ and not from works. In order to understand the FREE gift of Grace, we must understand what it means to have Faith in Jesus Christ. Having Faith in Jesus Christ means that we accept Him in our hearts, which means that we accept all of His teachings! If we say we accept Jesus Christ and then ignore His commandments, we are not accepting his grace through our faith. Paul does say that grace is not achieved through works, and this is absolutely true… you cannot only do good works and never accept Jesus Christ. You have to do both, but like he said… to not do them unto boasting.

Jesus Christ Himself said; “Not every one that saith unto, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21) See what Paul is trying to say after we read what Jesus said in Matthew? Being saved is not just about a verbal; “I accept Jesus Christ” neither is it a “I do good works, so I should be given grace”… rather it is about having Faith in Jesus Christ and desiring to live like Him!

Jesus goes on to state; “Many will say to me in that day [the day of judgment]. Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have we cast out devils? And thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23) Jesus clearly tells us that if we don’t have true Faith in Him, it does not matter how many times we claim to be doing good in His name, nor does it matter how many times we say His name, or say that we accept Him. It is a combination of good works that are brought on by our faith in Him.

Paul explains that if we do what is right and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, following the example He gave to us, we can be saved. He then tells the Saint in Ephesus that they “…are not more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;” (Ephesians 2:19-20)

                As Saints [members of Christ’s church] are not strangers, but fellow citizens of His household, which is built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets. This is the same organization that exists in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 12: Organization of the Church

                Paul speaks about Spiritual Gifts, and explains that there are a variety of gifts that can be given, a variety of administrations and diversities… but only one Spirit. Paul explains that “…no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

Examining what Paul said; ‘…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.’ This means that no one can claim to believe in Jesus Christ, without feeling the Holy Ghost testify of Him. Therefore we learn a very important principle; Spiritual knowledge can only be found through Spiritual means. Sure, someone can go and testify of Jesus Christ as being the Lord and someone listening to that knowledge can be converted. But, until the person being converted receives the knowledge Spiritually they cannot know and will not truly be converted. For this reason many do not believe in Jesus Christ, some even think believing in God is foolish. Why is this? Because they learn about God or Jesus through worldly knowledge and do not accept the knowledge that can only be gained spiritually.

Paul testifies that; “…by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or fee; and have been all made to drink into on Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) This scripture is similar to one we read later when Paul addresses the Ephesians, which reads: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5)

                So the question that has caused contentions throughout the world for 1,000’s of years… who is right? Which of all the churches, sects, religions is correct? Paul teaches that the church he belongs to (the one Jesus Christ established) was the correct church and because of that we can only be baptized into one body (or church) and there is only One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism. He said this to both the Corinthians and the Ephesians to convert them to the true church, because they were joining false religions that taught in contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is where Paul teaches about the TRUE ORGANIZATION of the Church of Jesus Christ;

“And God hath some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps [administrative offices, programs and provisions in place to help the saints], governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28)

Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) claims to be the TRUE church of Jesus Christ. LDS Doctrine believes that the Church Jesus Christ setup before He departed the world, slowly eroded until the last Apostle died and the power and Authority that He had given to them was no longer in the world. This period of time without the Authority (or priesthood) on the Earth was known as the Great Apostasy, which accounts partly for the time we know as the Dark Ages. After centuries of having no Authorized servant on the Earth, God decided to bring forth His church once more in the Last Days. God called a prophet and through that Prophet Jesus Christ restored His church on the earth. That church is known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that has the same organization Christ originally intended; Prophet, Apostles, Teachers, Evangelists and so forth.

Romans 12

Romans 12: Do Good, Not Evil

Paul explains that we need to be above the world; “…be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable… not to think of [yourself]more highly than [you] ought to think…” (Romans 12:2-3) Paul urges the Saints to be humble. Paul explains that just as the body has many members, so does the Church of Christ; “… as we have many members in our body… all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ…” (Romans 12:4-5) This means that the Church has offices, and these offices come by Authority (See Organization of the Church – Ephesians 4:11-15)

Paul’s Wisdom

                Paul leaves the Saints in Rome some great Wisdom, that can also be applied in the Modern World;

                “Let love be without dissimulation [concealing thoughts]. Abhor[hate]  that which is evil; cleave [hold on] to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21)

1 Kings 3-4

1 Kings 3-4

Chapter 3: Solomon’s Judgment

                Solomon takes one of the Pharaoh’s daughters as his wife. We learn that before the time of Solomon there were no standing temples. The Israelites would go to high places to do their sacrifices or in portable tent temples.

                Solomon is visited by the Lord who tells him that he will be blessed if he continues to follow the commandments. Solomon asks for a wise and understanding heart and this pleases the Lord because he did not ask for riches or a long life. So the Lord blesses him with a wise and understanding heart and because he didn’t ask for them he gave him riches as well.

                The rest of the chapter talks about 2 women who come before him and his judgment. Both women were living in the same house and gave birth within days from each other. One night however one of the women rolled over onto her baby, killing the child. So she switched the dead baby for the living baby of the other woman. The next morning the baby who had the living baby finds a dead baby and accuses the other woman for switching out the babies. Solomon decides to cut the baby in half and give them both halves. But the woman who was the real mother of the living baby told Solomon to just give the child to the other woman, whereas the mother of the dead baby tells Solomon that he should cut the baby in half. Well Solomon figures out that the woman who wants to spare the child, must be the actual mother and gives her the child instead.

Chapter 4: Solomon Reigns with Wisdom

  • Solomon was king over all of Israel.
  • There were 3 princes; Azariah, Elihoreph and Ahiah.
  • Scribe; Jehoshaphat.
  • Benaiah was over the host and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.
  • Azariah was over the officers.
  • Zadub was the principal officer.
  • Ahishar was over the household.
  • Adoniram was over the tribute.

Solomon had 12 officers over each tribe of Israel; the son of Hur, the son of Dekar, the son of Abinadab, the son of Hesed, the son of Ahilud, the son of Geber, the son of Manasseh, the son of Iddo, Ahimaaz, Baanah, Jehoshaphat,Shimei.

               

Solomon reigned over his entire kingdom with peace and prosperity, his wisdom and understanding exceeded that of all men. People came from all nations around to hear the wisdom of King Solomon.