Amazing Righteousness Part 2

All of us that are saved were amazed by God’s grace. When we heard that Jesus, the Son of God died for us and all of our sins were forgiven and we can get to heaven, because we believed, we thought, “That’s amazing!” But are you still amazed by His grace?

The enemy over time tries to get us to move from grace into works. We read our Bible, maybe work in the church, and just don’t sin as much as we used to before being saved. We are doing the Christian things that we think are required of us. So do some think that just maybe they don’t need as much grace now as they did back when they were first saved? We all should still be just as amazed with saving grace as we should be with sustaining grace!

Amazing Righteousness

Romans 4:1 – What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? (Verse 2) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. (Verse 3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Verse 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. (Verse 5) But to him who does not work but believes Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,…

The world, those who don’t know Christ, know nothing about this. They don’t understand this, because if they did, they would accept Christ. They don’t understand that you believe in Jesus and sin is taken out of your account and righteousness is put in your account. Is that not amazing?

If you ask a lost person how do they get to heaven, most will say that the good they do has to be more than the bad. The only problem with that thinking though is God’s standards are not just “good,” they have to be perfect. In order to be perfect, they would have to keep every one of God’s laws perfect and no one can.

James 2:10 – For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

How many of us have made one little slip of God’s law? All of us have. So if God’s standard is perfect and none of us has been perfect, how can any of us go to heaven? We believe in the Perfect One – Jesus! We believe in the One who did keep the law perfectly.

Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

What is righteousness?

If someone tells you that a person is righteous, what would you think about that person? We would have a tendency to think that person “lives righteously.” He does righteous things. They might be a good husband; a good father; a good employee; a good and kind person. He’s in general, a good guy. He lives to the best of his ability to be righteous.

That would be a good assumption, but not the only assumption. But is this person righteous because he does righteous things, or does he do righteous things because he is righteous? This is the whole difference between grace and works. Is he righteous in God’s sight because he does righteous things? So is he right with God because he does right things, or does he do right things because God by His grace makes him right with God?

When we fully understand grace, it will change everything about our Christian life! The way we understand grace will affect the way we see God and relate to Him. It will also affect the way we see others and the way we relate to others. It will affect mainly the way we see ourselves. It will affect how we react when we stumble.

Righteousness is right standing with God. That’s the easiest definition of righteousness. Next question: Can a righteous person do an unrighteous deed? Yes. Can an unrighteous person do a righteous deed? Yes. But, does the righteous deed that the unrighteous person does make them righteous? No.

Does an unrighteous deed done by a righteous Christian, believer, make that person unrighteous? No. Why? Because believers are righteous because of their position not by performance. It’s still wrong to do unrighteous things being a believer and there will be consequences, but their right standing with God is by the blood of Jesus. It doesn’t change a believers position.

Did Abraham earn his righteousness?

Romans 4:2 – For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. (Verse 3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Verse 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace, but as debt.

Accounted – keeping records of credits and debts – accounting. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad to do good works, because we are saved to do good works. We’re not saved by good works but to do them. These verses in Romans are saying that if Abraham had done good works to obtain righteousness, God would have owed him a debt.

Before we were saved, all of our accounts were full of sin with maybe a few right acts. However, there are some that were right with good deeds more than others. But if the righteous deeds are done before coming to Christ then this next verse says it all: Isaiah 64:6 – all our righteousness are like filthy rags. People need to remember that verse is referring to us before you are saved. Our accounts were full of sin before we came to Christ not after we are saved, so stop saying your righteousness is as filthy rags after you are saved. That’s as if to say you didn’t receive Christ’s righteousness when you were saved.

But here’s the good news: God took the righteousness out of His own Son’s account and put the sins of the whole world in His account.

2 Corinthians 5: 21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So when Jesus died for our sins and shed His blood, the blood of Jesus erased our sins. People don’t realize that He took the sins of the whole world. However, everyone is not saved because everyone has a free will and it is up to each individual to choose to receive what Christ did.

Keep in mind: People don’t go to hell for their sin. That sin was paid for by Christ. People go to hell for unbelief!

However, when a person believes in Christ, righteousness is put in their account. We didn’t earn it. When Abraham believed, he put works to his belief by moving when God said move. Faith without works is dead. It’s not enough o believe with just your mind. When a person really believes, they start following Jesus Christ. A lot of people believe with their mind but continue to live the way they want.

What did Abraham have to do? 

He had to believe! John 6:28, 29 – Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (Verse 29) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

This belief has to be in our hearts, not just our mind. Remember before Abraham believed God, there were no people of God, no Jews, no laws. Abraham was a “heathen” just like everyone else. There was no nation of Israel. Don’t blend it altogether. Moses didn’t come until 500 years later. After Abraham believed, he went into a city with his pretty wife and lied about his wife being his sister. The king then could take his wife and put her in with other concubines. Abraham did this twice. Abraham did this after he believes in God. Abraham also sleeps with a handmaid in order to have a son.

If Abraham did all this after he believed, what was he like before he believed? He wasn’t a good guy. So don’t think that this righteous man found God and just became better. It was not so. But one day God shows up to talk to him and this is what He says: “Abraham, this is going to be hard for you to believe, but I didn’t come today to judge you. I came today for one reason, to bless you.” You can read what God said in Genesis 12. And then Abraham believed God and God accounted it to Abraham as righteousness! Romans 4 says that’s what God does for us. He removes the sin in our accounts and places the righteousness of Christ in there when people believe.

Do you want your account of sin wiped out and replaced with the righteousness of Christ? It’s your choice, ready and waiting to receive Him.

 

Advertisements

What’s So Amazing About Grace? Part 1

Why do you think God wants us to know about His grace? All we have to do is just look around and see there are people everywhere that don’t know anything about God’s grace. Or, how many believers don’t understand God’s grace and live with a sense of shame and condemnation? And how many believers are performance oriented? How many believers live discouraged because they can never live up the expectations of themselves or others?

There is such a misunderstanding of what God’s grace does, even among believers. Is grace unmerited favor? Is it the divine enablement of God? Or should the question be, “What does grace do? One of the aspects of grace is: It does divinely enable us to live a new life in Christ.

Grace is the unmerited, undeserved, unearned kindness and favor of God!

So, what does unmerited mean? Ephesians 2:8, 9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.

There will be no boasting in heaven! No one will be able to say, “Look what all I did to get here!” We will be there because of Jesus and what He did, not us. When we first get saved, we know we didn’t merit anything to get saved. However, maybe twenty years later, after all the good things we’ve done for God, we may think more highly of ourselves, as if we deserved it.

Grace is undeserved!

Even though a person might be a pastor, teacher or leader in the body of Christ, they are still undeserving of God’s grace. Romans 3:24 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 

Our English pronunciation of the word grace is “Charis.” The “C” in Greek is silent. So this word is actually pronounced “Ha-ris,” the “i” would be pronounced like “ee.” But it does mean the unmerited favor of God. However, this word was a cultural word before it was a Scriptual word.

The cultural meaning of “Charis” is it implies or is referred to a gift from a superior to an inferior. This was inferior in “goods,” someone in need. When a person that had wealth gave something to a person in need, that was called grace. This giving involved three parties. The person providing the goods was called the “patron.” The person receiving the goods was called the “client.” But the third person was called the “broker.”

The broker would go out into the community and see the needs of the “inferior” and would bring them together with the “superior.” The brokers actually paid for the merchandise that was given. The patron provided it, the client received it, but the broker paid for it! (Does this sound familiar?)

The broker is Jesus. He brought us together with the Father, but He also paid fully for us.

Grace is also unearned.

Romans 11:6 – and if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

If it’s free it’s not earned, otherwise free is not free. If it’s earned then it’s not free otherwise earned is not earned. It’s one or the other. Grace is either free or it’s earned and we can’t have it both ways.

Baker encyclopedia of the Bible: “Grace is the dimension of divine activity that enables God to confront human indifference and rebellion with an inexhaustible capacity to forgive and to bless.”

I think Satan loves to get people to argue about grace to the point that makes people forget that “Christ died for our sins!” Everything we do in this life that we achieve is because the Father pushes, pulls, and carries us to the finish line. We don’t get there on our own. We get there because Jesus brought us to the Father and took care of us and paid for it all!

That’s the Grace of God!!

“The Christ” Part 8

Jesus is the Christ!

Acts 17:2 – Then Paul as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (Verse 3) explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”

Acts 18:5 – When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 18:28 – for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly showing from Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

So why is it so important that we understand that Jesus is the Christ? And, what does it mean practically to us? The name Christ is from the Greek word “Christos.” It’s only in the New Testament because the New Testament was written in Greek, but it’s in the New Testament 571 times.

In the Old Testament, the word for Jesus is “the Messiah.” In Hebrew, it’s “Me’sie.” Why didn’t they just say the word “Messiah?” Why didn’t they just use Messiah to describe Christ or Christos? Me’sie is in the Old Testament 39 times. It’s translated 37 times “anointed.” It was only used 2 times Messiah. Why? Because it means “The Anointed One!”

So the closest word when writing the New Testament in Greek that they had to the Hebrew word Messiah was Christos – Jesus is the Anointed One. That is what Paul was trying to tell the Jews. He is the Anointed One, the Christ.

In the Old Testament God commanded the Israelites to anoint three groups of people: Prophets, Priests, and Kings.

Exodus 30:30 – “And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.” (God was talking to Moses.)

1 Kings 19:16 – “Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Mimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.”

God was speaking to Elijah. Elijah represented the prophets. Elijah was to anoint the king and the prophets and Moses was to anoint the priests.

So what does it mean that Christ is the anointed One? It means that Jesus is my Prophet, my Priest, and my King! The proof is in the Scripture:

(God is speaking to Moses) Deuteronomy 18:18 – ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (We know this is Jesus because Acts 3 quotes this verse and says Jesus is the fulfillment of this verse.)

That is Jesus the Prophet, now here is Jesus the Priest and King: Zechariah 6:13 – “Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Who sits on a throne? A King.)

God wanted them to anoint the prophets, priests, and kings in order to get them ready for one day when God sent the true Prophet, the Priest, and the King! So what does it mean that Jesus is my Prophet?

It means that I can hear God directly.

This simply means that we can hear from God Himself and don’t need another person to tell us what He is saying to us.

Jeremiah 31:34 – “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall know Me, from the lest of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

This is the New Covenant. The benefits are the forgiveness of sin, knowing the Lord on personal bases and it’s from the lest to the greatest. And because of the New Covenant, we get to hear from God and don’t have to go to another to hear what He is saying to us. God speaks through His Son the Prophet. John 10:27 – My sheep hear My voice.

We don’t have a hearing problem and God doesn’t have a speaking problem. The problem is that some cannot recognize His voice. Those who are not used to spending time with Him won’t be familiar with His voice.

Do you recognize certain peoples voice on the phone? They don’t have to tell you who they are. I believe a Christian should come to the place that when the Holy Spirit speaks, they should know it is Him. We become so familiar with that voice that we know exactly who is speaking. Yes, we can also hear God speak through others, but we need to learn to hear Him directly.

This also means that I can talk directly to God.

So what does it mean that Jesus is my High Priest? It means that I can talk directly to God about anything. In the Old Testament, only the priest could approach God, and the priest could only approach Him once a year. However, sacrifices were done every day, morning and evening. The priest s were the only ones that could approach God because they were anointed and the people were not.

Now Jesus approaches God on our behalf because He is our anointed Priest. Hebrews 7:27 – who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Jesus gave the most perfect sacrifice, once for all – Himself! There are no more payments due on our account! Not by Him and not by you! If you are a believer, your account has been marked “Paid in full!”

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. If we ever have a need, not only do we have mercy and grace, but we can go boldly to His throne of grace. Jesus is our High Priest and has cleared the way for us to go boldly to God and talk about anything to Him. So, we can hear God and we can talk to God about anything. He already knows what’s on our mind. He knows our thoughts. Now, what does it mean He is my King?

It means I can walk with God.

Revelation 17:13 – “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Verse 14) “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” 

Satan is not Jesus’ counterpart! A lot of people think God is way up there and Jesus and Satan are on the same level battling it out all the time. Jesus is not doing battle with Satan, we battle Satan and the demonic forces. He has already done the battle and won. Jesus destroyed the works of the devil at the cross. Also, keep this in mind; Jesus is the Creator and Satan is the created! If Satan has a “counterpart” it is Michael, Gabriel. They were all created angels. So, never ever put Satan on the same level as Christ!

Jesus is the King and Satan is a prince. He’s the prince and power of the air, the Bible says, and he’s the prince of darkness! He is not nor will ever be a king.

There is a covenant between the Son and the Father and that’s why the King can show us kindness and mercy. God didn’t make the New Covenant with us, because we couldn’t keep it. God made the New Covenant with His Son the King! And because we believe in Jesus the Christ, the anointed One, Jesus becomes our Prophet, Priest, and King !!

 

“The Physician” Part 7

The word physician is similar to another word, physical. A physician is one who is skilled in the art of physical healing. So, is Jesus a physician? I would think so since He created the physical body.

We are three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Is Jesus concerned about our spirit? Yes. Is He concerned about our soul? Yes. Why then do so many think He is not concerned about our bodies?

God heals in three ways: naturally, medically, and miraculously. In other words: God designed our bodies to heal naturally. If God hadn’t designed our bodies to heal naturally, then the first time we cut our finger, we would have bled to death.

We have all probably been healed medically. How many have had stitches? A lot of people have. How about a cast? How about minor surgery? How about major surgery? All of these is experiencing God’s natural and medical healing. We should never discount God’s healing through medicine! God’s the one who gives the wisdom to heal through medicine so don’t count it out.

However, He also heals miraculously. Mark 1:40 – Then a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to HIm and saying to HIm, “If You are willing You can make me clean.” (Verse 41) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Verse 42) As soon as He had spoken, immediately leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 

Matthew 14:14 – And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

Jesus heals because He loves people! When He saw sick people, He had compassion for them. He wanted them well. Would Jesus be any different today? Doesn’t the Bible say that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

Some believe that Jesus only healed because He needed to prove that He was the Messiah. Jesus didn’t need to prove anything to anyone! Because of error in teaching on healing, there are some who resist it. For instance: When we tell someone that Jesus still heals today, they might say, “Yes, but…” But nothing!

Jesus never healed people to draw attention to Himself! He never did it to perform or prove who He was. As a matter of fact, He told many people not to tell anyone they had been healed. He told that leper not to tell anyone.

People today have made a “show” out of the sick getting healed. They have sensationalized it for their own fame and glory. I can name a few, but won’t.

Matthew 4:23 – Now Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. (Verse 24) Then His fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics and paralytics; and He healed them.

Matthew 8:16 – When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, (Verse 17) that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

1 Peter says that Jesus bore our sins, so why would people only believe that He bore our sins but not our sickness? Why would a person only believe half of what He did when the Bible plainly states that He bore sickness and sins?

Luke 4:40 – Now when the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. 

Luke 6:19 – And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

If you had divine power to heal people, how many would you heal? All! Then why would God be any different? We read all these verses and see that Jesus healed all that came to Him, but the enemy puts in people’s mind, “Ya, but will He heal me?” Do you know that not everyone asked to healed, but received healing anyway?

Is it Jesus will to heal you today?

In Mark Chapter 1, there was a leper that asked to be healed if Jesus was willing. He didn’t ask Jesus if He was capable. We don’t really doubt if Jesus is capable, we doubt His willingness. That’s sad especially if we know the Scripture.

Here is what Christians will do when asking for healing: “If it be your will, Lord!” They think that sounds spiritual. It shows me that they haven’t read: Mark 1:41 – And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing, be cleansed.”

Do some think that He has lost His willingness to heal? The very definition of “will” is “desire.” So ask yourself this question: Is it still God’s will for you to be healed today as it was when He walked the earth? Is it God’s will for everyone to be saved? Yes, then why would it not be His desire for all people to be healed? However, is everyone saved; is everyone healed? No, but why not?

First of all, I imagine there are thousands of miraculous healings that we never hear about. Second, we live in a fallen world; third, some people have become too intelligent to be healed, meaning they know it all. They are too smart to be healed by God. And fourth, always remember we are in a battle. And then some feel as if they are not worthy to be healed. If you are born again, blood-bought, then yes you are worthy because of what Jesus did, not because of what you did. If you are covered in His blood, then you are in right standing with God All Mighty!

Never, ever forget, grace is for the undeserving! Mark 2:16 – 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?” (Verse 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.”

God’s not willing that any should perish without Him. How did you get saved? By faith through grace. So how would you get healed? By faith through grace! Nowhere does it say in the Bible that only the person doing everything perfectly gets healed. Stop asking, “Am I good enough to be healed?” If you have to work for your healing then it’s not by grace through faith.

The common thread that all these people had that got healed by Jesus was, “They were all sick!” They all needed the Great Physician!

 

“The Ladder” Part 5

Genesis 28:10 – Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. (Verse 11) So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. (Verse 12) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven, and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

John 1:51 – And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Can you see that Jesus is the ladder set on earth that reaches all the way to heaven? Genesis 28:19 – And he called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Beth means house in Hebrew; hel, Elohim means God, so Bethel means house of God. Bethlehem, house of bread; Bethsada, house of fish; Betheny, house of dates, the fruit. So why did Jacob call this place the “House of God?”

The church is a place of God’s presence.

Genesis 28:16 (NLT) Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” (Verse 17) But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” (Jesus is the Ladder, but the church is the gateway to heaven.”)

The Church is a place of becoming aware of the presence of God. It’s not just about good music and maybe good teaching. It’s about having an encounter with God. This is what happened with Jacob. He had an encounter with God and his life was changed. So what makes church different than any other place in the world is that God comes. And if God doesn’t show up, all they’ve had is a meeting.

The Church is a place of God’s protection.

Genesis 28:15 – “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what  I have spoken to you.” (Keep in mind that Jacob was running from his brother at this time.)

The house of God is a place of protection because it’s a place of God’s presence. Psalm 9:11 – For He shall give His angels charge over you. 

The Church should be a place of God’s provision.

Genesis 28:13 – And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.” (In other words, “I’m going to provide for you.”)

When a believer comes into a relationship with Jesus, we have His presence, His protection, and His provision. Then after God told Jacob all this Jacob says:

Genesis 28:20 – Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, (Verse 21) “so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. (Verse 22) “And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

Before this, God was Jacob’s father’s God, not his: Genesis 27:20 – … “Because the LORD your God brought it to me.” Jacob’s father had asked him how he found the meat so quickly and Jacob said that his God had brought it to him. But now after God speaks directly to Jacob, he is changed, God becomes his God. Jacob changed because of the presence of God! When we become aware of the presence of God in our lives, that’s when everything will change toward committing everything to live for Jesus Christ!

 

The Teacher Part 5

Forty-eight times in the gospels, Jesus is referred to as “The Teacher.” Jesus was and is the greatest Teacher that ever lived.

Matthew 13:54 – And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?”

Matthew 22:23 – And when the multitudes heard this they were astonished at His teaching.

One time, the Pharisees sent soldiers to arrest Jesus because He was teaching the multitudes, but when the soldiers got to where Jesus was, they were in awe because of His teaching. They couldn’t arrest Him and said to the Pharisees: John 7:46 – The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

Here is why Jesus was and is the greatest teacher ever: He taught authoritatively.

Matthew 7:28, 29 – And so it was, when Jesus had ended these saying, that the people were astonished at His teaching, (Verse 29) for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

This was after Jesus had given the Sermon on the Mount. There was authority in His teaching. These people had never heard anyone teach like that before. They had been used to the scribes just reading Scripture with no understanding or adding their own, no fire.

One of the rules in the synagogue was that no scribe could contradict what another scribe had taught. There was not any way for anyone to come up with anything new or fresh because they were afraid that they might say something that might be the opposite of what another said.

However, with the scribes, the only way to see or hear something fresh was to make up a new rule. The scribes or rabbis made up 640 laws to be able for them, to fulfill the Ten Commandments. God gave 10 and they gave 640 more laws. How boring that must have been. But then along comes Jesus, and they were astonished!

Believe it or not, there are churches still like this today: You can’t go to the movies; you can’t watch TV; women wear long dresses only; no jewelry; can’t cut their hair and on and on. The only thing new in their sermons is when they make up a new rule.

However, if you want to see something new and fresh, open your Bible! That’s what Jesus did. He walked into their synagogue and taught with authority and the reason He taught with authority was that He was Authority! He was Truth speaking!

Jesus is the greatest Teacher and all His teachings are in the Bible. Here’s the amazing thing: He is right there with you every time you open your Bible to read His Word!

Jesus taught practically.

Jesus never spoke “religious nonsense.” I’ll just paraphrase some of the things He said: (1)”If you’re mad at someone, don’t come to church and pretend you’re not. Go make things right with that person.” (However, sometimes that is not possible when the other person doesn’t think they did anything wrong.) (2) “Don’t worry about tomorrow Tomorrow has enough problems.” (3) “You cannot serve God and money.” (4) “Stop being selfish and start being generous.”

Jesus was very practical. He said one time when they asked Him a question, “Have you not read?”… It’s in the Bible. Do you want to know how to get to heaven? It’s in the Bible. Do you want to know how to have a good marriage? It’s in the Bible. Do you want to know how to have a family? It’s in the Bible. Everything we need to know pertaining to life, it’s in the Bible!

Here is how practical He was when He had finished up the Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 7:24 – “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken to him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (Verse 25) “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (Verse 26) “Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand; (Verse 27) “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell. And great was its fall.”

He taught graphically.

Jesus never gave long boring lectures. Multitudes followed Him to hear His teachings. People followed Him into deserted places where there was no food. His teachings were more important than food.

We think in pictures and stories, stories put to pictures. Do you remember in Matthew 19, when Jesus told them that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? He was speaking graphically to the people so they could see how impossible that would be. It’s as if He is painting a picture in their minds.

Matthew 7:3 – “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”

We imagine this log in our own eye while looking at a little speck in another’s and try to tell them how to get that speck out of theirs. We can see how ridiculous this is, but that’s the point Jesus was making.

We can take the stories that Jesus told and bring them into modern times because the principles and truths He taught are still there. Take any story that Jesus shared in the Scriptures and no matter what time period or culture you change it to, the principles and truths are the same.

Jesus was and still is the greatest Teacher that ever lived and still lives.

 

The Son Part 4

Matthew 3:17 – And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus was given for us!

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon HIs shoulder.

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Have you ever thought about how hard it would be for a father to give his only son up to die so that others might live? Parents of soldiers do it all the time but they can’t wipe away our sins. But for our heavenly Father to give His only begotten Son for others who don’t even care and then watch Him suffer is the ultimate sacrifice.

Jesus was killed for us.

Matthew 16:21 – From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

You would think that at least one of Jesus disciples would have told Him not to go. Not one of them did and that tells me that they didn’t believe what He just told them was going to happen. But why did Jesus have to suffer so much at the hands of others?

“Propitiation!” 1 John 2:2 – And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also the whole world. 1 John 4:10 – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Ex-pitiation looks at sin from the sinners perspective. It looks at our sin from our standpoint. We’re thankful our sins have been covered and cleansed by the blood of Jesus and expelled from us. But propitiation looks at sin from God’s standpoint. And remember, God is a holy and just God. Propitiation means that God’s wrath has been completely satisfied and that justice has completely been served.

It would be like: If someone in our family was murdered and the murderer had a trial, but someone stood up and said, “I’ll take his punishment.” Would that satisfy the families anger against the murderer? No, it wouldn’t. And would that serve justice? No, it wouldn’t, because the guilty party was not punished. But, what if at that trial, evidence was brought forward that the murderer was not really the murderer? Another is brought to light, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are the true murderer and they are sentenced for the crime. Would that help appease the anger of the family? Yes, it would.

However, Jesus was innocent of all sin, suffered and died for yours and my sin, received all the punishment that was due you and me. An innocent took our place. Was justice done? According to God, it was because death was the penalty for sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 

God took His wrath out on Jesus because our sin was removed and placed on His Son and the punishment for sin is death. What Jesus did saves us all from the day of wrath!

1 Thessalonians 1:10 – …whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. We need to remember, this is for those who believe, those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. All those who don’t believe will one day face God’s wrath.

Jesus was raised from the dead.

John 21:14 – This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

Acts 5:30 – The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Jesus walked the earth 40 days after He was raised from the dead. He was also seen by 500 people at the same time: 1 Corinthians 15:6 – After that, He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we will be raised from the dead! 1 Corinthians 6:14 – and God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 

1 Corinthians 15:52 –  in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

2 Corinthians 4:14 – knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus.

Do you want to be a participant in the resurrection of the saints? It’s very simple: Romans 10:9 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

God gave His Son to be offered up as a perfect sacrifice so that we could one day be resurrected to spend all eternity with Him!