God’s Presence: His Salvation Message Proclaimed
2 February 2014
I am often amazed at the change I see take place in the lives of people, when they make the choice to follow Christ. It’s as if they had been waiting for someone to tell them how to be saved, according to the Bible. When they hear God’s salvation message---the gospel---they embrace the message and, often, become quite excited about discovering what Christ did for them at Calvary. They become desirous to show their gratitude for what God has done for them in Christ, and become zealous in doing good works. One of those works is the willingness to tell others about God’s salvation message, desiring to see people saved from eternal torment. This kind of thinking closely parallels the desire that Queen Esther and Mordecai had for the Jews in Persia. The Jews had been given a death decree and they were awaiting its date of execution, while in a state of mourning in sackcloth and ashes. Esther was aware of their plight, and was demonstrating a strong degree of sorrow before her king, and was pleading for their deliverance. If you have your Bible with you, please turn with me to the book of Esther. Our study today will be in the eighth chapter. Specifically, we will be studying verses nine through fourteen.
It was a desperate situation for the Jews in Persia. They were in a severe state of mourning, fearing that their lives would soon be over. What they did not know, however, is that God was working on their behalf to bring change to their situation. Queen Esther has appeared before the king---her husband---and has asked for her life and the lives of her people. In His providential way, God enabled the king to see that Haman, his most trusted political advisor, had constructed a plan to kill all of the Jews, and had deceitfully gained the king’s approval to do it. Haman had not realized that the queen was a Jew. Ultimately, Haman was put to death for his evil deception, and Haman’s estate was handed over to Esther and Mordecai. Additionally, Mordecai received the king’s signet ring, taking over Haman’s role as second to the king in authority. This unfolding of events---however---did not eliminate the death decree against the Jews. Esther once again addressed the king, asking for the revocation of the decree Haman had constructed. The king gives permission to Esther and Mordecai to craft a new decree that would supersede Haman’s decree. This brings us to the text for our study today.
SCRIPTURE: Esther 8:9-14
CTS: 3 integral parts of God’s salvation message.
The proclamation of God’s salvation message includes:
I. CONTEXT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 9-10)
Now that Esther and Mordecai have been given authorization to write a new decree, the author of Esther identifies what took place in the process of putting the message together. There is a specific note to make, as we consider the text of study for today. Comparing it to Esther 3:12-15, the text appears to be a replication of the decree published by Haman. Haman’s decree, however, was for the specific purpose of destroying the Jews. Mordecai’s decree would be one of salvation for the Jews.
The text in verse nine identifies the king’s scribes being brought together for constructing the decree being developed by Mordecai (9a). Notice God’s providence again, as the text unfolds. Mordecai’s decree was written on the twenty third day of the third month. In essence---once the decree was published---the Jews had approximately eight months to prepare themselves to comply with the decree being published by Mordecai. Notice that---in contrast to Haman’s addressees---Mordecai included the Jews in the addressee list of the letters he wrote. In fact, they are the first people group mentioned in the addressee list (9b). Additionally, they were included in the list of those who had letters specifically written in their script and language (9d). Every Jew was made aware of his or her responsibility in complying with the decree. The beautiful aspect about this salvation decree is that it was backed by the king’s authority (10a). To ensure that the message would get to all of its intended recipients in a timely manner, the best horses in Persia---the king’s---were used to deliver the letters (10b).
The beautiful truth for believers in Christ today is that God has already constructed a salvation message that is applicable to every tribe, tongue, and nation and applicable to every generation. The truth is that every person born into this world is born under the curse of sin. Every person is a sinner (Rom. 3:23). Understandably, God provided a way for sinners to be cleansed of all their sin through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8, Col. 2:15). God’s salvation message is applicable to everyone who will believe that Jesus is God’s Son and choose to accept Him as Lord and Savior (John 1:12-13). In following the text of study for today, if the message has already been written, the need now is to deliver it to the nations. Let’s think---for a moment---of how we can get the message out to the world, enabling many to escape the coming eternal torment for those who don’t believe in Christ.
The salvation message today – To clarify God’s salvation message, a few scriptures are most appropriate to share. Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection to remain in Jerusalem until receiving the Holy Spirit. It would be Holy Spirit who would enable the apostles / disciples to spread His message of salvation. Once they had received His power, they were to share the salvation message of God with everyone in the world (Acts 1:8). Additionally, we should not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power to salvation for all men (Rom. 1:16). Scripture also teaches that salvation is for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13). Finally, the salvation message cannot be earned. Salvation in Christ is a free gift from God (Rom. 6:23b; Eph. 2:8-9).
The point of application for every believer in Christ is to believe that there is no resource outside the Bible that offers eternal salvation. God’s salvation message is the message of the Bible. We, as believers in Christ, must embrace the fact that there is no other way for man to make peace with God.
As indicated by the text. Mordecai constructed a decree that every person in the Persian Empire had to hear. He was careful to ensure that every conceivable script and language was addressed. The author was careful to explain what the content of that message was in verses eleven through thirteen. This leads us to the next point in our message. The proclamation of God’s message includes the consideration of and the content of the message. Look with me at verse eleven.
II. CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 11-13)
The nature of Mordecai’s decree was one of self defense. Verse eleven identifies that the Jews were authorized to assemble together (11a), to defend themselves (11a), to destroy those seeking to destroy them (11b), and to plunder the spoil of their enemies (11c). The interesting point to note here is the similarities of the decree constructed by Mordecai and the decree Haman had written in chapter three of Esther. The instruction for the Jews was the same as for those who were authorized to attack the Jews. Additionally, the decree would be executed on the same day as the decree published by Haman (12). The decree was issued as law in every province, enabling the Jews to defend themselves on the day Haman’s decree went into effect (13). Mordecai’s decree had given God’s people hope.
As for the follower of Christ, there is no need to prepare for defense against those who persecute and wish to destroy God’s people. God’s message of salvation---at this point in time---is spiritual in nature. When a person accepts the contents of God’s message of salvation as truth---and acts upon it---that person is saved from eternal torment. In other words, once a person accepts and acts upon God’s message of salvation, not even physical death can separate the believer in Christ from God. As stated by the apostle Paul, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-9). In regards to physical protection, let us thank God that He has given us our civil government to keep evil from overrunning the righteous (Rom. 13:1-7). Believers in Christ, therefore, have no reason to fear what man may do to them. Whether they live or die, they are safe in the spiritual protection of Almighty God (Rom 8:31-39).
Content of our message - Rather than spreading a message approving physical defense against evil, the content of the message being spread by believers in Christ is one of simple belief. If a person receives the message of the gospel, God enables that person to become a son of God (John 1:12-13).
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to honor the message of the gospel. Believers must be careful to avoid adding any additional requirements for people to experience salvation.
With the message of salvation for the Jews in Persia written, the only thing left was to get it out to those living in fear of physical destruction. This brings us to the final point of our message for today. The proclamation of God’s salvation message includes communication of the message. Look with me at the last verse of our text.
III. COMMUNICATION OF THE MESSAGE (VS. 14)
The text provides us a similar, yet different thought concerning the spreading of Mordecai’s decree. Mordecai’s letters---just like Haman’s---were sent out to all the provinces by couriers. The mode of travel---based upon the reporting of the text---was a bit different. The couriers carrying Mordecai’s message rode on “royal steeds.” The text appears to say that the horses---being the king’s---were the surest mode of transportation in getting the message out to its recipients. The verse also asserts that the couriers moved quickly, being impelled by the king’s command (14ab). As the couriers went out, a copy of the decree was handed out at the citadel in Susa (14c). The idea implied is that the message could not be spread fast enough to alleviate the fear and hopelessness felt by the Jews in Persia.
The text of our study is a challenge for believers in Christ to get the message of the gospel out to a world that is heading in the direction of eternal torment, separated from God by their sins. They are actual enemies of God. Things can change for many of them---however---if they hear the message of the gospel and choose to respond. Scripture teaches us that we know not the day or hour of our Lord’s return. As followers of Christ, we must be living our lives for the glory of Christ, looking prayerfully for opportunities to share God’s message of the gospel with others. As God brings opportunities our way, He will give us the strength and courage to share His life saving message.
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to recognize that every believer in Christ is a courier of God’s gospel message. It is every believer’s responsibility to share the gospel as God gives us the opportunity.
My hope is that if you have been listening to this message or have read this manuscript, God has made you aware of a few things. If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to respond to God’s invitation to become His child. Pray and tell God that you believe that Jesus is His Son and that Jesus paid the price for your sins. Admit to God that you are a sinner. Ask for the forgiveness of your sins and for God to take control of your life. In doing so, your eternal future is secure with God. You will become His courier of the gospel to others. Please respond to God’s beckoning call today.
If you know Christ as your Savior, ask God to give you His strength and courage to be a faithful zealous courier and deliverer of His gospel message to others. He is counting on us to get the message out.
As we conclude, let me share a few important thoughts for you to ponder. First, the text reveals that the king gave Esther and Mordecai the authority to draft a decree that would enable the physical salvation of God’s people throughout the kingdom of Persia. Additionally, they were aware of their responsibility to get the message to everyone, and took action upon that awareness.
As believers in Christ, we have the same responsibility for the spiritual salvation of many. We have the message. Let us take the message seriously, and prayerfully seek to share God’s gospel message with others as often as possible. God has assured us that He will be with us as we carry out His mission (Matt. 28:19-20).
REFERENCES (page 1)
Acts 1:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Romans 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 10:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[a]
Ephesians 2:8-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
John 1:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Matthew 28:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 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.[b]
INTRODUCTION: THE IMPACT OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: ESTHER & MORDECAI FREE TO DECREE
SCRIPTURE: ESTHER 8:9-14
TITLE OF MESSAGE: GOD’S PRESENCE: HIS SALVATION MESSAGE PROCLAIMED
CTS: 3 INTEGRAL PARTS OF GOD’S SALVATION MESSAGE
THE PROCLAMATION OF GOD’S SALVATION MESSAGE INCLUDES:
I. CONTEXT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 9-10)
• EXPLANATION: MORDECAI CONSTRUCTED A MESSAGE OF HOPE
o COMPOSED LETTERS ON THE 23RD DAY OF THE 3RD MONTH (9A)
JEWS WOULD HAVE 8 MONTHS TO PREPARE FOR DEFENSE
o LETTERS TO EVERYONE IN THE PERSIAN EMPIRE (9BCD)
NOTE: JEWS ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN THE PROCESS
• 1ST IN LIST OF ADDRESSEES (9b)
• LETTERS TO JEWISH ACCORDING TO SCRIPT & LANGUAGE
o POSSESSED THE KING’S AUTHORITY (10A)
o ARRANGED FOR THE IMMEDIATE TRANSPORT THE LETTERS (10B)
• ILLUSTRATION: THE SALVATION MESSAGE TODAY
(ACTS 1:6-8; ROM 1:16; ROM 10:13; EPH 2:8-9)
• APPLICATION: GOD HAS WRITTEN HIS LETTER FOR ALL NATIONS
II. CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 11-13)
• EXPLANATION: THE KING APPROVED THE JEWS TO USE SELF DEFENSE
o JEWS IN EVERY CITY WERE PERMITTED:
TO ASSEMBLE (11A), TO DEFEND THEMSELVES (11A),
TO DESTROY THOSE SEEKING TO DESTROY THEM(11B)
TO PLUNDER THE SPOIL OF THEIR ENEMIES (11C)
o DATE OF THE EVENT: 13TH DAY OF THE 12TH MONTH (12)
o THE EDICT BECAME LAW EVERYWHERE: JEWS PREPARED (13)
• ILLUSTRATION: CONTENT OF OUR MESSAGE TODAY (JOHN 1:12-13)
• APPLICATION: HONOR THE CONTENT OF GOD’S GOSPEL
III. COMMUNICATION OF THE MESSAGE (VS. 14)
• EXPLANATION: MORDECAI SENT THE MESSAGE OUT TO ALL
o THE COURIERS WERE SENT ON THE KING’S BEST HORSES
• APPLICATION: WE ARE GOD’S COURIERS FOR HIS GOSPEL
• THE KING GAVE AUTHORITY FOR ESTHER AND MORDECAI TO SAVE MANY
• THE KING OF KINGS HAS GIVEN BELIEVERS AUTHORITY TO REACH MANY WITH THE GOSPEL: HIS WORD & HIS HOLY SPIRIT’ POWER (MATT 28:19-20)
Esther 8:9-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
9 (A)So the king’s scribes were called at that time in the third month (that is, the month Sivan), on the twenty-third [a]day; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, the satraps, the governors and the princes of the provinces which extended (B)from India to [b]Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to (C)every province according to its script, and to every people according to their language as well as to the Jews according to their script and their language. 10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on (D)horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud.
11 [c]In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right (E)to assemble and to defend their lives, (F)to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and (G)to plunder their spoil, 12 on(H)one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar). 13 (I)A copy of the edict to be [d]issued as law in each and every province was published to all the peoples, so that the Jews would be ready for this day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers, hastened and impelled by the king’s command, went out, riding on the royal steeds; and the decree was given out at the citadel in Susa.
a. Esther 8:9 Lit in it
b. Esther 8:9 Lit Cush
c. Esther 8:11 Lit Which
d. Esther 8:13 Lit given
A. Esther 8:9 : Esth 3:12
B. Esther 8:9 : Esth 1:1
C. Esther 8:9 : Esth 1:22; 3:12
D. Esther 8:10 : 1 Kin 4:28
E. Esther 8:11 : Esth 9:2
F. Esther 8:11 : Esth 3:13
G. Esther 8:11 : Esth 9:10
H. Esther 8:12 : Esth 3:13; 9:1
I. Esther 8:13 : Esth 3:14
David and Deb Barton are missionaries to Papua, New Guinea, working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, taking the Bible (in the native languages of the villages they visit) to the bible-less peoples of Papua, New Guinea. They gave the church an update on their ministry, as well as David presenting a message from Exodus 4.
INTRODUCTION: ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 7:31-35
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: BELIEVERS COMPARED TO JOHN THE BAPTIST
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: TAKING HIM SERIOUS
CTS: 3 TRUTHS THAT LEAD TO SERIOUS FAITH BEFORE GOD
HOW CAN I DEMONSTRATE SERIOUS FAITH BEFORE GOD?:
I. ACKNOWLEDGE GOD’S WORD FOR MY LIFE (VV. 31-32)
EXPLANATION: JESUS HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED OF OBEYING GOD
JESUS LAUNCHES INTO A PARABLE TO WARN ABOUT DISBELIEF (31)
CHILDREN PLAYED A FLUTE (WEDDING) - NO RESPONSE (32A)
CHILDREN SANG A FUNERAL SONG - NO RESPONSE (32B)
IS GOD’S WORD REALLY FOR ME? PSALM 119:9-11, 105-106
ILLUSTRATION: A PURPOSE OF CLOSE ORDER DRILL
APPLICATION: TREAT THE BIBLE AS GOD SPEAKING TO YOU
II. ADMIT THAT HIS WORD IS TO BE OBEYED (VV. 33-34)
EXPLANATION: JESUS RECOGNIZES UNBELIEVERS
JOHN DEMONSTRATED THE HUMILITY OF REPENTANCE (33A)
THE PHARISEES AND LAWYERS REJECTED HIS WORD (33B)
JESUS CAME ANNOUNCING THE KINGDOM (34A)
THE PHARISEES AND LAWYERS REJECTED HIS WORD (34B)
SHOULD I OBEY GOD’S LEADERSHIP IN MY LIFE?
ILLUSTRATION: LEADERSHIP WITH CREDIBILITY (CARING = WORK)
APPLICATION: CHOOSE TO OBEY HIS WORD TO YOU
III. ACT UPON WHAT I LEARN ABOUT GOD (VS. 35)
EXPLANATION: JESUS JUSTIFIES GOD’S WISDOM
GOD’S WISDOM IS PROVEN TRUE BY ALL HER CHILDREN
ILLUSTRATION: EVIDENCE OF BEING A MARINE
APPLICATION: ACT UPON GOD’S WORD; IT REVEALS HIM TO OTHERS
UNBELIEVERS HAVE NO DESIRE TO FOLLOW GOD OR OBEY HIS WORD
SERIOUS FAITH REQUIRES SEEKING AND OBEYING GOD’S WORD
YOUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD WILL REVEAL GOD TO OTHERS
IS THERE EVIDENCE THAT YOU HAVE SERIOUS FAITH?
REFERENCES (page 1)
Are You Serious?!!
I have often heard this phrase from people during my life. People often ask the question, when they hear me or someone else say something that sounds unbelievable. At other times, people seem to asking the question to verify the sincerity of the person speaking. The one asking the question is curious as to how committed the person speaking is to what he or she just said. Considering a follower of Christ, people often wonder how serious Christians are with their faith.They may not ask the question, but they are watching to see if your or my actions match our words. So, what is your response to the question in regards to your faith? Are you serious?
Psalm 119:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:105-106 New King James Version (NKJV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
I have sworn and confirmed
That I will keep Your righteous judgments.
Luke 7:31-35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
31 “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come (A)eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a [a]drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and [b]sinners!’
35 Yet wisdom (B)is vindicated by all her children.”
a Luke 7:34 Or wine-drinker
b Luke 7:34 I.e. irreligious Jews
A Luke 7:33 : Luke 1:15
B Luke 7:35 : Luke 7:29
INTRODUCTION: FISHING ON CLOUGH POND, NH
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 5:1-11
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: JESUS, GODâ€™S AUTHORITY ON EARTH MATT 28:18
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: THE TRUE FISHERMAN
CTS: 4 THOUGHTS FOR LEADING PEOPLE TO GODâ€™S KINGDOM
HOW CAN I EFFECTIVELY CATCH MEN FOR GOD?:
I. ADMINISTER THE WORD OF GOD (VV. 1-3)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: PEOPLE WERE HUNGRY FOR THE WORD OF GOD
o PEOPLE PRESSED ON JESUS TO HEAR HIS TEACHING (1-3a)
o JESUS USED THE BOAT (PETERâ€™S) AS A TEACHING PLATFORM (3b)
â€¢ APPLICATION: ACTIVELY STUDY GODâ€™S WORD; SHARE WITH OTHERS
II. ACKNOWLEDGE GODâ€™S ABILITY (VV. 4-7)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: JESUS TELLS PETER TO DO WHAT SEEMED HOPELESS
o PETER WAS A SKILLED FISHERMAN; JESUS WAS A CARPENTER
o JESUS: PETER, HEAD FOR THE DEEP; LET DOWN YOUR NETS (4)
o PETER ACKNOWLEDGED JESUSâ€™ HEADSHIP (â€œMASTERâ€) & OBEYS (5)
o PETER SAW A MIRACLE TAKE PLACE: MANY FISH!! (6-7)
â€¢ APPLICATION: TRUST GOD TO USE YOU TO CATCH MEN
III. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR INABILITY (VV. 8-10)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: PETER CONFESSED HIS SIN; JESUS STILL USED HIM
o SEEING JESUS PERFORM A MIRACLE, PETER HUMBLED HIMSELF (8)
o PETER, HIS CREW, JAMES AND JOHN WERE ALL AMAZED (9-10A)
o JESUS ASSURED THEM - DONâ€™T FEAR, YOU WILL CATCH MEN (10B)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: YOUR ABILITY TO CATCH MEN (JOHN 15:4-8)
â€¢ APPLICATION: ONLY THROUGH GODâ€™S POWER WILL YOU CATCH MEN
IV. ACTIVELY PURSUE BEING A FISHER OF MEN (VS. 11)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: THE RESPONSE OF THE FISHERMEN: LEFT EVERYTHING
o THE FISHERMEN LEFT ALL TO FISH FOR MEN (11):
â€¢ APPLICATION: ASK GOD TO ENHANCE YOUR FISHING SKILLS FOR HIM
â€¢ GODâ€™S WORD IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO CATCH MEN
â€¢ SALVATION IS GODâ€™S WORK, NOT OURS.
â€¢ OUR ROLE IS TO SHARE HIS WORD IN HUMILITY
â€¢ OUR ABILITY TO CATCH MEN REQUIRES PRAYER & PERSISTENCEâ€ƒ
REFERENCES (page 1)
Fishing on Clough Pond
I understand that to catch fish, you have to be up pretty early in the morning. Such was the case for Rich Clegg and myself on the first day of trout season in New Hampshire for 2017. We both had prepared ourselves to brave the cold morning, as well as securing snacks while traveling in the canoe from which we would fish. However, getting up at 2:30 AM to be on the lake by 4:30 AM felt a bit unnecessary. Thanks to Richâ€™s good planning, we made it to the lake and were in our boat before a line of trucks with fishing boats formed at the pier.
During our experience on the water, I felt like the fish did not think much of my fishing abilities. I went through about two hours in the boat without a bite on either of my two fishing pole lines. Then Rich said something to me that made a big difference in my expectations for the morning. â€œLet out your line a good bit, so that it can sink deeper into the pond. Iâ€™ve got a feeling.â€ I followed his direction and let the line out farther. After about 10 minutes of paddling the canoe around the pond, Rich told me to reel in my line and see how things were looking. AMAZING!! I had a fish on my line! It was a pretty good size! I thought I was hauling in a timber trout (tree branch). However, to my surprise, I had a big fish. In fact, it was so big, it snapped the tip of my pole. The fish actually measured 15 inches, the longest catch of the day.
Whatâ€™s interesting is that if I did not follow Richâ€™s counsel from the beginning of the day to the moment of letting out my line, as instructed, I doubt I would have caught that fish.
Today, as we look at our text for study, we will see how our Savior, Jesus Christ, was catching men for His kingdom work. If you have your Bible with you, turn with me to Luke 5. We will be looking at the first 11 verses.
John 15:4-8 The Message (MSG)
4 â€œLive in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch canâ€™t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you canâ€™t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 â€œI am the Vine, you are the branches. When youâ€™re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you canâ€™t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he isâ€”when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
Luke 5:1-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The First Disciples
5 (A)Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by (B)the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And (C)He got into one of the boats, which was Simonâ€™s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the [a]people from the boat.
4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, â€œPut out into the deep water and (D)let down your nets for a catch.â€ 5 Simon answered and said, â€œ(E)Master, (F)we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but [b]I will do as You say and let down the nets.â€ 6 When they had done this, (G)they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.
8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesusâ€™ [c]feet, saying, â€œGo away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!â€ 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were [d]James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, â€œ(H)Do not fear, from now on you will be (I)catching men.â€
11 When they had brought their boats to land, (J)they left everything and followed Him.
a Luke 5:3 Lit crowds
b Luke 5:5 Lit upon Your word
c Luke 5:8 Lit knees
d Luke 5:10 Or Jacob
A Luke 5:1 : Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11; John 1:40-42
B Luke 5:1 : Num 34:11; Deut 3:17; Josh 12:3; 13:27; Matt 4:18
C Luke 5:3 : Matt 13:2; Mark 3:9, 10; 4:1
D Luke 5:4 : John 21:6
E Luke 5:5 : Luke 8:24; 9:33, 49; 17:13
F Luke 5:5 : John 21:3
G Luke 5:6 : John 21:6
H Luke 5:10 : Matt 14:27
I Luke 5:10 : 2 Tim 2:26
J Luke 5:11 : Matt 4:20, 22; 19:29; Mark 1:18, 20; Luke 5:28
INTRODUCTION: HAVE YOU BEEN CHOSEN? (1 PETER 2:9)
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 5:27-32
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: JESUSâ€™ POWER: TEACH, PREACH, HEAL, FORGIVE
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: WHY JESUS CAME
CTS: 3 WAYS TO KNOW THAT GOD SENT JESUS FOR YOUR SALVATION
HOW CAN I KNOW THAT JESUS CAME FOR ME?:
I. GOD MOVED YOU TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST (VV. 27-28)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: JESUS CALLS LEVI INTO HIS KINGDOM WORK
o LIFE OF TAX COLLECTOR (SEE NOTES)
o JESUS WENT TO LEVI AND CALLED HIM TO FOLLOW JESUS (27)
o LEVI LEFT EVERYTHING AND BEGAN TO FOLLOW JESUS (28)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: CHOOSING A CAREER PATH
â€¢ APPLICATION: GOD CHOSE YOU TO SERVE IN HIS KINGDOM; JUST DO IT
o WE DID NOT CHOOSE JESUS; HE CHOSE US; LET US JOYFULLY OBEY
o JOHN 15:16
II. GOD USES YOU TO BRING OTHERS TO CHRIST (VV. 29-30)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: LEVI THREW A PARTY FOR JESUS
o LEVI WANTED HIS FRIENDS TO MEET HIS SAVIOR (29)
o THE PHARISEES COULD ONLY SEE JESUS VIOLATING THE LAW (30)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: BIRTHDAY AND HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS
â€¢ APPLICATION: INVITE OTHERS TO YOUR CELEBRATION; RELATE JESUS
III. GOD MOVES YOU TO LIVE A LIFE OF REPENTANCE (VV. 31-32)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: JESUS CLARIFIED THE SUBJECTS OF HIS MINISTRY
o JESUS STATED THAT HE CAME NOT FOR THE HEALTHY, BUT SICK (31)
o JESUS FURTHER CLARIFIED WHO THE SICK WERE, SINNERS (32)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: PNEUMONIA: A SILENT KILLER
â€¢ APPLICATION: PLACE YOUR SINFUL BODY IN THE HANDS OF JESUS; HE WILL HEAL YOU AND STRENGTHEN YOU TO GLORIFY HIS NAME
â€¢ JESUS CHOSE A TAX COLLECTOR (DESPISED JEW) TO FOLLOW HIM
â€¢ THE MAN RESPONDED TO HIS INVITATION, EXPERIENCING CHANGE
â€¢ THE MAN HELD A RECEPTION TO HONOR CHRIST
â€¢ OUR PERSONAL LIFE SITUATION IS PARALLEL TO LEVIâ€™S
â€¢ THROW A CELEBRATION RECEPTION FOR JESUS
â€¢ TRUST JESUS TO HEAL THOSE AT YOUR PARTY WHO ARE SICK
REFERENCES (page 1)
1 Peter 2:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
The New American Commentary
â€œTax collectorsâ€ are grouped with â€œsinnersâ€ not so much because they were â€œtraitorsâ€ who collected taxes for the Roman oppressors but because they were dishonest and practiced distortion (cf. Luke 5:32).
John 15:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Luke 5:27-32 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Call of Levi (Matthew)
27 (A)After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named [a](B)Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, â€œFollow Me.â€ 28 And he (C)left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him.
29 And (D)Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of (E)tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 (F)The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, â€œWhy do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and [b]sinners?â€
31 And Jesus answered and said to them, â€œ(G)It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.â€
a Luke 5:27 Also called Matthew
b Luke 5:30 I.e. irreligious Jews
A Luke 5:27 : Luke 5:27-39: Matt 9:9-17; Mark 2:14-22
B Luke 5:27 : Matt 9:9
C Luke 5:28 : Luke 5:11
D Luke 5:29 : Matt 9:9
E Luke 5:29 : Luke 15:1
F Luke 5:30 : Mark 2:16; Luke 15:2; Acts 23:9
G Luke 5:31 : Matt 9:12, 13; Mark 2:17
INTRODUCTION: CHANGED FOR LIFE! WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO!
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 7:36-50
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: THE DIFFICULTY OF REJECTING JESUS
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: THE VALUE OF FORGIVENESS
CTS: 3 STEPS TO VALUING THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD
HOW SHOULD I VIEW GODâ€™S FORGIVENESS IN MY LIFE?:
I. LIVING A LIFE OF GRATITUDE (VV. 36-38)
Â· EXPLANATION: LUKE DESCRIBES THE BEHAVIOR OF FAITH
o JESUS WAS INVITED TO DINE WITH A PHARISEE (36)
o A SINFUL WOMAN CAME TO JESUS (37)
â–ª SHE BROUGHT AN ALABASTER VIAL OF PERFUME (37C)
â–ª SHE WASHED THE FEET OF JESUS WITH TEARS (38A)
â–ª SHE WIPED THE FEET OF JESUS WITH HER HAIR (38B)
â–ª SHE WAS KISSING THE FEET OF JESUS (38C)
â–ª SHE ANOINTED THE FEET OF JESUS WITH PERFUME (38D)
Â· ILLUSTRATION: YOU SAVED MY LIFE!!! (SHOWING GRATITUDE)
Â· APPLICATION: LIVE FOR GOD, SHOW HIM GRATITUDE FOR LIFE!
II. LEAVING A LIFE OF INGRATITUDE (VV. 39-43)
Â· EXPLANATION: JESUS EXPOSES THE INGRATITUDE OF HIS HOST
o SIMON JUDGES JESUS; HEâ€™S NOT A PROPHET (39)
o JESUS TEACHES SIMON A LESSON ON FORGIVENESS (40-42)
Â· ILLUSTRATION: PHARISEE VS PUBLICAN (LUKE 18:12-14)
Â· APPLICATION: ASK GOD FOR AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
III. LETTING GRATITUDE FUEL YOUR FAITH (VV. 44-50)
Â· EXPLANATION: JESUS HIGHLIGHTS THE WOMANâ€™S FAITH
o COMPARISON/CONTRAST: THE WOMAN/PHARISEE (NOTES)
o JESUS HIGHLIGHTS FORGIVENESS OF THE WOMAN (48)
o PEOPLE QUESTION JESUSâ€™ POWER TO FORGIVE SINS (49)
o JESUS REASSURES THE WOMAN, â€œYOUR FAITH HAS SAVED YOU; GO IN PEACE.â€ (50)
Â· APPLICATION: CHOOSE TO ACTIVELY LIVE BY FAITH; PEACE
Â· LUKE DEMONSTRATES A WAY TO SHOW GRATITUDE TO GOD
Â· THE VALUE OF FORGIVENESS = A LIFE OF GRATITUDE
Â· WITHOUT FAITH, INGRATITUDE REIGNS
Â· HAVE YOU GIVEN FORGIVENESS THE VALUE IT DESERVES?
REMEMBER THIS: FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE = FORGIVENESS OF SIN
REFERENCES (page 1)
CHANGED FOR LIFE! WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO!
As I look over my shoulder today, I rejoice in the commitment that God has given me to follow Him. My best recollection of my being changed for life began as I began to attend Bible studies on Sunday mornings at a church in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I had been praying that God would take control of my life and lead me to follow Him and serve others. I had been begging God for a woman who knew and feared Him. I figured that if my wife was a follower of Christ, my faith would be encouraged. I believed, even then, that God prospers those who seek Him. Shortly after I began attending the church, I met Teresa, my wife of 32+ years today. God has, through prayer, the study of His Word, and the fellowship of His people, brought me to the resolve of being sold out to Him. In all that I do, I desire His glory and pleasure in my life and circumstances. I can honestly tell you that I do what I do for the glory of God. What about you? Have you been changed for life? Why do you do what you do?
Luke 18:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.â€™ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, â€˜God, be merciful to me a sinner!â€™ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.â€
COMPARISON AND CONTRAST:
No water for the feet of Jesus (44a) Washed the feet of Jesus with her tears (44b)
No plans for drying washed feet Dried the feet of Jesus with her hair (44c)
No appropriate kiss for Jesus (45a) Constantly kissing the feet of Jesus (45b)
No anointing of Jesus with oil (46a) Anointed the feet of Jesus with costly perfume (46b)
Luke 7:36-50 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to [a]dine with him, and He entered the Phariseeâ€™s house and reclined at the table. 37 (A)And there was a woman in the city who was a [b]sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Phariseeâ€™s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, â€œIf this man were (B)a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a [c]sinner.â€
Parable of Two Debtors
40 And Jesus answered him, â€œSimon, I have something to say to you.â€ And he [d]replied, â€œSay it, Teacher.â€ 41 â€œA moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred [e](C)denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they (D)were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?â€ 43 Simon answered and said, â€œI suppose the one whom he forgave more.â€ And He said to him, â€œYou have judged correctly.â€
44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, â€œDo you see this woman? I entered your house; you (E)gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You (F)gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 (G)You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.â€ 48 Then He said to her, â€œ(H)Your sins have been forgiven.â€ 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say [f]to themselves, â€œ(I)Who is this man who even forgives sins?â€ 50 And He said to the woman, â€œ(J)Your faith has saved you; (K)go in peace.â€
a Luke 7:36 Lit eat
b Luke 7:37 I.e. an immoral woman
c Luke 7:39 I.e. an immoral woman
d Luke 7:40 Lit says
e Luke 7:41 The denarius was equivalent to a dayâ€™s wages
f Luke 7:49 Or among
A Luke 7:37 : Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:37-39; John 12:1-8
B Luke 7:39 : Luke 7:16; John 4:19
C Luke 7:41 : Matt 18:28; Mark 6:37
D Luke 7:42 : Matt 18:25
E Luke 7:44 : Gen 18:4; 19:2; 43:24; Judg 19:21; 1 Tim 5:10
F Luke 7:45 : 2 Sam 15:5
G Luke 7:46 : 2 Sam 12:20; Ps 23:5; Eccl 9:8; Dan 10:3
H Luke 7:48 : Matt 9:2; Mark 2:5, 9; Luke 5:20, 23
I Luke 7:49 : Luke 5:21
J Luke 7:50 : Matt 9:22; Luke 17:19; 18:42
K Luke 7:50 : Mark 5:34; Luke 8:48
INTRODUCTION: MOVING IN THE DARKNESS CAN BE DANGEROUS
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: GODâ€™S PROVIDENCE; JESUS BORN IN BETHLEHEM
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 2:8-20
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: WITNESSES TO HIS BIRTH
CTS: 3 WAYS YOU CAN RESPOND TO THE COMING OF JESUS
HOW AM I TO RESPOND TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUSâ€™ BIRTH?:
I. RECEIVE THE MESSAGE (VV. 8-14)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: ANGEL APPEARANCE TO SHEPHERDS
o SHEPHERDS â€“ WARREN WIERSBE COMMENTS
o WORKING IN THE DARK / LIGHT APPEARS / FEAR (8)
â–ª MAN DWELLS IN DARKNESS IN NEED OF GODâ€™S LIGHT
â–ª JOHN 1:4-5, 3:19-21
o ANGEL MESSENGER â€“ DO NOT FEAR â€“ A SAVIOR IS BORN (9-12)
â–ª HOW TO FIND THE SAVIOR (12)
â–ª EXAMPLE OF HOW TO RESPOND â€“ ANGELS (13)
â€¢ â€¦WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED (14) - FAITH
â€¢ APPLICATION: REFLECT / REJOICE / GOD IS AFTER YOU
o COME OUT OF THE DARKNESS INTO GODâ€™S LIGHT - SALVATION
II. RESPOND TO THE MESSAGE (VV. 15-16)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: NO TIME TO WASTE â€“ LETâ€™S GO TO JESUS
o SHEPHERDS IMMEDIATELY GO WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS (15)
o THEY ALREADY BELIEVED - THEY WENT TO SEE
o THEY FOUND WHAT THEY WERE SEEKING (16)
â€¢ APPLICATION: RESPOND â€“SHARE GODâ€™S LOVE WITH OTHERS
III. REPORT THE MESSAGE (VV. 17-20)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: SHEPHERD TESTIMONY AND ACTIONS
o SHEPHERDS TOLD; EVERYONE WONDERED (17-18)
o MARY PONDERED (ANGELâ€™S MESSAGE & SHEPHERDâ€™S WORD) (19)
o SHEPHERDS SHOWED THE TESTIMONY IN THEM (20)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: MARK 5:18-20 (JESUS: GO AND TELL)
â€¢ APPLICATION: TELL OTHERS ABOUT WHY JESUS CAME
â€¢ SON OF GOD WITNESS: SHEPHERDS â€“ RECEIVED / RESPONDED / REPORTED
â€¢ BELIEVERS IN CHRIST: RECEIVE / RESPOND / REPORT (LIVE BY WORD / ACTION)
REFERENCES (page 1)
Warren Wiersbe comments on the shepherds. He tells that:
The first announcement of the Messiahâ€™s birth was given by an angel to some anonymous shepherds. Why shepherds? Why not to priests or scribes? By visiting the shepherds, the angel revealed the grace of God toward mankind. Shepherds were really outcasts in Israel. Their work not only made them ceremonially unclean, but it kept them away from the temple for weeks at a time so that they could not be made clean. God does not call the rich and mighty; He calls the poor and the lowly (Luke 1:51â€“53; 1 Cor. 1:26â€“29).
John 1:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.
John 3:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.â€
Mark 5:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 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, â€œGo home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.â€ 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
Luke 2:8-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And (A)an angel of the Lord suddenly (B)stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, â€œ(C)Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a (D)Savior, who is [a](E)Christ (F)the Lord. 12 (G)This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [b]manger.â€ 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 â€œ(H)Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [c](I)with whom He is pleased.â€
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, â€œLet us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.â€ 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the[d]manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary(J)treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, (K)glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
a. Luke 2:11 I.e. Messiah
b. Luke 2:12 Or feeding trough
c. Luke 2:14 Lit of good pleasure; or of good will
d. Luke 2:16 Or feeding trough
A. Luke 2:9 : Luke 1:11; Acts 5:19
B. Luke 2:9 : Luke 24:4; Acts 12:7
C. Luke 2:10 : Matt 14:27
D. Luke 2:11 : Matt 1:21; John 4:42; Acts 5:31
E. Luke 2:11 : Matt 1:16; 16:16, 20; John 11:27
F. Luke 2:11 : Luke 1:43; Acts 2:36; 10:36
G. Luke 2:12 : 1 Sam 2:34; 2 Kin 19:29; 20:8f; Is 7:11, 14
APPLICATION: GOD’S HELP FOR LIFE: LEAVE JUDGING TO GOD
II. ADMIT YOUR INABILITY TO JUDGE (VS. 11BCDE)
EXPLANATION: JUDGING OTHERS IS AN ATTEMPT TO OVERRULE GOD
WHEN YOU JUDGE OTHERS, YOU: (CF. MATT 7:1-5)
SPEAK AGAINST GOD’S LAW (11B)
“WHEN BELIEVERS SLANDER OTHERS, THEY SLANDER GOD’S LAW”
SLANDER DEFINED (NOTES, HOLMAN)
JUDGE GOD’S LAW (11C)
“WHEN BELIEVERS JUDGE ANOTHER, THEY JUDGE GOD’S LAW”
BUT, IF YOU JUDGE THE LAW, YOU:
ARE NOT A DOER OF THE LAW = SIN AGAINST GOD (11D) (1:21-24)
JUDGE GOD’S LAW = PLACING YOURSELF ABOVE GOD (11E) (4:10)
APPLICATION: GOD’S HELP FOR YOU: DON’T JUDGE OTHERS. PRAY.
III. ACKNOWLEDGE GOD AS THE ONLY JUDGE OF ALL (VS. 12)
EXPLANATION: GOD IS THE ONLY JUDGE FOR HIS LAW
GOD, ALONE, IS THE:
LAWGIVER (2 TIM 3:16, 2 PETER 1:19-21) (12A)
JUDGE OF HIS LAW (12B) (ISAIAH 33:22)
ONE ABLE TO DO WHAT MAN CANNOT: SAVE AND DESTROY (12CD)
WE ARE IN NO POSITION TO JUDGE OTHERS TO THEIR HURT (12E)
APPLICATION: GOD’S HELP FOR LIFE: DEPEND ON GOD FOR JUSTICE
BEHAVIOR THAT IS GOLDEN
REMEMBER THIS: GOD IS THE ETERNAL JUDGE OF LIFE. DON’T TRY TO TAKE HIS JOB FROM HIM.
REFERENCES (page 1)
Introduction: Do you exercise good judgment?
Do you exercise “good judgment?” People who possess this positive characteristic are noted for their ability to consistently make the best decision (good judgment calls) that will provide the best results in most situations. Unfortunately, those who make unwise choices or decisions that produce harmful effects are noted for having “poor judgment.” Is there a way that we could increase the odds of being recognized as one possessing good judgment? Today’s message will enable us to see how effective we are at exercising good judgment, based upon God’s assessment.
The New American Commentary
Slander was considered a vice in the ancient world, and by interjecting it here, James pronounced a judgment on their behavior that perhaps they had not expected. Some readers had exchanged the rulership of God and his wisdom for the rulership of their appetites (vv. 3–4) while maintaining that they were living in accord with the faith, so slander could be expected. Evil speaking is a part of several lists of vices in the New Testament (e.g., Rom 1:30; 2 Cor 12:20; 1 Pet 2:1; 2:12; 3:16).
Jeremiah 17:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV) 9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.
Holman New Testament Commentary
Slander is critical speech intended to inflame others against the person being criticized. It involves talking against people, perhaps attacking them behind their backs. In this instance Christians were slandering Christians. Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. For Christians to malign other believers is a living contradiction of the close family ties which should bind them together.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV) 16 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.
2 Peter 1:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV) 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 33:22 New King James Version (NKJV) 22 (For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us);
Conclusion: Behavior That Is Golden I have one friend, betrayed by another, who managed to dig deep enough to apply the kingdom’s Golden Rule to the betrayer. Let the forgiven betrayer tell the story of his “golden friend” in his own words:
Bill is one of my very few “soul mates” in life. That is not to say that we have very much in common or that we share any of the same interests or skills or hobbies. We are soul mates because we connect at the level of life values. We are passionate about building the same kingdom, and that cause is larger than the petty issues of our lives.
But several years ago I betrayed Bill. In my immaturity, I said some things that hurt him deeply, and would have provided any lesser man with reason to abandon the relationship. God used the resulting pain and confrontation to wake me up, and to cause me to see my error and to confess my sin. It was a hard moment for both of us, but perhaps the most significant time in defining our current relationship.
Bill never allowed my failure to destroy our relationship. He forgave me fully accepting my sincere apology, and never mentioning the issue again. We are brothers in the battle of life.
Bill is the kind of golden friend we all need in this life. But, if the truth be known, we would all have to admit we like “the Golden Rule” when it benefits us. And we may not find ourselves so quick to offer its grace to another as Bill did.
It all boils down to a choice, a determination to go the extra mile for someone in need. The choice is made more difficult when the other person has deeply wounded us. Jesus made this choice, and he expects the same of his children. It is a golden road that can make all the difference in relationships.
James 4:11-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 (A)Do not speak against one another, (B)brethren.
He who speaks against a brother or (C)judges his brother, speaks against (D)the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not (E)a doer of the law but a judge of it.
12 There is only one (F)Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is (G)able to save and to destroy; but (H)who are you who judge your neighbor?
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: DENY SELF; THE CROSS; FOLLOW JESUS; SHAME
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: AFFIRMED SON OF GOD
CTS: 3 WAYS YOU CAN EXPERIENCE GOD’S TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR LIFE
HOW ARE WE TRANSFIGURED FOR THE GLORY OF GOD?:
I. ATTITUDE OF DEVOTED PRAYER (VV. 28-29)
EXPLANATION: JESUS & THREE DISCIPLES DEPARTED TO A MOUNTAIN
JESUS TOOK PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN TO A MOUNTAIN TO PRAY (28)
WHILE JESUS WAS PRAYING, HIS COUNTENANCE CHANGED (29)
ILLUSTRATION: HOW ATTITUDE EFFECTS YOUR HEALTH (HARVARD)
APPLICATION: GOD CHANGES YOU THROUGH DEVOTED PRAYER
II. COMMITMENT TO FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS (VV. 30-31)
EXPLANATION: JESUS FELLOWSHIPS IN THE KINGDOM
MOSES AND ELIJAH APPEAR TO ENCOURAGE JESUS (30)
MOSES WAS / IS VITAL TO ISRAEL (LAW)
ELIJAH WAS A MIGHTY PROPHET (PROPHET OF OLD)
RESPECTED BY ISREAL
HAD ALREADY COME (SPIRIT IN JOHN THE BAPTIST)
THEY WERE SPEAKING TO JESUS ABOUT HIS SOON DEPARTURE (31A)
JESUS WOULD ACCOMPLISH THIS IN JERUSALEM (31B)
ILLUSTRATION: COMPLETING A DOCTORATE: ENCOURAGEMENT!
APPLICATION: WE NEED EACH OTHER’S FELLOWSHIP IN CHRIST
III. TOTAL DEVOTION TO GOD’S WORD (VV. 32-36)
EXPLANATION: PETER ATTEMPTS TO SHOW HONOR TO THE KINGDOM
THE DISCIPLES HAD BEEN OVERCOME BY FATIGUE AND SLEPT (32A)
WHEN THEY WERE FULLY AWAKE, THEY SAW THE KINGDOM (32B)
PETER SOUGHT TO EQUALLY HONOR THE THREE MEN (33A):
PETER WAS UNAWARE OF WHAT HE WAS IMPLYING (33B)
GOD AFFIRMED WHO JESUS IS: HIS SON (LISTEN TO HIM) (34-35)
EXPERIENCING GOD SILENCED THE DISCIPLES (36) (SEE VV. 20-21)
APPLICATION: LET’S STRIVE TO HEAR & HONOR JESUS ABOVE ALL
JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
GOD HAS HONORED JESUS AS HIS SON. WE ARE TO LISTEN TO HIM
TRANSFIGURATION: PRAYER, FELLOWSHIP, LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD
REMEMBER THIS: JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD: HEAR AND OBEY HIS WORDREFERENCES (page 1)
How your attitudes affect your health
A positive view of life and aging may help you live longer.
Published: May, 2016
Do you look forward to the next week? Do you feel younger than your age? Do you have a sense of purpose? If so, you may already have done something to reduce your risk of degenerative diseases and may even be adding years to your life.
"Your outlook—having a sense of optimism and purpose—seems to be predictive of health outcomes," says Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Kubzansky has studied the health effects of several forms of psychological well-being. She has found that emotional vitality—characterized by enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life, and the ability to face life's stresses with emotional balance—is associated with a substantially reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
INTRODUCTION: THE EXPERIENCE OF REJECTION
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 4:16-30
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: JESUS HAS LAUNCHED HIS MINISTRY
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: FULFILLING SCRIPTURE
CTS: 2 FACTS FOLLOWERS CAN EXPECT, WHEN LIVING FOR JESUS
WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF MY LIVING FOR GOD?:
I. YOUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD FULFILLS SCRIPTURE (VV. 16-22A)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: JESUS TELLS FAMILY AND FRIENDS HE IS MESSIAH
o JESUS RETURNED TO HIS HOME TOWN (16A)
o â€œAS WAS HIS CUSTOMâ€ â€“ JESUS WENT TO THE SYNAGOGUE (16B)
o NOTES ON SYNAGOGUE ACTIVITY
o JESUS READ FROM ISAIAH (16C-17):
ï‚§ MESSIAHâ€™S CHARACTERISTIC QUALITIES:
â€¢ SPIRIT OF THE LORD ON HIM (18A)
â€¢ ANOINTED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR (18B)
â€¢ SENT TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES (18D)
â€¢ RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND (18E)
â€¢ FREEDOM TO THE OPPRESSED (18F)
â€¢ PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD (19)
o JESUS ACQUIRED THE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION OF THE PEOPLE (20)
o JESUS ANNOUNCED THE FULFILLMENT OF WHAT HE HAD READ (21)
o ALL WERE AMAZED AT HIS MANOR OF SPEECH (22A)
â€¢ APPLICATION: WE FULFILL SCRIPTURE THROUGH OBEYING GOD
II. YOUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD WILL BRING SUFFERING (VV. 22B-30)
o THE FAVOR TOWARD JESUS CHANGED TO DISBELIEF (22B)
ï‚§ â€œIS THIS NOT JOSEPHâ€™S SON?â€ (23A)
o JESUS READ THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE: SHOW US A SIGN (23B)
o JESUS CLARIFIED WHO WOULD RECEIVE GODâ€™S FAVOR (24-27)
ï‚§ GOD WOULD BRING THE GENTILES TO HIS KINGDOM
o THE PEOPLE BECAME ANGRY & ATTEMPTED TO KILL JESUS (28-29)
o JESUS ESCAPED HIS ATTACKERS (30)
â€¢ APPLICATION: AS WE OBEY JESUS, WE CAN COUNT ON SUFFERING
â€¢ JESUS OBEYED HIS FATHER, EVEN IN MOMENTS OF REJECTION
â€¢ GOD ENABLES OUR OBEDIENCE IN THE FACE OF REJECTION
â€¢ TRUST GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES; YOU CAN COUNT ON HIM
REFERENCES (page 1)
Wiersbe. The Bible Exposition Commentary
A typical synagogue service opened with an invocation for Godâ€™s blessing and then the recitation of the traditional Hebrew confession of faith (Deut 6:4â€“9; 11:13â€“21). This was followed by prayer and the prescribed readings from the Law and from the Prophets, with the reader paraphrasing the Hebrew Scriptures in Aramaic.
This was followed by a brief sermon given by one of the men of the congregation or perhaps by a visiting rabbi (see Acts 13:14â€“16). If a priest was present, the service closed with a benediction. Otherwise, one of the laymen prayed and the meeting was dismissed.
Jesus was asked to read the Scripture text and to give the sermon. The passage He read included Isaiah 61:1â€“2, and He selected it for His â€œtext.â€ The Jewish rabbis interpreted this passage to refer to the Messiah, and the people in the synagogue knew it. You can imagine how shocked they were when Jesus boldly said that it was written about Him and that He had come to usher in the â€œacceptable year of the Lord.â€
The reference here is the â€œYear of Jubileeâ€ described in Leviticus 25. Every seventh year was a â€œSabbatical yearâ€ for the nation, when the land was allowed to rest; and every fiftieth year (after seven Sabbaticals) was set apart as the â€œYear of Jubilee.â€ The main purpose of this special year was the balancing of the economic system: slaves were set free and returned to their families, property that was sold reverted to the original owners, and all debts were canceled. The land lay fallow as man and beast rested and rejoiced in the Lord.
Jesus applied all of this to His own ministry, not in a political or economic sense, but in a physical and spiritual sense. He had certainly brought Good News of salvation to bankrupt sinners and healing to brokenhearted and rejected people. He had delivered many from blindness and from bondage to demons and disease. Indeed, it was a spiritual â€œYear of Jubileeâ€ for the nation of Israel!
The problem was that His listeners would not believe in Him. They saw Him only as the son of Mary and Joseph, the Boy they had watched grow up in their own city.
A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament
The people of Nazareth at once caught on and saw the point of these two Old Testament illustrations of how God in two cases blessed the heathen instead of the Jewish people. The implication was evident. Nazareth was no better than Capernaum if as good. He was under no special obligation to do unusual things in Nazareth because he had been reared there. Town pride was insulted and it at once exploded in a burst of rage.
Luke 4:16-30 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 And He came to (A)Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, (B)He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and (C)stood up to read. 17 And the [a]book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the [b]book and found the place where it was written,
18 â€œ(D)THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19 (E)TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.â€
20 And He (F)closed the [c]book, gave it back to the attendant and (G)sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, â€œToday this Scripture has been fulfilled in your [d]hearing.â€ 22 And all were [e]speaking well of Him, and wondering at the [f]gracious words which [g]were falling from His lips; and they were saying, â€œ(H)Is this not Josephâ€™s son?â€ 23 And He said to them, â€œNo doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, â€˜Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done (I)at Capernaum, do here in (J)your hometown as well.â€™â€ 24 And He said, â€œTruly I say to you, (K)no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 25 But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel (L)in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but (M)only to [h]Zarephath, in the land of (N)Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but (O)only Naaman the Syrian.â€ 28 And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29 and they got up and (P)drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30 But (Q)passing through their midst, He went His way.
a. Luke 4:17 Or scroll
b. Luke 4:17 Or scroll
c. Luke 4:20 Or scroll
d. Luke 4:21 Lit ears
e. Luke 4:22 Or testifying
f. Luke 4:22 Or words of grace
g. Luke 4:22 Lit were proceeding out of His mouth
h. Luke 4:26 Gr Sarepta
A. Luke 4:16 : Luke 2:39, 51
B. Luke 4:16 : Matt 13:54; Mark 6:1f
C. Luke 4:16 : Acts 13:14-16
D. Luke 4:18 : Is 61:1; Matt 11:5; 12:18; John 3:34
E. Luke 4:19 : Is 61:2; Lev 25:10
F. Luke 4:20 : Luke 4:17
G. Luke 4:20 : Matt 26:55
H. Luke 4:22 : Matt 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 6:42
I. Luke 4:23 : Matt 4:13; Mark 1:21ff; 2:1ff; Luke 4:35ff; John 4:46ff
J. Luke 4:23 : Mark 6:1; Luke 2:39, 51; 4:16
K. Luke 4:24 : Matt 13:57; Mark 6:4; John 4:44
L. Luke 4:25 : 1 Kin 17:1; 18:1; James 5:17
M. Luke 4:26 : 1 Kin 17:9
N. Luke 4:26 : Matt 11:21
O. Luke 4:27 : 2 Kin 5:1-14
P. Luke 4:29 : Num 15:35; Acts 7:58; Heb 13:12
Q. Luke 4:30 : John 10:39
10 Surprising Facts About Rejection
We know that rejection really hurts, but they can also inflict damage to our psychological well-being that goes well beyond mere emotional pain. Here are 10 lesser known facts that describe the various effects rejection has on our emotions, thinking, and behavior. Letâ€™s begin by examining why rejection hurts as much as it does:
1. Rejection piggybacks on physical pain pathways in the brain. MRI studies show that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is why rejection hurts so much (neurologically speaking).
2. Tylenol reduces the emotional pain rejection elicits. In a study testing the hypothesis that rejection mimics physical pain, researchers gave some participants acetaminophen (Tylenol) before asking them to recall a painful rejection experience. The people who received Tylenol reported significantly less emotional pain than subjects who took a sugar pill.
3. Rejection served a vital function in our evolutionary past. In our hunter/gatherer past, being ostracized from our tribes was akin to a death sentence, as we were unlikely to survive for long alone. Evolutionary psychologists assume the brain developed an early warning system to alert us when we were at risk for ostracism. Because it was so important to get our attention, those who experienced rejection as more painful (i.e., because rejection mimicked physical pain in their brain) gained an evolutionary advantageâ€”they were more likely to correct their behavior and consequently, more likely to remain in the tribe.
4. We can relive and re-experience social pain more vividly than we can physical pain. Try recalling an experience in which you felt significant physical pain and your brain pathways will respond, "Meh." In other words, that memory alone wonâ€™t elicit physical pain. But try reliving a painful rejection (actually, donâ€™tâ€”just take my word for it), and you will be flooded with many of the same feelings you had at the time (and your brain will respond much as it did at the time, too). Our brain prioritizes rejection experiences because we are social animals who live in "tribes."
5. Rejection destabilizes our "Need to Belong." We all have a fundamental need to belong to a group. When we get rejected, this need becomes destabilized and the disconnection we feel adds to our emotional pain. Reconnecting with those who love us, or reaching out to members of groups to which we feel strong affinity and who value and accept us, has been found to soothe emotional pain after a rejection.
6. Rejection creates surges of anger and aggression. In 2001, the Surgeon General of the U.S. issued a report stating that rejection was a greater risk for adolescent violence than drugs, poverty, or gang membership. Countless studies have demonstrated that even mild rejections lead people to take out their aggression on innocent bystanders. School shootings, violence against women, and fired workers going "postal" are other examples of the strong link between rejection and aggression.
7. Rejections send us on a mission to seek and destroy our self-esteem. We often respond to romantic rejections by finding fault in ourselves, bemoaning all our inadequacies, kicking ourselves when weâ€™re already down, and smacking our self-esteem into a pulp. Most romantic rejections are a matter of poor fit and a lack of chemistry, incompatible lifestyles, wanting different things at different times, or other such issues of mutual dynamics. Blaming ourselves and attacking our self-worth only deepens the emotional pain we feel and makes it harder for us to recover emotionally.
8. Rejection temporarily lowers our IQ. Being asked to recall a recent rejection experience and relive the experience was enough to cause people to score significantly lower on subsequent IQ tests, tests of short-term memory, and tests of decision making. Indeed, when we are reeling from a painful rejection, thinking clearly is just not that easy.
9. Rejection does not respond to reason. Participants were put through an experiment in which they were rejected by strangers. The experiment was riggedâ€”the "strangers" were confederates of the researchers. Surprisingly, though, even being told that the "strangers" who had "rejected" them did not actually reject them did little to ease the emotional pain participants felt. Even being told that the strangers belonged to a group they despised such as the KKK did little to soothe people's hurt feelings.
10. There are ways to treat the psychological wounds rejection inflicts. It is possible to treat the emotional pain rejection elicits and to prevent the psychological, emotional, cognitive, and relationship fallouts that occur in its aftermath. To do so effectively we must address each of our psychological wounds (i.e., soothe our emotional pain, reduce our anger and aggression, protect our self-esteem, and stabilize our need to belong).
The Greatest Gift for You at Christmas: Its Arrival
INTRODUCTION: THE PERFECT GIFT’S ARRIVAL: IT’S HERE!!
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: ALL STEPS FOR THE MESSIAH’S COMPLETED SCRIPTURE: LUKE 2:8-14 TITLE OF MESSAGE: THE GREATEST GIFT TO YOU AT CHRISTMAS: IT’S ARRIVAL
CTS: 3 TRUTHS CONCERNING THE ARRIVAL OF THE PERFECT GIFT
THE ARRIVAL OF THE GIFT REQUIRES:
I. HUMILITY TO RECEIVE IT (VS. 8)
EXPLANATION: THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE: SECLUSION; FILTHY WORK
STAYED OUT IN THE FIELDS (8A)
DANGEROUS WORK OF PROTECTING THE FLOCKS (8B)
CHRISTMAS TIME – A TIME OF SECLUSION FOR MANY
LONELINESS, DEPRESSION, CONSIDERED SUICIDE
MAN DWELLS IN DARKNESS IN NEED OF GOD’S LIGHT
JOHN 1:4-5, 3:19-21
ILLUSTRATION: BULLIED FARM HANDS
APPLICATION: THE GIFT IS BEST RECEIVED IN DESPARATION
COME OUT OF THE DARKNESS INTO GOD’S LIGHT - SALVATION
II. CONFIDENCE IN ITS CONTENT (VV. 9-11)
EXPLANATION: GOD’S MESSENGER PROVIDE A JOYFUL WORD
AN ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARED TO THE SHEPHERDS (9)
GOD’S GLORY SHONE AROUND THEM (9B)
THEY WERE TERRIBLY FRIGHTENED (9C)
DON’T BE AFRAID, PEACE I LEAVE W/ YOU – JESUS (JOHN 14:27)
THE ANGEL CALMED THEIR FEARS (10)
DON’T BE AFRAID (10A)
“I HAVE GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY FOR ALL PEOPLE”(10B)
TODAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID: A SAVIOR FOR YOU! (11A)
THE SAVIOR’S NAME: CHRIST THE LORD (11B)
III. CONVINCED OF IT’S ARRIVAL (VV. 12-13)
EXPLANATION: THE ANGEL PROVIDED PROOF OF GOD’S GIFT
THE SHEPHERDS COULD GO AND SEE THE GIFT (12)
THE ANGEL WAS JOINED BY A MULTITUDE OF HEAVENLY HOST (13)
FUTURE WORSHIP OF GOD – REVELATION 19:1-9
GOD’S PEACE IS IN THE GIFT FOR THOSE WHO RECEIVE IT (14)
GOD’S PERFECT GIFT WAS SENT FOR YOUR PEACE; HAVE YOU RECEIVED IT?
REMEMBER THIS: ETERNAL PEACE CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN CHRIST.
John 1:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 (A)In Him was life, and (B)the life was the light of men. 5 And (C)the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.
John 3:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 And this is the condemnation, (A)that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For (B)everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been (C)done in God.”
Revelation 19:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
Heaven Exults over Babylon
19 After these things (A)I [a]heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! (B)Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to [b]the Lord our God! 2 For (C)true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He (D)has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia! (E)Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And (F)the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, (G)“Amen! Alleluia!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, (H)“Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, (I)both[c] small and great!” 6 (J)And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For (K)the[d] Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for (L)the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And (M)to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, (N)for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: (O)‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, (P)“These are the true sayings of God.”
Luke 2:8-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And (A)an angel of the Lord suddenly (B)stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “(C)Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a (D)Savior, who is [a](E)Christ (F)the Lord. 12(G)This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [b]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “(H)Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [c](I)with whom He is pleased.”
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: CONFIRMATION OF GODâ€™S MESSAGE TO MARY
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: HIS FATHER
CTS: 2 WAYS THAT GOD INFLUENCES OUR FAITH
HOW DOES JESUSâ€™ FATHER INFLUENCE OUR FAITH?:
I. HE HAS GIVEN FAVOR TO HIS PEOPLE (VV. 46-50)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: MARY EXPRESSES HUMBLE GRATITUDE
ï‚§ SOUL EXALTED GOD (46B) (PS 34:2)
ï‚§ SPIRIT REJOICED IN GOD HER SAVIOR (47) (1 TIM 1:1)
ï‚§ SLAVERY TO HER LORD; GOD HONORED HER FOR IT (48) (PS 138:6)
ï‚§ SALUTATION OF GODâ€™S POWER AND HOLINESS (49)
ï‚§ SOLACE IN GODâ€™S MERCY FOR ALL WHO FEAR HIM (50) (PS 103:17)
II. HE HAS GIVEN MERCY TO HIS PEOPLE (VV. 51-56)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: MARY SPEAKS OF GODâ€™S MIGHTY WORKS
o GOD HAS:
ï‚§ DONE MIGHTY DEEDS WITH HIS ARM (51A) (PS 98:1)
ï‚§ SCATTERED THE PROUD IN HEART (51B)
ï‚§ CHIASTIC STRUCTURE:
ï‚§ BROUGHT DOWN RULERS FROM THEIR THRONES (52A)
ï‚§ EXHALTED THE HUMBLE (52B) (JOB 5:11)
ï‚§ FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS (53A) (PS 107:9)
ï‚§ SENT AWAY THE RICH EMPTY HANDED (53B)
ï‚§ FAITHFUL MERCY TOWARD HIS PEOPLE (54-55) (GEN 17:7)
o MARY REMAINED WITH ELIZABETH FOR THREE MONTHS (56)
â€¢ GOD CONTINUES TO EXERCISE HIS WORK THROUGH JESUS
â€¢ JESUS FAITHFULLY DOES HIS FATHERâ€™S WORK (JOHN 10:37-38)
â€¢ AS WE SUBMIT TO GOD, HE WILL WORK THROUGH US
REFERENCES (page 1)
Psalm 34:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
1 Timothy 1:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
Psalm 138:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Though the LORD is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.
Psalm 103:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to childrenâ€™s children,
Psalm 98:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
98 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
Job 5:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
Psalm 107:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Genesis 17:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
John 10:37-38 New King James Version (NKJV)
37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe[a] that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.â€
Luke 1:46-56 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
46 And Mary said:
â€œ(A)My soul [a](B)exalts the Lord,
47 And (C)my spirit has rejoiced in (D)God my Savior.
48 â€œFor (E)He has had regard for the humble state of His [b]bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me(F)blessed.
49 â€œFor the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
50 â€œ(G)AND HIS MERCY IS [c]UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION
TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
51 â€œ(H)He has done [d]mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the [e]thoughts of their heart.
52 â€œHe has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has (I)exalted those who were humble.
53 â€œ(J)HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 â€œHe has given help to Israel His servant,
[f]In remembrance of His mercy,
55 (K)As He spoke to our fathers,
(L)To Abraham and his [g]descendants forever.â€
56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.
a. Luke 1:46 Lit makes great
b. Luke 1:48 I.e. female slave
c. Luke 1:50 Lit unto generations and generations
d. Luke 1:51 Lit might
e. Luke 1:51 Lit thought, attitude
f. Luke 1:54 Lit So as to remember
g. Luke 1:55 Lit seed
A. Luke 1:46 : Luke 1:46-53: 1 Sam 2:1-10
B. Luke 1:46 : Ps 34:2f
C. Luke 1:47 : Ps 35:9; Hab 3:18
D. Luke 1:47 : 1 Tim 1:1; 2:3; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 25
ILLUSTRATION: GODâ€™S CALL OF KING DAVID (1 SAMUEL 16)
APPLICATION: PARENTS: ALLOW GOD TO LEAD; CHILDREN: OBEY GOD
â€œI AM TO BE ABOUT MY FATHERâ€™S BUSINESS.â€
JESUSâ€™ OBEDIENCE OF HIS PARENTS HONORED HIS FATHER IN HEAVEN
JESUS DEMONSTRATED A CHILDâ€™S ZEAL TO HONOR HIS FATHER
AS PARENTS AND AS CHILDREN, WE MUST HONOR GOD
GOD IS HONORED & GLORIFIED IN A FAMILYâ€™S SUBMISSION TO HIM
REFERENCES (page 1)
Proverbs 22:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
Ephesians 6:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4Â And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Greatest Commandment
6Â â€œNow this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2Â that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3Â Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised youâ€”â€˜a land flowing with milk and honey.â€™[a]
4Â â€œHear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one![b] 5Â You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6Â â€œAnd these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7Â You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8Â You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9Â You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Mark 3:31-35 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesusâ€™ Mother and Brothers Send for Him
31Â Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32Â And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, â€œLook, Your mother and Your brothers[a] are outside seeking You.â€
33Â But He answered them, saying, â€œWho is My mother, or My brothers?â€ 34Â And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, â€œHere are My mother and My brothers! 35Â For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.â€
John 10:37-39 New King James Version (NKJV)
37Â If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38Â but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe[a] that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.â€ 39Â Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.
Luke 2:41-52 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Visit to Jerusalem
41Â Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at (A)the Feast of the Passover. 42Â And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43Â and as they were returning, after spending the (B)full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44Â but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a dayâ€™s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45Â When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46Â Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47Â And all who heard Him (C)were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48Â When they saw Him, they were astonished; and (D)His mother said to Him, â€œ[a]Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, (E)Your father and I [b]have been anxiously looking for You.â€ 49Â And He said to them, â€œWhy is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that (F)I had to be in My Fatherâ€™s [c]house?â€ 50Â But (G)they did not understand the statement which He [d]had made to them. 51Â And He went down with them and came to (H)Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and (I)His mother (J)treasured all these [e]things in her heart.
52Â And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and [f]stature, and in (K)favor with God and men.
a Luke 2:48 Or Child
b Luke 2:48 Lit are looking
c Luke 2:49 Or affairs; lit in the things of My Father
d Luke 2:50 Lit had spoken
e Luke 2:51 Lit words
f Luke 2:52 Or age
end of footnotes
A Luke 2:41 : Ex 12:11; 23:15; Deut 16:1-6
B Luke 2:43 : Ex 12:15
C Luke 2:47 : Matt 7:28; 13:54; 22:33; Mark 1:22; 6:2; 11:18; Luke 4:32; John 7:15
As we begin to give our church covenant consideration in regards to how we are to honor it, Iâ€™d like to share a few passages of scripture to give us the frame of mind that give purpose to honoring it. Jesus gave His disciples valuable counsel in regards to how people would know that they were His disciples. He identified that they must have love for one another (John 13:34-35). Jesus also gave them the depth of the love they were to show for each other. Their love should be characterized by a willingness to lay down their lives for their friends (John 15:12-14). The apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of love in what we do. He identifies that acts of service without being driven by love are meaningless (1 Corinthians 13:1-7). As demonstrated by these passages, love is of the utmost importance when it comes to living responsible lives before God and others (Christian or not). In choosing our text for today, our Lord led me to a chapter from the book of Romans that addresses the behavior of the believer in Christ. If you have your Bible with you, turn with me to Romans 12. We will be studying the entire chapter.
If you were to read the book of Romans, you would find that the first eleven chapters of the book are addressing the basic doctrine of faith in Christ, as well as the magnificence of Godâ€™s compassion demonstrated upon mankind. Chapter twelve introduces the practical application of the doctrine that has been presented. If someone has just placed their faith in Christ, this would be a wonderful starting place for discovering how to live what you believe. It certainly is not a black and white set of rules that must be followed to please God. However, when a believer allows Godâ€™s Holy Spirit to have control of his or her life, and strives to honor God with a life of loving service in word and deed, these perceived rules become life principles that enable the believer to bring glory to God and blessing into the believerâ€™s life.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:1-21
CTS: 3 principles that enable the honoring of Godâ€™s covenant.
How Can I Honor God Through a Church Covenant?:
I. COMMIT YOUR BODY AND MIND TO GOD (VS. 1-2)
Paul begins the chapter by highlighting that what he is about to say is a direct result in view of what he has just explained. In other words, Paulâ€™s pretext identifies that everything that happens in this life is about God, not about man. Therefore, while we have the mercies of God abiding upon us, believers are urged to present their bodies in total commitment to and holy sacrificial service for God (1a&b). Paul identifies this behavior as acceptable to God, and that it is the appropriate service of worship before God.
Additionally, the believer in Christ is called not to allow the world to be his or her source of influence (2a), but to be renewed by the transformation of the mind (2b). In other words, the ways and teachings of this world are to be exchanged for the righteous teachings of God (the Bible). In doing this, the believer will better understand what Godâ€™s will is for his or her life in this world. Only Godâ€™s will is good, acceptable, and perfect (2c).
It is interesting that these two verses are at the beginning of the instruction of how to apply Godâ€™s word to daily life. Its as if they are the foundation that enables the believer to live out the instruction in the remainder of the chapter.
Colossians 3:1-2 â€“ Paul gives an excellent assertion of how the believers in Colossae should think and act in the midst of heretical rituals and temptations. If they belong to Christ, they are to set their minds on the things above and seek them.
The point of application for every believer in Christ is to seek God for wisdom and strength at all times. If we are not subjecting ourselves to God, we are subjecting ourselves to Satan.
If you do not know Christ as your Savior, you can today. Everyone who comes to Christ must be willing to personally offer their body as a living sacrifice to God (live in obedience to Him through His power) and allow Godâ€™s word to penetrate their minds (turning away from the teaching of the world to the teaching of Christ). Such change cannot happen without the power of God through faith in Christ. I hope that you will pray and ask God to save you from your sin and experience the change of your mind and life activity from a life of meaninglessness to a life of abundant joy (John 10:10) and hope for your future.
When God draws a person into His kingdom, his purpose is not for them to isolate themselves from everyone and everywhere, awaiting His return. God intends for the new believer to be connected with His church, the believerâ€™s new family. This leads us to the next point of our message. Godâ€™s covenant within His church is honored, as you connect yourself with His body.
II. CONNECT YOURSELF TO HIS BODY (VV. 3-8)
When a believer allows God to live through him and for the mind of the believer to be transformed, God gives the believer a gift(s) to be used for encouraging His body, the church, and to be intimately connected with the body in fulfilling its mission on Earth until He returns.
Paul warns that no one is to think of himself to be any more of use to God than other members of Godâ€™s body (3a). The believer is to think with sound judgment (3b), according to the measure of faith God has given the believer (3c). Paul is not speaking of the maturity of oneâ€™s faith, but of how God has gifted each believer differently (4), designing the gifts to complement each other. Such a design fosters interdependence and unity in the body (5). Each believer is to exercise his or her gift(s) according to the grace given by God (6a&b). Paul then provides a few examples of the many gifts God bestows upon those who call upon His name for salvation (prophecy (6c), service (7a), teaching (7b), exhortation (8a), material giving (8b), diligent leadership (8c), and Mercy (8d)). Thus, Paul demonstrates that Godâ€™s expectation of a believer is to actively be involved in His body (actively exercising their God-given gift) in humility, striving for unity. Each person in the body is functioning in dependence upon God for grace in the use of their gift and upon fellow believers in the body for assistance in their walk where they are not gifted.
The human body â€“ The human is the simplest, yet most sophisticated demonstration of how many different parts work together for common purposes. Every part works together with other parts to do what is necessary for the needs of the body to be met. If a part of the body is injured, other parts of the body nurture the injured part back to health. When all of the parts are working together well, much is accomplished. So it is when the body of Christ is united in its efforts to accomplish Godâ€™s mission for the church.
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to strive for unity in the body of Christ with Godâ€™s Spirit in humility. The church covenant helps to enable the humble unity to be identified and to take place.
When a person yields his body to God as a living sacrifice and submits to the renewing of his mind, he not only is united with the body of Christ, but also has a consciousness to love others. This brings us to the final point of the message. Godâ€™s covenant in the church is honored as you consciously love others.
III. CONSCIOUSLY LOVE OTHERS (VV. 9-21)
Paul identifies that the love that flows through a believer in Christ is one that is without hypocrisy (9a). Such love consists of rejecting of evil (9b) and clinging to what is good (9c). Such loves involves being totally devoted to loving others in the body (10a), giving preference to one another in honor (10b), and being diligent in the effort of serving others (as to the Lord) (11). Paul turns, for a moment, to personal qualities of this love. This love also involves rejoicing in hope (the hope one has in Christ) (12a), willing to persevere in tribulation (12b), and being devoted to prayer. There is also a determined effort in looking for needs to meet, as well as being hospitable to others in the body of Christ (13).
For a brief moment, Paul begins to point to another area where love is to be shown, toward those who are evil (14). Paul calls for the believer to bless those who persecute the believer. Retaliating comments are not part of the believerâ€™s vocabulary. Additionally, in looking down at verse 17a, we see Paul advising never to pay evil for evil to anyone (believer or unbeliever). Instead, the believer is to do what is right in the sight of all men (17b). If possible, Paul identifies that believers should strive to be at peace with all men (18).
Verses 19-20 explain why believers should not pay evil for evil. Those who practice evil will answer to Godâ€™s wrath. God is the One who will repay those who are evil toward believers. The idea of blessing those who persecute is that they may come to their senses because of the believerâ€™s loving response and repent of their sinful behavior (20). Believers are not to dwell upon the thought of their adversaries having hot coals poured on their heads. The way for believers to overcome evil is through the believer doing good (21).
Touching on his comments made earlier about rejoicing and persevering, Paul challenges believers to rejoice with those who rejoice (15a), and to weep with those who weep (15b). In order to do these things, the believer would need to have somewhat of a close relationship with those rejoicing or weeping. Connected with this thought is Paulâ€™s assertion for the believers to be of the same mind toward each other without the presence of haughtiness (prideful spirit) and without respect of persons (associating with the lowly) (16).
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to be Godâ€™s love to others. Believers in Christ should not be at war with each other or unbelievers. Believers in Christ strive for unity in the body, as well as striving to be at peace with all men.
Paul demonstrated in the text today that with a life of holy sacrificial service and a renewed mind in Godâ€™s righteousness, believers will be known for their unity, love for each other and love for those who are evil.
The application of our text today coincides with the covenant adopted by our church membership. In other words, as we seek to reaffirm our commitment to the church covenant, God love will flow between us and toward those who come our way.
REFERENCES (page 1)
John 13:34-35 New King James Version (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.â€
John 15:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down oneâ€™s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
4 Love (K)is patient, love is kind and (L)is not jealous; love does not brag and is not (M)arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it (N)does not seek its own, is not provoked, (O)does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6(P)does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but (Q)rejoices with the truth; 7 [b](R)bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Colossians 3:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
INTRODUCTION: SCRIPTURAL LOVE (JOHN 13:34-35, 15:12-14, 1COR 13:1-7)
TITLE OF MESSAGE: Characteristics of a Church Covenant
CTS: 3 PRINCIPLES THAT ENABLE THE HONORING OF GODâ€™S COVENANT
How Can I honor God through a Church Covenant?:
I. COMMIT YOUR BODY AND MIND TO GOD (VV. 1-2)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD
o BODY â€“ AS A LIVING SACRIFICE
o MIND â€“ TRANSFORMED (FROM WORLD TO RIGHTEOUSNESS)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: COLOSSIANS 3:1-2
â€¢ APPLICATION: SEEK GOD FOR WISDOM & STRENGTH ALWAYS
II. CONNECT YOURSELF TO HIS BODY (VV. 3-8)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GOD HAS GIFTED; USE IN HUMILITY
o MEASURE OF FAITH â€“ DIFFERENT GIFTS
o DIFFERENCES WORK AS ONE â€“ WE NEED EACH OTHER
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: HUMAN BODY FUNCTION - INTERDEPENDENCE
â€¢ APPLICATION: STRIVE FOR UNITY IN HUMILITY
III. CONSCIOUSLY LOVE OTHERS (VV. 9-21)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: LOVE FOR BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS
o LOVING BELIEVERS:
ï‚§ LOVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY (9A)
â€¢ EJECT EVIL / CLING TO GOOD (9B&C)
ï‚§ DEVOTION TO EACH OTHER OUT OF LOVE (10A)
ï‚§ GIVE PREFERENCE TO EACH OTHER IN HONOR (1OB)
ï‚§ BE DILIGENT (11)
ï‚§ REJOICE / PERSEVERE / DEVOTED (12)
ï‚§ MEETING NEEDS (13)
o LOVING UNBELIEVERS:
ï‚§ BLESS PERSECUTORS (14, 17-20)
ï‚§ SENSITIVITY TO OTHERS â€“ REJOICE / WEEP (15)
ï‚§ UNITY OF MIND â€“ AVOID PRIDE â€“ ASSOCIATE W/ LOWLY (16)
ï‚§ OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD (21)
â€¢ APPLICATION: BE GODâ€™S LOVE TO OTHERS
â€¢ WITH A SACRIFICIAL BODY & TRANFORMED MIND, BELIEVERS CAN LOVE
â€¢ OUR CHURCH COVENANT REFLECTS GODâ€™S LOVE; HONOR IT
Excerpt from New Hope Christian Fellowshipâ€™s constitution (adopted 12 Dec 2010)
Article V â€“ Member Responsibilities
We the members of New Hope Christian Fellowship, having received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and having been baptized by immersion following our profession of faith, relying on Godâ€™s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the Bible as our guide:
Will walk harmoniously together in Christian love, seeking to edify and uphold one another in the spirit of unity and the bonds of peace. (Rom. 14:19; I Thess. 5:11)
Will pray for one another, sharing in each otherâ€™s joys and bearing one anotherâ€™s burdens and sorrows. (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 8:26; Col. 1:9; I Thess. 5:25)
Will observe church ordinances of Believerâ€™s Baptism and the Lordâ€™s Supper, in accordance with the scriptures. (Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:41; 8:13; 16:15; Luke 22:15-19; I Cor. 11:24-25)
Will endeavor to attend worship services faithfully, to regularly study Godâ€™s word, and to adhere to the principles of doctrine and discipline as delineated in our statement of faith. (Heb. 10:25)
Will contribute our offerings regularly and cheerfully to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spreading of the gospel at home and abroad. (2 Cor. 9:7)
Will support the ministry through use of our God-given gifts and talents for the work of the church, the assistance of one another, and the furtherance of the gospel. (Luke 4:18; Mark 10:29)
Agree to encourage personal and family devotions, and to educate our children according to our faith. We will strive to teach by example, denying ungodly practices or attitudes while aspiring to godliness and holy living. (2 Tim. 2:15)
Will seek the salvation of unbelievers by word and example, striving to be just in our dealings, reliable in our responsibilities, and caring toward others. (Acts 1:8)
Will be affectionate toward and watch out for one another, being slow to anger and quick to forgive; always eager for reconciliation and seeking it without delay. (Prov. 16:32; 2 Cor. 6:6, Col. 3:12; 2 Pet. 1:7)
Romans 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Therefore (A)I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to (B)present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,[a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not (C)be conformed to (D)this[c]world, but be transformed by the (E)renewing of your mind, so that you may [d](F)prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.
3 For through (G)the grace given to me I say to everyone among you (H)not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to (I)each a measure of faith. 4 For (J)just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,5 so we, (K)who are many, are (L)one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that (M)differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if (N)prophecy,[f]according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if [g](O)service, in his serving; or he who (P)teaches, in his teaching;8 or he who (Q)exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with [h](R)liberality; (S)he who [i]leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with (T)cheerfulness.
9 Let (U)love be without hypocrisy. (V)Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be (W)devoted to one another in brotherly love; [j]give preference to one another (X)in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, (Y)fervent in spirit, (Z)serving the Lord; 12 (AA)rejoicing in hope, (AB)persevering in tribulation, (AC)devoted to prayer, 13(AD)contributing to the needs of the [k]saints, [l](AE)practicing hospitality.
14 (AF)Bless those who persecute [m]you; bless and do not curse. 15 (AG)Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 (AH)Be of the same mind toward one another; (AI)do not be haughty in mind, but[n]associate with the lowly. (AJ)Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 (AK)Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. [o](AL)Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, (AM)so far as it depends on you,(AN)be at peace with all men. 19 (AO)Never take your own revenge, beloved, but [p]leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, â€œ(AP)VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,â€ says the Lord. 20 â€œ(AQ)BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.â€ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
a. Romans 12:1 Or well-pleasing
b. Romans 12:1 Or rational
c. Romans 12:2 Or age
d. Romans 12:2 Or approve
e. Romans 12:2 Or well-pleasing
f. Romans 12:6 Or in agreement with the faith
g. Romans 12:7 Or office of service
h. Romans 12:8 Or simplicity
i. Romans 12:8 Or gives aid
j. Romans 12:10 Or outdo one another in showing honor
k. Romans 12:13 Or holy ones
l. Romans 12:13 Lit pursuing
m. Romans 12:14 Two early mss do not contain you
n. Romans 12:16 Or accommodate yourself to lowly things
o. Romans 12:17 Lit Take thought for
p. Romans 12:19 Lit give a place
A. Romans 12:1 : 1 Cor 1:10; 2 Cor 10:1-4; Eph 4:1; 1 Pet 2:11
B. Romans 12:1 : Rom 6:13, 16, 19; 1 Cor 6:20; Heb 13:15; 1 Pet 2:5
C. Romans 12:2 : 1 Pet 1:14
D. Romans 12:2 : Matt 13:22; Gal 1:4; 1 John 2:15
E. Romans 12:2 : Eph 4:23; Titus 3:5
F. Romans 12:2 : Eph 5:10, 17; Col 1:9
G. Romans 12:3 : Rom 1:5; 15:15; 1 Cor 3:10; 15:10; Gal 2:9; Eph 3:7f
H. Romans 12:3 : Rom 11:20; 12:16
I. Romans 12:3 : 1 Cor 7:17; 2 Cor 10:13; Eph 4:7; 1 Pet 4:11
J. Romans 12:4 : 1 Cor 12:12-14; Eph 4:4, 16
K. Romans 12:5 : 1 Cor 10:17, 33
L. Romans 12:5 : 1 Cor 12:20, 27; Eph 4:12, 25
M. Romans 12:6 : Rom 12:3; 1 Cor 7:7; 12:4; 1 Pet 4:10
N. Romans 12:6 : Acts 13:1; 1 Cor 12:10
O. Romans 12:7 : Acts 6:1; 1 Cor 12:5, 28
P. Romans 12:7 : Acts 13:1; 1 Cor 12:28; 14:26
Q. Romans 12:8 : Acts 4:36; 11:23; 13:15
R. Romans 12:8 : 2 Cor 8:2; 9:11, 13
S. Romans 12:8 : 1 Cor 12:28; 1 Tim 5:17
T. Romans 12:8 : 2 Cor 9:7
U. Romans 12:9 : 2 Cor 6:6; 1 Tim 1:5
V. Romans 12:9 : 1 Thess 5:21f
W. Romans 12:10 : John 13:34; 1 Thess 4:9; Heb 13:1; 2 Pet 1:7
X. Romans 12:10 : Rom 13:7; Phil 2:3; 1 Pet 2:17
Y. Romans 12:11 : Acts 18:25
Z. Romans 12:11 : Acts 20:19
AA. Romans 12:12 : Rom 5:2
BB. Romans 12:12 : Heb 10:32, 36
CC. Romans 12:12 : Acts 1:14
DD. Romans 12:13 : Rom 15:25; 1 Cor 16:15; 2 Cor 9:1; Heb 6:10
EE. Romans 12:13 : Matt 25:35; 1 Tim 3:2
FF. Romans 12:14 : Matt 5:44; Luke 6:28; 1 Cor 4:12
GG. Romans 12:15 : Job 30:25; Heb 13:3
HH. Romans 12:16 : Rom 15:5; 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 2:2; 4:2; 1 Pet 3:8
II. Romans 12:16 : Rom 11:20; 12:3
JJ. Romans 12:16 : Prov 3:7; Rom 11:25
KK. Romans 12:17 : Prov 20:22; 24:29; Rom 12:19
LL. Romans 12:17 : 2 Cor 8:21
MM. Romans 12:18 : Rom 1:15
NN. Romans 12:18 : Mark 9:50; Rom 14:19
OO. Romans 12:19 : Prov 20:22; 24:29; Rom 12:17
PP. Romans 12:19 : Deut 32:35; Ps 94:1; 1 Thess 4:6; Heb 10:30
QQ. Romans 12:20 : 2 Kin 6:22; Prov 25:21f; Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27
INTRODUCTION: MEMBERSHIP IS IMPORTANT (DISCOUNTS?!)
SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 10:24-26
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: NEH 7 (CENSUS), NEH 10 (SIGNED COVENANT)
TITLE OF MESSAGE: CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: WHO WE ARE
CTS: 3 CHARACTERISTIC ELEMENTS OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?:
I. NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION (EPH. 2:19)
• EXPLANATION: ORIENTATION GIVES THE “WHY” TO MEMBERSHIP
o PURPOSES OF NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION
1. DEVELOP A BIBLICAL CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.
2. DEEPEN A NEW MEMBER’S UNDERSTANDING AND COMMITMENT
3. SEEK MEANINGFUL INVOLVEMENT OF NEW CHURCH MEMBERS.
“ATTENDANCE IS NOT THE SAME AS MEANINGFUL INVOLVEMENT.”
II. THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH (ACTS 2:42)
• EXPLANATION: WHAT DEFINES CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
o NEW HOPE’S UNDERSTANDING OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP:
1. THE CHURCH IS A FELLOWSHIP
• FELLOWSHIP MEANS PARTICIPATING IN GOD’S FAMILY.
• WHY FELLOWSHIP IS SO IMPORTANT (SEE NOTES)
2. THE CHURCH IS A FAMILY
3. THE CHURCH IS A BODY (SEE NOTES)
4. THE CHURCH IS A FLOCK
III. THE VISION OF THE CHURCH (ACTS 1:8)
• EXPLANATION: NEW HOPE’S VISION STATEMENT:
“WE EXIST TO SHARE THE HOPE OF JESUS CHRIST WITH ALL PEOPLE!”
o NEW HOPE LIVES OUT A FOUR STEP PROCESS:
1. HONORING GOD
2. GROWING BIBLICALLY
3. SERVING TOGETHER
4. SHARING TRUTH
o AFFILIATION WITH THE NHBA / BCNE (PG 11)
• EVERY BELIEVER NEEDS ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN A LOCAL CHURCH?
REFERENCES (page 1)
Ephesians 2:19 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Acts 2:42 New King James Version (NKJV)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Why Fellowship is So Important
1. WE BELONG IN GOD'S FAMILY WITH OTHER BELIEVERS. (ROMANS 12:5)
2. WE NEED ENCOURAGEMENT TO GROW SPIRITUALLY. (ECCLESIASTES 4:9-10, 12)
3. WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY TO GROW SPIRITUALLY.(PROVERBS 27:17)
4. FELLOWSHIP IS A WITNESS TO THE WORLD. (JOHN 13:34-35)
5. WE ARE OBLIGATED TO EVERY OTHER CHRISTIAN! (1 PETER 4:10)
1. THE CHURCH IS A BODY
• WE ARE A BODY—NOT A BUSINESS! WE ARE AN ORGANISM—NOT AN ORGANIZATION! THEREFORE, WE FUNCTION ON THE BASIS OF: SPIRITUAL GIFTS NOT ELECTED OFFICES.
• IN AN ORGANIZATION, MAINTENANCE BECOMES THE FOCUS.
• BUT IN AN ORGANISM, MINISTRY IS THE FOCUS.
Acts 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Hebrews 10:24-26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 and let us consider how (A)to stimulate one another to love and (B)good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own(C)assembling together, as is the habit of some, but (D)encouraging one another; and all the more as you see(E)the day drawing near.
Christ or Judgment
26 For if we go on (F)sinning willfully after receiving (G)the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
A. Hebrews 10:24 : Heb 13:1
B. Hebrews 10:24 : Titus 3:8
C. Hebrews 10:25 : Acts 2:42
D. Hebrews 10:25 : Heb 3:13
E. Hebrews 10:25 : 1 Cor 3:13
F. Hebrews 10:26 : Num 15:30; Heb 6:4-8; 2 Pet 2:20f
G. Hebrews 10:26 : 1 Tim 2:4
INTRODUCTION: CHOOSING YOUR VOCATION (ACTS 9:1-6)
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 4:14-15
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: OBSERVATIONS ABOUT JESUSâ€™ MINISTRY
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: LAUNCHING HIS MINISTRY
CTS: 3 WAYS TO EMULATE THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST
WHAT IS GODâ€™S DESIRE FOR ME IN MINISTRY WORK?:
I. BE FILLED WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT (VS. 14A)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: JESUS BEGINS MINISTRY THROUGH GODâ€™S POWER
o JESUS RETURNED TO GALILEE (14A)
o NOTE: GENTILE AUDIENCE (MATT 4:12-17)
o JESUS WAS â€œIN THE POWER OF THE SPIRITâ€ (14A)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: PETER-REPENT, BE BAPTIZED, BE FILLED (ACTS 2:38-39)
â€¢ APPLICATION: WITHOUT GOD, WE CAN DO NOTHING - BE FILLED!!
II. SEEK PASSION FROM GOD TO FOLLOW HIM (VS. 14B)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: NEWS ABOUT JESUS SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE
o PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCED JESUS TOLD OTHERS
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: JONAH IN NINEVEH(GOD DRAWS PEOPLE)(JON 3:1-10)
â€¢ APPLICATION: FALL IN LOVE WITH GOD; TELL OTHERS ABOUT HIM
III. TEACH OTHERS ABOUT GOD IN THE MOMENT (VS. 15)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: JESUS PROVIDED WELCOMED TEACHING
o JESUSâ€™ MINISTRY - TEACHING OTHERS; PRAISED BY ALL
â€¢ PEOPLE WERE SEEKING GODâ€™S WISDOM (SYNAGOGUES)
â€¢ APPLICATION: SHARE GODâ€™S LOVE & GOSPEL CONSCIENTIOUSLY
â€¢ GODâ€™S SON CONDUCTED MINISTRY THROUGH GODâ€™S POWER
â€¢ GODâ€™S POWER IS IN EVERYONE WHOM HE CALLS TO SALVATION
â€¢ GODâ€™S WILL IS THAT WE FOLLOW HIS SONâ€™S EXAMPLE
â€¢ WE MUST TEACH OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST & HIS SALVATION
â€¢ GOD WILL MOVE PEOPLE HE IS DRAWING TO LISTEN TO YOU
REFERENCES (page 1)
Acts 9:1-6New King James Version (NKJV)
The Damascus Road: Saul Converted
9 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, â€œSaul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?â€
5 And he said, â€œWho are You, Lord?â€
Then the Lord said, â€œI am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.â€
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, â€œLord, what do You want me to do?â€
Then the Lord said to him, â€œArise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.â€
Matthew 4:12-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry
12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
â€œThe land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.â€[a]
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, â€œRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.â€
Acts 2:38-39 The Message (MSG)
38-39 Peter said, â€œChange your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far awayâ€”whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.â€
Jonah 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jonah Preaches at Nineveh
3 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 â€œArise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.â€ 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey[a] in extent. 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first dayâ€™s walk. Then he cried out and said, â€œYet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!â€
The People of Nineveh Believe
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying,
Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
Luke 4:14-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jesusâ€™ Public Ministry
14 And (A)Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and (B)news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began (C)teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
A Luke 4:14 : Matt 4:12
B Luke 4:14 : Matt 9:26; Luke 4:37
C Luke 4:15 : Matt 4:23