January 13, 2017
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
As David wrote in Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth…” I want to learn to praise God more! For it says in Hebrews 13:5, “…let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Too many of my prayers – and I would suspect yours too – are more asking God to fulfill our wants and needs! And, while God promises to meet our needs (see Philippians 4:19), what our prayers generally lack is praise!
The book of Revelation teaches us much concerning praise! This, then, is a series called Revelation Praise! And we, in this second blog, are looking at verse 5 of Revelation 1:4 through 6. Here are all three verses of our featured Scripture:
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace
from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven
Spirits who are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful
witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the
earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own
blood, and made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be
glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
In our first blog, we found in verse 4 four broad things for which to praise God: the Church, God’s grace and peace, Jesus’ eternality, and the work of the Holy Spirit! We find five more praiseworthy things in verse 5:
• Revelation 1:5 – “…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness….” Proverbs 20:6 tells us, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?” We have all proved faithless at times! It is part of being sinful at our core! But Jesus had no sin (see II Corinthians 5:21). And Peter states this in I Peter 2:22 (Contemporary English Version) when he writes, “Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.” He never told a lie! So when Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – we can believe Him! Praise Jesus Christ for being the faithful witness!
• Revelation 1:5 – “…Jesus Christ…the firstborn from the dead….” Yes, He rose from the dead. But here we find a special word inserted – firstborn! Firstborn means in this case that many others will follow! Romans 8:29 tells us, “…He [is] the firstborn among many brethren.” In Romans 6:5 (International Standard Version): Paul wrote, “…we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.” Because He conquered death, we will live again also! Praise Him for being the firstborn of the dead!
• Revelation 1:5 – “…Jesus Christ… the ruler over the kings of the earth.” Many people are upset that Donald Trump is our next president. They want another to direct our country. On the wider world scene, multitudes desire a change of rulers so they can live in peace and security. Someday, perhaps soon, Jesus will return as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). And then, “The kingdoms of this world…[will] become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15). And, as prophesied in Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” (Revelation 11:15). Praise Him that He will be the ruler over the kings of the earth!
• Revelation 1:5 – “…Jesus Christ…who loved us….” How much did He love us? Paul puts it this way in Romans 5:6-8:
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the
ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for
a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His
own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
As Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Praise God He loves us so much!
• Revelation 1:5 – “To Him who…washed us from our sins in His own blood….” Jesus’ shed blood is the most precious substance in the world! It is only His blood that can wash away our sins! (See I John 1:7). As the old hymn goes:
What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
There were 1500 years of animal sacrifices in the Jewish religion, as designated by the law. But all that was just a temporary covering of sin – until the One who offered the perfect sacrifice of His own self to permanently take our sins away! The writer of Hebrews explains it this way in Hebrews 10:4, 10, 12, and 14:
…it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats could take away
sins….[but] we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all….this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice
for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…For by one offering
He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
It all pointed to Jesus sacrificing His own blood on our behalf! Praise the Lord for washing us clean in the blood of the Lamb of God! (See John 1:29).
There is one more blog for this featured Scripture coming on Monday.