Category Archives: Authenticity

Mark 2.1-3.6

Title: Q & A

Text: Mark 2.13-3.6

Introduction: For our guests, let me give a general overview of how we got to our text for today.             Chapter one begins with a declaration of who Christ is and then presents the beginning of his ministry. His popularity explodes as he preaches, teaches and heals those who come to see him and eventually forces him to the desolate places because he can no longer enter into the towns and villages. And yet, the people still come out to him.

In Chapter two we have five conspiracy/conflict stories. We’ll look at them all today. This section reaches its climax with the religious leaders plotting Christ’s death in 3.6.

Chapter three is a set of stories that contrast Jesus’ new family of believers against his biological family that has rejected his claims. Jesus will pick his 12 disciples and his band of followers grows. His brothers, sisters and mom will come to get him – thinking he’s mad. This section will show them in direct contrast to his new family.

So, let’s look at our passage today (2.1-3.6) In our text today, we find five conspiracy/conflict stories. Here’s how they’re broken up:

The 1st conflict is in v 1-12 where the religious leaders can’t believe their ears when Jesus declares a man’s sins are forgiven him. Who does this man think he is? God? We looked closely at that passage last week and will only refer to it in passing.

The 2nd conflict begins with the calling of Levi (Matthew), a Tax Collector. His calling inclines him to celebrate and invite all of his friends, both old and new (13-17). The religious leaders are a bit disturbed that this religious man, Jesus, eats and drinks with such sinners – outcasts. Their questioning is loud enough that Jesus hears.

In the next section (18-22) the religious leaders question Jesus as to why his disciples don’t fast, while their disciples and the disciples of John fast. He then gives them three analogies to identify his presence as the fulfillment of God’s promised salvation. What he’s communicating is that his coming isn’t just something that will reform Judaism, but will radically transform it into something new. In other words, Jesus did come to put a patch on Judaism, but to bring something new!

The last two sections (23-28; 1-6) deal with the Sabbath. I want to mention them, because they are a large part of this whole section, but I plan to cover them next week. In these two stories, Jesus teaches that the Sabbath was created for the man and not vise versa. The way Jesus confronts their hard hearts only hardens them more and more and then moves them to plot for his destruction. For me, what is most interesting to note is that their actions answer his question (3.4): Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” He chooses to save a life; however, the Religious leaders will choose to take a life – and it is here that they begin to plot and plan for his destruction.

Pause: I understand why preachers limit their texts to small groups of Scripture. There is way too much information to cover in such a large section. But, that is what I’ve felt led to do. The question is: What is Mark doing in this passage. Are these stories meant to stand alone, or is he telling a larger story in them. Well, obviously, I think there is a larger story within the groups. I’d love to just focus on 2.13-17 for 30 minutes. There are three great points:

  1. The Calling of Matthew (13-14)
  2. The Celebration of this Calling (15)
  3. The Confrontation with the Religious leaders (16-17)

Added to this, each of these stories stands alone with wonderful application. But let’s pull away from them and take a bird’s eye view. Each is a destination on a map, like a town or a city. Instead of searching each city out, I’d like to look at the longer journey. So, what is Mark doing? What is he trying to communicate?

To answer this question, I’d like to highlight a couple of actions on the part of Mark. I’ve divided each section into two main parts:

  1. Questions
  2. Answers

Let’s begin w/ the questions.

I.   The Questions (7, 16, 18, 24, 3.2,4)

exp.: In each smaller story, the religious leaders are found questioning Jesus and his practices:

  1. 7“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
  2. 16 “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
  3. 18“Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
  4. 24“Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.
  5. 2they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.

Do you notice that the three internal stories all deal with eating? Mark Horne, in his book, The Victory According to Mark, makes note that eating socially was an important part of Israel’s history. The people practice it because it is a practice of God. Three times in the Law, Israel was commanded to celebrate with eating and drinking. We saw that a few weeks ago in Nehemiah when the people began to mourn sorrowfully for their actions. They saw their failure to keep God’s Law; however, the leadership noted the date according to the Jewish calendar and declared a celebration because God had commanded it. And celebrate they did!

Have you thought about this eating and drinking with sinners? For the most part, the church has pulled away from the world and we have isolated ourselves. We’ve created cliques and clubs to keep ourselves from having to ‘fellowship’ with tax collectors and sinners. We’ve really missed our calling in this.

Paul confronted Peter in front of all their friends because he was behaving like Jesus – eating and drinking with Gentiles. Then, when he around his Jewish friends, he stopped and withdrew from the Gentiles. Paul basically called him a hypocrite and rebuked him publically.

Later in Paul’s ministry, he sees that the church in Corinth was getting this all mixed up, too. Paul also encourages the church at Corinth to stop eating and drinking with Christians who were living in sin, but not to stop fellowshipping with those who were lost. In 1 Cor 5.9-13

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

app.: Somehow, we’ve got it backward through the years. The church is supposed to keep itself pure. We have an identity to protect before the world. We’re to be distinct. But in doing so, we’ve pulled away from the world – the very place we’re supposed to be salt and light. Here’s what I mean:

  • We’ll have a women’s fellowship and invite a lost woman to come…
  • We’ll have a men’s fellowship – a beast feast – a wild game cook-off and invite lost men
  • We’ll have youth fellowships – bring in a big name, cool, youthful looking guest speaker; we’ll bring in a band that appeals to the younger generation and then ask the teens to invite a lost youth with the hopes that they’ll hear the gospel and get saved.

These have become the practice. And, they can be effective. Yes, people do get saved in such programs and activities. But, nowhere do we see Jesus pulling the disciples together and saying: Hey guys, we’re going to have a large fellowship. We’re going to go fishing and catch a bunch of fish and have a big fish fry. You invite a lost friend to come along and I’ll share the gospel with them after we’ve eaten.

That story isn’t in the Bible. And if you hear Paul, he says don’t fellowship with the hypocrite – the person who claims the name of Christ and lives like hell. But instead, hang out with lost people. Don’t judge them. Win them over by your lifestyle. You be salt and light in their worlds.

Christ and his followers are eating and drinking with the lost so much, it sparks another question from the religious leaders: Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast? And I love this question at the end of the chapter: why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath? That is by plucking heads of grain and eating them as they walk through the field.

Breaking the Sabbath is bad. No doubt. So, we have to look closer to see if the accusation is correct. Actually, it isn’t. Jesus is leading his men to do exactly what was commanded in Deut. 23.24-25: 24 “If you go into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag. 25 If you go into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain.

Where do these guys then get this ‘law’? Are you ready for this? They made it up. The Law states that no one is to reap a harvest on the Sabbath. The Pharisees are the ones who defined what reaping was. From what I can gather, the Mishnah has outlined 39 separate violations for reaping – and this is the infraction, to which they’re referring. They started with a desire to keep the Sabbath day holy, but somehow turned it into a long list of do’s and don’ts. And then, they become the judges for these violations.

Jesus responds to these guys by reminding them of a story. I’ll cover this story next week, but for now, let me just clarify that what Christ tells them in effect is that their laws have become…in the words of William Lane…unduly stringent and exceed the intention of the Law.

That sounds like us as Baptists. We have God’s Word, but we add so much to it that we become ineffective at reaching the lost. Instead of going out to them, we invite them here – to our purified gatherings so that they might get saved.

Here’s my fear: I wonder if as Baptists, we’re more like the Pharisees than we are Jesus and the disciples. Have we put up such strict guidelines and rules that we’re no longer effective in our witness? The only effective way is to invite people here with the hopes of them getting saved, when all along Jesus is screaming for us to go out into the fields. He is calling us to go eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners. You know who these people are. They’re our neighbors and co-workers. They’re our family members who feel more judged than loved.

In our story this morning, these guys – the Pharisees, are asking questions because Jesus isn’t following their guidelines.

App.: Are the rules you’ve structured for your life from God’s Word or are they traditions that have simply been passed along?

It’s time we acted more like Jesus and less like the Pharisees.

t.s.: Note 1st the questions. Note 2nd, the answers Jesus gives.

II.    The Responses (10, 17, 20, 25, 28)

exp.: It is also interesting to note the different titles Jesus ascribes to himself throughout chapter two:

  1. Son of Man (10),
  2. Physician (17),
  3. Bridegroom (20),
  4. David (25), and
  5. Son of Man again (28).

exp.: it would be fun to isolate each of these and do in depth research as to where these terms come from – I’d like to look at this a little deeper on Wednesday night, during our WEBS. For now, let me give a summation: Jesus is saying to these leaders, in response to their questions, that he has the authority to do these things because he is the Promised One of God.

We spoke of references to the Son of Man from Daniel last week. Jesus is clearly communicating his understanding that he is the promised Messiah of God. And, as the Messiah, he has been given the authority to heal and forgive. I’m not sure they’re getting this, but according to 3.6, I think they just might be. And for the way his family will respond in chapter 3 – they think he is out of his mind – folks must be coming to an understanding that Jesus is making this outrageous claim.

And, added to this outrageousness, for Jesus to call the unrighteous and not the righteous is offensive to the religious leaders. They would have a big problem that he isn’t submitting to them and that the people, their people are chasing after him.

Kim Riddlebarger: Jesus is using the term “righteous” in a rhetorical sense–those who think themselves to be righteous and therefore unable to consider the fact that they needed to humble themselves before God, acknowledge that they are sinners, and then obey Jesus’ summons to repent and believe. In other words, Jesus is saying that he did not come to call the “self-righteous,” or those who think of themselves as better off than the sinners.

This is precisely the point Jesus makes in Luke 18:9-14. He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Pharisees and scribes were mad that Jesus didn’t submit to them and they were jealous of the crowds that followed Jesus.

We’ve already discussed how eating and drinking and celebrating with sinners was what God did. It was characteristic of him in the OT. The very fact that Israel’s Messiah would sit and eat with sinners points us back to the OT and ahead to the end of the age where the marriage supper of the lamb takes place (Revelation 19:9). In a very real sense, when we take communion, we do so at his table.

His reference to being the Bridegroom is even more blatant. The presence of the Messiah is to be celebrated. When Jesus talks about patches and wineskins, he is saying that he has not come to simply patch up Judaism, but has come to usher in the Kingdom of God – a new creation.

These last two stories deal with the Sabbath. Again, I want to focus on these two passages next week as I talk about the Sabbath and the Sabbath rest. For now, let me just clarify that Jesus is declaring his authority over the Sabbath and his great displeasure with the religious leaders for making the Sabbath something God never intended it to be.

Conclusion: This past week another mega-church pastor stepped aside to deal with his sin. And I’ve been reminded that we all are sinful and prone to chase after fruitless things. I’m reminded that leaders aren’t perfect. And our stories this morning remind us that failure isn’t just for those whose morals are loose, but for anyone who breathes and has a heartbeat – even the most legalistic. Failure attacks the liberal and the fundamentalist alike.

So we must ask ourselves:

  1. Are we living by man-made traditions or Biblical mandates?
    1. Holding on to traditions over mandates is sinful and makes one no different than the Pharisee.
    2. The scary thing about traditions, is that they are so valued, one confuses it w/ commands.
  2. Are we practicing our evangelism the way Christ did and commanded of us? Or, are we adopting the latest new way to evangelize?
    1. Are we unattractive to the world because they see us as a bunch of hypocrites? We expect them to come here to hear? There must be a way to love the people of the world and not condone sinful behavior. For me, in some instances – it is very clear what I am comfortable with and what bothers me. But, in others, I’m not sure.

If Jesus came to Tyler, would he hang out with us? Or, would we be critical of him because he’s hanging out with people – people we would never be seen with? Would we be mad at him because he didn’t come to our church?

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Filed under Authenticity, Evangelism, Mark, Purpose, Scripture, Sermon

Mark 1.1-15

Title: He is not here! He is Risen, just as he said!

Text: Mk 1.1-15; 15.33-16.8

Introduction: Thank you Christoph for reading our text this morning; Today we begin our study in Mark. Mark has always been my least favorite Gospel. I’ve usually run to the other three gospels when I’m looking for stories. Mt 28.18-20; Luke 23 and the thief on the Cross; John and his alternate perspective. When I was in college, Dr. Martin had us translate from Mark’s Gospel. Matthew and John were disciples. Luke had done thorough research. Mark always seemed to me to be thrown together and condensed. However, now that I am much older and have had time to study the beauty of Mark’s story, I see it much clearer. I understand that Mark had a purpose in mind. He didn’t have Mt, Lk and Jn to lean on.

No, as a matter of fact, I see that a great debt of gratitude is owed to Mark. He learned what he recorded here from Peter. He traveled with Paul and Barnabas both and learned from them. His goal and purpose was different than that of Matthew or Luke or even John. He was a trailblazer who saw the need to get this story down in book form for future generations because there wasn’t anything to pass along. He saw the need and rose to the occasion.

Rd Mk 1.1; an incomplete sentence. There is no verb! That tells us that it was probably the Title of this little book. Your title probably reads: Mark or the Gospel according to Mark. That Title was added later. This is probably Mark’s title: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Now, before we look at this title, let’s look at this person, Mark. It would be fun to outline for you all of the evidence pointing us toward John Mark, the helper to Barnabas and Paul. But, we just don’t have time. You’ll have to trust that for nearly 2,000 years, the church has understood John Mark to be the writer. Here is what we’re confident of:

This Mark is the same John Mark who worked with Barnabas and Paul. And, he also worked with Peter. That’s right, that Simon Peter: the one who denied Christ three times; the one who continually put his foot in his mouth. Furthermore, there is strong evidence to suggest that John Mark got his information for this gospel from Peter and his testimony of these things. He wrote this shortly after Peter’s death. Maybe he realized there was a deep need for such a book as he watched one of the eyewitnesses to Christ pass from this earth. Wednesday night, during our Bible Study hour, I plan to look at the evidence for this and other topics we just don’t have time to address. So, consider this your invitation.

As we make our way through Mark I want to point out to you, and this is important, that I want to focus just on what Mark shares. When it was written, there were no others with which to compare it. I want you to get that feeling. Sure, I’ll mention the other gospels and relate what you probably already know, but for the most part – we will stick to Mark’s storyline. I want to sort of pretend we don’t have the ‘extras’ in the other Gospels.

Mark was most likely writing this book for the Christians in Rome – and he’s writing from Rome, where he had been working with Peter before Peter’s death.

So, let’s break his title down:

  • The Beginning: not like John’s gospel – not that far back. Not like Genesis – that’s not his starting point. His starting point is clarified in the next couple of verses. Malachi and Isaiah talked about this Messiah’s coming. That’s his starting point. He points back to the prophets as the starting point.
  • Gospel: εὐαγγέλιον – transliterated is evangelism. εὐ – means well or good. αγγέλοs – is the word for which we get angel – or messenger. αγγέλιον means message. So we have good message or good news. Mark here is the 1st one to use this word this way. His is the 1st gospel.
  • Jesus – the gospel, the message of Jesus can be understood in two ways:
    • as the message about Jesus. Mark might be saying I’m going to tell you about him.
    • the message Jesus proclaimed. Mark might be saying I’m going to tell you what he preached. Both work here, for they are the same.
  • Christanointed one or Messiah. Your translation could read: Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.
  • Son of God – I think Mark is up to something here:
    • Jesus, his earthly name, He was human.
    • Christ, the Messiah of the Jewish people, and the world. These messianic implications would go all the way back to the Davidic covenant.
    • Son of God – a theological delineation. Yes, fully human, but also – fully God. We’ll see more of that in a moment. We’ll see this is an important element that flows through this book, and is a part of the climax to the story at the end.

Mark affirms for us that this beginning was foretold of by the prophets. He mentions Isaiah here (as it is written in), but he quotes from Malachi and Isaiah. Let’s look at these quotes:

Malachi 3.1 – “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. He clearly tells us of someone who will come proclaiming, announcing, and heralding the coming of the Lord.

Mark, then quotes from Isaiah to clarify for us this: 40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.  A voice cries:  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

John is this ‘voice crying in the wilderness’; we meet him in v. 4; Jesus is the Lord, the Messiah, the Son of God mentioned here; we meet him in v 9; let’s do that; rd v 4-8; rd v 9-11;

At this stage of the introduction, I think it would be interesting to note the different witnesses proclaiming this gospel – that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. I think that is more of Mark’s focus than telling us the whole story – like we see in other gospels. Note:

  1. Isaiah tells us in v 3.
  2. Malachi tells us in v 2.
  3. Mark tells us in his Title, v 1.
  4. John tells us in v 4-8. This Messiah is mightier than I, his sandals I’m not worthy to even stoop down and tie! John is pointing us to Jesus. And then…
  5. The Trinity appears to validate this for us in v 9-11.
    • The Son comes to be baptized
    • The Spirit the heavens are torn open (the clouds don’t just part) and the Spirit descends upon Jesus as a witness
    • The Father himself testifies: You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.

This might appear to be the end of the introduction – v 1 – the son of God; v 11 – the Father proclaims him to be his son. But I think there is more here; I think that Satan and the angels also declare who he is by their actions:

  1. There is Satan’s validation of who he is as he tries to test him – trying to trip him up; rd v 12-13
  2. He is with the wild beasts – this is unusual; Wild beast don’t usually act this way;
  3. The angels were ministering to him, giving their validation of who He is.

Listen, while no single testimony stands alone as valid in some eyes, the weight of these combined all scream at us: Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

1.14-15 tell us that Jesus begins his ministry, even before he picks his disciples (1.16-20); rd v 14a; we won’t hear of John again in Mark, (we hear of John’s disciples in 2.18) but we won’t hear from the Baptizer again until we learn of his death in chapter 6. As John records in his gospel – this is something John the Baptist knew was coming – He must increase, but I must decrease.

And the increase of Christ’s popularity is what we see as he begins his ministry. Let’s continue – 1.14b-15; we see this word gospel again – a nice bookend to this section. Maybe this is the end of the Introduction.

This is common for Mark: bookends to sections where he is focusing on something important. Some scholars call this the top and the tail. They bring the story back to the beginning – in a way. I’ll do my best to point them out along the way.

Turn to 15.33-37; Mark is making reference to the O.T. again. Here it is a reference to Psalm 22.1-18; And at his death something happens: rd 15.3838 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. This is the 2nd time we’ve seen this word torn in Mark. Do you know it doesn’t appear at any other time in this book than the two we’ve seen? Mark uses this word torn only twice: Once when the heaven’s were being torn open and the Spirit descends upon the Messiah and here, when the curtain that separated the people from the presence of God was torn in two from top to bottom.

No man can make either one of those tears. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I think Mark’s goal here is to communicate to the reader that a way into the presence of God has been made. He came from heaven to earth and lived the perfect and sinless life, that he might make the payment of death on our behalf. His death opened a way into the holy of holies – the most holy place, that you and I might have access to God.

And if you’ve missed it somehow, look at v 39; Do you know in Mark, only one human makes this remark? The Centurion. God said it back in 1.15; Angels and Demons will declare it. But it isn’t until this moment that a person says it. The message of Mark is clear: Jesus, is the Christ, the promised messiah, Son of God.

From here, Mark seems to end his gospel very abruptly, especially when we consider Matthew, Luke and John. But let me reiterate: Mark’s purpose isn’t to tell stories for our entertainment, but rather to tell this one story. Jesus, the Christ, was crucified, dead and buried. And, when the women came to the tomb three days later, they find that he has risen, just as he has promised.

In v40-41, the women are watching and observing and v 47 informs the reader that they are there with him until he is laid in the tomb.

When the Sabbath has ended, they come. The Sabbath ends at sun down on Saturday, but they can’t see at night. So, rd v 2-4; The synoptics (Mt, Mk, Lk) all use the same word here for roll away. But John uses a different word. You remember he was an eyewitness with Peter. He says the stone was rolled up and away. Rd v 5-6

He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. And this is Mark’s story as passed down from Peter. As he told us in his title: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Conclusion: Have you noticed how the world has captured the Christmas holiday and commercialized it – even to the point removing Christ from Christmas, but keeping many of the traditions and adding others? And yet, for the most part, the world has left Easter alone? Listen Dr. R. Albert Mohler: The secular world has done its best to make a mess of Christmas, but it has largely ignored our celebration of the Resurrection. Where commercialism intrudes, it comes in the form of eggs and chicks and rabbits–none of which claim any connection with the Resurrection. The fact is, the secular world will attempt to domesticate, commercialize, and tame the babe in the manger–but it will run at breakneck speed from the cross and the empty tomb.

That cross stands as condemnation on all human attempts at self-righteousness, and the fallen world will do all within its power to hide the cross from sight. The empty tomb is the seal and confirmation of the cross, and the world will shield its eyes.

The Truth is, people do not want to be confronted about their sin. And the cross does just that! The empty tomb does just that.

But for Christians, we have a far greater understanding of this message. And this is our application – our take-aways:

Application:

  1. The Worst that can happen to us has already happened for us in Christ Jesus. I’m talking about for the person who has committed his life to Christ and found the forgiveness of sins. Paul says: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. Christ paid that horrible punishment on our behalf. As believers, the worst thing that could happen to us has already happened in Christ. The wages of our sin is death and Christ paid that penalty on our behalf!
  2. The Best thing that can happen for us has already happened, too.
    • His resurrection means so much more for us. In this life, we have been raised with Christ, and seated with him in the heavenlies. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2.4-7 Paul also said: 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    • His resurrection gives us hope of our future resurrection.

Invitation: Listen, if you don’t have that hope…

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Filed under Authenticity, Easter, Mark, Purpose, Scripture, Sermon, Uncategorized

Jude 11-16

Title: Chivalry isn’t Dead!

Text: Jude 11-16

Introduction: We’re in Jude this morning…

I’m reading a book entitled, The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Story of William Marshal, The Power Behind Five English Thrones, by Thomas Asbridge. It’s a wonderful book about a Knight in the 12th Century. It’s a story like Braveheart or King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. In this story William is sent from his home in England to live with his uncle, who will educate him and teach him the art of military warfare at his estate, Tancarville. William grows up from age 12-20 in his uncle’s home, watching and learning from the knights in his uncle’s service. War breaks out and William is Knighted into service – a tremendous honor for the 20 year old. As the men prepare for battle, William is a bit over anxious. He moves out of rank and puts himself ahead of the other knights – men who outrank him. This upset the Chamberlain, who after the battle releases William. He has nowhere to go. He can’t go home. Home belongs to his eldest brother. He is forced to grow up and quickly.

In that day, there were contests or tournaments for Knights. You’ve probably seen them played out in movies where Knights would compete against each other. William hears of a tournament nearby and enters, with the hopes of making a little money and maybe impressing some Lord with his combat skills. Thus, being taken into their home and their retinue. So William enters this tournament and defeats the number one knight. This guy is the Tom Brady or Lebron James of Knights. His name was Philip of Valognes.

The “History” recorded that after William snatched Philip of Valognes’ bridle and dragged him from the field, ‘Philip readily gave his pledge to the Marshal’ and, trusting him, William ‘let him go’. Philip had promised that, when the reckoning came at day’s end, he would settle any ransom or forfeit due, and his word alone was deemed sufficient. Both men shared a deeply ingrained understanding that they had to honour the rules of this game; that by social and cultural convention, any failure to do so would be regarded as shameful. Such a transgression would cause disgrace and a loss of status, not only for the individual, but also for his retinue and kin. In William’s day, the ‘ chevaliers ’ or knights who understood and observed these customs were following the principles of ‘ chevalerie ’ –chivalry. In a literal sense, they knew how horsemen should act. These precepts might be bent, even manipulated, to one’s advantage, but to be seen to break them openly would be to invite scandal and ignominy.

Much in the same manner, there are people in the church who do not live by such a standard – Chivalry: Gallant distinguished behavior. Hard to believe, huh? Jude is warning his readers of just such men (anthropos; v 4) who creep in unnoticed and lead people astray. They are not Chivalrous. They have no honor. They lack character. We pick up in v 11 this morning. Read with me, verses 11-16;

Let’s pray…

I’ve taken the liberty to divide Jude’s passage up into three man sections, focusing on these ungodly leaders:

  1. Three Examples of Ungodly Leaders (11)
  2. Five Characteristics of Ungodly Leaders (12-13)
  3. Three Statements about the Destiny of Ungodly Leaders (14-16)

Transition: Let’s begin with the 1st section where Jude gives us…

I.     Three Examples of Ungodly Leaders: (11)

Exp.: you see the three listed there in the text. Are you familiar with all of these stories?

  1. Cain – was the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, Abel. What was it about Cain that makes him a bad example: Abel was a rancher and Cain was a Farmer; Both brought portions as offerings to the Lord. God received Abel’s offerings; however, Cain’s offering, he did not. Cain was angry and his face was downcast; We’re given a little insight into the understanding of this passage when God, very gently says: “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” So we see anger and maybe jealousy. Why was he angry? We also see someone who was unwilling to even make the attempt to reach God’s standard. He thought the answer lie in getting rid of his brother. I don’t know, maybe then the standard would be lowered?
  2. Balaam – When you first gloss over the story of Balaam, you get a sense that he makes the right decision. He says the right things. However, a deeper look shows duplicity on Balaam’s part. It was like externally he did what was right, but internally he was greedy and selfish; externally he sounded like he wanted to do God’s will, but internally he was self seeking. His actions actually caused the people of Israel to fall into the trap of immorality. Numbers 31.16 gives us a commentary of Moses on this story: 16 Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. His duplicitous deception led Israel into sexual sin.
  3. Korah – He was a leader who incited people to rise up against Moses and Aaron. Moses seems to be so cool here. He basically says ok. We’ll ask God to show us who he has picked to lead. If these men die of old age, then God hasn’t chosen me. If, however, God does something new… 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

app.: These stories reveal the heart of these men, but also what their true action was: they didn’t trust God.

In these men we see anger and jealousy. We see an attitude of rebellion that says I’d rather kill my brother than live up to your standard. We see a leader who is two-faced: displaying an outward appearance of holiness and piety, but on the inside has selfish motives. We see a leader who rises up against the authority God has placed in their midst. We see them remain steadfast in their rebellion, even to death.

  1. It shows that rebellion against the leaders, whom God has put into place, is rebellion against the Lord.
  2. Rebellion, on the part of one individual, hurts others. Dad, your rebellion hurts your family. Mom, your rebellion hurts your kids. Boss, your rebellion hurts your business and your employees. Teacher, your rebellion hurts your students.

Korah didn’t die alone. Numbers 16.31ff: 31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense. Shoogmb! Just like that! Gone.

t.s.: Jude then moves to this section, still focusing in on these ungodly leaders by giving us 5 characteristics..

II.    Five Characteristics of Ungodly Leaders: (12-13)

  1. They are Destructive – rd v 12a; destructive, ship wrecking your faith; all they really care about is themselves. Blemishes; spots in the ocean; could be rocks, reefs, could be a school of fish.

ill.: we saw this a couple of weeks ago at Gulf Shores; amazingly beautiful. – but could be disastrous. 2nd,

  1. They are Disappointing – rd v 12b; I’ve lived this illustration out in my life; the first time I remember hearing it was in college. Dr. Reynolds was talking to us preachers about preaching sermons that were filled with thunder and lightning, but never brought any refreshing rain. Don’t be like that! He chided us. That’s what these leaders do – there is a lot of thunder and lightning, but not rain. #3
  2. They leave you Dissatisfied – rd v 12c; They leave one unsatisfied, malnourished, if you will. They are big, even beautiful trees, but they produce no valuable fruit. 4th,
  3. They are Dangerous – v 13a; the scary thing about foam is, you can’t float in it. The bigger, the deeper the foam in the ocean, the more likely it is that you’re going to drown. Anyone who has ever ridden big waves can tell you that. There’s a 5th characteristic,
  4. They’re Temporary – rd 13b; Shooting stars – a bright light, full of gas, that fades quickly.

t.s.: What’s interesting here is that Jude sets us up for the last section where he makes…

III.   Three Statements about the Destiny of Ungodly Leaders: (14-16)

exp.: v. 13a: for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. I don’t know about you, but that statement isolated and by itself is scary! Here’s what we know:

  1. His Judgment is Set. rd v 14; A date for Judgment against them by God is Set. 1st, this is not a quote from Scripture. It probably comes from 1 Enoch, a pseudopigraphic document. It’s possible these certain ungodly men were familiar. He might just be using their own ammunition against them; however, what he says is still true: We know the Lord is coming again; the Lord comes – I’ve heard this called an historical aorist – meaning you see a past tense verb but give it present or future tense meaning. Tom Schreiner in his New American Commentary on Jude calls it a prophetic perfect. Meaning that the prophet’s intent is what we translate. For his hearers, this would be understood. For us though, we must take the literal and translate it into our understanding. I love this term by Dr. Schreiner – Prophetic Perfect. Defined: a present state from a past action. This is hard for us to grasp with our minds, but God knows who will reject him. He knows who will lead others astray. …the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever for such as these. His judgment is set. You can’t stop it. No power within your grasp can change it.

app.: this says that before Cain rebelled and killed Abel, God knew; that before Balaam rebelled, God knew; that before Korah rebelled, God knew. And before tomorrow comes, God knows.

ill.: This week in my reading I was in Acts 1. His disciples asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel? He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

t.s.: No one knows the day or hour. The point is that there is just such a day and hour. 2ndly,

  1. His Judgment is Sure. rd v 15a; and to execute judgment and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness… We know the day is coming – we also know just what that day will entail. The ungodly will receive their just punishment. That’s our 3rd sub-point…
  2. His Judgment is Right: rd v 15b; to execute judgment and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” they have acted and spoken in an ungodly fashion, deserving the judgment God renders. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I wish some people, who I love dearly would give their lives over to Him. But if they don’t… there is reserved a judgment for them that will be eternal. And God, who is perfect in every way, is perfectly right to lay down the rules and judge us by them. Rd v 16;
    1. They grumble; People who don’t get their way usually grumble;
    2. They are always finding fault; that’s what malcontents are.
  • They follow their own sinful desires; 2 Peter 2.9-10; then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
  1. They are loud-mouthed boasters; this Gk word gives it the flavor of saying: they got big mouths! 2 Peter 2.18 gives us some insight into their boasting; 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. So, their boasting is in their selfish, sinful passions.
  2. Showing favoritism; We don’t talk too much about this, but we should. We need to remember that favoritism toward individuals in the church is wrong. This is a recurring theme in the O.T and we see it taught in the NT, too. Ungodly leaders deserve the judgment of God upon their lives because they disobey him at every turn – using people to get what they want.

Application: These ungodly leaders lack character. When on the battlefield of life, they give their word, but don’t live by it. They don’t want to play by the rules that have been set in place by God. With them there is no honor, no integrity, no truth.

William Marshal trusted Philip of Valognes and released him up his word of promise. William Marshal earned a great wealth in such battles. He lost some, too. But mostly he won. In the losing of battles, William was forced to decide on whether he would keep his word and live up to the standard set by the rules. He did.

His character placed him in a position to defend the queen. He was what we might call the Secret Service today. As the years past, he would serve the royalty of England as a trusted Knight earning the title: The Greatest Knight.

So, what? How does this apply to me?

  1. Stop comparing yourselves to your brothers and sisters. They are not your standard! That was Cain’s problem.
  2. Understand that your actions affect those around you. Contrary to what the world says, your actions really do hurt others. I’ve had this discussion with millennials who believe that you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt others. That is why they buy into gay marriage and adultery if it is through Ashley Madison or some other ‘secret’ way. Listen, be sure your sin will find you out.
  3. God has placed your leadership in place for your protection. You know these men. Ask yourself: are they selfish? Are their motives impure? Do they appear to be jealous or envious? Are they gaining something through their leadership? Are they showing favoritism to others to gain Money? Prestige? More than likely, as you take a close look at your leadership, you’ll see them leading from pure motives and the intent of their heart is for your protection – the protection of the body.
  4. God’s mercy is great. Now is the time to take advantage of it. Now is the time when he warns us: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Here is how you do well
    1. For Christians – if you’re walking in sin – repent.
    2. For non-believers – if you’re feeling convicted of your sin – I offer you Christ.
    3. Church membership – offers you accountability.
    4. Service – is God calling you into his service?

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Filed under Authenticity, Jude, Leadership, Scripture

Jude 8-10

Title: In Dependence

Text: Jude 8-10

Introduction: Start the recording; we started with a simple introduction in v 1-2; then, we were quickly introduced to Jude’s purpose and his warning to the church about False Teachers.

What makes a false teacher so scary? They infiltrate our ranks as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their own self-deception leads them to lead others away like a blind man leading a blind man off of a cliff. They willingly embrace their own destruction because they think they are right. They inject their venom into willing victims who buy their lies. A false teacher is:

  1. Someone able to sneak in Unnoticed (4)
  2. Someone who behaves in an Ungodly fashion (4)
  3. Someone who leads others astray (i.e.: rebel) (5-7)

Think terrorist. How else are they able to set off a bomb in a crowded area and kill so many and wound so many more? They sneak in unnoticed. They look and act like everyone else. Their actions are without a doubt ungodly. And, their leadership is able to tap into a resource of youth and immaturity that leads others astray. Eventually bringing about their destruction and the destruction of others.

Now, I know that isn’t a perfect illustration and doesn’t fit every terrorist. But think about the actions of those who have killed in the US lately… (pause).

Read the text: Jude 8-10;

By attaching these verses with the previous verses, Jude offers us three warnings about False Teachers through their actions:

  1. Independence from the Word of God leads to Spiritual Immorality (8)
  2. Independence from the Authority of God leads to Spiritual Arrogance (9)
  3. Independence from the Spirit of God leads to Spiritual Ignorance (10)

Let’s leave that screen up for a moment for those who want to write them down. You’ll want to note that each point is a verse.

Transition: Let’s begin with this 1st warning…

Independence from the Word of God leads to Spiritual Immorality (8)

exp.: or, you might say: dependence on anything other than the Word of God leads to spiritual immorality. I’m not saying any other source doesn’t matter (Congregational Votes; Prayer)– What I’m saying is that God’s Word must be our standard – you cannot separate your life from God’s Word. If you’re getting information which conflicts with God’s Word – you open the door to Spiritual Immorality. Now Brother Fred, why would you Spiritual Immorality? Answer: Because it’s God’s terminology! He refers to the prostituting of ourselves to gods when we chase after them and reject Him. This is the illustration he uses. rd v 8a; Yet in like manner these people also; he is drawing attention to the previous illustrations;

  1. In the same way; these people (v4), these false teachers rebel
    1. Rebellion due to a lack of trust – like the Hebrew children
    2. Rebellion due to a sense of pride – like the fallen angels
    3. Rebellion due to selfish lusts and desires – like Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities

Rd 8b; relying on their dreams; these guys are dreamers. I see this in two ways: 1. They dream dreams while sleeping and interpret them. Or, 2. They have visions, possibly while inebriated with some aid. This leads them to Jude’s next Triad:

  1. Defile the flesh, – like the behavior of those in Sodom and Gomorrah; This is detestable to the Lord:

Deut. 13.1-5: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

Jeremiah 23.25-32: 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.

Dr. Akin writes: If you choose to live loosely and immorally, lewdly and out there on the moral edge, don’t look to God to justify your foolishness and immaturity. Be honest enough to point your finger at the real enabler: Yourself.

  1. Reject authority;: to despise Lordship; these people don’t like anyone telling them what to do; basically, this is a rejection of the Lordship of Christ.

ill.: John MacArthur has a book entitled: the Gospel According to Jesus. I read it years ago. In it Dr. MacArthur makes an argument against making Jesus your savior and not making him your lord. He says it is impossible have one without the other. Some people actually preach and teach you can do that: instead of Jesus as Savior and Lord, they say you can be saved without surrendering your life to him as Lord. It makes for great debate; however, that is exactly what Jude is saying these people are doing.

  1. Blaspheme the glorious ones:
    1. Blaspheme is a theme in this text. Did you notice it appears in all three verses: rd 8-10;
    2. It appears the context for glorious ones is the angels; note the angel Michael appears in the next verse;

app.: these people live immoral, ungodly lives by rejecting the authority of God’s Word for their lives. Instead they follow their dreams and do what they want to do without accountability to rein in their passions.

t.s.: 2ndly,

Independence from the Authority of God leads to Spiritual Arrogance (9)

exp.: rd v 9; But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Yeah, this is a hard verse to understand, so let’s just skip it and move on to the next verse. V 10; Just kidding. God has preserved it for us, let’s see what we’re supposed to learn. I think for us, the application of the verse is where we want to go. Let’s not struggle with what we don’t know. Let’s focus in on what we do know.

  1. We know the Characters of the story:
    1. Michael – the archangel; that title means he is the highest ranking angel there is; I was taught when I was younger that there were three archangels: Satan, Michael and Gabriel. I don’t really have any proof of that. I think that was more of an assumption on the part of my teacher. But, it sure did teach well. The title archangel is used only here and again in 1 Thessalonians 4 to describe the return of Jesus. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Michael is seen in battle in Revelation 12.7 where he defeats Satan and his followers and casts them out of heaven. In Daniel he seen in a similar fashion and is called the ‘Great Prince’ and “one of the chief princes”.
    2. The Devil – the arch enemy of the Lord; Satan, Lucifer, the fallen angel from heaven who took with him 1/3 of heaven when he fell. Revelation 12;
    3. Moses – The leader of Israel; He died before the children of Israel were allowed to enter into the Promised Land. He, himself, did not get to go with them. That was pretty hard on him. He dies in Deut. 34 and is buried by God in v. 6. I assume because God didn’t want the Israelites to have his body. They were already carrying the bones of Joseph. And, they didn’t make an idol out of his bones. But, Moses was different. He was special.
    4. The Lord – self explanatory; he’s not really a character in this story, but I think it is inferred.
  2. This verse tells us something we’ve not found elsewhere in Scripture. My commentaries tell me this is a story found in The Assumption of Moses or The Testament of Moses. There are no existing copies, so we can only go by the testimonies of those who read from these and tell us about them. And, our best guess as to the purpose of Satan wanting the body of Moses would be to make him an idol and a stumbling block for the children of Israel.

ill.: Can you imagine what it would be like for us if we had a really good picture of Jesus? Can you imagine what the original would be worth? We make idols of the goofiest things in churches: crosses, pulpits, chairs, pictures, pew cushions. You can see why God would bury him rather than let him become an object of worship.

Now, before I move on, I want to address the issue of when Biblical Authors quote non-biblical material.

  1. Acknowledge that it happens. Twice in this book; 9, 14; It happens in others.
  2. Acknowledge that all Truth is God’s Truth. The source doesn’t matter. The Source of Truth is what matters. In a post-modern culture, people want to apply truth to specific topics or times or circumstances. They would say that what is truth for you, might not be for someone else. No, All Truth is God’s truth. Satan is the father of lies and what is false.
  3. Just because the author cites someone secular, it doesn’t mean everything that author says is to be believed or accepted. Acts 17.22-29: Paul uses a secular poet to make his point. It doesn’t mean Epimenides was a prophet of God.
  4. There are 66 books in the Bible. We don’t have these other books because God chose not to preserve them for us. These books meet certain very specific requirements. These 66 were chosen because the early church recognized that they were inspired of God. There are many other books out there with great history or descriptions; however, the early church did not include them because they obviously did not meet the requirements and the Holy Spirit either directed them or caused them to be lost (i.e.: the other two letters to the Corinthians; there was another letter to the Philippians; There was a letter to the church at Laodicea from Paul); what we have is what God wants us to have.

So, here’s how this applies:

app.: Michael knew his place and position. He also knew his responsibility. He humbled himself and let God take care of it. False Teachers don’t know their place. They presume to be more than God has positioned them and do more than God has ordained for them. If Michael, the highest ranking angel out there humbled himself and recognized he wasn’t God – what does that say for you and me? Where is our position in God’s economy.

t.s.: Don’t make more of yourself than God has assigned to you.

  1. Independence from the Word of God leads to Spiritual Immorality
  2. Independence from the Authority of God leads to Spiritual Arrogance
  3. Independence from the Spirit of God leads to Spiritual Ignorance

Independence from the Spirit of God leads to Spiritual Ignorance (15-24)

exp.: rd v 10; 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Here is what this verse says: They blaspheme what they don’t understand. They have a natural understanding just like the animals do, which leads to their destruction.

Teaching Points: 1 John 4.7-13

  1. We have a relationship with God because he loves us. His love abides in us.
  2. This relationship gives us benefits:
    1. Love: the action on his part to redeem and restore us. Rd 1 John 4.7-9
    2. Forgiveness: propitiation; rd 1 Jn 4.10
    3. Relationship:
      1. With each other: We love others as he loves – giving, sacrificially v. 11
      2. With God: He abides in us and we abide in him; the word is also remain. Rd 12-13; His Spirit in us!
    4. Knowledge/Understanding for life. And, this is what separates the believers from the non-believers.

1 Cor 4.11-14: 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Independence from the Spirit of God leads to being a Spiritual Moron! To quote Jude: These people blaspheme all that they do not understand. They’re spiritually immoral, arrogant and ignorant. What they do know is the same thing an animal knows instinctually. But, left to their own choices, they destroy themselves.

ill.: Watching the Truth Project again has been an eye opener. This past week we watched a portion of the study where Dr. Tackett took the imprint of God on certain spheres of life and showed us how in ignorance, we as humans try to do what God has taken care of and we mess it up. This week the sphere we looked at was the State. God’s design is God, King, the people. When God is removed from the equation, the state can become the most monstrous, evil mechanism. Just look at Stalin, Hitler, The Khmer Rouge. When God is removed from the structure of every institution, that institution gets distorted and ultimately fails. 50,000,000 unborn children murdered in the US. Now, these babies are being harvested to the highest bidder for research.

ill.: Show pictures: The Trinity, The Family, The State; Show the portion of the video that talks about the state becoming the savior.

app.: here’s the point – when we divorce ourselves from God’s design, we become dysfunctional. Independence from the Spirit of God leads to functioning in ignorance.

t.s.: So how do we avoid this?

Application:

  1. Acknowledge God’s Design for your life.
    1. Your relationship with Him
    2. Your marriage/family
    3. Your business
    4. Your state or government
    5. Your church
  2. Guard your heart
  • Proverbs 4.23 – 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
  • Phil 4.7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  1. Let the Word of God be our standard in all affairs.
  2. Let the Authority of God define who we are in our relationships.
    1. Love
    2. Accountability
  3. Let the Spirit of God be our teacher in all matters.

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Filed under Authenticity, Jude, Scripture, Sermons