Archive for June, 2012

The Shunammite – part II

June 30, 2012

Okay, sorry I missed you on yesterday. I woke later than I normally do in order to write. Plus, I had to go to work. No reporting time today; therefore, we will address The Shunammite – part II. In The Shunammite – part I, we saw Elisha, the prophet, the man of God, promise the Shunamite who had longed to have children a child within the next year. She had hoped for a child, but the child never came. We can understand her statement “No, my lord,” she objected. “Don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!” (NIV1984) or “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!”

If you read the text (2 Kings 4), you know that the Shunammite had a son a year later. I am sure that she was elated and pleased that God had fulfilled her longings. Imagine, you finally got something that you have intensely desired for some time. The joy and pleasure of having a longing fulfill consumes your heart and mind. You are constantly reminded day by day that your longing to be fulfilled. Undoubtedly, your confidence in God is strong. You feel really good about God and His faithfulness. The sun is shining and everything is great. As we all know, the sun does not always shine. Life is filled with rain. It rains and we are not pleased. Listen to what Solomon said “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

The rain comes in The Shunammite – part II. Once more, 2 Kings 4 is the pivot text. It shows both the longing fulfilled and a hope deferred. When the Shunammite bore her son, her longing was fulfilled. On the contrary, when he died, her heart was sick because her hope was deferred. For her, God chose to revive her son. Elisha was used to bring him back to life. While that is not the norm, the whole point is that God should always be the focus of our trust. We should depend on him. Listen to what the Shunammite told Elisha when her son was ill. “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?” It is normal for us to respond like that, but that’s God’s whole point. He does not want us to be normal or carnal. He wants us to be spiritual.

Romans 8 tells us

“5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodiesthrough his Spirit, who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Out of our obligation to God, we are to live by the Spirit who always trusts in the Father. Elisha demonstrated that when he faced a dead child. He and Gehazi prayed for God to raise the boy to life. God heard and responded. We must do likewise if we are to have hope not deferred. 1 John 3:2-3 says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”  While we can hope that our circumstances can change, the purest hope is that we will, after trusting in Christ, will be made like Him – one in spirit with God.

The Shunammite – part I

June 28, 2012

As we continue to delve into the Word, we will examine examples of people expressing or demonstrating hope. 2 Kings 4 tells us about a woman from Shunem. Shunem was a village of Issachar’s tribe (Joshua 19:18) strategically located in the Jezreel Valley. Shunem (modern Sulem) is about three and a half miles (5.6 kilometers) north of Jezreel, situated on the outer hills of Mt Moreh. Because Shunem was on a well-used route, Elisha frequented the town and even resided there (2 Kings 4:8).

As the prophet Elisha frequently traveled he passed through Shunem, there was a rich woman who was hospitable to him when he came to Shunem. She and her husband feed him and eventually built a room for him in their house where he ate and slept during his journey because she knew that he was a holy man of God. The Shunammite woman was rewarded by God for her hospitality towards Elisha, the man of God. This is errily similar to the promise of a son was given to Abraham when he entertained angels. The Word’s promise of it is better to give than to receive proved true here before it was every quoted.

Let’s listen and see.

One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’” She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked. Gehazi said, “Well, she has no son and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.” “No, my lord,” she objected. “Don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

This woman’s hope was realized. Like Abraham and Sarah, God’s power was demonstrated in helping both couples overcome age as a barrier to childbirth. God has shown Abraham and the Shunammite that He is worthy of our trust. We must put our hope in Him despite how despairing our circumstances may be.

Be encouraged in your challenge. God Is Able. God is faithful.

Naomi’s Hope

June 26, 2012

Remember when you first found love how you felt so good
Kind that last forever more so you thought it would
Suddenly the things you see got you hurt so bad
How come the things that make us happy make us sad
Well it seems to me that

Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain

Those words are the first lines of Joy and Pain by Frankie Beverley & Maze. It is reflective of what happens a lot in our lives and so true of what happened in Naomi’s life. If you have ever read the book of Ruth, you are fully acquainted with the joy and pain of Naomi. For those who have not, read it by clicking the link.

The long and short of the situation is that Naomi’s husband and sons died. In a male dominated society, Naomi pled with her daughter-in-laws to go back to their homes and their people for they may have a hope to be remarried. One followed that encouragement; however, Ruth refused to abandon her mother-in-law. The reputable verse 16 records her commitment – “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

Ruth eventually meets Boaz who redeems her by marrying her. In that marriage, Naomi’s welfare is taken care of as Ruth cares for her mother-in-law. This text really is not about Naomi, Ruth or Boaz. It is about Naomi’s Hope. Naomi hoped or trusted in the Lord God to take care of her despite her hopeless circumstances. She had lost her husband and two sons – all of her providers except God who is Jehovah Jireh. Just as He had provided for Abraham, He provided for Naomi, but I am not talking about the physical provision. I am referencing the spiritual provision.

The ram in the thicket for the sacrifice for Abraham referenced the same Hope that the offspring of Ruth and Boaz would provide. Without going into too much genealogical lingo, here the prayer prayed for Naomi that God had already worked out.

14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Just to show you how great, sovereign and providential Jehovah is, the name of Ruth’s son was Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. David the genealogical and earthly heritage of the Lord Jesus Christ. This royal lineage authenticates Christ as the Messiah for man, so you see that Naomi’s Hope is our Hope. Jesus is our hope.

I have really over simplified the process of Ruth being redeemed and what it meant in that time. What is it that you really need to know? That redemption could only be purchased by one who had the right and the resources to do so. As perfect man and God, Jesus is the only fit for kinsman redeemer. If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, you have hope for spiritual renewal and redemption  – the forgiveness of sin. If you don’t know Jesus as Savior and Lord, you don’t have hope of redemption – the forgiveness of sins.

Do You Understand the Words Coming Out of My Mouth

June 25, 2012

The title of this post comes from a Christ Tucker movie where he asks that very question. As I contemplated what title the post, this is what came to mind. Paul, after telling the Ephesians to put on the Full Armor of God, asked the Ephesians to pray for him. What specifically did He want them to pray for Him about? It is something that we all, who proclaim that Christ is Lord and Savior, should ask for. See our text for today: Ephesians 6:19-20.

“19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Paul, who had a history of fearlessness, asked the Ephesians to pray that he would fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. Paul asked for pray for words to be given to him to declare the gospel fearlessly. It seems odd that the man who persecuted the church killing Christians before his conversion would be afraid, but he was. As such, he acknowledged that weakness asking for prayer. Let’s not focus too much on Paul’s weakness, but look sternly into ours. What are we afraid of especially in terms of proclaiming the gospel. The word gospel is recurring in this portion of the text, but what exactly is the gospel? The word means good news. The good news of  Jesus Christ or The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary while being the son of God, suffered death on the cross to obtain eternal salvation for those in the kingdom of God. He did so by experiencing the consequence of our sin even though He did not sin. After He died, He was raised to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven where He intercedes for the saints until He returns in glory and majesty to consummate the kingdom of God.

Paul wanted prayer because proclaiming Christ was His mission as is ours. Consequently, we should solicit the same prayer of fearlessness in proclaiming Christ as Savior and Lord. If you do not know Christ as your Savior and Lord, I suggest that you consider surrendering your life to Him. If you aren’t sure what that means or how that should go, just contact me. I will walk with you as this is my mission. In fact, that was the impetus behind this entire site. I, like Paul asked, want to fearlessly proclaim the gospel. It is fearful some times, but I must proclaim it for I have no higher purpose in living.

May you be blessed today.

Glad to be delivered from Death to Life

June 20, 2012

There are a wealth of cases, books, websites and the like dedicated to documenting the most profound near-death experiences. Occasionally, we hear of stories of people being revived after being pronounced dead. Equally, there are many brought back to life stories. In all of them, the awe that is expressed is consistent. While those are worthy conversations, the most worthy question is how does one die once never to die again? We all are looking for eternal life.

Psalm 56:13

For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

David believed and foreshadowed the answer to the eternal life question. David was primarily talking about God’s deliverance of Him from his enemies who were trying to kill him. While that is true, it is also true of us spiritually. Without Christ, we are dead spiritually.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:1-5

“13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:13-15

It was God and God alone who made us alive. Just as one would show extreme gratitude and appreciation to the person responsible for saving his/her life, we should be Glad to be delivered from Death to Life. When God sent Christ to deliver us from our sins and His wrath, we should rejoice about the prospect of escaping the wrath of God. Remember, Hebrews 10:31 says that “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

 Matthew Henry said, “A state of sin is a state of spiritual death. Those who are in sin are dead in sin. As the death of the body consists in its separation from the soul, so the death of the soul consists in its separation from God and the divine favour. As the death of the body is the corruption and putrefaction of it, so sin is the corruption or depravation of the soul. As a man who is dead is unable to help himself by any power of his own, so an habitual sinner is morally impotent: though he has a natural power, or the power of a reasonable creature, he has not a spiritual power, till he has the divine life or a renewed nature.”

Once more, Christ is death’s antidote. Paul tells us “But now in Christ Jesus you who once  were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:13-14

Henry wrote,”His resurrection from the dead and enthronement at the right hand of God. But Paul also applies them to what has happened to believers. Paul teaches a union between Christ and those who come to trust Him (1:3Col. 3:1–4), so that what is said of the Redeemer can also be said of the redeemed. What once happened to Jesus will one day happen to believers as well (2 Cor. 4:16): they will be resurrected to glory at His return (Rom. 8:111 Cor. 15). For the present, there is a new mind (4:23, 24; Rom. 12:12), a new identity as God’s children (Rom. 8:14–17), and a new ability to live free from the control of Satan (Rom. 8:1–4;2 Cor. 5:17).

With Christ’s absolving our sin, the prophecy in Psalm 103:12 (“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”) has been made true for the follower of Christ. This is truly reason to Glad to be delivered from Death to Life.

Why Be Glad?

June 18, 2012

In the post Serve the Lord with Gladness, the expectation for us to serve the Lord or respond in gladness to our circumstances was presented. It was also presented that it is a difficult to be glad when we don’t feel we have anything to be glad about; however, we are also told that “We live by faith, not by sight.” We learn from Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I am sure that all of us hopes for joy and peace in the middle of the storm at a minimum.

While that is what we hope for, we rarely live in those states of mind. I am persona non grata in terms of representing what I am writing about. It is not ironic; it is prescriptive. God, in His continual loving manner, is committed to helping me grow. There are circumstances at home, at work, in life that challenge my obedience to Serve the Lord with Gladness. In fact, I am often found contemplating the question Why Be Glad? Unfortunately, I fail to follow God’s Word which says “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits”. What are those benefits that Psalm 103 tells us not to forget? Before I share those, I want you to focus in on what God lists as the benefits for us not to forget. They are:

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

3. Through the grace of God and by faith in Christ, the believer in Jesus has all his sins forgiven and the elixir for the disease of sin is applied. The first and primary benefit listed is redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Specifically, Colossians 1:13-14 informs us “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Acts 13:38 also says “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (cf) Matthew Henry is quoted to say “Our crimes were capital, but God saves our lives by pardoning them; our diseases were mortal, but God saves our lives by healing them.”

4. There is nothing better than being redeemed. Have you ever messed up so badly that there was nothing you could do to make it better or right only to have someone fix it for you. That’s redemption. Isaiah 59:2 tells “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” We were cut off from God, but redemption, as we saw above, brings about forgiveness. More than that, it renews a relationship through the process of us being bought back and recovered through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He crowns thee with his lovingkindness and tender mercies;” and what greater dignity is a poor soul capable of than to be advanced into the love and favour of God? This honour have all his saints. From Psalm 136:1, we are told, according to the Reformation Study Bible, God’s mercy is His devotion to His people, to whom He is freely bound by the pledge of His own grace in His covenant. In His covenant with His people, God pledges Himself to love them faithfully. He is the author of the terms of the covenant binding Him and His people together. Hallelujah!

5. God is committed to giving us not what we want, but that which is good for us. Good in the sense that our strength to follow Him is renewed. After all, we are dealing with circumstances that makes us say “Why Be Glad?” We pray for a lot of things, but God provides everything that is constructive and wholesome for His people. Henry again tells us “it is only the favour and grace of God that can give satisfaction to a soul, can suit its capacities, supply its needs, and answer to its desires. Nothing but divine wisdom can undertake to fill its treasures (Proverbs 8:21); other things will surfeit, but not satiate, (Ecclesiastes. 6:7; Isaiah. 55:2). The eagle is long-lived, and, as naturalists say, when she is nearly 100 years old, casts all her feathers, and fresh ones come, so that she becomes young again. When God, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from their decays, and fills them with new life and joy.”

God calls us in many places in the Word to recall His blessing and to praise Him for He is good. If we do not give thanks to Him for His benefits, we forget them. There are so many blessings and benefits that we should be able to easily recall them. Let us make it a habit to give thanks to the LORD God for some of His benefits. Daily, we all should incorporate this practice beyond the perfunctory practice of thanking Him for our food or a near accident. We need to devote some time to really reflect and thank God. Lest we say “O my soul! to thy shame be it spoken, thou hast forgotten many of his benefits; but surely thou wilt not forget them all, for thou shouldst not have forgotten any.”

Serve the Lord with Gladness

June 17, 2012

I am not sure what this day holds for me, but I am sure how God wants me to approach the day. He has said in Psalm 100 Serve the Lord with Gladness. It a difficult thing when we don’t feel we have anything to be glad about. Take this elixir.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Beyond looking at the benefits listed in this Psalm, we are commanded to serve the Lord with gladness which means joy, mirth, gladness and pleasure. If the folks at Chick-Fil-A can sell you a chicken sandwich with pleasure, how much more should we serve the LORD God with pleasure.

I want you to know that 8 years ago on Father’s Day my son was born. Father’s Day will forever be different for me because God wanted my son to know that the greatest Father thought of Him on that special day. It was a reminder to my son and to me that God the Father would always be there for us no matter how dark the day. His light is brighter.

Folks, God’s light is brighter than your darkest moment. Stop for a moment just to allow Him to shine in your heart and you will Serve the Lord with Gladness. Enough said. I am out.

Blasphemy of the Spirit

June 15, 2012

In the posts How Will You Respond to the Lord? and Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All, the concept of eternal damnation surfaces as a consequence of how one responded to Christ’s and more centrally, His work. I began writing about this because of the sermon titled The Fate of the Apostate at Southwest Christian Fellowship this past Sunday. There is a lot of confusion of whether the apostate was ever saved or not. Without going into a lot of detail, the apostate was/is never saved. He/she may look spiritual, but looking never evidenced true substance.

Blasphemy of the Spirit is a concept in which Jesus discussed. Before we hear that, Remember, Hebrews 10:29 defines an apostate according to the words of the Almighty God. 1. He who has trampled the Son of God, Jesus, under foot. 2. He who has treated the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing. 3. He who has insulted the Spirit of grace.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot,who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

At the inception of this concept, we see this in Matthew 12:22-37 where a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought before Jesus so he could both talk and see. At that, Jesus once more demonstrates His complete power and authority over demons. Many considered casting out demons was an impossibility. Notice the thoughts of the crowd in verse 23.  “All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” Before we believe anything, we question it against our base of knowledge. In that question, the people were asking if Jesus was indeed the Messiah. The Messiah represented God’s promised and expected deliverer of the Jews. The Messiah was the savior to be sent by God to free them. God’s intended purpose was to free people from sin, not from being politically dominated.
Jesus’ sovereignty over demons caused the people to be astonished, but the Pharisees, the rulers within the Jewish nation, thought and acted selfishly. They they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” THIS IS THE HEART of the unpardonable sin. Notice the contrast in presupptional positions – The people respond with Messianic questions and expectation, but the Pharisees respond by attributing Jesus’ power to Beelzebub, satan – the chief devil. Remember in John 10:25, Jesus said “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me” in response to the Jewish leaders call for Jesus to tell them plainly who He was.  Jesus went on to say “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” Then they said, 33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Once more, Jesus, in John 15:26, tells us 26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. Over and over, the Pharisees and people now see the miracles or the work of Christ in the lives of people, but they fail to attribute it to God through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees said Jesus’ power was from the devil which He utterly made them sound foolish by drawing the comparison about a house divide will fall.
What the Pharisees and others now do is suppress the evidence of God’s work provided by the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees continued to do this. Hebrew 10:26 reminds us that “26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,” Jesus called this Blasphemy of the Spirit. How can one know if they have in fact blasphemed the Holy Spirit? If you have continually rejected Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life, you might want to consider whether you have committed Blasphemy of the Spirit. If you have received the grace of God by believing and living for Christ, you more than likely have not committed Blasphemy of the Spirit. Continued rejection of Jesus makes us more hardened against Him, and puts us on the path of a full and final rejection of Him. The writer of Hebrews called it insulting the Spirit of Grace. The one who continually suppresses the truth God sends will not receive the grace the saves. As a consequence, he will not be forgiven of his sin, either in this age or in the age to come.. Thus, he stands condemned already.

How Will You Respond to the Lord?

June 14, 2012

There is so much going on in my head now that I really can’t focus on what to write about. I do know that I need to spend further time studying about how we respond. When we look around at the news headlines, we see that a persons response is always in question. In those responses, there is always a presumed correct or right response. For example, LeBron James and the Miami Heat are being questioned about their response to their loss on Monday to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the Trayvon Martin, the responses of Mr. Zimmerman, the Sanford police department, and the Sanford district attorney’s office were all questioned. The implicit belief was that all responded improperly – wrong. When we look at the upcoming presidential election, the campaigns responses of both President Obama and Mitt Romney are all being questioned.

No matter where we are, people are being judged; yet, when it comes to spiritual matters, we are less likely to have such a discriminating voice. Nevertheless, we will be held accountable for our responses to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s see what Jesus said about how people responded to Him. PLEASE read this passage. PLEASE question yourself as to whom the response is being assessed. PLEASE read the passage again asking God to speak to you.

Matthew 12:22-37

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers,how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

 I will reserve any statements today. I just wanted you to read the passage and look for how people responded and what Jesus had to say about their response. We know from Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All what the consequence will be at the end, but the passage gives us some insights about that end. Lord willing, I will be back tomorrow with my insights.

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

June 12, 2012

Let’s face it, we all like to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. It may not ever surface in any of you all, but we all struggle in managing our egocentric tendencies. In decreasing measure, those who are able to relinquish their egos are able to acknowledge any looming deficits in character or ability. They are more apt to accept help. While I am sure that there are some fantastic people reading this post, we all are left wanting when it comes to matching the glory or perfectness of God. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of our sin, we are enemies of God without having our sin reconciled, but Jesus died for the ungodly. You should know that Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All.

Yet, “many live as enemies of the cross of Christ, and their destiny is destruction..” Hebrews 1:13 presents to us the position and honor God has bestowed upon Jesus against His enemies. God said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? “Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool… If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”(Hebrews 10) As a consequence, those who trust Christ’s sacrifice are justified by His blood and are saved from God’s wrath (Romans 5), but the wrath of God awaits those who reject Jesus as we saw in The Fate of the Apostate.

Regarding the sacrifice of Christ, I can’t fully express everything that has taken my pastor, Robert Benson, significant time in study and explanation today. I can present that there is no sacrifice other than Jesus’ that will cleanse you of your guilt before God. There is no other sacrifice other than Christ’s. The point in this passage was that His sacrifice was better than those of the priest who, year after year, had to repeatedly present the blood of animals as an atonement for the people.  Hebrews 9:28 tells us “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” Hebrews 10 reaffirms that to us in verse 8 and verse 14.

  • v8.   we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
  • v14. because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Lastly, we learn in Hebrews 10:17-18 that ““Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All. If you have not taken advantage of Christ’s sacrifice for your sins, you are enemies of God with His wrath is imminent for you. If you have accepted Christ’s sacrifice for the penalty of your sins, you are justified by faith in Christ and enjoy fellowship and full rights as a child of God.