Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Faith is necessary to please God (), and if our faith is genuine and true, we will live a lifestyle characterized by righteousness, modeling the example set for us by Jesus Christ. We obey His commands, not because we to, but because we to, because we love Him. We are enabled to obey because, once we believe in Christ and are saved, we are remade. We are not the same people we once were. As Paul wrote in (), “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
When we obey the Lord, we can live a life of joy, without shame, rooted deeply in the Lord and confident in our eternal hope. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (). Our obedience is actually part of our that we truly know God ().
When God’s children obey their Heavenly Father, He is glorified. Jesus told us that the plan is for others to “see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (). Of course, performing “good deeds” requires obedience to the One who calls us to good deeds. A Christian’s testimony of holiness is a strong witness that God is at work in the world.
“Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him” (). The Bible often tells us that God blesses and rewards obedience. says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. . . . Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” See also .
God is gracious. If we haven’t been living for Him, if we haven’t been following His commandments, if we’ve been living in and for the world, we can be transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We can ask God for forgiveness, and He will give it. And He will choose to forget the sin, just as if we had never committed it in the first place. God is glorified when He extends forgiveness, because it is written, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. . . . Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” ().
is defined as “dutiful or submissive compliance to the commands of one in authority.” Using this definition, we see the elements of . “Dutiful” means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin. “Submissive” indicates that we yield our wills to God’s. “Commands” speaks of the Scriptures in which God has clearly delineated His instructions. The “one in authority” is God Himself, whose authority is total and unequivocal. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded. It is our duty to do so.
Having said that, it is important to remember that our obedience to God is not a matter of duty. We obey Him because we love Him (). Also, we understand that the spirit of obedience is as important as the act of obedience. We serve the Lord in humility, singleness of heart, and .
Also, we must beware of using a veneer of obedience to mask a sinful heart. Living the Christian life is not all about rules. The Pharisees in Jesus’ time relentlessly pursued acts of obedience to the Law, but they became self-righteous, believing they deserved heaven because of what they had done. They considered themselves worthy before God, who owed them a reward; however, the Bible tells us that, without Christ, even our best, most righteous works are as “filthy rags” (). The Pharisees’ external obedience still lacked something, and Jesus exposed their heart attitude. Their hypocrisy in obeying the “letter of the law” while violating its spirit characterized their lives, and Jesus rebuked them sharply: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (). The Pharisees were obedient in some respects, but they “neglected the weightier matters of the law” ().
Today, we are not called to obey the Law of Moses. That has been fulfilled in Christ (). We are to obey the “law of Christ,” which is a law of love (; ). Jesus stated the greatest commands of all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments” ().
If we love God, we will obey Him. We won’t be perfect in our obedience, but our desire is to submit to the Lord and display good works. When we love God and obey Him, we naturally have love for one another. Obedience to God’s commands will make us in a dark and tasteless world ().
Saturday, March 19, 2016
This Bible study is concerning Jesus' obedient on the cross. This is for our Easter Celebration. Last year we did the "Seven Last Saying of Jesus" on the cross, which should have encouraged us to be obedient just as our Savior was when He died for our sins, amen. Let's look closely at obedient this season, and always.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
"To finish or reach the end of something." God's promises come to pass. It is proof that God has spoken it.
Neither the Jews nor the disciples of Jesus understood at the time that Jesus was fulfilling the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament—even though at times He told them this was the case (Luke 18:31; Matthew 26:56).
He began to help His disciples understand the Scriptures, and the disciples were inspired to declare that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. The proof they offered was the very Scriptures they had not previously understood.
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled."
God doesn't do things by chance. He knew even from the foundation of the world that His Son would have to come to earth (1 Peter 1:20), and He foretold the events of His birth, life, and death, so we would have firm evidence on which to base our belief. "Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Isaiah 42:9).
God's Word is amazing, and we can expect to be fulfilled because it's in His Word.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." (Proverbs 3:5) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Joshua 1:5-7) "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
"And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." (Mark 1:7-8)
John the Baptist saw Jesus and knew He was the One, and prophesied this concerning Jesus.
The Bible is an amazing record of God's promises. We can study it to discern the Lord's will for every situation in our lives. However, it can sometimes feel like God isn't answering our petitions. There are two possible reasons why. First, our requests may not be according to His will, and second, they might not have a true foundation. In other words, we can only expect God to give us something if we're asking according to His promises in Scripture.
The story of Abraham is a wonderful example of how God fulfills His promises. By examining this, we can learn the value of waiting on God and observe the negative consequences that come with jumping ahead of Him. Though the details and circumstances of our lives differ from Abraham's, the principles and lessons still apply.Bible prophecy is God's revelation to us about future events. Throughout Scripture God reveals to us things that are to happen. These prophetic passages are found throughout the Bible, but those of most interest to many are those found in Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew 24, Matthew 25, and Revelation. In many cases we can see the fulfillment of prophecies in the historical portions of the Bible and in man-kinds historical record. In other cases, the prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. [Isaiah 42:9]"
As we have seen, messianic prophecy are portions of scripture written far in advance, about the events of the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and second coming of Jesus Christ. This is yet another distinguishing characteristic of the Christian faith. For anyone who wishes to seek God, messianic prophecy provides a wealth of hard evidence to support the credibility of the claims of Christ. These prophecies are not opaque, but can be understood by anyone who reads them. Some seem so clearly written about Christ that one might wonder if the early Christians wrote them after the fact. Yet no critic of scripture places the origin of any the Old Testament book after the birth of Christ. Consider again a few Suffering Servant passages of Isaiah the Prophet:
"See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. Many were amazed when they saw him – beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person. And he will again startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not previously been told about; they will understand what they had not heard about. Who has believed our message? To whom will the LORD reveal his saving power? My servant grew up in the LORD's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins – that he was suffering their punishment? He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave. But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners." (Isaiah 52:13-53:12 NLT)
Knowing that Isaiah wrote this over 700 years before Christ causes one to pause and consider the gravity of God's plan of redemption. The entire Old Covenant can be boiled down into two powerful messages. 1) God is Holy and we are failing sinners in a bad relationship with Him. 2) God loves us and is sending a Messiah, who is His Son, to redeem us back into a right relationship with Him. It's no wonder that the early disciples, walking in the power of God, were able to reason from the scriptures to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the promised Messiah of Israel.
I have finished my reading assignment!
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.