The word “Grace” is used frequently in Christian sermons, books, podcasts, etc. However, many times this word is used in a way that God does not use it. Which means we are communicating something incorrect when we use the word “Grace” in a Christian context. The result of such incorrect usage of the word “Grace” in the church has resulted in a lot of “grace confusion”.…
What was Jesus’ last word, uttered as He gave His last breath at the Cross? We read about it in The Bible:
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)
In your mind, transport yourself back in time, to Jerusalem, circa 33 AD, at Mount Calvary. You’re in the crowd, watching as Jesus was crucified. Jesus’s last word was not “it is finished”, because the English language did exist yet. Jesus’ last word that you would have heard that day was the incredibly amazing Greek word:
What does “tetelestai”, mean? It is a form of the Greek root word, “teleo” which means, “to fulfil, to accomplish”. But what is so striking is that tetelestai is the word “teleo” in the perfect tense of the verb.
The perfect tense signifies that an action has been completed once, with results for all time. It is the exact opposite of the continuous tense, which signifies an action carried out continuously, without an end.
For instance, a man and wife get married on one specific day, at one specific time. Ever since that one day, that couple has been married ever since. Do they need to keep getting married over and over again to stay married? No. That one act, performed at one time results in being in that state from then on. That’s the perfect tense of “to marry”. Contrast that with the continuous tense of a verb. For instance, I need to brush and floss my teeth daily to keep them in a state of being clean. This is certainly not perfect tense, which would mean I would just have to brush and floss once and they are clean from that time on (though I wish that was the case!)
When Jesus uttered that glorious word, “tetelestai” from the cross, He used the perfect, not continuous tense of the word teleo, (to complete or fulfill). And what did Jesus’ last word tetelestai mean for us?
ALL is completely fulfilled… FOREVER!
And this powerful truth gloriously borne out throughout the book of Hebrews, particularly in chapter 10:
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” 8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Heb 10:5–10.
Jesus’ telestai fulfilled so many things. Hebrews goes into the depths of this. (To learn more, listen to my series, Hebrews: the Glory of the New Covenant). In addition, Jesus’ telestai also completely fulfilled what He said in Matthew 5:17-18
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
I used to think (like many Christians do) that what Jesus meant when He said, “till all is fulfilled” meant some time way in the distant future. But that is not true. Remember, the Bible is the best interpreter of itself. Too many Christians disregard Jesus’ perfect, finished work (expressed as “tetelestai”) when interpreting scripture. This is a fatal flaw. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
The Lord Jesus Christ, in all of His perfection, perfectly satisfied the demands of perfect righteousness, perfectly obeying His Father perfectly fulfilling all the prophecies and perfectly settling the Law… forever. He didn’t destroy the law, He perfectly fulfilled it! Hebrews 10:9 says, “then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second.”
ALL is completely fulfilled… FOREVER!
Dear Christian, your Christian life begins with the reality and totality of Christ’s tetelestai for you! That’s because:
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)
Psalm 103:1–5 (NKJV):
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Verse 1 explodes with blessing, worship, praise and adoration to our wonderful, blessing God!
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! And this blessing and worship of God is not without reason or cause, verse 2:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits
And now those incredible, life-transforming benefits that are given to us by God who is good and loving (notice the couplets):
- 3a Who forgives all your iniquities,
- 3b Who heals all your diseases,
- 4a Who redeems your life from destruction,
- 4b Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
- 5Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
- 5b So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
And I am the recipient of such blessings!
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
God has forgiven all my many iniquities! All because of what Christ did for me through His life of total obedience to the Father, all the way to death on the cross (Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 10:1-10).
God has healed me of cancer, of COVID-19 (twice), of many ills in my body and soul!
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
God has intervened thousands of times to redeem (rescue and buy back) my life from destruction! JESUS is my Kinsman-Redeemer! He has “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 2:13-14). I have even been rescued from the bullets of a gunman who came to our workplace and shot at brave police officers who were there to protect us and many others!
Not only does God lift me, redeem me and rescue me from destruction, He also “crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies!”
Oh, how I love that Hebrew word for “lovingkindness”: hesed! This incredible word is power-packed with God’s love toward me: a faithful and strong kind of covenant-keeping Love! This was the hallmark of King David’s life. No one else in scripture mentioned God’s hesed love more than David! I believe that God’s hesed was truly the secret behind David’s success! And God’s hesed, faithful, strong, covenant Love is also the secret behind my success!
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
No one and no thing can satisfy the thirst, hunger and desires of our life like God Himself! No one and no thing! I’m so glad that God has created us for enjoyment, satisfaction and pleasure… and the greatest enjoyment and pleasure of our lives is God Himself!
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
God is no “kill joy”. He is he architect of satisfaction and pleasure. Truly, there is no greater satisfaction and pleasure for spirit, soul and body than God Himself!
“So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”
Even though I am in my 60’s, I take no heed to what the world says about “aging”. But I sure pay a lot of attention to what God says! He says that He renews my youth like the eagle’s! Soaring high above the dangers and problems below, lofted by His glorious presence!
As I feed and delight in God… He renews my youth!
And the wonderful thing is, I am living forever, thanks to what The Lord Jesus Christ has done for me! His life and blood spent for me! Such Love, such Love, such wondrous Love!
How I praise Him for how good He is, how loving He is, how faithful, strong, wise, forgiving, healing, redeeming, crowning, satisfying and renewing He really is!
Oh, my heart and my soul want to explode and say:
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
(c) 2022, Mark D. VanOuse
Ephesians 2:7 (NKJV)
 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Jamieson Faucett & Brown in their commentary* observe:
Ephesians 2:7 answers the question of why God lavished such love upon his people: so that they will marvel for all of eternity over the incredible kindness and love of God. It will take all of eternity to fathom God’s love, and those who are saved will never plumb the depths of it.
The thought that “It will take all of eternity to fathom God’s love, and those who are saved will never plumb the depths of it” is so powerfully touching my heart.
In this world, all we know is limited supply. Eventually, we will run to the end of everything: money, time, resources, energy, pleasure, satisfaction, peace, safety, health, life — even human love.
Yet for all eternity we will never exhaust the Love of God! There will be new (to us) depths and places in His love that we will endlessly discover for all eternity! Think of that! Oh, the constant satisfaction! Oh, the constant delight and pleasure! Oh, the wonder of real, unfailing Love!
The one thing the world over seeks is this Love…. eternal Love…. forever Love.vYet we foolishly seek love elsewhere…
“For My people have committed two evils:They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
A catch basin, that’s all it is — and a broken one at that!
Yet He is the Living Water (John 4). His Love is an everlasting Love fit for all eternity. From this moment to eternity, His Love will always satisfy us with delight, wonder and discovery!
His great, conquering Love brought us from the depths of of sinfulness — objects of His wrath — to being “seated together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6)!
* Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown 1871Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash
In Romans 8 we read:
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Notice the judicial language above in the words “bring a charge”, “justifies”, “condemns”, “intercession”.
And now from Hebrews 7:
 by so much more JESUS has become a surety [guarantee] of a better covenant.  Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.  But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;  who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
It says in Romans 8 that Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us. What is He interceding about? Why is He interceding for us?
Jesus has completed all. He lived His life as a Man on this earth perfectly for us. He has fulfilled all of the law, setting it aside and so established the New Covenant of Grace (Hebrews 10:9). He has sacrificed all, He has bled, He died and all of our wrong has been dealt with at the cross.
And now where is Jesus? , He is at the right hand of God the Father, in the position of highest favor. And in that position of highest favor He is interceding for us. There’s a difference between praying for someone and interceding for someone. Christians often use the two interchangeably, but they are not the same. When we are interceding for someone it’s a lot like a lawyer who is interceding on behalf of his client before the bar of the judge. But in this case it is not that God the Father needs to be convinced to “lay off the sinner”. No, this all the Father’s purpose and desire, it is all part of His great, loving plan. In fact, when Jesus is interceding it is the Father who is in Jesus and is interceding through Him. Jesus said in John 12:49 & 5:19, ““Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
This is extremely powerful, because if this was not the case, if there wasn’t the perfect sacrifice of The Lord Jesus and everything accomplished for us and the Priestly intercession for us at the Father’s right hand when we sin and fail there would be no righteous ground for God to have anything to do with us.
In fact, God would utterly cease to be good, because He is standing for injustice and excusing away sin.
But precisely because God is good, Jesus righteously intercedes on our behalf. The Father is vindicated in His justice precisely because of the righteousness and perfection of Jesus, the perfection of His completed work and His perfect, righteous intercession for us!
And because He as our Great High Priest is interceding for us even when we fail, that intercession meets us where we are at and that Holy, righteous, just and good intercession is what makes the righteous difference so that Our Father can happily continue to righteously bless us and righteously have favor upon us. And the greatest blessing is the gift of Himself through the Holy Spirit…. this is what leads to real, lasting life change and a beautiful relationship with The Lord!
We’ve taken a pause of our ongoing series, “More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times” to allow The Lord to bring an important 3 episode series, Such Costly Love“. It has been my experience in ministering to people who are in crisis that when their foundational understanding of the Love of God is weak, then they have great difficulty trusting in such a Loving God during their crisis. A strong foundation built on the sacrificial Love of God is critical to your life walk, whether good times or bad!…
I was awakened at about 2:15 one morning and had difficulty falling back to sleep, being plagued with “popcorn worries” – those pesky worries about one thing or another that keep popping up. After taking authority over Satan (we know where this sort of stuff ultimately comes from), I turned to The Bible and saw this passage:
Deuteronomy 33:27-29, esp. 27a
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe. It has killed tens of thousands, shut down entire economies, closed schools, shuttered businesses and left many in fear of the future. Can there be any hope for our future?
If it depended on man, we would be hopeless and our future very dark. But God is very much on His throne. He rules supreme. Because of that, we have real hope. This hope is based on the unstoppable Love of God. Our new series is called “More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times”, and is a hope-inducing study of Romans 8:15-39. We’ll unfold this incredible passage to reveal God’s heart for His children, who are His rightful heirs. We’ll see that no thing and no one can ever “separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus Our Lord.” This series will equip you with real hope for the future and a deepening view of God’s great Love!
To follow the series on this website or download each episode using your favorite podcasting app, see the Podcast page on this site.
There is significantly greater danger for the unbeliever than there is for the believer. The unbeliever is living without Christ. They are dead men walking (Eph 2:1). They are being driven by the spirit of Satan working inside of them (Eph 2:2). They are on a collision course with a world driven by Satan whose agenda is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
That’s why the world is so fearful: they’re fearful of climate change, fearful of disease, fearful of deadly viruses, fearful of influenza, fearful of pandemics, fearful of cyberattacks, fearful of getting their identity stolen, fearful of who’s in the White House, fearful of who’s not in the White House, fearful of terrorism, fearful of international situations. Fear, fear, fear!
The unbeliver has great reason to fear day and night. They are exposed to Satan and Satan’s diabolical scheming. They have chosen to live life without God.
How radically different is the case of the believer! The believer is born again, a brand new creature, alive in Christ and Christ is living inside of them. Greater is He who is in the believer than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col 1:27). The believer participates in a covenant with Father God through the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby God gives them a new heart and moves by His Spirit and forgives and blesses and cares for His children. Under this Covenant we are healed, “and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4) and so much more.
That’s why the believer must not get caught up and imbibe of the world’s panicky voice of fear, fear, fear. The world is constantly promulgating and preaching fear. Because the people of this world are those “without God and without hope in the world (Eph 2:13). So it’s essential for the believer to shut off the screeching, terrifying cry of the world. And turn ON the word of God, turn ON those who are faithfully teaching the word of God and the new creation realities. To saturate our minds with the good news of the Gospel and God’s glorious grace!
Not only are we under the personal care of Our Heavenly Father, we are also on His mission. We have been tasked to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. This saving gospel makes a profound difference in people’s lives. God does not want anyone to live in fear, in bondage to Satan:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.Jesus (John 3:16)
I originally wrote this in 2018. We need this now, more than ever, given the current crisis (or any crisis of this scale). I am not saying to shut off information from government and health authorities. It’s important to receive timely updates from those officially charged with handling a crisis. We must be wary, however, of Satan’s tactic to draw us into the godless fear of the world.
A new king has emerged, though not entirely new. It has been around for thousands of years, wreaking havoc on the human race. Its name is “Coronavirus” and its existence in our day is known as “Coronavirus COVID-19 “.
This king is in keeping with its name: for “corona” means “crown.”
This king is overruling the kings of the Earth, even of the mightiest nations.
For consider how this king has …
Shut down schools
Shut down churches
Shut down factories
Shut down supply chains
Shut down stores
Shut down offices
Shut down concerts
Shut down sporting events
Shut down financial markets
Shut down governments
Shut down highways and byways
This king has even shut down Presidential elections!
And in the space of just one week, this king’s tyrannical rule in the United States has shuttered institution after institution, in a landslide of malevolent victory.
But there is another KING. And He alone overrules all. Even the king known as “coronavirus.”
THIS KING has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16)
THIS KING brought the murderous King Manasseh down to his knees with hooks and bound in fetters where he turned and honored THIS KING as the LORD God. (2 Chronicles 33:11-13)
THIS KING humbled the mighty King Nebuchadnezzar who, in a moment, went insane. After seven long years, the king lifted his eyes to heaven and said:
THIS KING is the Most High and I praise and honor Him who lives forever!
THIS KING has an everlasting dominion and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
THIS KING reputes all the inhabitants of the Earth as nothing.
THIS KING does according to His will in the army of heaven!
THIS KING has power among the inhabitants of the Earth and is so great that no one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:33-37)
To THIS KING, he said, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” (Daniel 4:34-37)
THIS KING restored the king’s reason and the glory of his kingdom, his honor, and his splendor.
THIS KING reigns infinitely supreme over all.
THIS KING is God, and there is no other. There is none like Him.
THIS KING declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done.
THIS KING says, “My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
THIS KING has all wisdom and might.
THIS KING changes the times and the seasons.
THIS KING removes kings and raises up kings.
THIS KING gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
THIS KING reveals deep and secret things.
THIS KING knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:20-22).
THIS KING has created all that is in heaven and that are on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
THIS KING has created all things through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
THIS KING is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:17)
THIS KING upholds the universe by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:3)
THIS KING is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for He created all things, and by His will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
THIS KING is the Lamb who was slain, worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)
THIS KING is the head of the body, the church.
THIS KING is the beginning.
THIS KING is the firstborn from the dead.
THIS KING has in all things preeminence. (Col 1:18)
THIS KING is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.
THIS KING is the One who lives, and was dead, and is alive forevermore. ((Revelation 1:11, 19)
THIS KING is the One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)
THIS KING is I AM (Jehovah, Exodus 3:14, John 8:58)
THIS KING is Jehovah Rophe and is OUR HEALING. (Exodus 15:26)
THIS KING is Jehovah Shamma and is PRESENT WITH US. (Ezekiel 48:35)
THIS KING is Jehovah Tsidkenu and is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16)
THIS KING is Jehovah M’kaddesh and MAKES US HOLY. (Exodus 31:13)
THIS KING is Jehovah Jireh and is OUR PROVISION (Genesis 22:14)
THIS KING is Jehovah Shalom and is OUR PEACE AND WHOLENESS (Judges 6:24)
THIS KING is Jehovah Sabaoth and is the OUR LORD OF HOSTS AND POWER (1 Samuel 1:3)
THIS KING is Jehovah Nissi and is OUR VICTORY. (Exodus 17:15)
THIS KING has the government upon His shoulder.
THIS KING is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)
It is THIS KING Whom God also has highly exalted and given the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on Earth, and of those under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Even the king, Coronavirus, bows to the honor, the glory, the power, and the supremacy of THIS KING…
And so does SARS
And cardiovascular disease
And financial ruin
And all that has brought ruin and woe to the Earth…
THIS KING is The King of Kings, The Lord Jesus Christ!THIS KING – A Christian Response to Coronavirus – CC by-nc-nd 2020 – Mark D. VanOuse