I find my Lord in the Book,
Wherever I chance to Look
He’s the theme of the Bible
The center and heart of the Book.
He’s the Rose of Sharon,
He’s the Lilly fair,
Wherever I open my Bible,
The Lord of the Book is there.
He is at the Book’s beginning gave the Earth its form
He is the Ark of Shelter bearing the brunt of the storm
He is the burning bush of the desert, the budding of Aaron’s rod
Wherever I look in the Bible, I see the Son of God.
The Ram upon Mt. Moriah, the ladder from Earth to sky.
The scarlet cord in the window, and the serpent lifted high,
The smitten rock in the desert, the Shepherd with staff and crook,
The face of my Lord I discover, wherever I open the Book.
He is the Seed of the Woman, the Savior virgin born,
He is the Son of David of whom men rejected with scorn,
His garments of Grace and of beauty, the stately Aaron Deck,
Yet He is a Priest forever, for He is Melchizedek.
Lord of eternal glory, whom John the Apostle saw,
Light of eternal glory, whom John the Apostle saw,
Light of the golden city, Lamb without spot or flaw,
Bridegroom coming at midnight for whom the virgins look,
Wherever I open my Bible, I find my Lord in the Book.
If you remember from two weeks ago we saw Matthew- the theme of that book is Christ is our king- Matt. 2:2 is the key book it’s written to Jews and it stresses genealogy, royalty and the Jewishness of Christ. Secondly we saw Mark- Christ our servant- Mark 10:45 says this: the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life and I hope that’s how you look at all ministry for Him it’s- we don’t get we give and that’s what pleases the Lord. They we looked at Luke- Christ our savior- Luke 19:10 says for the son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost. John revealed Christ as God and it says in John 20:31- but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God and that believing you may have life in His name.
Someone has said that the Old Testament if you wanted to distill it down into one phrase it would be Jesus is the Christ and if you want to distill down the New Testament into one phrase it would be Christ is Jesus and if you want to get the whole Bible in one sentence- Jesus is the Christ and that does it all because the New Testament shows the humanity of Christ; the Old Testament shows the promised one; the Bible shows that the promised one came as a man and of course he is our Lord and savior.
Next in your notes the next one is Acts- Christ is our mission- you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and any one who is been genuinely born again the Holy Spirit has come with in them and the power of God resides with in them. It’s kind of like if you took an old maybe a coal burning furnace and put an atomic reactor inside of it- it’s a pale in comparison to what happens when the Lord of the Universe comes inside of us. You know the satellites that are out ringing our solar system we have a lot of our tax dollars floating out there right now but some of them recently detected the collapse of a star you know how they kind of burn them selves out and collapse down and become a neutron ball where one cubic inch would weigh billions of tons because it takes this massive thing and takes it down to just a few miles wide but when that happened and it wasn’t very far away it’s called N49 they name stars by numbers God calls them all by name but when that thing collapsed the satellites detected what they call a gamma flash- it was 9000 light year away and they said if it would have been in our galaxy the entire galaxy would have started glowing- that’s how powerful it was- it said if it would have been in our solar system it would have incinerated the earth instantaneously just that flash of energy of gamma rays.
When I think about that I think the one who made not only N49 but the other numberless stars in our universe lives within us- it’s a lot bigger than an atomic reactor in a coal furnace you know. The book of Romans talks about Christ our righteousness and we saw that the key verse Romans 1:16 outlines all of the book as it talks about salvation. The person of the gospel is Christ, the power of the Gospel is God, the purpose of the Gospel is salvation, the people of the Gospel are all the people on this world, the plan of the Gospel is that we believe and the result of the Gospel is we begin to live by faith. We also saw 1 Corinthians Christ is our solution to spiritual problems the key verse there is noted. 2 Corinthians Christ is our sufficiency again the key verse is noted which says not that we’re sufficient of our selves and the longer we live in the Christian life the more we realize we are not sufficient in ourselves and the people that really get something done for the Lord are the ones that realize it’s not I but Christ in every situation- it’s not from me it’s not my power my expertise in fact the Lord said this he says apart from me you can do nothing. We do a lot but apart from Him it amounts to nothing and he’s our sufficiency as it says at the end of verse 5 in 2 Cor. 3 but our sufficiency is from God. That’s how He is glorified and that’s what’s going to be the basis of rewards.
What was done in the energy of the Spirit of God for the glory of God and not of our self and not of our flesh. Galatians we saw that Christ is our liberty – the key verse there- stand fast therefore in the liberty- there’s a lot in the Bible about standing you know we’re supposed to stand against the wiles of the devil and we’re supposed to stand in our liberty and stand in the gospel and Galatians says that’s all possible because Christ is our liberty. We saw in Ephesians that Christ is our source and we looked at the plaroma which means the fullness a fully rigged ship and a fully loaded vessel every thing it needed- this is what the scriptures say: now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above—it’s just like a ladder going upward he says you can’t top it- he’ll do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. The astrophysicists are amazed at the powers of the universe and yet the Creator of the universe lives within us and what’s so amazing one of my children’s reading Carl Sagan’s autobiography it’s called Cosmos and I don’t know if you know this but after he died – he’s a believer now by the way did you know that Carl Sagan’s a genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ after he died – too late but he believes now cause he met him and he knows it’s true but he wrote that book Cosmos as his biography it’s about a woman but his wife said after he died he was really talking about himself and basically he had all these connections with the universe and knew what no one else knew because he did all this stuff but you know what’s amazing with all that is that scientists look every where but at the truth. In fact in that autobiography it’s not really an autobiography it’s a fictional book it’s about himself but you know he goes out of his way to discredit the gospel all the way through. Today as I was riding in the car Johnny was telling me he says look at this he’s saying the Bible doesn’t make any sense and Matthew doesn’t agree with Luke and I said he’s such an unbeliever he doesn’t he’s looking every where but to the source of all things that’s Christ and that’s a tragedy.
In Philippians we saw that Christ is our source of joy and this is something the world can’t explain- they look at us and they see us in sickness and sorrow and sadness in deprivation in insecurity and we still have joy and see joy is attached to things on this world and the tree of happiness can’t grow in a sin cursed world and so that’s why people just grope every where and look for happiness but Philippians says this: being confident of this very thing 1:6- that he who has begun a good work will complete it and that gives us joy. The Lord’s not through with us yet. It reminds me of a little child that came home from Sunday School after the lesson and got on his knees and was praying by his bed and his mother came in and she saw him looking under the bed and she heard him muttering and she says what are you doing down there honey and he says mom I looked under my bed and there’s some dust and from what I learned in Sunday School there’s either someone coming or going under my bed you know God made man from the dust of the ground well- God’s not through with us yet you might be a little dust under the bed though or you might have a little dust under your bed but God is the source in Christ of our joy.
In Colossians we saw Christ is our life and it says and you are complete in Him- he is the head of all principalities and power and what’s wonderful is that when God sent us out when he birthed us through the Spirit we’re complete we have everything. Now it’s kind of like you buy these CD’s and you have to unlock books you know they’re inside of there but you can’t use them yet and obedience and walking with the Lord in maturity unlocks more and more of what God has given us and disobedience and not walking with the Lord locks more and more of it but he says you’re complete you don’t need to look outside you self for any thing he says I have given it all to you in Christ and Christ in our life.
Finally we finished up last week now look at that I did it in 10 minutes it took me 50 minutes last week but 1 Thessalonians tells us Christ is our hope. I was listening to Howie Hendricks today a tape 5 years old and he said more people have come to Christ in Dallas 5 years ago than at any other time recorded in Dallas’ history and he said the reason for that was that 5 years ago Dallas was having a big downturn financially and for what ever reason and he said when everyone loses what they’re counting on they look outside of what they used to find their hope and joy and security in and he said so many of them were coming to Christ and so he said he was praying that Dallas wouldn’t recover- well they’ve recovered and I think that the salvations have dropped off but Christ is our hope and that’s why people look to Him and that’s why the early church if you look at church history the great growth and the spurt of salvations was when they were being persecuted when they were burning their Bibles when they were destroying the church buildings when they were losing their jobs when they couldn’t own property when they couldn’t even meet with out being under danger of some type from the government the church mushroomed. As soon as they legalized it it plateaued and it started down.
The same thing happened in Eastern Europe if you know any thing about the history of the church in Eastern Europe both in the eastern block and in Russia when it was illegal to have a Bible when you would be beaten with they used to use garden hoses and they would beat them because it doesn’t show it just damages the nerves and they would beat them with garden hoses especially the bottoms of their feet they’d slide bamboo under their fingernails and burn it the only thing it does is make your fingernails get real thick and it hurts a lot- you know the church just grew but now that it’s legal it’s plateauing and that’s just how it is because when Christ when he isn’t our hope when our you know our pension plan is our hope or you know our career is our hope or degree or our you know possessions are our hope we don’t need Him so much. Well now we can finish our survey oh that’s why that’s right there were 9 now we’re doing 14 right here the last 14 New Testament books we’ll start with Paul’s final letter to his Thessalonians.
Now, let’s finish our survey of the last 14 New Testament books. We start with Paul’s final letter to his beloved Thessalonian Christians.
v II THESSALONIANS “Christ our Security” (1:11-12) Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
t’s a 2 way street we glorify him where we are and as we stand for Him live for Him love Him it brings glory to his name He in us and He is magnified through us-
Remember, the return of Christ is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. And so, to these troubled saints Paul presents Christ as our Security:
- When Suffering (1),
- When doubting (2) they were wondering if they had missed something you know they thought the Lord had already come back or he’d forgotten them or what ever and also in chapter 3
- When serving (3). Always find Christ as your security when you’re going through personal suffering family suffering emotional physical financial when you’re doubting and remember Satan’s 2 edged sword is doubt and discouragement. For Christians he usually can’t get us to do a lot of the dirty stuff so what he does is he sticks in that sword and makes us doubt and get discouraged and a lot of Christians alternate between doubting you know God’s plan and you know whether God knows what he’s doing with them because you know he’s taken so long before I’m getting married or what ever you know their doubting or they’re discouraged they don’t like how they look they don’t like how God made them they don’t like what he’s doing with them and all this stuff and God says let me be your security while you’re doubting let me be your security while you’re serving there should be a settled confidence in our life as Paul said at the end of his life- I’ve finished my course we shouldn’t have this kind of endless worrying that we haven’t done enough or what ever. Paul it’s interesting umm we stand in his prison cell it’s really a neat place to stand in Rome and when you stand down there it’s really kind of smelly and it’s dark and it’s damp and you look out um this little grate and you can see the ruins of the Roman Forum which was the epicenter of the whole world at that time and from that place Paul could hear the sounds of the Empire rushing by with it’s millions and yet he wasn’t climbing the walls and pounding on them and saying let me out I’ve got to do more he says I’ve finished my course, I’ve done every thing God wanted me to do I’m ready to go and that’s the security that we have in Christ when we serve Him that he is in charge of our life and no one dies a day early or a day late they you know there’s just great security. The next book let’s look at 1 Timothy and remember this is a very very brief survey um but look at
v I TIMOTHY “Christ our Leader” (4:12) and this should be a verse we all have marked especially my prayer group over there I prayed with tonight but the young people because this is about a young man and Christ is presented in 1 Timothy as our leader. Paul what he was doing was checking out he was talking to his son in the faith he said I’m not going to be around much longer but I’m going to show you Christ who you’re supposed to follow the rest of your life- Christ was his leader he says:
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, (how you act) in love, (how you respond) in spirit,
As you as it says in 2 Cor. 7:1 that we purge ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit you know a lot of us are really great on keeping the flesh clean I mean the new germicidal you know you don’t use soap any more you use germicidal soap right to kill all the billions of germs you know every body it’s cropping up everywhere I mean even in the public restrooms they’re starting in the fancy ones at least they have the- the other ones still use you know engine cleaner but in the fancy ones they use you know the germicidal antibacterial soap and you know we’re all concerned about germs and we heard about an aids infected needle and hepatitis C and all that- people are so concerned about their bodies being clean but their spirits get so defiled. You know we can defile our spirits by our attitudes by bitterness and anger and wrath and clamor we can defile our spirits by looking at things that grieve the Holy Spirit of God – occultic things things that have to do with murder and bloodshed things that have to do with violence- those things and especially immoral things because they so cleave to our mind because any thing that’s fearful or that’s very exciting there’s a secretion of epinephrine in your brain which just kind of like cements it in there and that’s why the more excited you are about memorizing your verses the easier it is to do and that’s why people that go oh I have to memorize another verse they have so much trouble with it but the ones who go wow I get to memorize one like children you know they can just learn them like that cause they’re excited about it and it stores better in your memory when you’re excited or afraid- excitement’s better than the fear but he said keep your spirit- make sure that your spirit is purged 2 Cor. 7:1 in faith, in purity. (NKJV) Timothy was a special disciple in whom Paul invested much time and to whom he entrusted great responsibility. Timothy pastured the largest church in the ancient world did you know that? The church in Ephesus where he was the pastor when he got 1 Timothy when that letter came to him as a letter remember the first and second rules of interpreting the Bible the first one is that when ever possible take it in the literal sense I mean most people they immediately think the Bible’s a little bit you know mystical- no it’s letters written to people the first canon of textual interpretation is when the literal sense makes the best sense then that’s the best way to take it. The second one is the Bible can never mean anything that it couldn’t have meant to the people that originally got it. Now that takes care of all the weirdo stuff in the Bible I mean I met someone they said the locusts are apache helicopters- I says you know what you know that’s great to say that in Revelation they’re apache helicopters you know what happens if it’s a hundred years from now when they don’t have apache helicopters any more it can’t mean anything it didn’t mean to the people back then and what those locusts meant was it was in Revelation 9 it meant something that was attacking them and inflicting pain and that’s all. Now if you want to apply that to apache helicopters but that’s not what it means you can apply it but what he’s saying here is that you when you’re pasturing in the church to the Ephesians to those 50,000 people in that church he says you make sure that you are investing your life in teaching what the Bible means. He was entrusted with great responsibility.
v II TIMOTHY “Christ our Goal” (4:7-8) this is Paul’s follow up letter- I remember when I was in seminary I used to have a summer job I’d sell aspirin- I sold Anacin- that’s a very good selling aspirin I sold Dristan and Preparation H and Advil- lots of good stuff and I remember that my sales managers used to fly out and they’d meet us at some place we’d pick em up at the airport and they’d ride with us. I remember for one summer I had a sales manager that was this Jewish woman and she got in the car and I witnessed to her and finally she said I’ll tell you what if you don’t talk to me any more I’ll read your book and so I gave her a New Testament and at the end of the week she said did you know there’s – that’s a sequel she said there’s another one that’s before this- she didn’t know about the Old Testament you know it’s amazing how the scriptures are so powerful and she got it she- by reading the 27 books of the New Testament she said there’s something that came before this. As far as I know she never came to Christ but she got to read the Word of God and 2 Tim. 4:7-8 is the sequel to this first epistle. Paul wrote the first epistle was released from prison for as many as maybe 3 or 4 years he probably went to Great Britain- we know he went to Spain- he probably went all the way to England as far as we know and he was taking the gospel all through out that area and God just didn’t choose to record all that except that he mentioned that he was going to Spain but then when he writes 2 Timothy he’s in the Mammertine Prison awaiting execution now look at verse 7 that’s the back ground and as we look at this 2 Tim. 4:7-
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NKJV)
Sometime in the year AD 64, Paul the apostle looked out of the tiny grate that let in light to his subterranean dungeon. The Mamertinum prison was only a stones throw from the epicenter of the world, the Roman Forum. Outside could be heard the crowds surging to the Circus Maximus, the games and the great festivals. The mighty legions returned from victory after victory with dazzling displays of plunder and captives. But in that solitary dungeon of dampness, deprivation and discomfort, once again the Holy Spirit overshadowed the great apostle and began to breathe through him the very Word of God. What is amazing is that with a shamelessly professed homosexual emperor and a bloodthirsty mob of Romans behind him in self gratifying lust, Paul would write: that they were to be subject to the authorities that be- isn’t that amazing and he wrote to Timothy and he told him to pray for leaders even that one and Romans 13 says and even obey them even that one. But 4:7-8 he said I’m now ready to be offered he said his contentment was from God he said I’m not regretting one day of my life.
“in the last days … Men will…”he was saying, this is only the prelude. The fallen ego is evident but will come to full bloom in days ahead. Then he lists the qualities of godlessness that will be embodied in the last days:
- Philautos = self lovers, a life centered in self. The antithesis of the life god calls for which is death to self.
- Philaguros = lovers of money, and Timothy as pastor of Ephesus was in the second most prosperous, materialistic center of the ancient world. All the trade routes dumped wealth here!
- Alazon = braggart, boastful. It was the word for the medicine peddling quack doctor who could cure anything. Then it just came to mean a boaster of empty words.
- Huperephanos = arrogant, to show ones self above, this is not an outward show; this is an inward condition of all consuming pride.
- Blasphemia = revilers is not the hot words of anger but the cold insult of an arrogant pride.
- Disobedient to parents = the loss of all submission to positions of authority over young people.
- Acharistos = ungrateful, thankless, a refusal to even acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed to god and man.
- Anosios = unholy is a refusal to even recognize decency in life, the unwritten ones like burial of the dead. But beyond cultural things, this is the base and shameless seeking of abnormal pleasures and thrills.
- Astorgos = unloving is to be without family or human affection. Storge is family love. A means without. This is a time when self prevails over even the closest ties of family.
- Aspondos = irreconcilable is either a person who can never be reconciled or, one who breaks all agreements for selfish purposes. Thus an implacable or hateful person.
- Diabolos = malicious gossips is literally, devils or slanderers. Even worse than stealing property is to destroy another’s reputation, which is the wickedness of slander.
- Akrates = without self control is to be uncontrollable in their desires
- Anemeros = brutal is to be savage as in a wild beast.
- Aphilagathos = hater of good means no love for goodness of anything.
- Prodotes = treacherous is to be willing to betray for any reason.
- Propetes = reckless is literally “swept along” headlong and unthinkingly.
- Tetuphomenos = conceited, lit. Head swelled for their own importance
- Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god = the recreation worshipper and hedonists
- Holding to a form of godliness = outwardly somewhat religious.
- Although they have denied its power = they are not born from above as John 3 speaks of, but from beneath as James 3 describes
Finally, in the late autumn of life sits the Apostle who dominates the early years of the church. Here awaiting execution in this most undesirable spot, is Saint Paul. Look at his last words from this very spot. How did he it make through so many terrible situations? Six secrets we would do well to hear and learn from II Timothy 4:6-8
- His Contentment was from God “For I am now ready to be offered”
- His Confidence was in God “and the time of my departure is at hand” God you’ve been driving the whole time and you’re in charge.
- His Courage was for God “I have fought a good fight” and he says God you have provided my courage
- His Faithfulness was to God “I have finished my course”
- His Fidelity was of God “I have kept the faith”
- His Focus was on God “Henceforth there is laid up”
v TITUS “Christ our Model to Follow” and all the way through he says this in (2:10-11) adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. And so what he says is young men adorn the gospel adorn the doctrine of God- Christ is your model. Young ladies adorn the model of Christ the doctrine of God model His graciousness His goodness. Older men adorn the gospel of God with your behavior. Older women adorn the gospel of God leaders, workers, employers, church leaders all of you be those who follow Christ he is your model and how do we do that? Well verse 11- how? For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (NKJV) and verse 12 says it teaches us how to do that and if you want to know how to live as what ever God has made you young men young women older men older women or child you want to follow what Titus says- adorn the doctrine of God our savior in everything- the way you do your school, the way you dress the way you act the way you talk what you want to do how you respond to difficult situations – adorn the gospel of God- what a great book that is.
v PHILEMON “Christ our source of Forgiveness” verse 18 is so good- if this runaway slave — (1:18) But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. (NKJV) and you know then what— all the way through if you want to read un Philemon sometime listen for the sound of chains I mean you can hear it all the way through listen to this: Paul clank clank a prisoner of Jesus Christ to Timothy and Timothy our dearly beloved to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker um I thank my God always for you I pray of your fellowship I haven’t marked all of these in my Bible but um he keeps talking about—oh in verse 9 now I’m a prisoner clank clank you can just hear him rattling his chains. What he’s saying is I’m suffering for the cause of Christ and I’m the one that gave you the gospel he says you should forgive this guy that hurt you because Jesus forgave you and if you can’t forgive him for that reason you ought to forgive him because I’m your friend and I have done so much for you but this is such a good book especially if someone’s hurt you that Christ is our source of forgiveness and he encourages Philemon to act more like a Christian than like a Roman- the Romans crucified runaway slaves he says don’t do that act like a Christian and treat him like a brother and forgive him and what a wonderful message Philemon has. One of the shortest New Testament letters was written to a member of the Colossian church, Philemon, to encourage him to act more like a Christian than a Roman in accepting back his runaway slave.
v HEBREWS what a great book one of my favorites 303 wonderful verses- i took a course in seminary where i had to memorize all 303 verses- that’s how you pass a course- you know what- nothing like memorizing the scriptures but Hebrews talks about “Christ the Best of ALL” and I like (12:2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, that was like Philippians 1:6 he that began a good work will finish it- he’ the author and perfecter he’s the one who started us and he’s the one who’s going to take us through and he’s the one who’s going to deliver us in fact it says in 2 Cor. 1:20-22 that when we get saved the Lord signs his name on us by the Holy Spirit- he signs us, seals us so we’ll be delivered in the end and you know it’s kind of like when I was little I used to send helium balloons with pre-addressed postcards you know you just buy this dollar balloon you put it in a plastic bag tie it all up and let it go? And I used to get them back from Canada and from you know upstate New York and I lived in Michigan you know and it’s just where the prevailing winds were going and the way they got back to me was they were addressed to me and they had a stamp on them. God says I don’t want anything to happen to you so I’ve already written your address, you’re citizen ship is in heaven- don’t worry and no matter what you go through in this world you’re going to be delivered safely to my presence and that’s what the whole book of Hebrews is about Jesus is the best he’s the author the finishing our faith– who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV) did you know that in the tabernacle and the temple there were no chairs- that was on purpose- no chairs were allowed why- because the work of redemption the work of sacrifice was never done I mean they were trimming the wicks and they had to run over and take out the ashes and they had to put more wood in and they had to put more stuff on and burn some more and then they had to put more incense over here and then they had to put more oil in to keep those lamps going and then they had to go back and scrape the ashes off and they never got done- the work was never done they were perpetually to keep the lamps burning and they were perpetually to keep the incense burning and they just never got done but you know what? Jesus offered one sacrifice and sat down and that shows the whole book of Hebrews says He did it all and He’s better He’s better than the angels that’s chapter 1 and 2 He’s better than Moses that’s 3 and 4 he’s better than all the Aaronic priesthood and Levitical sacrifices that’s 5-7. His new covenant sacrifice totally obliterates all that old handwriting of ordinances in 8-10.
Sometime in the AD 60’s before the Temple was destroyed, some was inspired by God to write Hebrews. Who? We cannot be sure. But the anonymity of the author does not detract from the letter’s authority. Hebrews speaks powerfully of the superiority of Christ, exalting Him over:
- The angels (1-2),
- Moses (3-4) and
- The Aaronic priesthood (5-7), as well as
- The superiority of His New Covenant and sacrifice over the old (8-10).
- Chapters 11 to 13 He is our example of faith He is the author and finisher in 12 and he is the one that’s taking us to the Heavenly city with the redeemed in chapter 13 –what a wonderful book Hebrews is. plead for lives of faith in light of Christ’s work and examples from the faithful of old.
v JAMES “Christ matures our Faith ” (1:22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV) and he says that true saving faith is maturing faith it’s life changing faith and that no one who believes in Christ ever stops believing and they evidence it in a changed life.
- The earthly brother of Jesus who grew up with the boy Jesus was saved after the resurrection of his brother. He becomes one of the key leaders of the church. In about AD 45 as a pastor, he writes from Jerusalem. Some read James as a counter to Paul when he says, “Faith, if it has no works, is dead (2:17, NASB). But far from contradicting Paul, James was talking about life-style. He draws from a rich heritage of wisdom, the prophets, and his half-brother’s Sermon on the Mount, to write about the life of faith that looks theologically correct.
v I peter in verse 3 of the first chapter we get the key to this book- it’s kinda like you know a lot of people leave the key to their house by the front door I mean all robbers know that you know you just look under the mat you look under the pot you look over the top you look in the mail box you look in one of those magnet things you know they’re all they are smart well godly is the key to a lot of the books in the front door of the book- Acts 1:8, Rev. 1:19 and there’s so many of them like that that give that well here’s one “Christ our Victory over Suffering” (1:3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (NKJV) “Christ our Victory over Suffering” – these people were suffering intensely this was written in the 60’s if you remember the persecutions were three in the Roman Empire there were three levels of persecution firs there was kind of local sporadic that was in the 60’s then a little bit later in the first century became provincial that’s when they used to clean out a whole province of Christians finally by the 4 century it became empire wide- actually the end of the 3rd century so they were still in the sporadic local persecution so there was one going on to the elect scatted through out Pontus and Galatia and Cappadocia and Asia and Bythinia which is who Peter wrote to and he said these people were getting persecuted and so he says he will give you a living hope- living hope- one that helps you see Christ as our victory over suffering. Look at 2 Peter because there’s a different problem when he started writing 2 Peter and that was that kind of like in between the waves of persecution false teachers were coming and so second Peter says:
- Some time around AD 61 Peter writes his letter encouraging all Christians to live holy and faithful lives and to be willing to suffer unjust persecution after the example of Christ. Peter challenges wives, husbands, elders, and young men to exercise humility, service, and self-control.
v II peter “Christ our Victory over Error” (1:16) For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (NKJV) do you know what till the end of his life he couldn’t forget the Transfiguration? He couldn’t forget that Jesus the man pulled back the veil and showed Jesus the God and he never could forget that till the end of his life he says I was an eyewitness.
- Second Peter and Jude are so alike many have wondered why both are needed in the New Testament. Because the Spirit inspired both they require careful study. Both deal urgently with an insidious and dangerous heresy that threatens the very lives of believers. Peter says the key to stability and growth is knowing God (1:5-11). And if there’s anything that’s important for us it is having a personal knowledge of the Lord through His Word- that’s the key to stability and growth and that’s how to over come false teaching.
v I JOHN “Christ our Fellowship” (1:3) that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (NKJV) Christ is our fellowship Christ is the one that reveals the Father to us Christ is the one that opens the door of fellowship with other believers Christ is the one and by the way you know what fellowship means? Koinonia um we think of coffee shops and you know koinonia you know ladies having tea and stuff like that you know what the word really means in the New Testament world? Marriage- it was the ultimate partnership- you would you would be koinonia you would be married you would be sharing the ultimate partnership and so Christ is our beloved we are betrothed to him we are going to marry him and we should conduct our selves in a manner fitting to the one we’re going to marry. how would you like it if you were going to marry someone in fact I was just reading Warren Weirsbe this week and he said that he was at a wedding and when the wedding got over the bride came out and she was walking across with her husband across the street to the limousine and all of a sudden a horn honked and there was a car with it’s motor running on the other side of the street and the door opened and she bolted from her groom or her husband and jumped in the car it was her old boyfriend and she decided at the end that she had to go with him and she drove off with him and Weirsbe said needless to say I annulled the marriage but the idea is how often do we bolt from Christ because we must not love the old one the world the flesh the devil we have to be faithful to Him he’s our fellowship and our fellowship is with the Father through the son. John exhorts believers to show God’s love Christ, by individually and sacrificially meeting the needs of others. He also commands us to turn from the world to love the Father. He stresses the danger of false teachers and false (anti-)christs. He emphasizes the apostles’ teaching and the witness of the Spirit.
v II JOHN “Christ our Source of Separation” (1:10-11) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (NKJV) two things and you know a lot of people say well I’m strong enough and I can have the cults into my house and I’ll deal with them- two problems with that- one is that the cults when they get into your house all they do is go to the next house and they say clyde just let me into his house can I come and talk to you? And they’ll go wow terry’s a nice guy I guess if he listened to them maybe I should too—- see they’ll use any thing for evil. The second thing is they love to sow seeds of doubt- you might be witnessing to them but they will throw out their seeds. This spring we planted our garden and the kids were helping me and when I wasn’t looking they took their little packages of seeds and they didn’t think I’d notice and they were poking their fingers and making their name and putting seeds in them. Well about 3 weeks later guess what? They all sprouted in pictures of initials and names and curly-cues in the middle of the rows and everything those seeds that are planted sprout and just like when you’re young if you sow seeds to the flesh they’ll reap a crop of corruption so if you allow the false teachers to sow their seeds of doubt at times of weakness at times of spiritual battle all of a sudden those seeds of doubt start bearing fruit. That’s why he said don’t even let them into your house he says don’t even greet them in other words greeting them and saying hi how ya doing you just say in fact did you know that John who wrote this that the #1 heretic of his day his name was Serenthus he lived in Ephesus he was the founder or the father of gnosticism he was the one that he didn’t think of it but he spread it in the ancient world he was the primary proponent of what we would call Mormonism today back then it was called gnosticism- today it’s star wars and Mormonism and a lot of other stuff but it’s this idea of eternal good and bad and you can become a God and all that junk- well Serenthus taught all that and John as a 90 year old man was taking a bath- they didn’t have home bathtubs they took public baths- men’s side women’s side and they went in this big hot tub and took their bath and he was in taking his bath when Serenthus came and took off his towel and it says that John jumped from the bathtub and ran screaming out of the bath house and said I will not be in the same bath house as that antichrist. Of course he wrapped a towel around himself don’t worry but see that’s the that’s why he wrote this he said if someone comes to you and denies the doctrine of Christ don’t let em in your house don’t greet em if you even greet them you ‘re sharing in his evil deeds- how? Because you’re giving them credibility. When those Christ haters come down our road I go out to the door step and meet them and say we’re not interested I’ll share the gospel but I will not debate this with you and I do it out on the front steps so my neighbors can see cause you know what they know I’m a pastor and if I’m smiling and shaking their hands and taking some stuff and giving them a little candy bar or something you know and try and be real friendly it adds to their evil and be careful- 2 John warns us.
v III JOHN “Christ our Source of genuine Prosperity” There is prosperity it’s not as much physical as it is spiritual but verse says: (1:2-3) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. What he’s saying is what God prospers most is your soul he says I wish your body and your check book would catch up with it but don’t worry about that you’ll get I later- true prosperity is: For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth [that is] in you, just as you walk in the truth. (NKJV) True prosperity is walking in the truth.
v JUDE “Christ our Salvation” (1:3) Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (NKJV) and we should contend for that faith we should stand for that faith especially it’s getting so diluted nowadays people don’t even know what the Gospel is anymore.
- Jude was a second brother of Joseph and Mary in the earthly family of Jesus, who wrote a New Testament book after coming to Christ. Jude uses images stretching from before the Flood to the depths of the Pit where imprisoned fiends of unholy service wait in chains. He gives insight into colorful Old Testament personages like Lot, Balaam, Korah, Enoch and Michael. Ending with one of the strongest verses on our secure salvation, this book is a must read! Did you know that half of the books of the Bible are shorter that two columns on paper? So many people haven’t read a lot of the Bible—they oh it’s too much- half of the books are shorter than 2 columns in Sunday’s paper so I hop that you’ll read all these- they’re all precious.
v REVELATION “Christ ours to Worship” (19:10) And I fell at his feet to worship him (an angel). But he said to me, “See [that you do] not [do that!] I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. That shows what the angels are doing they’re serving us doing God’s bidding and ——-helping the heirs of salvation but here’s the message- Worship God! How do we worship God? For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (NKJV) The Scriptures reveal Christ as we see Christ in all of His beauty and as we worship Him and magnify Him we bring glory to His name and God the Father is magnified as Christ is revealed in us. Well that was our quick walk through the New Testament I hope that it challenges you to read these things to let him that began a good work finish it. Rest in His source of all that we need and just let the Word of God be our hidden manna for all we need. Let’s thank the Lord
Dear Father I thank you for your word and I thank you that we have seen the Lord in all of this blessed book and I pray that you would be our source of joy and of comfort and our source of spiritual power for whatever challenges you bring what ever tests of life come may we come forth as gold. Help us to love you and let your word as it richly dwells in us- teach us through songs hymns and spiritual songs that we might be overflowing with the joy of the Lord – we’ll thank you in your precious name Lord Jesus, AMEN.