Only God Can SAVE You From The Judgement to come.

Good works or following religious rules and regulations can't save us from our sins. We can only be saved by God alone.

Daily Spirit & Word: 796: Being Saved Is Possible, but ONLY by God’s Grace and Mercy.

Only God Can SAVE You.

From the Judgement to Come.

Being SAVED Is Possible, But Only By God.

Can A Camel Go Through The Eye of a Needle?

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with the Gospel of Mark. In our gatherings in church, we’ve been going through Mark for almost a year now. The Journey has been amazing. We’re discovering what an amazing LORD Jesus really is, and how inspired Mark (the author) must have been by Holy Spirit. I don’t think it’s possible that a man could put this work together, without the help of God. For we’ve been experiencing progressive revelation and this portion of God’s Word has built for us a wonderful picture of Jesus nature and character, but in doing so He’s also opened up what true Discipleship is like, from each and every story, parable and incident He recorded.

What we’ve observed:

  • Jesus is more Godlike that we at first would imagine.
  • The Disciples are more human and unable to save themselves from the consequences of sin.
  • Jesus (God) needs less human and earthly resources to sustain His life.
  • The Disciples, followers of Jesus, need more and more Divine intervention and revelation.

What I’ve discovered afresh, as if I didn’t know, is that we all need to stay very close to Jesus, every day, just to keep going as His followers. Yes we have advantages over His own disciples; we have the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, the Word of God in full; so we know how to serve and we have Jesus’ promises to be with us always for the journey. However, we must be willing to maintain that connection with God.

Today we’re back with Mark 10:23-31. Being SAVED Is Possible, But Only By An Act Of God.

  • Can a Camel Go Through The Eye of a Needle?
  • Can a Man Be SAVED by Good Works?

 

Mark 10:23-31 (NIV)
23  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28  Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel
30  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
31  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Last week Robert preached, whilst I was away in Plymouth, about the Rich Young Ruler and how he thought he’d fulfilled and lived according to the requirements of the Old Testament Law (Summarised in the Ten Commandments)… When he said to Jesus, “All these I have kept since I was a boy” Jesus didn’t react by saying what He knew, “No, my friend you have not lived according to God’s Commandments”… Instead, Jesus looked at him and, as the Bible tells us, “He loved him”…

 

I wonder if Jesus look of love was one of pity; because the Rich Young Man was BLIND (He couldn’t see his Spiritual need and didn’t understand how much he was in need of God’s forgiveness). I do not think that WEALTH was his only problem. In fact I’ll go as far a declaring I KNOW it wasn’t. Because, when we look at the Ten Commandments properly and honestly we’ll soon see we’ve all FALLEN SHORT of every single one of them: None of us can say in front of God: “I’ve kept all of these since I was a child”…

 

However, Jesus did focus upon his WEALTH.

Jesus knows what a TRAP WEALTH IS for most people in this world.

It was back then and it is today.

That’s why He said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God”.

 

The Disciples Knew It Too: “If A Camel CAN’T, Then We CAN’T either”

They knew that EVERYONE wanted to be RICH: Like the Rich Young Ruler…

 

Today, many people, all over the world, are clamouring for WEALTH, Health and Happiness:

People are risking life and limb in the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe, the Land of PROMISE.

They know, people in the West are Prosperous, Wealthy and Healthy: So, willing to risking everything in flimsy boats, that’s what they want for themselves. They launch themselves into the Mediterranean Ocean from all over Africa in their thousands ever month. Many of those boats are without even an engine, cram-packed with people; men, women and babies. How foolish to go to sea like that, without an engine in a flimsy rubber boat. That’s how desperate people in this world are for Wealth, Health and Happiness.

 

When they arrive, they head for the most prosperous, populous areas; Germany and the UK.

 

Oh my friends, if only they could see; Health, Wealth and Happiness can’t SAVE you; Only Jesus Christ can give you lasting peace and happiness upon this earth and the life to come.

 

THE IMPOSSIBILITY:

The Disciples KNEW it’s IMPOSSIBLE then, for ANYONE to enter the Kingdom of God.

So they asked that pertinent question; “Who Then Can Be SAVED?”

 

JESUS ANSWER: It’s Impossible for man to save himself: Therefore ONLY God can save.

The Disciples asked in Mark 10:26 and Jesus answered in Mark 10:27.
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
It’s IMPOSSIBLE: For anyone to SAVE themselves by human effort, by your own goodness or by your own righteousness.

The Rich Young Man: Good in his own eyes; couldn’t.

The Rest of Humanity: Good in their own eyes; can’t either.

However, Jesus revealed the IMPOSSIBILITY:

A Camel can’t ever FIT through the eye of a needle.

A Human being can’t ever FIT in the Kingdom of God.

 

NOTICE: The DISCIPLES: Were EVEN MORE AMAZED… i.e. They were amazed the Rich Young Man couldn’t be SAVED. Now they were EVEN MORE AMAZED, because they knew “NO ONE” could be saved. Unless God did something.

 

That “MORE AMAZED”: Reveals to me something about the Disciples.

Perhaps they we secretly thinking they were good enough themselves. After all they’d been with Jesus (they’d left EVERYTHING to follow Him).

Perhaps they’re just beginning to get Jesus message, that EVERYONE needs God’s intervention; if they ever hope to enter the Kingdom of God.

“Not with God, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE with God”.

 

It’s POSSIBLE: But ONLY with God.

A Camel Can’t go through the eye of a needle (Impossible).

A Man Can’t enter the Kingdom of God (Impossible).

 

Unless, God does something. (Mark has been revealing that Jesus is God, because only God can do the things Jesus did).

  • Only God could make a Camel fit through the eye of a needle.
  • Only God could turn water into wine.
  • Only God could walk on water.
  • Only God could calm a storm with a word.
  • Only God could command Demons.
  • Only God could open the eyes of a man born blind.
  • Only God could bring a dead girl back to life.
  • Only God could make you FIT Enough to enter into Heaven.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

ONLY GOD CAN SAVE YOU; YOU CAN’T SAVE YOURSELF.

Peter Reveals: (Why he was even more amazed) “We’ve left everything to follow You”… i.e. surely we’ll be saved by our human effort… “Look at the sacrifice we’ve made Jesus”… “Surely you can see how serious we are in following you”… My friends, no matter how hard you try, you’ll NEVER be good enough for Heaven. No matter what EFFORT you put into it yourself. You’ve got to STOP trying to SAVE yourself and let Jesus SAVE you. Why? Because no amount of effort to be good will wash away your sins that contaminate your soul.

Jesus answer, “No, Peter, because by leaving everything, you’ve gained much more”..

Mark 10:28-30.
28  Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

If we let go of EVERYTHING: Then it’s possible to be SAVED: But only by God.

The great temptation is that most people think they can do enough good works to earn a place in Heaven. That’s why the Disciples asked Jesus that question, “Who then can be saved?”. Deep down inside all of us, is this desire to work for or earn Salvation for ourselves. It’s hard to let go and let God do the saving, but that’s exactly what we’ve got to do or we CAN’T be SAVED.

  • Let go of Human Effort to be GOOD enough for Heaven.
  • Let Jesus come into your life and take away all your SINS.
  • Then His blood will cleanse you and make you FIT for Heaven.
  • It’s impossible with MEN: But it’s POSSIBLE with God.

How is it POSSIBLE?

Next Week: We’re going to be looking at “Why Jesus Came To Die?” Mark 10.

He came into this world to SAVE SINNERS.

Everyone has sinned, The Disciples knew, so they asked “Who then can be saved?”

My friends, you don’t want to wait until next week:

God’s Word tells us, “Today is the DAY of SALVATION”.

i.e. Get right with God today.

A) Confess your sins to God: How, like the Rich Young Ruler, you’ve not kept the Ten Commandments. You’ve lied, you’ve stolen, you’ve not put God first in all things, all the time. You’ve dishonoured you mum and dad. You’ve lusted and been unfaithful sometimes. You’ve coveted what your neighbour has. We’ve all done it. Everyone has broken God’s Commandments: Confess how you’ve done it to God.

B) Believe Jesus died on the Cross for all your sins:

His death was in your place. He died so that you can receive Heaven, once you Repent, Believe and Receive Him as Lord and Saviour.

C) Repent: Turn away from living a life of sin a rebellion and turn around and come to Jesus Christ to be cleansed and forgiven and renewed by Holy Spirit.

D) Receive: Receive Jesus Christ by an act of faith.

Just like you would board a plane to go on holiday. You trust the Captain knows how to get you to your destination. You RECEIVE Jesus as your Captain, He’ll take you all the way to Heaven.

More than that; you’ll receive the Holy Spirit Birth. New Life and Abundant LIFE right now.

E) Live: Become a Disciple of Jesus and live according to His teaching in fellowship with other followers. (Your Christian brothers and sisters in God’s family).

In order to do that, to live this Christian life, you’ll need: To gather regularly in worship, fellowship and receive Discipleship training from God’s Word. You’ll need to sort out your TIME and make time for daily prayer to connect with Jesus every day. You’ll need TIME: to Study and begin to practice God’s Word; daily.

You’ll get God’s HEART for others, that they might know Him too. You’ll be overflowing with a burning desire to lead others to Jesus Christ.

All of these things are indicators that you’ve really and truly been SAVED by Jesus.

You’ll also notice the Fruit of the Holy Spirit begining to ripen in your life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

NOTE: Passages by Way of Illustrating of these points in today’s message.

Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)
4  But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 5  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3 shows us;

  • We can’t be saved by ‘the good things we have done’… i.e. no amount of human effort will suffice.
  • That God in His mercy saves us by REGENERATION (RENEWAL) NEW LIFE, NEW BIRTH by The Holy Spirit.
  • We are JUSTIFIED (Made right with God: Justified = Just as if I’d never sinned). How? By God’s Grace and Kindness.
  • What happens? We become heirs (inheritors) of Eternal Life (Through this faith and trust in Jesus, we can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven).

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) We’re POWERLESS: i.e. we don’t possess the strength or ability to SAVE ourselves.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died on the Cross for us, so that we can be forgiven, cleansed, set free from sin’s power, so that we can be made fit for God’s Kingdom of Heaven.

Ephesians 2:1-5 (NIV) Before We Put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are DEAD in our Transgressions and Sins.
1  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Those who break God’s Commandments; all people).
3  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen today that the Disciples discovered the impossibility of anyone being able to SAVE themselves by human effort to get into God’s Kingdom of Heaven.

We can’t SAVE ourselves, it’s impossible for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. It’s impossible for a human being to be cleansed from sin by doing good or being religious or following the Ten Commandments.

So, it is only through God’s kindness, mercy and Grace that anyone can ever be SAVED from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

If we were to die without coming to Jesus Christ, then we would carry our sins to the Judgement. If we come to Jesus, we’ll be set free from sin, forgiven and cleansed. We’ll be born of the Spirit and receive NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus. When God sees us coming, He’ll throw open the gates of Heaven and welcome us in. Why? Not because of the good we’ve done, but because of His Son; Lord Jesus, who washed our sins away.

My friends, God has demonstrated just how much He loves everyone by sending Jesus to die for us. He doesn’t want anyone to end up in Hell or be judged because of their sins. He’s giving us all this moment in time to reflect, to repent, to return to Him. Do it right now! Don’t waste another moment of time. Get right with God today: Confess, Repent, Believe, Receive and Live. Amen!

Let us PRAY:

Have and awesome week with the LORD.

Trust Him every day and come close to Him in praise, worship, adoration. Then go out and share the Good News so that many more can come to Know HIM.

He’s alive! He wants to give your family, friends, workmates, school friends, college comrades and neighbours that NEW LIFE too.

Be blessed,

Don.

 

When the Gospel Becomes Good News

when the Gospel become Good News

Daily Spirit & Word: 787: When The Gospel Becomes Good News.

The Grinding Power of Sin.

Slaves Set Free:

Romans 6:19-22 (NIV)
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Good morning my friends, it was a good night of witnessing on the Streets of West Norwood last night. We gave out a few tracts, but after just a couple of minutes were were into a wonderful Gospel conversation with a lovely young couple from Madeira (Portugal). Last night I teamed up with Judy (Ben’s wife) and we just got chatting by given the couple a Million Pound Note (One of our little Gospel Tracts). I asked the young man, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” He answered, “I’d return to Portugal”. And the woman said, “I’d return to Madeira”. I said, “WOW, that’s really interesting, why Madeira?” They said, “Life in Madeira compared to London is like heaven”. I said, “Here’s what we’re about tonight, do you believe in Heaven?” They both said, “Not really, we don’t think about Heaven as a place”… I said, “Do you believe in God?” They answered “No, not really”… I was intrigued and asked a few more questions about their beliefs. It turns out, they both had to attend religious education in Madeira until they were twelve, that was the tradition in Madeira. They attended church, but as soon as they were twelve years old they were free from the burdens of religious observance.

So I opened up the ‘Spiritual’ conversation again with, “Madeira is reputed to have some of the oldest people on the planet, some people live to well into their hundreds.” The woman, Tatiana, knew a woman who’d died at 119 years old. I continued, “If you live to 120 years, then you die, if Heaven is real, where will you go? Heaven or Hell?” They both stated, “Well I’m a good person, so if heaven is real, I’ll definitely go there”. It’s amazing, because we know from experience that most people believe what Tatiana and Pedro do, that ‘good people’ go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Also, that most people believe they are the good ones, and if Heaven is real they will be good enough.

I asked, “We’ve got a little test that shows you immediately if you’d be good enough for Heaven” I gave them both one of our Ten Commandment Coins. They took it and said, “WOW this is nice”… I said, “You can keep it, it’s yours. Now the Ten Commandments are like a mirror, they show a person the condition of their soul on the inside.” They both remembered the Ten Commandments from their childhood teachings. I asked both of them, “The Commandments say, ‘Don’t tell lies’, Have you ever told a lie?” They both admitted readily that they’d told lies. We got into a conversation about lying, and agreed that almost everybody has told at least one lie, even me and Judy 🙂 But they didn’t see the seriousness of lying. I asked, “How many lies do I have to tell to become a Liar?” They said, “Just one”. “That’s right” I said, “It only takes one lie to make a person a liar, but did you know that just one lie will keep you out of heaven for all eternity?” They said, “Then nobody is going to be in Heaven”… (Isn’t that sobering? The fact that nobody will go to heaven if they died in their sins?”)

Here’s the next one; “Have you ever stolen anything?” They both said, “When we were kids”, but then went onto admit they’d also taken things that didn’t belong to them as adults. Pedro had nicked from his mother’s purse. Tatiana had stolen music on the internet. However, neither of them saw the seriousness of their crime before God, yet 🙂  I said, “Are you aware the Bible teaches that no thief can enter into the Kingdom of God?”

Here’s the next one; “Pedro and Tatiana, you’ve both been really honest so far, but have you always honoured your mum and dad?” Family honour is very important in Portugal, they both said, “We’d never dishonour our mum and dad, but I took them back over the commands they’d already admitted and said, “Stealing and lying to your mum and dad, that’s dishonourable don’t you think?” They both nodded in shame. But the Bible teaches that when we dishonour our mum and dad, we’re cut off from the Kingdom forever.

So I asked, “That’s just three of the commandments, if God were to Judge you by that standard, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” They said, “Hell”… Then we got into a conversation about the after-life again and what they really believed. I brought it back after a few minutes, “but suppose it is real, Heaven and Hell, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’d be on your way to Heaven? You see Pedro and Tatiana, God doesn’t want to send a single soul to Hell forever, He did something 2000 years ago to give people the chance of going to Heaven, do you know what that was?”. They didn’t know, so I asked, “Have you heard about Jesus?” They both clicked, “Jesus was God come down to Earth to show us how to live a good life”… Then I asked, “How did Jesus die?” It was like turning a light on in a dark room. Pedro and Tatiana said, “He died for our sins”… “It’s not enough to know that Jesus died for sins” I explained, “To get forgiven and cleansed from our sins so that we’ll be fit for heaven, we’ll need to do something, do you know what that is?” They both said, “Repent and ask for forgiveness”… I said, “Yes that’s right, but there’s more. Everyone need to believe and trust in Jesus Christ, receive Him as Lord (Boss of their life), and ask for forgiveness, trusting that Jesus died for their own sins. Does that make sense to you?”

I asked them, (they both work in the Catering industry), if you took a delivery of chicken and one piece of chicken was rotten, would you put it in the fridge beside the good chicken?” They both said, “No, we’d throw it out,” I asked, “Why? Why would you throw out that rotten piece of chicken?” They said, “Because it would contaminate the rest of the chicken”. I explained, “That’s exactly why God will not let anyone who dies in their sins; lying, stealing etc into His Holy Heaven, because our sins would contaminate His Holy Heaven”… They both said, “Then nobody is going to Heaven”… I said, “That’s right, unless they repent and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sins on the Cross and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour”…

PRAYER:

You know my friends, Pedro and Tatiana both thanked us last night. We encouraged them to read the Bible and see if what we were telling them was the truth. We asked them to come to church. We said we’d be prepared to meet-up with them again and pray and read the Bible over a coffee. But I encouraged them, “Don’t leave it too long before you turn to Jesus”… They walked away chatting together.

It’s not enough to just proclaim the Gospel, we’ve got to try and help people to understand it, that takes time, love, care, gentleness, humour, but above all boldness to bring the conversation back to the most important topic, their eternal destiny. I thank the Lord for Pedro and Tatiana, will you pray for them, that they’ll both come to the point of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? We had a good laugh, but always got back to the seriousness of their spiritual condition. It’s amazing, but once people understand the Gospel, they are either thankful or disturbed. Pedro and Tatiana had never heard the Gospel explained or why Jesus died on the Cross like that before. Can you see the desperate need there is, to take time with folks and love them enough to share Jesus’ message of Good News?

Now, their God given Conscience will go to work, it will do it’s job of showing them their sins again (How? Because the Law of God brings light to the soul, it awakens the Conscience ), the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel to draw them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

WHY USE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?

Some people ask us, “Why don’t you just talk about the love of God and Grace? Why do you keep going on about the Commandments?” Well, if I was to just tell someone they are a sinner without explaining why, they’d be offended. It’s offensive to just say, “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” because most people don’t think they have, most people don’t know the seriousness of their sins. We’ve found that about 90% of people think they a good enough for Heaven. So we need to show a person just how serious sin is, before they’ll even consider listening to the Good News. The good news only makes sense when we see the seriousness of our condition without a Saviour.

Here’s the reason why we use the LAW (Ten Commandments) when sharing the Gospel with folks: It awakens the Conscience: “we become conscious of sin”… In other words, we see the seriousness of our sinful condition by opening up God’s law.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Charles Spurgeon said: Concerning The Law (Ten Commandments).

  1. The first use of the law is to manifest to man his guilt.

When God intends to save a man, the first thing he does with him is to send the law to him, to show him how guilty, how vile, how ruined he is, and in how dangerous a position. You see that man lying there on the edge of the precipice; he is sound asleep, and just on the perilous verge of the cliff. One single movement, and he will roll over and be broken in pieces on the jagged rocks beneath, and nothing more shall be heard of him. How is he to be saved? What shall be done for him—what shall be done! It is our position; we, too, are lying on the brink of ruin, but we are insensible of it. God, when he begins to save us from such an imminent danger, sendeth his law, which, with a stout kick, rouses us up, makes us open our eyes, we look down on our terrible danger, discover our miseries, and then it is we are in a right position to cry out for salvation, and our salvation comes to us. The law acts with man as the physician does when he takes the film from the eye of the blind. Self-righteous men are blind men, though they think themselves good and excellent. The law takes that film away, and lets them discover how vile they are, and how utterly ruined and condemned if they are to abide under the sentence of the law.

Instead, however, of treating this doctrinally, I shall treat it practically, and come home to each of your consciences. My, hearer, does not the law of God convince you of sin this morning? Under the hand of God’s Spirit does it not make you feel that you have been guilty, that you deserve to be lost, that you have incurred the fierce anger of God? Look ye here, have ye not broken these ten commandments; even in the letter have ye not broken them? Who is there among you who hath always honored his father and mother? Who is there among us who hath always spoken the truth? Have we not sometimes borne false witness against our neighbor? Is there one person here who has not made unto himself another God, and loved himself, or his business, or his friends, more than he has Jehovah, the God of the whole earth? Which of you hath not coveted your neighbour’s house, or his man-servant, or his ox, or his ass? We are all guilty with regard to every letter of the law; we have all of us transgressed the commandments. And if we really understood these commandments, and felt that they condemned us, they would have this useful influence on us of showing us our danger, and so of leading us to fly to Christ. But, my hearers, does not this law condemn you, because even if you should say you have not broken the letter of it, yet you have violated the spirit of it. What, though you have never killed, yet we are told, he that is angry with his brother is a murderer. As a negro said once, “Sir, I thought me no kill—me innocent there; but when I heard that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, then me cry guilty, for me have killed twenty men before breakfast very often, for I have been angry with many of them very often.” This law does not only mean what it says in words, but it has deep things hidden in its bowels. It says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but it means, as Jesus has it, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” It says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” it meaneth that we should reverence God in every place, and have his fear before our eyes, and should always pay respect unto his ordinances and evermore walk in his fear and love. Ay, my brethren, surely there is not one here so fool-hardy in self-righteousness as to say, “I am innocent.” The spirit of the law condemns us. And this is its useful property; it humbles us, makes us know we are guilty, and so are we led to receive the Saviour.

http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0128.htm

We saw that this is exactly right, it happened last night, when we opened up the law with Pedro and Tatiana, they soon stopped trying to justify themselves and wanted to know what they could do to be saved from the consequences of the law.

The Grinding Power Of Sin: Samson was in PRISON:

Judges 16:20-22 (NIV)
20  Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21  Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22  But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

He was blinded, bound and made to grind the corn for God’s enemies.

That’s the condition of everyone who lives with sin in their life, until they are set free by the LORD Jesus Christ. Sin blinds, it binds and it makes us grind. Life is worth living to the full, but life like Samson’s is; darkness, slavery and drudgery. Until we’re set free by the LORD Jesus Christ.

The prison is a place of blinding, binding and grinding!

Grinding was considered to be woman’s work, this added to Samson’s humiliation.

Here is the point; Samson was born to be a liberator. He was raised up by God to lead the people of God out of bondage. He was given power so that he might use his energy for the glory of the Lord. But, here is the mighty judge of Israel, blinded, bound and grinding corn for the enemies of God. (Note: That is the power of sin! It will rob you of your power and leave you with nothing with which to serve God. There will be no time, no energy and no interest in the things of God. Your life will be dominated by the grinding power of sin.)

My friends, share the Gospel with the folks you love.

Get full of God’s love and you’ll want to set others free.

Their condition, as Charles Spurgeon has so eloquently put it, is perilous. They are on the cliff-edge, in danger of God’s judgement and hell. If anyone dies in their sins, they’ll receive God’s wrath against sin. Let’s set as many free by going, by showing, by loving them into God’s Kingdom family. Amen!

Be blessed today and stay close to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Don.

 

You can read or listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.

or even watch it below:

 

Jusus IS; The LORD of the Sabbath

Cornfield Jesus woman

Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few mouthfuls of porridge can produce so much energy.

On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.

Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24  The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25  He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26  In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:

Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.

As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.

The Pharisees Notice: 

As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.

The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.

Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?

Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:

Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
8  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?

The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:

They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.

For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing wool
  • Washing wool
  • Beating wool
  • Dyeing wool
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying
  • Untying
  • Sewing stitches
  • Tearing
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Flaying
  • Tanning
  • Scraping hide
  • Marking hides
  • Cutting hide to shape
  • Writing two or more letters
  • Erasing two or more letters
  • Building
  • Demolishing
  • Extinguishing a fire
  • Kindling a fire
  • Putting the finishing touch on an object
  • Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.

The Letter of the Law Kills.

The Spirit gives it life.

NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.

Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.

Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:

The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.

Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.

Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.

However, this leaves us with a Question: 

Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?

Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.

David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were ritually clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)

1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread. 
3  Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4  But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5  David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

To discover more about the Shawbread: Read:  Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5  “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6  Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7  Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8  This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9  It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”

This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.

The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.

Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”

Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.

He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.

Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.

It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.

When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater perspective on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.

But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.

They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.

Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What did Jesus mean?

It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.

We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.

Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.

 

An Injured Pigeon:

After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.

One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a pigeon tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.

Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.

Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.

Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.

Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.

Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:

The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.

NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.

NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.

Our God IS and AWESOME God.

He reigns in Heaven and Earth.

He’s the CREATOR of ALL.

He gives us LIFE and Breath.

Praise HIM every DAY.

Amen!

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.

Bible References To The Sabbath Day:

Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles  23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11

 

Christmas Freedom From Knowing the KING

Knowing King Jesus instead of Knowing About Him

Daily Spirit & Word;655;

How to Have A Happy Christmas: When Jesus Sets You Free.

Jesus is the KING of The Heavenly Kingdom.

The Incredible Peace & Freedom When Jesus Is Your King.

Good morning my friends, we’ve had an amazing week of Carol Services, with more to come; Christingle Making on Saturday at 2.00pm, then a party at Jonathan and Louise’s house. On Sunday our BIG Carol Service with Cristingles and Crib… BUT do you KNOW the KING of Christmas. Jesus is the KING and knowing him is very different from knowing all about Him. To get the Angelic promise of PEACE AND GOODWILL TOWARDS MANKIND, you’ll need to get to know the King personally.

The late, great Dr. Vance Havner had this to say:

“One does not ordinarily associate law books with songbooks, mandates with music. But here’s a man to whom the law of the Lord is no burdensome thing, a pattern of hard lines. Here’s a radiant believer to whom law is liberty and service like unto a happy song.

One may be good in such a bad way.

Some of us have punctiliously kept the statutes but have failed to sing the songs. We have whiteness but no light. The Christian life does have its stern, unyielding requirements; but every law has a song written on the back and between the requirements runs the refrain. Duty turns to delight and mandates become melodies.

There must be a law if there is to be liberty.

Try to play a piano and you will run into laws as fixed as the decrees of the Medes and Persians. But through those statutes you reach the songs, drudgery leads to delight. The law of Christ brings the liberty of Christ. Keep His statutes, and they become songs.

The other side of commandment is conquest. What seems restraint to the outsider means release to you.

  • “Ye shall know the truth”—there are the statutes.
  • “The truth shall make you free”—there is the song.

But to know the truth is to know Him, otherwise it is legalism. “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” His law book becomes a song book!”

From “The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority”: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld. ( by Adrian Rogers).

There is also Jesus promise about His requirements:

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Matthew 11:28-30
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

That promise of being able to follow Christ’s Commands, Laws and Decrees and His doctrines, is given in sharp contrast to the almost impossible and heavy, burdensome demands of the legalists of Jesus day, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. When we just have duty without release, service without reward, obedience without experience, it becomes legalism. We must try and be obedient, but our obedience and the desire to be obedient stem from our nearness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must come to HIM in order to be set free and filled with joy. Or we’ll just become religious or legalists or worse; we’ll become both at the same time; religious legalists. Only through knowing Jesus as your KING will you be set free from the impossible demands of God’s Law or any man made religious laws.

  • There is an invitation at Christmas: “Come to me” said Jesus.
  • There is a way to respond to Jesus at Christmas: “Repent, Believe, Receive, Return, and be Renewed”.
  • There is a promise when we respond to Jesus invitation at Christmas: “Freedom and New Life”.
  • There is a NEW SONG in your heart, you will KNOW the TRUTH and the truth will make you FREE. That will lead to singing songs of freedom, joy, release, i.e. “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed Thee”. From the song “And can it be”…
  • There is a New Desire in your life once you KNOW Jesus as KING: You’ll love God’s Law, You’ll long to be obedient, You’ll be transformed in such a way that His Law is your delight. Being Holy is not something that’s a secret anymore, you’re every molecule and fragment of being will be crying out to be completely free from the desires of the flesh. You’ll discover that freedom with Jesus as KING this Christmas.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we know if we know Him?

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey my commands”… We’ll know if we know Jesus if there is a strong desire to live in obedience to His teachings, commands, decrees. They will not seem burdensom. The Law of God changes from something that seems harsh, restrictive and designed to ruin our enjoyment of this world, into something that becomes a joy and delight to the believer who is close to Jesus Christ. However, once you KNOW Jesus, then you’ll also KNOW that God gave us the Commandments because He loves us, has a plan to prosper us and enable us to live in His freedom. The Law of the LORD is light. You’ll delight in God and He’ll give you the desires of your heart. Your desires will change though, because once, when you were in darkness, you longed for the things of this world, the same things the people of the world long for, but once you’re set free, they are no longer so attractive, you’ll long instead to be filled with God’s goodness; the New Wine of the Kingdom.

Jesus invites you to come to Him today, when you respond in repentance, faith and trust, you will receive; Him, New Life, Freedom from Sin’s power to control you, freedom from Satan’s rule in your life and freedom to live in God’s power and authority.

When you know Jesus, the KING that the wise men worshipped and presented with gifts, you’re going to have an AWESOME Christmas.

Your Kingdom Come Lord Jesus.

Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

SING THIS AWESOME HYMN:

AND CAN IT BE:

1 And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(NOTE: Verse One speaks about the almost ubelievable fact that someone so good, so holy and so pure, would die for a sinner who’s broken God’s commandments, someone like me. It really is ‘amazing love’ we wonder ‘how can it be’?)

Refrain:
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2 ‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse two speaks about the mystery of the Gospel, that even Angels couldn’t understand and wanted to know about from the beginning of time, but was only revealed after Jesus dies and rose again).

3 He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse 3; speaks about the joy of being set free when you come to Jesus. The truth of Jesus pre-existence before coming from Heaven to Earth, how He emptied Himself of some of His Godly attributes to take on human flesh, but couldn’t empty Himself of love).

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse 4 is jam-packed with truth. It tells of the imprisoned sinner, bound in sin it’s like darkness, but when we come to Jesus, we get the awesome light and we see the dungeon for what it is; sin is a horrible dungeon, an prison, it keeps it’s prisoners in chains that are impossible for mankind to break on their own, “fast bound”. 2 Corinthians 4:4. The Gospel the knowledge of Christ’s death for law-breaking sinners, will make those chains fall off. Fantastic! Freedom!).

5 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]

NOTE: Verse 5: Once we KNOW Jesus and Jesus knows us; there is unspeakable joy and freedom, “No condemnation” the dread of facing God’s judgement is taken away. We’re ‘Alive in Him’; i.e. Jesus gives us life in Himself when we receive Him as Lord. We can approach the throne of GRACE boldly.)…

There’s the Modern Worship Song: Break Every Chain.
Jesus will set you completely free: “I Am the Vine” John 15.

 

FAITH is simply taking the first step

Knowing Jesus we need to take the first steps of faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 639:

The Friends V The Professionals.

It’s Possible Through Simple Trusting: To KNOW Jesus Christ Personally.

Good morning my friends, On Sunday at our Thanksgiving Service for the Blessing, Naming and Dedication of four lovely children (asked for instead of baptism), I was preaching on Mark 2 About The Calling of Levi the Tax Collector.

The previous week I’d been preaching about that wonderful account of the Miracle and the Authority of Jesus. In Mark Chapter 2 we find different groups of people; The crowds blocking the way to Jesus, the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and the group of faithful friends who carried the crippled man and lowered him through the roof to Jesus.

In the Calling of Matthew we find; Sinners, Tax Collectors and the same group of Teachers of the Law and Pharisees.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about that and praying about how people can be so close to God’s REVELATION and yet be so far away from it.

Those TEACHERS OF THE LAW: THE SCRIBES – You know my friends, those scribes were highly educated men.

History: After the Israelites returned to the Promised Land from their exile and Babylonian captivity, it was the Scribes who were the leaders of the Jewish Nation. The Prophet Ezra was also a Scribe. Their task was to teach, preserve and copy the Scriptures. They were also professional interpreters of the Mosaic Law and administered both its religious and its civil codes. The scribes determined how the details of the law of Moses should be applied to everyday life.

In time, they became the custodians of the so-called “oral law,” which, by Jesus’ time, was already replacing the written law as the rule of life. The Scribes and Pharisees had added many man-made traditions to God’s Law. The scribes were regarded as the authorities on historical and doctrinal matters. They were the nation’s teachers, each scribe having a number of disciples around him. Their power increased after Malachi closed the Old Testament canon and prophecy ceased. The Sanhedrin had a number of them among its membership. They were bitter enemies of Jesus Christ, often you’ll see them portrayed in the Bible as sitting in judgment of Him and finding fault with almost everything He did and said. They were often trying to trick Jesus and trip Him up in His own words. However, they didn’t realise with all their knowledge that they were dealing with God on Earth.

How could people who were as educated as those Scribes, Teachers of God’s Holy Law, be so close to God’s revelations and yet be so far away from understanding who Jesus was, what He’d come to do and why He came to do it? Because almost everything Jesus did and said was prophesied about in God’s Word that they were so ‘expert’ in. Jesus birth and life were all written about by the Prophets of old, they should have known that He was their expected Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us).

Not only should they have known who Jesus was, but they should have welcomed Him, especially after the miracles proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins, because only God could do both; forgive sins and heal with just a word. It was so obvious, so how could they miss it?

Perhaps it’s easy for us, because we’ve been giving so much more in the revelation of who Jesus is in the New Testament, but my friends, I’ve known modern EXPERTS who know the Bible much better than I do, who don’t KNOW Jesus personally. They know all about Him, they teach all about Him, they write books all about Him, but they don’t know Him. It becomes obvious when you read what they write and listen to what they say about Him.

It was not the Religious Teachers of the Law, the educated elite, who were commended by Jesus, but it was the common folk, friends of the crippled man, who’d carried him to Jesus and lowered Him to Jesus feet who were commended for their great faith. It wasn’t the Pharisees and Teachers commended by Jesus, but the Tax Collectors and Sinners with whom He sat down to eat dinner with.

It’s strange that knowing lots of things can keep a person away from the Lord. Please don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with study or gaining great knowledge. I love it myself: I love reading about the latest inventions, the innovations in electronics (my first career was an Engineer). There’s nothing more exciting than discovering, examining, looking into, researching, fact-finding, questing for knowledge and understanding; but as far as KNOWING GOD, we may study, but it will come to a point when we must realise that KNOWING HIM is very different from KNOWING all about Him.

To get that kind of knowledge about the LORD, to KNOW Jesus personally, will take DIVINE revelation. He will reveal Himself to you my friends, not because of your in-depth study, but because of your FAITH and TRUST in Him. He’ll show Himself to you. WOWzer!

John 5:39-40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40  yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
1  When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20
18  Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.
19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;
20  and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

So my friends, study all you like, but it’s going to take DIVINE REVELATION to actually KNOW Jesus Christ.

It’s foolishness to the ‘world’ (Worldly Wisdom). It always will be 🙂

But it’s NOT intellectual suicide, it takes something else: Faith and Trust.

How do we get that DIVINE REVELATION? 

It’s obvious, we all need to come to Jesus. Oh I wish I could be like one of those four friends and carry you to the Saviour.

For people today, to get Divine Revelation of Jesus it is simply by doing what Jesus told the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law to do in Mark Chapter 2: but they didn’t have ears to hear or eyes to see. To get DIVINE, INWARD REVELATION and KNOW Jesus, we must; REPENT OF OUR SINS.

Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV)
16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
17  When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

If they’d been open and honest with themselves, they’d have seen that they too were actually sinners as well.

Faith is simply taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

WE MUST ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS.

  • Who Jesus was: The Son of God.
  • What Jesus came to do: Die upon the Cross for our sins and the sins of the whole world.
  • What Jesus did: Died and rose again from the dead to life. He also ascended into Heaven and is alive now, reigning in Heaven with His Father.
  • What Jesus does now: He sends the Holy Spirit into everyone who trusts in His Death upon the Cross for forgiveness and turns in repentance and faith to receive Him as Lord.

Once we do that, the Holy Spirit will come and give us New Birth (we’ll be born again).

Those TEACHERS of God’s Law and the Pharisees who knew the Scriptures so well, didn’t get it. So my friends, I’ve got a question for you today, think very seriously before answering. To KNOW Jesus is too important to miss, because your ETERNAL destiny depends upon HOW you answer these questions now:

  • Have you repented? (Matthew 21:32; Luke 24:46-48; Isaiah 30:15; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:39)
  • Have you believed in Jesus? (John 3:15-20)
  • Have you received Him as Lord? (John 1:12-13).
  • Have you trusted that He died upon the Cross for your sins? (1 Peter 2:24)
  • Have you been born of the Holy Spirit? (John 3)
  • Have you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord? (Acts 2:38-39; Romans 10:8-17)
  • Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord? (witnessed to others about Jesus).

Check yourself to see if you are IN Christ Jesus and He is IN you (John 14, 15, 17, Chapters).

Check yourself to see if you are IN the FAITH of Jesus Christ: (2 Corinthians 13:5).

My friends, don’t be like those Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, who knew all about God’s Word, but remained far away from trusting in Jesus Christ, He was their own Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us). You can know Jesus personally today.

Believe, Repent, Receive, Trust, Be Born of God’s Spirit. Amen!

Faith is simply, taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

Don.

 

Free At Last

Daily Spirit & Word, 311: Free At Last

Thank God Almighty, I’m Free At Last.

Knowing the Lord Jesus sets us free from; Sin, the Law, the World and the Devil.

Good morning my friends, I’m a bit late today because we had some bad new yesterday (I’ll share later), but we’ve also been busy with some good things too; Youth Club last night in the Church and our Grandchildren have come to stay for the weekend as well. So I’m a wee bit tired this morning. However, the LORD is so gracious, as I was reading Galatians today new light has been shed abroad in my heart. It’s fantastic they was the Bible opens up to us. I’ve read Galatians countless times since I came to know Jesus, but every day now, there’s something new within it’s pages jumping out at me. Fresh revelations of either God’s heart for His people, the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us and how free the Lord wants us to be in this world or some fresh insight into how I’m doing in my walk with Jesus. I was wondering, what LIGHT is the Lord giving to you as you delve into His Word?

Galatians 3:25-27 (NIV) 25  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. (the Law is no longer our Schoolmaster it’s purpose was to show us Christ the Saviour, once we’ve put our trust in Him we’re free from the Law’s demands.) that because; now read verses 26-27.

26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
27  for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
First my friends, the Apostle Paul declares God’s Word to us, that we are free from the Law. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law for us. We can now live the Christian life with joy and safety under Christ. We’re safe from the condemnation of the Law. However, there’s TROUBLE, becuase our flesh will not let us believe in Christ with all our heart. You see my friends, the fault is not with Jesus Christ, but with us, those who’ve trusted in Him. You see my friends, we’ve still got Sin clinging to us as long as we live in this body and it can spoil our happiness, freedom, joy and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s because whilst we’re here on earth we are only partly free from; sin, the world, the flesh, the Law and the devil.  Romans 7:25 (NIV) “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” As we read more and more of the Bible you’ll discover that we’ve got a dual personality my friends, a bit like Pinocchio who had a good and bad angel upon his shoulders, we too have within us the Holy Spirit and our Earthly Fleshly Spirit and the Bible tells us they are in constant conflict with one another, the one that we listen to or pay attention to or feed will be the one that we obey.
However, the LIGHT shining in my heart afresh today, the TRUTH that sets us FREE, is that we ARE God’s children when we come to faith in Jesus. More than that, we’re clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ. As soon as we RECEIVE Jesus by faith, we put on the righteousness of Jesus, we’re covered by Him, we’re protected.

So in the battle of the Flesh and Spirit who wins? It’s determined by who we listen to more, if we keep feeding our fleshly nature, it will win this battle and we’ll be drawn further and further away from the Lord, but He’ll never let us go completely because we’ve trust Him, He’s faithful and will complete the work within us that He’s begun. But when I’m following my flesh, when anyone does it, all we get is; guilt, fear, condemnation, lack of peace and joy in life.

The opposite is true when we’re filled with the Holy Spirit and listen to His voice within, He awakens our conscience, he’s shouting and guiding and leading and showing us the way of peace. When we listen to His Holy voice within, we’re set free, there’s JOY, Happiness, Peace, Security, Freedom from Condemnation, Purpose for living every single day. Even if, like Paul, we’re hard-done-by, thrown into prison, beaten, shipwrecked, car-crashed, plane-crashed, loose our job, loose our love in life when relationships crumble, with the Holy Spirit we can still experience real PEACE n JOY through all these things. Hard though life is sometimes, there’s so much power in Jesus He’ll carry us through anything my friends.

Who are you listening to today? The battle also gets much easier the more you listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. You’ll recognise your Flesh creeping in to try and take control more easily. You can identify Satan’s attacks, and the world holds less and less attraction to you. Jesus is setting you free and the freedom grows day by day the more you listen to the voice of God’s Holy Spirit within…

When your faith is growing; sin, the world, the law, the flesh, the devil grow weaker in their ability to influence and control you. So you can shout and answer your flesh and all the others with this cry; “I’m a child of the living God, I belong to Jesus, I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, I’ve been set free from you, I’m not yours anymore, I belong to the family of God and I’m not going to feel guilty any longer”. Take your stand against the devil and his schemes my friends and you’ll discover greater measures of Freedom, Joy and Peace within.

Have an awesome Saturday in Jesus.

We’re going to have a fantastic day with our grandchildren, even though rain and wind are forecast, we’re still going to have so much fun together. Joy in the Lord my friends.

Don.