Monday, April 29, 2019

Benefits of the 40 days

Cross --> Resurrection (happened on First Fruits) --> 40 days -->10 days --> Pentecost (beginning of the harvest)

Today = The 40 Days

Last week = 1) women at the tomb
                    2) disciples on road to Emmaus
                    3)  Disciples in Jerusalem - Sunday evening locked in a room (w/o Thomas) - Jesus appeared suddenly
                    4)  Disciples in Jerusalem 7 days later with Thomas - Jesus appeared again

Additional appearances - on shore of Galilee - John 21:1-14
                                    - James!! & others  1 Cor. 15:3-8
                                    - before Ascension - Matt. 28:16-20 - (Great Commission)
                                    - for 40 days - Acts. 1:1-3

Jesus appeared to different people, groups, size groups, different times, locations, settings - don't know how many times He appeared during this 40 days

Then - The Ascent - Acts 1:4-11

The Significance of the 40 days??
Especially - benefits FOR us today??
How to Apply what we learn there?

So..... Benefits of the 40 Days
Disciples received (1)  additional confidence in the Resurrection ( by many infallible proofs)
                            (2)  additional information concerning the Christian faith
                            (3)  insights into their future state
                            (4)  confidence (boldness) in the face of death

As for them,  so for us!!!

Christ's appearance for 40 days should (can!) result in.....

#1.  Confidence in the Resurrection - apostles needed that.  all will die a martyr's death with exception of John.
Note:  the importance of the Resurrection - 1 Cor. 15:17-19 = historical, actual, real event
and so the confirmation of the Resurrection - Acts 1:3  This is ESSENTIAL.  Without the resurrection, we have nothing!!!

For them, for us, should result in:
          (1)  a steadfast walk - (in times of trial/confusion
          (2) a bold witness (testimony) - going to need this even more today when not just skepticism about Christ but hostility.

SO ... 1 John 1:1-3 - not just theory    2 Pet. 1:16-18   this is fact

#2.  Additional information about our Faith - to help us walk the walk
Example:  Luke 24:25-27

during the 40 days ... what questions posed?  teachings received?
This information = IMPORTANT!!!  Because Christianity is not a belief system, religious practice.  It is (intended to be ...) a LIFESTYLE  (based on truth!!)

Contrast:  Pagan gods --- not concerned with daily life of followers!  don't care about moral life.
Compare common "religious" views today!!!

2 valid questions:  (1)  do you believe?  accept the Faith?
                           (2)  do you practice the Faith?  if you don't practice the faith, you don't believe.

Colossians - "as received... so walk!!!
James - "show me your faith without works!!
Jesus - "by their fruits you'll know them"
Jesus - (John 13)   "now know ... blessed if DO!!

To be continued next week ...........

Monday, April 22, 2019

Trusting the Risen Christ

The disciples believed until the cross -- led to grief, doubt, great fear.  All they had believed was shattered.- John 20:19

Then the Resurrection ... (+ 40 days with the risen Christ and Pentecost) -- Acts. 2:36
Transformed the disciples completely.

POINT = Their Belief became TRUST!!
Example:  Demons believe but don't rely on, put their fate in His hands

Clarify:  After the Resurrection - disciples still confused!!
BUT now TRUST Him - in spite of situations, circumstances
                                    - in spite of confusion
                                    - in spite of His physical absence.

NOW = "I still don't understand!! BUT ... I'll trust you ... with my life, my fate, my future ... come what may!! 

To this ALL disciples are called (US)
But how to get there?? Develop that trust??

So... Look at some of the realizations that helped the disciples come to that degree of trust.

After the Resurrection, + 40 days + Pentecost, the disciples came to fully recognize:

I.  His Authority - essential, primary thing   
Definition:  The power or right to give orders and enforce obedience

On one hand, they'd seen that (examples:  miracles, demons, death - Lazarus)
However, death had triumphed over Him!!
UNTIL the Resurrection!!! --- Matt. 28:18

II.  His Ability displayed .. All Authority and All Power - Omnipotence
Problem:  IF able to produce good, prevent evil, correct wrongs, THEN why doesn't He??

On one hand the disciples didn't necessarily have answer to that ...
However, they had also learned to trust in.....

III>  His Goodness - examples:  John 3:16, Rom. 5:8, 1 John 4:10
Still faced grief, suffering, evil, opposition, death!!!
But now convinced ... He's deal with it ... in His way!!   in His time!!!

Also convinced by:
IV.  His Concern - not just for "sheep" plural  (John 3:16), also for "sheep" SINGULAR!! - Matt. 10:29-31 - every single sheep

Examples:  lost sheep?  (go find it)  lost coin?  (search for it)
And so..... 1 Pet. 5:7

V.  His Presence - Matt. 28:19-20 = last words!!
Example:  Job - never got answers, but Presence was enough!!

VI.  His Involvement
more than a present observer ... = active companion!!
So Paul ----  Rom. 8:28, Phil. 1:6

And (of course)
VII.  His Return 
when He'll dispel all darkness, correct all wrongs

Objection!!  if I had their experience(s)
Partial Answer ... John 11:38-40
  We say  "show me your glory and I'll believe"
  He says - "believer and I'll show you my glory"

Doesn't mean IF you believer, you'll get the sign, miracle you desire - no guarantee will get
Does mean believe and you'll see, perceive, experience glimpse .. all you need to TRUST!!

Pre-Christian - Salvation simple as ABC - Rom. 10:9-11
    Admit - you = sinner in need of Savior
    Believe - He died for sin, rose to life
    Confess - Him ... AS LORD, as your LORD!!

Christian :  Col. 2:6  - "as received, so walk"

Closing Scripture:  Eph. 3:14-21

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Lord's Supper Preparation

John 19:28-30 - What is finished?
Answer:  the WORK necessary for our salvation.

Question:  Before the cross, how could man approach an unapproachable God?

Answer:  Old Testament Pictures  (picture prophecies)

I.  Mediator and Substitute Sacrifice.  Sacrifice brought to the altar, priest offered it to God on person's behalf.  Made him 'right' with God.
Christ was the PERFECT mediator.

II.  Temple Barriers -

When Christ died,
#1.  barriers were removed  - Matt. 27:50-51, Heb. 10:19-20

#2.  Sacrifices were fulfilled - Heb. 7:27, 9:11-12, 9:25-26 - "once for all"

#3.  The bridge was built - 2 Cor. 5:18-19

Note:  the work was extensive.  It required MANY pictures to describe it/illustrate it.

Another picture:

III.  Layer Cake - the cake = salvation (in broadest sense)
                        - the layers - individual aspects of salvation or of His work)
(Words used by Christian Apostles, Theologians to describe toe work of Christ/Cross)

Ransom = purchase freedom  example:  kidnapped
Mark 10:45

Redemption = buy back  example:  Pawn shop  But!! Sold 'Self!! 1 Pet. 1:18-19

Substitution - in place of /stead of.  3 Cor. 5:21

Remission, Forgiveness, Cleansing - a debt resolved, pardoned, excused, satisfied
1 John 1:9

Propitiation = to appease (satisfy) wrath, anger.
1 John 1:2  (atoning sacrifice)

Expiation = more than forgiven = Removed!!  Example:  Scapegoat

Justification - act by which declared NO longer guilty.  Therefore, in right standing - Rom. 4:25

Sanctification - separated, set apart ... from and to

Reconciliation = relationship restored!!

Glorification - the eventual and final state of the believer

All adds up to:  SALVATION  (layer cake)

Add  (1)  Efficacious - having the power to produce the desired effects - Heb. 7:25 - Able to save completely, to the uttermost, totally!!!
The Resurrection was the proof that He was who He said He was and did what He said He did

 and   (2)  Voluntary - Christ didn't have to do this.

The "Layers" should lead us to:
(1)  a Recognition  ... of the extent of His work(s)
(2)  an Appreciation ... for what He's done for us.

(3)  an approach .. come the 1st time.   Then, come often times.

One more picture:  ie:  Example:  On the TABLE!   The bread, the juice, the crown of thorns.  Matt. 26:26-28
This we commemorate, celebrate tonight.  1 Cor. 11:27-28

(1)  how we do it.
(2)  who should do it - Christians
(3)  note of "worthiness" - 1 Cor. 11:27-28  None are worthy.  Speaking of "unworthy" manner!!

Closing Scripture:  Heb. 4:14-16