- Colossians 1:3-6 – Hope Laid Up In Heaven – audio Richard Dillon
- Matthew 5:43-48 Love Your Enemies – audio Richard Dillon
- Hebrews 06:17-18 The Unchangeableness of God – audio Don Treadway
Text: Matthew 5:43-48
It seems as if this time of year you learn who your friends are, and who your enemies are.
- Families gather together for the holidays, only to see in-laws go at it or siblings renew former spats and squabbles.
- Neighbors compete to see who can display the best holiday decorations.
- Rivalry weekend pairs teams to play each other that do not like one another.
This may seem like a big deal to us now, but consider what it was like many years ago—Jews and Gentiles were at odds, as were Pharisees and Sadducees.
Jesus taught a lesson that we need to learn even today: love our neighbors! Text: Matthew 5:43-48.
I. Jesus recognized the law.
Jesus knew the multitudes have been taught the things according to the Old Law. He reminds them of the things Moses taught: loving their neighbors and hating their enemies (see Leviticus 19:15-18 and Deuteronomy 23:3-6).
A. Who is your neighbor?
A certain lawyer knew the law said to love his neighbor as himself, yet wanted to justify himself by asking who his neighbor was. Jesus taught the parable of the Good Samaritan to show him, and gave him a similar command (Luke 10:25-37).
B. Who is your enemy?
An enemy is hated by one who opposes his beliefs. In the original language, this term hate means to: hate, despise, disregard, or be indifferent to.”
II. Jesus taught different than the law.
Even though He identified the law, He shows a change. He said, “But I say to you (Matthew 5:43)…” Jesus spoke as one having authority and not as the scribes (Matthew 7:29), for He received all authority from His Heavenly Father (Matthew 28:18).
III. Contrary to the law, Jesus said to…
A. …love your enemies.
John teaches that we must love by our actions, not by just mere words (1 John 3:18). Love is more than a feeling; it’s an action! We may not like our enemies, but we must love them! Paul gave us a reminder of what we can do for our enemies (Romans 12:20), as Solomon said in his wisdom from God (Proverbs 25:21-22).
B. …bless them.
James teaches Christians that we are not to bless and curse; rather, we should speak what is good for necessary edification (James 3:6-10; Ephesians 4:29).
C. …pray for them.
Even Stephen asked, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin (Acts 7:60)” as he was being stoned to death for preaching the gospel of Christ. Yes, even Christ prayed a similar prayer: “Father, forgive them, for they know what they do (Luke 23:34)” as He was about to die. He prayed for the very ones who killed Him (as Stephen)!
IV. As Jesus is God’s Son, we must prove we are His children.
A. We must suffer from our enemies just as Christ did (Romans 8:14-17).
B. We let our lights shine in a dark world while being blameless and harmless (Philippians 2:15; Matthew 5:16).
C. As God our Father is perfect, so we are to be perfect (Matthew 5:48).
Paul wants all Christians to be perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28). After all, we are to be imitators of God as dear children (Ephesians 5:1). Jews and Gentiles alike make Christ complete.
There is only one body, the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4; Colossians 1:18-20). The body of Christ is made up of many different members, but there should be no schism in it (1 Corinthians 12:24b-27).
We may have enemies, but we must treat them kindly. Jesus taught us to love them no matter what; after all, He died for them!
What would you want to do to your enemies? Would you want your enemies to return the favor? Remember the words of Christ: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12).”
We are Christians first, and then our individual selves.
Text: 1 Peter 1:6-9
1. One of the many blessings available to us as the elect of God is a very special kind of joy
a. For reasons we shall notice in our lesson, Christians are able to greatly rejoice – 1 Peter 1:6
b. We have access to joy that is inexpressible and full of glory – 1 Peter 1:8
c. A joy so great, so glorious, that it is impossible to truly express with words!
2. In this lesson, we shall focus our attention on Peter’s remarks in 1 Peter 1:6-9 concerning this inexpressible joy that we as Christians are blessed to have
I. THE BASIS FOR INEXPRESSIBLE JOY
A. THERE ARE PAST GROUNDS FOR REJOICING
1. We have been set apart by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit – 1 Peter 1:2
2. We have been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1:2
3. We have been born again to a living hope – 1 Peter 1:3
B. THERE ARE PRESENT GROUNDS FOR REJOICING AS WELL
1. We are God’s elect – 1 Peter 1:2
2. We are kept by the power of God through faith – 1 Peter 1:5
C. AND THERE ARE FUTURE GROUNDS FOR REJOICING
1. We have an inheritance reserved for us in heaven – 1 Peter 1:4
2. We look forward to the salvation which will be revealed in the last time – 1 Peter 1:5
D. All these blessings (Past, present, future) serve as the basis for inexpressible joy.
II. THE EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF THIS JOY
A. IT ENABLES ONE TO REJOICE EVEN IN TRIAL – 1 Peter 1:6
1. No matter what degree of suffering one may experience, in Christ there is joy to match
a. As Peter explains in 1 Peter 4:12-13
b. As he and the rest of the apostles exemplified in Acts 5:40-41
2. How can Christians find joy in such trials?
a. Informed Christians understand the purifying nature of such trials – 1 Peter 1:7
b. Knowing what trials can produce, it is possible to be joyful in trials – James 1:2-4, 12
B. WHAT KIND OF TRIALS?
1. The word various includes all kinds
2. Primarily, it includes those which come as a result of living for Christ – Matthew 5:10-12
3. But we can also rejoice in the everyday afflictions of life
a. For example, sickness, heartbreak, frustration, approaching death
b. For these things also provide an opportunity to test our faith, hope, love, longsuffering and patience
4. If one is able to rejoice even in the midst of such trials, surely they have a joy inexpressible and full of glory!
C. But how can Christians be sure to possess this joy?
1. For it must be admitted that all do not
2. There are times when even the best of us do not
III. POSSESSING THIS INEXPRESSIBLE JOY
A. WE MUST LOVE JESUS – 1 Peter 1:8
1. Whom having not seen you love
2. Jesus is the ultimate source for being able to rejoice in all things – Philippians 4:4
a. He has promised that if we truly love Him, He and His Father will be with us – John 14:23
b. If Jesus is with us, we can receive that joy which is inexpressible! – John 15:11
3. But can we who have never seen Jesus, love Him? Yes! – 1 Peter 1:8
4. How can we come to love Him we have not seen? Through a devotional study of:
a. The Old Testament, with its prophecies of the Messiah
b. The Gospels, with their description of His life, teachings, compassion, suffering, death, and glorious resurrection
c. The Acts, with its action-packed portrayal of the Lord working together with His church
d. The Epistles, where we learn of many blessings found in Christ, and of His ministry as High Priest interceding in our behalf
e. The Revelation, in which we learn of the glorious victory to be won by the Lamb and His followers
B. WE MUST ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS – 1 Peter 1:8
1. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing
2. Through believing in Jesus we can rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory
3. But such faith is more than a mental assent, or academic knowledge of Jesus
4. It involves the key element of faith itself, which is trust
a. Trusting in His commands to be for our ultimate good
b. Trusting in His promises to be fulfilled
c. The kind of trust that prompts us to obey Jesus wholeheartedly
d. This kind of faith comes from the Word of God – Romans 10:17
1. When we have this kind of faith in Jesus, and when we truly love Him with our whole being
a. A blessing we receive is that joy inexpressible and full of glory!
b. A blessing that can sustain us till we reach the end (Goal) of our faith: salvation! – 1 Peter 1:9
2. And that is because this inexpressible joy
a. Is based upon many other blessings: past, present, and future
b. Enables us to joyfully persevere through all kinds of trials in this life
3. But again, this blessing is only for those who truly love Jesus and believe in Him
a. Do you love Jesus? If you do, you will keep His commandments – John 14:15, 23
b. Do you believe in Jesus? If you do, you will do what He says – Luke 6:46
4. Are there commandments of Jesus you have not yet obeyed? If so, why not obey them today so that this inexpressible joy can be yours as well!
Text: Luke 10:25-37
- In Matthew 22:34-40 the Bible declares that a lawyer asked Jesus, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus replied that loving God with all your being is the greatest commandment along with loving your neighbor as yourself.
- God has showed His love to us by offering His Son Jesus as the atonement price to remove our sins. Cannot we as Christians reciprocate this love to others, and love our neighbors? – Matthew 7:12.
To Love People, Remove Deference and Indifference
- To love God and your neighbour, we must not show partiality to others, such as your country of origin, skin color, gender, occupation, or religious affiliation – James 2:8-9
- In Luke 10:30-32, the Priest and the Levite, who were spiritual men and served God under the old law, passed the man who had been attached by thieves on the other side, and showed no love to this neighbor in need. Instead, they showed indifference and lack of caring. How many times have we done the same?
- In Luke 10:33-37, the Spirit of truth teaches that a certain Samaritan in his journey saw the same man, had compassion on him, and went the extra mile of the way to make sure he was taken care of properly. What was the difference between the “spiritual men”, the Priest and the Levite, and the Samaritan? Caring and a demonstration of love for someone in need.
- Therefore, let us be encouraged to Love God, and Love our neighbors, that the world may learn of the Love of Christ that can save their souls – John 13:34-35.
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
I. Question One - “Is Christianity a religion or a relationship? Or both?”
“A lot of my friends have been saying that Christianity is just a relationship with God. I understand that you need to go through the steps of salvation to be saved but they think you just need to pray, read the Bible, etc. So what I’m really asking is, “Is Christianity a religion or a relationship? Or both?”
A. First, we need to stress that everyone is in a relationship with God whether they realize it or not.
1. Matthew 12:30. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
2. One is either with God or against God. There is no middle ground.
3. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15.
4. Jesus said…
a) John 8:24. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
b) Luke 13:3. I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
c) Matthew 10:32. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
d) Mark 16:16. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
5. If we don’t believe or practice these things which Jesus commanded, do we love him? According to Jesus, we do not!
6. So is Christianity a relationship… I would say that it is a term that describes one’s relationship with God. If one is a Christian, then that one is in a RIGHT relationship with God.
B. Is Christianity a religion?
1. Religion – the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.
2. In the Bible, the word for “religion” as applied to Christianity is threskeia.
a) This word focuses on the external aspect of one’s faith.
b) How one expresses his faith.
c) James 1:26-27. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
3. So, yes, Christianity is a religion.
a) It is a belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.
b) It is an outward expression of that belief in the way we behave.
II. Question Two – “Why did God make the earth?”
A. Wow! What a question!
B. The easiest answer is that God made the earth for us to live on! But I think the one who asked the question maybe wanted to know why God made Us.
C. Why did God make us?
1. Some things we can not know for sure.
2. We do know this. God is love. 1 John 4:8. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
a) Everything that God does issues forth from His love.
b) Therefore, I believe that God loved the idea of us.
c) God loved us before He created us.
d) Much like a man and a woman love the idea of having a child.
(1) Even before that child is conceived, they love the idea of it.
(2) Therefore, they decide to bring a child into existence.
e) Remember that God is described as our Father.
III. Question Three – “Why did God give us the Bible?”
A. God gave us the Bible as a guide. Psalm 119:105.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
B. We can’t read God’s mind, so he had to give us a book to tell us what He wants us to know. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.
But as it is written: “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
C. The Bible gives us everything we need to be pleasing to God.
1. 2 Peter 1:3. As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.
2. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
IV. Question Four – “What constitutes worship?”
“Do we need to include the five acts that we do on Sunday for it to be true worship?”
A. The most basic definition of the word “worship” is “to show reverence and respect toward another.”
B. As the question states, God has authorized five ways in which we are to worship Him.
1. Singing. Ephesians 5:19.
2. Praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
3. Bible Study. Acts 20:7.
4. The Lord’s Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
5. Giving as we have been prospered. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
C. By example, we know that Christians gathered together on the first day of the week to worship. Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:18; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
D. However, only two of the acts of worship are LIMITED to the first day of the week.
1. Those two are giving and the Lord’s Supper.
2. We have plenty of examples of singing, praying, and Bible study being performed at other times.
a) Acts 16:25. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
b) 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Pray without ceasing.
E. No, I do not believe that all five acts of worship must be present for one to be worshiping God.
1. On Wednesday evenings when we gather together, study, sing, and pray, we are worshiping God.
2. However, on the first day of the week, we need to have all five acts of worship present to be pleasing to God.
V. Question Five – “A wife is to keep silent in church but ask her husband. If a husband understands or tells her something that is not correct is she lost because of what her husband tells her?”
A. The relevant passage is 1 Corinthians 14:26-35.
How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
1. This passage teaches that a woman is to keep completely silent in the assembly.
2. She is not to utter a sound.
3. This would mean that it would be wrong for a woman to sing.
4. Furthermore, what if a woman did not have a husband? She would have no one to ask her questions!
5. We must ask, “Does is passage apply to us today?”
B. I have never attended an assembly like the one mentioned in the above passage.
1. I have never attended an assembly when someone spoke in a language they had never studied.
2. I have never observed on in the process of receiving a revelation.
3. I have never been to a service where there had to be an interpreter present who had the gift of interpretation.
4. Three classes of people are told to keep silent in this passage:
a) One who spoke in another tongue if there was not interpreter present.
b) A prophet who is speaking must be silent when another receives a revelation.
c) Women must keep silent.
5. Silent – sigao. To keep silent. To hold one’s peace.
6. This was an assembly different from any we will come across today.
7. These women who were told to ask their husbands questions at home would have been asking prophets! There was no need for them to worry about getting bad information.
C. Today, women are not commanded to be completely silent but to learn in submission. 1 Timothy 2:11.
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.
1. “Silence” – hesuchia. Quietness. Tranquility arising from within. Causing no disturbance to others. Meek.
2. Does not mean that they are not to utter a sound.
3. A woman is not forbidden to ask a question as long as she is not disrupting the service or taking control of the service in doing so.
4. Furthermore, a woman today has the Bible available to her. Not true for those to whom Paul was writing in 1 Corinthians 14.
VI. Question Six – “what verse specifically tells the wife to love her husband and what Greek word is used?”
“In the Father’s Day sermon you closed saying wives are to respect and love their husbands. Other than the general commands for Christians to agape one another, what verse specifically tells the wife to love her husband and what Greek word is used?”
A. The verse I was thinking of was Titus 2:3-4.
The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children…
B. The Greek word that is used is philandros.
1. Comes from the Greek word for love, phileo. Which means tender affection.
2. And from Andros which means man or husband (implied when “wife” is used in context).
VII. Question Seven – “Cursing is wrong. What about euphemisms?”
“Cursing is wrong. What about phrases that most of us use like, “Oh shoot,” “Son of a gun,” “Holy cow,” etc. How can these be ok when you are meaning the same thing just substituting another word?”
A. You have a good question.
B. These phrases are called “euphemisms.”
1. Euphemism – a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt.
a) Now, the word “shoot” is not wrong when you are using it in any other way.
b) But if you are saying it as a substitute for that other “s” word, then it is wrong.
3. Look up “heck.”
4. Look up “son of a gun.”
7. “Freakin” (I won’t even say it.)
8. All of these words are merely substitutes for more harsh words.
C. As Christians, we ought to refrain from using euphemisms.
VIII. “Is it wrong for a Christian family to put up a nativity scene at Christmas?”
A. In my mind, the one thing that sets the church of Christ apart from false churches is it’s view of the authority of the Scriptures.
1. Colossians 3:17. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
2. We understand that we must have authority for those things we practice.
3. We understand that the silence of the Scriptures does not authorize.
B. The Bible nowhere authorizes Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus as a special holiday.
1. How can we claim to respect the authority of the Scriptures as a church but then promote a religious holiday that is not authorized?
2. This does not mean that we cannot celebrate Christmas as a simple national holiday.
3. But to attach religious significance to it is unauthorized.
C. Some claim to find authority in Romans 14:5-6.
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.
1. It seems a stretch to me to apply this passage to Christmas.
2. Nevertheless, some feel that this passage authorizes them to pick a day to celebrate Jesus’ birth as long as they don’t bind it on other people.
D. Is it wrong to set up a nativity scene?
1. At the very best, I believe it is very unwise.
2. At the worst, it could be sin for promoting an unscriptural holiday.
Text: John 10:2-4, 11
They don’t know me!
If I ran into Governor Kasich at the mall today, he wouldn’t know my name.
If I went to a campaign event and got close enough to one of the presidential candidates to shake his hand, he’d have no idea who I am.
I met Coach Jim Tressel at an event one day, and he didn’t seem to be interested in developing a close, personal friendship.
But none of that particularly bothers me.
Isn’t it incredibly encouraging to know that the only One who really matters knows each of us individually?
Here’s the way Jesus put it:
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he brings out all his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. . . . I am the good shepherd - John 10:2-4, 11
Just a number…
Have you ever attended a college that identified you by your student number?
Or worked for a company where you were little more than an employee number?
Your government knows you by the nine-digit number assigned to you shortly after you were born.
Not Jesus, our Good Shepherd
He knows us by name, not by number!
He knows us as individuals, not constituents, taxpayers, or employees.
He’s counted the hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7)… and if that’s true, could anything escape his notice?
He knows about the tough day you had at work last week, the argument you had with your spouse last night, and the anxieties in your heart right now.
He knows how much you love your children, and he knows your plans, your dreams, your hopes.
He’s the Shepherd who knows, loves, and protects.
None of the heavy hitters may know you, but in the end only one who matters does.
He knows your name, and he’ll shout it loudly sometime soon when he comes back to get his flock.
Text: Matthew 28:19-20
Thursday night, my family and I returned from Sevierville, TN where we attended Polishing the Pulpit.
- The elders, starting back with Tom and Eddie and not with John and Dan have graciously allowed me and my family to go for several years now.
- They do so at considerable expense to the congregation.
Brian Lawson just recently returned from a mission trip to Guyana, South America.
- He took two weeks away from his wonderful wife.
- It cost a considerable amount of money.
- He put himself physically in harm’s way.
- Why would he do this?
Why do people devote their lives to saving the lost?
More than that, why should each of us strive to save the lost?
REASON ONE – BECAUSE I LOVE THE LORD.
Isn’t He worthy of our love?
- John 3:16. 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.
- Romans 5:8. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- 1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
- Ephesians 3:19. To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
His love for us leads us to love Him. 1 John 4:19. We love Him because He first loved us.
Many will say, “Yes, I love the Lord.”
- Do you really?
- That statement has some consequences.
If I love Him, I will obey Him.
- John 14:15. If you love Me, keep my commandments.
- 1 John 5:3. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
- One of His commandments for us is to teach the lost. Matthew 28:19-20. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
- 1 John 3:18. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
REASON TWO – BECAUSE I WANT TO GLORIFY GOD.
And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
Think of this man’s condition before he met Jesus.
- He lived among the tombs.
He was alone.
- He had no contact with family or friends.
- People undoubtedly avoided him at all costs.
- He was forced to do physical harm to himself.
- He probably felt as if he had no hope.
- Of all the different afflictions that tormented people during this time period, surely demon possession had to be the worse.
- Jesus had healed him. Mark 5:8. For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
- Mark 5:20 is key. He departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him.
If you had a horrible disease, and someone came along and took that disease away when no one else could…
- Wouldn’t you be incredibly grateful?
- Would you keep that to yourself or would you tell anyone who would listen?
- If you would do that for someone who cured a physical illness, why wouldn’t you do it for the One who saved you from spiritual death? Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Kings 7:8-9
And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
- Sometimes, I fear that we act like these four lepers acted initially.
- They found a great bounty (Silver, gold, and clothing).
- Initially, they went and hid it for themselves.
Sometimes, we are guilty of doing this with the gospel.
- We’ve received the forgiveness of our sins and, therefore, eternal life.
- We have all spiritual blessings in Christ.
- We have a wonderful extended family…
- And we want to keep it for ourselves.
- We need to realize, like the lepers, “This is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us.”
Matthew 5:16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
- Any good that we do, and that includes winning the lost to Christ, brings glory to God!
Sometimes, especially with preachers, you find that they preach Christ to bring glory to their selves.
- Not so with Paul and Barnabas. Acts 14:14-15.But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them
- Jeremiah 45:1-5.
The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the instruction of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.”‘ “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the Lord. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”‘”
Let us be like Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 20:7-9. O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.
REASON THREE – BECAUSE I LOVE THE LOST.
If we love the Lord, we must learn to love what He loves.
- We have already demonstrated that He loves us more than we can fathom and that we, in turn, should love Him.
In turn, we must love all men as He does.
- Matthew 22:39. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
- We don’t have to approve of everyone’s actions, but we must love them.
- We can’t love God if we don’t love our brother. 1 John 4:20-21. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
- If we love men as God does, then we will want them to be saved as God does.
Matthew 16:26. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Jesus says that one soul is worth more than the whole world!
- Zechariah 12:1. The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:
- Ecclesiastes 12:7. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
- Think about it… when I, or you, bring one person to Christ, we have helped to save that which is more valuable than the earth itself!
We need to see people as God does! Each soul is priceless.
(Delivered on August 26, 2012 in Streetsboro)
Treat others the way we want to be treated
Jesus said: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets ” (Matthew 7:12 ESV). I doubt that Jesus said anything in the course of His ministry that is more readily recognized, or more universally accepted. But, what did He mean? The intent is clear. We should treat others the way we want to be treated! It’s called the Golden Rule.
Love is the badge of discipleship
I can assure you that come Judgment Day Jesus will not be asking, “And how were you treated?” However, He will, among other things, take careful note of how we treated others. As Christians, there is never a time when it is right to be rude, unkind, mean-spirited, or hateful. Love should motivate our every word and deed. Love is the badge of discipleship. Jesus also said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV).
Loving sinners does not mean that we should ignore sin
Some interpret what Jesus said regarding love as proof that Christians should never disagree, never speak out against anything or anyone, and certainly should never suggest that someone else may be wrong about something. We must be tolerant. Any criticism, any disagreement, any suggestion that someone might be engaging in sinful conduct is to be rejected. It’s argued that these kinds of things are incompatible with the principles espoused by Jesus. If that is the case, please answer the following questions.
Did Jesus violate His own principles when He repeatedly called the Pharisees hypocrites (Matthew 23)? Was He wrong when He overturned the tables of the money changers and drove them from the temple (John 2)? Was He being unloving when He commanded the adulterous woman to leave her life of sin (John 8:11)? Is there a note of intolerance in His words when He said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3)? Was He being judgmental when He referred to his own generation as a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 12)?
The Golden Rule does not demand that we acknowledge every lifestyle as acceptable. Loving sinners does not mean that we should ignore sin. The words of Jesus don’t prohibit us from speaking out about sin. In fact, His words demand that we speak out, but that we do it lovingly and kindly!
AUGUST 19, 2012
Sometime ago I read Roland H. Bainton’s book, Here I Stand, A Life ofMartin Luther. In it Bainton recorded the following regarding Luther’s daughter Magdalena.
When Magdalena was fourteen years old, she lay upon her deathbed. Luther prayed, “Oh God, I love her so, but thy will be done.” And turning to her, “Magdalenchen, my little girl, you would like to stay with your father here and you would be glad to go to your Father in heaven?”
And she said, “Yes, dear father, as God wills.”
And Luther reproached himself because God had blessed him as no bishop had been blessed in a thousand years, and yet he could not find it in his heart to give God thanks. Katie (Luther’s wife) stood off, overcome by grief; and Luther held the child in his arms as she passed on. When she was laid away, he said, “Du liebes Lenichen, you will rise and shine like the stars and the sun. How strange it is to know that she is at peace and all is well, and yet to be so sorrowful!”
I have conducted hundreds of funerals, been at the bedside of many a dying person, and often sought to comfort grieving families. I’ve felt the pangs of sorrow as others wept for a loved one called home all too soon. But nothing has affected me like the passing of my own mother. Mom had a long and good life. She and dad were married for more than 62 years. Until the onset of Alzheimer’s, she had been blessed with good health. In recent months the effects of the disease had become more pronounced. Still, she was at worship and Bible study each week, and though she slept a lot, was happy in her waking hours. Dad, my brother, and especially my two sisters, were attentive to her every need. The past year had been notably difficult for them, but they made certain that mom’s every need was met.
As a family we were exceedingly blessed. It could have been so much worse. Now she is gone. The struggles are over. Her mind is clear again. As I have often said to others, for Christians death is not frightening, foreboding, or final. I know that to be true of mom. Yet, there is a sense of sadness at her passing which I have never experienced before. I find Luther’s words to be expressive of the sentiments of my own heart: “How strange it is to know that she is at peace and all is well, and yet to be so sorrowful.”
To each of you who called, sent a card, came to the funeral home, or kept us in your prayers, I extend our deepest appreciation. Mom left us with the greatest gift a mother can give her family, the knowledge that she died in the Lord.
When our time to go the way of all earth arrives, I pray those who are left behind will find the same comfort which we now find in Christ. Yes, we sorrow, but not as others which have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
OCTOBER 30, 2011
Text: Ephesians 5:1-21
1. Though we now enter chapter five, we are still noticing how to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” – Ephesians 4:1
a. We have been “called” to be
1) “holy and without blame before Him in love” – Ephesians 1:4
2) “sons by Jesus Christ to Himself” – Ephesians 1:5
3) “fellow citizens with the saints” – Ephesians 2:19
4) “members of the household of God” – Ephesians 2:19
5) “a holy temple in the Lord” – Ephesians 2:21
6) “fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ” – Ephesians 3:6
b. What sort of “walk” is worthy of such a calling? So far we have seen that it is one in which we are
1) “Walking Together in Unity” – Ephesians 4:1-16
2) “Walking In Truth and Holiness – Ephesians 4:17-32
2. As we come into the fifth chapter, we learn that our “walk” (or conduct) which is worthy of our calling is one in which we
a. Walk In Love – Ephesians 5:1-7
b. Walk As Light – Ephesians 5:8-14
c. Walk As Wise – Ephesians 5:15-21
I. WALK IN LOVE (Ephesians 5:1-7)
A. FOLLOWING CHRIST AS OUR EXAMPLE (Ephesians 5:1-2)
1. Jesus certainly has loved us and given Himself for us
2. He offered Himself to God as an offering and sacrifice in our behalf
3. Let His example teach us how to “walk in love” – cf. John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:16-17
B. WITH A LOVE THAT IS PURE (Ephesians 5:3-7)
1. Our love should be free from any hint of immorality or greed – Ephesians 5:3
2. Even words or jokes suggestive of immorality or greed are unbecoming those who are “saints” (holy, set apart for God’s purpose) – Ephesians 5:4
3. This is a serious concern, for immoral or greedy persons have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, but instead will experience the full wrath of God! – Ephesians 5:5-7
II. WALK AS LIGHT (Ephesians 5:8-14)
A. WE ARE NOW “LIGHT IN THE LORD” (Ephesians 5:8-10)
1. Before coming to Christ, we were once “darkness” (remember Ephesians 2:1-3); but now we are “light in the Lord” and should walk as “children of light” – Ephesians 5:8
2. The fruit expected of those children of light is goodness, righteousness and truth – Ephesians 5:9
3. By bearing such fruit, we fulfill our role as “light” by “proving” (demonstrating) what is well-pleasing to the Lord – Ephesians 5:10; cf. Romans 12:1-2
B. AS “LIGHT” WE MUST NECESSARILY EXPOSE “DARKNESS” (Ephesians 5:11-14)
1. We are not to have fellowship with “unfruitful works of darkness” – Ephesians 5:11, 5:3-4
2. Instead, our task is to “expose” them – Ephesians 5:11b-13
a. Things that we must expose are often so disgraceful, it is shameful to speak of them
b. But by “walking in the light” ourselves, we can through example and word expose by contrast these “works of darkness”
3. Thus the need to be “light” ourselves, something that comes only from Christ – Ephesians 5:14
a. Christ gives “light” to those who were spiritually asleep and dead – cf. Ephesians 2:4-6
b. Some scholars think this verse (Ephesians 5:14) may have been an early “baptismal hymn”, sung at a person’s baptism
III. WALK AS WISE (Ephesians 5:15-21)
A. CHARACTERISTICS OF “WALKING AS WISE” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
1. Doing so with great care – Ephesians 5:15
a. The word translated “circumspectly” means “exactly, accurately, diligently”
b. Unlike fools, who care little about where they are going or what is happening
2. Taking advantage of the time available to one – Ephesians 5:16
3. Understanding the will of the Lord – Ephesians 5:17
a. Only by understanding the will of the Lord can we be a “wise people”
b. Just as Israel was to demonstrate their wisdom by doing the will of the Lord, so we can “walk as wise” only if we understand His will for us – Deuteronomy 4:5-6
B. TO WALK AS WISE REQUIRES BEING “FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT” (Ephesians 5:18-21)
1. While those who “walk as fools” delight in being filled with wine, those who walk as wise” will endeavor to be filled with the Spirit!
2. What evidence is there that one is “filled with the Spirit”? Paul describes three indications…
a. One indication is singing praises – Ephesians 5:19
b. Another indication is giving thanks – Ephesians 5:20
c. A third indication is submitting to one another in the fear of God – Ephesians 5:21
1. Children of God who delight in:
a. Singing praises and making melody in the heart
b. Giving thanks always for all things to God
c. Submitting to one another in the fear of God
d. Demonstrate that they are “filled with the Spirit”, and as such, truly are “followers of God as dear children” – Ephesians 5:1
2. As children of God, and “filled with the Spirit”, they are able to walk in a manner worthy of their calling, as they:
a. “Walk in love”
b. “Walk as light”
c. “Walk as wise”
3. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we live in a world:
a. That has perverted the meaning of “love”
b. That takes perverse pleasure in works of darkness
c. That stumbles around aimlessly, like drunken fools
d. Can we not see the need for the people of God today to live up to their “calling”, and to “prove what is acceptable in the Lord”?
4. May God fill His children with His Spirit:
a. So that we can truly “walk in love”, “walk as light”, and “walk as wise”
b. And thereby show to the world the fruit of the Spirit, goodness, righteousness, and truth
Text: Ephesians 2:4-10
1. In the previous lesson we saw our true condition outside of Christ:
a. Dead in trespasses and sins – Ephesians 2:1
b. Walking with world and the devil – Ephesians 2:2
c. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind – Ephesians 2:3
d. Truly we were “sons of disobedience” and “children of wrath”!
2. At the close of the previous lesson, I asked, “How can such ‘sons of disobedience’ and ‘children of wrath’ ever become…”
a. “Holy and without blame”?
b. “Receive the adoption as sons”?
c. “Accepted” by God?
3. In the text for this study (Ephesians 2:4-10) we find our answer, where we learn that salvation by grace through faith involves many elements besides just grace and faith to begin with, salvation by grace through faith:
I. INVOLVES THE “GREAT LOVE” OF GOD (Ephesians 2:4)
A. THIS IS THE BEGINNING POINT OF SALVATION…
1. From this, all else flows
2. What mercy, grace, etc., that God shows mankind is founded upon the fact that God has a great love for us – cf. John 3:16
B. THIS LOVE IS NOT BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE, BUT WHO GOD IS…
1. God did not love us because we were lovable, but because God is loving!
2. As John wrote in an effort to inspire his brethren to love one another, God is love, and that moved Him to offer His Son – 1 John 4:7-10
II. INVOLVES THE “RICH MERCY” OF GOD (Ephesians 2:4)
A. DEFINING MERCY…
1. The word “eleos” is defined by Vine’s Expository Dictionary as the outward manifestation of pity”
2. Mercy, then, is compassion that one has for those in trouble
B. GOD’S “GREAT LOVE” MAKES HIM “RICH IN MERCY”…
1. His great love for sinners enables God to be filled with compassion toward them
2. The riches of His mercy seek to reach out to all who will accept it – 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9
III. INVOLVES BEING “MADE ALIVE TOGETHER” WITH CHRIST (Ephesians 2:5)
A. HERE IS WHERE “GRACE” REALLY ENTERS IN…
1. For notice that Paul says “WHEN we were dead…(God) made us alive”
2. While STILL “dead in trespasses” God has somehow made us alive together with Christ!
3. Though not fully explained in this passage how (and when) this happened, it occurred because of God’s “unmerited favor” (the definition of “grace”)
B. HOW (AND WHEN) WE WERE “MADE ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST” IS EXPLAINED ELSEWHERE…
1. Especially in Colossians 2:11-13
2. Where we learn that it is in baptism…
a. We are buried with Christ and then raised with Him – Colossians 2:12; cf. Romans 6:3-6
b. We, who were “dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh”, were thus “made alive together with Him (Christ)” – Colossians 2:13
c. Our trespasses were all forgiven – Colossians 2:13; cf. Acts 2:38; 22:16
IV. INVOLVES BEING “RAISED UP TOGETHER” WITH CHRIST (Ephesians 2:6-7)
A. WE SAW IN Ephesians 1:20
1. Where Christ was raised from the dead
2. And then was seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places
B. NOW WE LEARN FROM Ephesians 2:6-7
1. That we too are raised up and made to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places!
a. This speaks of our present condition in the “spiritual realm” (heavenly places)
b. Because of our union with Christ, we enjoy an exalted position together with Him
c. Which union serves as the basis for our wonderful spiritual blessings – cf. Ephesians 1:3
2. But our present condition, and the blessings it entails, are only the beginning!
a. There is more “in the ages to come”
b. There are “exceeding riches of His grace in kindness” yet to be shown in Christ Jesus!
V. INVOLVES “FAITH”, AND NOT MERITORIOUS WORKS (Ephesians 2:8-9)
A. SALVATION IS FIRST AND FOREMOST, BY “GRACE”…
1. Up to this point, Paul has said nothing about man’s part in the process of salvation
a. It was GOD’S mercy, love, and grace which made salvation possible
b. It was GOD’s working that made us alive, raised us up, made us sit together with Christ
2. Truly, salvation is…
a. “not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”
1) Some understand this phrase to refer to “faith”
2) But I understand Paul to be referring to salvation
b. “not of works, lest anyone should boast”
1) We are not saved by works of merit, whereby we earn salvation
2) But as Paul told Titus “according to His mercy He saved us…” – Titus 3:5
B. NEVERTHELESS, SALVATION IS BY GRACE “THROUGH FAITH”…
1. “Faith”, together with the “working of God”, is how we were “raised with Christ” in baptism – cf. Colossians 2:12
2. In other words, it is an obedient faith that receives the salvation in Christ – cf. Hebrews 5:9
3. So when a person in faith is being baptized…
a. They are not “earning” their salvation
b. Rather, they are “receiving” their salvation which is by God’s grace and God’s working, for in baptism they are receiving Jesus Christ and all He accomplished by His death and resurrection! – cf. Galatians 3:27
VI. INVOLVES BEING “CREATED…FOR GOOD WORKS” (Ephesians 2:10)
A. IN CHRIST, WE ARE “HIS WORKMANSHIP”…
1. As Paul intimated in his discussion of baptism in Co 2:12 (“the working of God”)
2. Through God’s “working” in which He…
a. “made us alive”
b. “raised us up”
c. “made us sit together in the heavenly places”
d. we have truly become “a new creation”! – cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17
B. THE GOAL OF THIS “WORKMANSHIP”: CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS…
1. Though not saved by good works, we are to do good works!
2. God “prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”
a. It is part of His predetermined plan
b. Not just to save, but to create a people diligent in good works! – cf. Titus 2:11-14
3. Therefore, the people of God should…
a. “be ready for every good work” – Titus 3:1
b. “be careful to maintain good works” – Titus 3:8
c. “learn to maintain good works” – Titus 3:14
1. So it is “by grace through faith” that…
a. “Children of wrath” can become “children of God”!
b. “Sons of disobedience” can “receive the adoption as sons” of God!
c. We can be “accepted” by God!
2. Because “Salvation By Grace Through Faith” involves:
a. God’s great love
b. God’s rich mercy
c. God making us alive together with Christ
d. God raising us up together with Christ to sit with Him in the heavenly places
e. An obedient faith that trusts in God’s workmanship, not one’s own works
f. A new creature that is diligent in doing good works to the glory of God
3. How can one receive this wonderful salvation? Let Jesus and His apostles show you the way, for it is when we in faith submit to the Lord’s command to be baptized that we enjoy the blessings of God’s love, mercy, and workmanship… – Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Colossians 2:12-13
Text: Galatians 2:6-19
1. Paul’s defends his apostleship in Galatians by recounting
a. His limited contact with the other apostles, in particular Peter – Galatians 1:11-24
b. Two episodes when he met with the apostles, especially Peter – Galatians 2:1-21
2. The relationship between Paul and Peter has often been misrepresented
a. That Peter had primacy over Paul (Catholicism)
b. That they had doctrinal differences (Criticism)
3. The Biblical evidence shows otherwise. Both in Galatians and elsewhere in the Scriptures, we note their equality and respect for one another.
I. PAUL’S VISIT TO JERUSALEM
A. THE OCCASION
1. Paul, Barnabas and Titus had gone to Jerusalem by revelation – Galatians 2:1-2
a. Likely the visit to Jerusalem described in Acts 15:2-4
b. Though some think it may have occurred earlier - Acts 11:29-30; 12:25
2. Paul withstood pressure by false teachers – Galatians 2:2-5
a. In a private meeting, he spoke with those “of reputation” (Peter? James? John?)
b. False brethren sought to compel Titus to be circumcised
c. Paul refused to yield to their demands
3. Paul met with Peter, James, and John, who “seemed to be pillars” – Galatians 2:6, 9
B. THE OUTCOME
1. With those “who seemed to be something” (James, Cephas, John) – Galatians 2:6-10
a. They added nothing to Paul (made no demands, gave no instructions or authority)
b. They saw that Paul had been given the gospel to the uncirmcumcision
c. Paul recognized God’s effective work in Peter’s ministry and Peter’s apostleship to the circumcision
d. James, Cephas (Peter) and John perceived the grace given to Paul
e. They extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul
f. They asked only that Paul remember the poor, which he was eager to do
2. Of the meeting together with all the apostles and elders at Jerusalem - Acts 15:6-29
a. Peter related his preaching to the Gentiles, and their salvation without circumcision
b. Paul and Barnabas related their ministry and God’s working among the Gentiles
c. James offered scriptural support, and then a letter to which all agreed
d. The letter confirmed the ministry of “beloved Barnabas and Paul”
3. Paul’s visit to Jerusalem certainly illustrated that he and Peter were in doctrinal agreement regarding the gospel they preached.
II. PETER’S VISIT TO ANTIOCH
A. THE OCCASION
1. Peter played the hypocrite – Galatians 2:11-13
a. He had come to Antioch (some think this was during Acts 15:1; others think it was later)
b. At first he ate with the Gentiles
c. After certain men came from James, Peter withdrew and separated himself
d. He feared those of the circumcision
e. His actions encouraged other Jews to be hypocrites, even Barnabas
2. Paul confronted Peter – Galatians 2:11, 14-19
a. He withstood Peter to his face, because he was to be blamed
b. He rebuked Peter before them all, showing him to be inconsistent
c. Paul’s gospel (justification by faith in Christ, not by the works of the Law) vindicated by Peter, who normally lived like a Gentile himself – cf. Peter also, in Acts 15:7-11
B. THE OUTCOME
1. Paul’s equality with Peter demonstrated – Galatians 2:11,14
a. Paul had the authority to withstand him to his face
b. Paul had the authority to charge him with hypocrisy before all
2. Peter’s respect for Paul undiminished – 2 Peter 3:15-16
a. Peter later described Paul as “our beloved brother Paul”
b. Peter acknowledged the wisdom given to Paul
c. Peter recognized Paul’s epistles as “Scriptures”
3. Peter’s visit to Antioch was not a happy occasion, but it did provide an opportunity to illustrate the equality of Peter and Paul, and that despite Peter’s momentary lapse, his overall life demonstrated that his gospel was the same as Paul’s.
III. LESSONS FROM PAUL AND PETER
A. THE COURAGE OF PAUL
1. We note the courage manifested by Paul in Jerusalem and Antioch
a. Refusing to concede to pressure by false brethren
b. Standing alone with even your closest brethren are led astray
c. Having to rebuke a respected brother in Christ
2. Paul’s courage was motivated by faithfulness
a. Faithfulness to the Lord whom he served
b. Faithfulness to the gospel of which he was not ashamed – Romans 1:16
B. THE HUMILITY OF PETER
1. We note the humility manifested by Peter in his last epistle
a. Not holding a grudge against Paul for his public rebuke
b. Willing to publicly acknowledge Paul’s wisdom given by inspiration
2. Peter’s humility was motivated by love
a. Love for a brother in Christ
b. Love consistent with what he himself taught others - 1 Peter 3:8-9
1. The relationship between Paul and Peter illustrates the power of Christ
a. To turn persecutor and persecuted into coworkers for the gospel
b. To help brethren at odds work through their problems to become brethren beloved
2. While Paul and Peter had a different focus in their respective ministries
a. They served the same Lord, preached the same gospel
b. One was not superior to the other, they were fellow-apostles in the kingdom of God
3. Rather than trying to find some perceived ‘rift’ between two faithful apostles, may we use their examples to motivate us in our service to the Lord and to one another
(Love the Lord, the Brethren and the Lost)
1. In the Great Commission, Jesus wanted His apostles to make disciples… – Matthew 28:19-20
a. A disciple is a learner, a follower, an adherent
b. Jesus wants us to learn from Him – Matthew 11:28-30
2. What does Jesus expect of us…?
a. Discipleship involves many things
b. But especially that we love – 2 Peter 1:5-8
3. But one might ask…
a. What are we to love?
b. How can we best show our love?
I. THE THREE LOVES DEFINED
A. LOVES THE LORD…
1. Jesus taught we should love God – Matthew 22:37
2. His disciple John wrote that loving God must also mean loving His Son – 1 John 5:1
3. Jesus expressed the same thought as John, but conversely – John 15:23
– A disciple of Jesus is one who loves both the Father and the Son
B. LOVES THE BRETHREN…
1. Jesus made this love a mark of true discipleship – John 13:34-35
2. John made it a sign of spiritual life – 1 John 3:14; cf. 1 John 2: 9-11
– A disciple of Jesus is one who loves his fellow disciples
C. LOVES THE LOST…
1. God the Father certainly loved the lost – John 3:16
2. Jesus likewise had compassion for the lost – Matthew 9:35-38
3. Paul had great concern for the lost – Romans 10:1; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:19-22
– A disciple of Jesus is one loves those who are lost in sin
[Disciples also love their families, even their enemies, but such can be included in either the category of brethren or the lost. Knowing who we are to love, how can we manifest such love? Some thoughts on..]
II. THE THREE LOVES DEMONSTRATED
A. THROUGH WORSHIP…
1. This is how we can best demonstrate our love for God
2. Assuming that our worship is in harmony with what Jesus revealed
a. That it is in Spirit and truth – John 4:23-24
b. That it includes keeping His commandments – John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10
3. We are to worship God in two ways:
a. Through our public assemblies – Hebrews 10:24-25
b. Through our private devotions – e.g., Matthew 6:6
– Disciples demonstrate love for God through public worship and private devotion
B. THROUGH FELLOWSHIP…
1. This is how we can best demonstrate our love for the brethren
2. By not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together – Hebrews 10:24-25
3. We are to fellowship with one another in two ways:
a. By coming together as a church, for the Lord’s Supper and other means of edification – Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:26
b. By extending hospitality to one another – cf. 1 Peter 4:8-9
– Disciples demonstrate love for brethren through fellowship in church and home
C. THROUGH EVANGELISM…
1. There is no better way to show love for the lost
2. Jesus manifested His compassion in this way
a. By teaching the lost – Matthew 9:35-36
b. By calling for prayer in behalf of the lost – Matthew 9:37-38
c. By developing and sending forth laborers – Matthew 10:1, 5-7
3. We can show our concern for the lost in similar ways
a. Through personal evangelism – e.g., 1 Peter 3:15; John 1:45-56
b. Through supporting foreign evangelists – cf. Romans 10:14-15
– Disciples demonstrate love for the lost by engaging in both local and foreign evangelism
1. We go a long way to becoming true disciples of Jesus by…
a. Loving the Lord
b. Loving the brethren
c. Loving the lost
2. We go a long way in demonstrating such love through…
a. Public worship and private devotion
b. Fellowship with one another in both church and home
c. Engaging in both local and foreign evangelism
3. Many Christians love only partially…
a. They worship God in public, but not in private
b. They fellowship with brethren at church, but not in their homes
c. They evangelize at home, but do nothing to support evangelism abroad
4. No matter how much we love as disciples of Christ, we can always improve…
a. “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment” - Philippians 1:9
b. Perhaps this study, “The Three Loves Of A Disciple,” can provide direction for improving our love…
1. As Christians, we are but pilgrims and sojourners in this world…
a. We have duties regarding our spiritual growth and development – 1 Peter 2:11
b. Yet we also have a duty toward those who are still of this world – 1 Peter 2:12
2. One arena where we fulfill our duty to those in the world is “the community”…
a. The cities and neighborhoods in which we live
b. Relationships we maintain with our neighbors and fellow citizens
3. What impact should our faith have as members of the community…?
a. What effect should it have on us as neighbors and citizens?
b. How can our communities become a place to evangelize the lost?
4. Paul gave general instructions concerning Christians living in this world - 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
a. To lead a quiet life
b. To mind our own business
c. To work with our own hands
d. To walk properly toward those who are outside
I. THE CHRISTIAN AS NEIGHBOR
A. TO ASSOCIATE WITH OTHERS…
1. True, we are to be separate – cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
2. But we must not confuse separation with isolation – 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
3. Jesus provides the example – cf. Mark 2:14-17
B. TO LIVE IN PEACE…
1. As much as it depends on us – cf. Romans 12:17-21
2. Careful to give no offense if possible – cf. 1 Corinthians 10:32-33
C. TO WALK IN LOVE AND WISDOM…
1. We owe it to our neighbors to love them – cf. Romans 13:8-10
2. Showing kindness through hospitality – Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; 5:10
3. Making good use of our time – cf. Colossians 4:5
4. Speaking with truth and grace – cf. Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:25, 29
D. TO DO GOOD…
1. Diligent in doing good works – cf. Matthew 5:16; Luke 6:35; Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Timothy 6:17-18; Titus 3:8 1 Peter 2:12
2. Displaying honorable conduct – cf. 1 Peter 2:12; 2 Corinthians 8:21
3. Earning a good testimony from those outside – 1 Timothy 3:7; Acts 22:12
II. THE CHRISTIAN AS CITIZEN
A. OBEY THOSE IN AUTHORITY…
1. To be subject to rulers authorities – cf. Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1-5
2. To obey their laws, unless they conflict with God’s law – 1 Peter 2:13-16; Ac 5:27-29
B. GIVE HONOR AND PAY TAXES…
1. Honor all, including those in government – cf. 1 Peter 2:17
2. Pay taxes and customs, rendering fear (respect) and honor – Romans 13:6-7
C. PRAY FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY…
1. For kings and all who are in authority – cf. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
2. That we might lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence – cf. 1 Timothy 2:2-3
D. Christians are a valuable asset for any country in which they live. Not only by their lawful obedience and prayers for those in authority, but by sharing the good news of God’s love – 1 Timothy 2:4-6
III. THE CHRISTIAN AS EVANGELIST
A. HOLDING FAST THE WORD OF LIFE…
1. We are to shine as lights in the world – cf. Philippians 2:14-15
2. Holding fast the Word of life – cf. Philippians 2:16
a. Some translations say “holding forth” (KJV, ASV) or “hold out” (NIV)
b. Certainly a duty expressed elsewhere – Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 2:9
3. In our communities, we have a duty to spread the Word!
B. INFLUENCING PEOPLE BY EXAMPLE…
1. Sometimes people won’t listen to our message
2. But we can still influence them for good by our example – 1 Peter 3:1-2
3. In our communities, we have a duty to confirm the Word by our lives!
1. Living in our community is a wonderful opportunity…
a. To be a positive influence on our friends and neighbors
b. To be a blessing for whatever country in which we find ourselves
2. Let your faith in the community be an opportunity…
a. To demonstrate the value of a vibrant faith in Christ!
b. To reach others for Jesus Christ through the gospel!
3. What kind of neighbors and citizens are we? Do we encourage others to glorify God…?
Text: Romans 12:5
1. A wonderful blessing we enjoy in Christ is fellowship with other Christians…
a. We are members of one another – Romans 12:5
b. Thus we have a special bond or tie that binds us together
2. A simple yet beautiful song that describes this bond is “Blest Be The Tie”…
a. Words written by John Fawcett in 1782
b. Melody by Johann Georg Nageli, arranged by Lowell Mason in 1845
I. FIRST VERSE
A. “BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS OUR HEARTS IN CHRISTIAN LOVE”…
1. Consider first what the tie that binds or members one of another is not
a. It is not an earthly tie, such as:
– All of which are either social or physical ties
b. It is not broken like earthly ties, such as through:
2) Incompatibility (e.g., the apostles were a diverse group)
2. Consider then what the tie that binds is
a. Love, not easily broken – Colossians 3:14
b. Love, that comes from the God of love – 1 John 4:7-11
c. Love, learned from the example of Christ – 1 John 3:16
d. Love, serving as a mark of true discipleship – John 13:34-35
– The tie involves love that is uniquely Christian; patterned after Christ’s love
B. “THE FELLOWSHIP OF KINDRED MINDS IS LIKE TO THAT ABOVE”…
1. This tie involves a unity for which Jesus prayed – John 17:20-23
2. It involves a unity of mind for which Paul prayed – Philippians 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3. Therefore any threat to this unity is strongly condemned – 1 Corinthians 1:10
– The tie seeks to emulate the unity between the Father and the Son
[The tie that binds is based upon the love and unity which Christ makes possible; how it is manifested is illustrated in the remaining verses of the song...]
II. SECOND VERSE
A. “BEFORE OUR FATHER’S THRONE WE POUR OUR ARDENT PRAYERS”…
1. We are blessed to be able to approach God in prayer
a. A privilege enjoyed in Christ – Hebrews 4:14-16a
b. A privilege with great blessings – Hebrews 4:16b
2. This song depicts frequent and fervent prayer
a. Praying for one another – James 5:16
b. Praying with another – Acts 1:14; 2:42; 12:12; 21:5
– Such prayer is a benefit of the tie that binds, and also strengthens that tie
B. “OUR FEARS, OUR HOPES, OUR AIMS ARE ONE, OUR COMFORTS AND OUR CARES”…
1. We have similar concerns and desires
a. Some because we are simply fellow humans in this world
1) We desire to be healthy, we fear sickness and dying
2) We enjoy comforts of life, we fear joblessness and poverty
b. Others because we are fellow citizens of the kingdom
1) We share the hope of the resurrection and eternal life – 1 Peter 1:3
2) We share in the struggles against temptation and persecution – 1 Peter 5:8-9
2. As Christians, therefore, we can have more in common
a. Not just because of our human nature
b. But also because we are partakers of divine nature
1) Grace and peace are multiplied – 2 Peter 1:2-3
2) We have exceedingly great and precious promises – 2 Peter 1:4
– Our shared experiences, enhanced by our spiritual blessings, strengthen our tie
[The next verse focuses on mutual problems we sometimes face...]
III. THIRD VERSE
A. “WE SHARE OUR MUTUAL WOES, OUR MUTUAL BURDENS BEAR”…
1. As Christians, we are to bear one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:1-2
2. In times of spiritual weakness, we are to pray for one another – James 5:16
3. In times of physical need, we are to provide for one another – James 1:27
– Manifested in such ways, the tie we have in Christ is truly a blessing
B. “AND OFTEN FOR EACH OTHER FLOWS THE SYMPATHIZING TEAR”…
1. Because that is how God composed the body of Christ! – 1 Corinthians 12:24b-26
2. That we might weep with those who weep – Romans 12:15
– An emotional but effective demonstration of the bond we share
[The final verse describes the impact of the tie that binds, when it becomes time to separate, even temporarily...]
IV. FOURTH VERSE
A. “WHEN WE ASUNDER PART, IT GIVES US INWARD PAIN”…
1. The tie is such that departure can be painful
2. Note the example of Paul and the Ephesian elders – Acts 20:36-38
– Never experience such pain? Perhaps one might need to examine their tie
B. “BUT WE SHALL BE JOINED IN HEART AND HOPE TO MEET AGAIN”…
1. We might be separated in the flesh, but can remain together in spirit - Colossians 2:5
2. We are comforted by a wonderful hope
a. The hope of the resurrection – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
b. Made possible by the resurrection of Christ, and our faith in Him – 1 Peter 1:3-5
– It is this hope which keeps our hearts joined together, when all other bonds fail
1. “Blest Be The Tie” is a beautiful song…
a. That describes the blessings of our oneness in Christ
b. That expresses how many Christians truly feel for one another
2. But it describes blessings known only by those…
a. Who have been added by Christ to His church – Acts 2:41, 47
b. Who are diligent in preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:1-3
3. Have you been added to the Lord’s church through obedience to the gospel (cf. Acts 2:38)?
4. Are you doing your part to strengthen the tie that binds those in Christ?
“so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” – Romans 12:5
1. In our efforts to lead people to Christ…
a. We understand the importance of the Word of God – Romans 10:17
b. The gospel is the power of God to salvation – Romans 1:16
2. Yet it helps to complement the Word with a demonstration of certain qualities whereby…
a. People can see the truth of the gospel in action
b. People are more likely to believe in Jesus Christ
3. When demonstrated by Christians in a local church, these ‘signposts’ can serve to…
a. Let the nonbeliever know:
1) There is a God Who loves him or her
2) Who has sent Jesus as a manifestation of that love
b. Let the true searcher know:
1) Those who are disciples of Christ
2) Who can thus lead him or her to Christ
[There are at least four such "Divine Signposts", one being...]
I. THE SIGNPOST OF UNITY
A. THE VALUE OF UNITY OF BELIEVERS…
1. It shows that God has sent Christ – John 17:21,23
2. It shows that God has loved the world – John 17:23
B. SO UNITY IS A SIGNPOST TO THE WORLD…
1. That God loves the world – cf. John 3:16
2. That God sent Christ who produces the unity witnessed by the world – cf. Ephesians 2:13-16
C. THUS THE IMPORTANCE OF UNITY…
1. Led Paul to condemn division and those who cause it – 1 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 16:17-18
2. Led Paul to teach attitudes essential to preserving unity – Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 2:2-4
[Let's be sure that we do nothing to destroy the 'signpost' of unity; rather, let's work toward enhancing its effectiveness. Another 'signpost' that points one in the right direction is...]
II. THE SIGNPOST OF LOVE
A. THE VALUE OF LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER…
1. It shows that we have been loved by Christ, whose love we seek to emulate – John 13:34
2. It shows that we are truly His disciples – John 13:35
B. SO LOVE IS A SIGNPOST TO THE WORLD…
1. That Christ has loved His disciples – cf. John 15:12-13
2. That those who emulate His love are His true disciples – cf. Ephesians 5:1-2
C. THUS THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE…
1. Led Paul to encourage churches to increase in love – 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
2. Led Paul to consider love as the “bond of perfection” – Colossians 3:14
a. Here we see that love and unity go together
b. By our love for one another, we are more likely to preserve our unity in Christ
[Unity and love also go hand in hand as "Divine Signposts". The first lets people know God loves them, and the second shows people who are the followers of Christ. Now for a third 'signpost' ...]
III. THE SIGNPOST OF HOPE
A. THE VALUE OF HOPE…
1. It can prompt people to ask us questions – 1 Peter 3:15
2. It can provide us opportunity to share the reason for our hope – 1 Peter 3:15
B. SO HOPE IS A SIGNPOST TO THE WORLD…
1. Presuming that our hope is something:
a. Noticeable, prompting people to ask “Why?”
b. Based upon reason, i.e., evidences for our faith
2. Especially when our hope is:
a. Accompanied by peace and joy – Romans 5:1-2
b. Steadfast even in tribulation – Romans 5:3-4
c. Based upon the love of God – Romans 5:5
d. Made sure by the resurrection of Jesus – 1 Peter 1:3-4
C. THUS THE IMPORTANCE OF HOPE…
1. Led Peter to command Christians to set their hope fully on the grace to come – 1 Peter 1:13
2. Led Peter to command Christians to always be ready to explain their hope – 1 Peter 3:15
[To unity, love, and hope as "Divine Signposts", let's now consider a final 'signpost'...]
IV. THE SIGNPOST OF GOOD WORKS
A. THE VALUE OF GOOD WORKS…
1. They can lead men to glorify our Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
2. They can lead men to glorify God in the day of visitation – 1 Peter 2:12
B. SO GOOD WORKS IS A SIGNPOST TO THE WORLD…
1. Directing people to consider the motivation behind such works
2. Opening people up to the gospel message which inspires such works – cf. 1 Peter 3:1-2
C. THUS THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD WORKS…
1. Led Paul to command that we be ready for every good work – Titus 3:1
2. Led Paul to command that we be careful to maintain good works – Titus 3:8,14
1. With such “Divine Signposts”, we can see how people can be led to Christ…
a. Our unity can convince people of God’s love for them in sending Christ
b. Our love can direct them to true disciples of Christ
c. Our hope can prompt them to ask questions as to the reason for our faith
d. Our good works can encourage them to glory God by their own obedience to the gospel
2. This in no way takes away from the power of the gospel to save souls…
a. But the Lord intended for His church to be a city set on a hill
b. Which by demonstrating certain qualities as a group would draw people to Him
3. Without these “Divine Signposts”
a. We make it a lot harder for souls who are searching to find their Savior and His gospel!
b. Are we doing our part in the local congregation to display unity, love, hope and good works…?
“Everything Must be Done with Love”
1. What one characteristic must be present in everything we do? Everything should be done with love (1 Corinthians 16:14).
2. How does God show His love for us? First of all, God is love (1 John 4:7-10) and showed it by sending His only begotten Son (John 3:16).
3. How does Christ show His love for us? He lay down His life for us (John 15:13,14).
4. How do we show our love for Him? When we keep His commandments, He knows we love Him (John 14:15). This involves an action; love must be done in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18). When we love one another, we love Him (1 John 4:7).
5. Do we love others by preaching the gospel? Certainly! Jesus commanded the gospel to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15-16). It is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16), and it is the truth! The truth sets us free (John 8:32), and it is Christ Himself (John 14:6) and God’s word (John 17:17). Paul said we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15,16).
6. What chapter teaches us the most about love? 1 Corinthians 13 does! Read it!
Text: John 13:35
The word love was tossed around a lot yesterday (February 14th).
- Somewhere a second-grader gave his secret sweetheart a pink card with a few mints taped inside. He’s loved her “forever”… since almost the beginning of the school year, if not longer! He discreetly watched her open it, and hoped nobody saw.
- A couple of sixteen-year-olds exchanged cards and candy yesterday as well. Deep down she thinks he may be the one. She’s pretty sure she loves him.
- A young married couple celebrated their first Valentine’s Day, and their affection is deeper, more meaningful, than it’s ever been.
Millions of other couples at different life stages said “I love you.”
Most meant something slightly different when they said it.
Love for some has endured challenges, perhaps many challenges, over times:
- Career struggles
- Health problems
- Loss of loved ones
- Empty nests
Love changes over time, doesn’t it?
The love we share now isn’t the same as it was when we were younger.
And it won’t be the same a year from now, or a decade after that.
Shared experiences add a depth, vitality, a genuineness, to love… these qualities mature over time.
What we’re searching for, stretching toward, is genuine love.
- Not the cards-and-candy, Hallmark kind of love.
- Not the warm fuzzy feelings kind of love.
- We’re aiming for love that’s truly self-sacrificing, other-focused.
We never quite get there, at least not all the way.
But as believers we know what it is, and we try to feel it, practice it, and live it.
It’s perfectly demonstrated only in God’s love toward us, of course. When he lived for us, when he died for us, we get a glimpse at what love really is.
Valentine’s Day may be over-romanticized and too commercialized, but at the root of it is a longing in each of us.
To love and be loved.
To experience a kind of love that’s not tied to what we deserve, and love that we extend even when it doesn’t feel good. Especially when it doesn’t feel good.
In the midst of all of yesterday’s cards and chocolate, think again about what love really is.
Let it cause you to get on your knees and thank God for loving you when you were rebelling against him.
And let it remind you that the love you’ve received is the love you’re to give to:
- Fellow believers
- The unlovable
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10).
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have lovefor one another. (John 13:35)
Text: Ephesians 5:25-29
1. Our previous lesson argued that marriage is not an institution
a. Created and designed by man or the state
b. Subject to alteration by societal whims
2. But rather, that marriage is a sacred institution
a. Instituted by God in the beginning
b. Regulated by Jesus and His apostles in the Word of God
c. Reserved for sexual intimacy between a man and a women
3. Indeed, marriage is a successful institution
a. When we follow the Biblical injunctions concerning it
b. When members of the family fulfill their proper roles
c. Preventing marriage and family from becoming an emotional and psychological straitjacket, the proverbial ball and chain, and source of much strife and hurt in one’s life
4. What are those Biblical injunctions concerning the proper roles?
I. LOVE YOUR WIVES!
A. HUSBANDS ARE TO LOVE THEIR WIVES
1. As Christ loved the church – Ephesians 5:25-27
a. He gave Himself for the church!
b. He nourishes and cherishes the church!
2. As they love their own bodies – Ephesians 5:28-29
a. Which they nourish and cherish
b. Which they handle with care
3. Free from bitterness – Colossians 3:19
a. That is, resentment or hate
b. Often accompanied with wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking – Ephesians 4:31
B. HUSBANDS ARE TO LOVE THEIR WIVES
1. With “agape” love (active good will)
a. Which is commanded – Ephesians 5:25
b. Which is defined – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
c. The same sort of love we are to have toward God and all men
2. With “phileo” love (sentimental, affectionate)
a. As one would have for his own body – Ephesians 5:29
b. As parents would have for their children – Ephesians 6:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:7
3. With “eros” love (sexual)
a. Joining together as one flesh – Ephesians 5:31
b. Providing physical attention and affection due the wife – 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
4. Husbands have a duty to love their wives in every way!
II. RESPECT YOUR WIVES!
A. BY HOW YOU TREAT THEM
1. With understanding – 1 Peter 3:7
a. In an understanding way – 1 Peter 3:7 ESV
b. Be considerate – 1 Peter 3:7 NIV
c. Learn what makes her “tick”, and treat her accordingly
2. With honor – 1 Peter 3:7
a. Praise her in the gates – Proverbs 31:28
b. Put her on a pedestal
c. Do not ridicule her publicly
3. As to the weaker vessel – 1 Peter 3:7
a. Not that your wife may actually be the weaker vessel
b. Many wives are spiritually stronger, some physically stronger
c. But treat her “as” a weaker vessel (treat her like china, not steel)
B. BY HOW YOU VIEW THEM
1. As a fellow heir of the grace of life – 1 Peter 3:7
a. For whom Christ died
b. A beloved sister in Christ, worthy of respect
c. With whom you hope to spend eternity
2. As one who affects the efficacy of your prayers! – 1 Peter 3:7
a. How we treat others has a bearing on our prayers – Mark 11:26; Proverbs 21:13
b. God will not heed our prayers if we mistreat our wives! – Malachi 2:13-16
III. SUPPORT YOUR WIVES!
A. BY PROVIDING FOR THE FAMILY
1. The husband (and father) has the duty to provide for his family – 1 Timothy 5:8
2. Failure to do so is to deny the faith (the doctrine of Christ!) – ibid.
3. Unbelievers (and most creatures) provide for their own
4. A man should not take a wife unless he is willing and able to support her financially
B. BY LETTING HER CONTRIBUTE
1. The virtuous woman contributed much to the support of the family – Proverbs 31:16-19,24
2. A wise husband lets her contribute, and to be praised for it! – Proverbs 31:31
3. Of course, not to the neglect of her familial duties – Proverbs 31:21,27; 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:4-5
1. The Christian husband is a man who
a. Loves his wife in every way
b. Respects his wife by how he treats her and views her
c. Supports his wife financially, emotionally, and spiritually
2. This is because the Christian husband is a man who
a. Is a Christian first, and a husband second
b. Gladly accepts the Biblical injunctions given to him as a husband
c. Looks to the Word of God and prayer for the strength he needs to fulfill his duty
3. When a man is a Christian husband
a. He is more likely loved and respected by his wife
b. She is more likely the sort of wife she should be
c. The children are more likely as they should be
4. In our next lesson, we shall consider the duties of wives.
Text: Genesis 1:1
GOD IS OUR CREATOR.
He made the world (kosmos) in an orderly arrangement which includes the moons, planets, stars, earth, and mankind (Genesis 1:1).
GOD IS OMNIPOTENT
- The term omnipotent describes God as being ALL POWERFUL. God created the heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1).
- It was through God’s power that the Red Sea was divided and the Israelites walked on dry ground into the midst of the sea, and the Egyptians also followed on dry ground in the midst of the sea, but by God’s power the walls of water came down and drown all the Egyptians (Exodus 14:15-31). By God’s power, Jesus was resurrected from the grave (Acts 3:14-15).
GOD IS OMNISCIENT
- The term omniscient denotes God as having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight. In other words, God is ALL KNOWING. This is a characteristic that men and women do not posses. And since God knows everything, and we are limited in our knowledge, we should humble ourselves before Him (Hebrews 4:13). God knows when Jesus is going to come back again. We do not know when Jesus is going to return – (Matthew 24:36).
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT
- The term omnipresent is the fact of God being present in all places at all times. In Psalm 139:7-8, David affirms God is everywhere. In Proverbs 15:3, the Bible teaches us the eyes of the Lord are in every place.
GOD IS LOVE
- The message of the Bible is the love that God has for us so that we can be reconciled back to Him through the perfect sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 4:9-10).
- God is our shelter or protection, when the storm’s of life arises. God is our source of strength in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). God is the giver of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
- According to Isaiah 12:2, God is our salvation. Therefore, you and I should be encouraged to Trust the LORD JEHOVAH. Let us also call to remembrance; our God is a consuming fire according to (Hebrews 12:29).
- This is why we all need to respond to the loving call of God. Now is the acceptable time. Why not come to Him tonight as we stand and sing?
HEAR BELIEVE REPENT CONFESS BAPTISM LIVE FAITHFULLY
Presented by Harry D. Anderson, Jr. on May 25, 2011 at the Gahanna Jefferson Church of Christ