God’s Gospel




Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)

We must not be ashamed of the Gospel.

If we are ashamed of the Lord Jesus and His words, He will be ashamed of us when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26)

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The Gospel is God’s power for salvation.

God had sent sinners the Gospel of grace.

God had sent His Son to die on their behalf.

If sinners would place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they would be saved.

Otherwise, they would die in their sins, and they would go to Hell.

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The Gospel was first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.

God had pledged to save the Jews first.

God had dealt with the Jews for thousands of years.

But many Jews rejected the Son of God as their Messiah.

So God turned to the Gentile peoples and offered them salvation as well.

Salvation is now available to every man, everywhere. (John 1:11-12)

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The Gospel revealed the righteousness of God.

Man thinks he is righteous and is therefore acceptable to God.

But Man is absolutely wrong.

Man is not righteous and he cannot produce righteousness by self-will, or his own works.

But, when Man puts his faith is the Lord Jesus Christ, God declares him to be righteous.

Man is imputed with the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21 and Philippians 3:9).

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The Gospel is by faith from first to last.

Christians are saved through faith alone.

Christians are to live by faith all the days of their lives.

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Some thoughts:
  • We must not be ashamed of the Gospel.
  • The Gospel is God’s power to bring many to faith.
  • The Gospel is for everyone, everywhere.
  • The Gospel revealed God’s righteousness.
  • The Gospel is for believers to live by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ all the day of their lives.
  • The Gospel is worth believing and worth sharing.
  • Christians are to believe and share the Gospel. God will do the rest!

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Prayers:
  • Oh God! Help me to believe and share Your Word all the days of my life.
  • Oh God! Help me to believe in the power of Your Gospel.

God’s Salvation




Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Salvation is never by work.

No man will be saved by the works they perform, regardless of how holy those works are, or how many works they perform.

Good works, self-sacrifice or self-righteousness can never save a man.

Works are always excluded from the process of salvation, so that no one can boast.

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Salvation is only through faith.

Salvation comes to a man only through faith.

Salvation comes when a lost sinner takes God at His Word and believes what the Bible says all about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Salvation is faith, belief, or trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s Savior.

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Salvation comes by grace.

Salvation comes as God’s unmerited favor to undeserving sinners.

God reaches out to sinners who deserve His judgment and condemnation.

God saves sinners by His amazing, abundant grace.

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Salvation is a gift of God.

Grace and faith never come from within us.

Grace and faith are both the gifts of God.

We cannot believe in the Lord Jesus Christ until He gives us the faith to believe in Him.

We will never come to God on our own.

It is God who must take the first move.

It is God who gives us the faith to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And when He does, salvation takes place.

Oh! What a wonder of salvation we have!

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Salvation is a gift of God.

It is God who first reaches out to save us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Are we saved?

Do we trust in God’s grace through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation?

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Let us receive God’s offer of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and salvation to us.

Let us believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be eternally saved.

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Oh God! Give us faith to believe in your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Oh God! Help us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ all the days of our lives.


God’s Love




John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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Our God Is One God

The LORD our God, the LORD is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4)

Christians believe in one God. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)

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There is only one God, exists in three distinct Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods but one God.

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Our God So Love Us

God’s love is immense, deep, never ending, never ceasing, immeasurable, infinite, boundless, and eternal.

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God’s love is universal and it is personal.

God saves everyone who would come to Him.

God speaks and deals with everyone individually.

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God’s love is unconditional and it is sacrificial.

It is not dependent on anything we say or do.

God just gave us His Son.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

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God’s love is merciful and it is just.

God hates sin but He loves sinners.

He sacrificed His Son to save us.

He sacrificed His Son to fulfill the law on our behalf (Romans 6:23).

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God’s love is practical and it is effective.

God sent His Son to die on the Roman cross 2000 years ago to save us.

God had given us eternal life.

We will not perish in the second death.

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God so love us.

We are to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.

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God’s Love Needs A Proper Response

The word of God will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

The Gospel will either soften or harden our heart.

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Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:18).

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The only proper response to God’s love is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

And we must persevere to the end.

But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13).

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We believe in one God.

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Salvation is for everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

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We are to accept everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified as our brethren.

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We are to persevere in our faith.

Sometimes, like the father of the boy possessed by an impure spirit, we are to plead with God when we have doubt, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

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May God give us faith to believe in His Son.

May God strengthen our faith.

A Spiritual Story




Mark 10:17-22

A rich man ran to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He bowed before Him.

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He ran because he sensed the urgency of his need.

He bowed because he treated the Lord Jesus Christ with honor.

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But sincerity alone was not enough to save his soul.

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Besides, he had some misconceptions that must be dealt with before that could happen.

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He had a faulty understanding of salvation.

He wanted to do something to inherit eternal life.

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He had a faulty understanding of self.

He wanted to involve self-effort.

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He had a faulty understanding of the Savior.

He called the Lord Jesus Christ good teacher.

He failed to see that He is God.

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He was made to discover that he was poor spiritually.

He could not buy what his soul needed.

He couldn't buy everlasting life!

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He was made to discover that he was a lost sinner in need of a Savior!

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He was made to discover that he was a prisoner.

He thought he owned a lot of things.

He discovered that his things had owned him!

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He discovered that the Lord Jesus Christ was patient with him.

He had taken the time to meet him just where he was and lead him gently to the place of decision.

He had done so with kind eyes and a compassionate heart.

He was made to discover that the Lord Jesus Christ loved him and wanted to save him!

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He discovered that the Lord Jesus was plain with him.

He told him all the truth.

He told him "One thing you lack."

He did not dispute the fact that he had kept the letter of the Law.

He merely told him that with all his possessions, there was still one thing missing!

He had no relationship with God!

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He discovered that the Lord Jesus Christ was precise.

He told him to liquidate his possessions.

He told him to take up his cross.

He told him to follow Him.

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But he chose darkness over light.

He walked away from the only hope of salvation he had.

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And he chose defeat over liberty.

He left trapped in the prison of materialism.

He walked away from the offer of life and liberty from his prison.

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And he chose death over life.

He walked away turning his back on the only one who could have saved his soul!

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We don't know how this man's story turned out.

He might have walked off into the continued darkness of his life.

Eventually he might walked into the darkness of Hell forever.

Is that how we want it?

No One Wants To Go To Hell




Mark 9:43-48

Hell is real!

There is a literal place called Hell.

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It is a place of eternal punishment for Satan and his followers.

Everyone who rejects God’s plan of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ will go there.

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Hell is awful because of the damnation.

Lost men are condemned by God already.

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Sadly, many do not know they are separated from God.

They are blind to their own spiritual condition.

They are dead and do not sense God or know Him.

They cannot see the glories of God revealed in the world.

They cannot see the glories through the Lord Jesus Christ.

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They are separated from the Lord Jesus Christ.

But they do not know it and they do not see the need to come to Him.

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Hell is awful because of the duration.

Many believe that Hell is real.

But they think that it will be short in its duration.

They believe that those thrown into Hell will burn up quickly and be gone.

If that were true, then Hell may be tolerated.

But Hell is real and Hell is eternal.

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Hell is awful because of the torments.

It is a place of unquenchable fire and worms that do not die.

It is a place of intense and unsatisfied thirst.

It is a place of misery and pain.

It is a place of eternal separation from everything beautiful.

It is a place of undiluted wrath of God!

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The way to avoid Hell is to entering into life.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

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We are to enter into a faith relationship with Him.

We are to put our faith in Him.

We are to believe that He had died on the cross and rose again from the dead.

We are to take radical steps to make a break with our past life.

We are to deal with our pride and humble ourselves before the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are to break off relationships with certain friends and associates.

Whatever it is in life that would prevent us from being saved, we must cut it out of our life so that we can get to God!

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Some people will give their lives for the glory of God.

These are the people who know the Lord Jesus Christ and are headed to His heaven!

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Others will continue to sacrifice their lives for sin.

These are the ones who will go to Hell.

Which group do you belong?

The Cost Of Discipleship




Mark 8:34-38

True Disciples (34)

True disciple must meet 4 requirements:

Come After Jesus

He must have a new birth.

He must have a personal commitment to leave the old life behind to follow the Lord Jesus Christ into a new and very different life.

Deny Himself

He must stop listening to his own voice or leaning on his own power.

He must stop fulfilling his own will and wishes.

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Instead, he must seek to do God’s will and carry out His plans.

He must give up all his rights and relinquish all control of his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Take Up His Cross

He must die to himself.

He must commit himself to a lifestyle of a living death.

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He must willingly bear the shame, the reproach, the humiliation, the suffering, the hatred, the alienation and even the death that may come his way because of his association with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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He must take up his cross and never to lay it down until he reaches the place of his death.

Follow Him

He must turn his back on his old life.

He must take up his cross.

He must be willing to lay down everything for the glory of God.

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He must take his place behind the Lord and follow Him wherever He leads.

He must walk in total obedience and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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It is an ongoing action.

He must be a constant follower.

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The Way To Save Our Lives Is To Lose It (35-37)

If we believe that having our own way, living life on our own terms, and being our own lord are more important than surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we will lose our lives.

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If we will yield our lives to Him, giving up total control over all we have and are to Him, we will actually save it.

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We can choose to do as we please, living our lives on our own terms, but in the end, we will lose our lives, and an eternity in Hell will be waiting for us.

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Or, we can choose to commit our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We can deny our own will, give up all our rights, surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and follow Him faithfully.

At the end of the way, His way, we will find that the door of Heaven will be opened to us.

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We may gain the whole world and all its riches.

We may do anything we want, be anything we want, or go anywhere we want.

But after death, we will find ourselves in Hell forever.

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Would those years of pleasure be worth an eternity in Hell?

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What is the worth of our soul?

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Remember, our soul is the only part of us that will live forever.

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Are we willing to trade our soul for the right to do as we please and live life on our own terms?

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A Penalty (38)

The Lord Jesus had a word for those who were ashamed of Him and His words.

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They had refused to come to Him for salvation.

They had refused to accept Him and His message.

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They would face a terrible judgment when He comes.

The Lord Jesus Christ will refuse to acknowledge them.

They will face Him in judgment and they will be cast into Hell.

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There are no cheap seats in the body of Christ.

It costs something to be a genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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True discipleship demands our all!

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We must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow the Lord Jesus Christ all the way, even to death if necessary.

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For those who are willing to pay the price, there is a home in Heaven and eternal glory.

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For those who shrink back from the shame of the cross, there is nothing but judgment.


Don’t Miss The Sign!




Mark 8:10-13

A Stern Demand (11)

The Lord Jesus Christ had just finished feeding 4000 people.

He and His disciples then left by boat and went to another part of Israel.

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As soon as they arrived there, they were met by the Pharisees.

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The Pharisees began to question Him.

They wanted to test Him.

They wanted Him to show them a sign from Heaven.

Their intention was to wait for Him to fail.

Then, they could and would denounce Him as a false prophet.

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They had heard enough gospel from Him.

They had seen enough proof.

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Their problem was simply that they didn’t want to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!

They did not want Him to be their Messiah.

They refused to bow down to Him as their Savior!

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A Solemn Declaration (12)

When the Lord Jesus Christ heard their demand, He was grieved in His soul.

His was frustrated and perhaps angry.

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His questioned them, “Why does this generation ask for a sign?”

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They had the Messiah.

God in the flesh was walking among them.

But they could not even recognize Him.

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They were looking for a heavenly sign.

Heaven had taken up residence among them.

But they missed it!

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A Sorrowful Departure (13)

The Lord Jesus Christ left them.

There was nothing more to say and do.

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They refused to believe.

So He abandoned them to their choice.

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He turned them over to their own ways.

He left them in their darkness!

What a horrible thought.

But that was just what the Lord Jesus Christ did.

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The Lord Jesus Christ will not deal with us forever.

There will come a point when He will walk away from us, never to return.

He will abandon us to the eternity we have chosen.

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If God has been speaking to us about being saved, we need to heed His voice now!

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There will come a day when He will stop speaking to our hearts.

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Don’t bet our soul on the thought that we always have tomorrow to get right with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today is the day of salvation!

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If we don’t come to the Lord Jesus Christ and believe on Him for salvation in this life, we will spend eternity in Hell, apart from God, for all eternity!

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Let us rather come to the Lord Jesus Christ while there is time.

Let us come to Him and be saved.

Come to the Lord Jesus Christ today.

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Are we still looking for a sign? Don’t!

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Let us come rather to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved today.

Come now!

The Wind Ceased




Mark 6:45-54

He Sent Them (45-47)

The storm came because it was the will of God.

The Lord Jesus deliberately sent His disciples into the storm.

His purpose was to grow their faith.

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Storms are good for correction and perfection of our faith.

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He Saw Them (48a)

The Lord Jesus was watching them from the mountain.

He saw their labor.

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The Lord Jesus knows the load we bear.

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He saw their opposition.

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The Lord Jesus knows what we are fighting against right now!

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God knows what He is doing!

Our job is to submit to Him and allow Him His way in our lives.

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He Sustained Them (48b-51)

The Lord Jesus prayed for them.

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The Lord Jesus is in Heaven and He is praying for us!

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The Lord Jesus came to them.

He was there in the darkest hour.

He was there when they faced the thing they feared.

He was there when all possibility of human help was removed.

And He came in His own time.

He is seldom early.

But He is never late!

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The Lord Jesus calmed the storm.

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His disciples didn't recognize Him, because they were not looking for Him!

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He came declaring His authority.

He addressed their fear.

Then He calmed their storm.

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We are just like the disciples.

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Our storms rage.

We finally call upon the Lord Jesus.

He stills the storm.

And we stand there with our mouths open and say "WOW!"

Yet, all the while, He is waiting on us to call on Him.

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What is our storm today?

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Whatever it is, the Lord Jesus can handle it!

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Come on, call on Him and in His time, the wind will cease in our storm too.

The 12 Disciples




Mark 6:7-13

The Mission Of The 12 (7)

The Lord Jesus called His men to Him.

He sent them out on a preaching mission.

He sent them out 2 by 2.

It provided companionship, encouragement and prayer.

It fulfilled the requirement of the Law for every testimony to be established by the words of at least 2 witnesses.

He gives them the power to carry His message to the world.

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The Mandate Of The 12 (8-11)

The Lord Jesus gave them specific command.

They were to go as they were, without making any special preparation for their travel.

They were to undertake the assignment with their full faith in the Lord Jesus and in His ability to take care of them.

They were to go with a sense of urgency.

They were to take only one coat.

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They were to accept the hospitality of the local people.

They were to abide in whatever house they were invited into.

They were not to seek out better accommodations.

They were not to look for more comfortable lodging.

They were to take what they were given and they were to be happy with it.

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When they entered a village, and they and their message were rejected, they were to leave that village.

They were to shake the dust off their sandals.

This served as a sign that the recipients would face a harsh judgment for rejecting God’s offer of salvation.

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The message of the disciples was a message of hope and salvation.

Those who rejected the offer of salvation were given a message of judgment and damnation.

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The Message Of The 12 (12)

They preached that men should repent.

It refers to a change of mind that leads to a change of action.

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Repentance has both a negative aspect and a positive aspect.

Repentance looks backward, but it also looks forward.

Repentance says, “I will stop doing the things I should not do and I will begin to do the things I should do. I will stop living a life of sin and I will start to live a life of holiness.”

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The Ministry Of The 12 (13)

The disciples went out in the power of the Savior.

They saw Him move and work in power and glory.

God confirmed His work in them through powerful ways.

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Our Savior is in the life-changing, soul-saving business!

And He desires us to have a part in His ministry.

When we hear His call, accept His commission, walk in faith and share His message with a lost and dying world, we can expect Him to honor His Word, and save the lost.

Be Not Afraid, Only Believe




Mark 5:21-43

The Conception Of His Faith (21-24)

The Direction Of His Faith

Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue.

He possessed power, privilege, prestige, position, and prominence.

But none of the things mattered anymore!

Sickness and death had visited his home.

His little daughter was dying.

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Jairus needed help!

He heard about the Lord Jesus Christ.

He ran to Him and humbled himself at His feet.

The Depth Of His Faith

Jairus believed His touch would bring healing to his child.

So he humbled himself at His feet and cried out for help.

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The Confusion Of His Faith (24-35)

Confused By Hindering Situations

The Lord Jesus Christ went with Jairus to heal his daughter.

As He was, He was thronged by the crowd.

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A very sick woman touched His garments and was healed.

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The Lord Jesus Christ stopped to confront and comfort this woman.

As He did, precious minutes passed by.

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Jairus might have been confused and upset by this delay.

His daughter was dying!

She didn’t have much time.

Confused By Hopeless Situations

Some people came from the home of Jairus with devastating news.

His daughter was dead!

This news must have attacked his faith and brought him to the very edge of despair!

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The Confirmation Of His Faith (36-43)

Confirmed By The Savior’s Words

The Lord Jesus Christ overheard the news of the girl’s death.

He knew the fear that rested within the heart of Jairus.

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

The Lord Jesus Christ was asking Jairus to keep believing in Him!

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The Lord Jesus Christ and Jairus continued on to Jairus’ house.

When they arrived, they found that the mourners were already there.

The mourners were wailing and crying and sad tunes were being played on the flutes.

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The Lord Jesus Christ told the mourners to stop their wailing.

The little girl was not dead, but only sleeping.

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They laughed at Him.

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The Lord Jesus was letting Jairus and everyone there know that He was in control of the situation.

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Confirmed By The Savior’s Works

The Lord Jesus Christ sent the mourners and the spectators away.

He took Jairus, the girl’s mother and Peter, James and John and entered the room where the girl’s body was laid.

He took her by the hand and said “Talitha Cumi”, which was translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

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What a tender expression!

The Lord Jesus Christ was moved with compassion by the grief in this home and He called the little girl’s spirit back into her body.

She obeyed His command and instantly received life.

She got up and everyone was amazed.

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Jairus had his faith enlarged by this encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He discovered the power of God and his life would never be the same again.

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When we place our problems beside the Lord, it will grow very small.

He can cut them down to size!


Getting The Second Fear First




Mark 4:35-41

Remember Who Creates The Storm

God's Power In Creating The Storm

Satan might have been behind this storm.

Or, it might have been the product of nature.

But God is Sovereign!

His fingerprints were all over the storm.

It was He who sent it.

God's Purpose In Creating The Storm

The disciples were placed in this storm to teach them to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

They were to learn His power over the deep.

God's Peace In Creating The Storm

The winds and the waves did not bother the Lord Jesus Christ.

He slept peacefully, knowing everything was well in hand.

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Remember Who Controls The Storm

God Controls The Storm By His Word

The Lord Jesus Christ promised the disciples to cross over to the other side of the Sea.

His words would never fail.

God Controls The Storm By His Work

The Lord Jesus Christ calmed the storm.

God Controls The Storm By His Will

The Lord Jesus Christ sent the disciples to the storm, and He saw them through!

He determined the duration, the severity and the results.

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Remember Who Calms The Storm

The Lord rebuked the storm and it went away.

The Sea of Galilee became absolutely calm and peaceful again.

The disciples were relieved that the threat was gone.

They were left in awe at the power and majesty of the Lord.

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Do we get the second fear first?

Have we learned the lesson of the storm?

It is there to teach us to depend on the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we stand in awe of God's power, the storms will cease to frighten us.

Whether it is disease, discouragement, difficulty or death, it will seem as nothing when it compared to God.

Those who have a big God have little problems!

Those who have a mighty God weather every storm!

The Parable Of The Growing Seed




Mark 4:26-29

This parable gives hope to those who share their faith with others.

It teaches us that the Gospel seed has power.

We may not see immediate results for our efforts, but the Gospel will bear fruit in the Lord’s time.

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When the Gospel is shared, a mysterious process begins to take place.

This process is a sovereign work of God.

It is often hidden from the view of man.

Yet it results in changed lives and saved souls.

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It Is A Steadfast Work (26-27)

When a farmer has sown a seed into his field, he returns home and goes about his business.

For the farmer, this is a work of faith.

He has no control over what the seed does.

He sows his seed and he leaves the results in the hands of God.

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The farmer knows that the growth of the seed is God’s business.

He sows it and trusts the Lord to make it grow.

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As Christians, We have been called to sow the Gospel seed into the hearts of other people.

We tell them what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us.

When we share the Gospel, we have no control over the results.

Our duty is to sow the seed, water it when we can and let the Lord do His work in hearts and lives.

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It Is A Secret Work (27-28a)

As the farmer goes about his business, an amazing thing happens.

The earth suddenly begins to show signs of life.

There are little sprouts everywhere.

As the days pass, the blade appears, then the ear is formed and, eventually, in the ear there is row upon row of corn.

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The farmer cannot see or understand the process the seed is going through underground.

All He knows is that he is about to benefit from a secret work.

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Sowing the Gospel seed is the same way.

When it is sown into a prepared heart, it is a mystery, but that seed begins to germinate.

When it does, life will issue forth.

This is the process we call conviction.

It is a puzzling mystery, how simple words, received into a human heart, can bring about so profound a change.

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It Is A Successful Work (28b-29)

All the farmer did was cast some seed into the soil.

He went about his business, and a secret work took place.

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While the farmer went about his day to day activities, the seed germinated, and a little plant pushed its way to the surface of the earth.

The sun favored the little, tender plant with light.

The heavens gave the plant rain.

The soil provided the plant with nutrients.

And the plant grew.

It matured and, in time, it brought forth fruit.

When the harvest was ready, the farmer entered the field and gathered his crop.

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Our witness for the Lord Jesus Christ is never in vain.

We cannot see what God is doing!

He is working behind the scenes to bring souls to Himself.

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We must not give up!

We must not stop telling the lost world about our saving Lord!

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The business of saving souls is God’s business, not man’s!

We can preach as good as we are able, as hard as we please and as often as we have opportunity.

But we cannot save a single soul!

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If we are faithful to sow and water, the Lord will take care of the saving, in His time and in His way!

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There is power in the seed!

When the seed found its way into the right soil, a secret work took place and life came out of death.

Such is the power of the Gospel we preach today!

The Gospel has the power to transform our lives.

That seed will germinate in our heart and the Lord will make us a fruitful plant for His glory.

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As Christians, we must put aside all our excuses about why we can’t tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Instead, we must come before Him again, and make a commitment to be a witness for His glory.

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As Christians, we must not think our prayers and our witness are in vain.

Instead, we must get down before the Lord and talk to Him about our concerns.

We must ask Him to let us see a few sprouts in our field.

The Choosing Of The 12




Mark 3:13-19

The Lord Jesus Christ took some time out of His frantic schedule.

He communed with His Father and chose the 12 men who would be His representatives to the lost sheep of Israel.

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The Master (13)

A Time Of Special Communion

The Lord Jesus Christ went up on the mountain to commune with God the Father.

He was about to ordain 12 men who would be His spokesmen to the people of Israel.

A Time Of Sovereign Choice

The Lord Jesus Christ had called them to follow Him.

Now He called them to service.

They were to be His apostles.

It was His sovereign choice.

He chose based on His Own Will.

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The Mission (14-15)

It Involved Discipleship

The Lord called them into personal fellowship.

He wanted to teach them His ways.

He wanted to train them by personal example.

It Involved Declaration

The Lord Jesus Christ wanted to send them out to preach.

They were to take His message to the nation of Israel.

It was the Gospel of the Kingdom.

It was the good news that God had sent His Son into the world to be the Savior of sinners.

It Involved Demonstration

The preaching ministry of these men was to be accompanied by miracles.

They were given the power to heal the sick and to cast out devils.

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The Men (16-19)

These last verses tell us the names of the men the Lord Jesus Christ chose to be His disciples.

Their Names

Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him

Their Natures

These men lacked spiritual understanding.

They lacked humility.

They lacked faith.

They lacked commitment.

They lacked power.

They were always getting into trouble.

They were always missing the point of Christ’s teachings.

They were always lashing out at people who were different.

They were always saying the wrong thing.

They were always walking away from their commitment to Jesus.

.........

In spite of their weaknesses, the Lord Jesus Christ used them to turn the world upside down for His glory.

The Lord Jesus Christ led them patiently along, filled them with His Holy Spirit and shocked the world with the way He used them.

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The Lord Jesus Christ took 12 ordinary men, saved 11 of them by His grace and made something special out of their lives.

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If we will come to the Lord Jesus Christ, confess our sins and receive Him into our heart, He will save us and prepare us for Heaven.

He will make us into His disciples.

Get The Clay Out Of The Way




Mark 2:1-12

4 men carried their paralyzed friend to the Lord Jesus Christ.

They couldn’t get him into the house because of the crowds that blocked the door.

So they took him onto the roof of the house.

They broke up the roof and lowered him down to the Lord Jesus Christ through the hole in the roof.

*******

Now They Could Examine The Person Of Jesus

When they got the clay out of the way, they could see the Lord Jesus Christ and what He was doing!

He Became More Discernible

When the clay was removed, they could look on the Lord Jesus Christ!

He Becomes More Desirable

When the clay was removed, they could see the Lord Jesus Christ Whom they desired!

Now They Could Enter The Presence Of Jesus

After the clay was taken out of the way, they could lower their paralyzed friend into the very presence of the Lord!

They Could Discharge Their Burden

When the clay was removed, they could give the Lord Jesus Christ their burden!

They Could Discover Their Blessing

The Lord Jesus Christ looked up and saw what they had done to get their friend to Him.

He commended them and on the basis of their faith, he healed the paralyzed man!

Now They Could Experience The Power Of Jesus

After the clay was out of the way, the paralyzed man could get to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He Could Experience His Cleansing Power

The Lord Jesus Christ cleansed this man of his sins!

He Could Experience His Changing Power

The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t just touch him on the inside, but He also touched him on the outside!

The Lord Jesus Christ totally changed his life!

When the clay was taken out of the way, he walked differently, he glorified God and he left everyone scratching their heads at the awesome power of the Son of God!

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When we get the clay out of the way, it will change our walk!

It will change our prayer lives.

It will make us bold in our witness.

It will make us vocal in our praise!

It will fill us with excitement and it will leave a lost world scratching their heads in amazement at what the Lord Jesus Christ has done!

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Has the clay of our life been broken up before the Lord Jesus Christ?

Have we been honest with Him about every detail of our life?

Are we in a position to examine His Person, enter His Presence and experience His Power?

Let us get the clay out of the way so that the Lord God can bless us like He wants to.

The Power Of The Amazing Servant




Mark 1:23-34

When the Lord Jesus Christ preached and taught in the synagogue on a Sabbath morning, He caused a stir!

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The people were left astonished and amazed by His word and His works.

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He Has Power Over Demons (23-28)

As the Lord Jesus Christ preached, He was interrupted by a demon possessed man.

The demon caused the man to scream.

The demon also declared his awareness of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus rebuked the demon and freed the possessed man from the demon’s grip.

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He Has Power Over Disruptions (29-31)

When the services were over, the Lord Jesus Christ went home with Peter and Andrew.

When they arrived at Peter’s house, they found his mother-in-law sick with a fever.

Her fever had left her incapacitated and unable to prepare the noon meal for the family.

They told the Lord Jesus Christ about the sickness.

The Lord Jesus Christ walked over and healed Peter’s mother-in-law.

She got up and went to get the meal ready.

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He Has Power Over Diseases (32-34)

The Lord Jesus Christ and his 4 new followers spent the afternoon relaxing.

When the sun went down and the Sabbath was over, the people showed up to the Lord Jesus Christ for healing.

The people were suffering from every imaginable disease and affliction.

None of them posed a problem for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ healed every affliction that came His way.

********

The people came from all classes of life.

But the Lord Jesus Christ received them all.

He never turned anyone away.

********

But man’s greatest need is not the healing of the body.

Man's greatest need is the healing of the soul!

Man is a sinner by birth.

Man is doomed to Hell by his sin.

Man has only one hope.

And His name is Jesus.

If Man will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, He will instantly, perfectly and permanently heal him.

He will save his soul.

He will make him a new creature.

He will give him a brand new life.

He will adopt him into His family.

He will make him a child of God.

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When the people saw the Lord Jesus Christ casting out demons and healing diseases, they were amazed at His power.

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The Lord Jesus Christ still has the same power today.

He can still deliver us from the grip of the devil!

He can still handle all the disruptions of our lives.

He can still cure the diseases that ail us.

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If we want to be free, we must come to Him!

If we need healing, we must come to Him.

If we need to be saved, we must come to Him.

And if He has spoken to our hearts and reminded us of where our needs to be, we must come to Him!

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Come! Come to Him now!

The Temptation Of The Servant




Mark 1:12-13

As soon as the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized, the Spirit of God moved on Him in a strong manner and led Him into the wilderness to be tested.

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The Timing Of His Temptation (12)

The trial the Lord Jesus Christ faced in the wilderness occurred just as His baptism was completed.

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The Territory Of His Temptation (12)

The Lord Jesus Christ was sent into the wilderness to do battle with the devil on his own territory.

The wilderness represented everything that was evil and separated from God.

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The temptation of Jesus served three purposes:
  • The devil found out just who he was dealing with.
  • The Son experienced the Father's ability to take care of Him.
  • We can see that there is help for us when we face our own times of testing.

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The Trials Of His Temptation (12-13)

The Leadership

The Spirit of God is the One Who caused the Lord Jesus Christ to go into the wilderness.

God will send us into periods of testing to help us grow in the Lord.

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The Loneliness

In that wilderness, the Lord Jesus Christ was cut off from friends and family.

He was shut off for a time so that He might be tested.

His only companions were the wild beasts, the angels and the devil.

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The Length

This time of testing lasted 40 days.

The number 40 is a number associated with testing.

The Lord Jesus Christ fasted those 40 days.

He was in close communion with His Father.

He was getting ready for the battle.

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The Load

The Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan.

He was attacked by the devil during the entire 40 day period.

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The Testimony Of The Temptation (13)

The Lord Jesus Christ won a great victory over Satan in that temptation.

The temptation of the Lord Jesus Christ proved that He is the sinless Son of God.

*******

How can we obtain victory in our own battle?

We need to be sure that we are living lives that are controlled by the Spirit of God and filled with the Word of God.

We need to be sure that we are in a personal faith relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

*******

We all need help from the Lord God.

He is waiting to save us if we are lost.

He is waiting to strengthen us if we are weak.

He is waiting to forgive us if we have fallen.

*******

Let us draw near to our God.

Will Jesus Come Again?




2 Pet. 3:1-9 (NIV)

More than 2,000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ walked upon this earth.

He was God in the flesh.

He came to this world to live a perfect life and to die a perfect death.

He came to make a sinful people perfect and to give them eternal life.

*******

After He died and rose again, He returned to His Father.

Before He left, He made the promise to come again.

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Many people doubted the truth of His promise.

*******

The apostle Peter had to deal with a doubting crowd.

He had to handle their objections and provide genuine hope for all those that believe the Lord Jesus Christ would come again.

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His Coming Is Doubted (3:3-4)

The apostle Peter sheds some light on the nature of the doubters.

They are called scoffers.

They delight in making fun of the Word of God.

They make light of God’s coming judgment.

They look back over the years and conclude that He hasn’t returned.

Therefore there is no reason to believe He will.

*******

His Coming Is Determined (5-7)

Peter tells us that the critics "deliberately forget."

They have a very limited vision.

They fail to remember that God is in control of the universe.

He can do as He pleases, and He will do exactly what He says!

*******

Peter gives three instances when God has, and will, stepped into time and changed the world: the formation of the world, the flood in Noah’s day, and the fire that is to come.

*******

The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is a certain event.

The scoffers can have their laugh.

But God will keep His promise.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again!

*******

His Coming Is Delayed (3:8-9)

God doesn’t view time as man does.

God is totally unaffected by time.

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God is a God of order.

He has a purpose in everything He does.

*******

Why does God delay His return?

He tarries to give lost men an opportunity to make things right with Him.

*******

The final decision lies on our shoulders.

We must repent of our sins and receive Him into our lives.

God is waiting for us to come to Him!

*******

God’s delay is to give us the opportunity to repent.

Will we do it?

God will not wait forever.

*******

It is a fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again!

He is returning for a people who are ready to meet Him.

He delays His return because He loves us and doesn’t want us to die lost.

He tarries to give us an opportunity to repent and to turn to Him.

This is an offer based totally in His love.

*******

Are we ready to receive Him?

*******

The world can scoff and they can mock.

*******

But when He comes, will we be taken to Him, or will we be found lost, judged and sentenced to Hell?

*******

God has already made His decision.

He loves us and has made a way for us to be saved.

Now, we have to make our own decision.

What will it be, Heaven or Hell?

What will we do with the Lord Jesus Christ?

Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus




1 Peter 1:18-25 (NIV)

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Nothing But The Blood Can Produce A Savior (1:20)

The Lord Jesus Christ was chosen before the creation of the world to become the Sacrifice for sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished many things during His walk on earth.

But He never became the actual Savior of men until He climbed Calvary, was nailed to the cross and shed His Precious Blood.

In His death, the Lord Jesus Christ became our Savior!

*******

Nothing But The Blood Can Purchase The Sinner (18-19)

Sinners were redeemed.

They were liberated by the payment of a ransom.

Sinners need redemption.

They are slaves to sin.

They are lost and separated from God.

They are hell bound and hopeless apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ’s Blood offers the redemption sinners need.

The Blood frees us from sin’s power.

The Blood brings us into fellowship with the Father.

The Blood gives peace and assurance.

It changes our eternal destiny.

*******

Nothing But The Blood Can Purify From Sin (1:22)

Obedience to the truth of God’s Word purifies the soul from sin.

This has always been God’s plan.

However, even with all the blood that was shed over those many hundreds of years, not one single sin was cleansed away.

Nothing could purify us from sin until the time when the Lord Jesus Christ would go to the cross and shed His Blood for our sins.

Religion can’t do it.

Good works can’t do it.

Wishful thinking can’t do it.

Heartfelt promises can’t do it.

Only the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!

*******

Nothing But The Blood Can Preserve The Saint (1:23)

What the Blood of Jesus does in us is a forever work!

It guarantees us eternal security.

The Blood of Jesus gives security!

The Blood of Jesus promises absolute security in Jesus.

Only in the Blood of Jesus does a person find true, eternal salvation!

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Nothing But The Blood Can Promise Salvation (24-25)

Only the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can offer us hope of salvation.

That Blood has never, and will never lose its saving power.

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Only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all sin.

Zealous For Good Deeds




Titus 2:2-3:8 (NKJV)

Paul had instructed Titus to be a teacher of the Word.

Titus was to speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)

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What are those things?

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Paul was about to list many of the practical teachings that sound doctrine holds for people in every walk of life.

We are going to go through these quickly.

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Titus is to teach people to do good deeds, which are against their fleshly nature.

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Titus was to tell the older men to be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.

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Titus was to tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, and not given to much wine.

They must also be teachers of good things.

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They must admonish the young women to love their husbands and to love their children.

They must teach them to be patient and kind, not easily provoked, and not taking into account a wrong suffered.

They must teach them to be sensible, pure, workers at home.

They must teach them to be kind and subject to their own husbands.

*******

Titus was to exhort the young men to be sober-minded.

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Titus was to be an example of good deeds in all things.

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The young men must be taught to have purity in doctrine.

They must be taught to have discipline in learning and studying sound doctrine.

They must be taught to worship God with proper behavior.

They must be taught to have speech beyond reproach. They must not give anyone any chance to say something bad about them.

*******

Titus was to exhort bondservants to subject to their masters in everything.

They must be taught to stop arguing with their masters; instead they must seek to be well-pleasing to them.

They must not steal anything at work.

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Why was Titus to teach all of these concepts to all of these people in the church?

*******

The grace of God has told us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires.

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It is hard not to gossip.

It is hard to be subject to husband.

It is difficult to be above reproach in everything we say.

And yet God's grace is teaching us to overcome the temptations to do such things.

*******

We are to watch for the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are to look for His appearing.

The Lord Jesus Christ died to purify us, and He will very soon come back to us!

*******

Are we being purified?

Are we dedicated to good deeds?

Are we subject and obedient to our rulers and authorities?

Are we always ready for every good deed?

Do we malign people, or do we pursue peace with them gently?

Do we show every consideration for everybody?

*******

Before coming to the Lord Jesus Christ, we were fools.

We were deceived, disobedient, and dying for anything that felt good.

We freely hated and maligned people.

*******

Do we love those that hate us?

The Lord Jesus did.

Do we show grace to people that don't deserve it?

The Lord Jesus did.

His grace is the purifier as well as the example.

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Titus was to speak all of these things confidently.

It is necessary.

It is good.

It is profitable.

*******

Every person who claims to be a Christian needs to be careful to engage in good deeds.

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We are to go back over this list again and again.

We are to discover what is lacking and add it to our lives.

We are to discover what needs to be removed and get rid of it.

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We must be zealous for good deeds.

A Church Elder Is A Steward Of God




Titus 1:7a (NKJV)

For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God (Titus 1:7a)

One of the qualifications of a Church elder is he must be a blameless steward of God.

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What is a steward?

A steward is someone who is entrusted with various duties.

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As Christians, we are stewards.

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We've been given stewardship of many things: our talents and time, our money and resources.

The list goes on.

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We can take anything God has given to us and see biblically that it is for the purpose of benefiting others.

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The gifts God has given us are to be used to benefit other people.

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Our time and energy are to be spent serving others instead of ourselves.

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God gives us money to provide for others' needs.

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God gives us resources with the expectation that it will lead to distribution.

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A Church Elder Is Not Self-Willed (1:7a)

A good steward is not self-willed.

It is serving God for the good of others.

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Stewardship is for life.

No longer will we live our lives for ourselves.

We are to give our lives for the service of Christ.

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Church elders are God's stewards.

God has left them in charge of the task of distributing His things, including their lives, for the good of other people.

*******

The apostle Paul knew that the stewardship from God was given to him not for his own benefit, but for others.

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The stewardship mentioned most often in the New Testament is the stewardship of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

*******

We are stewards of the mysteries of God, entrusted with the task of distributing them.

We have been given the gospel for the purpose of distributing the gospel.

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Our stewardship is to reveal the mystery of the gospel by preaching the Word of God to those who do not know it.

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This stewardship is not suggested; it is commanded.

*******

This stewardship of preaching the gospel has been entrusted to us.

This great mystery has been given to us so that we in turn will give it to others.

Introducing Paul




Titus 1:1a (NIV)

This was a letter from the apostle Paul to a pastor named Titus.

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1:1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ

Paul called himself "a bondservant of God."

In the Hebrew culture, a slave had the option to go free after 6 years of service.

But if he chose to stay for life, he became a bondservant.

********

Paul said that he was a bondservant of God.

Paul had given up his life and placed his freedom under God's control.

********

Paul also identified himself as "an apostle of Jesus Christ".

An apostle is one who is sent out, a delegate, or a messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ.

********

Paul became an apostle when the Lord Jesus Christ sent him out as His messenger.

Paul would become a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ to all men of what he had seen and heard.

********

But even with Paul's Jewish education and connections, he was not being sent to the Jews.

The Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostle Paul to preach to the Gentiles.

********

Our plans are rarely God's plans.

Here was Paul, whose whole life changed direction.

He became something he never dreamed he would be.

He became an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Useful Articles Of Honor




2 Timothy 2:20-26 (NIV)

2:20-21 Articles Of Honor

Paul uses an illustration of the articles in a house.

Inside a house, we have many articles for different purposes.

Some to honor, and some to dishonor.

What makes them honorable or dishonorable?

It is what we choose to do with them and what we put in them.

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As Christians, we are articles too.

What we put into ourselves determines what kind of articles we make ourselves.

It is what we let our minds dwell on.

It is what we do with our bodies.

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The Lord wants us to be cleansed, so that we can be useful articles for honor.

He wants us to be sanctified.

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To be sanctified means to be separated, set aside, for God's use.

We are to be set apart for God's use.

God wants us to live like we are sanctified.

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2:22 We Are To Flee From Youthful Lusts

To insure that we are articles for honor, being sanctified, we must flee from the evil desires of youth.

Our flesh lusts after many things.

It sexually craves satisfaction.

It hungrily craves food.

It pridefully craves attention.

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If we let our flesh have what it thinks will make it happy, we are going to end up sad.

If we put on Christ, we will be laying aside youthful lusts.

The two are interconnected.

If we pursue righteous things, we will be running from the unrighteous things.

If we are busy about the Lord's business, we are not leaving idle hands for the devil to use.

*******

We are to pursue righteousness with others who have the same desire.

We are to find people who call on the Lord from a pure heart and spend time with them.

We are to have fellowship with other Christians who want to grow just like we do.

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2:23 We Are To Refuse Speculations

Everything we need to know pertaining to the Christian life and to be godly is found in God's Word.

There is no need to speculate; it only leads to arguing and division.

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2:24-26 We Are To Teach The Word Of God And Be Kind

As the Lord's servants, we are not supposed to be quarrelsome.

We are to teach the Word of God, and be patient with people when they wrong us.

We are to gently correct those who are in opposition.


Some Pastoral Responsibilities




1 Timothy 5:1-25 (NIV)

In this chapter, Paul talked to Timothy about
  • the necessity and method of rebuking,
  • overseeing the church's benevolence towards widows, and
  • relationship to the elders in the church.

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When a pastor rebukes people, he must show them proper respect.

If an older man needs to be rebuked, appeal to him like a father.

If a younger man needs to be rebuked, talk to him like a brother.

If an older woman, rebuke her with the same respect he would show his mother.

If a younger woman, talk to her like a sister.

*******

Paul set the standards and qualifications that a woman must meet to be put on the church's list.
  • she must be a widow who is really in need; she must not have family to support her.
  • she must have devoted her life to serving the Lord.
  • she has to be at least 60 years old.
  • she must be a woman of only one man.
  • she must have a reputation for good works.
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Paul also listed those who were not qualified to be on the list.

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Paul then instructed Timothy about how he, as the pastor, should act towards the ministry of elders in the church.

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Elders were spiritual, godly men that had been appointed in the church to serve as the spiritual leaders in the congregation.

*******

Paul pointed out the value of the elders, especially those in the preaching and teaching ministries.

He said they were to be considered worthy of double honor.

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Paul reminded Timothy to be careful and not to jump to judgment at the accusation of one person against an elder.

But if it was established that the elder was in unrepentant, continuing sin, he was to be rebuked in front of the church.

*******

It is a huge responsibility for a pastor to appoint an elder.

Paul reminded Timothy not to be too hasty in the laying on of hands.

*******

Timothy had to be careful.

Some sins were obvious, others were beneath the surface, remaining concealed.

The same applied to good works.

*******

Pastors and elders are forbidden to partake of any alcohol.

Here, an exception is made for Timothy, because of his medical condition.

Women's Role In The Church




1 Timothy 2:9-15 (NIV)

God wants everyone to be saved.

Hypocrisy is a hindrance.

Our message and methods should be in unity.

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Paul gave some directions as to women's roles in the church.

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First, they need to dress properly.

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Paul wanted the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety.

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Our clothes must be in harmony with our testimony and our profession of the gospel.

We must also dressed with a sense of honor.

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What about makeup, hairstyle, and jewelry?

*******

If we want to adorn ourselves with beauty, let us do it not with sexy clothes, excessive makeup, fanciful hairstyle, or expensive jewelry.

Let us do it with good works and godliness.

*******

As we age, our soft skin will wrinkle.

Our nice shape will fall.

Our outward beauty will diminish.

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But if we adorn ourselves with good works and godliness, our beauty will increase as we age.

The more godly of a woman we are, the more attractive we will become.

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Secondly, Paul said women should learn in quietness and full submission.

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They are to receive instructions in the church.

And if they have questions, they should ask their husbands later, at home.

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Paul would not permit women to teach or to assume authority over a man in the church.

Women are forbidden to be the spiritual heads over the men in the church.

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Women are free to serve in many areas of the ministry.

But they are not allowed to be pastors and elders.

*******

It was Eve who was deceived by Satan.

Adam was not deceived.

But Adam sacrificed himself.

He knew that he was going to die as a result.

But he loved Eve and was willing to die with her, rather than live without her.

*******

Women can have many other roles in the church.

They can be teachers of children and younger ladies.

It is just that women are banned to teach men or assume authority over men in the church.

*******

Women can teach men in a college class.

They can be an authority in the place of business, etc.

*******

Paul also said that women should continue in faith, love, purity, and self-control.

If they do these, they will be preserved through childbearing.

Make Disciples Of All Nations




Matthew 28:16-20

How do we make disciples of all nations?

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First of all, we must be available.

The eleven disciples went into Galilee and to a mountain that the Lord Jesus Christ had appointed them (Matthew 28:16).

They were available.

They were where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.

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The second thing is worship.

When the eleven disciples saw the Lord Jesus Christ, they worshiped Him (Matthew 28:17).

They have a worshiping heart.

Their hearts are wholly set on the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Thirdly, it is submission.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came near, He made a claim to a total complete sovereign authority.

He has all authority.

The Lord Jesus Christ is in charge.

He is sovereign.

And to Him we must submit.

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Fourthly, we are to be obedient.

We are to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptize them and teach them to observe all the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19).

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And fifthly, we are to do all things with the power of God.

We need the Lord God to be with us.

It is the power and the purpose of God that is behind everything.

The Lord Jesus Christ is with us.

He is in us.

And He is empowering us.

He will be with us all the days until the consummation of the age.

The task of reaching the world is a task that is made possible by the power of Christ who is present in us.


God Is In Control




Matthew 27:62-66

On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first."

Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how." So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard. (Matthew 27:62-66)

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It was Saturday.

It was the Passover Sabbath.

It was the holiest day of all the Jewish calendar.

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The chief priests and the Pharisees wanted to make sure they eliminated the movement around the Lord Jesus Christ.

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It wasn’t enough to have Him dead.

They weren’t done yet.

They were afraid of one more thing.

They were afraid that the disciples might come and steal the body of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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And so they got together in a small group.

They came to Pilate.

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They had such contempt for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Their hostility, hatred, and brutality extended even beyond His death.

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They were afraid that the disciples would fabricate a resurrection to keep the movement alive.

So to prevent that, they went to Pilate.

They wanted to make the grave secure.

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Pilate answered their request.

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They made the grave secure, sealing the stone.

They set in front of the grave a group of Roman soldiers.

It was very secure.

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It was all the work of the chief priests and the Pharisees.

It was all the work of Pilate and the soldiers.

But it was the work of providence.

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God made sure that those who rejected and hated the Lord Jesus Christ set it up so that there was no way possible for the disciples to steal the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The only way He could have come out of there was a resurrection!

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God used the wrath of men to praise Him.

The unbelieving world made sure that there was no other explanation for the absent body of the Lord Jesus Christ except a resurrection.

If there were no seal and no guard, the resurrection could have been explained as a grave robbery.

But the wrath of these Christ haters had led them to secure that grave to the extent that there was no other explanation than a resurrection.

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God used the chief priests and the Pharisees providentially to give forceful proof that the Lord Jesus Christ indeed rose from the dead!

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All things are indeed controlled by God to work together to fulfill His eternal purpose.

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God is in control.

No matter what...


The Crucifixion of Jesus




Matthew 27:31-37

And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. (Matthew 27:31)

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The Romans used crucifixion extensively.

It was carried out along the highway to warn people of what happened to someone who violated Roman law.

Crucifixion was a vivid illustration of the consequences of going against Rome.

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Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. (Matthew 27:32)

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Executions had to take place outside the city because the Jews didn’t want it to be defiled.

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As the procession came out of the city, it was apparent that the Lord Jesus Christ’ strength was giving out.

His blood was draining away.

He had no sleep since the night before.

He had been betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

He had witnessed the defection of His disciples.

He had undergone the injustice of His trials.

He had endured the humiliations that followed.

The scourgings and beatings had taxed His strength.

And there were no angels to strengthen Him.

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As the Lord Jesus Christ came out of the city, Simon was coming out of the country.

As he walked by the procession, he was conscripted by the Roman soldiers to carry the cross of Jesus.

No Roman would carry a criminal’s cross, and certainly not that of a Jewish criminal.

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And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. (Matthew 27:33-34)

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The lord Jesus Christ wouldn’t drink the mixture of wine and myrrh.

He was not going to allow any of His senses to be dulled.

He was committed to enduring the full pain of the cross.

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Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." (Matthew 27:35)

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A Jewish man usually wore five pieces of clothing: shoes, an inner garment, a headpiece, belt, and outer cloak.

The soldiers each took one piece.

Since there were four soldiers, they decided to gamble for the inner garment by casting lots.

How indifferent the soldiers were!

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Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. (Matthew 27:36)

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With cruel mockery they stayed on their guard to make sure nothing happened beyond what had already happened.

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And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Matthew 27:37)

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Pilate was mocking the Jewish leaders.

He wanted the people to look at that claim and laugh at both the Lord Jesus Christ and the Jewish nation.

He even had it written in three languages: Greek, the universal language; Aramaic, the language of the area; and Latin, the language of the Romans.

Pilate remained sarcastic to the very end.

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The world is full of people who are like the soldiers.

There are many people who laugh at even the thought of the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing Him as a joke.

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The world is full of ignorant people who are callous toward the Lord Jesus Christ.

They don’t know who it is they are rejecting.

Unless they awaken to Him, they’ll spend an eternity with the same kind of remorse these soldiers were experiencing.

The Unfair Trial




Matthew 26:62-68

The religious leaders were in a hurry to convict the Lord Jesus Christ before dawn.

They were afraid of His popularity with the people.

They were afraid of what might happen if the people found out what they were trying to do to Him.

They wanted to finish the trial so they could celebrate the Passover.

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And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?" (Matthew 26:62)

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Frustration reached its peak in Caiaphas.

Many false witnesses paraded before the Sanhedrin.

But none of whom could concoct successful lies about the Lord Jesus Christ.

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But Jesus kept silent. (Matthew 26:63a)

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The Lord Jesus Christ said nothing because there was nothing to say.

The law made provision for Him to stay silent.

He had to be accused by others and proven guilty by them.

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And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" (Matthew 26:63b)

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Caiaphas was trying to get the Lord Jesus Christ to blaspheme.

If he was successful, they would have their reason for executing Him.

So the crime they attached to Christ was that He said He was God.

But that wasn’t a crime because it happened to be the truth.

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Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64)

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The Lord Jesus Christ affirmed before the Sanhedrin that He was God, and that soon they would see Him exalted to the right hand of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.

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Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! (Matthew 26:65)

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Was Jesus’ claim to be God blasphemy?

No, because what He said was true.

But the high priest didn’t want to know the truth.

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Caiaphas was happy because the Lord Jesus Christ could now be executed.

But he put on a show to appear grieved.

He ripped his clothes to appear as if he were defending the holiness of God.

But inwardly he was rejoicing at the prospect of getting rid of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” (Matthew 26:66)

Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You? (Matthew 26:67-68)

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The high priest, elders, chief priests, and scribes abused Christ.

That’s frightening when considering whom they were dealing with!

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The table will be turned.

The judges who tried the Lord Jesus Christ will be justly condemned.

The One wrongly accused will one day become the Judge.

The damning sin is the sin of unbelief, which encompasses pride, impenitence, independence, and self-sufficiency.

It is the sin of thinking we can be right with God without the Lord Jesus Christ.


In The Garden of Gethsemane




Matthew 26:36-39

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."

And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

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The Lord Jesus Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane, just prior to His capture, mock trial, and execution.

It was just after His prediction of the disciples’ denial and desertion.

And it was midnight on Thursday on the last week of His life.

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The Lord Jesus Christ asked His disciples to stay at the entrance of the garden.

He needed some seclusion.

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The Lord Jesus Christ told them that He was going to pray.

He wanted to pour out His heart to God.

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The Lord Jesus Christ took Peter, James, and John with Him.

They were the three leaders.

And the other disciples looked to them for leadership.

Whatever they learned would then be communicated to the rest.

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The Lord Jesus Christ agonized over going to the cross.

But He wanted to use His agony as a means for instruction.

He wanted to teach Peter, James, and John how to face temptation.

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The key to overcoming temptation is dependence on God through intense prayer.

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The Lord Jesus Christ was conscious of the weakness of His humanity.

Although He was perfect and sinless, He was human.

And He experienced those things on our behalf.

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The Lord Jesus Christ prepared Himself to go to the cross.

He experienced suffering, sorrow, and grief in the garden through the severe temptation of Satan.

And in the midst of that temptation, we can sense His dependence on God.

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The Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry began and ended with severe temptations.

At the beginning of His ministry, Satan tempted Him after He had fasted 40 days in the wilderness.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Satan tempted Him again.

But the Lord Jesus Christ was victorious on both occasions.

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In the course of the first encounter early in His ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ answered each temptation with Scripture.

Throughout the second, He responded to each temptation with prayer.

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When we face temptation, we have two weapons at our disposal.

Those weapons are the Word of God and prayer.

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After having gone some distance further into the garden with Peter, James, and John, the Lord Jesus Christ began to be sorrowful and very depressed.

Our Lord began to experience deep anguish.

He agonized over the reality of the cross.

He despised everything connected with it: guilt, sin, death, isolation, loneliness, and estrangement from God.

His horror of the cross so repulsed Him that it’s beyond our understanding.

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The pain of the cross was always with the Lord Jesus Christ.

But it was in the garden that it reached its apex.

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The Lord Jesus Christ said His soul (His inner being) was exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.

His sorrow was enough to kill Him.

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The Lord Jesus Christ said to the three disciples, "Stay here and watch with Me."

He wanted them to pray with Him.

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Every time the Lord Jesus Christ prayed to God, He called Him "Father".

There was only one exception: when God forsook Him while He hung on the cross bearing the sin of the world (Matt. 27:46).

But His prayer in Matthew 26:39 is the only record in Scripture of His referring to God as "My Father".

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"If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

That is a prayer of resolution and resignation to the will of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not try to avoid God’s redemptive work.

But the degree of such agony led Him to ask if there were another way to accomplish it.

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At the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ would endure the fury of God over sin, Satan, the power of death, and the guilt of iniquity.

Our Lord desired to avoid that part of God’s plan if there were another way.

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The Lord Jesus Christ’s supplication revealed His genuine agony.

However, it was followed by His commitment to do God’s will, no matter what the cost.

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That is the way we all should face temptation, with confident prayer and commitment to the will of God.

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Jesus trusted God.

The intensity of His struggle brought out the best in Him because He approached it correctly.

But it brought out the worst in the disciples because they approached it incorrectly, even though their trial was infinitely less severe than His.

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Oh! What a completely different experience in the garden of Gethsemane!



Judas Iscariot




Matthew 26:14-16:

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?"

And they counted out to him 30 pieces of silver.

So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

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Judas Iscariot knew the Lord Jesus Christ.

He was one of a very few who spent years working and traveling with Him.

And yet, after all his close experience with Him, he betrayed Him to death.

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Judas' greatest weakness was money.

He lacked honesty with money.

He was greedy.

And he was an outright thief.

And in the end, he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for the payment of 30 silver coins.

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Judas felt deep remorse after the Lord Jesus Christ was arrested.

He repented of his betrayal of Him.

But it was too late.

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The chief priests and elders refused to take back the money.

Judas Iscariot threw the money into The Temple.

He then went off and hanged himself.

He knew he had betrayed the very Son of God.

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The chief priests could not put the returned "blood money" into the treasury.

So they used it to buy the potter's field, to bury strangers in.

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The Lord Jesus Christ knew that Judas Iscariot would one day betray Him.

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Jesus Christ was born to die for our sins, not His own.

He was an absolutely innocent man Who was to be betrayed, falsely accused, unlawfully arrested, unjustly convicted, and brutally executed.

A naturally corrupt man was required for the role of betrayer.

And Judas Iscariot was the best available candidate.