Friday, September 30, 2011

The Preaching Of The Amazing Servant


Mark 1:21-22

Between verses 20 and 21, Mark passed over a span of time without comment.

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During those several weeks, the Lord Jesus Christ carried out His ministry in Nazareth.

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He preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7).

He called the rest of the 12 disciples.

He suffered rejection at the hands of the people of Nazareth who even tried to kill Him (Luke 4:16-30).

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As a result, He and His men left Nazareth and moved their ministry to Capernaum.

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As the Lord Jesus Christ taught and ministered in Capernaum, the people there were caught up by, and carried away with, His message.

They were astonished by the things they heard and saw.

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Let us see why they were astonished and amazed by the word and works of the Lord Jesus.

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The Context Of His Preaching

The Lord Jesus Christ and His men went to the synagogue on a Sabbath Day.

The Lord Jesus Christ came preaching the Word of God.

And when these people heard Him preach, they were amazed!

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The Character Of His Preaching

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke as One having authority.

He knew what He was talking about.

He spoke with power and understanding.

When He preached, He used the Word of God as a sharp sword.

When He spoke, hearts were pierced, souls were saved and lives were eternally altered.

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The Content Of His Preaching

The people were astonished at His teaching.

It was something they had never heard before.

It left them speechless and amazed!

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When the people heard the Lord Jesus Christ, they were dumbfounded.

The Lord Jesus Christ knew what He was talking about.

He preached a message of life, liberty and hope.

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The Lord Jesus Christ was an amazing preacher.

And He preached an amazing message.

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He preached a message of hope.

Sin may have beaten and battered our lives.

But the Lord Jesus Christ can set us free!

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The message of the Lord Jesus Christ is an amazing, life-changing message.

Let us heed His message and come to Him today!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Baptism Of The Servant


Mark 1:9-11

The Lord Jesus Christ came when John the Baptist had completed his work.

He came at God’s appointed time for Him to be revealed.

Let us consider the events surrounding the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Appearing Of The Son (9)

The Lord Jesus Christ came to present Himself for baptism.

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He Appeared In Declaration

In His baptism, Jesus made a public declaration of some important facts.
  • He wanted to identify Himself with John the Baptist’s ministry.
  • He wanted to let John the Baptist know that He was the Messiah.
  • He wanted to signal the beginning of His public ministry.

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He Appeared In Dedication

In His baptism, the Lord Jesus Christ accepted the mission He had been given by His Father.

He was to redeem sinners.

He was to offer His life on the cross as a ransom for sin.

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He Appeared In Demonstration

In His baptism, the Lord Jesus Christ identified Himself with the people He came to save.

His baptism pictured His Own death and resurrection.

He demonstrated His solemn resolve to lay down His life on the cross for our sins.

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The Anointing Of The Spirit (10)

When The Lord Jesus Christ was baptized, the heavens opened and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove.

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A Picture Of Sacrifice

Doves were associated with sacrifice.

The Lord Jesus Christ came to live a life of self-sacrifice.

He came to die for others.

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Doves are also associated with peace, gentleness and humility.

The Lord Jesus Christ came as the Prince of Peace.

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A Preparation For Service

The Lord Jesus Christ came to live His life as a perfect man.

While He was here on earth, He laid aside His glory and His divine prerogatives.

Everything the Lord Jesus Christ did, He did as a Spirit-filled man.

As a Spirit-filled man, He lived a perfect life.

He satisfied the just demands of God’s Law.

He perfectly kept every rule and regulation.

Then He went to the cross to die so that He could shed His innocent and perfect blood as the atonement for our sins.

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A Perfection Of The Scriptures

The Spirit came on the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill the ancient prophecies concerning the Messiah.

The Old Testament prophets said that the Messiah would be a Spirit-filled man (Isa. 11:1-5).

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The Approving Of The Father (11)

When the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized, the voice of the Father came out of Heaven and approved Him as His Son.

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It Was A Public Approval

The Father let everyone know that He was pleased with the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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It Was A Personal Approval

The Father spoke of His personal approval of His Son.

He had observed Him for 30 years and He was well pleased!

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It Was A Profound Approval

The Father also voiced His approval of everyone who is in the Son.

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Many things took place the day the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in Jordan.

The greatest thing was the beginning of a ministry that would end with the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross dying for our sins.

The Lord Jesus Christ had died for us and we can be saved if we will come to Him.

Are we living our lives under the control of the Holy Spirit?

Then we should serve Him well.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

How To Be Sure We Have Eternal Security


2 Pet. 2:20-22, Matt. 24:11-13, John 15:5-8 (NIV)

Salvation is the most important thing in life.

Next to salvation is the assurance that we have passed from death to life.

After assurance, there is the question of security.

Is there a possibility that we can ever be lost again?”

The answer is “no!” Once saved, we are saved forever.

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But there are some passages in the Bible that some say teach the loss of salvation.

Let’s find out what they really say as we consider ‘How to be sure we have eternal security’.

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Transformation (2 Peter 2:20-22)

Many feel that these verses teach the loss of salvation.

In fact, they teach the opposite!

These verses tell of the person who turns over a new leaf without receiving a new life.

They get into church, make an outward change, but inwardly, they are unchanged and are still lost.

They have recognized the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ, but have never been changed by His transforming power.

They will eventually live out what they really are.

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Sinful desires cannot be conquered by reformation.

They will simply hibernate and wake up stronger than before.

Only transformation by salvation can defeat the old nature and give new life.

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A person’s true nature will always come out!

A dog may be taught obedience and tricks, but will continue to eat his own vomit.

A pig will always be a pig and will head straight for the wallow when turned loose.

Men may look good in church, but live in sin in the world.

We will always do after our own nature!

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Christians can be assured of their security in the Lord Jesus Christ.

They have been given a new nature.

They will avoid sin and they will please God.

Christians are not reformed.

They have been transformed.

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TENACITY (Matt. 24:11-13)

Many people believe that these verses mean that endurance leads to salvation and the lack of it to loss of salvation.

But this is not true!

A Christian is not saved because he endures; he endures because he is saved!

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True Christianity is marked by tenacity (sticking to something until it is done!).

Eternal security is placed on us by God at the moment of salvation.

We may, and will, wander off, but God will keep drawing us back.

True faith will endure to the end.

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TRADE MARK (John 15:5-8)

Many teach that this is the picture of a Christian who has ceased to live for God, is cut off and cast into hell.

In truth, Jesus isn’t even talking about salvation.

He is dealing with fruit bearing.

His whole point is that a healthy, abiding Christian will bear fruit, while a weak, careless Christian will bear no fruit and is a spiritual castaway.

This passage deals not with the loss of salvation, but of rewards.

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TURNING AWAY (Heb. 6:4-9)

Perhaps this is the most misunderstood passage in regards to eternal security.

The writer says that it is impossible for a certain class of people, if they fall away, to be renewed again to salvation.

Some believe that these verses teach that we can lose our salvation.

If so, it also teaches that we can never get it back again.

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A second interpretation is far better.

It speaks to people who have been confronted with the truth of the Gospel, have had their hearts gripped by the Holy Spirit in conviction, have been enlightened and have seen the truth, but have walked away from Jesus Christ.

These people have been to the very threshold of salvation and looked in on the things of God, have seen that they are true and that they needed what they saw, but they turned away.

They will not be brought to that place again!

This type of person may never have another opportunity to be saved.

This passage does not talk of losing salvation.

It warns against rejecting salvation.

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If we are saved, we are eternally saved!

That is great cause for rejoicing!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Did Jesus Go To Calvary?


1 Peter 1:18-20

It Was To Finish A Plan (1:20a)
  • It was to finish an old plan. The Lord Jesus Christ was chosen before the creation of the world to come to this world and die on the cross for the sins of man. The plan of salvation was in the heart of God before sin was ever in the heart of man!
  • It was to finish the only plan. Lost sinners are saved only by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!

It Was To Furnish A Payment (1:18-19)

  • It was to furnish a ransom payment. When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, He was paying a debt He did not owe. He was paying for those who owed a debt they could not pay.
  • It was to furnish a redemption payment. When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, He provided the means whereby lost and hell bound sinners trapped in the futility of their wasted lives, and who are headed to a Godless and Christless eternity, might be forever set free from their bondage and delivered from their torment. The Lord Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins and set us free to serve the living God.
  • It was to furnish a reasonable payment. A holy God had been offended by the sins of man. The Lamb of God had to die on the cross. When the Lord Jesus Christ entered this world and died on the cross, He forever satisfied the righteous demands of God and opened the way of salvation for man. Now lost sinners can be saved.

It Was To Free A People (1:18, 20b)


The Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem people from their bondage in sin. He came to set us free from all things that bind us, so that we might be free to serve Him fully.

  • It was to free them from an empty existence. Those who are outside of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ are living an empty way of life. They are just spinning their wheels and wasting their time. All their planning, working, getting, giving, doing, hoping, and waiting will come to nothing! The quest for popularity, comfort, pleasure, recreation and satisfaction will surely fail. The life lived without Jesus is a totally wasted life. Regardless of what is accomplished or what is obtained as one passes through this world, in the end, it all amounts to nothing and still ends in Hell.

    But the Lord Jesus came that men might have life and have it more abundantly. He came to give meaning to life. He came to make our work worthwhile. He came to insure that our lives would matter even after we leave this world. He came to help us find direction and fulfillment in this life and contentment in His presence in the next. The Lord Jesus Christ promised happiness and contentment, peace and joy, fulfillment and meaning. And, He has the power to deliver them all.
  • It was to free them from an endless eternity. The Lord Jesus died to make life more meaningful. He also died to make eternity more pleasant. When we leave this world, we can rest assured that we will never feel the flames of Hell; we will spend eternity in the very presence of God.

Why did the Lord Jesus Christ go to Calvary? He went for God, He went for Himself and He went for us. He went so that everything might change for us and that we might be saved. Will you come while the door of salvation is still open? Will you come while He calls you right now?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Church Elder Must Be Sober-Minded


Titus 1:8a (NKJV)

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Titus was supposed to appoint men to serve in the ministry as Church elders.

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These men had to meet certain requirements.

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One of the requirements is that they must be sober-minded. (Titus 1:8a)

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Church elder must have a sober mind.

That is, he must have
  • A mature mind,
  • A humble mind,
  • A God-set mind and
  • The same mind as others.

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Church elder must have a mature mind.

He must be mature in his thinking.

He must not be a spirtual immature thinker who desires self-serving and sensual excitement over daily discipleship.

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The church cannot be led by immaturely-thinking Christians.

We must put that away and put on maturity of thinking.

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The second aspect is to have a humble mind.

It is very easy for us to be legends in our own minds.

Some of us are thinking of ourselves as something more than we are.

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That kind of thinking clouds our judgment.

In that state, we are no longer able to make sound decisions.

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We are filtering everything to be about us.

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We are thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.

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Thirdly, a sober mind consists of having God's mind towards matters.

Too many people are worldly-minded, thinking about things in the way of the world instead of God's way.

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Christians are told to set their minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

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To have a sober mind means that we must have our minds set on God's priorities, and be tuned into His thinking.

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We must set our minds on the things of the Spirit, for the Spirit knows the mind of God.

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Lastly, Christian elder must be of the same mind as the others in the Church.

Being united in Spirit and of the same mind is essential.

A church which is intent on one Biblical purpose will be a place where God is free to move mightily.

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The early church had a unified purpose.

They continually devoted themselves to Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and the breaking of bread.

As a result, signs and wonders were taking place among them, outreach to the poor was happening, worship was flowing, the church's reputation was increasing, and God was entrusting to that church more and more of His newborn children.