Authentication

Authentication Of The King

Matthew 3:13-17

INTRODUCTORY OUTLINE –

I. THE KING ARRIVES ON THE SCENE FOR THE PURPOSE OF FULFILLING ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 13).
II. THE KING IDENTIFIES JOHN AS HIS LEGITIMATE HERALD AND PROPHET (vv. 14-15).
III. THE KING IS VISIBLY IDENTIFIED AND ANOINTED BY HEAVEN (v. 16).
IV. THE KING IS AUDIBLY CONFIRMED BY HIS HEAVENLY FATHER (v. 17).

No kingship is genuine lest it be given and approved by God, the king maker.

I. THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE MESSENGER (vv. 13-14).

A. John announces Him as –

“The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

B. By rejecting Jesus for baptism John was declaring His deity.
C. John rejected the baptism of hypocrites because they were unworthy, but rejects baptizing Jesus because He is without sin.

II. THE BAPTISM OF THE SON (v. 15).

A. John’s baptism was for the repentance of sin.

1. Jesus, the Son of God, had no sin.
2. In His baptism He is identifying Himself as being human, and the need of the human race, and that need was a sin bearer; which Jesus became on the cross.

B. Also, by being baptised Jesus is declaring John a prophet of God, and that his standard of righteousness is valid.

1. If Jesus accepted the teachings of John as valid, then, he was to be received by all.
2. They later rejected the messenger and the King.

C. By being baptised Jesus affirmed the message of baptism as the will of God to which all were to be subjected.

1. Remembering this was a baptism of repentance – a call to turn from sin, and follow the way of God.
2. Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is the public profession of one’s faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done for you.

III. THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT (v. 16).

A. Jesus, as a man, needed the empowering of the Holy Spirit for obedience –

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 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;” Hebrews 5:7-9 (KJV).

1. He needed the Holy Spirit when He was teaching.
2. He needed the Holy Spirit when He healed, and brought the dead to life.
3. He needed the Holy Spirit when He confronted evil hypocrites and demons.
4. He needed the Holy Spirit especially when it came to His calling and purpose for coming; His passion, His agony and the death of the cross.
5. We must conclude that He was never apart from the Spirit of God; with one exception; and that was those three hours of darkness on the cross.

B. The visible empowering of the Holy Spirit was a sign to all who were present, that this One is the Anointed One.

1. This is not to say that this is where He receives the Spirit; it is only for the purpose of notifying the populace of God’s approval.
2. The heavens were opened –

“And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56;

“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” Ezekiel 1:1 (KJV).

a. When God chooses to open the heavens it is a spectacular event.

3. The visible sign was in the form of a dove –

“And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22 (KJV).

a. The dove was, to the Jew, a sacrifice of the poor.
b. This dove is signifying, that God has lowered Himself to become man, and as man in need of God’s Spirit.

IV. THE CONFIRMATION OF THE FATHER (v. 17).

A. The only sacrifice pleasing to God.

1. Without spot or blemish.

a. No lamb, bullock or goat could take away sin –

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 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. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:11-14 (KJV).

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure” Hebrews 10:4-6

B. Even before the sacrifice is done God decrees His approval upon His Son as though it is finished.
C. Jesus the only sacrifice for sin in which God is “Well pleased”

“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” Matthew 17:5 (KJV).

“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” John 12:28 (KJV).

D. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only accepted sacrifice for sin made the way for lost sinners to come to faith, relationship and fellowship with the Father.

SUMMARY –

I. Every time a preacher is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ he is announcing Jesus as King and Lord and Savior of the world.
II. If Jesus, the Son of God saw the need for baptism for the fulfilling of righteousness, then, certainly we can subject ourselves to Him and testify of our faith through baptism by emersion.
III. Just as Jesus had the need for the work and power of the Spirit in His life, so do you and I; without the Spirit in us we do not belong to Him.
IV. The Father authenticated or approved the Son by His voice from Heaven; the only way for our approval from Him is through His Son.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Mother’s Day Sermon

The Faith Of God Gloried

Exodus 2:1-10

Motherhood has almost been cheapened by immoral practices such as pre-marital sex, sodomite practices, and by some cases of invitro-fertilization. How has it been cheapened by these things? In that anybody can have a baby.

No matter what goes on in our world true motherhood is still God’s blessed event, and action. Mothers who know and trust their Creator are a special blessing to the world, whether the world wants to recognize that or not. In this message I want us to look at a mother who saw something special in her son that had been born in troublous times. Times where the boys were thrown into the river and drowned. This mother hid her son, and would not give him up.

I. MOTHERS SEE SPECIAL AND UNIQUE QUALITIES IN THEIR CHILDREN (v. 2).

A. God had a special plan for Moses, and He does for all of us.

1. Moses was born shortly after Pharoah’s decree of death for new born males – ” And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live” Exodus 1:16.
2. Upon his birth his life was in jeopardy of death.

B. Jochebed believed God and followed God’s plan for her own life.

1. She hid Moses and kept him from death at the hand of the evil law of Pharoah.
2. She heard God and obeyed.

a. Of course Amram, Moses’ father had a part, but it seems from the Exodus account that mother instigated the plan and carried it through.
b. The family was all a part – we can tell later, because of Miriam’s part.

II. MOTHERS WHO TRUST THEIR CHILDREN TO GOD’S CARE ARE BLESSED (vv. 3-8).

A. Making plans – laying out a course of action for things to work out right.

1. Preparing an “ark” of safety;
2. On the edge, not in the current where he would have been carried down stream to only God knows where.

a. The reeds or “flags” would have slowed the movement – providing a braking action for the ‘ark’.
b. Miriam standing by keeping watch over her brother.

3. Trusting that God would use the Pharoah’s daughter to save the life of her son.

a. She must have been praying for Pharoah’s daughter to have a loving mother’s heart.
b. Trusting that God had a plan for her child.

B. Can man’s plans and God’s plans work in accord?

1. If man’s heart is aligned with God’s Word, God’s Spirit, His heart and mind, God’s way, then, YES!
2. That is God’s way of working in His people.

III. BY GOD’S GRACE AND PROVISION A CHILD IS BROUGHT BACK (v. 9).

A. Children are being slaughtered every day.

1. Not all children have a godly mother.
2. Many many unborn children lose their lives everyday because of choices of unthinking, uncaring, troubled, women, doctors and slaughterhouses.

a. We ought to be praying for them to have a change of heart and attitude, and close the doors of these houses of murder.
b. They too are people in need of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.

B. There are some used by God who are used by God to be mothers.

1. Nursing, and feeding the child;
2. Caring;
3. Teaching and training.

C. Often, when we give our children to God and his providential care He gives them back.

1. Mothers are blessed;
2. Families are blessed;
3. Nations are blessed;
4. Churches are blessed.

D. The preschood years are the most influential and important years in the child’s life.

1. They are growing through their mother’s care.
2. They are learning through their mother’s teaching example.

IV. GOD IS GLORIED THROUGH THE DEDICATED MOTHER’S FAITH (v. 10).

A. YaHWeH Gloried is the meaning of the name Jochebed.

1. Moses delivered Israel from Egypt by God’s power.
2. Israel brought Jesus into the world through Mary, for the salvation/deliverance of mankind.

B. Jesus is the Savior of the world.

1. Is it any wonder “YaHWeH Gloried”
2. God is gloried by faith.

SUMMARY –

I. WE ALL SHOULD SEE EVERY PERSON AS UNIQUE AND SPECIAL – EVERY PERSON IS MADE IN THE PATTERN OF ADAM AND EVE – IN GOD’S IMAGE.
II. TRUSTING OTHERS – ESPECIALLY OUR OWN CHILDREN – TO GOD’S CARE HAS MANY BLESSINGS.
III. BY GOD’S GRACE AND PROVIDENCE ANYONE CAN BE BROUGHT TO GOD.
IV. WITHOUT FAITH NO ONE CAN PLEASE GOD (Heb. 11:6).

-Tim A. Blankenship

One Table

The LORD’s One Table

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

We hear the word today that Christians should be more tolerant of other “Faiths” which are other religions; “After all”, they say, “We are all going to the same place”. Is this a true or a false statement? If we believe God’s Word to be true the statement must be seen as being false. All ‘faiths’ and religions do not lead to the same place.

Any religion that is man-made, man enabled and man edifying is not of God. It will lead to Hell and eternal destruction, not eternal life. All man-made religion is idolatry, and idolatry is what we are looking at when we see many ways to God and heaven. Paul tells us, “…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God.” (v. 20).

OUTLINE –

I. FLEE FROM IDOLATRY – WHICH IS ANYTHING THAT IS WORSHIPPED OTHER THAN GOD (v. 14).
II. WE ARE ONE IN CHRIST THROUGH HIS SHED BLOOD, AND BROKEN BODY (vv. 15-18).
III. THERE IS NO POWER IN AN IDOL – EXCEPT THAT IMAGINED BY ITS WORSHIPPER (vv. 19-20).
IV. THE LORD’S ONE TABLE – THERE IS NO OTHER (vv. 21-22).

I. FLEE FROM IDOLATRY – WHICH IS ANYTHING THAT IS IN THE PLACE OF GOD – BEFORE OR AFTER (v. 14)

A. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (EX. 20:3).

1. And He does not mean you can have some after Him; “After you have worshipped Him on the Lord’s day, then you are free to worship whomever or whatever you please”.
2. All praise, all glory is to be ascribed to the One who created all things.

B. No angel, no human being, no thing of any kind is to ever, at any time to be held in place of honor, worship and praise over God, or under Him.
C. The previous verses show us the peril of idolatry in the heart of believers.

1. Twenty three thousand died as a result of the corporate worship with the Moabites (v. 7; NUM. 25).
2. The “…eat and drink, and rose up to play…” comes from verse seven of our text’s chapter and Exodus 32:6 .

D. We all are to FLEE FROM IDOLATRY, and hang onto Christ.

II. THROUGH THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS AND HIS BROKEN BODY WE ARE ONE (vv. 15-18).

A. The shedding of the blood is the taking of life – unlike a little bleeding this means all the blood was shed for the remission/forgiveness of our sins.

1. We are united to Christ and with Christ by His blood shed on the cross.

a. “Communion” is much more than just united it is also – it is from the Greek, G2842

“κοινωνία

koinōnia

koy-nohn-ee’-ah

From G2844; partnership, that is, (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: – (to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-), distribution, fellowship.”

b. It is the word used for ‘Fellowship’ as well.

2. Fellowship was something we never had with God until the blood shed of Jesus on the cross.

B. The broken body was broken by pain and suffering, though no bone in His body was broken, just as the Scriptures had said.

1. We are in the ‘Body of Christ’; the unbroken body of Christ.
2. We are all partakers of the “one Bread”

C. Just as the people of were partakers of the sacrificial altar, so too, are we the “One bread” of Jesus’s body.

III. THE IMAGINARY POWER OF THE WORSHIPPED IMAGE (vv. 19-20).

A. The idol is nothing except that that is given by the people who hold it dear.

1. Some people hold numbers in their lives to be dear and powerful, thinking by using them they could obtain great wealth or fame.
2. Some pray to images of “saint”, and angels, and this is nothing, but mere superstition, and idol worshipping.

B. These worshippers are thoroughly deceived, will not have peace, and are actually worshipping demons.

1. To which Paul says, “That the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice ot devils [demons], and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” (v. 20).
2. Having just shared with us of having fellowship with God through the blood and body of Christ, he gives warning of fellowshiping with demons.

IV. THERE IS ONE TABLE – THE LORD’S ONE TABLE (vv. 21-22).

A. There are two things very noticable here; 1) You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; 2) You cannot be a partaker of the Lord’s table and the table of the devils.

1. You must be either all for the Lord, or all against Him.

a. The challenge has been given endlessly; from Joshua we hear, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…” Joshua 24:15; Elijah cried, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21; and Jesus said many times even till the end of Scriptures and time; “Come, follow Me”.

2. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30; also Luke 11:23.

B. The One Table of the Lord is the table where all the true saints of God will be gathered and we will behold the broken, scarred hands of our Savior break the bread, and we shall know Him by the breaking of that bread.
C. To partake of another table will be to provoke our Lord to jealousy – that is rebellion – that is what we cannot do.

SUMMARY –

I. WE LIVE IN AN IDOLATROUS LAND WITH PEOPLE GOING TO TEMPLES AND ALTARS AT THEIR WHIM AND PLEASURE FOR THE SAKE OF THE KIDS – WE MUST FLEE FROM IT.
II. THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST MAKES US ONE BODY IN HIM AND IT IS UNBROKEN, JUST AS THE SCRIPTURES HAVE SAID.
III. WE SHOULD NOT CORPORATELY WORSHIP WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST THE ONLY SACRIFICE AND THE ONLY TABLE OFFERED TO US.
IV. THE LORD’S ONE TABLE IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO KNOW JESUS – AT THIS ONE TABLE WE DO NOT PROVOKE THE LORD TO JEALOUSY, BUT WE INVOKE PRAISE.

-Tim A. Blankenship

God’s Providence

God’s Faithful Providence
Matthew 1:1-17

The Gospel of Matthew begins with a genealogy of the King of the Hebrews. Matthew’s Gospel was written to the Hebrew. It is written so they might know that Jesus is their King. At the time they were blinded by their own religious practices, and ceremonies, and self-righteousness as a nation, but Jesus was at that time their Messiah and King and to this day is their King.

The following is the outline Warren W. Wiersbe gives for the Gospel according to Matthew in THE BIBLE EXPOSITION COMMENTARY –

I. The Revelation Of The King – chapters 1-10;
II. The Rebellion Against The King – chapters 11-13;
III. The Retirement Of The King – chapters 14-20;
IV. The Rejection Of The King – chapters 21-27;
V. The Resurrection Of The King – chapter 28

The Gospel begins with Jesus, and His genealogy beginning with Abraham; not Adam. Abraham the father of the Hebrews and their relationship to God the Father. In the Gospel of Luke the genealogy is given backwards and ends with Adam, showing Jesus to be the Son of Man. The Gospel of Mark has no genealogy, nor does the Gospel of John. Servants have no genealogy as in Mark’s account, nor does God have genealogy as in the Gospel of John.

By way of introduction let me give some information concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The human penman for this Gospel is Matthew. He was called by Jesus while sitting at his place collecting taxes: “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him” (Matthew 9:9). As a tax collector he would have been a reject to those who were religious rulers, they would have counted him a traitor, because he was collecting taxes from his people for the Roman government.

This Gospel was written to the Jews to declare and give evidence of Jesus’s royal lineage.

I. A LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCES IN THE FOUR GOSPELS.

A. First of all in Matthew; Jesus is seen as the King, and is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

1. John wrote in the Revelation chapter four verses six and seven, “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle”.
2. “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle” (Ezekiel 1:10).

B. In Mark’s Gospel; Jesus is seen as a Servant, and is the ox/calf – Jesus Himself said in the Gospel of Mark, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
C. Then in the Gospel of Luke we see Jesus as the Son of Man, and represented, of course by the “face of a man”.
D. Finally in the Gospel of John we see Him as the Son of God, and represented by the symbol of the eagle. The eagle above all, soaring in majesty, representing the All-Knowing power of God.
E. The Royal Lineage of Jesus is given by Matthew in verses 2 – 16, and with all its blemishes.
F. In this Gospel we see a gracious King. We also see the wondrous providence of our great God and King.

II. MATTHEW’S GOD-BREATHED DECLARATION OF JESUS’S JEWISH ROYALTY (vv. 1-2).

A. David is considered, by the Jews, and by many others, to be the greatest of Israel’s kings.
B. Abraham was the patriarch of Israel, and this identifies this gospel to the Jews, and to Jesus as being Jewish.
C. Jesus, of course, is who this Gospel is really about.
D. Jesus came and showed the people, and told the people who He was, but was despised by the Jewish religious establishment, and many of the people.

1. He is defended by Matthew, as their King.

III. EVIDENCE OF JEWISH ROYALTY IN AN ANCESTRY OF SINNERS (vv. 3-6).

A. This genealogy is evidence of divine lineage of Jesus, and succession of God’s establishment of a people.

1. It is given so that man may have proof of Jesus’s true identity.
2. You could call this Gospel ‘The Identity Papers of Jesus the King’.
3. It is proof positive that Jesus is the King of kings.

B. There are five people who are included in the genealogy of Jesus that most noble people would not want to claim, but here they are in the lineage of our Lord Jesus who is King of all kings, Lord of all lords, and He rules the Universe, and all that is within it.

1. Tamar who deceived her father in law and committed an act of harlotry (Matthew 1:3; Gen. 38:13-30).

a. Tamar is a representation of sin.

2. Rahab, and she was a prostitute in the city of Jericho who was delivered from Jericho’s destruction because of her faith in the God of Israel (Matthew 1:5; Joshua 2:1-21; 6:23);

a. Rahab is the representation of faith; she later married a Jew by the name of Salmon, and these were the proud parents of Boaz.

3. Ruth – a Moabitish woman who was forbidden by law to enter the congregation.

a. Ruth represents the principle of grace (Matthew 1:5; Deut. 23:3-6; Ruth 1:16; 3:19; 4:18-22).
b. These three women were Gentile women, and Tamar was a Canaanite (Gen 38:2) one of the peoples who were to be driven from the land of Promise and killed.

4. The next woman on the list is not even named; she is instead called, “of her that had been the wife of Uriah” (v.6).

a. We know her as Bathsheba – the partner in David’s great sin of adultery and murder, and she represents the principle of forgiveness.
b. It is possible that Bathsheba was also a Gentile woman.

5. The fifth and final woman mentioned in this kingly genealogy is Mary.

a. A woman loved, respected, and admired by many.
b. Jesus alone is worthy of our worship and we need no mediator to get to Jesus.

1) He is the Mediator for us to the Father.

c. Luke recorded, by the breath of God, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” O, that we had a heart like Mary.

IV. THE SON OF GOD; BORN OF A VIRGIN (vv. 7-16).

A. God protects His purity.
B. Matthew spares nothing to proclaim the virgin birth of Jesus.
C. Mary does have something in common with the other four women of this genealogy.

1. They are all guilty of , or accused of sexual immorality.
2. “Betrothed” in that culture was much more than engagement for our culture.

a. It would have taken Joseph to write a legal letter of divorcement for the marriage to cease, but he did not do that.
b. There must have been suspicious, gossiping tongues.

3. Mary, also was a sinner, in need of a Savior, and she gave birth to her own Savior and ours. Luke 1:47 states from Mary’s Song of Praise, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior”.

D. There is a man named Jechoniah and called “Coniah” in Jeremiah 22:24-30.

1. There was a curse placed on “Coniah”, thus this line was cursed by God.
2. Because Jesus’s Father is God and not Joseph, and Jesus has the lineage through Mary He is not acquainted with the curse.
3. By legal authority, because Joseph is the adoptive father, the curse does not apply to Jesus.

E. God’s grace is so amazing; so divine; when there seems to be no way of hope; no way of salvation; God provides; that is GOD’S FAITHFUL PROVIDENCE.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Darkness of the Crucifixion

The Darkness Of The Crucifixion

Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44

When Jesus went to the cross there was a period of three hours which is not given much notice in sermons that are preached. Of course, there is actually no way we can know all that went on in that three hours, unless it is by reading the twenty second Psalm, and hear the heart cry of our Savior as He was rejected by His Father, forsaken by His Father.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. Matt 27:45 (KJV)And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33 (KJV)And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Luke 23:44 (KJV)

A few years ago I read a sermon by G. Campbell Morgan titled “THE DARKNESS OF GOLGOTHA” which really impressed me. Because of that message I developed this one using Brother Morgan’s main points, and quoting him often.

I. THE MEANING OF THE DARKNESS.

A. It was the hour of evil.
B. No matter how deep or dark the darkness the Light is always shining.
C. Satan wanted to extinguish the Light.

“From the very beginning of the shining of that Light, focused in history by the Incarnation, the one supreme purpose of the enemy was to….put it out. And in these three hours of darkness we are brought face to face with the time when all the force of evil was brouth to bear on the soul of the Son of God, and all the unutterable intent and purpose of evil wrapped Him about in darkness that is beyond our comprehension.” G. Campbell Morgan.

D. Darkness is a symbol of spiritual evil.

“The people which sat in darkness saw a great light:” (Matthew 4:16).

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” (6:23). ASLO SEE Matthew 8:12 & 25:30.

E. Death and darkness express the ultimate in evil.

II. THE PASSING OF THE DARKNESS.

A. The four sayings after the passing of the darkness;

1. The cry of forsakenness (27:46);
2. The cry of human limitation and experience (John 19:28). [I thirst].
3. The cry of spiritual accomplishment (John 19:30) [It is finished]
4. The cry of confidence (Luke 23:46).

“…He died, not of a broken heart, not of human brutality, not of murder by human hands; but by His own volition He yielded up the Ghost, and His spirit, commended to God passed to God. The death that saves was not that physical dissolution, but the infinite spiritual mystery of the three hours and the darkness, which being passed, He Himself did say, ‘It is finished’”. IBID

B. It seems that during the three hours of darkness the crowds were silent.

“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps.46:10).

1. Not a word is spoken until His cry of forsakenness.
2. Not a word of mockery, insolence, or hate is heard.

C. After the darkness, it was people who loved Him who took Him down, prepared His body and laid Him in the garden tomb.
D. The foes of Jesus seemed to have withdrawn.

1. Satan seems to be nowhere around.
2. Christ triumphed over him on the cross.

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Col 2:13-15 (KJV)

III. THE TRANSACTION WITHIN THE DARKNESS.

A. We cannot begin to understand all that took place during the darkness.

1. Much of what has been said by men is mere theory.
2. Only what the Scriptures reveal can be received and concluded to be fact.

B. God cannot be expressed in finite or human terms.

“God must pity any man who thinks he understands the cross completely.” IBID.

C. Every sort of darkness that has been mentioned in Scripture as a symbol of evil was experienced by Jesus.

“That does not answer the inquiry as to what happened. I have no answer for that. Only this I know, that in that hour of darkness He passed into the place of the ultimate wrestling of evil in actual experience. There is light as I hear the final word, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit’ (Luke 23:46), for the word is a word which declares that whatever the transaction was, it was accomplished; that whatever the dying indicated, it was done.” IBID.

D. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:42).

1. Because He saves others; He cannot/could not save Himself.
2. Because He chose to go up to the cross; He could not come down. His heart was set on saving others.

E. WHY COULDN’T HE SAVE HIMSELF?

“Because He is God, and because God is love, and love is never satisfied with the destruction of a sinner, but with the saving of a sinner.” IBID.

“Someone may say to me, ‘Cannot God forgive out of pure love?’ I shall answer, ‘If He can, I cannot.’ If He could forgive me for the wrongs of which I am conscious, and that have left behind them their stain and pollution – If He could forgive my sins by simply saying, ‘Never mind them’, then I cannot so forgive myself. My conscience cries for a cleansing that is more than a sentiment of pity. Somehow, somewhere, in order that I may have forgiveness, there must be tragedy, something mightier than devilish sin.” IBID.

F. In the darkness He determined not to deliver Himself, rather He chose to deliver me.

1. Out of darkness has come a Light.
2. From the darkness had come the treasures of pardon, peace, power, and purity.

“I do not know what happened in the darkness, but this I know, that as I have come to the cross and received the suggestions of the material unveiling, I have found my heart, my spirit, my life brought into a realm of healing spices, to the consciousness of the forgiveness of sins. And there is no other gospel of forgiveness.” IBID.

G. In the darkness He chose not to save Himself; He chose to save the world.

NO MATTER WHAT MEN MAY SAY, SATAN WAS DEFEATED BY JESUS ON THE CROSS: THE RESURRECTION WAS CONFIRMATION OF THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Christian Love and Liberty

Christian Love and Liberty

Romans 14:1-23

In question are things to which there are not clear Biblical answers. These are problems which Scripture gives little to no guidance, or to which the rituals or ceremonies no longer have meaning.

In the church of Rome there were people from diverse backgrounds, similar to our nation of the USA today. It was pluralistic, and divided by many cultures. Some of the Christians were Jewish and had been subjected to many ceremonial laws and rituals. Just how was a Jewish Christian to view these matters now? These laws included certain meats which were not lawful to eat. Another culture was pagan and they worshipped idols and could eat the meats.

Becoming Christian, and not realizing the new freedom they had in Christ; they might feel guilt for not participating in the Jewish ceremonies, holy days, and no longer rejecting certain meats. They were still weak, and of an immature faith. They would also judge others for their lack of participation as well.

The pagan/Gentiles becoming Christians would forsake their idols they had worshipped, refuse to eat any meat that had been offered to those idols. Because of their immaturity they would pass judgment upon the other Christians who had the liberty to purchase the meat and eat it.

Paul addresses these issues in this chapter. For the immature Christian to participate in something they believe to be sin it is sin. For the mature Christian to participate in something they know will offend the immature Christian; it is sin. The mature Christian is at liberty to live for Christ, and will not be offended by the acts of others.

1.  The Christian in Love Receives the Weak (vv. 1-3).

Not for the purpose of argument. To love, strengthen, encourage, and teaching the doctrines and truths of God’s Word. If the one who does not eat does not judge the one who does eat, but the one who does eat judges the one who does not; which of the two is the mature one? It is the one who has not judged.

2. The Christian in Love Refrains from Judging the One Who is Bound (4-14).

We are all accountable to God. He is our judge. If I judge a fellow Christian a sinner because they have no conviction against drinking beverage alcohol, and they drink it in my presence or not, then, am I judging rightly? Only if they are drunk. My conviction is that Christians should refrain from imbibing in beverage alcohol, but it does not offend me, or cause me to stumble if others do.

3. The Christian in Love Restrains the Freedom Which May Offend the Weak (vv. 15-23).

One of the greatest acts of love is freedom which will not offend or harm others. New Christians may not understand some of the freedoms we have in Christ. We never have the freedom to offend weaker brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no law that can empower us to live a righteous life (Gal. 5:22-23). “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Christian Responsibilities

Christian Responsibilities

Romans 13:8-14

In the last study and in verses 1 – 7 we looked at “The Christian and Government” and could have called it the “Christian’s Responsibility to Government”. We also have responsibilities to others. Those we know and to those we do not know. To those we love, and to those we should love.

The words of verse eight, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” are not against owing money as in a debt for a legitimate financial transaction. It has to do with keeping our debts paid, and especially the debt of love. It is what we owe to all. In loving one another we fulfill the law, and it is a debt that is never paid in full.

God’s love paid in full the debt which we owed Him. That debt of sin was paid by Jesus’s death on the cross, and the evidence of that paid debt was the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and God’s declaring by Him, our justification.

In verse nine Paul gives us five of the Ten Commandments; all having to do with human relationships. Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments into two. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…”, and “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself “ (Mark 12:30-31).

Paul sums these five laws up in much the same way; “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

One motivation for not committing these sins would be to think about how we would feel if someone committed these sins against us. Asking ourselves the question before we sin against a neighbor: “How would I feel if this was done against me?”

Love does not seek to do harm to neighbors. It rather seeks to do good. To love one’s neighbor seeks better for them than for one’s self. This is the fulness of the law.

Not only do we as Christians have responsibilities with our neighbors, but

WE ALSO HAVE RESPONSIBILITY WITH THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE.

The time which we live requires and urgency due to the nearness of the return of Jesus Christ. We are nearer to the completion of our salvation than we were at the beginning.

It is time to cast off the works and deeds of the flesh, and be clothed in the “armor of His light”

Walking honestly, that all things may be seen, as in the light;

With lives of purity, holiness, and not debauchery, rebellion and sin;

Loving one another as we have been given commandment; approving the good of brothers and sisters in Christ; and promoting them;

Putting on Christ Jesus requires and act of the heart and soul and mind; Walking in the Holy Spirit – “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

-Tim A. Blankenship