Tag Archives: water

Jesus Shines in the Old Testament

Jesus ShinesDid you know you can teach the gospel of Jesus Christ from the Old Testament? In fact, the gospel shines gloriously throughout the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures. Just before Jesus left the earth, He opened the minds of His disciples, saying,

“These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (Luke 24.44-45)

Bob Utley writes regarding this passage in his Luke commentary: “These represent the three divisions of the Hebrew Canon: Law, Prophets, and Writings. This context says something of the Christocentric unity of the Old Testament.”

Indeed, the entire Bible repeats a consistent theme with laser-like focus: Christ. In the Old Testament God lays the groundwork of the gospel, shows the necessity for a Savior, and promises to send a Messiah. In the New Testament God accomplishes and fulfills all things through His Son, Jesus.

Are you reading about the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden? Jesus fixes that broken relationship.

The Good ShepherdJesus is the Moses figure who leads His people out of slavery to sin, through the wilderness of this life, and finally into the promised land of heaven.

Jesus is the seed of Abraham through whom all nations would be blessed.

Jesus is the gentle lamb they ate at Passover.

Jesus is the manna which sustained Israel in the wilderness.

Jesus is the rock which followed Israel around in the wilderness providing them water.

Jesus is King David, the anointed one of God, the good shepherd.

Jesus is the sacrifice whose blood actually remits our sins.

I’m excited this year to read through the Old Testament history again–not because I find excitement in a bunch of dusty old stories, but because I find Jesus everywhere in them! He shines all around us, if we would only stop to see.


Baptized by One Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12-13)

Rushing RiverWe must understand passive verbs. I mean, we all do understand passive verbs, but sometimes we fail to make the proper connections.

A passive verb indicates an action is performed on the subject and not by the subject of the sentence.

If the subject performs the action, the verb is active. In the sentence “Johnny hit the ball,” the verb “hit” is active because Johnny (the subject) does the action.

In the sentence “The ball was hit by Johnny,” the verb “was hit” is passive because the ball does not perform the action but the action is performed on the ball (the subject) by Johnny.

We should pay attention to these kinds of verbs because the Bible is literally filled with passive verbs! We need to recognize them and understand their significance.

Today’s scripture is 1 Cor. 12:12-13. Look for the passive verbs:

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Do you see the two passive verbs?

1. We were all baptized.
As strange as it may seem, baptism is a passive activity on our part. Someone else performs the action on us. Someone else lowers us into the water. But this verse does not mention the person who baptized us in water; it mentions the Holy Spirit by whom we were baptized. What does that mean? Was the Spirit the One who baptized us? Were we baptized in the Spirit as opposed to water in the context of this verse? Depending on your overall understanding of salvation and the function of baptism, you might answer that question different ways. The wording and context of this verse is a bit ambiguous, not answering our questions as clearly as we might like. In any case, whatever power happened in our lives to baptize us into the one body of believers happened by the Holy Spirit’s influence.

This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3)

2. We were all made to drink.
Again, this action was performed on us by someone else. Someone made us drink of the Holy Spirit! Who did that? I dare say it was not the human being who baptized you in water! God did this work in you, if indeed you have been made to drink of the Spirit.

Now on the last day , the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)

May I share a mind-boggling verse with you from 1 Peter 1:1-2? Read it carefully and consider what this sentence actually says. Wrestle with the verb tenses.

Peter, and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:
May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Do you see the three prepositions following the verb “chosen”? In this verse, we do not choose God; He chooses us! This choice is passive on our parts. And we are chosen…

  1. according to the foreknowledge of God
  2. by the sanctifying work of the Spirit
  3. to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood

Chew on that for a while!

God bless you in your thoughts and studies.


Step Away from the Boat

Life is a Stormy Sea
Life is a Stormy Sea

Yesterday, I challenged the group of Christians meeting here in Mandeville, LA, to do four things this week. We studied the account of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33). Peter got out of the (relative) safety of his boat in order to walk towards Jesus!

1. Think about your comfort zones.

Where are you? What are your hobbies, routines, weekly hangouts and activities? How much time do you spend with close friends? How much time do you spend with your family? How much time do you spend on the TV, Internet, sports, etc?

Is your schedule getting in the way of serving God, your brethren, and your neighbors?

2. Think about where Jesus is.

Is Jesus in your activities? If Jesus came back right now, would you want Him to find you where you normally are? Maybe plopped down on the couch with a romance novel. Maybe glued to some action flick. If Jesus were here, on earth right now, what would HIS priorities be? What would He choose to do? Perhaps that kind of thinking is considered a bit radical, over the top, even unrealistic. But what kind of righteousness does Jesus expect from us? Didn’t Jesus call us to be like Him?

Seriously. What would Jesus do? That’s what we need to do.

3. Pray.

After you get a good picture of where YOU are in relation to where JESUS is, then it’s time to pray. Tell God where you are. Tell Him where you want to be. Ask Him to help you get there.

4. Get out of your boat and walk!

Then is the time for action. Be sure that God WILL help you get where you need to be. But you must work at it. “Well, which is it, Nathan? Is God working in me, or am I working?” Yes! “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). You must work. You must obey. And you realize, as you work, it is God who empowers, motivates, and works in you. So give Him the glory for whatever good comes from “your” work.

God bless,


Life in Christ

He Gives Life
He Gives Life

Last night I studied John 6:52-58 with some friends:

52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58 “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

Who is Jesus to you? Is He Lord? Master? King? Sovereign? Husband? Leader?

Is He your food and drink? Do you take Jesus into your own person? John uses light, the word, bread, and water to depict the Lord.

  • Jesus is the Word which became flesh. He brings “the words of eternal life (John 1:1, 14; 6:68)
  • Jesus is the Light which has come into the world (John 1:4-5, 9; 8:12). “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
  • Jesus is the True Bread from heaven, the bread of life (John 6:35, 48, 51, 55)
  • Jesus offers the Water of life (John 4:14; 7:37-39), the Holy Spirit
Water of Life
Water of Life

What do all of these have in common? Life. He is the life-giver. He not only sustains life here on earth, but He gives freely eternal life to those who believe on Him as the Son of God (the One who has the power to give life).

We live because of Him. Because He has proved Himself to be indestructible (Hebrews 7:16), we know He can deliver us from destruction!

Were is Life? It’s in Christ. And Christ has to be in you! So eat His flesh and drink His blood. Consume Him. Consume the word, the light, the true bread, the water of life. Internalize His character and His teachings. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. John 10:27-30

God bless you in your walk IN CHRIST!