Monday, March 30, 2015

The Lord's Supper

1 Cor. 11:23-26 - Can be taken anytime and practiced at different intervals by different churches and denominations.  We typically do it the Sunday evening prior to Easter.  This is the season of the Passion

I.  The Purpose? 
#1.  To Remember - 1 Cor. 11:24 - (examples:  Memorial Day - wreaths, flags)
"do this in remembrance of Me"

#2.  To Proclaim - 1 Cor. 11:26 = Visual proclamation - Example:  Baptism
    A)  Belief in the cross as historic event, substitutionary sacrifice.
ie:   literal Jesus, literal cross, literal death -- without necessarily saying anything.
   B)   Participation in the cross - what He did for me personally.  2 Cor. 5:21 - accepted Him as Lord and Savior.   1 Pet. 2:24 - relationship with God set right 

#3.  To Give thanks - 1 Cor. 10:16 - cup of thanksgiving.  eucharist (from eucharisteo) --- "I give thanks"

#4.  To Express unity - 1 Cor. 10:17
Contrast Unity - all singing the same song
              Harmony - in tune,on key, in sync        Eph. 4:3-6
Most, if not all, church bodies are not necessarily always in harmony - made up of people - are disagreements, conflicts, etc.  BUT, are all in unity in belief in Jesus Christ.  ie:  singing the same song.

On one hand - Lord's Supper is very personal.
But, also done in congregational setting - one body.  We are one in Christ.

II.  How Important is the Lord's Supper??  Luke 22:19 - "do this...."
Baptist belief - is ordinance of the church

III.  The participant?  (Baptized) Believer

IV.  The manner?  - 1 Cor. 11:27 -  not about your condition.  About your approach. 
You are NOT worthy.  If were, wouldn't need a Savior. 

V.  The observation?  @Octavia Baptist Church - once a year on Sunday evening prior to Easter.  No concrete directives in scripture.  Just "as often as you do it"

VI.  The preparation .. 1 Cor. 11:28-29- Examine yourself. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Healing on the Sabbath

John 5:1-30 - cripple - 38 years - lifelong, permanent condition

John 5:18 - very important - Jesus heals on a Sabbath!!
BUT, when confronted (by the Jews) He goes beyond "Lord of the Sabbath"

He openly claims:
#1)  full KNOWLEDGE of God's works and will - John 5:19-20 - far beyond prophets

#2.)  the ABILITY to grant life - John 5:26 - eternal life - born again experience
(Both Spiritual life and Resurrection life)

#3.)  the AUTHORITY to judge - John 5:22  (and that means you)

These = the prerogative of God alone.  Never granted to a prophet!!  (His area, ability, authority)
Therefore:  John 5:18 - "making himself equal with God".
ie:  a claim to DEITY!!!

To the Jews.... this = blasphemy!!!
There's only ONE true God - therefore Jesus' claim meant  A) to be God!  or B) to be Another God!

To the Deist = absurdity  (a man can't be God)
Deist probably calls himself a believer -- maybe even Christian!!

Deist will:  1)  Claim belief in God ( the 1 God)
                 2)  concede Jesus' existence
                 3)  Concede Jesus' goodness
BUT -       4) deny His (Jesus') Deity.

So, on one hand Jesus = good man (great man), BUT He is not God, is Not Deity!!

So, if you deny His Deity, then you can also deny His.... Knowledge - of God
                                                                                    Ability - to grant life
                                                                                    Authority - to judge all

AND, though compelled to Admire, Appreciate, Imitate Him, NOT compelled to submit, obey
(therefore, can "cut and paste" His Word(s)

BUT, if He's NOT Deity, then His is NOT Lord.

Answer to that = Quote by C. S. Lewis - "He hasn't left us that option".

Considering His claims, He is either      LIAR    LUNATIC    LORD

Take your pick:  there are no other options.  He either lied about all this and He knew it.  Or, He was just crazy thinking He was God, OR He is Who He said He Is - LORD!

So........ the challenge - John 5:24 (a) - hears Word and believes
             the promise - John 5:24 (b) - whoever believes has eternal life

Ending:  Not WHAT are you going to believe?
WHO are you going to believe?  - Christ?  John?  Apostles?  His works?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Distant Healing

John 4:43-54 - Why did John choose THIS miracle?  (John 20:30-31)
Possible answers:  was a distant healing without prayer, laying on of hands, or anything.
                     OR:  because of ACCEPTED Authority. - John 4:50 (b)

3 Issues important to John/ illustrated in this story
Miraculous healing
Divine Authority
Spiritual Progress

I.  Miraculous healing.
The numbers - there were MANY healings - Matt. 14:34-36, Matt. 15:30
The nature of the healings = immediate, complete, comprehensive - Luke 6:17-19 - never been duplicated
The purpose - more than compassion - the healings were temporal - all those healed eventually died
                    = confirmation of the Message and the Messenger
Example:  Mark 2:5-12
Vs. 10 - "that you many know"..... has AUTHORITY.." = primary reason for the miracles

II.  Divine Authority
Authority = jurisdiction/dominion/sovereignty, rule
Divine = of God, from God, God-given.  Therefore:  final and absolute!!!

Miracles demonstrated that Jesus had God-given Authority over ______________.  (everything)

A.  Recognition and Acceptance of Jesus' God-given Authority is the Essence of the Christian Faith.
Luke 7:1-9  Matt. 28:18  (He Is LORD)  Centurion understood this better than the Jews.

B.  Christian faith is also the Recognition and Acceptance of His God=given authority to NOT heal, (not bind, not quell, not answer... (even if He doesn't respond the way we think He should)  He is LORD!!!

C.  True Christian faith includes Recognition, Acceptance AND Submission to His Authority.  John 4:10 (b)
it takes Him at His Word!!  This is what makes the difference between demon and disciple.

If miracles designed to show His authority, results in

III.  Spiritual Progress (as seen in the court official)
- he heard of Jesus' power(s)
- he decided it was true
- so, he sought Jesus when he needed help

AND .. (vs. 10b = key verse) - he "took Him at His Word" without any personal, immediate, visible evidence or sign

RESULT = 1)  healing of his son (which was temporal)
                   2)  the saving of his soul/household (which = eternal!!)

The journey of belief  is not over when cross the bridge.  The journey is just beginning.

Should continue to grow -
Question:  Where ARE you??
                 Where should you be??
                Where are going??

Note:  to Progress - you must "take Him at His Word".  Must get a grip on Divine Authority.  Either HE IS LORD or He is not!!!   There is no middle ground.
This doesn't = blind, ignorant faith
+ a rational, informed decision ... to .... "take Him at His Word"

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Woman at the Well

John 3:36 - has = possession now
                  living water = flowing, moving water

John 4:1-26 - God Seeks true Worshipers (believers, disciples)
                      ie:  that's His desire (want) - 2 Pet. 3:9 - not just a matter of us seeking God
hence.... the Incarnation - Luke 19:10
              the journey through Samaria - John 4:4 - "must" - was there a divinely appointed meeting??

Point:  God is committed to "finding" you.
Question:  Will you "be found"? - (allow it?)

John 4:27-38 - God Seeks Co-Workers (partners)
Analogy = sower/reaper    Compare:  1 Cor. 3:5-9 (a)

Question:  What's your commitment to "the work of the kingdom" - Matt. 9:35-38

John 4:39-42 - with John 2:25
Jesus knew the heart of this woman....
Jesus knew the heart of the whole village!!

Point #1) - God knows YOUR heart - (your location, condition, need(s)
He's not Just "Savior of the World" BUT = Savior of YOU!!  in all situations!!

Point #2) - God know the hearts of those around you!!
Not just what they do, but why they do it!!!

Now, we've only covered 4 chapters in John and already he has declared Jesus to be Lord of the Temple, Lord of Worship, Lord of Salvation, Lord of the whole world.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What Must I Do to Be Saved? (updated)

Last week - Jesus cleansing the temple.  After resurrection, disciples understood what He said.
Pharisees = very religious sect.  Sanhedrin = Jewish ruling council

John 2:23-25 - not just miracles but signs - purpose = to point to Christ as the Messiah - they believed Him, but He didn't believe them.
John 3:1-15 - Rabbi (teacher, Master) - title carried great respect. Miracles = typically a sign this was a messenger from God.   John 3:7 - you plural  John 3:13 - I came from heaven, I know what I am talking about.
Numbers 21:4-9 - the curse becomes the cure - God chose this method to heal.
John 3:16-21 - vs. 17 - Jesus did not condemn anyone - but came to save. Already stand condemned.

The 2 most often asked questions from this passage:

#1)  What must I do to be saved?  (Born Again)

#2)  How can I know that I am saved?  (Born Again)

Question #1)  What Must I Do To Be Saved?  - Not all faith is saving faith.
John 3:16 - "believes in Him" - not all belief is saving belief

Definition:  believe )noun=faith)
Example:  Reformers;  3 essential elements of SAVING faith:
#1.  Notitia - ie:  Content - must know something
Example:  will faith in Satan, self, wealth, works - save??
Doesn't mean need all the information, however, need some information - ie:  basic gospel - got to know are lost

#2)  Assensus - ie:  Assent  (intellectual agreement to the gospel)
can understand and not agree  (believe)

#3)  Fiducia - ie:  Trust  (confidence/reliance)
Contrast Satan/demons - they have #1 and #2 - BUT - James 2:19

Must have all three for Saving Faith!

Difference is not innocence, guilt, amount of guilt.....
It is response to Light!!

John 3:16 is central to Christian faith..

Question #2:  How can I know that I am saved?
Experience?  feelings?  initially?  thereafter?

The 4-H test - (Gailon Kemp)

#1.  Head test = examine your decision
DID you accept?  profess?  Is the Bible true?  Is God trustworthy?
(this = best test)

#2.  Heart test = Examine your affections
Do you have a love for God?  Christ?  Things of God?  truth? justice?  righteousness? Kingdom work? CHURCH??

#3.  Hands test = Examine your actions - 1 John 2:3
Doesn't mean never sin or fall short, BUT, do you make an attempt?  have the desire?

#4)  Health test = Examine your growth (development) (continuity)  Are you further along in your Christian walk than when you began, or are you stagnant, or going backwards?