Will God Do a New Thing in a New Year?

December 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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In Numbers Chapter 16 we find God’s people in the wilderness, going through the world’s longest death march. They had been delivered from Egypt, and they were supposed to go directly into the promised land – called Canaan – a land flowing with milk and honey. But they were a rebellious people and a stubborn people and a disobedient people and a proud people and a fearful people – a people who heard the promises of God, but who just wouldn’t bring themselves to truly believe them or put them into practice. In other words, a people just like you and me.

Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men]: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:

Numbers 16:1-2

Moses and Aaron were of the tribe of Levi. Moses was the leader and Aaron was the high priest. Only the Levites were chosen by God to serve as priests. It was a serious responsibility and at times it was a hard responsibility, but it was a also a prestigious responsibility. The group of men who assisted the Levitical priests (but were not priests themselves) were called the Kohathites. Korah, a Kohathite, decided that Moses and Aaron were getting too much credit, and decided to form a rebellion against them.

The men who joined him in this rebellion weren’t the usual suspects. They weren’t the “mixed multitude,” the stragglers, the hangers-on, the rabble of society. These were “princes” – “men of renown.”

Did you gain some renown this past year? Be careful of that. As good Americans, living in the 21st Century, if there’s one thing we have a tendency to desire, it’s recognition. We want people to know who we are, and to look at us favorably. We want attention, and we will sometimes go out of our way to get it. Do you want to be noticed? Do you want others to be just a little bit jealous of you? Maybe you want people to know you’re successful, that you are a good parent, that you have certain possessions, that you are not like “those kind of people” that we all agree aren’t living or acting the way “good people like us” should act. Korah and his followers had renown, but they weren’t satisfied. They wanted the highest renown. Korah and his followers thought they had a new idea, but they didn’t. They had the same old idea that Lucifer had: “I want to be higher than where God has placed me.”

If your goal for 2015 is to get ahead in life by self-promotion or seeking recognition for yourself instead of recognition for Christ, then please remember the first point of this lesson:

1. There is nothing new about pride and self-promotion.

Korah and his rebellious followers confronted Moses, and they accused Moses of being proud and exalting himself and Aaron over the rest of the congregation. It’s funny how people will accuse others of the very thing they themselves are doing. Have you ever had someone attack you or criticize you or talk about you behind your back and say something about you that is completely untrue? That will make you mad, but what will make you furious is if it’s the very person that you have been going out of your way to help! Maybe even the person for whom you were sacrificing your own comfort or time or money to help! How many times had Moses interceded for these rebellious and sinful people and kept God from destroying them? They should have been thanking Moses and supporting him. So when they came to him and got in his face, how do you think Moses reacted? How would you and I react?

And when Moses heard [it], he fell upon his face:

Numbers 16:4

Moses did what few have the strength to do when confronted by hostile and unfair opposition. He humbled himself and prayed. That’s what we need to do – as hard as it may be. Anybody can fight fire with fire. It takes a Spirit-filled Christian, though, to keep our composure. To not lash out. To put down our pride and seek God’s will for how we’re supposed to handle this.

2. There is nothing new about failing to pray when we’re being persecuted.

God’s response when Moses humbled himself and prayed was to set up a test or a trial. Moses told Korah and his followers to come back the next day, and to bring their censers. God had already chosen Moses to be the leader of Israel and Aaron to be the high priest, but if Korah was determined to show that he knew better than God, he would have his day.

That wasn’t all, though. Remember, Korah had some co-conspirators: Dathan and Abiram of the tribe of Reuben. They had stayed back in their own encampment – maybe to keep an eye on things there, maybe because they didn’t have the guts to challenge Moses face to face – we don’t know. But Moses sent a messenger to go get them so they could hear how this was going to be handled.

And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:

Numbers 16:12

Watch out for this attitude. Few and far between are the people who respect and willingly submit to authority, but authority and submission are ordained by God. Some local churches are harmed by the infiltration of false doctrine, and some are damaged by the moral failure of those in leadership, but many more local churches are brought low simply by grumbling, complaining, murmuring, and refusing to submit to the God-ordained authority of the pastor or elders or spiritual leadership.

Dathan and Abiram sent word to Moses:

[Is it] a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?

Numbers 16:13

How quickly they forgot what Egypt was really like!

Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.

Numbers 16:14

They accused Moses failing to bring them to the promised land, omitting that it was because of their own disobedience! Then they accused him of figuratively throwing dust in their eyes, or pulling the wool over their eyes.

Moses had already prayed. Sometimes we pray to keep from lashing out in sinful anger. Sometimes – even after we pray – we need to have a righteous indignation against sin.

And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.

Numbers 16:15

It is likely that this took place during the very time when Moses was being inspired by God to write the book of Genesis. When he says, “Respect not Thou their offering,” we might wonder if he had Cain’s offering in mind.

3. There is nothing new about our ambivalence toward sin.

So the stage was set. The next morning 250 men showed up with incense in their censers. Aaron was there with his. Imagine the suspense. Suddenly, the presence of God appeared!

And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.

Numbers 16:19

How often we say that we long for the presence of the Lord in our worship services. But I wonder if everyone would be so excited if He actually did appear? Some people might rejoice, and some people might flee for their lives!

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?

Numbers 16:20-22

This is the form of intercession that Moses had used before to plead with God to spare the people.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.

Numbers 16:23-26

4. There is nothing new about our reluctance to rescue those who have been deceived, led astray, and who are perishing.

So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for [I have] not [done them] of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; [then] the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing

Numbers 16:27-30

The Lord was about to do a new thing. This new thing was in response to some old things that were going on, and that these people – and I’m afraid you and I, too – kept doing, and may have been guilty of doing this past year:
1. pride and self-promotion
2. failing to pray when we’re being persecuted
3. ambivalence toward sin
4. reluctance to rescue those who have been deceived, led astray, and who are perishing

But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that [was] under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods. They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

Numbers 16:30-33

Catechism Question 15

December 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Children's Bible Catechism | 4 Comments
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Question 14: What has God done for you so you can have eternal life?
Answer: He sent his Son.
Prove it.

John 3:16

Question 15: What did Jesus do while He was here on earth?
Answer: He lived a perfect, sinless life.
Prove it.

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 8:29

Jesus’s sinless life even included His childhood. It is difficult for us to imagine going a day or even part of a day without sinning egregiously. Jesus, unlike us, lived every moment of every second of every minute of every hour of every day of His entire earthly life without ever committing even a single solitary act of sinful omission or commission in thought, word, or deed!

This is true in spite of the fact that Jesus was fully human, and was tempted in every respect just like we are. It means, though, that He never gave in to any temptation.

Depending upon the age and maturity of your child, you can get into the somewhat controversial doctrine known as the “impeccability of Christ,” which deals with the question of whether or not it was possible for Christ, in His humanity, to sin. The virgin birth, as it relates to Christ’s full humanity without the inheritance of Adam’s fallen nature, can be touched upon here, as well, depending on age and discretion.

Other verses to consider:

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

John 8:46

Christ’s Childhood Preparation

December 19, 2014 at 10:55 am | Posted in Matthew | 3 Comments
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In the book of Matthew, as we study the beginning of Christ’s life on Earth, we learn that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, was taken to Egypt for His protection, and actually grew up in Nazareth.  He was sometimes called “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Nazareth was a disreputable place, and must have seemed hardly a fit background for the King of Kings.  However, it may be that Jesus’s childhood home was one of the things that prepared Him for a life of humility.

God’s desire for Christians is that they actually be conformed to the image of His Son.  Are we keeping this in mind in our prayers for our children today?  If we are praying in God’s will that they be conformed to the image of Christ, then we may be seeing those prayers answered when our children experience rejection, pain, or humiliation from their peers.  Parents may grieve over this, but, really, it should bring us joy.

After all, will a child who has never experienced the “embarrassment” of dressing modestly in carnal world, or who has never expressed disapproval over the foul language of his classmates, ever have the nerve to stand up in public and proclaim Christ, or the courage to knock on a stranger’s door and share the Gospel?

Beware the Furious Fiend

December 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Posted in Mark, The Fives | 4 Comments
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As Jesus and His followers entered the country of the Gadarenes, they encountered a man possessed by demons. This man, because of his condition, was both pitiful and terrifying.

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

Mark 5:5

A person controlled by Satan is a person who is constantly (“always, night and day”) subject to the oppression of his cruel and terrible master.

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Ephesians 2:1-3

A demon-controlled person is a person who would exalt himself to a high place of rebellion against God (“in the mountains”).

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Isaiah 14:12-14

He has a fascination with death (“in the tombs”).

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Proverbs 8:36

The pawn of Satan is subject to bouts of depression and abject sorrow (“crying”) and self-abuse (“cutting himself”).

And they [the prophets of Baal] cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

I Kings 18:28

We get the idea that this demon-possessed man was unpredictable and violent, a scourge upon his community – for which the Gadarenes had no solution. However, Jesus had no fear at all. The man even recognized Him from afar, running toward Him and worshiping Him. Christ cast out the demons, and set the man free, commissioning him to serve the community he had previously tormented.

We must be like Jesus. Do not fear the fury of those who do not yet know Christ. Often the person who is at the greatest pains to show his hatred for God may be the person who is acting out of desperation in an attempt to convince himself or others that he is too fearsome, depraved, or far-gone to be reached with only thing that can really help: the Good News that Jesus saves.

The Victorious Humility of the Last Adam

December 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Matthew | 5 Comments
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Lord, help us to accept our circumstances, which are ordained by You. Help us to learn truths which will be encouraging. Help us not to be pessimists, drudging along dreading each trial. At the same time, please help us not to be fragile children, happily hopping around when things are great, but losing faith each time You test us or try us. Help us to delight ourselves in Your statutes, and not to forget Your Words when everything around is yelling at us to depend on ourselves, and not on You. In the name of Christ Jesus I pray. Amen.

As people gathered to hear the message of John the Baptist, he called the religious leaders a generation of vipers.

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Matthew 3:4-9

This should remind us to be humble. God can raise up stones to do what you do – and do it better. John’s humility made him reluctant to baptize Jesus, but he did it upon Jesus’s insistence. When he did so, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove. Not like a royal eagle and not like not a bird of prey, but a bird of peace, a bird of mourning, a skittish bird. The Spirit of God indwelling us may be made to retreat when we sin against Him.

The Adam of Genesis 1 and 2 was the “first Adam.” Christ was the “last Adam.” Both the first Adam and the last Adam were tempted by Satan. The first Adam had everything he needed to resist this temptation. He lived in paradise. In Matthew 4, the last Adam went alone into a terrible wilderness, subjecting Himself to 40 days of fasting. The first Adam lost his battle with Satan, but Christ won.

Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness with three specific temptations.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Matthew 4:3

This was Satan’s lie: “God doesn’t really love You, so put Your physical needs ahead of Your spiritual needs.”

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Matthew 4:7

Satan based this second temptation on a Bible passage:

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:11-12

His lie to Jesus amounted to “God’s Word isn’t really true,” but he omitted “in all Thy ways” when he quoted it to Jesus. It is very common for the devil to challenge God’s Word by trying to twist Scripture.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Matthew 4:8-9

In the third temptation Satan tried to convince Christ to take the easy way – to adopt a form of “worship” that did not include service. It was as if he hoped Christ could be tricked into thinking He could abandon the Cross and still receive the glory. Beware of temptations that invite you to take a short cut around God’s will.

The Wastefulness of Idolatry

December 12, 2014 at 11:33 am | Posted in Habakkuk | 5 Comments
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God is steadfast. He keeps His Word. He is also strong. He can stop iniquity at any time. He does not fret or tremble over the mightiest armies, weapons, or mass movements.

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14

God could flood the earth at this moment with His glory – even faster than He flooded it last time with natural water. He let Habakkuk know that Babylon’s powerful reign, although it seemed invincible, would one day be destroyed. This foreshadows the destruction of the new Babylon – the world system of the last days – which will be destroyed at the return of Christ (Revelation 17-18).

Compare the idols worshipped by the people of Judah to the idols that may be worshipped by God’s people today.

What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

Habakkuk 2:18

Things that do not profit us spiritually are a waste of our time (and not really “our” time, but God’s time that He has given us to manage).

Therefore, things which use our time for purposes other than the Kingdom of God would seem to be idols. Wasting time is wrong, although many people think it’s harmless. Idols, even though they can’t talk, have a way of “speaking” lies. The “wisdom” of man – found in TV programs, books, magazines, or just regular traditions – if it doesn’t originate from God’s Word, not only sucks up our valuable time, but it lies to us and deceives us.

When we place our trust in things made by man, rather than God’s Truth, we are worshiping the created instead of the Creator – which is the essence of idolatry.

A Fourth Word about God: His Rest

December 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Exodus | 2 Comments
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The first Word of the Decalogue prohibits the attitude of idolatry.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:3

The second Word of the Decalogue prohibits the “practice” of idolatry.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exodus 20:4-5

Is this fair, that the descendants of idolators get punished for the crimes of their ancestors? What the Lord was describing was not the imputation of guilt. Rather, it was the (accurate) prediction of the outworking of sin through generations of sinners.

The next verse expresses God’s heart of love in the matter.

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20:6

The first three Words of the Decalogue are negative commands (thou shalt not). The fourth is the first positive command (thou shalt).

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:8

This helps us to see it as more than just a command to stop working. In fact, it is followed by a specific command to work – on the other six days of the week.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

Exodus 20:9-10

In other words, the Sabbath was a day set aside specifically for serving God, and not for the normal activity of serving God along with serving self.

Work could not be shifted off onto children, servants, or even animals. This was something the people were used to (or should have been) from their dealings with the manna (no gathering on the Sabbath, but gathering enough on the second-to-last day of the week to last two days). Why was the 4th Commandment such an important law?

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 20:11

The Hebrew word for “days” is yom, the same word used in the creation account, lending more evidence to show that creation took place in six literal 24-hour days. Then on the seventh day, God rested. Why did He rest? Not because He was tired, but because He was finished. And in order to show that everything that was made needs to stop – at least once a week for a whole day – in acknowledgment of Him. Everything needs to “glorify” Him for our existence. The Lord Himself had already blessed this special day. He had hallowed it – made it holy or separate – and decreed that it was dedicated to Him. It was not intended as a day for making money or a day dedicated to having worldly fun (unless it is fun that glorifies Him). It does benefit us physically to rest one day per week, but that is not the primary function of the Sabbath day. It was also a picture of our spiritual rest, which is Christ Himself, and so it is often said to have been fulfilled, making the Fourth Commandment the only word of the Decalogue no longer applicable in the New Testament, although this has been greatly debated and much disputed. Also, in the New Testament, we do observe the first day of the week as “the Lord’s Day,” and some if not all of the same principles apply.

The Top Ten

December 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On December 2, 2014, The Deep End surpassed an impressive (just to me) number for all-time views. It still baffles me a little after all this time to think that people are reading the posts here on a fairly regular basis. Thank you to those who subscribe and/or follow. Of course, any good that comes of it is due completely to the Lord, and I praise and honor and thank Him for allowing me to continue studying the Bible and writing about it here.

I do understand, too, that clicking on or “viewing” a post is not an automatic indicator that someone has read it, but, in honor of the occasion, I thought I would provide links to the ten blog posts that have received the highest number of views.

1. Teaching the 3rd and 4th Commandments to Children (see commentary here)
2. How Tall Was Jesus?

3. Strange Weapons Lesson 3: The Pitcher (factual summary)
4. What the Bible Says about Neighbors

5. You Can’t Get Blood from a Turnip
6. Parallelism in Psalms
7. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

8. Different Types of Burdens

9. Stand Your Ground
10. Explaining the Meaning of Biblical “Authority” to Children

The Provision of Peace

December 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Do You Know the Way? | 2 Comments
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Do You Know the Way? (John 14)

I. The Prepared Place (John 14:1-3)
II. The Particular Path (John 14:4-11)
III. The Power of Prayer (John 14:12-14)
IV. The Promise of the Paraclete (John 14:15-26)
V. The Provision of Peace (John 14:27-31)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

John 14:27-31

Remember how John Chapter 14 started off: “Let not your heart be troubled…” Jesus told His disciples this because their hearts were troubled – very troubled. So, in His discourse He gave them words of encouragement about: a prepared place (Heaven); a particular path (Himself); the power of prayer (in His name); and the promise of the Paraclete (the Holy Spirit). He now restates the reason that He has been telling them these things:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

“Peace” is a popular idea these days. It has been a common theme in pop culture for years. When you see a hippie holding up two fingers, he is saying, “Peace, man.” Have you seen the bumper sticker that says, “Know Jesus, Know Peace / No Jesus, No Peace?” I saw one the other day that said, “Visualize World Peace.” We tend to like the idea of peace, but Jesus told His Disciples that “world peace” is way overrated.

The peace that Jesus gives is “not as the world giveth” – which is a good thing because worldly peace is a counterfeit peace. It is a peace that is entirely dependent on circumstances. It is at best a temporary, illusory peace. Jesus gives us a peace that is greater. He had already told the Disciples that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Now, in a sense, He is also telling them that, not only does He give them peace, but He Himself also is their peace.

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

This applies to the barrier between Jewish believers and gentile believers, but also to the barrier between holy God and sinful man.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Ephesians 2:14

Jesus gives us peace by giving us Himself. He is our peace.

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Ephesians 2:15

The Bible is not speaking here about emotional, psychological peace. It is speaking about the peace that ends a war. Enmity is hatred with a cause. When it came to the enmity between God and man, Jesus abolished it. He ended it – not just by making a truce or a cease-fire – but by reconciling two otherwise irreconcilable enemies. He did not bring God and man into mere tolerance of each other. He brought them into loving fellowship and everlasting familial bonds.

And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:16

Jesus killed the enmity between God and man for all those whom He saves. This is real peace, not the counterfeit peace which this “world’s system” advertises when it talks about “peace of mind.” It is no surprise that this world’s version of peace is a counterfeit peace, because it is controlled by the great counterfeiter, Satan.

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

John 14:30

This world system is opposed to Christ largely because it is controlled by Satan, “the prince of the world,” (but not the Lord of all the Earth). Satan is a temporary usurper who has been granted a limited ability to exercise authority in order to maximize God’s glory. Jesus says that this temporary usurper “has nothing in Me,” meaning that Satan could never get a foothold in Jesus’s earthly life. Not one single solitary victory could Satan accomplish in the life of Christ. Jesus says to us that He is the provision of our peace, and Satan and this world will not rob us of the peace which He has won for us with God the Father.

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

John 14:31

If you love the Father, your love for Him exists because Jesus has given it to you. Now, as the Father commanded Jesus to go, He commands us also to “arise” – to go. Worldly peace holds the false promise of the end of activity. “You are at peace, so you can rest. One day soon,” it says, “you can retire. You can move to the country, where you won’t have any pesky neighbors to bother you. You’ll have money to live on so you won’t have to go to work with a bunch of sinners. You can even order your groceries on the internet so you won’t have to go to the market and hear a bunch of cussing, and people blaspheming God’s name. You can just cultivate a small circle of Christian friends. You can come to church, but without getting too involved. You won’t have to get your hands dirty anymore, trying to minister to a bunch of filthy sinners. You will be able to putter around in your yard or in your workshop, and fish and hunt, or crochet and bake your way into the presence of King Jesus.” But Jesus says no! He says arise! It means get up and get moving! This peace is not physical rest. It’s spiritual rest. It’s the assurance that you are right with God and that Jesus is with you, not so you can escape from the world, but so you can overcome the world in Him!

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Say no to world peace! Arise with the peace of God, and go make sure that this world either surrenders to Jesus or fights against Him, but never forgets that He is its rightful Lord.

Catechism Question 14

December 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Children's Bible Catechism | 3 Comments
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Question 14: What has God done for you so you can have eternal life?
Answer: He sent his Son.
Prove it.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

God came into this world in the Person of His Son, Who became a man while remaining fully God. He started out His earthly life by being born of a virgin, and then growing into manhood, all the while living a perfectly righteous and holy life, never sinning.

He purchased eternal life for all who would believe on Him by taking our sins upon Himself on the Cross, paying for them fully as He died, then rising from the dead.

Other verses to consider:

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:4


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