28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
How is the BURDEN light?
we BELIEVE in the promises. Heb 12:6. 2Tim 4:6-8
because of His UNSURPASSED love. Eph 3:18-21
because of our REDEMPTION through Christ. 1John 1:7-9
his word is DELIGHTFUL and not grievous. 1Cor 10:13. 1John 5:3; Ps 119:24
because His Yoke is EASY. Mat 11:28-30
because He NEVER LEAVES us nor forsakes us. Heb 13:5; Psalm 37:25
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.”
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 is an evangelist of the church of Christ in Borger Texas. He has been working with the congregation on Franklin and Juniper since 2014.
The first chapter of John’s gospel is powerful in that it delivers 7 titles of Jesus. Last week we noted 4 of the 7 (THE WORD, GOD, LIFE, & LIGHT). This week we continue with three more titles of Jesus in John chapter 1.
7 Titles of Jesus in John chapter 1:
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
This title, “the Christ,” carries great significance.
Stong’s definition; anointed, i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus:–Christ.
It is used over 300 times in the New Testament and means “the anointed one.”
Andrew, the brother of Peter, went to him telling him that he had found the MESSIAH. [v41]
By divine revelation Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ [Mat 16:16]. Prophets foretold of His coming as the Messiah.
From “Christ” comes the name Christian,” and “Christianity.” By calling ourselves Christ-ones we are seeking to do His will by keeping His commandments.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [John 14:15]
What a sham it is when people call themselves ‘Christian’ without obeying & serving him.
“He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”
Lord is a name expressing His sovereignty. [cr. 1Tim 6:15] Is it any wonder then that Jesus asked; “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” [Luke 6:46]
I can’t tell exactly how Jesus is asking this. Is He saying it as if they’re acknowledging Him as King? Or, is He indicating that they’re calling on Him with much pleading for help? The context indicates the latter as He is discussing those lost in the final judgment. [cr. Matt 7:21-23].
In either case He is indicating how ridiculous it is to call on Him in your time of need after living a life rejecting His authority & position as the Son of God and the creator! [John 1:1]
LAMB OF GOD: (v29)
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
This last one drives home the point about who Jesus is to us.
He is the only worthy sacrifice, sent by God, to take away the sins of the world, you and I.
The Hebrew writer reminds us, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” [Heb 9:22].
He also reminds us that there are no worthy sacrifices found on the earth, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” [Heb 10:4]
Paul wrote that no human is worthy either, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” [Rom 3:10].
All of this being true, there was no hope for mankind because of their sin. What is impossible with men is possible with God.
And so, the only remedy for our disobedience is the LAMB of GOD.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” [Heb 9:12]
God’s love is so great for us that He gave Himself for us.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [Rom 5:8-10]
TRULY AMAZING! Let us consider these Titles of Jesus and walk worthy of wearing His Glorious Name.
We know that the central theme throughout scripture is Christ Jesus. He can be seen on nearly every page. Some chapters stand out among the rest. The chapters of Isaiah 53 & Exodus 12 to name a few.
John one is remarkable for the titles it tells us that our Lord and savior wears. This article attempts to describe the meaning of those titles. For the sake of room, we will study the first 4 titles, then next week we’ll finish with the other 3.
7 Titles of Jesus in John chapter 1:
THE WORD: (v1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,”
Jesus is called the Word because His life, death, burial & resurrection will become the GOSPEL, the good news. It will be the message all must hear and obey. It is this word by which mankind can be saved.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved,” [1Cor 15:1-2a]
GOD: (v1) “…the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
This verse clearly states that Jesus is God. Some may deny it, but scripture supports it.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.:”
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” [Col 2:9]
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” [1Tim 3:16]
[Jno 5:18; cr. Col 1:15; Phil 2:6]
LIFE: (v4) “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Jesus would go on to say later,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Eternal Life can only be found through Jesus.
“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” [Col 3:4]
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” [John 10:10]
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” [1John 5:11]
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 6:23]
LIGHT: (v7) “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.”
God is often described as light. So too His ways. The Light that is Christ is pure & holy. Several passages use light to describe God.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” [Rev 21:23]
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” [John 3:19]
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” [John 12:46]
Next week we’ll examine the next 3 titles of Jesus in John 1.