Monday, March 26, 2018

The Lord's Supper

1 Pet. 3:18 a  "... to bring you to God."

Substitutionary Sacrifice = once for all forever.  More than just gaining access.  He wants you there.
Definition:  one who takes the place or punishment of another - sometimes dies in place of.

Substitutionary Sacrifice:  common to Old Testament Law
Examples:  Lev. 16:5-10, 15-16, 20-22    Goats = substitutes for people/Israel  (scapegoat)

After the Resurrection, the disciples recognized:
#1)  these sacrifices = Pictures of the Christ to come.  (picture prophecies)
New Testament - "shadow(s)"

And #2)  what the sacrifices pictured - Christ fulfilled!!
Example:  Heb. 10:1-7, 10 - once for all

 Tonight - we paint a picture OF the Substitutionary Sacrifice ... IN the Lord's Supper - A Ritual Ceremony that pictures (portrays) His Substitutionary Sacrifice for us.

We .... gather
           worship (scripture & song)
           bread bread & drink wine (the picture)
This was instituted by Christ Himself - therefore is IMPORTANT!!

The Lord's Supper is a time to:

(1)  Remember His Sacrifice for you.
        Personal - not just for us
        Substitutionary - 1 Pet. 3:18 - "to bring you to God"

(2)  Visually Express your faith  - assembling encourages
        in Him   (His work, word, promises)    
        in His current Sovereignty
        in His imminent Return
Rom.  1:16-17 - no other way to God - "no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved."

(3)  Renew Your Commitment

(4)  Recognize our Common Bond
on one hand - we partake  individually
However - we celebrate corporately

NOTE  1 Cor. 11:28 - "ought to examine"
Question is NOT are you worthy?
Question = will you partake in a worthy manner?
We will always be unworthy of the blood of Christ

Coming in a worthy manner includes:
#1.  Recognition of your sin, sins, sinfulness   OR unworthiness!!
#2.  Humility - not pride
#3.  Contrition - remorse, regret for sinful behavior
#4.  Thanksgiving - "Eucharist" = gratitude

Closing Scripture:  Heb. 10:19-25

Monday, March 19, 2018

Shepherding God's Flock

1 Pet. 5 = Peter applies "sheep/shepherd" theme to the church.  Worked well.  Large part of their culture.

Because:  (1)  all are familiar with sheep and shepherds, and
               (2)  it easily transitions from literal to Metaphorical -( so ... people => sheep   leaders => shepherds)

BUT - to shepherd in Scripture is more than to lead, it = to Nurture - in addition to leading.
ie:  care for, rear, raise, bring up, encourage growth and development, promote well being

So... Psm. 23:1   Isa. 40:11   John 10:11   Acts 20:28-29

The Concept of Nurture:

Peter begins 1st. Pet. 5:1 - "to the elders among you".   So is this application to YOU?? 
Answer:  "elder" rules may not apply to you, but "shepherd" rules will apply to you!!  They apply to all believers, not just elders.

#1.  The Task is to Nurture
Not just for church leaders!!!   (same word in the Greek translates Pastor OR Shepherd)

#2.  The Need is Great - Mark 6:34
Church needs (a) positional shepherds
also               (b) PRACTICAL Shepherds

Text:  1 Pet. 5:1-4

#1.  Be Shepherds = "DO IT!!"   
all but the youngest among us have .....
    a)  Shepherding skills  (capabilities)
    b) Shepherding opportunities - examples:  AWANA, Bible Time, Day Camp, etc.  Sunday School, Sunday Night!!

#2.  Of God's Flock - (text = congregation?)
BUT "flock" may be more than that.  Mark 6:34 - whole crowd?  all, not just believers
                                                        John 10:16 - Gentiles
Can lead people to Christ and then shepherd them.   OR  can shepherd people to Christ!!!  (your care can lead to their conversion!)

#3.  That is Under your Care 
Point here is not under your authority, but = under your care  (responsibility)

Couple with #4 (vs. 3)  those entrusted to you.
Entrusted .... By God .... to you. 
On one hand, not responsible for all sheep or all needs.
However, are responsible for some sheep and some needs.

#5.  Serving  
#6.  as Overseers - Servant Leader Position includes  (a)  menial task of service couples with (b) greater responsibility of oversight 

This = Biblical position of Under-shepherd  (often called "Pastoral Ministry")
combines - service and oversight
to offer - emotional, relational, spiritual support, Godly counsel, direction, instruction, (Christian) life skills, friendship!!!

#7.  being an example   
#8  eager to serve  (willing)  contrast willing to serve sheep with serve the Lord!!

The goal = Nurture for Edification  (build them up) - Matt. 4:19

The reward - 1 Pet. 5:4
Jer. 3:14-15 - implies ... (1) developing the flock (the sheep)
                      AND....  (2)  developing yourself!!!  - shepherding attitude.  Submitting to the Chief Shepherd.

Closing Scripture:  John 13:12-17    

Monday, March 12, 2018

" Bring you to God"

1Pet.3:18 - fundamental part of Peter's letter and what he wants to say.    Example:  Bridge

1Pet.4:1 - therefore - arm yourself .. with the same attitude which =will to suffer IF that is God's will to accomplish God's purpose

"done with sin" - does NOT mean done with the struggle with sin.
                       - it means done with service to sin.   Have come to fork in road, have to make a choice - Who is Lord??
1 Pet. 4:2-4 - "heap abuse" from ridicule to persecution.  Especially true of NEW Converts!!!!   Example:  Young people

1Pet.4:5 - "But .... they'll give account"  "to God of living and dead!"  - Heb. 10:31

1 Pet. 4:6 - whoever the "dead" are, the point is ...
       #1.  they had opportunity to choose
        #2.  they'll be judged according to that choice!! -  had to choose - God or self!

1 Pet. 4:7 - "end is near" - (later in 2nd. Pet. 3)  But the point = the end is near.... the judgment is at hand ...
1Pet. 4:7-11 - Three pieces of instruction:
#1.  be clear minded and self-controlled - so that spiritual life is what it should be.
(my paraphrase = think properly and act accordingly)
Give careful consideration to decisions and actions.   Make an initial response - then develop a Christian lifestyle - Isa. 1:18

Therefore #2 - Love one another deeply.
On one hand, agape is not primarily emotion (=decision/action)
Therefore - it can be commanded, can be chosen

So, "love one anther deeply" = "fervently" (earnestly, intensely, sincerely)  1 Pet. 1:22 - suggests we
should WORK on our FEELINGS.

"covers ....sins" ???  does NOT mean atone for (remove as does the cross), but = suppress/contain/smother

Therefore #3 Use Your Gifts - to serve others (compare 1 Cor. 12:7)
                                              administering God's grace   (example:  conduit, conductor)
AND - "do this in the strength God provides" - compare Gideon - Judges 6:14 - little nobody saved Israel out of the hands of the Midianites.

"So that,,,," God may be praised in all things!"  through Christ Jesus.

Closing Scripture:  2 Tim. 4:1-5

Monday, March 5, 2018

1st. Peter - Some Difficult Passages

1 Pet. 3:17-22 - Expositor's Bible Commentary on this passage - opening comment - "This section contains some of the most difficult exegetical problems in the New Testament."

On one hand, the Biblical text is NOT always easy.
However, it is written for Practical Value!, not just speculation.  2 Tim. 3:16-17
First Peter is a pastoral epistle - written to distant churches to help them live the Christian life.

So.. 1 Pet. 4:1 - _____________  therefore  _____________.
                          (previous Vses.)                Practical application

(look at text) - 1 Pet. 3:17 = statement of fact
"for example..." - 1 Pet. 3:18 a

The Point:  Jesus suffering was unjust - not right.
BUT ... it was also effective  (efficacious)

The parallel - IF you follow God you MAY have to suffer unjustly!  (may cost you .. have to give up, take up.)

BUT  (1) your obedience may result in great achievements (accomplishments for the Kingdom) - you don't know what it will accomplish.
AND (2) you'll be more than compensated - Rom. 8:18, 2 Cor. 4:17 (temporary troubles)

1 Pet. 3:18 b, 1 Pet. 3:19
Questions:  who are these spirits?
                  where is this prison?
                  what did Christ preach?
                  when did He preach it?

The spirits = probably fallen angels - 2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6   (Gen. 6:1-4)

The prison = in the spiritual realm

The message = probably His Victory (their defeat) - 1 Cor. 15:55

The time = probably at ascension

Another difficult passage!!  1 Pet. 3:20-21

What's clear is... (1)  the water "symbolizes" baptism
                          (2) baptism doesn't "remove the dirt"

Again ... the point of the passage is to illustrate...
      Christ died....
      According to God's will....
      to accomplish....
      eternal things!!!!

Parallel?? - You may be called......  to suffer unjustly .... (according to God's will) ..... to accomplish.... eternal things!!!!

1 Pet. 4:1 - Therefore
(1)  Imitate His attitude - Compare Phil. 2:5)
 Question:  What if can't muster up that attitude?  mind, heart, feeling?
ANSWER = then imitate His actions!!!  "do right"!

(2)  Arm yourself with this attitude  
Equip, outfit, fortify, protect, prepare for defense!!
Because ... the Christian life = BATTLE!!!  with sin, Satan, society, 'self - because we want what we want, not what God wants.

1 Pet. 4:1-2

Point:  he who has wrestled with this dilemma .. (of "will I serve God ... regardless of cost?")
...... and decided for God ... (as did Christ - example in Gethsemane!)
..... is "DONE WITH SIN."  ?????

meaning .. no long has to confront, control, combat sin??  - NO!!!!

meaning ... "I've come to a point of decision... and I've chosen Christ as Lord ... (not Sin as Lord)
Regardless of the cost!"

So.... Who's your Lord?  Who sits on the throne?  Sin?  Satan?  Society?  'self?  OR Christ?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Trinity

Question:  What is the Trinity and why do we care?

Trick Question:  Is God a Person?
Answer:  Technically, NO.  God is three Persons.  This = doctrine of the Trinity.

Question:  What is meant by Christians regarding the Trinity?

A.   Trinity = triunity or three in one.  One being - three persons

God is one WHAT (nature) and three WHOs (persons). 

B.  Nature = the essence of the type of a thing that makes a thing what it is. 

Example:  A styrofoam cup has a nature but it is not a person.  

C.  Person = What makes you who you are:

           1)  Consciousness
           2)  Self-awareness 
           3)  Relationality

 A. There exists only one God (divine nature being)  
 B.  There exists three Persons of the Godhead, each fully and equally personal and divine

  The Persons of the Trinity are eternally distinct from each other.  Can be distinguished from each other. 

Misconceptions and Heresies
Unitarianism: the idea that there is only one Person in the Godhead. 
Modalism: God is one Person that appears in various modes.    As the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit 
Tritheism: each of the Persons is a separate God
D.   P


Bad Analogies:
First, there are no good analogies!
*The Trinity  is like…
*A.  A man who is a father, a son and a husband
*B.  Water, which can take the form of liquid, solid or gas
*C.  An egg   *Really!!!  God is like an egg!! 

The Trinity in Scripture:
 First - the 'word' Trinity is not found in Scripture.  The CONCEPT is!

Three classes of Scripture:

I)  Class 1 - demonstrate essential oneness or unity of God
O.T. - Deut. 6:4  N.T. - Mark 12:29

II)  Class 2 - demonstrate the full Diety of the distinct Persons of the Godhead
Use of 'ho theos' - for God the Father.  Use of kyrios (Greek for Lord) to reference Jesus as opposed to ho theos.  Kyrios in O.T. = Yahjey
         Diety of the Son:   2 Cor. 1:2, 1 Cor. 8:6, Titus 2:13
        Diety of the Holy Spirit:  Acts 13:2, 5:3-4    The Holy Spirit is Diety

III)  Class 3 - demonstrate the simultaneous distinction of the three Persons of the Godhead
        Baptism of Jesus - John 3:16-17
        Great Commission - Matt. 28:19-20
        Upper Room Discourse - John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26.   Not only mention three Persons in same passage but make clear distinction between the three.

Why Care About the Trinity?

Given God is a Trinity, need to understand Him as a Trinity.

Trinity is essential to Christian faith - is necessary and unique to Christianity.  All other religions reject the Trinity.
Other religions that claim to be Christian, but are rejected by orthodox Christianity primarily on the basis of their view of the Trinity.  
Faulty view of Trinity = faulty view of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice.

Worship:  to worship in truth must have a knowledge of God in His Trinitarian form.  If don't differentiate between the different Persons of the Trinity, cannot properly appreciate or praise the work of each of the Persons.


Lack of understanding of Trinity confounds ability to:
     A.  Evangelize - point out inadequacies of other religions
     B.  Defend Christian faith against other false religions
     C.  Teach the faith to new or unlearned Christians
     D.  Refute unsound doctrine 
         Closing Statement by J I Paker: 
We have been brought to the point where we both can and must get our life’s priorities straight. From current Christian publications you might think that the most vital issue for any real or would-be Christian in the world today is church union, or social witness, or dialogue with other Christians and other faiths, or refuting this or that -ism, or developing a Christian philosophy and culture, or what have you. But our line of study makes the present-day concentration on these things look like a gigantic conspiracy of misdirection. Of course, it is not…But it is tragic that, in paying attention to them, so many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is, and always will be the true priority for every human being—that is, learning to know God in Christ.