6 things Jesus TAUGHT in His last week

Jesus spent His time on earth teaching and preaching. From the very earliest days He was found in the Temple hearing and asking questions, and all that heard were amazed at His answers (Luke 2:46-47).

Throughout His ministry He is teaching. Even when He saw the 5,000 that followed Him, having compassion on them, He TAUGHT them.

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34)

Therefore, it should be no surprise that He was seen teaching even up to His last days on Earth.

During His last week He was in the Temple teaching amidst those who sought to take His life.

What was it that Jesus TAUGHT them that still has application for us today?

“And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matt 21:12-13)

1) When Jesus TURNED over the money changers tables and cast out those that bought and sold in the TEMPLE, He is teaching us a lesson about proper authorized worship. In the New Testament age, the church is His TEMPLE (1Cor 6:19). We are to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). There is a right way and a wrong way to worship. He TAUGHT that it’s possible to have vain worship (Mark 7:6-7). It would behoove us to learn what it is to properly worship Him in our lives, but also when we gather together as a church. (Acts 20:7; 1Cor 11:17-34; Heb 10:24-25)

“The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?”

(see Matt 21:23-27).

2) Jesus TAUGHT that there are only 2 sources of AUTHORITY; from above or from below. We must understand this lesson today. Jesus has ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on Earth (Matt 28:18). He is to have the preeminence in our lives (Col 1:18). He is the “blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1Tim 6:15). Therefore, we are to study His word to know what it is that He commands for how we are to speak and act (Col 3:17). (cf. 1Cor 1:10; 2Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6-10)

“But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” (see Matt 21:33-46)

3) In this parable, Jesus TAUGHT a lesson that covers much of OT history and ultimately a lesson about UNITY with God. The record of the bible shows that God desires mankind to be UNITED with Him through His Son, and His word, but the world, and the children of Israel, would not. Today, we are UNIFIED through Christ into one body (Eph 4:3-6). We cannot expect any UNITY with God, any peace, unless we keep His commands. Many folks say there’s unity in diversity of doctrines. This contradicts the word. God is not an author of confusion. (1Cor 14:33; see Col 2:14; Heb 7:12; 9:16-22)

“And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.”

(see Matt 22:1-14)

4) In this parable, Jesus TAUGHT about the Kingdom of Heaven. Many are called, but few are chosen. Even those who respond to the call, if they don’t have the proper GARMENT, they will be rejected. The only way to understand this is by seeing what it is we are to put on and how. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). People claim we are to ‘ask Jesus into our hearts.’ Not so. We are to put on Christ in water baptism through faith. (see Acts 2:38; Col 2:12; 1Pet 3:21)

“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures,” (see Matt 22:23-33)

5) In the challenge from the Sadducees, Jesus TAUGHT about the proper way to HANDLE the word of truth. It’s possible to make an error, be mistaken, and be lost because we don’t know the scriptures on how to be saved and how to live a godly life. (see 2Tim 2:15; 3:15-17)

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (see Matt 24)

6) Jesus was asked about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. Since then, many have wrested this text to predict the end of the world when Jesus would return (1Thess 4:13-18). A careful reading will show what Jesus actually TAUGHT about the TIME of His return. Notice what He said regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matt 24:34). It’s very clear that much of what He said would occur within the lifetime of those who were hearing Him.

But of that day and hour…” The day of His return to Earth to gather the saints, to destroy the world, and to judge all nations, “…knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt 24:36; see 2Peter 3:10; Dan 2:31-45).

Close) Jesus TAUGHT throughout His life even up to His last moments. It makes me think about myself and the myriad of loved ones who do not know God and have not obeyed the Gospel. Shall we try to teach them?

— spencer

Spencer has been preaching in Borger Texas since 2014.

Reminders in 2 Peter

Peter’s second letter is short but powerful. These three chapters contain the seeds for many a sermon on faith, obedience, heaven, and the impending destruction of the earth.

It could also be called a book of reminders. Note these verses…

• 1:12 I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance…

• 1:13 to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

• 1:15 after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

• 3:1 I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

Let us look at these reminders from the Apostle Peter through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The first reminders are in chapter one and are for us to “give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure” [1:10]. He goes on to say, “if you do these things you will never stumble.” What are the things Peter desired to bring into our remembrance?

There are seven things we are reminded to add to our Faith…

Virtue,

Knowledge,

Self-Control,

Perseverance,

Godliness,

Brotherly kindness

and Love.

If we do these things after becoming Christians, an entrance will be supplied to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [5-11]

The second set of reminders are in the second chapter are about False Teachers. These false teachers will SECRETLY bring in destructive heresies. [2:1]

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

They will make MERCHANDISE of you, using DECEPTIVE words [v3]. They will SPEAK evil of the things they do not understand [v12]. They will ENTICE unstable souls [14]. They have FORSAKEN the right way [15]. They will speak GREAT SWELLING words of emptiness [18]. They ALLURE through the lusts of the flesh [18]. They will promise LIBERTY [19].

Peter says of these people, “For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” [21]. The examples of Scripture should remind us to beware and behave [4-11].

The third set of reminders are in chapter 3, “that ye should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles:” [3:2]. What were some of these words of the holy prophets?

First: SCOFFERS will come in the last days [3]. These will be walking in their own lusts and saying, “where is the promise of His coming.” It seems to me that these scoffers may be among us just as the false teachers begin from us [2:1].

They willfully FORGET: [5] These scoffers willfully forget the lessons from the beginning. The lessons from Noah’s ark. That world perished by water; this one will perish with fire [7].

Do NOT FORGET this one thing: [8] that the timeline of God is not the timeline of men. Thankfully, it is not. God’s patient longsuffering is salvation [9, 15].

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”

The DAY of the LORD: [10-13] will come as a thief. When He comes, the physical world will melt with a fervent heat. The hearts of men will melt with the realization of their error [11]. Those who are prepared through obedience to the gospel are looking for and forward to that wonderful Day [12-13].

He closes out this epistle as he opened it, with a call to DILIGENCE [14]. He refers to the letters from Paul, which have some things hard to understand, but not impossible to understand [Eph 3:3-4]. However, we must beware lest we fall. We already know this, Peter has just reminded them, and us [17].

The final reminder: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

— spencer

Spencer has labored with the church as an evangelist in Borger Texas since 2014.

the Character of JOSHUA

JOSHUA was one of only two people allowed to enter the promised land after their rebellion and the wilderness wandering.

In the final speech of Moses, he explains why Joshua & Caleb could enter the promised land.

Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD” (Num 32:12)

A study of the life of JOSHUA will show how he wholly followed the LORD and the effects of his faithfulness.

This great man had to suffer with the rebellious children of Israel during the wilderness wandering and had to wait 40 years to enter in.

His name means, “a savior; a deliverer” and is the same name associated with Jesus. He died when he was 110 years old.

Joshua is probably best known for the fall of JERICHO, his first battle after becoming the leader of Israel and crossing the Jordan (Josh 5-6:27). “And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him” (Josh 6:3-5).

Joshua was faithful and OBEDIENT. Because of his own obedience to God, he is able to tell the whole nation to do the same in his final speech. “Therefore be ye very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left” (Josh 23:6). Joshua did what was told him, (Ex 17:10).

His faithfulness and obedience made him an excellent SERVANT to Moses, to God & the People. “And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” His most famous quote being, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Num 11:28; Ex 24:13; 32:17; Josh 1:1; 24:15).

Joshua was HEEDED by all the people during the beginning of his leadership, “And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go” (Josh 1:16), and they served the Lord during the days of the elders that outlived him. “And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel” (Judges 2:7).

His whole life is an example of UNWAVERING Faith and Courage. It’s seen early after their exodus from Egypt in the battle with the Amalekites (Ex 17:8-16). It is seen as he serves Moses at Mount Sinai, “And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God,” (Ex 24:13; 32:17).

His UNWAVERING faith and courage are seen when he is chosen to spy out the land and his desire to go at once to take the land with Caleb. “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not” (Num 14:6-10).

We also see a strong ALLEGIANCE & loyalty to Moses when they went up to Mt. Sinai while the others stayed beneath. “And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” Moses when go on into the midst of the cloud that surrounded the mountain, (Exo 24:13-18).

He remained close to the mountain for the forty days while the others feared and erred. “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him” (Exo 32:1-17).

He remained close to the tabernacle of meeting that Moses has set up to communicate with God on behalf of the people. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle” (Exo 33:11).

What does it mean that Joshua ‘wholly followed’ the LORD? What more can be said? Is there one verse that could describe the character of Joshua?

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might

(Deut 6:5; 10:12; 30:6; Matt 22:37)

— spencer

Spencer has been serving with the church of Christ in Borger Texas for 8 years.

the Life of Peter in 2 Periods

Peter’s life could be divided into two different periods of his life for the purpose of studying it…

Before Pentecost, with the pivotal point being found in John 21:15-19.

After Pentecost, which runs from Acts 2 through Acts 15.

A simplified outline of his life could be described in these few words.

He was…

A PASSIONATE and often impetuous man. He was an EYEWITNESS to the Life of Christ and heard God’s voice from Heaven. He was TESTED by Satan as seen in his denial of Christ.

Afterward he was EVANGELISTIC, even facing death for his preaching. He was a REPENTANT man as seen in his zeal to preach and his writings.

This bulletin will supplement our Sunday morning Bible study as we study the inspired letters of the Apostle Peter.

BEFORE PENTECOST.

And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona:” (John 1:42a)

We’re introduced to Peter at the SEA of Galilee (Matt 4:18). He is married as seen when Jesus heals his mother-in-law (Matt 8:14-15). He was still fishing when he is called to be a constant companion of Jesus (Matt 4:19-20). It’s after this second calling that he forsakes all to follow Jesus. He verbalizes this after his call to be an Apostle. “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee” (Mark 10:28)

As he followed Christ, he was included in an INNER circle of 3 that witnessed certain key events, one of which is the transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:2-9; cf. 2Peter 1:17), where they hear the voice of God.

Because of his often impetuous and passionate personality, it was he that requested to MIRACULOUSLY walk on water with Jesus (Matt 14:28-31). It’s only when he takes his eyes off the Lord and looks at the storm that he begins to sink requiring the Lord to reach out to save. “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”

It was Peter that took Jesus aside to rebuke Him and OBJECTED to His dying as the Lord was predicting (Matt 16:22). It was also Peter that OBJECTED to the washing of his feet by Jesus (John 13:8). “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet.”

Then, at the lowest point of this period, he denied Jesus after His arrest saying, “I know NOT this man of whom ye speak.” (Matt 26:31-35; Mark 14:71; John 18:15-18; 25-27). What makes this especially difficult for Peter is that he and the Lord make direct eye contact upon his 3rd denial.

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice” (Luke 22:61)

A pivotal point in this period of his life is his breakfast by the sea with Our Risen Lord (John 21:15-19). It’s here he learns that his life is about to change even more dramatically.

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”

AFTER PENTECOST.

thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (John 1:42b)

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the COMPANY of the other eleven Apostles to deliver the first sermon in the New Testament age. They preached the gospel which is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus. He commands the believers, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:14-38).

Even though 3,000 souls were added to the church after that first sermon, the next day he is in the Temple continuing to EVANGELIZE. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Through their efforts the church continued to grow in the first days (Acts 4:1-4).

It was Peter who was given the assignment to PREACH to the gentiles (Acts 10). Being summoned to the house of Cornelius, he PREACHES the gospel to them, giving them the same command he gave to the Jews. It was the same command given him by the Lord. “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized” (Acts 10:47; cf. Mark 16:15-16)?

As bold as he was, Peter is not without fault as seen in a moment of HYPOCRISY when he separated himself from the gentiles when those of the circumcision came to Antioch (Gal 2:11-14). But Peter is a man of HUMILTY and repentance. Holding no grudges, he acknowledges Paul’s teaching in his second letter (2Peter 3:15-16).

Another part of Peter’s story in Acts is during the persecution of Herod. Herod had killed James, and had imprisoned Peter. He escapes through ANGELIC help. The danger doesn’t deter him in the least. He goes to encourage the brethren and continues to preach the Gospel (Acts 12)

One of the last times we hear of Peter in Acts is in Acts 15. It was through his SPEECH along with that of Paul, Barnabas, and James that the church rejoiced with comfort (Acts 15:7-11, 31) knowing that the gentiles, along with the Jews, may be saved through the blood of Christ.

I hope this summary of the life of Peter aids us in our study of his inspired letters.

— spencer

Spencer is the evangelist for the Franklin and Juniper church of Christ in Borger, Texas.

I AM statements of Jesus

“I am” statements communicate important qualities about ourselves, our identity, our values, our personality, and our nature.

  • I am a Christian
  • I am a husband
  • I am a citizen of the U.S.

It’s no different with Christ. His “I AM” statements tell us much about who He is and helps us to fully appreciate Him and what He has done for us.

From His “I AM” statements we can learn some very wonderful things about…

  1. Who is Jesus?
  2. What can Jesus do for us?
  3. Why should we follow Jesus?

Get your bible and read about these “I AM” statements from our Lord.

The first “I AM” statement we’ll consider answers the question about WHO IS JESUS? When Jesus said, “before Abraham was, I AM,” He is making a very startling claim (John 8:51-53). He is claiming that He pre-existed Abraham, the father of the whole nation of Israel. He is also claiming Deity.

God used this same wording for Himself when asked His name by Moses (Exodus 3:13-14). Looking closely at what is being said by God to Moses, we learn that God is the self-existing One (He has always existed). The folks hearing Jesus recognized that what Jesus was claiming was that He is DIVINE and ETERNAL. “Then took they up stones to cast at him” (John 8:59). When Jesus died and rose again on the 3rd day, He proved and confirmed that He is the Son of God.

Other NT passages also state this truth.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col 1:17). This truth also contains the fact that Jesus is the Creator. These truths about this first “I AM” statement means that He has the authority to make demands, give commands, and to save.

Which brings us to the next question…. WHAT CAN JESUS DO FOR US?

Three more of His “I AM” statements teach us about what Jesus can do for us.

ONE: “I Am the Bread of Life” (John 6:30-35). “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4). “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). Just as physical bread gives sustenance for the body, Christ is the bread of life that gives us spiritual sustenance.

TWO: “I Am the Light of the World” (John 8:12). “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus provides guidance and light in a dark world. He lights our way to Him.

THREE: “I Am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:1-5; 11-18). “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15). “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal 1:4). “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd” (Ezek 34:23). Jesus offers protection. Not just from the dangers we face in this life, but protection from the penalty of sin.

This last “I AM” statement answers WHY SHOULD WE FOLLOW JESUS? “I Am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:20-27). “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:1-6; cf. John 10:7-10).  Everything about our faith hinges on this one truth. The resurrection is the reason for our…

HOPE; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1Peter 1:3; cf. Acts 23:6; 24:15; John 5:28-29)

COMFORT; “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1Thess 4:13-18). “Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1Thess 5:10-11).

SALVATION; “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:21). Without Jesus there will be no salvation.

A careful study of these “I AM” statements from Jesus can comfort us and give us hope IF we will submit to Him based on what learn from them.

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb 5:8-9)

— spencer

Spencer is the evangelist for the church of Christ in Borger Texas. He and his wife have lived in Borger since 2014.

the BLIND that did not know

It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So.”

The origin of the above quote is unknown, being attributed by most to Mark Twain. Regardless of who came up with this quote, God teaches this principle in His divine word, and is being exemplified in peoples lives continually. What does this quote mean?

It means that there are some that are so confident in what they know, but do not know that what they know is false.

In other words, folks act on erroneous information as if it’s accurate. This gets them into trouble. They’re BLIND to the truth, believing a lie. (cf. 2Thess 2:10-12)

Samson is a clear example of this principle of being BLIND. “And she said, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him

(Judges 16:20) (ASV) [emph mine seb].

What we learn from this passage, and others I’ll show you, is that it’s possible to know for certain a lie is true. Samson KNEW that the Lord was with him, but DID NOT KNOW that the Lord had departed from him.

To say it another way, it’s possible to be separated from God and not know (feel) it. Feelings are no evidence of salvation.

Here are 5 more examples from scripture of those that DID NOT KNOW the Lord was not with them, they’re BLIND.

BALAAM (Num 22:34). As Balaam went with Balak’s men against the will of God, he did not know that the Angel of the Lord stood in the way to slay him. But his donkey did. Upon seeing the Angel of the Lord Balaam said, “I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” Lesson from Balaam; it’s possible to be headed toward death and not know it.

LAODICEA (Rev 3:17). In the letter to the church of the Laodiceans Jesus says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Lesson from the Laodiceans; It’s possible to be successful, content, and feel secure and not know that you’re actually not secure at all.

ISRAEL (Num 14:41-44). After God denies them entry into the promised land for their disobedience, they make an attempt to go in. Moments earlier it would have been a good idea, but God had already given a new command. Moses even warns them saying, “Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.” Lesson from the children of Israel; It’s possible to want to do what you think is “good,” be warned against it, ignore the command of God and lose.

NONE of God’s counsel (Prov 1:28-33). “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.” What is the lesson from this Proverb? We fail to be with God, even though we call on His name, when we ignore His instructions. This helps us understand Matthew 7:21-29.

DOOMED for Destruction. (2Thess 1:8-9); “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” People who claim to be agnostic or atheistic will not have “I didn’t know” as an excuse. God has revealed Himself and the gospel of His Son to all, but not all believe and obey (cf. Acts 14:17; 17:23-31). Lesson from this passage; Saying “I didn’t know” will be no excuse.

It’s possible to not know the Lord has departed from you.

How are we to KNOW if God is with us? How CAN we KNOW and have assurance of salvation? We have to read His revealed word, make an examination of what it says to do and obey it (James 1:22). The Apostle John wrote; “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:13; 1:1-2; cf. John 20:31; Eph 3:3-4; 2Tim 3:15-17)

— spencer

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ that assembles in Borger Texas.

1Peter, a Quick Start Guide

How nice would it be if every New Born baby came with an owner’s manual? Fortunately, the new mom can look to the older generation for help and advice on what to expect when they’re expecting. (Titus 2:3-4).

What about the New Born in Christ? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an operator’s manual for how to live as a New Creature in Christ?

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Cor 5:17).

Well, there is one, and it’s available to all that will decide to open it and study it.

It’s called the Bible.

“But where do you start?” some may ask. Let me suggest to you

to begin with the book of 1st PETER. While every book of the Bible is important and instructive, this book could be described as a QUICK START guide to the New Christian’s walk. Let me point out a few things in each chapter.

The FIRST CHAPTER is a mini course on what it cost for us to become children of God. A good one-line summary could be;

We have a hope in the Promise of the resurrection. Christ Paid the Price for our Protection by the Power of God, through our Precious faith, with His own Precious blood.

Lesson ONE: You’re PRECIOUS; know Who & Who’s you are.

CHAPTER TWO, while using the illustration of a new born babe, Peter encourages us to follow the EXAMPLE of Christ in the way that He ENDURED suffering. This is part of what makes us different. Because we are in Christ, we are a “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (2Pet 2:9).

We are the living stones, being built up into a spiritual house. Therefore, we are to be different. When we ENDURE grief, suffering wrongfully, we are following the EXAMPLE of Christ as He also suffered wrongfully. He did not threaten, but committed himself to him that judges righteously (1Peter 2:23).

Lesson TWO: ENDURE to the end.

CHAPTER THREE teaches us how to live in more specific, perhaps less than ideal situations. Wives toward husbands, husbands toward wives, brethren toward brethren, and Christians who display hope amidst suffering. In the midst of this is this line; “For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile: And let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it.” (3:11-12 ASV).

Lesson THREE: TURN Away from evil and pursue peace.

In CHAPTER FOUR we learn this; We’ve spent ENOUGH of our past in lusts of the flesh, the END of all things is near, so be sober. ENTRUST your soul to a faithful Creator when you suffer for the name of Christ. “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1Pet 4:7).

Lesson FOUR: The END is near, ENTRUST you soul to God.

Then we come to CHAPTER FIVE. This chapter instructs the members of the local congregation. First to the Elders who shall RECEIVE the crown of glory if they shepherd the flock of God. Then, he instructs the younger to submit to the elders. If not, he warns that God RESISTS the proud.

Continuing the instructions, we are told to RESIST the devil. We are not alone in our suffering among the brotherhood who also suffer and must RESIST.

Then the letter closes out with a promise to those who have endured the suffering. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1Peter 5:10).

Lesson FIVE: RESIST the devil, God will remember you.

This letter is a wonderful letter for the New Born in Christ. It’s also a wonderful reminder to the older children of God.

— spencer

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ in Borger Texas.

GREAT THINGS He hath done

Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how GREAT THINGS the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” emph mine seb (Mark 5:19).

Jesus gave those instructions to the man he had just healed of the “legion” demon possession. This incredibly grateful man wanted to accompany Jesus wherever He would go. Jesus wouldn’t allow it, but gave him a personal mission, “tell them how GREAT THINGS the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee

This verse impresses me as a method of personal evangelism. Before we can apply it, we must know what GREAT THINGS the Lord has done for us.

Here’s my personal list.

The Lord has been very GRACEFUL in the giving of Himself as a sacrifice, and Propitiation for sin. (Eph 2:8-9)

He has shown me how to REJOICE in times of trial. (Jas 1:2-3)

He has left EVIDENCE of His goodness. (Acts 14:17)

He demonstrated AGAPE style Love. (Rom 5:6-10)

He has delivered to us God’s TRUTH. (John 17:17)

He has given me certain TALENTS by which I can provide for the needs of my family and for helping others. (Matt 25:15)

He has given me HOPE. (Heb 6:19)

He has given me access to INTERCESSORY prayer which is unavailable to those outside of Christ. (Rom 8:34; Heb 4:16)

He has taught me how to love my NEIGHBORS. (Matt 22:39)

He has given me every GOOD GIFT & perfect Gift. (Jas 1:17)

Lastly, but not least, He has provided for me SALVATION through obedience to the Gospel. (1Cor 15:1-4)

This list is certainly not comprehensive, but it does represent some of the GREAT THINGS He has done. I have another more private and personal list of GREAT THINGS the Lord has done.

What about you? Do you have a list? We sing the song, “Count your blessings,” do you know what some of them are?

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psalm 139:17-18).

Perhaps you would like to make a note of the many GREAT THINGS the Lord has done for you?

______________  ______________  ______________

______________  ______________  ______________

______________  ______________  ______________

as little CHILDREN

Children have not always been treated very well. They have…

  1. Been Sacrificed; 2Kings 17:31; Eze 16:20-21
  2. Caused to pass through fire; 2Kings 16:3; Jer 32:35;
  3. Sold for debt; 2Kings 4:1.
  4. Eaten. 2King 6:28-29.

Even now children are used as pawns in failing relationships, in manipulating the news, and in politics. These things ought not be so.

What does the bible say about children? Better yet, what does Jesus say?

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

(Matt 18:3)

Jesus uses the qualities of CHILREN as an illustration of those who desire to become CHILDREN of God. He makes it very clear, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” CONVERSION is the process of turning completely around. Comparing it to the CHILDREN, it speaks to our turning from trusting in our own abilities, and trusting fully in Christ, His sacrifice, His promises, His working through our faith. Without faith it’s impossible to please God.

Another quality of CHILDREN is seen in their HUNGER and their cries to be fed. Peter uses this quality to illustrate the need for the child of God to HUNGER for the word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2).

One of the things we learn from Jesus as He uses CHILDREN for our understanding, is that children are INNOCENT. They do not have sin IMPUTED to them. Some claim that children are born wicked and totally depraved. Jesus didn’t see it this way. When asked about inherited sin, Jesus said it didn’t happen. (see John 9:2-3) When David’s son died in infancy, he desired to “go to him” (2Sam 12:23). Did David want to go to heaven or hell? Clearly, he knew that children are INNOCENT.

One quality every parent has experienced from children is their capacity to LOVE and our capacity to LOVE them sacrificially. Jesus uses that quality when He looked on with tears over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37). In Solomon’s day, he used this capacity for a mother’s LOVE for her child to determine the true mother of a child (1King 3:24-27)

Little children are especially unique in their ability to be DEVOTED to their parents regardless of their qualities. Consider Hebrews 12:4-11. We revere our earthly parents when they disciplined us (maybe not at the time). God wants this level of DEVOTION for His children.

Children are used to REPRESENT the NEW BIRTH of becoming a Christian. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is very similar language He uses when He placed a child in their midst. The new birth REPRESENTS baptism in water (John 3:5; cr. Rom 6:3-4).

Then there’s the EXPECTATION of parents for the growth of the child. The New Testament writers make this comparison in Hebrews 5. “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (5:12-6:2; cr. 1Cor 3:1; 13:11).

Lastly, while children desire to grow and mature, they know that they are unable to do many things for themselves. They recognize their NEED for help from their parents and are ready to ask without embarrassment. Oh, if this child of God could be better at this quality. Children can teach us so much about how to grow, mature, work, and try to do, while simultaneously knowing their complete NEED for the loving care of their parents for their basic needs. “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him” (Matt 7:9-11)?

Let us think on the words of Christ about the example of CHILDREN. Despite how the world sees children, let us see them through the eyes of our Lord and learn the lessons that He has taught us through them.

— spencer

The Life of Christ

bible.ca/maps

The first Sunday of each month has been focused on the Life of Christ through 12 periods.

  1. JOHN Prepares the way, Jan.
  2. His EARLY Preaching, Feb.
  3. SERMON on the Mount, March.
  4. UNDERSTANDING Parables, April.
  5. SEA of Galilea, May.
  6. MINISTRY in Judea, June.
  7. ENTERING Jerusalem, July.
  8. The Lord’s SUPPER, Aug.
  9. Facing the SANHEDRIN, Sept.
  10. IT IS FINISHED. The Cross of Christ, Oct.
  11. DBR & ASCENSION, Nov.
  12. HARD to kick against the goads. Appearance to Saul, Dec.

Following is an outline of the book of Mark that may be a helpful resource moving forward.

May our study on the Life of Christ be a blessing to each of us as we learn more about our Savior.

(Outline Adapted from New Testament Survey, by Merrill C. Tenney, 159-160)