Does The Golden Rule Really Rule Your Life?

Grace For The Journey


28Sept  Studies have shown that the happiest people in the world are those who invest their time in helping others.  How happy are you?  The Bible says in Matthew 7:12,

“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

These words from our Lord Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount are frequently referred to as “The Golden Rule.”  This teaching of Jesus is rooted in the Old Testament, which makes perfect sense seeing that the Bible is . . .






More than 1,500 years earlier, our Sovereign Lord had instructed the children of Israel in Leviticus 19:18,33-34,

“And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but  you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” … “The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

So, what exactly is this Golden Rule all about?  As an authoritative standard . . .

The Golden Rule is above all other rules

In both prominence and purity.

It is designed to govern

Our conduct and to grow our capacity

To bring ultimate glory to God


Incredible good to others.

I have heard it said that Jesus was not really teaching anything new here; that all religions teach basically the same principle, since at the core (“it is said”) all religions are fundamentally the same.

Is that notion true?

Let’s take a look:

The Hindu Religion says – “This is the sum of duty: do nothing to others which if it were done to you, would cause you pain.”

The Buddhist Religion says – “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”

The Muslim Religion says – “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”

Jewish Traditions (Talmud) – “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.”

Confucianism says – “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

Now . . . These are all good rules to follow, but you can see a major difference:

All these other religious rules are primarily negative – Do not do

While Christ’s Golden Rule is positive and proactive – Do!

Jesus is calling us to live a life of surrender to Him that leads to  joyful, intentional acts of loving, voluntary service.

Living out the Golden Rule tells the world Whose we are.

By nature, as children of Adam, we all live self-centered lives.  But when we turn from going our own way, accept what Jesus did on the cross and the empty tomb, and ask Him to be our Savior and Lord, we are raised from death to life by the power and grace of the Spirit of God, and that leads us to lay our lives down for others with hearts that beat for nothing other than Jesus . . . who, while we were still sinners, laid down His life for us.

So . . .

Does the Golden Rule rule in your life?

It is important that I add one final point before I end today’s blog.

I said earlier that “It is said” that . . .

“All religions are fundamentally the same.”

No statement could be more fundamentally false!

  • All the other religions and all the cults require man to strive to ascend to God by living a life of good works that will make him acceptable to God.
  • Only Christianity teaches that God descended to man in gracious love, because we are completely incapable of ascending to a perfectly holy God.
  • Only Christianity teaches that God alone has done all the work required for our salvation, all the work that makes us acceptable to Him – Jesus last words on the      cross were, “It is finished!”

Therefore . . .

We do our good works because God so loves us,

Not to try to make God love us.

This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”




Being Aware Of God’s Almighty Love!

Grace For The Journey


27Sept  Did you know that God knows EVERYTHING about you – every secret you would not want to share with anybody – and yet He still loves you UNCONDITIONALLY?  Now that is something worth knowing!

The Bible teaches this truth in John 4 where it says in verses 15-18,

“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draws.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband and come here.’  The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Youhave well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

This is John’s account of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.

It is one of the most beautiful pictures

Of God’s grace in all of sacred Scripture.

Here is a woman scorned by everyone who knew her.  She would not come to the well when all the other women were there because of their disdain and her shame.  She came at the hottest time of the day, hoping to see no one while she drew her water.  She had no idea that she was right on time for her divine appointment with Jesus, who was waiting to shower His grace upon her shame-filled life.

The Bible goes on to say in John 4:25-26, “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that messiah is coming (who is called Christ).  When He is come, He will tell us all things.’  Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”

John 4:29 tells us that the woman ran back to town, completely forgetting her water jar, running right into the midst of all those she had been so careful to avoid, and told them all, “Come, see a Man, who told me all things that I ever die.  Could this be the Christ?”  John 4:39 reports that this Samaritan woman evangelized her town and many came to faith in Jesus because of her testimony!  For the very first time in her life, she was “unashamed and forgiven” as she stood before the Holy One of God.

What was true for this Samaritan woman is true for me and you today.  We are all “unforgiven and ashamed” before God.  Remember, Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking and frequently commented on it (Matthew 9:4, Mark 2:8, Luke 5:22).  Yet we are still loved unconditionally. Jesus knows our every thought, word, deed, and desire, and He still loves us!

This kind of “Almighty awareness” should be a source of tremendous comfort to us.

To be fully known and completely loved is the desire of every heart;

Only in Christ can we find this kind of love.

Jesus was in the habit of showering His love on the lowest in society – outcasts like the Samaritan woman – and it drove the religious establishment absolutely mad.  They could not bring themselves to associate with “sinners,” because they simply could not see the sin in their own lives.

The log in their eyes blinded them to this truth.

So . . . regardless of where this finds you today, whether you are climbing to the summit or crushed under the waves of challenge, the Almighty is aware of every aspect of your life and is absolutely, 100% for you.  And if Jesus is for you, it really doesn’t matter what comes up against you . . . even thoughts of past mistakes!

This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


Blessed Without Blessings

Grace For The Journey


We in the West have a tendency to count our temporal blessings far more often than we do any of the spiritual ones.  Yet, if we had not one temporal blessing to speak of, we would still be blessed beyond measure.

Habakkuk knew this truth; the question today is . . . Do we?  Look at what he said in Habakkuk 3:17-18 . . .

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls – Yet, I will rejoice in the LORD; I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

Let us fully understand what Habakkuk, who was a familiar with Israel’s agricultural culture, was saying.  I grew up on the farm and we got much of our food from our flocks and orchards, so I am somewhat familiar to what the prophet is saying.  However, I am sure that many of you reading these words are city, urban-dwellers, like I am now, and we might not immediately realize the horror Habakkuk was describing for anyone in that culture.  If all the crops failed and the herds had all died off or fled, the people of Israel would be facing ruin and an awful, lingering death.  And yet . . .

Habakkuk was saying that even in the midst of utter disaster

When everything around him failed or fell to the ground

He would still be blessed because God was his ultimate blessing.

The condition of Habakkuk’s soul would be marked by rejoicing and joyfulness. Habakkuk would look past his temporal provision to his eternal promise . . . God would always be his Savior.

The only way that we will truly know if we are able to respond like Habakkuk is when we actually lose some blessing of value.

When something we value is taken away,

How do we respond to God and those around us?

When the sky is blue and the clouds are fleecy and the sun is shining brightly, it is easy to speak of the goodness and glory of our God.

But what happens when the storm winds begin to blow our way?

What happens when what we have been holding on to

So tightly in this life slips through our clenched hands?

Habakkuk knew the secret to true joy in this life.

He kept his focus on the One who had given him every blessing.

Habakkuk knew that everything he had was a gift from his God, and he also knew that the Giver of every gift was infinitely more valuable than all the gifts added up together.

Even in losing every temporal blessing,

Habakkuk still had the only thing he truly needed:

His God!

Sadly, many in the church today find this truth hard to accept.

We get so caught up in the temporal blessings God gives us

That we begin to look for our

Identity, hope, purpose, and meaning in the gifts

. . . Rather than in the Giver.

Then when one or more gifts are taken away, we feel like we are adrift out on the open ocean, with no safe harbor in sight.

Where does this blog find you today?  Are you in a season of abundant blessing? Pause and name those blessings one by one, thanking God for all of them.  Are you in a season of scarcity and lack?  Pause and remember that God has promised to meet your needs, not your wants, and what God has promised He will always fulfill.

You are blessed far beyond temporal blessings,

So learn to look past the gifts to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

That’s when you will begin tapping into a joy that simply cannot be shaken.

This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


The Well You Drink From Affects All Those You Drink With!

Grace For The Journey


The Samaritan woman came to Jacob’s well every day at noon.  Her neighbors would come earlier or later to avoid the heat of the day, so she came at noon, hoping to avoid running into any of the towns-people. She never expected a divine appointment with the Lord God Omnipotent!

This woman was scorned by everyone in her town; she had been married to five different men and was now living with a man out of wedlock.  So she deliberately came to fetch her water at the time of the day when no one else would be there.  No doubt she hated the scornful looks of polite society and the whispering behind her back.  She came to Jacob’s well marked by shame and disgrace.  And this was the turning point in her life!  Expecting to meet no one, she instead met the God-man, who knew everything about her and yet would not sneer at her or turn His back on her.  He spoke the Word of life to her at the deepest level.  It is recorded in John 4:13-14.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Every day she had come to the well alone, feeling shunned and ashamed, dragging a past littered with sin behind her.  But no more.

Jesus changed everything for her.

In John 4:28-30, the Bible records what she did after this life-changing encounter with Jesus . . .

“Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.”

For the very first time in her life, she was able to quench her soul thirst that could be quenched no other way.  She forgot all about her water jug; now she was filled with the life-giving water of the Word of God, and she ran to greet her neighbors – the very people she had been trying so hard to avoid just moments ago – and tell them about the Man she had just met.  She had been immediately and forever transformed from outcast to evangelist for the glory of God.

The old had passed away;

All things had become new!

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Before her divine appointment with Jesus, Jacob’s well was a reminder of her shame and disgrace, and drinking from that well affected all those in her home whom she drank with.  But after meeting Jesus, Jacob’s well became a place of forgiveness, mercy, and grace.  For the first time in her life, she was un-ashamed, standing before the Lord Jesus Christ, who knew everything about her and still loved her.

Regarded by her neighbors as little more than a dirty harlot, she stood before the Lord Jesus Christ clothed in radiant garments of white . . . she was the Bride of Christ!  She’d gone through one husband after another, each leaving her thirstier than the one before.

But now she had found the one thing . . .

The irreplaceable treasure . . .

The only One who would truly satisfy her thirst . . .

And His name is Jesus.

So . . . what well have you been drinking from lately?

Remember, the well you drink from

Will affect all those you drink with.

Drinking from the well of living water will quench your deepest soul thirst and empower you to go out to share the joy of your Savior with all those you meet!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


Shortest Verse . . . Deepest Meaning!

Grace For The Journey


23Sept.jpgAs I have to students over the years, I have enjoyed asking them for their favorite memory verse.  Inevitable, someone would use John 11:35 . . .

“Jesus wept!”

They mostly would quote that as a quick way to give an answer … I always inquire if they had another one.  As first glance the verse seems to be “light” on scriptural truth.  However, if you think about all that is going on and being said in the context of that verse, you will see that it is really “deep” in truth that we need to live by.

I find it quite remarkable that Jesus wept.  It’s really not extraordinary that He did weep – remember that He was fully God but also fully man – but it is the context in which He wept that is striking.  If you remember, Jesus was standing outside of the tomb of Lazarus, the man He was about to raise from the dead.  You might well wonder . . .

If Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead,

Why in the world would He stand outside of his tomb weeping?

I think it is clear that Jesus entered into the pain of Mary, Martha, and their friends at the deepest possible level . . . and so Jesus WEPT!

Now we all know that this is the shortest verse in the Scripture, but it seems to also have the deepest, richest meaning . . .

Our Savior reaches deep into the sorrows of His saints

And enters into the pain of His people.

The Bible clearly teaches this.  God’s Word tells us in Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all pointes tempted as we are, yet without sin.”  Jesus is unable to understand and sympathize with us in our weakness and grief.  The Bible tells us further that Jesus is “a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).  He enters into our trials and tribulations, our problems and pain with understanding and the ability to walk with us and work through us all the way.

What a wonderful consolation to know

That Jesus s with us

When we are most vulnerable!

No doubt, Jesus could have repressed His tears.  Most men do just that.  But Jesus refused to be unnatural at any point of contact with humanity.  It is natural to weep when we are in a season of sorrow and suffering.  It is natural to let our tears flow from the fountain of personal pain.

It is a source of great comfort to know that

Jesus did not find it “weak”


Shameful to show His human weakness.

Remember, Jesus got tired, hungry, and thirsty.  He was just like us in every way . . . expect without sin.

As a pastor, I have found that often this is the best ministry that you can provide for someone who is in pain.

The ministry of tears reaches deeply into the hearts of man

And ministers in ways that cannot be matched by words or deeds.

And tears translate into every imaginable language!

The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).

Regardless of where this finds you today, you have a friend in Jesus who sticks closer than a brother and who is not afraid to weep with you.  Remember, Jesus wept . . . and then He commanded, “Roll the stone away” and “Lazarus come forth!”

Jesus met His friends and followers in their deepest place of pain first,

Then He demonstrated that He was more than just a man.

He was the incarnate God, who had power over life and death.

So when you find yourself in a season of sorrow and grief, don’t forget that you weep in the best of company . . . because JESUS WEPT!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”




A Faith-Filled Four Letter Word!

Grace For The Journey


I believe today’s blog will offer a word of great comfort and encouragement right where this finds you.  Today we are going to learn what God says about “waiting.”  This is an area where we have a lot of experience in and a lot of it affects us in a negative way.  Let’s look at just a few verses where the Bible teaches about it . . .

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 37:34, “Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land.”

Isaiah 30:18, “Blessed are all those who wait for Him.”

Isaiah 40:31, “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Lamentations 3:25a-26, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him . . . It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

Acts 1:4, “While staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father.”

When was the last time you enjoyed waiting for ANYTHING?

From the check-out line in the grocery story . . . in the doctor’s office . . . in the fast food drive-through line . . . for  that check you have been told is in the mail.  None of us likes to wait for anything!

But what about waiting on God?  The verses above are just a tiny sampling of the scores of biblical admonitions for God’s people to wait upon their Lord.  We must be careful never to thoughtlessly put God in any of our other “hate-to-wait” categories.  Why?

Because often the blessing God has ordained for us

Will only be found on the other side of waiting.

WAIT is a “faith-filled four letter word” when we are waiting on God, because His timing is always perfect.

God knows exactly what we need


Precisely when we need it!

He has ordained waiting as one of His ways

To increase our faith AND our appreciation

When we actually do get

What we have been asking for.

Anyone who has been following Jesus for some time knows there are times we pray and God says “No.”  Yet, if we wait (there’s that word again!) and watch, when we look back on that situation we will see why . . . because God had something better!

Then there are those times God says “Yes” . . . but that faith-filled four letter word is attached to the “Yes.”  Frequently what we were asking for comes to us in a completely different way than what we were expecting.

Waiting on our Lord is nothing more

– And nothing less –

Than putting our trust in Him for what we need,

Knowing that it will be delivered to us

In His way and in His timing.

We can all look back in life and thank God for the times He said “No” to our petitions, as well as those times He said “Wait” . . . Because God alone knows what is in the best interest of His children.

Let us prayerfully seek to develop the patient understanding of the psalmist who knew God’s timing is perfect.  May his prayer be ours . . .

 I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands. 

(Psalm 31:14-15)

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


Paths Of Providence

Grace For The Journey


20Sept “Providence” was a term that was frequently used by America’s Founders, such as the unforgettable expression of their “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” in America’s Declaration of Independence.  “Providence” is rightly defined as “the foreseeing, benevolent care, and wise guidance of Almighty God in the lives of His creatures.”

 The Bible says in Psalm 25:4-6, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.”

David’s psalm (and, indeed, all of Scripture) reveals that, this life is a journey without a destination . . . until we get to the other side of the grave.  We are pilgrims passing through this world, not settlers in it.  Regardless of where our path leads, when it is a path of Providence it will always end in the glory of God and our good.

David deeply wanted to walk the paths of Providence, and he was crying out to God to teach him the right path to take . . . and this path will always lead in the opposite direction of the way the world is encouraging us to go.  David had no interest in looking to the imagination of man as his guiding light.  He sought the revelation of God (“guide me in Your truth”) because he knew that God will always lead us in the right direction.

There is one thing we must always remember . . .

The path of Providence may very well not be

Free of all obstacles and challenges.

Often just the opposite is true!  But when God is guiding us in His truth and teaching us along the way, we can be assured that we will reach the other side better than we were before we got there.

God never promised us painless paths of providence;

What He did promise was to get us safely to our destination.

Knowing that truth, we are strengthened and comforted to press on, regardless of the cost or circumstance.

The key for successful Christian living is to hold tight to the same hope David had.  He was not hoping for an easy, painless path of Providence to travel through this life.  His hope was in God, morning, noon, and night.   You might well ask, “Was David’s hope always in God?” I believe the answer is “Yes.” In his flesh, David stumbled badly on more than one occasion; he turned away from his holy hope and trusted in things smaller than God.  Yet, every time David did so, God would guide David back onto His path of truth and wisdom.  Deep down, David’s hope was always in God.

We see this even in one of the most awful events recorded in sacred Scripture; David committed adultery and then murder to cover it up.  Yet the Lord’s great mercy and love still reached out and met David in his place of deepest need.  To be sure, there would be great consequences for David’s sin, and it took a visit from the prophet Nathan to make that clear to the broken king.  But through it all, God grew David up to become a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).  He continued to set David’s feet upon the paths of Providence all the way into glory.

So . . . what paths of Providence have you been walking lately?

Is God leading you . . .


Are you trying to lead God?

The answer to these questions will make all the difference in how your life works out.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


Why Believers Can Claim the Bible is True And Reliable

Grace For The Journey


19Sept  Skeptics aren’t the only ones who raise questions about the Bible. Even Christians might ask: “How can believers claim that the Bible is true compared with any other book used as a foundation for religion?  What makes the Bible stand out from other pieces of writing that claim they also came from God?”

So, how do we authenticate the Bible?  Let’s look just two reliable sources . . .

(1) Consider The Bible’s historical authenticity.

The Bible has been substantiated both historically and archeologically as more accurate than any other book handed down through time.  Research and analysis by historians, linguists, sociologists, and archeologists have demonstrated the accuracy of the Scriptures through forensic science, the discovery and study of ancient literature, and much more.

(2) The Bible is set apart from all other books in one other way: its prophetic accuracy.

A large portion of its prophecy has already been fulfilled with absolute precision.   A classic example is the foretelling of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.  In Micah 5:2, the prophet Micah told of our Savior’s birth over 700 years before it happened. Matthew has recorded the fulfillment of this prophecy for us in Matthew 2:1-6.  What makes this prophecy stand out is the obscurity of Bethlehem.  Had Micah mentioned a major metropolis in Israel, the argument could have been put forth that Micah had merely guessed well.  Yet, Micah recorded the mind of God by pinpointing this remote region as the site of Christ’s birth.

Prophetic Scripture is accurate in all its detail

Because God Himself moved the writers to record it.

Of course, Micah’s prophecy is just one of several hundred that have already been fulfilled in the Bible.  God is not bound by time, space, or matter.  He knows the beginning from the end, and prophecy involves the recording of His thoughts before an event historically happens.

In 2 Peter 1:20–21, the Bible says, “No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 

Someone has made this observation: “If you were to mathematically figure the probability that 100 prophecies would occur accurately; that is, without any errors, it would require 200 billion earths populated with 4 billion people each to come up with one person who could give 100 accurate prophecies.”  In other words, it would be impossible. But the Bible contains hundreds of prophecies written by a number of inspired writers over a period of centuries that already have come true.  That’s because these prophecies are not based on chance, but on the eternal knowledge of God.

Isaiah 53 alone contains a number of prophecies, including Jesus’ piercing, His scourging, and even His silence in the face of oppression and accusation.  The passage speaks of His grave and His purity.  The passage also mentions that our own iniquities would be placed on Jesus as our sinless Savior.  The Bible says in Isaiah 53:3-4, “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid, as it were, our faces from Hi;; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows …”  These words tell a tale much more painful than scourging itself.  Jesus came not only to bear our sins, but also our burdens.

In your pain, know this one truth: You are not alone. Jesus sees.  He knows.  He cares. He’s been there.  And, because He has suffered, He offers a comfort not merely rooted in intellectual assent but in compassionate understanding.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”



Seven Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament

Grace For The Journey


18Sept  This is the sixth and final blog in our series on how the Bible is all about Jesus.  We have looked at of the events that God instituted in the Old Testament that point to Jesus.  We learned about Who Jesus in the Old Testament through titles.  We have also learned about how the prophecies in the Old Testament teach us about Who Jesus is, what He would do, and even where He would be born.  And, we at how the appearances of Christ in the Old Testament are further proof of Who Jesus is.  Today, we will summarize how the Bible teaches about Jesus.

From Genesis to Revelation to end, the Bible reveals the person, purpose, and glory of Jesus.  While we know Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s plan not only for the children of Israel but for the entire world (Genesis 22:14-18).  Many today do not understand how the Old Testament and New Testament relate to one another.  They are often unsure how the Bible’s many stories, characters, and events relate to each other – especially to Jesus.  Some are tempted to force the Bible’s many pieces together, making superficial jumps from the Hebrew Scriptures to the New Testament. But most are left wondering:

The ultimate question we have been looking at the past several days is . . .

“Does Jesus and his story connect to the Old Testament?”

If so . . . “Where is Jesus in the Old Testament?”

How does the Old Testament inform our understanding of Jesus – His life and teachings, death and resurrection.  As we answer these questions, we will get a clear understanding of the Bible’s unity and central message – which includes the ways Jesus is found in the Old Testament. Here are seven ways.

1) Jesus is the Last Adam.

From the beginning, the full story of the Bible reveals the full glory of Christ – even with Adam.  Adam was not just the first man in God’s story.  He is the representative of humanity and the head of creation itself (Romans 5:12-21).  God gave Adam responsibilities and roles later expressed in Israel:

  • God spoke directly to Adam, and Adam (in a prophetic role) was responsible to mediate God’s word by trusting, keeping, and preaching it to his wife and children.
  • Adam (in a priestly role) was responsible to mediate God’s presence to the world by filling Eden with image-bearers, and ruling over creation.
  • Adam (in a kingly role) was given dominion over the world as a servant king, who was to act as God’s image, his representative and son.

While he did not possess any explicit title or office, Adam functioned as a prophet, priest, and king.  As the Bible’s story progresses, these titles identify other people who carry on these original tasks—which all anticipated a greater office holder: Jesus Christ. These roles express the deeper role God originally intended for humans.  That role was first established in Adam, but then only Jesus as the last Adam and God the Son perfectly fulfills it.  Then He restores it in us (Hebrews 2:5–18).

2) Jesus is testified to by ‘the Law and the Prophets.

The New Testament is clear about Christ’s whereabouts in the Old Testament.  Paul is led to write in Romans 3:21, “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.”

The Law and the Prophets is shorthand for the Old Testament, which Paul says prophecies and testifies of the salvation that later comes in Christ.  In other words, Jesus is present throughout the Old Testament. In these pages we find both hope and help.

God is providing for our instruction, endurance, encouragement, and, ultimately, our hope.  As we see how God unfolds His glorious plan of redemption in Christ and how He keeps all of His promises, we learn to trust, love, and obey Him.  The Bible is given to us for a reason.  It prepares us to see and receive Jesus as the only solution to our problem and the only Savior from our sin.

The Law and the prophets are written in such a way as to perfectly portray the greatness of our problem and the greatness of God’s grace in Christ.  God’s promises in Genesis 3:15 find their fulfillment in Jesus and the Old Testament’s characters, events, and story all point to Jesus.

3) Noah: a Foretaste of judgment and salvation through Christ.

If Jesus is the last Adam, Noah was meant as a new Adam.  In his story, two themes emerge – judgment and salvation – which offer a foretaste of Jesus in the Old Testament.

As we learn about Noah’s flood, we are confronted with the harsh reality of what humanity deserves for its sin and rejection of God.  More accurately, the flood is a foretaste of coming judgment, of what humanity will receive.  Jesus compares His return and the future judgment to Noah’s flood in the Old Testament (Matthew 24:37).  Yet the final judgment will be far worse.  In the final judgment there is no relief, and in this way Noah’s flood becomes a reminder to us of a greater judgment to come, which we ought to take seriously.

But positively, Noah’s salvation is a foretaste of coming salvation in Christ.  The Bible says in Isaiah 54:9-10, “’For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.  For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, Who has mercy on you.”  The Bible also says on 1 Peter 3:20–22, “Who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that, eight souls, were saved through water.”  As Noah passed through the waters of God’s judgment, now men and women will pass safely through the greater rescue from God’s wrath. How?  Jesus will save us from God’s judgment by taking that judgment on himself.”

4) Isaac: Jesus is the “seed” of Abraham and true substitute.

God promised Abraham that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).   God repeated that promise in Genesis 22:18, “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.”  Don’t miss an important point about the fulfillment of this promise through the story of Abraham’s son, Isaac:

It is through Isaac, the promised seed,

That God’s salvation will come to the world.

But God is also revealing that Isaac is not enough.

Isaac, too, is a sinner in need of a savior.

God’s promise will come through Isaac,

But ultimately Isaac cannot save.

The Savior must come outside of Isaac,

By God’s own provision.

This is the meaning of the ram that God provides.  In sparing Isaac, a substitute must still take his place.

Of course, that substitute ultimately comes through Christ.

God did provide a substitute for Isaac, stating that God Himself must ultimately provide the proper substitute to pardon human sin.  Isaac needed a substitute to die in his place, and God provided it.  As Abraham is obeying the instruction that the Lord had given the voice from heaven says, “Stop! There is another to take his place.”  Yet, when the Father and Son walk to Calvary, there is no voice saying, “Stop. Here is another.

As the Bible’s story unfolds, we learn that it is only through the true ‘seed’ of Abraham, Christ Jesus, that believers from all nations become children of Abraham (Galatians 3:9).

5) Jesus is greater than the Law-covenant

The New Testament clearly shows that Christ and His covenant are so much better than the Old Testament’s Law-covenant!  This is exactly what the Law-covenant was given to help us see.  Imbedded into the Law-covenant were carefully designed limitations that pointed toward something greater.  The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 9:8, “The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.  It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience.”

The Old Testament outlines several divine patterns that reveal past limitations and beautifully point us to Christ in God’s dealings with Israel through Moses and the Law-covenant.  Here are a few of them:

  • A Greater Exodus.  Israel’s exodus from Egypt was more than a one-time event. It became the paradigm for all of God’s redeeming acts to follow culminating in ultimate liberation and redemption from sins.  In Christ, an even greater exodus from slavery has occurred.
  • A Greater Rest.  Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy-ladened and I will give you rest.”  Through the Law-covenant, God structured foretastes of ultimate rest into the life of the nation.  But since it couldn’t deal with sin, the people couldn’t experience true rest; Jesus offers this rest which the Law-Covenant anticipated.
  • A Greater Prophet.  Moses was a great prophet, but Jesus is far greater.  Moses himself pointed toward him when he says in Deuteronomy 18:15: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.”  The people were still waiting for this prophet when Jesus came.
  • A Greater Tabernacle.  In the Book of Exodus, the Lord instructed Israel to erect a tabernacle for Him to dwell with His people, which was “a copy and shadow of what is in heaven” (Hebrews 8:5).  Just as the tabernacle symbolized God’s greater presence in heaven, so its priesthood and sacrifices symbolized the greater salvation to come.  Jesus was this greater salvation and tabernacle.

6) Jesus is a greater future King David.

In King David, all of God’s promises from Noah to Abraham to Moses converge.  And yet, as with all parts of the Old Testament the Davidic narratives look ahead to a greater future king.  Psalm 72 explains how Jesus is found in this part of the Old Testament, which “helps us look ahead to a ‘greater’ David, a future king.

Jesus Christ is unveiled in Psalm 72:

  1. Royalty with Righteousness – Psalm 72:1–4.  This is the king our world needs. Our world cries out for justice, but because of sin, even our best leaders are dangerous if we give them too much power.  A truly righteous kingdom awaits God’s righteous king.
  2. As Long as the Sun Rises – Psalm 72:5–7.  Despite the faithlessness of David’s sons, God’s promise of an eternal king through David is going to happen. The Lord will see to it.
  3. A King for Everyone, Everywhere – Psalm 72:8–11. This is a picture of total dominion over the world.  This King’s rule will achieve the universal rule that God first intended for humanity.  And in light of these Davidic promises, the Bible tells us to look ahead to the coming of the Davidic son/king who will fully bring God’s rule to the entire world..
  4. A Heart of Compassion – Psalm 72:12–19.  The rule of David’s future son would not conform to the patterns of this world’s rulers.  He would not take from His people. He would only give!  But at a cost: As David did, he will suffer on his way to exaltation.  He will bring about great reversals for others by means of a great reversal of his own.

7) A vivid portrait of our suffering servant

The prophet Jonah reminds us, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).  And all along the way in God’s story, the story of salvation advances a step further as the Lord takes the initiative to save.  The prophets continued this message, carrying it forward.

How do they reveal this salvation will be accomplished?  The Lord’s salvation is made possible through a sinless sufferer.  The prophet Isaiah particularly speaks of this coming servant, one who is from Israel but who is also distinct from Israel.  A servant who represents Israel because He is Israel’s king and a truly obedient Son..

We have a problem: sinful humans need to be reconciled to a holy God.  Isaiah reveals how this will be made possible: the Lord will accomplish a substitutionary sacrifice for sin.  He will do it through the suffering of His obedient servant… The servant who is our Savior is God’s answer to the tension we have highlighted time and again.

That the Suffering-Servant is Jesus Christ.  He will do two things in His substitutionary death: (1) He will take what is ours – our iniquities; and (2) He will give us what is His – His righteousness.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


Jesus in the Old Testament, Part 5: Types

Grace For The Journey



This is the fifth blog in our series on how the Bible is all about Jesus.  We have looked at of the events that God instituted in the Old Testament that point to Jesus.  We learned about Who Jesus in the Old Testament through titles.  We have also learned about how the prophecies in the Old Testament teach us about Who Jesus is, what He would do, and even where He would be born.  And, we at how the appearances of Christ in the Old Testament are further proof of Who Jesus is.  Today, we will see through the types and figures of the Old Testament more about Jesus.

In the Old Testament we see people who are created for a purpose but fail or come up short of their intended purpose.  We see Jesus through these types, but the message is clearly that Jesus is the only One who can accomplish the intended purpose and He it in so much of a bigger and better way!  Let’s look at 7 figures . . .

The Last Adam

History starts with the first Adam (Genesis 1:26-27).  Jesus is called the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45; Romans 5:12–21).

  • The first Adam sinned; the last Adam did not sin and atoned for sin.
  • Through the first Adam we fell; through the last Adam we can be saved.
  • Through the first Adam there was condemnation; through the last Adam there is salvation.
  • Through the first Adam we inherit a sin nature; through the last Adam we receive a new nature.
  • Through the first Adam we’re born sinners; through the last Adam we’re born again as saints.
  • The first Adam turned from God in a garden; and the last Adam turned to God in another garden.
  • The first Adam was a sinner; the last Adam is a Savior of sinners.
  • The first Adam yielded to Satan; the last Adam defeated Satan.
  • The first Adam sinned at a tree; the last Adam atoned for sin on a tree.
  • The first Adam brought thorns; the last Adam wore a crown of thorns.
  • The first Adam was naked and unashamed; the last Adam was stripped naked and bore our shame.
  • Everybody is born in Adam, but not everyone is born again in Jesus.

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is better and greater than Adam (that is what the entire Book of Hebrews is all about), or any son of Adam!

High Priest

In the Old Testament the priests mediated between people and God.  The Book of Hebrews details how Jesus fulfilled completely the character required of priests but also the duties of the High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 4:15–16; 5:10).  God became a man to mediate between Himself and us.  This is why the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”  Our mediator is Jesus, not religion, not the church, not morality – but the person, Jesus Christ.  He is our truer and better priest who brings us to God and brings God to us.

Word of God

In the Old Testament the prophets speak for God.  Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 4:12; 1 John 1:1; Revelation 19:13).  He was the clearest, most complete, and final “word” about God and His purpose (Hebrews 1:1-3).


In the Old Testament kings ruled and reigned.  The Bible teaches that Jesus is our greater King.

  • Jesus is the ruler of the kings on earth (Revelation 1:5).
  • He is the King of the nations (Revelation 15:3).
  • He’s the King of kings (1 Timothy. 6:15; Revelations 19:16).
  • He’s the King of the ages (1 Timothy 1:17; cf. Psalm 10:16).

He has a kingdom that will never end, a kingdom that has perfect justice and provision for all.


The shepherds we read about in the Old Testament who cared for their sheep give us a glimpse of Jesus as the Good shepherd and Great shepherd.  The Good Shepherd knows His sheep, cares for His sheep Psalm 23:1-6) … and laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:11, 14).


We read of judges who exercise justice in the Old Testament.  The Bible tells us in John 5 that the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:22; cf. John 5:27; Acts 10:42).  Jesus is the true and greater judge.

The Temple

In the Old Testament the temple is the meeting place between men and God, designed after God’s dwelling place in heaven (1 Kings 8:29–30; Exodus 25:40).  According to the author of Hebrews, the temple served as “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5).  Jesus spoke of His body as the temple of God (John 2:21).  He is the greater temple.  As the temple dwelled among men in the Old Testament, Jesus dwelled among us (John 1:14).  Today, we don’t go to a place to worship, but we go to a person to worship – His name is Jesus Christ.

Jesus came to be with us and to make our bodies a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21).  The presence of God dwells within us so that we can live not just a better life but live a new life.  Through Christ in us, we can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be new people, living new lives by the presence of God, as the temple of God, to the glory of God, because we’re the people of God.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”