Bible Studies

By Robert J. Thomas;  Director of Calvary Ministries to Catholics

As we begin this study let me first state that part of our ministry is to examine the doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity by comparing official Catholic doctrines with the clear teachings of the Bible. The world needs to know that the majority of Catholic doctrine is at variance with the clear teachings of the Bible. The Catholic Church pronounces anathemas (curses) on all who oppose their false and heretical teachings.. For instance Council of Trent SIXTH SESSION CANONS ON JUSTIFICATION CANON 9 “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.”

My dear friends, what the Catholic Church has actually done in this Canon and others is condemn the very Gospel. I am reminded of what Paul clearly stated in Galatians 1:8-9

“But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him by accursed. As we said before, so say I again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Having been born and raised in a Roman Catholic Church, I learned at an early age that attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist was the most important sacrament a Catholic could receive. It is the Mass and Eucharist that the Church of Rome points to with great pride to distinguish herself from other denominations. The very life-line of the whole religious system rests upon the Mass. I was taught that it was the foundation-the pinnacle- the very heartbeat of Catholicism. In the Book, The What and Why of Catholicism, the Mass is described as follows: “The Sacrifice of the Mass forms a pivot upon which all else turns. If it is what Catholics believe it is, then here is the greatest external manifestation of the love of God for man and the most magnificent testimonial to the validity of Catholicism; but if it be false, it is the worst farce and blasphemy ever perpetrated upon God or man and the Catholic faith collapses into nothingness.”

John’s Gospel has a total of seven “I am’s.”

John 10:9-“I am the door.”

John 15:1-“I am the true vine.”

John 8:12-“I am the light of the world.”

John 10:11-“I am the good shepherd.”

John 11:25-“I am the resurrection and the life.”

John 14:6-“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

John 6:48-“I am the bread of life.”

All seven of these I am sayings are clearly figures of speech. It is interesting that our Catholics friends will usually readily admit that the first six are figures of speech; however, they insist that the last one “I am the bread of life” must be taken literally. All seven of these statements are figurative or symbolic statements and are meant to convey literal truth regarding the Lord Jesus; that He is the source of spiritual life and salvation. So, let’s examine John 6 and see if this chapter establishes the Mass.

Roman Catholics refer to verses 51 to 58 to try to prove the Mass.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove amongst themselves, saying, How can this man give us 

his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

Let’s once again remember that Scripture always reaffirms Scripture. Our Catholic friends pull this passage of Scripture out of its context and use it in an attempt to establish and prove the Mass. In order to fully understand what Jesus is talking about in verses 51 to 58, we must look at the context of the entire sixth chapter of John. Taken as a whole, John chapter six has both literal and spiritual aspects.

In the Old Testament, there are many examples of God speaking figuratively in regard to eating and drinking. For example, in Hosea 10:13, we see, “ye have eaten the fruit of lies.” Again we read in Proverbs 4:17-“they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.” Isaiah 30:20-“The bread of adversity, and the water of affliction.” Psalm 34:8-“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” One final passage is Psalm 60:3-“Drink the wine of astonishment.”

Let me set the stage by looking at several Old Testament passages dealing with the drinking of blood.

Leviticus 3:17-“It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.”

Leviticus 7:26-“Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.”

Leviticus 17:10-12-“And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Therefore, I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.”

Deuteronomy 12:16-“Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.”

Deuteronomy 12:23-“Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.”

Deuteronomy 15:23-“Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.”

I Samuel 14:33-34-“Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day. And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood.”

How often does God have to say not to eat or drink blood before it is so?

JOHN 6 occurs Twelve Months Before The Death of Jesus.

To set the stage for John 6, we need to first examine that miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 in verses 1 -14. There was a lad that had five barley loaves and two small fishes. Jesus performed a miracle and fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes. The Jews were all filled; they had their needs met; and that was all they cared about. They were not even aroused by the fact that Jesus had performed a miracle. They had gotten a free meal and that was all that was on their mind. Next in verses 15-21, Jesus sends the apostles across the sea of Galilee and he comes to them walking on the water in the midst of a storm.

Beginning in verse 22, the Jews are searching for Jesus the next day for one purpose and one purpose only. They want another free meal. This is very evident by the words of Jesus in verse 26-“Jesus answered and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” This statement of Jesus is literal.” In verse 27, Jesus speaks to the Jews on a spiritual basis. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the father sealed.” These Jews that Jesus was speaking to had absolutely no spiritual understanding. They were unregenerate individuals and therefore they could not understand the spiritual aspects of what Jesus was teaching.

Romans 8:7-“Bccause the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

I Corinthians 2:14-“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

In verse 28, the Jews inquire as to what they need to do to please God. In verse 29, Jesus addresses their spiritual condition. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” What does Jesus clearly state the solution to their spiritual problem is? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Plain and simple! They were lost in sin and needed to believe on Jesus. They needed to be saved

by grace through faith alone. Why? Because salvation is in Christ and Christ alone. Their Jewish religion would not save them. No religion has ever saved a single person. That is why the Roman Catholic Church is in error when she makes the statement, “The one true holy mother church without which there is no salvation.” Please don’t waste my time by telling me that the Catholic Church does not teach this. I can post multitudes of official information from the Catholic Church including direct quotes from Benedict XVI that will prove my point. In fact, I am looking at a statement that Benedict XVI made on July 7, 2007: “All non Catholic congregations are not true churches in the Biblical sense of the word. There is absolutely no salvation outside of the Holy Catholic Church.”

In verses 30 and 31, the Jews once again show their obvious lack of spiritual understanding. They want Jesus to give them a sign (another miracle). They remind Jesus about the physical manna that their fathers had received while they were wondering forty years in the wilderness. The Jews were merely looking at the literal aspects of the manna for food and not the spiritual significance that God had provided the manna. In verses 32 and 33, Jesus reminds them that God gave them the manna and not Moses. This manna from God took care of their physical needs. However, Jesus wants to take care of their spiritual needs. In verse 34, the Jews still with no spiritual understanding, desire an everlasting buffet. They want to be provided with literal food on a daily basis just as their fathers were in the wilderness. They were completely missing the spiritual aspects.

The pivotal part of the entire chapter is in verses 35 and 36. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” In verse 35, Jesus is speaking spiritually. In this chapter Jesus is clearly teaching about salvation. Jesus is referring to the spiritual hunger in man for salvation. He promises to everyone who will “come to him” that he will satisfy their spiritual hunger for salvation forever. Likewise, we also drink to satisfy thirst. A one time coming to Jesus and believing on Jesus will satisfy man’s spiritual need of salvation forever. This is accomplished by grace through faith alone. (Rom. 10:9-10, 13: Eph 2:8-9; John 3:16) According to verse 36, the Jews have seen Jesus and all the miracles that he has done (including the feeding of the 5,000); however, they are still spiritually ignorant.

Jesus once again in verses 37 to 39 is speaking about the results of salvation. All who come to Jesus by grace through faith alone seeking eternal life will receive eternal salvation. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father except by me.”

Now let’s look at verse 40 very carefully and compare it with verse 54.

John 6:40-“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:54-Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

According to verse 40, anyone who sees the Son and believes on him has everlasting life. This verse is literally true. All who come to Christ by grace through faith alone have eternal life. According to verse 54, all who eat the body and drink the blood of Jesus also have eternal life. If verse 54 is to be also taken literally as our Catholic friends insist, we have a real dilemma. I often put the following situation to my Catholic friends and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. According to verse 40, I have seen the Son and I have laterally by grace through faith alone believed on him. Therefore, I have eternal life and will never perish. I do not accept the Roman Catholic premise that I must literally eat Christ’s flesh and literally drink his blood to experience eternal life (the Eucharist). According to Catholic teaching then, I do not have eternal life. However, according to verse 40, I have eternal life because I have believed on Christ unto salvation. Solve my dilemma. No, my dear Catholic friends, verse 54 is not to be taken literally, Jesus is merely conveying a spiritual truth. The only possible solution to this dilemma is for us to understand that Jesus was speaking figuratively or spiritually in verse 54 to explain what he had literally taught in verse 40.

In verses 43 to 47, Jesus is very clearly speaking about salvation and once again the Jews don’t have a clue. Verse 47 sums it up, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” In review, Jesus very clearly told the unbelieving Jews in verses 28, 29 and 30 that they needed salvation. Next, in verses 48 to 51, Jesus is speaking spiritually again and comparing Himself spiritually to the manna that came down from God in the wilderness. Just as the Jews physical needs were met by the manna in the wilderness; just as their physical needs were met the day before when the 5,000 were fed, Jesus can and will meet their spiritual needs if they will believe on him unto salvation.

Verse 52 once again clearly demonstrates the lack of spiritual understanding on the part of the Jews. They were only thinking about physical food when they asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” In verses 53 to 58, Jesus is comparing the physical manna in the wilderness to his spiritual flesh and spiritual blood. We must remember that this event occurred one year prior to his death. According to verse 58 the fathers ate the literal manna in the wilderness and are all dead. However, if anyone believes on Jesus and experiences eternal life by grace through faith alone, they can spiritually partake of his flesh and blood because they have eternal life. Remember that the Jews certainly knew and understood the Old Testament warnings against drinking blood!

It is quite interesting that beginning in verse 60, many went away because they did not want the spiritual aspect of Christ’s ministry and only desired the physical bread. They had the wrong motives. Let’s finally look at verses 68-69: “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” The disciples had correctly understood the teachings of Christ because they had eternal life and therefore had spiritual discernment. They understood completely that salvation was in Christ and in Him alone.

Calvary Ministries to Catholics  
132 Powder Springs Dr.   Duncan,SC 29334

(864)9491375
E-mail [email protected] 

Website: http://excatholic.baptist.org 

The Apple of the Bible’s Eye

by danparton on February 23, 2012

from Pastor Dan Parton | Timberline Baptist Church | Originally presented January 30, 2011 |

Psalm 118:1-9

Introduction:  What could I possibly mean by “the apple of the Bible’s eye”?  The Word of God refers to the apple of the eye only five times:

 

- Deuteronomy 32:10, “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”

- Psalm 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”

- Proverbs 7:2, “Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.”

- Lamentations 2:18, “Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.”

- Zechariah 2:8, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”

 

The “apple of the eye” is the centermost part of it.  To be the apple of God’s eye, we must be the centermost focus of His eye.  Along those same lines, we know that the central theme of God’s Word is Jesus.  But what is the apple of the Bible’s eye, the centermost focus of His Word?

 

Psalm 118:8-9 are said to be the centermost verses in the Bible and contain the centermost focus of the 66 books of the Bible, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)

 

It is also said that the two centermost words in the Bible are the seventh and eighth words of Psalm 118:8, “the LORD.”  All these statistics are up for grabs as there are many opinions surrounding them.  Nevertheless, it makes an interesting study!

 

Please note that “LORD” is all capital letters in your Bible in these verses.  It is the Hebrew word “Jehovah,” God’s personal name describing His power to save.

 

- “Jehovah” is the Old Testament descriptive of Jesus.

- What DOES this verse tell us we are to do with Jesus?  TRUST HIM!

 

What can the central theme of the centermost verse in the Bible teach us?

 

1.            It tells of the only two religions in the world.

 

- Do, works and confidence in man; and done, faith, trusting in the Lord plus and minus nothing.

- How to get to Heaven is only taught two ways:

 

* It is either dependent on what YOU do.

* Or it is dependent on what Jesus has done.

 

- It can’t be both!  Romans 11:6 makes it even clearer, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

- Jesus made it abundantly clear in John 14:6 that there is only one way to Heaven when He clearly said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

- Psalm 118:8-9 say it all, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man [any man including yourself]. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”

 

2.            What you believe about Jesus determines many things.

 

- It determines what and how you believe about the rest of the Bible.  This is very important!

- Either Jesus is the Saviour of the world, or He is not.

- You can be totally wrong about many subjects in the Word of God and still be saved and get to Heaven.

- If you are wrong about Jesus, you miss Heaven altogether!

 

  • It is not your Bible knowledge.
  • It is not your church membership.
  • It is not your church name.
  • It is not your good works.
  • It is not your baptism.
  • It is not your communion.
  • It is not your good feeling.
  • It is not your anything.

 

- In order to get to Heaven, you cannot trust in the Lord plus or minus anything.  It is Jesus alone, or nothing at all!

- I have grown to love Acts 4:12 so much over the years, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

 

3.            Everything in Psalm 118:8-9 point to Jesus!

- Trust in the Lord!

- Religious groups today point to everything BUT Jesus:

 

  • The Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Spirit.
  • Healing.
  • The church.
  • Baptism.
  • Numerology.
  • Bible codes and hidden messages.
  • Prophecy and prosperity.
  • The virgin Mary.
  • Saints and sacraments.

 

- All these things should point to Jesus, but not be a substitute for Him!

 

Conclusion:  What is the apple of the Bible’s eye, that is, the centermost focus of His Word?

 

Psalm 118:8-9 are said to be the centermost verses in the Bible and contain the centermost focus of the 66 books of the Bible, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)

 

It is also said that the two centermost words in the Bible are the seventh and eighth words of Psalm 118:8, “the LORD.”  “LORD” is all capital letters in your Bible and is the Hebrew word “Jehovah,” God’s personal name describing His power to save. “Jehovah” is the Old Testament descriptive of Jesus.  What can the central theme of the centermost verse in the Bible teach us?

 

- It tells of the only two religions in the world:  do and done.

- What you believe about Jesus determines what and how you believe about the rest of the Bible.

- Everything in Psalm 118:8-9 point to Jesus.

 

What are you trusting right now?  Are you trusting in Jesus alone to save you and take you to Heaven when you die, or is your confidence in man?

Christ’s Power Over Sin

by danparton on February 17, 2012 · 0 comments

Learning the Epistles – Study 169

from Pastor Dan Parton | Timberline Baptist Church | Originally presented February 2, 2011 |

Hebrews 2:5-18

Introduction:  Beginning at verse 5, the writer returns to his previous argument that Christ is greater than the angels.  The Jews offered one great objection to this argument.  They asked, “How could Christ be better than the angels since He was limited to a human body, and the angels were not?”  In Hebrews 2:5-18, we find the answer to this great objection.

 

The writer of Hebrews says that Christ, having a body of human flesh, does not make Him less than the angels; in fact, His body is one reason why He is greater than the angels.  How can this be?  It is easy to see when you realize the reasons why Jesus became flesh.  Jesus did not simply live inside of a human body, but He actually became flesh, “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Galatians 4:4); “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14)

 

Why then did Christ become flesh?  Five reasons are given in this passage:

 

2.             In order to have dominion over earth. – Hebrews 2:5-7

 

“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.”

 

- When God created Adam in the Garden of Eden, He promised to him and to mankind that man would have dominion over the earth, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over…every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

- Because Adam sinned, he lost his right to rule.  Christ became flesh and lived a perfect life.  Because He did, He can now rule the earth as the perfect man.

- God’s promise to man of dominion over the earth will be fulfilled in Jesus when He returns to reign.

 

* “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

* “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

 

2.            In order to die for sinful man. – Hebrews 2:9

 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

 

- It was absolutely necessary for Christ to shed His blood on the cross if men were to be saved.  This is found in Hebrews 9:19-22.

- Many passages declare that the shedding of blood was necessary for salvation, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

- Of course, before the incarnation, God’s Son did not have a body of flesh and blood.  This is what the incarnation was all about, “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” (Hebrews 10:5)

- It is important also to notice the words “every man” in Hebrews 2:9; Christ died for “every man.”

- Many would have us to believe that, when Christ died, He only died for a selected or elected group.  The Bible abounds with proof that, when Christ died on the cross, it was for everybody, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

- Since Christ died for everybody, we can say with confidence, “Whosoever will may come!”

- Since Christ became flesh in order to die for us, certainly this does not make Him less than the angels.  No angel ever died for any man.

- Instead of lessening our love for Jesus, His willingness to become flesh should make us glorify Him even more!

 

3.            In order to be our Older Brother. – Hebrews 2:11-13

 

“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”

 

- These verses teach that all those who trust in Christ become a part of His family:  God is our Father, Christ is our Older Brother, we are His brethren.  The term “elder brother” is used in Mormon theology, but in this case is perfectly proper to say.

- This is certainly not to say that we are equal with Christ; on the contrary, the picture suggested here is that of younger children being entrusted to the care and supervision of their older brother.

- This is what is meant by Hebrews 2:13, “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”

- Everyone who has ever been an older brother or sister has, at one time, been put in charge of the younger members of the family.  Many can remember their parents saying to the older brother, “While we are gone, you take care of your brothers.”  Many a parent has said to the younger sibling, “You be sure to mind your older brother.”  This is the illustration that God is using.  Christ cares for us and provides for us, and we, in turn, should obey Him.  After all, He is our Older Brother.

 

* It is interesting to note that older brothers are often ashamed of the younger members of the family.  Many little boys have set out to tag along with their older brother only to be rejected in an abrupt and rather ungracious manner.  Older brothers often do not want their little brothers hanging around.

 

- This is not true with Jesus, “…he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Hebrews 2:11)  Jesus is not ashamed of you; He gladly claims you as His own!  Don’t you think it would be good if we would desire to be with Jesus and to follow after Him as children following their older brother?

- Have you ever wondered what your Older Brother desires for you?  Read Matthew 12:46-50, and you will find the answer.  It is summed up in verse 50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

- Our Older Brother does not abuse the authority He has over us.  Have you ever seen an older brother who did this?  He made the younger members of the family become his servants and forced them to do his work in order to make things easier for himself.

- This results in resentment between members of the family.  The right kind of older brother is concerned about only one thing:  seeing that the parents are obeyed!  This is Jesus’ concern; He wants us to do the will of our Heavenly Father.

 

4.            In order to defeat the Devil. – Hebrews 2:14-16

 

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”

 

- Here, we find that Jesus became flesh that He might die, and He died that He might destroy the Devil.

- We need to realize that although the Devil is a powerful adversary, he is really a defeated foe.  Listen to the words of Christ:

 

* “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31)

* “…the prince of this world is judged…” (John 16:11)

 

- The Devil has no control over the Christian’s life; he cannot force a believer to sin.  God makes sure that no Christian is ever tempted beyond his ability to say no, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

- We need not live our lives in fear of the Devil.  Victory over the Devil is available to every Christian, because “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4)

- This is certainly the meaning of James 4:7, “…Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”

- In what way did Christ destroy the power of the Devil?  Hebrews 2:15 teaches that Satan enslaves the lost because of their fear of death, “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

- Every lost man is conscious of the fact that one day he must die and that thought terrifies him!  Many seek to escape the fear of death through liquor, drugs, and many other types of sin.  Because of his fear of death, the unbeliever becomes a slave to sin.

- Since Christ died and rose again, men need not fear death.  When a man trusts Christ, he is given eternal life (John 3:16) and never again must be afraid of death.

- This does not mean that the Christian is expected to enjoy death or to rejoice when a loved one goes to Heaven; it does mean, however, that in the midst of sorrow, the believer can have the hope of resurrection.

- This fact makes the Christian’s sorrow different from that of the world, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

- 1 Corinthians 15 is a key Bible chapter on the resurrection.  It should be read very carefully.

 

* Since I will live forever, I need not fear death.  I can view life with an entirely different perspective than I had before I was saved.  Since life will not end at death, I must invest my life in things of eternal value, not spend it seeking the pleasures of sin!

 

- There is a certain encouragement that comes from knowing that, while I am in Heaven with Jesus, Satan will be eternally condemned to Hell.

 

5.            In order to be our High Priest. – Hebrews 2:17-18

 

“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

 

- These verses teach us that Jesus became flesh that He might understand the temptations and trials that men go through.

 

* Keep in mind, it is because Christ suffered, and NOT because He sinned, that He understands our temptations.

 

- Jesus never sinned, but He understands temptation, because He suffered temptation and won the victory.

- When I need help, I would rather receive help from somebody who succeeded than from somebody who failed and never succeeded.

- Matthew 4 illustrates how Jesus conquered temptation and won the victory over the Devil.  The fact that Christ never gave in to temptation increases His value as our High Priest rather than decreasing it.

- There are three words in these two verses that are very important:  merciful, faithful, and succoured.

 

* The word “merciful tells me that my High Priest does not operate on the basis of what I deserve but on the basis of His mercy.  He does not limit His prayers for me to the times when I deserve His prayers, for then He would never pray at all.  He prays for me even though I don’t deserve His prayers.

* The word “faithful” tells me He always does His job; I am never without a High Priest to intercede for me.

* The word “succour” means “to help, to bring aid.”  This is the idea of an ambulance rushing to the scene of the accident in order to give aid.  It is the idea of firemen racing on their fire engine to the scene of a fire in order to help.

 

- I never have to fear that my High Priest will be unavailable when I need Him.  He is always available to rush to my side to help me have victory over sin.

 

Conclusion:  And so, we see that Christ is not only greater than the prophets, but he is also greater than the angels.  Yes, He was limited to a body, but that fact makes Him even greater than the angels!

The Land of Spiritual Rest

by danparton on February 14, 2012 · 0 comments

Learning the Epistles – Study 168

from Pastor Dan Parton | Timberline Baptist Church | Originally presented January 26, 2011 |

Hebrews 2:1-4

Introduction:  These verses contain the first of the five parenthetical warnings found in Hebrews.  We must pay careful attention to these warnings if we are to make it to spiritual Canaan, the land of spiritual rest.

We must keep in mind that no book in the Bible is addressed to the unsaved.  The books of the Bible are always addressed to the people of God, those who are born again.  Therefore, the warnings found in Hebrews are not warnings to the lost but warnings to the saved.  Heresy has come from teaching that the five warnings in Hebrews are parenthetical warnings written to the lost.  Two false doctrines in particular have come from Hebrews being taught out of context:

- That you can lose your salvation.

- That you can sin away your day of grace.

These warnings are to the saved and give a strong message to the backslider.  This particular passage deals with the neglecting of the salvation that every Christian has already received, not the rejecting of the salvation God is offering unbelievers.  It is a sin committed by the saved, not the lost.  We can understand this passage better if we examine four phrases carefully:

- “Therefore we ought.”  The phrase “we ought” emphasizes the fact that “we must.”  The writer is, no doubt, speaking here of essentials, not incidentals.  This passage speaks what a Christian must do, not what he may do.

- “Give the more earnest heed.”  This phrase means “to pay careful attention.”  No one becomes a good Christian automatically or accidentally.  If you are to become a good Christian, you will do so on purpose.  It will demand concentration and effort on your part.  “More earnest heed” refers to hard work and diligence.

- “The things which we have heard.”  This phrase refers to the Word of God, teaching, and preaching.  We must heed God’s Word or experience God’s judgment.

- “Slip” is a nautical term and refers to “drifting away.”

- “How shall we escape.”  Here, we are reminded that carelessness about our spiritual growth and spiritual matters in general will result in judgment from God.

  • Does God judge His people?  Yes, but not in the same way that He judges the lost.  A Christian needs to distinguish the judgment that God’s people experience from the judgment that the lost experience.
  • The difference is found in two words:  condemnation and chastisement.
  • Condemnation, that is, eternal death, refers to God’s judgment of the lost and results in spending eternity in Hell.  Chastisement refers to God’s judgment of the saved, and suggests the pictures of a father carefully and lovingly disciplining his children.
  • Hebrews 12 is a key chapter in the Bible that deals with the chastening of the saved.

- To “neglect so great salvation” refers to carelessness on our part in caring for the essential things in the Christian life.  (And there are a number of essential things in the Christian life!)

All five of the parenthetical warnings in Hebrews have to do with our relationship to the Word of God.  In this lesson, we will see the first warning for God’s people.

 

1.            Drifting from the Word of God through neglect.

 

- Hebrews 2:1-4, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

- For most of us, drifting away from the Word of God goes unnoticed.  It happens slowly.

- The following illustration is nearly worn out, but it fits so perfectly here.  When I lived in Minnesota, I was the camp director at Camp Patterson in Mankato for four years.  Camp Patterson was located next to beautiful Lake Washington, one of the more than 10,000 lakes of Minnesota.

 

One day, while the campers were having their horizontal time, I went fishing in a canoe with another counsellor.  It was a windy day, and we didn’t have an anchor.  Before I knew it, our canoe had drifted close to the shore.  We neglected to anchor ourselves down and drifted away from where we needed to be.  So, we had to paddle back out to the middle of Lake Washington.  We did this several times, because we never put an anchor down.  We could have caught more fish if we hadn’t spent so much time paddling back to where we needed to be.

 

- This is clearly illustrated in Hebrews 2:1, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

- Those, away from the Lord ask “What happened?  I was so close to God, and now I am so far away.”

- It is always a series of events and never just one thing that happens.  Proverbs 6:10-11 and 24:33-34 say, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”

- The end result of this neglect is that we get further and further away from the Lord because we are further from His Word than we once were.

- This neglect is easily recognized though oft-ignored.  We need to stop neglecting:

  • Our walk with the Lord.
  • The Word of God.
  • Our prayer life.
  • Our witness.
  • Our faithfulness to church.
  • Our service for God.
  • Our tithing and other giving.
  • The godliness of our language and habits.
  • The control of our anger.
  • The guarding of our hearts.
  • Our response to the preaching of God’s Word.
  • The cleaning up of our lives.
  • Our Christian testimony.
  • Our lives as children of God and the making of excuse as to why we can’t live like Christians ought to live.

Conclusion:  Every Christian has been or is presently practicing the neglecting of their great salvation and, therefore, not growing.  If you have been neglectful, you can make it right starting right now.

This is why Peter wrote, And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue… (2 Peter 1:5) and why the author of Hebrews wrote, Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Learning the Epistles – Study 167 |

from Pastor Dan Parton | Timberline Baptist Church | Originally presented January 19, 2011 |

Acts 10:37-38

Introduction:  Hebrews 1:9 teaches us that ”…God, hath anointed thee [Jesus] with the oil of gladness [Holy Spirit power] above thy [His] fellows.”  With that in mind, we also realize that the main reason for the filling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was so believers could witness with the power of God to the lost and see them saved.

- On that day, 3,000 people from 16 different nationalities had the Gospel preached to them in their own language.
- Getting the lost saved was the main reason for the filling of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
- Speaking in tongues was simply a tool God used to spread the Gospel message on that day.
- 1 Corinthians 14:22 says what the purpose of tongues was, ”Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”

The fullness of the Spirit is not evidenced by speaking in an unknown tongue or any other supernatural gifting, but by speaking the Word of God with boldness, ”And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)

We are admonished to be filled with the Spirit in Ephesians 5:18, ”And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”  To be ”filled with the Spirit” is to be ”controlled by the Spirit.”

* Holy-Spirit fullness is the result of a total yielding to the Spirit of God.  You can’t fight God and be Spirit-filled!

Our opening text plainly stated that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, ”That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:37-38)

Jesus did all His ministry, all His preaching, all His healings, all His miracles, and all His soul winning in the power of the Holy Spirit!  He chose to do this as an example to us.

- Jesus laid aside His Heavenly robes and took upon Himself a robe of flesh, ”Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
- How amazing is this!  Jesus, the Lord of Glory, became flesh and dwelt among us as a Spirit-filled man!
- According to Philippians 2, Jesus did all His work in the power of the Holy Spirit, not as Deity.  Jesus left that power in Heaven and did everything as a Spirit-filled man.

1. The Old Testament teaches that Jesus was Spirit-filled.

- Isaiah 42:1-4, ”Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him…”
- Isaiah 61:1-2, ”The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek…”
- Isaiah 11:1-3, ”And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.”

2. The New Testament teaches that Jesus was Spirit-filled.

- Acts 10:38, ”How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power…”
- Hebrews 9:14, ”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?”
- Acts 1:2, ”Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.”

3. Jesus did all He did in the power of the Holy Spirit.

- The power of the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism, ”The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)
- The Word of God plainly states that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, ”And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” (Luke 4:1)

* Jesus fought Satan as a Spirit-filled man, not as God.  There, in Luke 4:1-13, we find the rest of the story, how Satan tempted Jesus with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life after Jesus had fasted for 40 days.  Hebrews 4:14-15 tell us the end result of His being Holy-Spirit filled during that temptation, ”Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 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.”
* Had Jesus done all of this as God, we would have no example to follow; but because He did what He did as a Spirit-filled man, we can follow His example!

4. With the Holy Spirit’s power, we can do even more.

- Notice with me the promise of John 14:12, ”Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
- Why more?  Jesus only ministered publicly for three years.  We have more years to live in the power of the Holy Spirit than Jesus did.

* The modern-day charismatic movement centers itself on tongues and miracles.  However, the power of the Holy Spirit centers around the saving of the lost.  If what is happening today does not follow this Bible pattern, it is not of God!

Conclusion:  Simply put, if Jesus needed to depend on the filling of the Holy Spirit as a man, how much more do we need to depend on the filling of the Holy Spirit as men?  Who controls you:  the Holy Spirit or you?

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