Posts Tagged ‘ Love ’

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 4: Sad Realities

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post two weeks ago, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with. Previous was a look at how he rebuked those in leadership.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 6: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – Modern Comparisons

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how do we see nothing new in our leadership?

Modern comparisons:

  • The Divided leadership (remember that there can be bleed-over from group to group):
    • Pharisees – Got a lot right, but added a lot.
    • Sadducees – The compromised
      • Basically only used the Torah/Five Books of Moses
      • Messiah – Essentially, did not care
        • Maybe it was a real person, maybe it was Israel, maybe it was whoever was in charge.
          • The government could handle everything.
          • As long as they were in charge, more or less, of what the people believed, they were okay.
      • Resurrection?
        • Not a thing. This life is basically it.
        • Essentially, they were Deists
      • See Mark 12:18-27
      • Modern comparisons:
        • Much of this will come back up with Gnosticism
        • Functionally, atheists and agnostics, which leads to …
        • Science-ism – The belief that we can know/learn everything about the physical universe from science. No god needed.
        • Union Theological Seminary (ultra-left in every way)
        • Liberal denominations/churches – Spectrum, may be any to all of the following:
          • Inerrancy – Ideas/thoughts in the Bible are inerrant, if that
          • Lifestyle: Nothing inherently wrong with homosexuality, transgenderism, or most other ways of living (usually in committed, monogamous relationships … usually …)
          • Believe good people go to heaven. (For rebuttal, see Romans 3:23 and John 6:44-66 & 14:6)
          • God, if he or she exists, is all about love and freedom. Sin is at worst done away with, at best not real.
          • Science and the government are in essence more compelling than scripture, because our understanding has evolved over time. (Just like us)
        • New Apostolic Reformation and other ultra-/super-charismatic churches and movements
          • Yes, they are under this list, too. Watch the next two lists for Essenes and Zealots, as well!
          • We know more things from special revelation through modern apostles and prophets, even those who occasionally get it wrong.
            • Yes, even things that contradict Scripture.
          • Redeeming the things of the world and the occult for Christ.
            • Yes, even the things Scripture specifically calls wicked/evil/abominations
        • Many who attend church, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, or whatever. (So-called “Carnal Christians” and “Chreasters”, those who only attend on the holidays)
          • The people who attend church to be good, get that checkmark, or for family/friends, but they are just like anyone else who does not attend church.

VerseD: 2 Corinthians 5:7

for we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV

We live in a corrupt, fallen world, full of people made in God’s image but with corrupt, fallen hearts and minds. They are inherently against Christ.

Therefore, we walk by faith knowing things will not get better until the new Earth, and people will be hostile and stupid even as we love them.

VerseD: Ecclesiastes 12:13

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes 12:13, ESV

Life is meaningless apart from God. All God requires of us is obedience out of love.

Perfect Christian

I a doing a short series! We. are going through some of the sayings of Jesus that can be … confusing … difficult … misapplied … whatever!

What does this mean? I will look at passages that I have personally heard misapplied, misunderstood, or simply confusion expressed over what Jesus meant.

Also, one of these should be appearing on The Domain for Truth later this month to help out SlimJim with some coverage of his blog while he travels. (No worries. I will share it here on this blog when it happens!)

Last week we looked at blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Now, what is our next passage? (Maybe you already have an idea based on the title.)

Being Perfect

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43‭-‬48, ESV

Okay. Be perfect as God is perfect.

That sounds impossible.

And, in essence, it is. We will never be completely perfect in this life.

We fail at loving our enemies.

In fact, we start out as enemies of God through our sin and rebellion.

But God knows what He is saying and doing.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14‭-‬21, ESV

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6, ESV

Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, transfers His perfection to us. We are weak and imperfect, but Christ’s perfection fills and replaces our weakness and imperfection so that we can be like our Father.

In other words, it Christ in us that is perfect.

We are being made perfect, to be fully realized at the resurrection, throughthis sanctification process of life in Christ as we continually seek Him.

So, how are we to be perfect as our heavenly Farher is perfect?

Love others as He loved us by allowing the Holy Spirit to work His love in us.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 Peter 1:14‭-‬19, ESV

VerseD: James 4:17

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:17, ESV

Are you loving your neighbor?

Do you simply pass by the person in need or simply respond “I’ll pray for you” instead of helping when able?

Jesus was inconvenienced by the cross. We can at least change a tire, listen to a sad story, and be a little late sometimes.

To not may be sin.

VerseD: Galatians 5:25

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25, ESV

Living by the Spirit means we will grow in love and self-control (along with all the fruit of the Spirit), serving others and glorifying Christ in all things.

VerseD: Matthew 22:37-39

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:37‭-‬39, ESV

What are God’s expectations for all people?

Love God with every bit of yourself, an love other people as if they are yourself.