"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" The Militant Christian (4:1-6)


The Militant Christian (4:1-6)


1. It is quite common today to pick up the newspaper and read about the
   violent actions of those referred to as "militant fundamentalists"
   a. Sometimes the phrase has reference to extremists of the Islamic
      faith, engaged in what they call "Jihad" (holy war, or struggle)
   b. But there also times when it is applied to professing Christians,
      who resort to physical violence in support of their cause (e.g.,
      the radical pro-life movement)

2. As true followers of the "Prince of Peace"...
   a. We must remember that the Kingdom is spiritual, and therefore not
      expanded through carnal means - cf. Jn 18:36
   b. We should keep in mind the words of our Savior:  "...for all who
      take the sword will perish by the sword." - Mt 26:52

3. But this is not to say we do not have a true struggle, nor weapons
   with which to fight...
   a. We are engaged in a spiritual struggle, both without and within
      - Ep 6:12; 1Pe 2:12
   b. We have in our arsenal weapons that are "mighty in God" - 2 Co 10:3-5
   c. Indeed, as we enter the fourth chapter of 1st Peter, we see that
      Christians are to "arm" themselves in their service to the Lord
      - 1Pe 4:1

4. So in one sense, there is such a thing as "The Militant Christian";
   but it is important that we properly understand in what sense we are
   to be militant in our service to the Lord

[Using 1Pe 4:1-6 as our text, I would first point out that "The
Militant Christian" is to be...]


      1. This is the attitude Peter wants us to have
      2. Which was the attitude of Christ Himself - cf. 1Pe 2:21-23;3:18

      1. "since Christ suffered for us"
         a. He died for us, that we might live for righteousness 
            - 1 Pe 2:24
         b. Is it asking too much that we might be willing to endure
            hardship for His sake?
      2. "he who suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin"
         a. One who endures hardship for Christ is not likely to allow
            sin to have dominance in his or her life
         b. "One who has embraced the mind of Christ, and whose life is
            so influenced by him that he suffers persecution is not in
            danger of succumbing to the weaker temptations of the
            flesh.  To such an individual these allurements lose their
            appeal.  Martyrs, in the hour of persecution and death, do
            not toy with temptation or surrender to the seductions of
            the world!" - Guy N. Woods

[Armed with the mind of Christ, which includes a willingness to suffer
for doing good, "The Militant Christian" is also to be... ]


      1. A battle between one's soul and fleshly lusts - cf. 1Pe 2:12
      2. Unless we first win the battle for our own soul, we are not
         likely to be of much help in winning the souls of others!
         a. Therefore we need to remove the plank out of our own eye
            first - cf. Mt 7:3-5
         b. Only by first being "spiritual" ourselves are we prepared
            to help others - cf. Ga 6:1
      3. Many immature Christians begin fighting a "spiritual warfare"
         with others too soon, and lose the "spiritual warfare" within
         themselves in the process!

      1. We have wasted enough of our lifetime doing what is called
         "the will of the Gentiles"
         a. Briefly summarized in verse 3
         b. What Paul calls the "works of the flesh" in Ga 5:19-21
      2. Now it is time to live out the rest of our life for "the will
         of God"
         a. Briefly summarized in verses 7-11
         b. Which will be considered more carefully in the next lesson

[As we think of ourselves "standing strong for the faith" and "fighting
the good fight", let's not forget that the battle begins within

Unless the Christian is first militant in "crucifying the flesh" and
"putting to death the deeds of the body", he or she is not likely to
have the "spiritual fortitude" necessary to prevent killing one's self
in the "battle for truth" (cf. 2Ti 2:24-26).

When "The Militant Christian" is living out the rest of his or her life
for the will of God, we need to be prepared for the fact that we will...]


      1. Because we no longer join with them in their sin
      2. Unable to persuade us from our new course, they may resort to
         "speaking evil of you"
      3. Some young Christians are troubled by this "peer pressure"

      1. We have reason to rejoice - cf. Mt 5:11-12; 1Pe 4:13-14
      2. Our response is to be one of love and honorable conduct - cf.
         Mt 5:44; 1Pe 2:12
      3. Who knows?  Perhaps our conduct will lead one day to their
         glorifying God!

[Yes, "The Militant Christian" is likely to be thought of by others as
a "fanatic", but I believe that deep down even those who malign us the
most have respect for our convictions when held with the proper spirit
on our part.

Finally, taking a clue from the comments of Peter in verses 5-6, let
me suggest that "The Militant Christian" is one who is...]


      1. Especially the phrase "the gospel was also preached to those
         who are dead"
      2. Some think Peter is referring back to his comments in 1Pe 3:18-20...
         a. If so, then the "spirits in prison" would be human spirits,
            not angelic spirits (as I suggested in my earlier lesson)
         b. If so, then the preaching of the gospel was:
            1) Not an offer of salvation (i.e., a second chance)
            2) But a proclamation of what Christ has done, explaining
               how Christ has redeemed the O.T. faithful, and why
               others remain condemned
            3) Note that they were still "judged according to men in
               the flesh" (how they lived in the flesh), though they
               now "live according to God in the spirit"
      3. Others believe Peter is simply referring to the preaching of
         the gospel...
         a. To people when they were alive
         b. But who are now among the dead

      1. We must remember who is the Judge...
         a. God is the judge of those who are "outside" - 1Co 5:12-13
         b. They will have to "give an account to Him who is ready to
            judge..." - 1Pe 4:5
      2. We must therefore be willing to let God be the judge...
         a. I.e., leave vengeance to God - cf. Ro 12:19
         b. God will apply the "justice" when necessary, we are called
            upon to offer His "mercy" until then...
            1) Through the preaching of the gospel
            2) Through living lives of kindness and mercy - cf. Ro 12:20-21


1. There is a place, then, for "militancy" in the life of the Christian!

2. But it is to be found in the way we "arm" ourselves with the mind of
   a. "Fighting" the spiritual warfare that wages within
   b. "Militant" in our efforts to live the godly life, do going and
      showing mercy

Are you "fighting the good fight of faith"?  Are you even in the Lord's

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Taking Cues from Nature’s Designer by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Taking Cues from Nature’s Designer

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The field of biomimicry (copying biological systems) is beginning to see an influx in funds and research as scientists across the globe recognize its potential. In a recent article titled “Scientists Taking Cues From Nature,” Associated Press writer, Greg Bluestein, noted that many scientists are beginning to look to biomimicry to help them solve perplexing technological problems, such as helping bipedal robots to walk more fluidly and less robotically.
In the course of the article, Bluestein interviewed Marc Weissburg, the co-director of the new Georgia Tech’s Center for Biologically Inspired Design. In his comments, Weissburg suggested that evolution is responsible for the amazing abilities we find in the natural world. He stated: “If you think of organisms as products, all the bad ones have been recalled. Those that have survived evolved over millions of years” (Bluestein, 2006).
Weissburg also commented on the superior abilities that biological systems maintain compared to many of the ones humans have made. He said: “It really captures the imagination to show how much better organisms are at doing things. The natural world doesn’t waste energy, accumulate a large amount of toxins or produce more materials than it uses” (Bluestein, 2006).
But is seems that Weissburg, like many of his evolutionary colleagues, has missed the implication that follows from his line of work. If brilliant scientists spend decades of their lives attempting to identify and mimic superior design found in the natural world, then a conscious intellect—the Designer of nature—must maintain a superior intellect than the scientists who are attempting to mimic His systems.
Ironically, the very last sentence of Bluestein’s article is a quote from Weissburg saying: “Every organism is designed to solve a problem.” How can a person make such a statement and miss the fact that if every organism is “designed,” then that design demands a Designer? Weissburg is exactly right, every organism was designed to solve a problem. One of the main purposes for the intricate, complex organisms Weissburg and his fellow scientists are studying is to prove to such men that a superior Intellect does exist. All those who fail to make the proper connection between the magnificent world of nature and the Designer’s hand in the process will ultimately be “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).


Bluestein, Greg (2006), “Scientists Taking Cues From Nature,” [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060619/ap_on_hi_te/nurturing_nature;_ylt= AtCpSxfCdFaFLwCMytY1XoGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3cjE0b2MwBHNlYwM3Mzg-.

Struggling Leads to Strength by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Struggling Leads to Strength

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Much truth is contained in the statement, “a smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.” One who does not undergo the intensity of physical training hardly can expect to become an outstanding athlete. For example, if a man desires to participate in weight training, but at the same time refuses to endure the resistance that comes with adding weight day after day, his chances of becoming stronger are very slim indeed. After all, the whole concept behind lifting weights is resistance. A person struggles with the weight in order to build muscle mass and become stronger physically. Similarly, one who seeks intelligence must struggle through the learning process. He must work at reading, writing, and figuring out problems. The same is true of faith. In order to grow and become stronger, Christians must face some resistance. That is to say, on occasion we must struggle in order to strengthen our spiritual bodies. Jesus told His apostles the night of His betrayal: “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Paul told Timothy: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Sometimes people wonder why God allows trials and tribulations in this world. Why did He not create us so that everything we experience is painless? One of the answers to this oft’-asked question is that sometimes we can benefit greatly from experiencing mental and/or physical pain. We witness this same principle at work in the animal world. The emperor moth must struggle from its cocoon in order to properly develop its body and wings. If it does not struggle, the result is a flightless moth. In Hebrews 11, one reads of Abraham being tested (17), Moses suffering affliction (24-25), and others being mocked, scourged, and imprisoned (36). Did these trials benefit them in any way? James wrote: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4, emp. added). In writing to the Corinthian brethren Paul said, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The struggles Paul endured while on the Earth were a momentary trifle compared with the eternal glory before him.
You will struggle in this life. When you do, look to the Lord and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Realize that different forms of suffering can make us stronger if we permit them to do so. We can be confident that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This does not mean that everything that happens to us is good. But it does mean that if we are living godly lives, whatever does happen will work out for the best in the long run.

Sticky Business by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Sticky Business

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Advances in the science of biomimetics increasingly are reported in major scientific journals around the world. Scientists have attempted to mimic various designs or processes in the biological world for centuries, and 21st-century scientists show no signs of slowing down. In fact, it appears that now, more than ever, scientists are looking to nature for inspirations for their inventions. In June 2007, the journal New Scientist announced a new self-healing glue inspired by human bones (see Butt, 2007). In July 2007, MIT’s Technology Review reported the flight of a robotic fly at Harvard University, and how the government hopes eventually to use such “flies” in surveillance missions (see Ross, 2007; cf. Lyons, 2007). Nature, an international, weekly science journal, recently highlighted another impressive, life-inspired product—a biomimetic adhesive called “geckel,” that can adhere to both dry and wet surfaces (Haeshin, et al., 2007, 448[7151]:338-341).
The term “geckel” is derived from the names of the two creatures that inspired the new versatile adhesive: geckos and mussels. (Gecko + mussel = geckel.) Scientists closely examined the gecko’s “foot pads composed of specialized keratinous foot-hairs,” which “allow the gecko to cling onto vertical and even inverted surfaces” (Haeshin, et al., p. 338). By developing “nanotubes” that mimic “the bundles of fibers that make up the hairs on gecko feet” (Bullis, 2007), scientists have produced small tape samples that can be reused dozens of time. One obstacle to “gecko tape,” however, is water. Re-usable tape that mimics “gecko adhesion is greatly diminished upon full immersion” (Haeshin, et al., p. 338). Thus, scientists turned to the mussel.
Mussels have the ability to adhere to wet or fully immersed surfaces. Northwestern University biomedical-engineering professor Phillip Messersmith observed: “Mussels can stick to anything.... They adhere to a piece of wood, which is organic. They also adhere to the skin of whales” (as quoted in Patel-Predd, 2007). Their astounding stick-to-itiveness comes from a secretion of “specialized adhesive proteins” (Haeshin, et al., p. 338). After years of study, scientists have been able to manufacture a polymer that imitates the adhesive proteins of mussels.
Now, by combining what they have learned from gecko and mussel adhesion, researchers have developed a new adhesive, complete with nanotubes and a sticky protein polymer. Geckel is sticky, reusable, and can attach both to dry and wet surfaces. Scientists foresee it being used in many things, including medical tape and electronic equipment.
Sadly, many of the same scientists who spent thousands of hours studying the marvelous qualities of geckos and mussels believe these animals just evolved over millions of years. They believe that a big bang, plus spontaneous generation, plus time, plus chance equals awe-inspiring animals that hold the key to the invention of many impressive products. Researchers are designing new products based on living creatures that supposedly were not designed. Does this make any sense? None at all. The fact is, design demands a designer. Geckos and mussels, which scientists still cannot fully imitate, were designed by an intelligent Being—“The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28, ASV). “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all...living things both small and great” (Psalm 104:24-25).


Bullis, Kevin (2007), “Climbing Walls with Carbon Nanotubes,” Technology Review, June 25, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/Nanotech/18966/.
Butt, Kyle (2007), “Nature Sticks to Design,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3413.
Haeshin, Lee, Bruce Lee, and Phillip Messersmith (2007), “A Reversible Wet/Dry Adhesive Inspired by Mussels and Geckos,” Nature, 448[7151]:338-341, July 19.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “Who Makes the World’s Best Fliers?,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3436.
Patel-Predd, Prachi (2007), “Nanoglue Sticks Underwater,” Technology Review, July 18, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/Nanotech/19061/.
Ross, Rachel (2007), “Robotic Insect Takes Off for the First Time,” Technology Review, July 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19068/.

Teaching of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke (Part 5 The Sabbath)


Teaching of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke (Part 5 The Sabbath)

Teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke (Part 5 The Sabbath)
Reading: Exodus 20:1-17  “

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:    “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor 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 male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 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.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Imagine if you would being one of the Israelites that the Lord had just set free from Egypt. You lived your whole life as a slave in Egypt, maybe making or carrying bricks, or maybe serving some Egyptian doing all his dirty work from dust to dawn seven days a week. And then finally you are free. God heard your prayers and sent Moses who confronts the Pharaoh time and time again. God strikes Egypt with plague after plague and finally you are free and on the on the other side of the Red Sea. And you are being led to the mountain of God, and then God gives you these Ten Commandments to live by.
The first three commands were very reasonable and were concerned with how you were to threat the One that just freed you. The commands specified that you were not to put any other God before Him, and not to make any stature of images of Him to worship. Nor were you to use Him or His name improperly or disrespectfully or in vain.
Why are they reasonable commands? Because He was the awesome and powerful God that just saved you; the creator of all heaven and earth.
The other commands were reasonable also and more for your benefit. Don’t steal from one another. Don’t murder one another. Don’t even lie about another or covet another’s possession. And by no means do anything to dishonor your mom or dad. Who wouldn’t want to live with rules like that; especially if everyone agreed to keep those laws.
God also mentions another command saying “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor 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 male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 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.”
I think if it was me hearing that command after being enslave and having my tail worked off most of my life probably seven days a week, I would have done a little ‘happy dance’ right then and there. ‘Oh for joy, a day off.’
The idea of something being holy is simply this, when God set something apart for a special reason it’s holy. It’s not holy in and of itself, rather something is holy because God set it apart for a special purpose. And regarding the Sabbath it was to give man and beast a day off from their labor.
As they did with many things the leading Jewish religious leaders had built figurative hedges around many of God’s laws by the time Jesus came along.
And what do I mean by hedges? They made up new rules and regulations to help prevent people from braking God’s original law. It would be like our state government setting the speed limit at 55 mph on the road in front of our church building. But just to make sure that no one would break that law the county comes in and makes up a new ruling saying that the speed is going to be 45 mph. And then the town sets the speed limit at 40 mph for cars and only 30 mph for trucks. Well the Jews kind a did the same thing with God’s Laws including the Sabbath.
They made a whole bunch of rules up so that their fellow Jews would not break God’s law concerning the Sabbath. The problem is that they made those rules a law unto themselves which became more of a burden than help.
For example here are some of the rules they made up concerning what the people could not do on the Sabbath:
  • Jew’s were permitted to administer first aid to an injured person to save them from dying but they were not do anything to relieve a persons pain.
  • The could tie and knot in a rope, but only if it could be done with one hand.
  • The Jews were limited to traveling a distance of only 2000 cubits or a 1000 yards (which they thought was an adequate distance to get to the local synagogue.
–       Here is a list of some other things that they could not do. There was not to be any 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, 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.
In our text today in Luke Chapter 6 Jesus teaches something about the Sabbath. Read 6:1-5 “One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
I believe that this incident involved some of those manmade regulations about what could and what could not be done on the Sabbath which these Pharisees saw as a priority over what the original command of God intended.
The law permitted people to glean from the fields as they passed through them (Deut. 23:25). However, the Pharisees chose to view the disciples’ gleaning as harvesting, and their rubbing the grain in their hands as threshing and winnowing, as well as preparing a meal. The Pharisees considered all these practices inappropriate for the Sabbath. (Constable)
So Jesus taught them a lesson from OT scripture. He referred to the story of what David did in 1 Sam. 21:1-9. The story took place when David and his men were very hungry and went to a priest and asked if he had any food for them to eat. The priest gave them the consecrated show bread that was left over from the day before. ). His point was twofold, first that their ceremonial traditions are secondary to the divine intent of God’s law.
What David did was contrary to the Pharisees’ understanding of what the
Mosaic Law required (Lev. 24:9), yet Scripture did not condemn him for
what he did (cf. 2 Chron. 30:18-20). What Jesus’ disciples did was not contrary to the divine intent of God’s 4th Commandment concerning the Sabbath, so He indicates that the Pharisees should not have condemned them for what they did.
Why didn’t the Scriptures condemn David for what he did? It was because David was meeting a human need. God permitted him to violate what the Pharisees, thought to be the letter of the lawbut not the true intent of the law. Therefore the Son of Man (v. 5), who is superior to David, had every right to set aside a Pharisaic tradition, which only one of their regulations was not a divine law, in the service of God.
In Mark’s account of this Jesus tells them that, 27 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (It was for man’s benefit, not to make things hard for them)
#2. Beside that He goes on to say that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. They did not understand that Jesus is the very Word of God, who became flesh, who gave that command to Moses and Israel in the first place.
Then Luke presents us another story which takes place on a different occasion, where Jesus dealt with this subject. Read 6-10 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.                                              
Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”     10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.”
These teachers and Pharisees were now watching Jesus and were wanting to gather evidence to accuse Him of being a law breaker. Some think that they may have even planted this crippled man hoping that Jesus would heal him and do exactly what He did. According to their tradition the man did not need to be healed on the Sabbath. His life was not in danger of dying. So Jesus purposely heals the man intending to teach them another lesson concerning the Sabbath.
Concerning this the commentator Dr. Constable writes, ‘As the authoritative Son of Man, Jesus declared that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Both incidents involved a controversy about the question: What is more important, ceremonial law or human need?  God had instituted the Sabbath for the welfare of humankind.
As He questions them whether it was lawful to do good or evil on the Sabbath, there was only one answer that the religious leaders could give. It was lawful to do good and unlawful to do evil on the Sabbath. However, they refused to answer because their answer virtually would have given Jesus their approval to heal the man. They did not want to do that because they wanted to retain their traditional abstinence from Sabbath activities. Jesus proceeded to do good and healed the man’s hand, but He did so without performing any physical work. There was nothing the critics could point to, as an act that Jesus performed, for which they could condemn Him. This method of healing pointed to Jesus being a prophet sent from God, at least, and to His being God.”
After this these teachers are furious with Jesus and begin to plot against Him.
So what lessons if any are there in this for us? Are we under any obligation to keep the Sabbath seeing that it was part of the Mosaic Law?
In Hebrews chapter 8 it talks about Jesus being the mediator of a new covenant, one to replace the one given through Moses. Verses 6-7 says, the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
Actually Jesus always compared the Sabbath to ceremonial laws, not to moral laws like lying, stealing, or committing adultery.
In Luke 13:15 Jesus implies that daily chores could be done on the Sabbath. In Luke 14:5 He indicates that even hard labor could be done in an emergency like when a child or a animal falls into a well and you need to get them out. In John 5:8. He told a healed man to carry his sleeping mat, even though there was no hurry. He even used the word “work” to describe his activity (v. 17).
All the Mosaic ritual laws became obsolete when Jesus died on the cross, and therefore it should be no surprise that the ritual of the Sabbath also became obsolete. Whereas all the moral aspects of the old covenant were mentioned in the New Testament and are still applicable for us today.
Now is it profitable for an individual to take a rest from their work at least on day a week. Of course it is. I believe that is one of the reasons why God commanded those Jews to set a day aside to rest in the first place. Also, like circumcision, when the Jews regularly celebrated the Sabbath, God said that it would be a sign that they were His covenant people.
So what other lesson can we learn from these stories? I believe that this is the main one: Jesus wanted to show that some things are just more important than religious rituals that we are in the habit of doing. Mind you, not that we should ignore those rituals like going to church on Sunday. Rather, when a crisis arises, or an individual needs our help, or if there is something good that we can and should do that God has put before us, there are times when those rituals are less important.
2nd And we also have to be careful not to judge others too quickly like those Pharisees. If people aren’t doing what we think they should be doing, rather than making any judgments we need to talk to them because they may have been serving in ways that may be more important to God than what we think is important. We need to remember that the greatest command for us today is to Love God with all our hearts and love others. That this kind of love should not only be seen in what we say, it should also be seen in our actions.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

Why do we love Jesus? by Roy Davison


Why do we love Jesus?

“Love is of God” (1 John 4:7).

Why do we love anyone? Love is not easy to explain. Basically, we love someone because of who he is. And, there are various levels of love.
For example, we love our unborn child because he is a little person and because he is our child. After the child is born our love deepens and we love him for who he is.
Why is Jesus the best-loved person in human history? Why did people love Him when He walked on earth? Why do millions love Him now, two thousand years later?
Why do we love Jesus? And how strong is our love? Some have an intense love for Jesus, whereas the love of others is rather weak.
To have a strong love for someone you must know him. In 1958, the love song was popular: “To know him is to love him.” Some of the lyrics were: “To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him, and I do, and I do, and I do.”
This certainly applies to Jesus, more than to any other person who has ever lived. Someone who knows Him, loves Him. It is difficult not to love Jesus. Our love for Jesus grows as we get to know Him better through the Scriptures. We learn who He is: what He is like, what He taught, and what He has done for us. Another line in that song is: “Just to see that smile, makes my life worthwhile.”
To prepare for this lesson I examined what the Bible says about people’s love for Jesus, and I asked some fellow Christians why they love Jesus. So many reasons exist for loving Jesus that only a few can be discussed in this lesson. 

Love for Jesus was not based on physical attraction.
Isaiah wrote of the Messiah: “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2 ESV). Yet Isaiah also wrote: “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17). And in Psalm 45:2 we read about the Messiah: “You are fairer than the sons of men.”
We love Jesus because of His spiritual beauty. He has the most loveable spirit of anyone who ever lived, the Spirit of God! (John 1:32). 

We love Jesus because He first loved us.
One brother wrote: “Of course, ‘Why do I love Jesus?’ is answered in my head by the old children’s song: ‘Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.’ Our love for Him can never match His love for us. Yet, my love for Him is great because I know He sacrificed Himself for me, for us. These expressions are commonplace, but true.”
Indeed, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15).

We love Jesus because He forgives our sins.
Jesus made it clear to mankind that God is willing to forgive the sins of the contrite: “And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ So he said, ‘Teacher, say it.’ ‘There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have rightly judged.’ Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’ Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace’” (Luke 7:35-50).
Sin is a debt no one can pay, whether the debt be large or small. This woman had great remorse for her sins, and she believed that Jesus could rescue her from her terrible state. Imagine how her broken heart was filled with joy when Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Her love for Jesus was great because the burden of sin He lifted from her shoulders was great.
She obviously knew something about Jesus. Whether she had met Him, heard Him teach, or only heard about Him, we do not know. But her faith was strong enough that she dared to approach Him in tears, and her love was so strong that she dared to kiss His feet. The invitation of Jesus had touched her heart, whether she had heard these actual words or not: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29).
In reply to my question, several said that they love Jesus because He accepts them and forgives them.
One brother wrote: “Perhaps I most love Him because He is willing to, and has, forgiven my sins, my continuing shortcomings and failures and mistakes, and even those things I cannot seem to keep myself from doing.”
Another brother wrote: “As for me personally, I suspect it boils down to my complete trust in his complete acceptance of me. He knows the real me and that real me does not threaten our relationship. I recognize a great sense of, even physical, peace in my relationship with Jesus, that is not always there in my other relationships! Pretty vague, I know! But in short, it is the peace I get from my relationship with Jesus that keeps me coming back for more.”
Another wrote: “Why do I love Jesus? I love Jesus because He secured my eternal salvation. I deserve to die, but He died for me and paid the price so I do not have to die.”

We love Jesus because He gives us eternal life.
“The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). “And this is the promise that He has promised us - eternal life” (1 John 2:25). Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life” (John 10:27, 28).
When we commune with the body and blood of Christ at the Lord’s table, we have His promise: “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54).
One brother explained that he loves Jesus because in Him his dear wife, who recently passed away, will live forever: “I love God because he knows how we humans fear Death because it claims to bring to an end all the lovely and honorable dreams we dream; because it claims to obliterate all the lovely people we know, righteous people, compassionate and kind and unselfish, and because it claims that our trust in God through Jesus Christ is profound nonsense. God has mocked all these claims by Death by raising this one man, Jesus Christ, from the dead to die no more. He enables us to dismiss the voice of all the cemeteries of the world. In and through and because of Jesus there’s a day coming when all who are embraced by the saving work of the Lord Jesus will gather and live forever in eternal joy and peace and love of righteousness.”

God’s children love Jesus.
“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God’” (John 8:42). John explains: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him” (1 John 5:1). They who love the Father also love the Son and all of God’s children.

They who love the truth, love Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Since Jesus is the truth, He is loved by lovers of truth. “Love ... rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). Jesus said: “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). People perish because they do “not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
Some comments received were: “Jesus was loved because of His honesty” and “because ‘He spoke not’ as the various religious factions. He spoke with authority, but with love, and not hypocritically.”

How much did Peter love Jesus? 
How would you respond if Jesus said your full name and asked you, as He asked Peter: “Do you love me?” (John 21:15).
This is one of the most touching scenes in the New Testament. Peter had boasted, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble” and “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:33, 35). As it turned out, Peter was the only one who denied Jesus! And he did so three times! But when “the Lord turned and looked at Peter” he was struck with remorse and “went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61, 62).
Some days later, after the resurrection, by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus prepared breakfast for Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John and two other disciples. “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’” (John 21:15).
In His question, Jesus uses the Greek word ἀγαπάω that refers to the highest form of altruistic love. Peter replies, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Jesus accepts his reply and says to him, “Feed My lambs.” But Peter did not use the same word for love that Jesus used in His question. Peter used the word φιλέω that expresses affection. Both words mean “to love” but to clarify the difference, it is as though Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” and Peter replies, “You know that I have affection for you.”
Thus, Jesus asks Peter again, using ἀγαπάω, and Peter replies again using φιλέω. Jesus accepts his answer and says, “Tend My sheep.”
Then, the third time, Jesus asks, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” but this time Jesus uses the word φιλέω that has the force of asking: “Peter, do you have affection for me?” “Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep’” (John 21:15-17). Peter still uses φιλέω rather than ἀγαπάω. Peter is no longer boasting, or claiming that he loves Jesus more than others. He understates his love, with the assurance that Jesus knows how very much he loves Him.
Earlier, Peter had said that he was willing to die for Jesus. Now Jesus predicts that he will do just that, and He tells Peter, “Follow Me.” (John 21:18, 19).

How much do we love Jesus?
Jesus is worthy of our highest love. He was a tremendous man. He spoke the truth without compromise. Through His actions and words He revealed the Father. His love for us was so great that He was willing to take upon Himself the death penalty that we deserve, so our sins might be forgiven. He died for us. Are we willing to live for Him? Until our last breath, let us live for Jesus because He, until His last breath on the cross, gave His life for us. Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive