MOURNING is better

MOURNING is better?

“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4)

Why is MOURNING better?

Death is a MOTIVATOR. Loss can move someone to consider their own lives for change, Repentance. Sickness, Sadness, Pain can all do the same thing. (2Sam 12:23; Mark 9:24; John 3:16)

God is an OBJECTIVE judge and is perfectly Just. ( 2Cor 5:10; Re 15:3 Just & True). “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17). As we consider our own lives, we need to look to the ONE that holds life in His hand.

Death is UNAVOIDABLE (Jas 4:14; Ecc 3:2; Heb 9:27; Rom 5:14 death reigned from Adam). We have somehow forgotten that death is certain. It is appointed for man to die and then the judgment.

As we ponder our own mortality, looking to God for guidance, we need to REMEMBER that God has provided a means of RESURRECTION through His Son, Christ Jesus. IN CHRIST we have hope. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1Thess 4:14; John 11:25-27).

As we think about our loved ones who have died, we will NOT get over it, nor should we. Their death should be a constant reminder of our mortality and our need for God. Becoming a Christian offers the only consolation for death. Jesus used His power of the resurrection as comfort (John 11:25-27). When David’s child died he said, “I shall go to him,” (2Sam 12:23).

Mourning eventually turns in to remembering. IT IS OKAY to talk about our deceased loved ones. Here’s a question for you; what does you deceased loved one want for you on your birthday, anniversary, holidays? What do they want for your salvation?

Consider the motivation of the rich man for his family after his death. We have insight from Jesus about the motivation of those who have gone on before us.

“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:19-31).

As we mourn, let us resolve to NEVER GIVE UP. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Getting Old is a privilege for in it we have been given opportunity to turn to God.

Lastly, mourning can lead us to GO & PREACH to the dying that Jesus saves from death. Life is short, so short that it’s called a vapor that is here and then gone (James 4:14). Because life, even a long life, is so short when compared with eternity, that we need to warn and encourage others to action today.

“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2Cor 6:2; cf Heb 3:7-15).

Spencer

How do you turn away from sin and become a child of God? You must obey the Gospel. (click here)

Give us a KING

Kingdom of Christ

Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1Samuel 8:5).

The last Judge of the “Judges Period” of OT History was Samuel. His sons were behaving in a disorderly way and the people had become frustrated. They respond to this by asking for a King.

God is never caught by surprise and had already warned them about this situation. In Deuteronomy He said, “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But…” (Deut 17:14-16)

It’s here where we begin our study.

God warned Israel about this situation long before they had even taken the land in which they now reside. Now that they have asked for a KING, He tells Samuel to remind them of this lesson. Then, after the lesson, it is interesting to notice their reaction and it is also important to know what God is doing.

First, He says; “Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them” (1Sam 8:9). God wants them to KNOW what they’re asking.

Second, this KING will IMPOSE heavy burdens on them. “This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take…”

  • (11) your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
  • (12) And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
  • (13) And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
  • (14) And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
  • (15) And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
  • (16) And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
  • (17) He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
  • (18) And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

By the end of the UNITED KINGDOM period this truth will become the sore spot for the people. “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee” (1Kings 12:4).

After this warning about their request, the people say, “NEVERTHELESS the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (1Sam 8:19-20).

Amazing!! Even after hearing the warnings, they REFUSE to obey. Isn’t this still true today? It’s a common response of the disobedient. It was a similar response of the nation of Israel at their first attempt to enter the land of Canaan. “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt” (Num 14:4).

This next point is important. “And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king” (1Sam 8:7,22). GOD GAVE them a KING, but that is not the complete picture. We need to study the whole counsel of God.

In Hosea, after this and their subsequent apostasy, the prophet said, “I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath” (Hosea 13:11). They had rejected God, so He gave them a KING. Later, He will remove the earthly king (cf. Jer 22:29-30).

Religious scholars today make the mistake in claiming that God is intent on setting up an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem. That contradicts what God has done and what He has said. God has promised to set up a Spiritual Kingdom beginning at Pentecost (cf. Joh 18:36; Dan 2:44). Christ is KING, and reigns now, sitting on His throne in Heaven at the right hand of God.

For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:34-36).

Let us never make the same mistake as they and ask for a different king. Christ is KING. “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1Tim 6:15).

Spencer

Listen Here.

Lessons from 1 Peter: the POWER of Christ

POWER of The SUFFERING Christ in 1 PETER.

Every chapter of 1Peter has a reference to the suffering of Christ. By looking at these we can see the POWER of His suffering as we face similar difficulties in the Christian’s life.

  1. P-PRECIOUS. 1:19 Precious Blood Shed.
    1. Type Passover Ex 12:5; Joh 1:29,36; 1Co 5:7;
    1. Purchased with Acts 20:28;
    1. forgiveness, redemption Eph 1:7;
    1. His own blood Heb 9:12,14;
  2. O-OBSERVE (follow) His Example. 2:21 Example to follow.
    1. deny self, take up cross Mt 16:24;
    1. leaving an example Joh 13:15;
    1. this mind Php 2:5;
    1. living godly in Christ 2Ti 3:12;
    1. walk as He walked. 1Jo 2:6
  3. W-WATER. 3:18-22 Through Christ’s DBR, through Water.
    1. DEATH. Ro 5:6 in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
    1. BURIAL. 1Co 15:4 And that he was buried,
    1. ROSE AGAIN, 1Cor 15:4; Ac 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
    1. ANTITYPE. Noah’s Ark. saved by water.
  4. E-EXCEEDING JOY. 4:12-16 Exceeding Joy when Glory revealed after suffering.
    1. Ac 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
    1. 2Tim 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
    1. Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
  5. R-REVEALED. 5:1-4 Returning, Revealed, Really Happened.
    1. v1; Glory that shall be REVEALED
    1. v2; but of a ready mind;
    1. v3; responsibility, ensample; entrusted with.
    1. v4; ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

CALLED out of darkness

The term ‘church’ (ekklesia) literally means, ‘the called out.’ It is a derivative of the word ‘kaleo’ which means a ‘calling out.’

I bring this to you attention because this is the word Peter uses in his 1st letter to us, the church.

But ye are 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” (1Peter 2:9; emph mine seb).

Peter’s inspired letter says much about being separate, set apart, and different from the rest of the world. The comparison in this verse is light vs darkness.

This calling is to be heeded, but how? To understand what Christian must do to stay out of the darkness and be in the light can be seen in a study of chapter two.

Before we begin, it’s important to remember that the calling by God occurs through the word preached. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Thess 2:14). We become Christians by obeying the Gospel. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4; 2Thess 2:8-9; 1Cor 15:1-4). After responding to this call, we can then continue to answer the call to walk in the light as He is in the light (cf. 1John 1:7).

With this background, we can now proceed to answer how to answer the call to come out of darkness.

CAST OFF

Beginning at verse one of chapter two we read, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…” From this we see that we are to CAST OFF worldly behaviors. The Christian that is walking in the light has nothing to do with worldliness and sin. Paul wrote, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph 5:3). Paul also described the putting off as a putting to death these worldly attributes.

APPETITE for the word

Continuing on, Peter gives the source of knowing what is to be cast off and what our attitude should be toward it. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2). The revealed word of God is the source book of information to teach us the difference between light and darkness, and that we need to develop an APPETITE for it as much as a newborn baby cries out for milk when it’s hungry. What a vivid description for us to see how vital the bread of life is to our growth.

LIVING STONES

From here, Peter describes who the called are. “To whom coming, as unto a LIVING STONE, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as LIVELY STONES, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1Pet 2:4-5, emph mine seb). This is important to understand for the Christian. Especially as we face persecution for being Christians. Peter will point this out in the remainder of this letter. We are the LIVING STONES of the Spiritual Temple of God.

LIGHT BEARER

Another thing to notice for those that walk in the light. We are to be LIGHT BEARERS to the dark world. “But ye are 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” (1Peter 2:9-12). Notice that we are to “shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out.” We can do this directly through preaching, and also through our actions in the world. Note verse 12, “they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” The Christian that is CALLED out of darkness shines forth the Light of Christ in their words and deeds (cf. Col 3:17).

EXAMPLE

This walking in the Light becomes an EXAMPLE for others to observe and to follow. Peter lists several areas in which the Christian can shine the Light, “which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1Peter 2:13-17)

DO GOOD

Finally, those that are called out of darkness are to be DO GOODERS. People that continue to do good despite persecution. “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God” (1Peter 2:18-25).

But this is not a do as I say, not as I do command. It is a “do as I did” command. Jesus Himself being the standard for those called to follow. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1Peter 2:21-24, emph mine seb).

It’s interesting to note that chapter two is not the only place in this letter that talks about our being CALLED (see 1Pet 1:15; 3:9; 5:10). The last one is given just before the closing greetings.

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)

This gives us comfort as we suffer persecution because we walk in the Light. It comforts because the suffering is only temporary, but glory is Eternal!

Spencer

Spencer is an evangelist of the church of Christ in Borger Texas. He has been working with the congregation on Franklin and Juniper since 2014.

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.

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.

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?

______________  ______________  ______________

______________  ______________  ______________

______________  ______________  ______________

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)

the Truth shall set you FREE, from what?

JESUS SAID, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [John 8:31-32]

Jesus orders us to “continue in my word,” and He connects it to the truth. (cr. John 17:17) When we keep His word, the truth, we will be FREE!

FREE from what? From what does obeying the word of God set us FREE?

We’re used to having liberty in our country (free speech, right to assemble etc.), but most fail to realize they’re in bondage.

Let’s search the scriptures to learn from what we’ve been set FREE.

The Truth shall set us FREE from:

The FEAR of death. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” [1Cor. 15:56,57]. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” [2Tim 1:7]

Being set free from the FEAR of Death is a powerful blessing from obeying Christ. By extension, we are FREE from the FEAR of men. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” [Acts 5:29].

The truth also sets us FREE to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS. Prior to knowing (& obeying Gal 5:7) the truth we were in bondage to sin and free FROM righteousness. Now we are FREE from sin to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS. “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” [Rom 6:18-20].

This does not mean that we can’t sin [1John 1:8-10], nor does it give us license to sin. Rather, it is teaching that we can have assurance on how to live faithfully, and avoid sin.

Another thing from which we’ve been set FREE is found in the letter to the Galatians. Paul reminded the saints that Christ set them FREE from the ENTAGLEMENT of the Law of Moses. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” [Gal. 5:1; cr. 2:4; 4:9;]

Returning to the Law of Moses is tantamount to going back into bondage. It’s sad when folks appeal to the OT for NT practices, thereby becoming ENTANGLED in bondage. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” [Gal 3:10]. “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” [Rom. 7:6].

Going back to Romans we learn one more thing. Having been set FREE from sin, we may now have EVERLASTING LIFE. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” [Rom. 6:22]

None of the above will happen if we are ignorant of the truth. Remember, it is continuing in the TRUTH that sets us FREE. Before we can continue in it, we must first be in it.

WE CAN BE SET FREE IF….

…we become one of His disciples. HOW do I become a disciple of Christ? Remember, Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [John 8:31-32] To become His disciple we must obey the Gospel. Before He ascended into heaven He gave this command, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:” [Matt 28:19 (ASV)]

The Gospel is what calls us [2Thess. 2:14]. By hearing the truth, we can then believe that Jesus is the Christ [John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17].

By hearing and believing the truth, we learn to repent [Luke 13:3], and we learn to confess that Jesus is the Christ [Act 8:37].

By hearing and believing the truth, we learn to be baptized for the remission of sins. [Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16].

Being set FREE occurs AFTER obeying the gospel. The Gospel is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus [1Cor 15:1-4]. Obeying the Gospel is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of us through water baptism [Rom 6:3-4].

Obey the Gospel and be set FREE.

— spencer

Spencer is a gospel preacher residing in Borger Texas where he works with the congregation that meets at Franklin & Juniper streets.

the PARABLES of Jesus

Just about everyone knows that Jesus taught with parables. If you were to say the world parable, folks would automatically think of Jesus.

The PURPOSE of the parables is explained in scripture.

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:” (Matt 13:10-14).

We will notice that parables were part of PROPHECY which contributed to identifying Jesus as the Christ. “I will open my mouth in a parable:” (Psalm 78:2)

We will also notice that parables ASSIST people in understanding the lessons from Christ. We can easily identify the example in the parable to discover His teaching.

If you’ll look at the list of the parables you notice that Christ uses REAL life scenarios to explain His teachings. (ie. a sower)

Parables will ALLOW the seekers to see, but the BLIND not to see. Christ never keeps life saving truth from anyone, but some just don’t want it, hence they’re BLIND.

The meaning of the word parable is; to LAY along side. (cf. W.E. Vines). “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?” (Mark 4:30)

Another way to describe a parable is as an EXTENDED metaphor or simile. It’s not intended to be mysterious, concealing, nor prevent the truth seeker from understanding.

Ultimately, a parable is a SPIRITUAL lesson using an understood physical scenario. Jesus uses a known thing to explain SPIRITUAL things.

And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” (Mark 4:13)

On the following page is a list of all the parables (I think). Luke carries the most parables. While many people categorize them in different ways, I’ve identified seven. Prayer Parables, Kingdom Parables, Forgiveness Parables, Christ Parables, Parables of the Lost, Readiness Parables, and Stewardship Parables.