Who Is Jesus?

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The focus of the Gospel of John is to answer the question, “Who Is Jesus?” The answer to this question gives insight into another question, “Who Is God?” In the opening eighteen verses of this Gospel, John uses several descriptive terms to identify Jesus. They are: Word, Creator, Life and Light, Only begotten Son, and Christ.
Jesus the Word
“In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1:1). John is the only New Testament writer to use the term, Word, to describe Jesus. The Greek word logos is translated by the English term, Word. John is referring to the fact that Jesus is the full and complete revelation of God (deity) to the world. Jesus declares the Father (John 1:18). Every characteristic of deity was possessed by Jesus (John 14:9, Col. 2:9). He is the express image of the Father (Heb. 1:3). To affirm that Jesus is deity is to give insight into the godhead. Clearly, in John 1:1, the Word was with God (distinct from God the Father, but present with Him in the beginning-Gen. 1:1) as part of the godhead. The Word was God (God is from the Greek word theos indicating the nature of His essential being–or deity). The Word is an agent of Creation. Creative power belongs to God alone and Jesus is creator (John 1:3). Therefore, Jesus is God (deity). God (the Triune God) is an eternal, self-existing, all-powerful spiritual being manifested in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each of these persons share together in one divine essence to form one essential being–the Triune God. This understanding of the godhead is further developed in the Gospel of John. It emphatically refutes atheism.
Jesus the Creator
“All things were made by him…” (John 1:3). “All things…” refers to each item individually considered. Each minute part of the creation is included in the creative power manifested by the Word. “Made” means “came into being.” This refutes the concept of the eternality of matter. Every material thing that exists in the universe had a beginning. “By” indicates agency. Jesus was with God the Father at the beginning of all things (Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16). Jesus possessed and demonstrated full creative powers–a characteristic of deity. If we deny creation, we deny the true identity of Jesus Christ. If we deny Jesus as creator, we must also deny Him as savior of the world!
Jesus the Life and Light
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus is the source of all life-physical, spiritual and eternal-because He is the creator of all things. All life comes from Him who is the source of life. Consequently, belief in Jesus requires that we reject the notion of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation, the notion that non-living things can produce living organisms has never been proven scientifically. Yet, this concept is an important aspect of organic evolution. Not only is Jesus the life (John 14:6), but, He is the light. The word light refers to truth and moral uprightness (John 14:6). Light is in conflict with darkness (error and moral corruption). But, light dispels the darkness (John 3:21). Men love darkness rather than light because the truth rebukes their sinful deeds. The only hope men have to win over sin and death is to come to the light.
Jesus the Only Begotten Son
Twice in the prologue to John’s Gospel Jesus is referred to as “the only begotten Son” (John 1:14, 18). In John 1:14, the affirmation is made that the Word was made flesh. This refers to the Virgin Birth of Jesus. The conception of Jesus was a miracle. Luke describes it in these words, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb…Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall these things be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31-35). Jesus was (eternally existed) but He was made or became flesh (at a certain point in history) (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is the Second Person of the godhead who took human form and was made in the likeness of a servant for the purpose of suffering the death on the cross and securing our eternal redemption (Phil. 2:5-11).
Jesus the Christ
“…but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The word Christ refers to the Messiah. Jesus is the anointed one. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism (Matt. 3:16-17, Acts 10:38). John the baptist was an eyewitness to this event (John 1:32-34). John’s testimony validates Jesus’ claim to be the hope of Israel and the hope of the world. Jesus Christ gives us grace and truth. Grace is the unmerited favor of God and reveals God’s goodness toward us in the unspeakable gift of His Son (John 3:16; II Cor. 9:15). Truth is the very words proceeding forth from God (the Triune God). The words of Jesus (His teaching, especially His commands) will judge us in the last day (John 12:48).
The revelation of Jesus Christ by John is convincing and faith producing. It is only by believing in Jesus Christ that we can have eternal life (John 20:30-31). Authentic faith in Jesus involves trusting Him and obeying Him (John 3:36). Do you know Jesus? Have you obeyed Him?

Power to Prevail: The Battle of Ai

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Around B.C. 1400, Joshua, the newly appointed leader of the children of Israel, led in a successful attack against the city of Jericho.  Jericho represented the “firstfruits” of the conquest of the land of Canaan by the Israelites.  During this campaign, God forbade Israel from taking any of the spoils from the battle for themselves (Joshua 6:18,19).  The spoils of the battle belonged to God.  The “accursed things” (items under the ban) were dedicated to God.
Sabatoging Success
In Joshua 7:1, 20-21, we are told that Achan coveted some of the items, stole them and hid them in the floor of his tent.  The items were:  a Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver and a wedge of gold that weighed 50 shekels.  Achan stole these items from God.  During the first battle of Ai, Israel mustered 3,000 men to go up against the city.  The total population of Ai was 12,000.  The men able to fight wars in Ai were few.  However, when Israel engaged in the battle with the men of Ai, they were defeated.  Thirty-six Israelites died.  These are the only causualites Israel suffered during the conquest.  Why were they defeated?  The sin of Achan sabatoged victory!  God withdrew His favor.
Securing Success.
God told Joshua that there was sin in the camp.  Joshua set up a procedure to discover the person and his sin.  A search was made among the tribes and families of Israel and Achan was revealed to be the transgressor.  Joshua confronts Achan and says, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.”  Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it” (Joshua 7:19-20).  God had instructed Joshua to punish him.  Achan, his family and his livestock were brought to the valley of Achor.  Achan and his family were stoned and then burnt with fire (Joshua 7:25).  The sin in the camp was purged and so Israel was sanctified before God.  This is the first step toward success.
The second step involved following the strategy that God gave Joshua for victory.  God instructed Joshua to lay an ambush against the city of Ai.  Joshua laid out the plan before his army.  Joshua divides the army of 30,000 men into two groups.  One group of 5,000 would form an ambush against Ai by positioning themselves on the west side of the city.  Joshua and the remaining army would attack from the north side of the city.  Joshua planned to withdraw after beginning to attack, in order to draw the men of Ai from the city.  He said, “…for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them…” (Joshua 8:6-7).  When the men of Ai pursue after the Israelites, then the ambush would arise and go into the city and set it on fire.  When Joshua saw the smoke of the city going up, he would turn his army to fight the men of Ai.  The plan worked.  Israel defeated Ai that day and took all of the possessions of the people for spoil.
Lessons.
Several lessons can be drawn from this battle.  First, you win with God and you face defeat without Him.  Second, you sabotage success by sinning.  God withholds His favor. Third, you secure success thr0ugh sanctification (purging out the sin) and following the strategy God gives for victory.  Part of that strategy involves taking advantage of your enemies’ weaknesses.  The men of Ai were arrogant after they won a minor victory over Israel in the first battle.  This made them vulnerable to ambush.  Following God’s strategy for victory led to triumph.  We have power to prevail over all enemies when we team up with God, remove sin from our lives and pursue God’s will in faith.

Face To Face With God

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In II Samuel 12, one of the most dramatic moments in the life of David is revealed to us.  David is confronted by the prophet, Nathan, regarding his sin with Bathsheba.  David comes face to face with himself, with God’s judgment, with God’s grace and with God’s glory.
Face to Face With Yourself
Facing the truth about yourself is most troubling.  Many avoid it entirely.  The lies we tell ourselves are attempts to conceal the truth about ourselves.  Some questions we must consider are: “Who do you think you are?”  and “Who do you think God is?”  David was the champion of Israel, her greatest warrior, Israel’s most illustrious king, and author of many of the Psalms.  Yet, he was a sinner.  David’s fall began with an indecent thought about another man’s wife.  It grew with site of her unclothed (II Sam. 12:2-4) and it blossomed into lust that concluded in sexual sin.  It developed further in lies and murder.  His sin was accomplished “secretly” as far as men were concerned, but “openly” as far as God was concerned. Nathan was sent by God to confront David about his sin.  God knows all things including the secret things of man. Nathan tells a short story about a man who took another man’s only lamb.  David immediately perceives the injustice of the act and condemned it.  Then, Nathan tells David, “Thou art the man.”  This stunning revelation to David pierced through the lies David had told himself and exposed the truth about him.  This is strong medicine.  But, its design is to save the soul.  David confesses his sin (II Sam. 12:13, Psa. 51:4).  He comes face to face with the truth about himself.  Sin is a great leveler.  David now occupies common ground.  His need for redemption is shared with all others who have succombed to temptation’s power.
Face To Face With God’s Judgment
When Nathan delivers God’s message to David, it contains God’s judgment.  God, through Nathan, rehearses all of the blessings he had given to David.  God gave David everything he needed and more.  He said that, if that were not enough, He would have given him even more.  David’s sin involved ingratitude for all that God had given him.  David was not content.  He desired what God had forbidden. God’s justice rains down hard on David.  God said that the sword would never depart from David’s house.  He told David that He would raise  up adversity against him from his own house.  God would take his wives and give them to his neighbor before all Israel.  Finally, God told David that the child conceived with Bathsheba would die (II Sam. 12:14).
Face To Face With God’s Grace
David confessed his sin (II Sam. 12:13).  Honesty with self shatters pride.  He pleads for mercy, cleansing and grace (Psa. 51).  God answers his plea and pardons his sin (II Sam. 12:14).  God told David, “I have put away thy sin.  You will not die, but the child conceived between you and Bathsheba will die.”  All of the consequences of sin are not erased by God’s forgiveness.
Face to Face With God’s Glory
The Lord struck the child so that it became very ill (II Sam. 12:15).  David pleads for the child’s life.  He prays and fasts.  He lays prostrate on the ground all night.  On the seventh day, the child dies.  David arose, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes and went to the house of the LORD and worshiped.  This moment deserves a long pause for thought.  While many curse God or attack God and turn away from Him after facing similar dilemmas, David in a moment of deep humility and profound reverence, enters into God’s presence and worships.  He enters into the presence of God and contemplates His glory.  There are times in the human experience, when we must let God be God!  David’s loss is great.  His heart is heavy.  His humility before God stays any anger and he quietly draws near to God.  In this act of deep devotion, he reveals his utter dependence upon God (II Sam. 12:16-23).  Here is the man later described as “a man after God’s own heart.”
Before the child died, David hoped in God’s providential will.  He states, “Who can tell whether the child may live?”  David knew God’s revealed will.  But, he hopes in God’s provdential will.  Once the child dies, David knows that God’s revealed will and His providential will are one.  There was no going back.  He must go forward.  Yet, he continues to hope in God’s revealed will–the resurrection of the dead.  David says, “he will not come to me, but I will go to him.”  All is resolved by absolute trust in God.
David’s Journey and Ours
Every person must come face to face with the truth about himself/herself.  Every person must come face to face with God and know His judgment, His grace and His glory.  This is the pathway of redemption.  Everyone who desires to see God and be with Him in eternity must walk it.

The Art of Battling Giants

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In I Samuel 17, the armies of the Philistines and the Israelites were set in battle array against each other in the area of Shochoh.  Saul was king of Israel at this time. The Philistines had a champion named Goliath who was nine feet nine inches tall.  He was heavily armed.  His wore a helmet made of brass.  He had a coat of mail that weighed 5,000 shekels of brass.  He had greaves of brass upon his legs and a target of brass between his shoulders.  He possessed a spear the shaft of which was like a weaver’s beam and the head of which weighed 600 shekels of iron. To complete his armament, a shield bearer went before him.  Goliath was an awesome spectacle.
The giant taunted the armies of Israel.  He challenged them to send out a man from among the army to fight with him.  The challenge involved a winner- take- all element.  The losing side would become servants to the winner.  There would be no more fighting.  The conflict would be resolved by this one battle between two men from opposing sides.
Saul and the army of Israel feared Goliath.  No man dared step forward.  David came into the camp of Israel bringing supplies for his brethren.  While in the camp, David hears Goliath’s taunt and makes an immediate response.  David’s heart was stirred within him and he seized the moment and volunteered to fight the giant.
Saul does not think David is fit for battle.  Saul believes David is too inexperienced and weak.  David persists and relates that God had delivered him from a lion and a bear.  Saul relinquishes and attempts to outfit David with his own armor.  However, David did not approve and rejected Saul’s armor on the basis that he had not proved the weapons.  Instead, he chose a sling, five stones and his staff to face the giant, Goliath.
Ancient armies like Israel had three types of soldiers.  The first was cavalry.  These men were armed and road on horseback or in chariots.  The second was infantry.  These men were foot soldiers who wore armor and carried swords and engaged in hand to hand combat.  The third was projectile warriors.  These men were archers and slingers.  Slingers had a leather pouch attached on two sides by a strand of rope.  They would put a rock or lead ball into the pouch, swing it around in increasingly wider and faster circles, and then release one end of the rope, hurling the rock forward to its mark.  Slinging took an extraordinary amount of skill and practice.  In Judges 20:16, the Bible indicates that some slingers could throw a stone within a “hair’s breadth.”  An experienced slinger could kill or seriously injure a target at a distance of up to two hundred yards.  Paintings from medieval times depict slingers hitting birds in midflight.  The Romans had a special set of tongs made just to remove stones that had been embedded in some poor solider’s body by a sling.
David had no intention of honoring Goliath’s call to single, hand-to-hand combat.  He was a slinger and would strike the giant from a distance.  His strategy was an important part of his victory.  He runs toward Goliath using both speed and agility.  He attacks the giant from a comfortable distance and takes him by surprise.  He aims at Goliath’s forehead–the giants most vulnerable point.  He puts the stone into the sling and hurls it around and around, faster and faster and at six or seven revolutions per second, he releases one end of the rope and sends the stone speeding toward its target.  Eitan Hirsch, a ballistics expert with the Israeli Defense Forces, recently did a series of calculations showing that a typical-size stone hurled by an expert slinger at a distance of thirty-five meters would have hit Goliah’s head with the velocity of thirty-four meters per second–more than enough to penetrate his skull and render him unconscious or dead.  This is the equivalent of a fair-size modern handgun.  David could have attacked Goliath in a little more than a second.  David changed the shape of the battle.  He used strategy, skill, speed, and surprise and won a great victory.
The duel reveals our assumptions about power.  Saul and the army of Israel feared Goliath because they measured his strength in terms of physical might.  David is small and weak, but reveals that power can come forth in strategy and substituting speed and surprise for strength and using skill to defeat an opponent.   In many ways, David had the advantages and used them to execute a great victory.
The duel also reveals assumptions about the enemy.  Saul and the army of Israel thought they knew Goliath, but did they?   Goliath was certainly big and had proven himself adept at hand-to-hand combat.  However, his size also worked against him.  He was heavy and slow.  He asks for David to come to him.  He cannot maneuver well.  His giant size may have been attrributable to acromegaly –a condition where a binign tumor on the pituatary gland causes an overproduction of human growth hormone.  A side effect of this condition is poor eye sight.  Goliath may have had difficulty seeing David.  David carried only one staff.  But, Goliath mentions staves (plural).  Golaith did not respect David.  Instead, he mocks him.  He seem oblivious to what is really going on around him.  He is dull rather than sharp.  David exploited his enemie’s vulnerabilities which led to his triumph.
David also possessed some intangibles.  David had tremendous faith in God.  He was confident that he could defeat Goliath because of past victories that God had given to him over a lion and a bear.  He was courageous because of his authentic faith in the living God.  In short, David had heart!
Goliath was defeated by a smaller, in some ways weaker, but smarter adversary.  David used strategy, speed, surprise, and skill to defeat Goliath.  His spirit was strong and his confidence was high.  He never doubted his ability to win.  He knew the vulnerabilities of his enemy and exploited them.  In the end, David triumphed and began a long career of military accomplishments.
As we begin a New Year, let us go forth in the spirit of David.  Let us be smarter in fighting our adversary the devil.  Let us go forth in the strength of the Lord.  Let us connect with God by faith and obedience to His will for the “battle belongs to the Lord.”  (reference:  Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath, pp. 3-15).

Challenge Yourself!

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Caleb was a member of the tribe of Judah.  He was selected at the age of forty to help eleven other men spy out the land of Canaan.  The children of Israel had just fled Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, encamped at Sinai and were now poised to enter the promised land.  Twelve spies were sent to investigate the land.  Ten of the spies brought back an evil report saying that the Israelites were too weak to conquer the inhabitants of the land.  They balked in unbelief.  Joshua and Caleb spoke of Israel’s capability to conquer the land.  They spoke by faith in God.  They desired to be obedient to God’s command (Deut. 7:1-4).  The unbelief of the ten spies infected the rest of the people and they feared and refused to go up and conquer the land.  For this rebellion, God punished them.  Those twenty years old and up were sentenced to die in the wilderness before entering into Canaan.  Two exceptions were made to this decree by God.  Joshua and Caleb would be rewarded for their faith and they would possess the land (Num. 13:6,8; 17-20).  Clearly, they had a different spirit within them.  They were motivated by faith in the one, true, and living God.
God promised Caleb, “Him will I bring into the land whereinto he went: and his seed shall possess it” (Num. 14:24).  Caleb was preserved by God.  He endured forty years of wildnerness wanderings with God’s people.  He spent five years with Joshua in the conquest of Canaan.  His strength was not abated at the age of eighty-five when he made a special request of Joshua.
Caleb’s request was made during the time that Joshua was dividing the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel.  It is recorded in Joshua 14:6-12.  “And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.  Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said” (Joshua 14:10-12).
Caleb’s inheritance was located in the the middle of the land given to the tribe of Judah.  Joshua heeded Caleb’s request and gave him Hebron and the surrounding area for his possession.  Thus God’s promise to him was fulfilled.
Even though Caleb was advanced in years, he challenged himself to accomplish great things.  His words not only speak of his physical strength and ability, but they resonate with confidence in God.
Will you take up the challenge?  Challenge yourself in some new way in 2014.  Consider some of these suggestions to help motivate you.
Challenge yourself to learn something new.  It is possible to continue learning even though one is advancing in years.  Why develop a new skill or ability?  There are many areas of work in the Lord’s kingdom that we can apply this principle to.  Have you ever taught a Bible class?  Have you lead the singing?  Have you written a book?  Have you ever attempted to write a hymn?  Why not explore your potential?
Challenge yourself to overcome a weakness.  Must we continually perpetuate our weaknesses?  Have we become dependent upon them for excuses for our failures?  What about overcoming procrastination, lateness, absenteeism from the worship assemblies, lukewarmness and other weaknesses that become besetting sins?
Challenge yourself to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word.  Have you read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation?  Why not set this as a personal goal in 2014?  It takes less than nine hours to read through the New Testament!  You could read through the New Testament many times in the New Year.
Challenge yourself to love deeper.  We need to grow in love.  We need to work to master love.  Love for God is the greatest commandment.  Love for neighbor is next (Matt. 22:36-39).  Pettiness, selfishness, pride and arrogance need to be slain in us and replaced with virtues that honor God.  In I Cor. 13:4-8, Paul lists the virtues of love.  Read this passage and master the characteristics that will enrich the human heart.
Challenge yourself to follow God in all things.  Caleb did this even when the command of God was demanding.  We often shrink back and hold back from obeying God when what He commands is difficult.  God’s commands are not grievous, but they can be demanding of courage and sacrifice.  We cannot pick and choose what commands we will obey.  We must do all of the will of God.
Challenge yourself to forgive.  Is there anything more demanding than forgiving your enemies?  Often times when we are injured, we desire to get even.  We seek revenge rather than reconciliation.  Jesus is the epitome of the forgiving spirit (Luke 23:34).  Forgiveness was on His lips in the final moments of His life.
When Caleb was eighty-five years old, he still had a vision for what he wanted to accomplish with his life.  He had a different spirit within him.  He was driven by faith.  What about your faith?  What’s your vision?

The Cure For Impatience

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We have mastered impatience!  Have you ever been behind a car at a stoplight when it turns green and the car in front of you fails to go forward and just sets still? Have you ever been in a check-out line when the cashier makes a mistake and it takes ten minutes to correct it?  Have you ever attempted to order food at a fast-food restaurant and the person waiting on you is new and doesn’t know what to do first?  In each of these scenarios, do you wait patiently?  Most of us have been in these situations and were upset because we had to wait.  We know the feelings of irritation, frustration, and anger when someone else fails to do his/her job and we pay the price in lost time and incovenience.  Yes, we have mastered impatience.
There are three reasons that impatience comes to characterize our hearts.  First, we are overscheduled.  We are like a glass of water that is full to the brim.  Anytime we are jostled, we spill over.  We are so overscheduled in life that we have no flexibility.  Second, we hold to unrealistic expectations of others.  We actually have developed a double-standard.  We expect other people to always get it right and not make mistakes that will cost us personally.  However, when we mess up, we have many excuses as to why we failed and we want others to cut us some slack.  Third, we have an oversized ego and are arrogant.  We have feelings of superiority to others whom we think are inferior to us.  We are impatient with others when we feel that we are better than they are and we can work faster, think smarter, and accomplish more than them.
If we are impatient with people, we are probably impatient with God too!  Remember Abram and Sarah?  In Gen. 16, they ran ahead of God in the matter of having an heir and Sarah permitted Abram to be with Hagar and together they produced a son, Ishmael.  Ishmael was not the promised son.  Abram and Sarah grew impatient.  Twenty-five years passed from the time God promised Abram a son until Isaac was born.  Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled.  We must learn to “wait upon the Lord.” Faith in God produces patience with God.  God works all things out according to His own timetable. Trust Him!
God is longsuffering toward us (II Pet. 3:9).  The word longsuffering means “long-tempered.”  It is the opposite of being “short-tempered.”  Why is God patient with us?  The answer is given in this verse, He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  God is merciful.  His mercy produces longsuffering.  Mercy is the antidote to impatience.
If you want to become more patient, you must become more merciful!  If you want to be more patient with God, you must trust Him implicitly.

Almighty God

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“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Gen. 17:1).  This is the first time, the name, Almighty God, appears in Scripture.  This is the tenth name for God in the Old Testament (beginning with Genesis 1:1).  This name means, the Strong One. God is all-powerful.  No power is as great as God’s.  Every force under, in, or above, the earth must therefore be dependent upon, subservient to, and by the permission of, Him who told Abram, I am God Almighty.
Creative Power.
God created the entire universe from that which did not exist before (Heb. 11:3). “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”  God spoke the universe into existence.  “He spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast” (Psa. 33:9).  Gen. 1:3, “And God said, Let there be light, and there was light….”  The word of God is powerful.
Punitive Power.
Due to the extreme wickedness of man, God determined to destroy the earth by a universal flood (Gen. 6:5 and 7).  Noah was commanded to build an ark to the saving of his house.  Noah did all that God commanded.  The time came for the windows of heaven to be opened and the fountains of the deep to be broken up and God caused the entire earth to be flooded 15 cubits above the mountains (Gen. 7:20).  This was a miracle.  It demonstrates the punitive power of Almighty God.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31).
Providential Power.
Several times in the book of Genesis God demonstrates His providential power.  In Gen. 14:19,20, the king of Salem, Melchizedek,  recognizes the providential hand of God in helping Abraham secure a victory over Chedorlaomer and those kings allied with him.  He states, “And blessed be the most high God,which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand…”  In Gen. 20:18, God intervenes to protect the purity of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and to protect the promise He had made to Abraham and Sarah concerning the son of promise, Isaac.  The sacred text reads, “For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.” Many times in the book of Genesis, God’s providential power is manifested.
Miraculous Power.
God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah concerning having a son took twenty-five years to fulfill.  The time period alone was a test of Abraham and Sarah’s faith.  Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born.  Both were old.  Sarah was past the time of child bearing.  She had been barren all of her life.  Yet, God blessed them with a baby son.  Isaac was the son of promise and God miraculously intervened in order for Abraham and Sarah to become parents.
Saving Power.
The first Messianic promise is recorded by Moses in Genesis 3:15.  The seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan) and Satan would bruise his heel.  The seed promise continues with Abraham.  Gen. 12:3, God told Abram, “in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.”  Later, in Gen. 22:18, God said, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”  This passage is referenced by the apostle Paul in Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”  Jesus Christ is the promised seed (Messiah) of Abraham.  Jesus brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.  The Gospel is God’s power to save men from the consequences of sin (Rom. 1:16, 6:23).  To be saved means to be delivered from the eternal consequences of sin which is everlasting punishment by God.  God has the power to save and He has the power to condemn.  God can save to the uttermost them that come to Him in faith and loving obedience to His Will.
Almighty God is a name for God that all of us must remember.  God is all-powerful.  God is over all.  We must be subject unto Him, fear Him, and surrender our lives in humble service to Him.

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