The Joy of the Lord is our Strength Nehemiah 8:10

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    Satan does all he can to steal our joy. One way he does that, relevant for our study, is to convince us that the church of Christ, that Christianity, is really impotent in our society today. No one cares about Christianity, the church of Christ is too small and too powerless to make any difference. So why bother?

    The Jews in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah were not much different than Christians in 21st century America. When Israel returned from 70 years of exile in Babylon, they were a small minority in a very large Persian Empire and their success hinged on the will of the Persian rulers and their policies. I want us to understand the work and message of Ezra and Nehemiah but also to be strengthened in our walk with God in the same way they were, especially from Nehemiah 8.

    The Jews are a decided minority in a nation / empire that could not care less about true worship of the true God. Their neighbors are no less apathetic to their work to rebuild the temple and restore worship according to the law of Moses. In fact, some of the Jews themselves are not putting their shoulder to the work either.

RESPECT FOR THE LAW OF GOD – Nehemiah 8:1-8:

    Notice that it was the people who asked Ezra to read the law of Moses to them. A preacher can only do so much. The congregation has to be the one who stands up and says, “Let us hear the word of the Lord.” 

    We see the respect for the law of God in several ways. The people asked for it to be read. They were attentive to the reading (vs 3). Ezra read it from early morning until noon. The people stood, while Ezra was reading the law (vs 5). While it was being read, the people remained in their place. 

RESPONSE TO THE LAW – 8:9-12:

    When we read the word of God, we have one of two responses, sometimes mingled together. The Jews’ initial response to the reading of the law on this occasion was that they mourned and wept, no doubt realizing that they were not and had not been obeying the law of the Lord as they should have been.

    But, Nehemiah, the governor, steps up beside Ezra, the scribe, and the Levites and they all encourage the Jews not to mourn but to celebrate: “This day is holy to the Lord your God!” (Said three times: 9, 10, 11) Why? Because it was a day of return, a day of repentance, a day of renewal, a day of thanksgiving. The reason is stated in verse 10 that “this day is holy to the Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 

THE RESTORATION OF THE LAW – 8:13-18:

    When they read in the law, they learned they had been worshiping unscripturally and they repented and started doing what the law of Moses had been telling them to do for centuries.

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH:

    What should make us joyful? The world wants us to think that having the largest church is the goal. If we do not have an auditorium that is overflowing with people and a budget that is tens of thousands of dollars and two worship services, then we are not doing what we ought to be doing.

    Of course, God is concerned about numbers. God wants as many people to be saved as will submit their will to His will in humble obedience.

    But the joy of the Lord is our strength. We do not merely want to be the largest church but we do want to be the most faithful to the Lord and His Word as we can possibly be. That touches on each of us, our individual lives and as a community of Jesus Christ. If there is something that the NT teaches us to do and we haven’t or are not doing it, we need to do just what the Jews here did: we need to start doing it.

    The joy of the Lord is your strength when you orient your life around the Word of God.

–Paul Holland

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Kissing Cousins

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    Have you ever wondered when and how man and woman (or parent and child) first kissed? You were just thinking about that yesterday, weren’t you? Some anthropologists believe the custom began when parents would pre-chew their food and then give it to their children (gross). Another theory, somewhat seen in today’s “eskimo-kiss,” is that kissing symbolizes the union of souls.

    In ancient cultures and perhaps even today in simple cultures, putting your face against another signifies a spiritual union. We see this reflected in teenage girls putting their cheeks together when they take a picture. Some cultures believed that your breath was a part of your soul so when you exchanged breaths (kisses), you were mingling your soul with another.

    Societies have different types of kisses. A parent/child kiss is different from a husband/wife kiss. That latter kiss is also different from a boyfriend/girlfriend kiss. Social kisses are when you kiss cheeks when you greet someone, popular in other countries. We have an expression “kissing cousins,” that refers to a relationship in which a cousin is close enough you could kiss him/her.

    The first kiss recorded in the Bible is actually between a father & son, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 27:26-27). The first kiss between a man and woman is between Jacob (does this tell us anything?) and Rachel (Genesis 29:11). A theologically significant passage is found in Psalm 85:10: “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The “location” of this kissing is the “salvation” of the Lord (verse 9).

    The salvation of the Lord is realized in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for us. It is at His cross that the “lovingkindness, truth, righteousness, and peace” of God are all intermingled. That calls for a response from us. Did you know the Greek word for worship means, “to kiss the hand toward”?

–Paul Holland

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Are you a Real F.R.I.E.N.D.? Mark 2:1-12

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    From a Peanuts comic strip… Charlie Brown is saying good bye to a boy he met at summer camp. “Well, so long Charlie Brown. It’s been nice knowing you.”

    Charlie Brown responds: “It’s been nice knowing you, too, Roy. Have a good trip home.”

    Then Charlie Brown thinks to himself: “For the first time in my life I feel I really helped someone. …He was lonesome, and I became his friend.”

    At the end, Charlie Brown says, “What an accomplishment!”

    True friendship is an accomplishment. “Friends” is used 122x in NASV. We will meditate on the account of the healing of the paralyzed man as we consider the qualities of a real friend (Mark 2:1-12; Matthew 9:2-8; Luke 5:18-26).

F-FAITHFUL – Mark 2:5. Webster’s definition is: “maintaining allegiance; constant; loyal.” A “faithful” friend is one who is trustworthy (Psa. 37:3; Prov. 18:24; 27:10).

    Be faithful to your friends. Expect the best of them and don’t listen to gossip about them.

R-RELIABLE – Mark 2:3-4 (cf. Luke 5:18). Webster’s definition is: “dependable; trustworthy.” Don’t be like Jesus’ friend who turned against Him (Psa. 41:9; John 13:18). Don’t be friends with those who are too quick to get angry and fly-off the handle; they are not reliable (Prov. 22:24). Job’s friends were not reliable (Job 19:14).

    Be dependable for your friends. Be present in their lives, especially when they need you.

I-IDEALIST – Luke 5:22-24. Webster’s definition: “a person whose behavior or thought is based on ideals.” Friends will hold us to the highest standards of Jesus Christ. They will have the best ideals and we should, as well (Prov. 27:6; Mark 5:19).

    Expect the best out of your friends. Lovingly challenge them to live up to Christ’s standards and correct them when they need it.

E-ENCOURAGING – Luke 5:20. In Matthew’s account (9:2), the first words out of Jesus’ mouth are: “Take courage.” Webster’s definition: “to give courage, hope, or confidence to; embolden; hearten. Forgiving one another is one of the strongest avenues of encouraging (Prov. 17:9), and loving at all times, even when your friend is having a bad day (Prov. 17:17; Job 6:14). 

    Forgive every time your friend needs it.

N-NOBLE – Matthew 9:6. Jesus is noble in that He has the highest aspirations for His friends and is stable in all that He expects. Webster’s definition: “having or showing high moral qualities or ideals, or greatness of character.”

    The noble gases (Group VIII) are: Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon. These elements are very stable, being considered inert. They are called inert because they are not reactive. Having a high moral character means that you are stable, you don’t react. The densest concentration of the word “friend” in the NT is in John 15:13-15. There, Jesus calls us to love one another.

    Not only expect the best from your friend, but live up to the highest ideals of Christ in your own life.

D-DELIGHTFUL – Mark 2:12. Webster’s definition: “giving delight; very pleasing; charming” Be a delight to your friend, cheering him/her up, making their day go easier (Prov. 27:9). It is delightful to be interdependent and to bear one another’s burdens.

    Be a real friend to your fellowman.

–Paul Holland

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Life compared to the 4 seasons

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Our four seasons

  • The words “season” or “seasons” (plural) are used quite a few times in the Bible.
  • In fact, we cannot get past the first chapter of Genesis (1:14) before we read about “seasons.”
  • The verse I want to focus on for spring comes from SOS 2:11-12- READ
  • The word “spring” is not specifically used in the ASV, but this is the time of year being described.
  • When spring arrives, it can be beneficial to think about our time on earth.
    1. The four seasons can be compared to four seasons of life.
    2. The first season of life is youth or the younger years and these years may be compared to SPRING.
  • The early years come and go a lot faster than we realize.
    1. Getting through high school may seem like it takes forever.
    2. Getting to the time when we can finally drive or get a car may seem like eternity.
  • In life, there is only period of spring (youth).
  • If we are at this time in life (the early years), don’t waste them and DO NOT make foolish choices.

 

SUMMER FOLLOWS SPRING.

 

  • In the book of Amos (8:1) we read about “summer fruit.”
  • Proverbs 10:5 talks about “gathering crops in summer.”
  • Ants (Prov. 30:25) store up food in the “summer.”
  • If we look at summer in terms of life, let’s compare SUMMER to ages 20-49.
    1. One of our hymns (p. 14):

 

  • Buried with Christ, my blessed Redeemer, Dead to the old life of folly and sin;
  • Satan may call, the world may entreat me, There is no voice that answers within.
  • In the chorus we also sing about being “dead to the voices that call” us.
    1. These voices from the world start calling early in life (youth).
    2. In our “summer years” these voices can escalate to the point where they drown out God.
    3. The parable of the sower (Mk. 4:19) talks about the cares of the world.
    4. 6:9 – We shall “reap in due season if we faint not.”
    5. 5:16 (“redeem the time”) – learn to make the most of every opportunity, especially for God.
  • 1 Cor. 15:58 – be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
    1. 6:33, seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness FIRST.
    2. 12:11 speaks about being “fervent” in God’s service.

 

Fall and winter

 

  • In 2 Cor. 5:1 Paul spoke of our “tabernacle being dissolved.”
    1. Paul spoke about women training “younger” ladies (Tit. 2:4).
    2. Paul told the Corinthians and unmarried woman could spend more time on spiritual matters (1 Cor. 7:34).
  • Jesus once described a man (Lk. 12) who thought life could be all about him.
  • In Num. 8:23-26 we are told God had a pre-retirement program for the Levites.
    1. When Levites turned 50, they no longer served in the tabernacle.
  • When does WINTER begin?
  • In Ps. 90:10 some older translations have the expression “three score and ten.”
  • 24:20 – “Pray that your fleeing will not take place in the winter.”
  • When we hit the winter years, we need to recognize we have come to the final season.
  • In the world, winter comes before spring.
  • For the saved, the winter season of life is the final step in the journey to eternal life.

    Nuestros cuatro estaciones

    1) Las palabras “estación” o “estaciones” (en plural) se utilizan unas cuantas veces en la Biblia.
    2) De hecho, no podemos llegar más allá del primer capítulo del Génesis (1:14) antes de haber leído acerca de “estaciones”.
    3) El verso me quiero centrar en la primavera viene de SOS 2: 11-12- LEER
    4) La palabra “resorte” no se utiliza específicamente en el ASV, pero esta es la época del año que se describe.
    5) Cuando llega la primavera, puede ser beneficioso para pensar en nuestro tiempo en la tierra.
    a) Las cuatro estaciones se pueden comparar con cuatro estaciones de la vida.
    b) La primera etapa de la vida es la juventud o los años más jóvenes y estos años se puede comparar a la primavera.
    6) Los primeros años vienen y van mucho más rápido de lo que pensamos.
    a) Obtención de la secundaria puede parecer que se necesita siempre.
    b) Para llegar al momento en el que finalmente puede conducir o conseguir un coche puede parecer una eternidad.
    7) En la vida, hay un solo período de primavera (la juventud).
    8) Si estamos en este momento en la vida (los primeros años), no pierda a ellos y no toman decisiones tontas.

    VERANO sigue a la primavera.

    1) En el libro de Amos (8: 1) leemos acerca de “fruta de verano.”
    2) Proverbios 10: 5 habla de “recolección de cultivos de verano.”
    3) Las hormigas (Prov. 30:25) almacenan los alimentos en el “verano”.
    4) Si nos fijamos en el verano en términos de vida, comparemos verano para las edades 20-49.
    a) Uno de nuestros himnos (p 14).;

    5) sepultados con Cristo, mi bendito Redentor, muerto a la vieja vida de la locura y el pecado;
    6) Satanás puede llamar, el mundo puede suplico, no hay voz que responde a su interior.
    7) En el coro también canta sobre ser “muerto a las voces que llaman” nosotros.
    a) Estas voces del mundo comienzan a llamar a temprana edad (jóvenes).
    b) En nuestros años “verano” estas voces pueden escalar hasta el punto en que se oiga Dios.
    c) La parábola del sembrador (Mc. 4:19) habla de las preocupaciones del mundo.
    d) Gal. 6: 9 – Vamos a “segaremos si no desmayamos.”
    e) Ef. 05:16 ( “redimir el tiempo”) – aprender a aprovechar al máximo todas las oportunidades, sobre todo para Dios.
    8) 1 Cor. 15:58 – se firme, inamovible, siempre creciendo en la obra del Señor.
    a) Mt. 06:33, buscar el reino de Dios y su justicia PRIMERO.
    b) Rom. 12:11 habla de ser “ferviente” en el servicio de Dios.

    Otoño e invierno

    1) En 2 Cor. 5: 1 Pablo habla de nuestra “tabernáculo disolviéndose.”
    a) Pablo habló acerca de la formación de las señoras de “menor” (Tit. 2: 4).
    b) Pablo dijo a los Corintios y la mujer soltera podría dedicar más tiempo a los asuntos espirituales (1 Cor. 7:34).
    2) Jesús describió una vez un hombre (Lc. 12) que pensaban que la vida podría ser todo sobre él.
    3) En Num. 8: 23-26 nos dice que Dios tenía un programa de pre-jubilación para los levitas.
    a) Cuando cumplió 50 años levitas, que ya no sirven en el tabernáculo.
    4) ¿Cuándo comienza el invierno?
    5) En Ps. 90:10 algunas traducciones antiguas tienen la expresión “setenta años”.
    6) Mt. 24:20 – “Ore para que el que huye no se llevará a cabo en el invierno.”
    7) Cuando llegamos a los años de invierno, tenemos que reconocer que hemos llegado a la última temporada.
    8) En el mundo, el invierno llega antes de la primavera.
    9) Para los salvados, la temporada de invierno de la vida es el último paso en el camino a la vida eterna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Holy Spirit in the Letters: 1 Thessalonians – Titus

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1 Thessalonians

    1:5-6 – The Holy Spirit worked through Paul, Silas, and Timothy as they performed their miraculous powers, including prophesying. When the Thessalonians heard the word, received it and obeyed it, then they could experience the joy that comes through or by the Holy Spirit.

    4:8 – This context deals with sexual immorality. The prophets are encouraging the Christians in Thessalonica to separate themselves from the immorality in their culture and be holy. If they reject the teachings of the prophets, they are not rejecting men but the God who gives the Holy Spirit to dwell in Christians. A holy Spirit cannot dwell in a sin-contaminated body.

    5:19 – The word “Spirit” is first in the sentence emphasizing that we ought not to quench the Spirit. We have seen that the Spirit works through His word. This is seen here in our context in verse 20 when Paul goes on to warn not to “despise prophetic utterances.” We can quench the work of the Spirit by not listening to His word and/or by not obeying His word, even keeping others from listening to and obeying the word of the Spirit.

2 Thessalonians

    2:13 – This is not the first time we have seen that sanctification is brought about by the Holy Spirit (cf. John 17:17). When we obey His holy word, we are separated from sin, from the effects of sin, and set into service to the Holy God.

1 Timothy

    3:16 – Paul says that Jesus was “vindicated in the Spirit.” The verb means “to demonstrate that something is morally right.” In the resurrection, we can see how Jesus’s spirit was “demonstrated to be morally right.” If the reference is to the Holy Spirit, we have a parallel with 1 Peter 3:18, in that Paul might be referring to the role the Holy Spirit had in the resurrection. If so, it was the Holy Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, who vindicated Jesus’ statements as to His person and His role.

    4:1 – This is an affirmation of Paul’s inspiration.

2 Timothy

    1:14 – The prophet Timothy had miraculous abilities. This is implied in 1:6. The treasure entrusted to Timothy was the Gospel message about and from Jesus Christ. The “good deposit” (literally) is set first in the sentence, to emphasize its importance. He was to guard that treasure, that message, through the help of the Holy Spirit – that is, by obeying its message and teaching it accurately. In verse 13, Paul refers to the “pattern of sound words,” which is described here as the “treasure” or “good deposit.” Understand that the Holy Spirit inspired the message. He did not give the men a miraculous obedience to that same message. They were responsible to submit to it and obey it as much as we do today.

Titus

    3:5 – “Renewal” or “regeneration” refers to being “born again.” It pictures the complete change in one’s way of life to what it needs to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are regenerated (through the new birth) and renewed, as we continue walking in step with the Spirit.

–Paul Holland

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Just One Verse Per Week

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The Psalmist said that God’s Word was hidden in his heart (Ps. 119:11). We are to “know the truth” (Jn. 8:32). There is great virtue and benefit in memorizing Scripture.

It is true that everyone is different as far as their capacity to remember and memorize, but: If you really tried, could you memorize one verse per week?

Let me answer for you: Yes, you can! Here is how. Start with significant passages that you are already familiar with. That will give you a head start and build your confidence and help you learn the art of memorizing.

Write down your passage for the week on a note card (or use your i-phone). Look at the passage multiple times per day (you know, when you are waiting for your child’s practice to end, when you wake up in the morning, before you retire for the night, while stuck in traffic, etc). After a day or two begin trying to quote it without looking at the passage. Look at it as needed, but you will find you need it less with each passing day. Just don’t skip any days!

The next week you can choose another verse and be sure to at least periodically review last week’s verse. After several weeks many of us will forget part of some of those verses, but we will certainly know them better than we did! After you make a habit of it and become more proficient in memorizing, you may want to try two or three per week. Give it a try!

God’s Word truly can be “a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path” (Ps. 119:105).

Daren Schroeder

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Receiving the Holy Spirit Acts 8:14-17

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Jesus did some “pre-evangelism” in John 4. He has His famous discussion there with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. You know that, speaking generally, there was animosity between the Jew and the Samaritan. But, animosities created by men are not necessarily shared by God. God wanted the Samaritans saved. Read John 4:28-30 and 39-42 for the background to the evangelism of the Samaritans.

THE BACKGROUND TO ACTS 8:

Saul’s (of Tarsus) hatred burned so much against Christians that he was able to stir up mobs against Christians in the city of Jerusalem. As a result of that persecution, numerous Christians fled the city of Jerusalem (8:1, 4).

One of those men scattered who preached the gospel was one of those deacons chosen in Acts 6, Philip. Either led by the Holy Spirit or remembering that Jesus wanted the Samaritans to be saved (Acts 1:8), Philip goes to the villages in Samaria, proclaiming Christ to them (vs 4).

SIMON THE MAGICIAN BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED – 8:9-13:

Before we can understand the nature of our chosen text, we need to understand the background of this man named Simon. Simon apparently was a Samaritan but he was a “magician.” Now, this magician was not someone who entertained you with sleight of hand tricks at birthday parties and office holiday parties. He did perform sleight of hand tricks but they were done to deceive people into believing that he was a messenger of God.

Verse 12 says that he listened to Philip preaching the good news about the reign of Christ on earth through the church of Christ, and preaching the name or the authority of Jesus Christ. Among the men and women who responded, Simon also believed and was baptized.

But because of Simon’s background and deeply engrained habits, Simon was perhaps a little more fascinated with the powerful miracles Philip performed rather than the powerful gospel Philip was preaching.

THE SAMARITANS CANNOT EVANGELIZE ON THEIR OWN – 8:14-17:

The text says clearly that Peter and John came down and prayed for the Samaritans so that they could – please observe – receive the Holy Spirit. Philip, the deacon, could perform miracles but he could not pass on that same gift. It seems that the Samaritans had received the indwelling of the Spirit that is promised to all Christians based on their fulfillment of the conditions in Acts 2:38 and the promise in Acts 5:32. But, here, they had not received the miraculous abilities that were available by the Holy Spirit to Christians in the first century.

The Samaritans heard the gospel from Philip. They believed it because he was performing miracles. They obeyed it. But then – they could not share it? Would they have to go around telling the gospel message and saying, “You just have to take my word for it?”

No, the apostles come down from Jerusalem, lay their hands on the Samaritans so they, too, could teach the message of God without error and perform miracles to confirm that message so that the kingdom of God could continue growing.

SIMON HAS A RELAPSE – 8:18-24:

But as you know, old habits are hard to break and deceiving people for money was an old habit for Simon. Verse 18 says that Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands. So, he offered them money. Oh, Simon. You cannot buy off God!

Simon changed his heart and, as far as we know, changed his thinking and, subsequently, his life. He says to Peter, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED:

What are some important lessons we can learn from this text?

  1. We need to evangelize wherever we are (vs 4).
  2. Miraculous abilities were always associated with a prophet of God.
  3. Preaching Christ (vs 4) is the same thing as preaching the kingdom and name of Jesus Christ (vs 12), including preaching baptism.
  4. Many people will respond to the gospel message whose hearts we simply do not know.
  5. Each of us must make sure our hearts are right with God.
  6. Since we have no apostles today, there will be no miracles today.
  7. If we do have a relapse, as Simon did here, then we have it within our own power to pray for our own forgiveness.
  8. On the other hand, we might feel compelled to ask other Christians to pray for us and that is okay (James 5:16).

We now have the Spirit’s message written down. Let us be dedicated to sharing it with others so they can be saved.

–Paul Holland

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Where is Your Home? 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

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    The church is a family and we are brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Tim. 5:1-2). The church is the family of God (1 Tim. 3:15). But what happens if your Christian brother or sister is not obeying the rules? What do we do then? What do we do to hold each other accountable to the standards Jesus expects out of His family?

    First, we talk to that person with humility and gentleness (Galatians 6:1).

    Second, if the sinning brother or sister does not respond to one person’s gentle and loving correction, then the New Testament teaches that we take a couple of others to talk and encourage (2 Corinthians 13:1).

    Third, the whole church may need to be involved (Matthew 18:17).

    But then what? What is the very last means of discipline a Christian family has to help a sinning family member see the error of his or her way?

    We have instruction on that step here in our text, in 1 Corinthians 5, which is where I want us to study this morning…

THE SIN INVOLVED – 5:1-2:

    This specific situation in Corinth was somewhat unique. It was a sexual immorality that even the pagans did not accept: someone was having sexual relationships with his father’s wife. This is probably his step-mom and this was condemned by the Jew’s law (Lev. 20:11; Amos 2:7) and the culture.

    Unfortunately, rather than being disturbed, upset, angry at such a sin being committed among God’s family, the church in Corinth was being arrogant about it! They were gloating that they were “open minded,” and that “love” is what is most important – “as long as it is true love, it is okay.”

PAUL’S JUDGMENT – 5:3-5:

    In this short paragraph, be reminded that Paul speaks as one having the authority of an apostle of Jesus Christ and what he wrote had as much authority as if he were present with them.

    Because Paul was led by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 14:37), then what he wrote would be the equivalent of hearing what the Holy Spirit was saying to the church at Corinth. Yet, it is by the authority of the “Lord Jesus,” “with the power of the Lord Jesus,” that such discipline is done and, please observe, it involves the whole church – “when you are assembled.” Church discipline is a congregational activity just as disciplining children is both parents’ responsibility. 

    Then in verse 5, Paul instructs the Corinthians on how they are to discipline a family member who has refused to change his or her behavior despite the whole family trying to get them to respond. Withdraw your fellowship from him or her. You expel them from your assembly in the sense that you recognize that that person is no longer in fellowship with God. The “destruction of the flesh” refers to the destruction of his/her fleshly desires that have taken precedence over the desires of the Holy Spirit. When he or she realizes what is happening, what he or she has lost, then the prayer and the desire of God’s heart is that he/she will decide to repent – “so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Here is the second time (among four, through verse 13) that Paul says or implies that an erring Christian who will not repent has to be excluded from fellowship.

    The prayer and hope is that having gone through this procedure, the erring Christian will feel the loneliness of not being in warm, Christian fellowship with fellow Christian family and repent of their sinful behavior.

    The community needs to know that the church of Christ honors the Lord Jesus Christ by doing our best to live up to His standards. We do not do it perfectly, but that is our goal.

    Our youth need to understand that one cannot sin in this world without feeling the impact of that sin. Sin causes one to miss heaven. Withdrawing fellowship is a way to help sinning Christians realize that they are on the road to miss heaven. It is a very sad situation.

    But we are to hold each other accountable to God’s rules within the church family. Quoting from Deuteronomy 17:7, in verse 13, Paul shows that the principle of exclusion from God’s people is a practice God has required under the Law of Moses as well as under the Law of Christ.

    God’s laws must be respected and obeyed. If we do not uphold those laws, we’ll be guilty of our own violations.

–Paul Holland

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Mary, the Mother of Jesus Luke 8:19-21

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    We spend much of our study time talking about Jesus Christ and His perfect life, as well we should since He is our Savior. But what about the woman who was behind Jesus Christ? What about the woman who brought the Son of God into the world? I would like for us to consider Mary, the mother of Jesus.

MARY VALUED HER CHILD’S YOUTH – Luke 2:19:

    Children are all unique. We need to understand, acknowledge, and appreciate that uniqueness. Moms, value your children’s youth. Don’t try to make them grow up too fast. Enjoy their youth while they have it. Take pictures and videos. The older they get, the more you’ll appreciate it. Write down your thoughts as they grow up. Keep a journal of your memories in some form. Memories help you bind together as a family. Also, your memories and thoughts of your child’s past may help you guide him or her into their future.

MARY WORSHIPED SCRIPTURALLY  – 2:41-43

    It is rare that a child will rise above his upbringing. He may sink below his upbringing quite easily but he (or she) usually does not rise above the training received in the home. In other words, parents, Moms, your children may be less faithful to Christ than you are but they will not likely be more faithful to Christ than you are. That is how important your relationship to God is. Look at yourself and your pattern of worship. Will your children follow you in your pattern and what will their life be like if they do so?

MARY TAUGHT JESUS TO OBEY – 2:51:

    Jesus submitted to His mom and dad which means they taught Him to submit. They expected Him to submit. If you look back at 2:48, the question Mary asked, “Son, why did you do this to us?”

    Despite the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh and was the one who spoke the world into existence, He still modified His behavior and left Jerusalem, and returned home and continued His submission to His parents. While we fully believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, let us not forget to appreciate His humanity. Jesus learned to obey by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8-9).

MARY LEARNED HER PLACE – 8:19-21:

    There is, in the least, an element of possessiveness to this statement. But Jesus here shows us that “our duty to God takes precedence of all else” (Morris, Luke, 173).

    Moms, your job is to teach your children to fall in love with Jesus and then get out of their way. Do not stand between your child and his/her relationship with Jesus and wherever Jesus might lead them, even if it is on the other side of the world. 

    When I first wanted to become a missionary, my dad (the preacher!) was against the idea. My dad was being selfish and was acting like I was put in this world to make him happy and comfortable. Dad wanted me to graduate from FHU and move “next door” to them. Dad said to me, “Some people want to ‘go over there,’ and let people over here go to hell.” I responded, “Maybe but some people want to stay over here and let people over there go to hell.” It does not have to be an “either/or” situation. But Dad was clearly acting like I was here to make him feel safe and sound and happy. But I wasn’t. I am put here to serve God in whatever way my abilities allow me to do and at that time, I felt like I needed to do mission work.

    Mom’s attitude was: “Son, you go wherever you feel like you need to serve God.” That is the right attitude and Dad came around to that, eventually, and supported our mission work quite a lot when we were in Romania.

    Moms, do not stand in the way of your children serving their Lord.

    Value your child’s youth. Worship scripturally. Teach your children to obey. Then get out of their way of serving the Lord.

–Paul holland

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Mother’s Day Sermon – 2017

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  • In the 2d century BC there was an aristocratic scholar in Jerusalem by the name of Ben Sirach.
  • “Do not sit down with the women; for moth comes out of clothes, and a woman’s spite out of a woman. A man’s spite is preferable to a woman’s kindness; Women give rise to shame and reproach.

 

  • The writings of this man help us understand why women were not highly valued in the 1st

 

LET’S SURVEY THE BOOK OF MATTHEW ON THE SUBJECT OF WOMEN.

 

  • 1:1 says the “book of the generation of Jesus Christ.”
    1. Matthew went through the Lord’s family tree and and he recalled history he listed a 5 women.
    2. Women were not expected to be listed in ancient genealogies.
  • At the close of Mt. 1 we have information about a woman named Mary.
    1. The Holy Spirit chose to act upon a woman (verses 18, 20). 1:21-23.
  • God said: I am going to entrust the savior of the world to not just humanity – I will trust a woman.
  1. 2:11 – READ
  • Where was Joseph? Why did Matthew only mention Mary?
  • Men had some very bad things to say about women; Mt. 2:11 presents the female gender very positively.
  • Towards the end of this chapter we read about “Rachel weeping for her children.”

 

HOW DID JESUS CHOOSE TO INTERACT WITH WOMEN AND HOW DID HE VIEW THEM?

 

  • 5:31-32 talks about “divorcing a woman.”
    1. At least some Jews took marriage very lightly; if a man got tired of his wife, divorce her.
    2. The Lord said women were not like property. It was wrong to divorce a wife and remarry at will.
  • Peter had a house (Mt. 8:14) and the Lord came to Peter’s house on this occasion. 8:15
  • In Mt. 9 (verse 18) we encounter a ruler of a Jewish synagogue.
  • Jesus did not say, “If you had a son, I would come. You have a daughter so my answer is no.”
  • 9:20-22 – READ
    1. In Mt. 10:35 Jesus said mothers and mothers-in-law would one day could some conflicts.
  • The Lord knew acceptance and rejection of the gospel could drastically impact family relationships.
  • He told mothers if they loved their children more than Him this would be a problem (Mt. 10:37).
  • Two chapters later (Mt. 12:48) Jesus used the image of “mothers” to show who would be saved.
  • When Jesus taught in parables He sometimes spoke (favorably) about women, Mt. 13:33.
  • The Lord did not overlook ladies when it was time to distribute food (Mt. 14:21).
    1. In Mt. 15:4 the Lord, living under the OT law, said “honor MOM and dad.”
    2. Another “female incident” in Mt. 15 involves a Gentile woman.
  • In Mt. 19 Jesus said God created human beings as “male and female.”
  • 20 describes a mother who came to the Lord wanting some special favors for her sons.
  • In Mt. 22 some Sadducees tried to trap Jesus by talking about a woman who married 7 brothers.
  • Women could suffer terribly when Jerusalem was destroyed (Mt. 24:19), but God was willing to help them.
  • Women are used to illustrate salvation and condemnation – Mt. 25.
  • We see this in the “parable of the 10 virgins” in Mt. 25. Women are also important in the next chapter.
    1. A woman poured precious perfume on the Lord not long before He died (Mt. 26).
    2. Pilate’s wife (Mt. 27:19) sent a message to her husband and said: LEAVE THAT RIGHTEOUS MAN ALONE!
  • Women are spoken of highly in the book of Genesis – Eve is called the “mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20).

    Día de la Madre

    1. En el siglo I aC 2d no era un erudito aristocrática en Jerusalén por el nombre de Ben Sira.
      2. “No se siente con las mujeres; para la polilla sale de la ropa, y pese a una mujer fuera de una mujer. A pesar de un hombre es preferible a la bondad de una mujer; Las mujeres dan lugar a la vergüenza y el reproche.
      3. Los escritos de este hombre nos ayudan a entender por qué las mujeres no fueron muy apreciados en el siglo primero.
      LET’S ENCUESTA el libro de Mateo EN EL OBJETO DE LA MUJER.

      1) Mt. 1: 1 dice que el “Libro de la genealogía de Jesucristo.”
      a) Mateo pasó por el árbol genealógico del Señor y la historia y recordó que aparece a 5 mujeres.
      b) Las mujeres no se espera que se enumeran en las genealogías antiguas.
      2) En el cierre de Mt. 1 tenemos información acerca de una mujer llamada María.
      a) El Espíritu Santo escogió para actuar sobre una mujer (versículos 18, 20). Monte 1: 21-23.
      b) Dios dijo: Voy a confiar el salvador del mundo no sólo a la humanidad – Voy a confiar en una mujer.
      c) Mt. 02:11 – LEER
      3) ¿Dónde estaba José? ¿Por qué Mateo única mención a María?
      4) Los hombres tenían algunas cosas muy malas que decir acerca de las mujeres; Monte 02:11 presenta el género femenino de forma muy positiva.
      5) Hacia el final de este capítulo leemos acerca de “Raquel que llora a sus hijos.”
      CÓMO escogió Jesús para interactuar con las mujeres y no pudo verlas?
      1) Mt. 5: 31-32 habla de “divorciarse de una mujer.”
      a) Por lo menos algunos Judios tomaron matrimonio muy a la ligera; si un hombre se cansó de su esposa, la abandone.
      b) El Señor dijo que las mujeres no eran como propiedad. Fue un error de divorciarse de una esposa y casarse de nuevo a voluntad.
      2) Pedro tenía una casa (Mt. 8:14) y el Señor vino a la casa de Pedro en esta ocasión. Monte 08:15
      3) En Mt. 9 (verso 18) nos encontramos con un gobernador de una sinagoga judía.
      4) Jesús no dijo, “Si tuviera un hijo, yo vendría. Tiene una hija así que mi respuesta es no “.
      5) Mt. 9: 20-22 – LEER
      a) En Mt. 10:35 Jesús dijo madres y madres-en-ley que un día pudiera algunos conflictos.
      b) El Señor sabía que la aceptación y el rechazo del Evangelio podría afectar drásticamente las relaciones familiares.
      6) Le dijo a las madres si amaban a sus hijos más de lo que esto sería un problema (Mt. 10:37).
      7) Dos capítulos después (Mt. 12:48) Jesús usó la imagen de “madres” para mostrar que se ahorraría.
      8) Cuando Jesús enseñó en parábolas veces hablaba (favorable) sobre las mujeres, Mt. 13:33.
      9) El Señor no pasó por alto las damas cuando llegó la hora de distribuir los alimentos (Mt. 14:21).
      a) En Mt. 15: 4 el Señor, que vive bajo la ley del AT, dicho “honor mamá y papá.”
      b) Otro “incidente femenina” en Mt. 15 implica una mujer gentil.
      10) En Mt. 19 Jesús dijo que Dios creó a los seres humanos como “hombre y mujer”.
      11) Mt. 20 describe una madre que vino al Señor querer algunos favores especiales para sus hijos.
      12) En Mt. 22 algunos saduceos trataron de atrapar a Jesús hablando de una mujer que se casó con 7 hermanos.
      13) Las mujeres podrían sufren terriblemente cuando Jerusalén fue destruido (Mt. 24:19), pero Dios estaba dispuesto a ayudarlos.
      14) Las mujeres se utilizan para ilustrar la salvación y la condenación – Mt. 25.
      15) Esto lo vemos en la “parábola de las 10 vírgenes” en el monte 25. Las mujeres también son importantes en el capítulo siguiente.
      a) Una mujer vierte valioso perfume sobre el Señor no mucho antes de morir (Mateo 26).
      b) la esposa de Pilato (Mt. 27:19) envió un mensaje a su marido y le dijo: dejar al hombre QUE JUSTO SOLO!
      16) Las mujeres se habla de alta en el libro de Génesis – Eve se llama la “madre de todos los vivientes” (Génesis 3:20).

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