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All Things

All Things

     The term “all things” occurs 171 times in the King James New Testament.   There are many who quote Philippians 4:13 as their favorite verse. It is an easy verse to remember, and the sentiment expressed is one that promotes courage as we face the many things the world places before us.   I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I have seen this in people’s homes, on bumper stickers and even on some clothing.  This seems to be the mantra repeated by many, without being fully aware of what is implied.  

     The “all things” in every occurrence must be kept in context.   The Spirit had the apostle Paul write this just after: I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.(Philippians 4:12)   What were the “all things” of which Paul wrote in verse 12? He pointed out “in all things I am instructed”. Surely, we understand we only receive spiritual instruction from God through His Word.  

       The Spirit had Peter pen the Words we read in 2Peter 1:3-4 which tell us the source and the purpose of the “all things” He has provided for mankind. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 

       The promises of God are contained in His Word. These are provided by God for our benefit as 2Corinthians 4:15-16 shows. For all things are for your sakes, (Christians) that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  The “all things” God gave man renews the inner man.

       One thing I find amazing as well as repulsive is that most folks want the “all things” (blessings) God has offered man in His Word, yet their actions prove that they won’t do “all things” God has Commanded. The argument used by most in this situation is that God “blesses” all of humanity.   I agree. However, the passage that proves this point, also shows the fallacy of their reasoning. Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:45, made this statement.   That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  The previous verse clearly indicates Christ is speaking of the reason He taught His followers to love their “enemies” as well as their neighbors. The blessings He mentions here are the “temporal” blessings that God has provided to “all men” for life on this planet.  

     Christ’s message there, (a Pentecost Pointer) was directing them to the time and place in which they could be recipients of God’s Spiritual blessings.  We perhaps need to be reminded that in Ephesians 1:3, the Spirit had Paul state where “spiritual blessings” exist. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:   Does it not stand to reason, based on this verse that if one is NOT IN CHRIST, they do not have “spiritual blessings” such as the promise of eternal life?   IF NOT, WHY NOT?  

       Of course, there are other spiritual blessings than eternal life. Eternal life is not the “all things” of which the Spirit had Peter write in 2Peter 1:3 (above), although it is a part of it.   The Word of God contains the instruction God intended us to have.   God’s Holy Word contains the teaching, evidence, chastisement, and training that man needs. 2Timothy 3:16 tells us this, and the 17th verse tells us why He offers this to man in His Word. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 

     Now, let’s return to Philippians 4:13 for a moment.   In “context”, and “in act and in fact”, only the Christian has this blessing of being able to “do all things” through Christ.    In addition to this, we see Ephesians 1:3 as the only place all spiritual blessings exist. Why then, would one NOT want to be “in Christ”?   Why not look into the Word of God and see what instruction He has given so that we might “be in Christ”?  

       In the midst of the many problems the church in Corinth experienced, the Spirit had Paul write in 2Corinthians 2:9: “For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. Won’t you obey “all things” commanded of God to be “in Christ”, and to remain in Christ so you can prepare yourself for eternity? God clearly tells us what to do.   God says one must follow these steps to get started.  1) Hear – Romans 10:17. 2) Believe – Hebrews 11:6.  3) Repent of sins – Acts 17:30. 4) Confess Christ before man – Luke 12:8   5) Be baptized (into Christ) – Mark 16:16. 6) Remain faithful unto death – 2Peter 2:20-21.     The “Erring Christian” - return to God in repentance & prayer – Acts 8:22.

       Let us help you start at the beginning, and then together, let’s do “all things” God has Commanded in His Word as we prepare to spend eternity with Him and His Son in heaven.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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