2 Corinthians 13:14 KJV
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
The main attributes of the three distinct characters of the Godhead.
- Father: Love
- Son: Grace
- Spirit: Communion with man
God the Father – Love
“God is Love.” Part of love is only thinking about how you can do good for someone, never acting with ill intent.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 KJV
For thus saith the Lord , That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me , when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the Lord : and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord ; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
This is God the Father. Even in his punishment of the children of Israel, he was trying to do good for them. He had a plan to use the evil to perfect their hearts in his love and draw them close to him. He did not try to destroy them. He tried to help them. He will help us too, if we will be helped.
Hebrews 12:5-7 KJV
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Every punishment God lays out in the Bible is for our good. He loves us as a Father, and more. He loves us more than we can comprehend. He punishes and corrects us to cause us to turn back to him and seek him with our whole heart. It is for our good, so that we obey him. Not because he has some ego that everyone has to do what he says, but because his commandments result in the best life possible.
Psalm 19:7-10 KJV
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
God doesn’t put on us unnecessary restrictions. There is no optional commandment from God. Every commandment is beneficial and essential.
In the New Testament, we are not bound by the letter of the old law, but by the law of Christ, and the voice of the Spirit. If the Spirit instructs us to do or not to do something, it is always for the best, and ignoring it will always have a damaging effect on our spiritual life.
Every commandment is the essence of love. Obeying will make us wise, joyful, enlightened and clean. Even His judgements are pure and loving and to be desired, because they perfect us.
Jesus the Son – Grace
John 3:16-17 KJV
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jesus was sent because of God’s love. God gave all of the commandments on how to live the best life, but he saw that people were not able to live it. He didn’t condemn us for not being able to live it. Instead, he made a great sacrifice to enable us to live it.
John 1:12-14 KJV
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Christ is full of grace… He came to earth to give us the power to be the sons of God. The power to bear the chastening and measure up to the commandments of God. Without this grace, we will always fail to keep every command of God. With this grace, we can be cleansed from all of our sins and become God’s children – born again, now with a Godly nature and the ability to live right.
John 1:16-17 KJV
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Moses gave the law of God to the people – the love of God in the form of commandments for their good. The people were not able to obey. God’s response was NOT to destroy them all, it was to make a way that they could obey the law… NOT just so people would be subject to him, but because it was for their best, to make them fit for heaven.
Christ is this way. He is the grace we need to live the best life possible: the life of a child of God.
Romans 5:1-8 KJV
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so , but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
When we have faith in Christ to be saved, we can be at peace with the commandments of God’s love. It enables us to stand in God’s love, kept in that love and peace. We must have faith in that grace. Believe that Christ came because of God’s love to help us, and he will.
The grace to live holy is what enables the Spirit to commune with us. That love of God is made known to us by the Spirit of God. The grace allows the love of God to be made known to us by the Spirit.
True salvation through the grace of Christ intimately involves all 3 parts of God and all 3 parts of us (body, mind and spirit).
Again, Paul states that God did not give the commands of the law to punish or be hard, but in love, as evidenced by his sending Christ to make a way possible for us to live that best life. Christ is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us.
Romans 6,7 and 8 are good chapters for studying on the grace of Christ as it relates to the old law. We will briefly look at two passages as they pertain to the current thought:
Romans 7:22-25 KJV
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
This was the condition before Christ’s grace. The people before Christ wanted to live the best life, be children of God, but the weakness of the flesh allowed them to be overtaken by sin. Christ gives grace to deliver from that completely, as we read in Romans 8:
Romans 8:1-4 KJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The purpose of Christ dying was this: the ultimate, perfect sacrifice for all sin. That sacrifice atones for our sin, makes us holy, and changes us to be free from sin. That allows for the Spirit of God to enter our lives (it will not abide where sin is). The Spirit sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts and gives us the strength to never again be overtaken by sin.
This is the purpose of Christ: to make a way for the Spirit of God to dwell within us. If we stop short of full sanctification (dedicating our lives fully to God and separating ourselves from all worldliness and selfishness), we are doing a serious disservice to God (and ourselves) and we are making light of the sacrifice of Christ.
The Holy Spirit – Communion
Proverbs 20:27 KJV
The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord , searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The Spirit is the aspect of God that communicates with man. We ourselves have a spirit, and the Spirit of God can communicate with us through our own spirit and through our spirit we have direct access to communicate with the Spirit of God. Through our spirit, God can learn everything there is to know about us. Through God’s Spirit, we can learn about Him beyond what we read and hear.
John 14:8-26 KJV
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
When Jesus was here on earth, he was the link of communication between God and man. Now it is the Spirit. They knew the Father through Christ. We can know Christ and the Father through the Spirit.
Jesus was one with God. He has sent the comforter (the Spirit of God) so that we could be one with God as he was. We can be one with Christ because we can have the same Spirit within us. This does not make us God, but it makes the life that we live be God’s live within us (see Galatians 2:20).
The Spirit of God is the aspect of God that we can sense with our spirit and it shows us the other aspects of God. The Spirit is what guides us and teaches us. Without the Spirit, all we have is what we can read or hear of God. The Spirit makes it a personal relationship, direct contact from God to our Spirit.
The world cannot sense the Spirit of God because their own spirits are corrupted by sin. A life with sin in it cannot have a peaceful relationship with the Spirit of God. The grace of Christ forgave us of all sin in order to open the way for the Spirit to dwell within us and show us completely how to live the best life.
Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-16 KJV
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
One Church, One Spirit, one Lord (Jesus), one Father. One salvation. All parts of God are one, and we must be one with them as the body through the Spirit. If we all have the Spirit of God in us, we will all be unified. This is the “unity of the Spirit.”
The purpose of preaching is to get the Spirit of God into people. To get people to allow the Spirit of God to work in their life. Without that, we are not one with God. We are justified by the grace of Christ and we know the love of God, but we do not have the Spirit within…
The Spirit is God in us. It is the part that makes us one with God, as Christ in his flesh was one with God. When we are all one with God, we are one with each other. This is necessary.
Ephesians 4:17-32 KJV
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
We must walk after the Spirit, not the flesh. If we do not, we grieve the Spirit of God and he cannot dwell within us. Without the Spirit, as are not sealed. We cannot last against the warfare of the enemy unless we are sealed by the Spirit. It seals the grace of Christ within us and produces this new life. That is salvation – more than just being forgiven.
If our being forgiven doesn’t produce a changed life full of the Spirit of God where we follow the Spirit’s leading in every area of our life (walk after the Spirit) and don’t make room for the flesh (neither give place to the devil), then it is not full, true salvation.
God is love. All of his commandments were given in love. Natural man cannot obey the commandments of God, all of the time resisting sin. God sometimes has to punish us, chastise or correct us to get us back on the right path. Even his judgements and punishments are in love. His commandments are all necessary and good for us. Following them gives us the best life possible, and a home in heaven at peace with God forever. No commandment is simply to restrict us, and no commandment can be ignored. All are necessary.
Jesus Christ, the Son, brought grace. The sacrifice of Christ is the greatest example of God’s love towards us. It is Christ’s sacrifice that cleanses us from sin and gives us the power to be children of God. Jesus Christ came to clean us up so that the Spirit of God could seal us and we could have a personal connection to God, every one of us.
The Spirit is the part of God that communicates directly with our spirit. The Spirit is the power of God dwelling within us that makes us directly aware of God’s love and his will for our life. We must have the Spirit to be sealed, to have power to never again commit sin. and to have the life of God within us. The goal of Christ’s coming was to allow the Spirit of God to dwell with us, to bring God and man together again forever.
These three aspects of God are all necessary to understand. Full salvation must involve all 3, or we will have an incorrect perception of God and we will not last in our salvation.
The youth Bible study has moved to Monday at 7:30 pm. It will still be at the dining hall.
The Vichy children performed “The Boy of Mount Rhigi” for the children’s hour of the 2015 campmeeting. We have combined all 8 skits into one video to share their performance.
Welcome, S&T students!
Vichy Campground Church of God is located about ten miles north of Rolla on a forty acre campground that has been in use for over 120 years.
If you would like to attend service, we would be happy to pick you up Sunday morning.
Pick up time for this Sunday is 10:30 am in Rolla, near Missouri S&T.
There are no charges or fees for anything.
Service starts at 11 AM. and usually lasts for about 90 minutes.
If you would like to drive yourself, directions are on the “Contact Us” page.
If you would like to listen to the sermons online, you can do that here: http://churchofgodvichymo.com/sermons
The study topic for the youth Bible study on May 10th, 2014 will be the importance of reading your Bible daily.
Service will be held at the dining hall on the camp ground.